Travelling in Germany and Switzerland, which pass?

Travelling in Germany and Switzerland, which pass?

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Google+ Share this page on Twitter Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 11. This thread is closed.
ocolocorch
ocolocorch
19 posts
new member
Dec 31, 2015 - 1:03 AM

Hi, I need help.

My friend and I will be will be travelling from germany (frankfurt to aachen to koblenz, then to heidelberg), Then from heidelberg to basel, to bern, to montreux (day trip from bern) and bern to zermatt, then to zurich. Total 8 days of rail travel in 2 weeks. Is it advisable to buy a eurail regional 2 city pass for 8 days, or a separate germany and swiss travel pass? I have tried to do a point to point comparison, total cost for germany to basel is about €200, basel to zurich chf333. This is rail only checked from de bann, and SBB. I will be going up the zermatt mountain areas so will need to know if it's still worth getting the cheaper regional pass or buy a separate swiss pass.

i have worked out a few options. Hope to hear some advice which can give the best value. We will visit at most 4 museums, 2 of which are montreux chillon castle and zermatt matterhorn museum. The rest we have yet figured out where to go.

  • Option A = €330 8 days regional eurail pass (germany n Switzerland ) with some benefits not very clearly stated on web. But i guess have to pay for all internal swiss transportation and no discount on mountain areas in zermatt.
  • Option B= €200 (germany full fare) + CHF120 (half fare card) + chf167 (half rail fare) with other half fare benefits which may gives me some savings in zermatt mountain tour.
  • Option C = swiss travel pass flex 4 days chf286 + €200 (germany full fare ) but i will need to pay full fare on local transport on non selected days if i were to travel within the city. I will also need to ensure I will be able to utilise the 50% zermatt mountain discount on the day of arrival or departure to another city.
  • Option D = swiss travel pass flex combi 4 days chf346 + €200 (germany full fare ) most costly but will gives 50% on all days with free museums.

Thanks!

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 31, 2015 - 12:46 PM

Hi ocolocorch,

Thanks for joining us, and thanks for sharing your calculations. Here's some additional information in order to finalize your calculations:

  • The two country Eurail passes will be discontinued as of tomorrow. The replacement for that option is the new two country Eurail Select Pass. The pass price might change a bit, but everything covered by the pass won't change.
  • Our pass pages provide all the information you need: maps of what's covered, the best retailers, how the pass works, links to which museums are included, etc. Please see myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass, myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpassflex, myswissalps.com/ swisshalffarecard and myswissalps.com/ eurailselectpass.
  • How to do the math is explained on myswissalps.com/train/ ticketspasses/practica l/ chooserailpass. There's a spreadsheet you can download to help you do it.
  • Eurail passes cover most of what you want to do, but no museums, and the train to Zermatt is not free but 25% off. Cable cars around Zermatt are not discounted.
  • Pass prices will change over New Years, so you may want to wait a few days for that. We'll update our pages as soon as prices are available.
ocolocorch
ocolocorch
19 posts
new member
Jan 1, 2016 - 8:46 AM in reply to Arno
Hi,

Pls check my maths summary if I am correct, now i have a problem because I am unable to access price information on tram and buses in each cities. Pls advise based on your experience. Thanks.

HFC will cost me in 7 days chf120 + chf167(50% rails cost) = chf287 + 50% of public city transport such buses, trams etc + 50% zermatt transport + zermatt museum and montreux chillon castle plus at most 2 other museums fare(still deciding if there's good museums in basel and bern worth going)

STP, only available in 8 days instead of 7 will cost me chf363 + 50% of zermatt transport. Free museums, free city transport like buses and trams

STP flex combi 4 days will cost me chf346 + 50% of public city transport like buses etc and zermatt transport for 7 days minus the 4 free days and 50% zermatt transport. Free museums (8 days throughout?)

HFC is a total of Chf76 difference with STP, chf59 with flex combi 4 days.

STP is a total of chf17 difference with flex combi.

The total cost without pass is Chf333 (rail) + full public city transport + museums + full zermatt transport.

So the decision on taking HFC or STP will depends on whether the 4 museums + 50% of public transport such as bus and trams in 7 days will cost more than chf76.

The decision to take STP or STP flex combi will depends on whether 50% of public transport cost such as buses and trams on unselected days is more than chf17.

Based on your experience, what is more likely in my case? I am not too sure how much will it cost for transportation like buses and trams etc within basel, bern, zermatt and montreux

ocolocorch
ocolocorch
19 posts
new member
Jan 1, 2016 - 9:10 AM

Most specifically, if my presentation about the facts regarding the passes are correct, may i know how high is the likelihood that the cost of the buses and trams etc within the different cities + 4 museums including montreux chillon castle + zermatt museum will exceed chf76 x 2 = chf152 in 7 days?

Thanks!

Last modified on Jan 1, 2016 - 9:12 AM by ocolocorch
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 1, 2016 - 10:51 AM

Hi ocolocorch,

You won't spend CHF 152 on two museums and a few bus rides. Actually you won't be needing much city transport at all. Most attractions in the cities are at walking distance. Chillon castle is an exception, but it's only a short bus or train ride from Montreux. Zermatt is really small and it's a pleasure to walk around. No need for transportation there if you're in normal physical shape.

Based on my experience I would say the Swiss Half Fare Card is the cheapest option, and I would compare it to the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass to be sure (as that one is much more convenient). How to find prices and compare passes is explained on the page Arno linked to, and on our timetable page. Be sure not to assume that default prices shown by the timetable are the regular prices. They are "from" prices for single trips for pass holders. Normal fares are twice that amount for a single trip and four times that amount for a return trip.

Does this help you out?

Last modified on Jan 1, 2016 - 10:53 AM by Annika
ocolocorch
ocolocorch
19 posts
new member
Jan 1, 2016 - 11:02 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

Thanks alot! It helps!

ocolocorch
ocolocorch
19 posts
new member
Jan 1, 2016 - 2:30 PM

Hi, I have tried using the timetable link, the fares are not reflected for internal city buses and trams. Did i do it correctly?

Another point is STP is more expensive than my Half fare card by chf76 in my case. I am wondering if it's still worth getting a STP for the conveniences. If transportation is few and cheap, and average cost of a museum is chf10, then is it still worth paying chf76 - chf40(4 museums) = chf36 for free public transportation of boats, buses and trams in 7 days in your opinion?

Thanks alot!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Jan 1, 2016 - 3:21 PM in reply to ocolocorch

Hi ocolocorch-

You have surely done your homework, and defined your question very well.

I personally always travel with a half fare card. I have the Swiss Residents' version which gives the same discounts....as far as I know, for all items.

Annika is correct in general.

You will mostly walk in the cities. The parts that tourists visit are generally walkable and not large. However, trams and buses are sometimes convenient, especially in hilly cities such as Montreux.

Frankly, I just don't worry about pocket change when I am traveling in the cities. I consider the normal cost of travel, shrug my shoulders, and pay it. However, if you are on a tight budget, you may have a different perspective. So, here is my best recollection of some of the costs.

In Zürich, a tram ticket good for a "short trip" (about 1/2 hour perhaps ) is about 2 .5 CHF with a half fare card. A regular tram ticket...good for maybe a couple of hours is about 3 CHf or 4 CHF. You can buy a variety of day cards, 24 hour cards (maybe 10 CHF with a HFC, good for exactly 24 hours) and a "9 Uhr...9 O'clock card" good after the rush hour starting at 9AM and good till maybe midnight, also for around 8-10 CHF. Matters are more confusing because trips outside the core of the city may be in a different "Zone" which is relevant for prices if you go outside the central core zone, which is usually named zone 110.)

Probably, the website of the local transport network in each city will give prices.

In Zürich, it is the ZVV (Zürich Verkehrs Verein) --

www.sbb.ch/en/travelca rds-and-tickets/fare-networks/zurich-transport-network.html

Lots of info, maps, etc.

Now it gets tricky-

You can look up each museum. My guess is 10 CHF perperson with a HFC. So, IF I AM CORRECT, two people, two museums is 40 CHF. But, it could be more or less, and some museums don't give free entrance with the Swiss Travel Pass, although many do so. And, an HFC does not always get a discount. I'd look up Chillon, in particular.

Assume that you use a tram in Montreux and Zürich....maybe 20 CHF total...

You are getting close to no substantial difference between the HFC and the STP.

Now- add in one or two spontaneous trips or events that you had not planned. TheSTP will cover the full fare on most public transport...you figured that part out correctly.

And, if the trams were free, would you use them to get around a bit in the cities to save your legs after a good deal of walking? Or, go up the hill to the Zoo in Zürich on the number 6 tram, maybe stopping to see the grave of James Joyce in the parklike cemetery up there? (If you are a Joyce fan, it is a special treat.)

www.google.com/search?q=grave+of+James+Joyce &tbm=isch&tbo=u&source =univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEw jVv6mE8ojKAhUKTCYKHRTq CCYQsAQIJA&biw=1149&bi h=627

www.literarytraveler.c om/articles/james_joyc e_switzerland/

www.fodors.com/world/e urope/switzerland/zuri ch/things-to-do/sights/reviews/jame s-joyces-grave-146413

I am not saying that you have to be a fan of James Joyce, or visit the Zoo. I'm just trying to give examples of things that you might wish to do on the spur of the moment, which are not in your plans today.

How about a lake boat ride?

My point is that having free tram/train/bus/boat travel can extend your distances and give you more time for SOME of the sites in the main cities.

That could make the STP the better deal.

But, you know, we are beginning to get into the range of estimating small cost differnces vs. the overall cost of the trip. At some point, a precise calculation becomes imprecise.....

Hope this helps...but, there is no simple answer once you get to the smaller costs. The long train journeys can be calculated precisely, and they are the major costs. It is the minor ones which are imprecise.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 1, 2016 - 5:44 PM by Slowpoke
Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 1, 2016 - 3:42 PM

The costs of the museums you mentioned are CHF 10 and CHF 12.50 per adult, and they're free with a Swiss Travel Pass. Personally I like the convenience of a Swiss Travel Pass. I've used the Swiss Half Fare Card too. Of course it's doable to get tickets for each trip, but just hopping on is definitely an added value and a time saver.

We're working on updating the pass prices on the below pages:

It looks like you can best get a Swiss Travel Pass from the Swiss Railways web shop at www.swissrailways.com/ en. You can print the pass at home and immediately start traveling upon arrival.
Last modified on Jan 1, 2016 - 7:27 PM by Arno
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Jan 1, 2016 - 5:49 PM in reply to ocolocorch

<<hf36 for free public transportation of boats, buses and trams in 7 days in your opinion? ">>

More than worth it, in my opinion, for what it is worth. 5 or 6 CHFper day? That is two tram rides per day, roughly.

Slowpoke

ocolocorch
ocolocorch
19 posts
new member
Jan 2, 2016 - 12:21 AM

Thank you so much for the replies , I m clearer now!

ALL SWISS RAIL PASSES

Find out how the several passes work, what they cost and where to buy.

More

HOW TO PICK THE BEST PASS

Having trouble finding the right rail pass? Learn how to pick the one that best fits your plans.

More

THINGS TO DO IN SWITZERLAND

Suggestions for day trips and hiking trails in the Swiss Alps.

More

THE HOTELS WE SUGGEST

Browse the hotels that we like. Budget hotels, hotels near the rail stations, mid class hotels, luxurious 5-star hotels, airport hotels and more.

More

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They can arrange for your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2016