Swiss Trip for 6-7 Days May 2013

Swiss Trip for 6-7 Days May 2013

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mhawker
mhawker
2 posts
new member
Mar 25, 2013 - 12:41 AM
We are going to be traveling (2 Adults) around Europe for 2 months throughout May/June and are seeking some advice with traveling through Switzerland and in particular the train passes.

Dates

We will be coming from Paris on the 5th from and leaving to Munich on the 11th/12th May.

Destinations

- 2 Days in Zurich/Lucerne
- 4-5 Days in Jungfrau Region
- Possibly Zermatt?

We are looking to spend about 4 days in the Jungfrau Region which to see some of the great sites and enjoy some time relaxing as well.

Question 1. Could we fit Zermatt in this time frame to or would it be to rushed and best used in the Jungfrau Region?
Question 2. Are we best to base ourselves in Lauterbrunnen or further up either side in Grindelwald/Wengen etc?
Question 3. Best spot for Paragliding?

Travel

This is where we are most confused with different passes and what we actually use.

Question 4. Best way to get to Interlaken from Paris?

Originally we were going to fly into Zurich but it seems to make more sense to get a train/flight from Paris to Geneva and then take the Golden Pass to Interlaken.

Question 5. Are we better value at getting a half fair pass or a full Swiss Pass etc??

What concession will each pass give us for trains past Grindelwald etc?

Will either of these cards get us on the Golden Pass train as well? Easiest way to book on this train as the website seems to block out dates on Mat 5th.

Question 6. Getting from Zurich to Munich. I was reading a Swiss Pass gets you to a certain point and then we need to buy a P2P? We are after the easiest option and least confusing here on how to go about this! Something where we can book now so we don't get stuck with a crazy price that we have seen when leaving until the last minute.

Thanks very much in advance for any help they can provide.

We both cant wait to enjoy Switzerland.

Mat and Bek
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 25, 2013 - 4:54 PM
Hi Mat and Bek! Great that you get to visit Switzerland during your Europe tour. As for your questions:

1) A day trip to Zermatt would result in a long day, but it's definitely doable. Travel times can be found through the timetable. If time and weather allow, definitely get up to the Gornergrat for amazing views.

2) Lauterbrunnen is located more centrally. If you want to make day trips in the directions of Interlaken and the lake Thun and lake Brienz regions as well, it would be a better base than Grindelwald or Wengen. Grindelwald and Wengen are generally considered to be more scenic though.

3) There are several paragliding options from Interlaken. You can get up to Schynige Platte or Beatenberg for example. This overview of tandem flight providers may be of help.

4) Since you're coming for Paris and continuing onto Munich, it would make sense to enter via Geneva indeed. You could take the Golden Pass train from Montreux, get to in Interlaken and spend your days there. Next, take the following section of the Golden Pass train to Lucerne and end your tour in Zurich.

5) and 6) First of all: if you plan to do train traveling in other European countries too, one of the Eurail passes may be interesting for you. They don't offer quite as much discounts for Switzerland as Swiss rail passes do though. Your itinerary isn't quite finalized yet, so it's a hard to say which pass will turn out to be best. As for Swiss rail passes: the Swiss Pass is a very convenient choice, as many trips are for free: you simply can get on board of whichever train, bus or boat you like without having to buy a ticket. The Golden Pass train (except for seat reservations) is entirely covered, and so is the leg Zurich-Swiss/German border. You will need additional discounted tickets for mountain transportation in the Jungfrau Region. Please review the downloadable validity map at the Swiss Pass page for a complete overview.

A Swiss Half Fare Card may turn out to be cheaper if you restrict yourself to short, local trips. Mind that you'll have to buy discounted tickets for every trip you want to make (including the Golden Pass train). Further details can be found here. Once you have decided what you would like to do, you can start making some calculations.

In both cases, you'll need a regular train ticket from the Swiss border to Münich. You can search for tickets here, and/or order them along from the same reseller as you purchase your rail pass from.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
mhawker
mhawker
2 posts
new member
Apr 3, 2013 - 3:07 AM
Hi Anikka,

Thankyou so much for your detailed reply we are still working out some of the finer points and your recommendations have come in so helpful.

With travel at this stage we are tossing up between one of the Regional Passes - France-Switzerland 4 Day or the Swiss Half Fare Card.

If we were to go a Regional Pass what would you just recommend P2P for the 5 days in the Jungfrau Region etc and does the France-Switzerland pass still give us discounts for the trips up the mountains.

Thanks again.

Mat and Bek.
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 3, 2013 - 3:29 PM
Hi Mat and Bek! If the trip Paris-Swiss border (and some local traveling near Paris) is all you'll be doing in France, a Eurail France-Switzerland Pass isn't the best option. You can best purchase regular tickets for your French trips in that case and focus on a rail pass specifically for Switzerland. If you plan to do some intensive traveling in France as well, the pass will work though. On the valid days, you will be able to travel throughout Switzerland for free in regular trains, buses and boats. Some mountain railways and cable cars are discounted too, but not all. Please review all details at the Eurail France-Switzerland Pass page. If budget is important to you, note that it's available in 1st class only.

As for regional passes: the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland would make most sense if you really want to focus on the Interlaken region. It doesn't get you all the way to Zermatt, Lucerne and Zurich, but parts of the trips would be for free. Details and a link to a validity map can be found here. In all, I still think a Swiss Saver (Flexi) Pass or a Swiss Half Fare Card would be the easiest solution if you want to travel across the country.

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