Swiss Pass/Flexy, 1/2 Fare, Swiss Card or Transfer

Swiss Pass/Flexy, 1/2 Fare, Swiss Card or Transfer

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birdie
birdie
9 posts
new member
Sep 5, 2014 - 5:47 PM

Hi,

I need help please. I'm having hard time understanding the differences all off Swiss cards / pass. This is our itinerary below, which is best (most cost saving) for our itinerary above, Swiss Pass or Swiss Flexy Pass of Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Card or Swiss Transfer Ticket?

Oct 7: Paris to Zurich by plane (arriving at 11:10 am). We will go to Zurich for sightsee and in the late afternoon / evening will take train to Lucerne.

Oct 8: Lucerne and will go to either Mt. Pilatus / Titlis / Rigi

Oct 9: Lucerne and will go to either Mt. Pilatus / Titlis / Rigi

Oct 10: Lucern to Interlaken by train. Sightsee in Interlaken

Oct 11: Jungfrou

Oct 12: Interlaken to Zurich airport by train (morning about 6:00 / 6:30 am).

Thank you much for your help.

Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 5, 2014 - 6:40 PM

Hi Birdie,

It looks like a Swiss Half Fare Card is your cheapest option, if you don't mind buying tickets for each trip. Another pass to consider is the Swiss Saver Pass, which offers free unlimited traveling. It even includes the train up to Mount Rigi for free.

Don't worry if you're confused by all the passes. They are explained in our pass section over here. And this guide explains how to choose the best one. If you do some reading I'm sure it will all become clear!

By the way, there is a wonderful direct high speed train from Paris to Zurich, so no need to fly. It's probably quicker too.

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:53 PM by Arno
birdie
birdie
9 posts
new member
Sep 6, 2014 - 1:54 PM

Hi Arno, thank you for your quick reply. I have calculated the approximate cost below (all in CHF), can you please confirm if I understand these 2 cards correctly?

Oct 7: Zurich airport - Zurich 6.6 / Zurich transport 1 day pass 4.2 / Zurich to Lucerne 31

Oct 8: Lucerne transport 1 day pass 6.4 / Mt. Rigi 105

Oct 9: Lucerne transport 1 day pass 6.4 / Mt. Titlis 89

Oct 10: Lucerne to Interlaken 60.5 / Harder Kulm 28 / Lake Brienz cruise (still may be)

Oct 11: Jungfrou 197.60

Oct 12: Interlaken - Zurich airport 119.90

A total of CHF 659.60 per person

SWISS Saver PASS: We have to get the 8 days options (4 will be too short), it's CHF 353 / person (after the 10% discount). If I'm understanding it correctly, everything is included except to Jungfrou, which will only give us 25% discount. So total cost will be CHF 501.90 / person

SWISS 1/2 FARE CARD: CHF 120 / person, and everything is 50% off, so total cost will be CHF 447.3/person.

We first wanted to take train from Paris to Zurich, but read there's no VAT tax refund services in Paris train station and we can't do it in Zurich since Swiss isn't an EU member. That's why we change our plan to fly instead. Do you have any info regarding this?

THANK YOU!!!

Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 6, 2014 - 2:39 PM

Hi Birdie,

A few things I noticed: Lucerne to Interlaken Ost is CHF 31 (single journey), not 60.50. With a Swiss Saver Pass, you get free traveling until Wengen and Grindelwald, and 25% off the rest of the trip to the Jungfraujoch. It will be around CHF 120 - 130. The Swiss Pass gives a free ride to the Rigi, but not to the Titlis for example. If you download the map from the Swiss Pass page I linked to you can see all the details. I think the Swiss Half Fare Card will work out cheaper in your case. Unless you want to be able to do additional trips at no cost. In that case the Swiss Pass is better and more convenient.

I don't think you need to fly just for the tax refund. The train from Paris will stop at the border station Basel SBB. As far as I know you can arrange for it there (see here) and take the next train to Zurich. Basel to Zurich is free with a Swiss Pass, so you would just need a ticket from Paris to Basel.

Last modified on Sep 6, 2014 - 2:40 PM by Arno
birdie
birdie
9 posts
new member
Sep 6, 2014 - 3:55 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Oh yes, I checked with Swiss Pass, Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Titlis are 50% off, white Mt. Rigi is free. So you recommend Swiss Half Fare card then. With it, all the cost I listed above is just straight 50% off then, including Jungfrou? So I just show the Swiss Half Fare card whenever I buy train / boat tickets? Mean I can NOT pre-purchase the tickets online then?

Thank you again for helping me sorting our trip plan

Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 6, 2014 - 4:18 PM

Hi Birdie,

You can purchase the Swiss Half Fare Card online here, along with the ticket from Paris to Basel if required. Tickets for within Switzerland can be purchase locally. All tickets are indeed 50% off, see the Swiss Half Fare Card map.

Last modified on Sep 6, 2014 - 4:18 PM by Arno
birdie
birdie
9 posts
new member
Sep 6, 2014 - 5:43 PM

Hi Arno,

Ok, I will order the Swiss Half Fare Card online. But the rest (Jungfrou, Mt. Titlis, Mt. Rigi, Zurich-Lucerne train, Lucerne-Interlaken train, Interlaken-Zurich airport train, Lake Brienz cruise), I have to buy on the spot in order to enjoy the 50% discount, am I correct?

For Jungfrou, the 50% discount only applies to normal price (CHF 197.60) and not the 'Good Morning' special? Since tickets are limited, can I buy it when we land in Zurich?

Thanks again, really appreciate your help.

Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 6, 2014 - 6:03 PM

Hi Birdie,

Train tickets are not limited. Tickets to the Jungfraujoch were sold out on a few days this Summer, but that's really an exception and does not apply to regular trains that do not go to the mountain tops. You can purchase all your tickets in Zurich but I would not do so until the day of travel so you'll remain flexible. Buying fixed date tickets for mountain tops is never a good idea as you don't know the weather until the evening before or the morning of departure. Going up in bad weather would result in zero visibility and is not worth the money.

birdie
birdie
9 posts
new member
Sep 7, 2014 - 5:00 PM

Hi Arno,

Is it cheaper to buy train tickets (Zurich to Lucerne, Lucerne to Interlaken, Interlaken to Zurich airport) online or at the train station?

From Interlaken to Jungfrou, we'd like to start from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald and on the way back from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken Ost, so that we can go to Harder Kulm from there. Is this route recommended or is it better the other way around?

Thank you

Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 7, 2014 - 5:29 PM

Hi Birdie,

Just buy the tickets before you start your trip. The price of online tickets is the same, on average. It can be a bit more expensive through some resellers, or a bit cheaper if there are promotions, but currently there are none of these. This all applies to tickets for traveling within Switzerland. Tickets to neighboring counties should be purchased in advance, thus online.

There's not much of a difference in the routing. I slightly prefer going up via Lauterbrunnen and down via Grindelwald, but either is fine.

birdie
birdie
9 posts
new member
Sep 8, 2014 - 12:23 PM

Noted Arno on Swiss train tickets and Jungfrou route. Thank you for the advise.

I can buy the half fare card at Zurich airport and use it immediately to get 50% for train from airport to Zurich?

To go Harder Kulm, I take train from Interlaken ost, am I right? Do you think it's doable to do both Jungfrou and Harder Kulm the same day? We only have 2 full days in Interlaken. On the 2nd day, we'd like to walk around town, take Lake Brienz cruise and go to see the glacier fall.

Thank you

Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 8, 2014 - 12:58 PM

Hi Birdie,

Harder Kulm and the Jungfraujoch fit in one day. You can walk from the Ost rail station to the Harder Kulm funicular in a few minutes. There's not much to see in Interlaken, so if you don't have a lot time I would advice to spend it on the lakes and in the mountains.

Sure, you can buy the Swiss Half Fare Card at any time and use it immediately. All options are listed here.

I hope you have a great stay. A trip report would be welcome!

birdie
birdie
9 posts
new member
Sep 9, 2014 - 3:53 PM

Hi Arno, any recommendation on Lake Brienz cruise and Trummelbach falls? We will be arriving in Interlaken at around 9:00 am, and after leaving our luggages at the hotels, we plan to do those 2. Do you think there's enough time?

Thank you

thyon
thyon
135 posts
active member
Sep 9, 2014 - 4:47 PM
Sorry my bad englisch, bud try to visit the Schilthorn......... from the movie, His majesty secret 007.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 10, 2014 - 4:35 AM

Hi Birdie,

That's doable, no problem. Just be aware that most attractions in Switzerland close by the end of the afternoon. You can check the timetable in advance.

Last modified on Sep 10, 2014 - 5:43 AM by Annika
kxkl1
kxkl1
1 post
new member
Sep 12, 2014 - 8:21 AM
Hi, sorry to tap on this thread. Need to check on something relatd to the Swiss Card and travel on Interlaken - Jungfrau. Could I check if the Swiss Card gets 50% off the Interlaken - Jungfrau railway? That means, 98.80 CHF as well? Thanks!
Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 12, 2014 - 8:39 AM

Hi kxkl1,

Yes, you will get a 50% discount, see here: www.myswissalps.com/swisscard/validity

Please post subsequent questions in a new thread as explained in our forum rules. Thanks!

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 1:07 PM by Arno
birdie
birdie
9 posts
new member
Sep 16, 2014 - 5:04 PM

Hi Arno,

You mentioned that you Iprefer going up via Lauterbrunnen and down via Grindelwald to Jungfrau. Can you let me know your reason? Thank you!!!

Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 16, 2014 - 6:17 PM

Hi Birdie,

I find the views, especially between Wengen and Kleine Scheidegg, a bit more impressive for first time visitors traveling up to the Jungfraujoch. If you have visited the area before it does not matter, and of course this is just a personal preference. Others may tell you otherwise.

birdie
birdie
9 posts
new member
Sep 17, 2014 - 12:54 PM

Hi Arno,

Sorry, I just want to clarify, the view (between Wengen and Kleine Scheidegg) going up is different than the same route going down?

Thank you

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