Using Swiss Card when connecting to Italy

Using Swiss Card when connecting to Italy

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Posts: 8. This thread is closed.
bc5alums
bc5alums
5 posts
new member
Sep 9, 2014 - 4:33 AM

Greetings! I am thrilled to have found your site especially to determine the best Swiss railroad plan for our upcoming trip. You are both amazing in the way that you understand the many options! Thanks for being so available to the many people who need your help.

My husband and I have been to Lucerne and are excited to go to the Jungfrau region later this month before joining friends in Italy. We are landing in Zurich and taking the train to Interlaken to spend two nights in Gimmelwald. We will then spend two nights in Wengen and take the train to Venice; it appears that going via Milan is the most direct route there. We will have 5 days in Switzerland including the day we arrive and the day we leave. .

It appears that the Swiss Card is the best option as it covers our train travel into and out of Switzerland as well as in the Jungfrau region although someone today also suggested the Half-Fare card. In order to determine the best option, my question pertains to our train trip to Milan where we connect to the train to Venice. If we have the Swiss Card, should I assume it will only cover our travel to the last Swiss city where the train stops (which would appear to be Brig) and then we would have to pay a full fare from Brig to Milan? On another website, several people recommended traveling from Interlaken to Milan via Domodossola with the Swiss Card covering the fare to that last city but, since that is in Italy, shouldn't I assume that the Swiss Card wouldn't include it? Thanks for your direction with this.

I

Arno
Arno
7295 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 9, 2014 - 5:56 AM

Hello bc5alums,

Thanks for your nice words! To see what's included, you can download the maps of both passes:

Both of them are valid until Domodossola, Italy. There's hardly any price difference in your case, but the Swiss Card is a bit more convenient as you don't need to buy tickets for the incoming and outgoing transfers. Prices and points of sale are here.

A few more tips:

  • I just want to be sure that you've considered this option: there are a few days left to get $50 off of any Swiss Pass or Swiss Flexi Pass. A 3-day Swiss Flexi Pass might be a good alternative with this discount included. Details about that are here. You would use 2 free travel days for the incoming and outgoing trips, and have one day of unlimited traveling left during your stay. Discounts apply on the days in between. See the map for details.
  • To compare passes (price wise), please see this guide.
  • Be sure to check if your train to Milan requires reservations. If so, you can order these along with the pass of choice.
  • Personally, I would not stay in both Gimmelwald and Wengen. Wengen is just across the valley from Gimmelwald, so you can easily stay in one village and save time on packing, unpacking and checking in and out of hotels.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 1:07 PM by Arno
kim11
kim11
320 posts
top member
Sep 9, 2014 - 4:59 PM in reply to Arno

I agree with Arno's recommendation not to stay in both Wengen and Gimmelwald, for the reasons he notes.

Further, if you aren't yet aware, Gimmelwald is quite remote and VERY quiet. There is really nothing there other than a couple of hostels and a handful of houses. Many people that haven't yet visited the Jungfrau region think they want to stay in Gimmelwald because Rick Steves hypes it. The views from there are nice, but no nicer than at least a half a dozen other places in the region. It does not make for a good base for exploring the area due to the fact it is not as easy to get in/out of as Wengen or Murren. But if you are looking to hide away in remote-ness it is a good pick!

Personally I would base in Wengen for your short time in the region and perhaps take a visit to Gimmelwald, which is easily done as part of a day when you can also visit Mürren, Trümmelbach Falls, and perhaps the Schilthorn if the weather is clear. It will take about 10 minutes for you to see everything there is to see in Gimmelwald.

bc5alums
bc5alums
5 posts
new member
Sep 10, 2014 - 3:57 AM in reply to kim11

I appreciate the suggestion from both of you to use Wengen as a base, given our short visit. My husband was enticed to spend the two nights in Gimmelwald because we read multiple reports that it was remote and quiet. I will discuss your recommendation to make it part of a day trip. I actually thought that we might spend 3 nights in Wengen and the last in Interlaken as it appears there is an 8 am train from Interlaken to begin our journey to Venice. It would be a much earlier start if we had to begin that day in Wengen.

Still wrestling with the train options as I haven't had much time tonight to lay it all out but appreciate your providing other possibilities.

I

bc5alums
bc5alums
5 posts
new member
Sep 16, 2014 - 2:58 AM in reply to bc5alums

Thanks again for advice about hotels. We have actually booked 3 nights in Wengen and the last in Interlaken to make it easier to catch the 8 am train to Venice. We will just visit Gimmelwald this time, as suggested, if the weather allows.

My last question is about the train from Interlaken to Milan. If we get the Swiss card, how do we purchase the ticket to take advantage of the card? Do we purchase the train ticket in Interlaken from there to Domodossola using the Swiss card and then ask for a ticket from Domodossola to Milan separately? Can we buy that latter ticket in Interlaken?

Many thanks!

Arno
Arno
7295 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 16, 2014 - 4:31 AM

Hi bc5alums,

You don't need a ticket from Interlaken to Domodossola as that leg is covered by the Swiss Card. You only need one from Domodossola to Milan (and on to Venice). It can be purchased in Interlaken but if the train to Milan requires reservations (most of them do), it's better to buy it as early as possible. You can just order the ticket along with your Swiss Card: www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/swiss-card/index.html (see here for all options).

Kind regards,

Arno

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 1:07 PM by Arno
bc5alums
bc5alums
5 posts
new member
Sep 18, 2014 - 3:06 AM in reply to Arno

Hi again, I'm hoping this is my last question! According to my math, the Swiss half fare card and Swiss card will add up to about the same.. I've read that we can purchase the half fare card in the station in Zurich and just want to confirm that. Do you know if it will cost the same as if we ordered online in the US? Thanks so much!

Arno
Arno
7295 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 18, 2014 - 6:28 AM

Hi bc5alums,

We're here to answer questions, so no problem :-) If the cards add up to the same amount, I would prefer the Swiss Card over the Swiss Half Fare Card because you don't need tickets for the incoming and outgoing trips with the Swiss Card.

Both cards can be purchased online or at the station of Zurich Airport. Points of sale and prices are listed here: www.myswissalps.com/swisshalffarecard/price and here: www.myswissalps.com/swisscard/price. If you're going to buy the tickets to Venice in advance it makes sense to order along to cards too as you will probably qualify for free shipping in that case. Just the tickets are not enough to qualify for that I assume.

I hope this was useful!

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 1:07 PM by Arno

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