Swiss Travel Pass vs Swiss Half Fare Card

Swiss Travel Pass vs Swiss Half Fare Card

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meghaswiss
meghaswiss
37 posts
active member
Jun 1, 2016 - 1:13 PM

Hello,

For my proposed 6 day trip, I had initially planned to buy the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass. However, I now feel that a Half Fare Card may be more cost effective. Broad plans are:

  • Day 1 - Geneva to Interlaken by train. Local sightseeing in Interlaken and visit to Harder Klum or some nearby area.
  • Day 2 - Interlaken: Visit Jungfrau. If weather does not permit, visit Berne (I think it is possible to do it by opting for a cruise from Interlaken).
  • Day 3: Train from Interlaken to Meggen. Visit to Mt. Titlis else local sight seeing and cruise on Lake Lucerne.
  • Day 4: Meggen - Visit to Mt. Titlis.
  • Day 5: Meggen to Zurich by train. Visit Rhine Falls.
  • Day 6: Sightseeing in Zurich - old town/ lake Zurich.
  • Day 7: Return flight from Zurich.

I may visit Mt. Rigi or some other place near Lucerne on Day 5 if I can do some local sightseeing in Zurich on Day 6 itself (such as a short cruise on Lake Zurich and visit to Rhine Falls.

I would really appreciate inputs on the above and whether it is better to go with a Swiss Travel Pass or a Half Fare Card. Also, on a Half Fare Pass, I understand I will get 50% off on all of the above activities and travels (such as train, internal travel in a city by TRAM / BUS etc., cruise, rhine falls, Jungfrau, Mt. Titlis etc). As per SBB website, train ticket from Geneva to Interlaken is CHF 34.50. If I go with the Half Fare Card, I will have to purchase all train tickets locally (for example - Geneva to Interlaken, Interlaken to Meggen, Lucerne to Engelberg, Meggen to Zurich etc).

My questions are :

  1. Are the train fares static (fixed fare) or would they change/ become steep closer to the date of travel?
  2. Will I be able to purchase train tickets on the same day as my date of travel (say 1 hour in advance?)

Many thanks!

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 1, 2016 - 1:38 PM

Hi meghaswiss,

You've managed to post a new thread. What was causing the problems you mentioned before?

The Swiss Travel Pass does make sense convenience wise, but you would really have to do the math in order to know for sure if there's a big difference in costs between the two options. For what's included, and how to do the math, please see:

Study the maps carefully as there are some exceptions you may not notice otherwise (like Mount Rigi which is free with the Swiss Travel Pass, as well as museums). Urban transport like buses and trams are discounted with the Swiss Half Fare Card (mostly 50%, sometimes a bit less) and free with the Swiss Travel Pass.

A single trip from Geneva to Interlaken costs CHF 35.50 with a Swiss Half Fare Card, or double that amount without a card, or nothing with a Swiss Travel Pass.

  1. Train fares do not change.
  2. Yes, even a minute in advance.

When will your trip be?

meghaswiss
meghaswiss
37 posts
active member
Jun 1, 2016 - 2:00 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno!

As per your advice, I downloaded Firefox. Internet explorer did not allow me to post for some strange reason. right now I'm replying using my phone. The fate of CHF 34 for Geneva to interlaken is the full fare I noted from the website and not the half fare. My dates are 20-27 June. I was concerned about train fares increasing with time but you have now confirmed that those are fixed and do not change. Very helpful. Thanks. I will check out the links posted by you.

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 1, 2016 - 2:15 PM in reply to meghaswiss

Hi meghaswiss,

I'm glad that it's fixed. Internet Explorer can behave quite weird sometimes. As for the fare: it's half the fare. That's what they display by default. Please see the timetable page for a full explanation.

Note that both passes you are considering can be printed at home. That will save you time upon arrival. They will be e-mailed to you with 1 to 3 business days. All purchase options are listed here:

Hopefully you have enough information to make a choice now.

meghaswiss
meghaswiss
37 posts
active member
Jun 1, 2016 - 3:33 PM in reply to Arno

Got it. Thanks so much Arno!

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