Swiss trip for my parents visiting Europe

Swiss trip for my parents visiting Europe

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sesha
sesha
10 posts
new member
Apr 15, 2013 - 4:25 AM
Hello,
First of all I would like to thank this forum for providing such detailed information.
I am planning a trip of 3 days to Switzerland with my parents. They are visiting Europe, so become eligible for a EU rail pass. Me on the other hand being resident in Germany, can take only Interrail pass. However Swiss pass seems to be a much better deal for me. I do not plan 3 consecutive days, since I stay in Stuttgart and can make a day trip to Zurich and return. So my plan is like this.
Day 1(Thursday). Visit Zurich and if possible Rhine falls and return to Stuttgart.
Day 2(Saturday) Travel to Interlaken, and then to Jungfraujoch in the afternoon, return to Luzern for a night stay
Day 3(Sunday) Visit Mt Rigi and Mt.Titlis or Mt. Pilatus and return to Stuttgart by a train in the evening at around 6 p.m from Luzern.
For this plan I have a few queries, which I request you to provide some info on.
1) Can I buy a Swiss pass for my parents too who are not residents in EU and will it be a better deal than a EU rail pass?
2) How do I reach Rhine falls from Zurich. I saw a thread explaining, from Zurich airport to Schafhausen. From there I am a bit confused.. Does the Swiss pass not include the boat ride there (since it was mentioned in the thread, its good to take a boat ride).
3) Can I cover Mt. Rigi and either Mt.Titlis or Mt. Pilatus on the same day and return to Luzern by 6 p.m.?
4) Is the cable car from Weggis to Rigi Kulm also covered with Swiss pass? Their website mentions free on trains with swiss pass, doesnt mention anything about the cable cars.
5) Since I have an evening to spend on Day 2 in Luzern, what are the places I can visit in Luzern in the evening?
Regards,
Sesha.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 16, 2013 - 2:59 AM
Welcome sesha! I'm glad you like the forum. As for your questions:

1) Will your parents only be doing the exact same day trips as you? In that case, I'd say all three of you should look into a 4 day Swiss Saver Pass. That would definitely offer better value than one of the rail Passes (or Interrail Passes in your case). Ordering through this reseller would be easiest. It allows you to order all three passes and have them shipped to your home address in Germany.

If intensive train traveling in other countries is involved too, a Eurail Pass might work better. Other resellers would be involved here. Just visit the pass pages you're interested in and enter your or your parents' data in the upper right corner to have all purchase options displayed.

2) From Schaffhausen you can take a bus to Schloss Laufen or Neuhausen Bad Bf. The timetable helps you plan this trip. It's for free with a Swiss Pass (or a free travel day on a Swiss Saver Flexi Pass). Further boat rides aren't covered. Please review the downloadable validity map at the Swiss Pass page for such details.

3) You would be able to cover both Pilatus and Rigi in one day. Titlis would be too far off.

4) Yes, the cable car to Rigi is for free with a Swiss Pass too.

5) The old town centre is very attractive. Just strolling along there and get to the Kappelbrücke would be fine for the evening. Depending on the time of year in which you plan to visit, you may be able to make an evening boat cruise too.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
sesha
sesha
10 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2013 - 7:03 AM
Hello Annika,
Thank you for detailed information.
I will be travelling together with my parents. The Swiss flexi pass for 3 days would also serve the purpose for us. Can I travel with this pass on consecutive days (Saturday and Sunday) too?
2) Since the swiss pass is valid only upto from Schafhausen, can I buy tickets from Stuttgart upto Schafhausen and then continue with my Swiss pass in the same train without making a change? Can I explain this to the ticket controller on the train?
3) From Interlaken ost to Luzern, on the Golden Pass line. Are seat reservations compulsory on this train or can I simply board any train with the swiss pass( its free to travel on this train with the swiss pass according to my understanding). Also in the Golden pass line website, its mentioned the last train from Interlaken Ost is at 17:04, but the SBB website shows a connection on the same route every hour. Are these 2 different?

Regards,
Sesha.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 16, 2013 - 10:57 AM
Hi sesha. If you parents don't need any traveling on Friday, a 3 day Swiss Saver Flexi Pass is fine too. Traveling on consecutive days is no problem. As for the trip to Schaffhausen: the first Swiss leg from Thayngen to Schaffhausen is discounted. So you need a regular ticket Schaffhausen-Tayngen, a discounted ticket Tayngen-Schaffhausen, and from there on your Swiss Saver (Flexi) Pass will take over except for the boat ride. You don't have to change trains along the way. Just show the right ticket when asked for.

Panoramic Golden Pass trains should indeed be reserved in advance if you want to make sure you have a seat. Both panoramic Golden Pass trains as well as regular regional trains run along this route. Both are mentioned in the timetable (click the plus icon next to a connection for details on train types). Seat reservations aren't necessary for regional trains. The only difference is that such trains are less luxury and have smaller windows.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:34 PM by Arno
sesha
sesha
10 posts
new member
Apr 17, 2013 - 2:43 AM
Thank you Annika. Just a few more queries.
1) Regarding the cruise in Lucerne, I found Sunset Cruise by Paddle Steamer. Since I am travelling in July, this should be available. But is this included in the Swiss pass, as the website mentions fares only with and without half fare cards.
2) I have heard pretty good reviews about Mt. Titlis from my friends. Are the views from Mt. Pilatus comparable to the ones from Mt. Titlis? There has been emphasis on the 360° rotating Gondola at Mt. Titlis too. Do I get discounts with a swiss pass at Mt. Pilatus too? Can I buy the tickets for Mt. Pilatus directly at the Lucerne train station?
3) Can you please suggest the best itinerary if I have to cover 2 mountains in the single day? I am sorry if this sound irritating, but since I am on a tight schedule, your suggestions would be very helpful.

Regards,
Sesha.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 17, 2013 - 3:08 AM
Hi Sesha. Such cruises normally aren't covered by a Swiss Pass. Regular boat trips are. But you could contact Lake Lucerne to make sure.
As for Titlis versus Pilatus: of course the rotating gondola is special, but the trip is quite short. Views from both Titlis and Pilatus are wonderful, in my opinion. The validity map I mentioned shows Swiss Saver (Flexi) Pass discounts for Pilatus. As you can see, ít's discounted by 50% between Alpnachstad/Pilatus/Kriens. Trips to and from Alpnachstad and Kriens are for free. (Round trip) tickets are available at the Lucerne railway station or at the Alpnachstad and Kriens valley stations.

For two mountains in one day, I'd suggest Rigi and Pilatus. It doesn't really matter which one you pick first. You should start off quite early, let's say about 7.30 am. You could be up at Rigi by 9.40 via Arth-Goldau, spend some time there and descend to Vitznau. Take a boat trip to Lucerne (boats leave once per hour, and the trip to Lucerne takes an hour), get on the train to Alpnachstad and visit the Pilatus by cog train. Spend your time up there and return by cable car to Kriens and Lucerne. Each leg of the trip can be planned with the regular timetable (enter Rigi Kulm and Pilatus Kulm as your destinations for the viewing points) and the Lake Lucerne timetable.
sesha
sesha
10 posts
new member
Apr 17, 2013 - 8:09 AM
Hi Annika,
Thank you... Just 2 more queries.
1) Are Euros accepted in Swiss or do I have to get it converted to CHF?
2) Can I buy Jungfraujoch tickets also at Schaffhausen or Luzern, since I will have just 8 mins between arrival at Interlaken Ost and departing to Jungfraujoch

Regards,
Sesha.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 17, 2013 - 9:25 AM
Hi Sesha,

1) Yes, but not everywhere and the exchange rate can be expensive. You can often also pay with cards, but it's best to have at least some Swiss francs at hand.

2) Yes, you can.

By the way, in my previous post I meant to say Rigi via Arth-Goldau, not via Alpnachstadt. I have changed it.
sesha
sesha
10 posts
new member
Apr 22, 2013 - 4:59 AM
Hi Annika,
Can I buy tickets for Wengen/Grindelwald to Jungfrau and Aplenstad/Kriens to Mt. Pilatus or Engelberg to Mt.Titlis from the automat machines at the train stations in Schaffhausen or Luzern? The trips upto Wengen and Grindelwald from Interlaken Ost are covered with Swiss pass right?

Regards,
Sesha
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 22, 2013 - 3:27 PM
Hi Sesha. Tickets for Alpnachstadt/Pilatus/Kriens are sold at the Lucerne railway station. Tickets to the Titlis can be bought at the valley station in Engelberg. Tickets to the Jungfraujoch are available at the Interlaken railway station. (You'll also be able to get them from manned desks at the Lucerne railway station, but buying in Interlaken seems to make more sense in your case.) Make sure to buy 25% discounted tickets for the legs Grindelwald/Wengen-Jungfraujoch only, as the rest is indeed covered by your Swiss Pass.
sesha
sesha
10 posts
new member
Apr 23, 2013 - 2:32 AM
Hello Annika,
Thank you for the information. So just that I understand it right, the mountain trains as well as cablecar tickets can only be bought at the manned desks of SBB and not at ticket automat machines.. Since at all the valley stations, there will be only 5-8 mins before the mountain trains depart, would it be sufficient to buy tickets directly at the counters there?

Regards,
Sesha
Arno
Arno
7299 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 23, 2013 - 3:15 AM
Hi Sesha,

There are several types of ticketing machines and I'm not sure which ones sell which tickets. Note that if you order your pass through your local reseller you can order along some of these tickets like for the Pilatus and Titlis.

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