What do I need to take?

What do I need to take?

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nehagupta05
nehagupta05
11 posts
new member
Jul 31, 2011 - 6:40 AM
Hello,

Me and my husband are traveling to Switzerland on Aug, 26 till Sep, 1 and then we move to Italy. We will be in Switzerland for 7.5 days and in Italy for 7.5 days.

We plan to visit Zurich (land in Zurich early morning Aug, 26), Schauffhaussen Rhine Falls area, Lucerne - Mt. Titlis, Lake Lucerne area, Interlaken, Geneva (if possible), Zermatt - St. Moritz. Then, we go to St. Moritz to Tirano (Italy). Then to Venice in Italy.

FYI - In Italy, we go to Venice, to Florence to Pisa to Rome (final destination, then we fly out on Sep, 9.)

My questions are:
1. Should I buy Swiss Pass for 2 (Swiss Saver Pass)? If yes, would it be cheaper to buy when we are there or on Zurich Airport or we should order from here (we are located in Dubai)?
2. Does the Swiss pass allow us to travel from Switzerland border to Italy? If yes, which route would be best or what are the options/routes we could take that will be covered by this pass?
3. Do I have to buy scenic tour separately or just buy Swiss Pass and make reservations for the scenic routes? Is it difficult to get reservations around Aug, 26 till Sep, 1?
4. Does the Swiss pass allow travel to and from the stations I have mentioned above? what about within the city? I saw the Swiss map but unfortunately, I do not understand if the boat rides within the city (like on Lake Lucerne) are all covered.
4. This one I am not sure if it pertains to this forum - Can anyone tell me if there is any Italy pass that could come out cheaper or point to point ticket is better? We go from Switzerland (not sure which city to go from) > Venice > Florence > Pisa> Rome.

Any help would be deeply appreciated. I checked out Rail Europe site and I am really not sure if Euro 456 for 2 people, Swiss Pass for 8 days is the best and I need to confirm before I book it online. They say they have offer till July 31 so I can get a discount of Euro 20 on this purchase??

Thanks again.
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 31, 2011 - 7:30 AM
Hi nehagupta05, and welcome! As for your questions: yes, an 8 day Swiss Saver Pass would the best option. You can buy it online through this link and profit from the current RailEurope discounts as explained here. These discounts aren't available if you should purchase your pass in Switzerland. And even without them, an online order would a lot cheaper.

The Swiss Saver Pass is valid for all destinations you mentioned. Boat trips over several lakes, such as Lake Lucerne, are included too. All ongoing red, yellow and white lines on the map (which can be reviewed at the Swiss Pass page) indicate that free traveling is allowed. Towns with a white-red circle offer free urban transportation. Traveling to the Italian border is covered too. You can check connections using the Swiss timetable. Depending on your connection, the border town up to which the Swiss Saver Pass offers free traveling will be either Chiasso or Domodossola.

The Swiss Saver Pass covers most scenic train routes such as the Glacier Express, which means that you don't have to buy separate tickets for such tours. You do need to arrange and pay for seat reservations though. You can make reservations online in advance and it doesn't matter whether you've already purchased your Swiss Saver Pass or not.

The Eurail Italy Pass may be convenient, but that depends on your further travel plans for Italy. You should compare prices of the pass and regular tickets using the Italian timetable.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
nehagupta05
nehagupta05
11 posts
new member
Aug 4, 2011 - 6:29 AM
Thank you Moderator. You really helped me in deciding the Swiss Passes. Already ordered :-)

I would like to know a few things more:

1. Is Glacier Express (Zermatt to St. Moritz) better than Gorengrat/Matthorn? We will be in Zermatt on Sep, 2 and I am confused which would be best for us. We plan to travel to Italy on the same day. Since we already have Swiss pass, what do you think we should do (cheaper and efficient) to reach Milan?

2. Can we travel from Lausanne to Lavaux using the Swiss Pass? Do we have to pay extra or reservations?

3. I heard there is a good boat ride from Lausanne to Geneva - could you point me to where I can book this one? or is it covered on Swiss Pass? If yes, I would really appreciate if you can give me the right stations in the respective cities, There are so many stations in each one and I am confused what would be best way to get this boat ride? btw, is it good?

Appreciate your kind assistance!

Thanks,
Neha
nehagupta05
nehagupta05
11 posts
new member
Aug 5, 2011 - 12:12 PM
Any inputs please? Will appreciate your inputs and suggestions.
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 6, 2011 - 7:11 AM
Hello neha. Don't worry, we make sure all questions are answered. As for your questions:

1. If you have to get onto Milan the same day, you won't manage to make the Glacier Express ride to St. Moritz first. You could make part of the ride though, up to Andermatt for example, and then head onto Milano. The train ride up to the Gornergrat should be possible before heading for Italy, depending on your train connections. Please refer to the timetable for details. Both rides are very different. The Gornergrat is a cog railway and offers a great panoramic view of the Matterhorn and surrounding mountains. The Glacier Express is a much longer ride, crossing several regions and different landscapes.
2. Lavaux is a district. Most towns there can be reached for free with your Swiss Pass, such as Palézieux. The map under the link 'Overview of the network on which the Swiss Pass is valid' at the Swiss Pass page shows the validity area.
3. Information on boat cruises over lake Geneva can be found at the CGN website. The boat ride from Lausanne to Geneva is for free with your Swiss Pass as well.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
nehagupta05
nehagupta05
11 posts
new member
Aug 6, 2011 - 11:36 AM
Awesome. Can't thank you enough already!

We just collected our Swiss Passes from the local operator. Apparently, since we take the Saver Pass (2 people), we have to travel together. They gave us a pass with a total of 3 leafs (they called it as travel voucher) and only one of the leaflets had our names on it. So, all we got to do is - get it stamped on Zurich airport upon arrival and then board the train anywhere we want? do I need to get separate tickets anywhere (even though the price is covered by the passes)?

Guess, we still have to pay for Mt. Titlis (50%). Is Jungfraujoch worth the amount (it is about 1115CHF/person)? Do we have another option?

Our trip includes (same order) - 1 day in Zurich, 2 days in Lucerne, 1 day in Interlaken, 1 day in Geneva, 1 day in Lausanne, 1 day in Lavaux and 1 day in Zermatt followed by a train from Chiasso to Milano on the same day.

Do you suggest any excursion or scenic train that we should definitely do or consider including in our itinerary? We do not want to miss anything and of course 8 days isn't enuf for all what Switzerland has to offer!

Appreciate your inputs!

Thanks again,
Neha
Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 7, 2011 - 3:12 AM
Hi Neha,

Glad we could help! So you did not use the discount Annika explained about? Anyway, you have the pass so you're ready to go!

Yes, a Saver Pass requires you to travel together or just one at the time while the other does not travel. You can't make trips independently. I don't know if you need a stamp. That depends on the reseller so you should ask them. About separate tickets: you need them for cable cars as you can see on the map Annika explained about. It also shows that trains, buses and boats are free with your pass. The Jungfrau is certainly worth the money if the weather is clear. Prices are listed here (it's not CHF 1115!).

About scenic trains: Lucerne to Interlaken via Meiringen is part of the Golden Pass line. On your last day, if you travel via Chiasso rather than the short route through Domodossola, you may do part of the Glacier Express (Zermatt - Andermatt) or the Centovalli line.

Have fun!
nehagupta05
nehagupta05
11 posts
new member
Aug 7, 2011 - 3:34 AM
Thank you Arno.

I got 15% discount on Saver Pass + Euro 20 on booking fee for their July 31 offer. Passes for 2 people came at Euro 456 and I had to pay the transaction conversion fee because Rail Europe accepted only local (UAE VISA credit card) so it was a total of Euro 470 inclusive all. I guess they do not have any other promotion in UAE!

1. For Golden pass line, do I need to make reservation or the passes are enough? I am just trying to figure the best and the cheapest way to get to Milan Centrale on Sep, 2 - any advice? I thought of Chiasso because not only does it cover the scenic route, it will be the cheapest option to get to Milan. I For purchasing tickets for Italy, Swiss border to Italy, how does it work? where can we get tickets and how far does the pass work? - This is crucial for us to decide our last trip from Switzerland to Italy!

2. Increasingly, as we chart out our itinerary, I feel that there are lots to do and too little time - Do the trains run on time or we have to keep a buffer or something while planning?

3. I have a question and I am not sure if you can assist me on this, but I thought I will ask (just in case): We really want to see chocolate, cheese and watch factories in Switzerland considering it is the hub. I checked out online but I am still wondering which one will fall on our line (itinerary above). Any suggestions?

Really appreciate your kind advice and suggestions.

Thanks,
Neha
Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 7, 2011 - 4:15 AM
Hi Neha,

1. You don't need anything else but your pass, unless you pick an official Golden Pass Panoramic train. The timetable shows whether you need reservations. The quickest way from Zermatt to Milan is via Domodossola. Please check the timetable for that as well. You'll travel for free to Domodossola. Tickets from Domodossola to Milan will be EUR 10 to EUR 20 per person. Perhaps it's a bit cheaper via Chiasso, but it takes much more time. Italian tickets can be purchased along with your passes, but since you already have your pass you may want to check the website of the Italian railways.

2. Generally, trains are on time (very precisely, don't be late!).

3. The Chocolate Train combines a chocolate factory, Gruyères Castel and a cheese dairy. It starts and ends in Montreux (so it could be done from Lausanne) and takes a full day. There are several watch museums, e.g. in Zurich, Geneva and Bienne (Biel). You cannot do it all I guess.
nehagupta05
nehagupta05
11 posts
new member
Aug 7, 2011 - 9:18 AM
Thank you Arno. yes, I do not spending another 10Euro if I can save half a day traveling to Chiasso takes 6hrs while to Domodosalla takes 2hrs.

I just checked the route on the map. It appears from Brig to Iselle Di Transquera - the train route is not covered on Swiss Pass. Do I need to buy a ticket for that? or how can I find out which bus to take and from where in Brig?

From Domodosalla Station, can I simply buy ticket to Milano Centrale? Do I need to purchase ticket in advance? I have Swiss Pass but I am not planning to take Italy Pass because it does not give me any advantage (most fast trains require reservation and I would end up paying more in Italy with a pass than without)

Thanks for the Chocolate Train idea. We will try to fit that in. I just checked with the boat ride, it seems it takes nearly 4hrs to get from Geneva to Lausanne. Not sure if that would leave us any time to go to Zermatt (another 3hrs).

Btw, it seems http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/travel-information/tickets-fares/grindelwald/ they offer Morning/Afternoon ticket. Can I get Morning/Afternoon ticket and then apply 50% discount due to Swiss Pass or the CHF 130 is the last price? This ticket seems expensive and I am wondering what is the best way to utilize my Swiss Pass and buy for only what is required (and worth it). Some people say no need to go ahead of Klein Sheidegg! Also, when I check the route from Interlaken OST to Jungfraujoch on sbb.ch the rate is different from what i see on the www.jungfrau.ch - what's the deal? Is there an alternative route I could take and save a little?

Thanks in advance.
Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 7, 2011 - 9:51 AM
Hi Neha,

Brig to Iselle is a dotted line because it's a tunnel. It's fully covered by your Swiss Pass.

I don't know a lot about trains in Italy, but I would say you can just purchase your ticket in Domodossola. However, if you buy it online you don't have to leave the train there and lose time. I think you can buy it in Zermatt as well, but perhaps it's more expensive there.

No further discounts apply to the Good Morning and Good Afternoon tickets. Your Swiss Pass grants a better discount without limiting yourself to these specific trains. If you want to see the Jungfrau, Kleine Scheidegg is great. If you want to see the view from the Jungfrau and the glaciers, you need to go up. I agree it's not cheap, but it's well worth the money on a clear day.
nehagupta05
nehagupta05
11 posts
new member
Aug 9, 2011 - 9:13 AM
Thank you Arno. That was helpful.

I was just checking Zurich map (to get from the Airport to the place where I am putting up). Swiss pass says all local transport is covered in Zurich but i wonder if i can take this route....

e details for connection 1
Local area map: Zürich Flughafen
Zürich FlughafenTu, 09.08.11dep08:203http://fahrplan.sbb.ch/img/one/products/s2_pic.png
S2 18229

Urban train line 2
Local area map: Zürich Oerlikon
Zürich Oerlikon arr08:243
Local area map: Zürich Oerlikon
Zürich Oerlikonhttp://fahrplan.sbb.ch/img/one/products/fuss_pic.png
walk

4 min.
Local area map: Zürich, Bahnhof Oerlikon
Zürich, Bahnhof Oerlikon
Local area map: Zürich, Bahnhof Oerlikon
Zürich, Bahnhof Oerlikondep08:30http://fahrplan.sbb.ch/img/one/products/nbu_pic.png
Bus 63

Low-floor bus
Direction: Zürich, Schwamendingerplatz
Local area map: Zürich, Schwamendingerplatz
Zürich, Schwamendingerplatz arr08:39
Local area map: Zürich, Schwamendingerplatz
Zürich, Schwamendingerplatzdep08:40http://fahrplan.sbb.ch/img/one/products/tra_pic.png
Tram 9

Tramway
Direction: Zürich, Hirzenbach
Local area map: Zürich, Heerenwiesen
Zürich, Heerenwiesen arr08:41
Local area map: Zürich, Heerenwiesen
Zürich, Heerenwiesenhttp://fahrplan.sbb.ch/img/one/products/fuss_pic.png
walk

4 min.
Local area map: 8051 Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 544-570
8051 Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 544-570

It appears that the bus is on a different network and the tram is also on a different network. Will I have to buy tickets or just use my Swiss Pass and move around on my own?

Thanks,
Neha
Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 9, 2011 - 9:36 AM
Hi Neha,

It's all included in your Swiss Pass. That's one of the major advantages of the pass: you can take any route you like.

Have fun!
dhivya
dhivya
25 posts
new member
Aug 11, 2011 - 6:33 PM
Hi,
Myself and my fiance have planned for europe trip for honeymoon that includes santorini, plitzvice lakes, fussen, swiss, paris.
For swiss, we alloted 6 nights and 6.5 days.
I dont know whether i could cover all the areas of interest I'm mentioning.
Is all my wishes doable or practically impossible?
Which pass best suits my needs? I thought Regional pass of bernese oberland but not exactly (Will it covers train to/fro lauterbrunnen)
Also i need information about trips which are not covered!!
Can you suggest how to proceed to all of my places of interest from mentioned base destination each day?
Following is my simple itinerary that covers most of my rail trips

2 nights in plitzvica jezera ---train from zagreb to fussen with munich stop over
2 nights in fussen
Swiss Day 1- Departing from Fussen in the morning & moving towards Lauterbrunnen by train. stay in lauterbrunnen
Swiss Day 2- Hiking and day trips around lauterbrunnen & stay over there
Swiss Day 3- Hiking and day trips around Wengen & stay over there/ or else one day murren
Swiss Day 4- Hiking and day trips around Wengen & stay over there
Swiss Day 5- Hiking and day trips around Grindalwald & stay over there
Swiss Day 6- Hiking and day trips around Grindalwald & stay over there
Swiss Day 7- Heading to Geneva to take train departing at 16:30 to paris

My swiss trip will be around bernese oberland with day trips to 1 matterhorn + andermatt (part of glacier express journey) in one day,
2 lungernsee + buchalpsee+ aareschlucht+ Reichenbach falls all in one day.

In addition to this We have planned to go to jungfraujoch one day from any base, schilthorn trip one day from lauterbrunnen

Looking forward to your kind assistance,

Thanks
dhivyak
dhivya
dhivya
25 posts
new member
Aug 11, 2011 - 6:43 PM
And also I need to add my travel dates in swiss. 16th september to 22nd september
Can i opt for Swiss+Germany two country combo eurail pass?
If so, i may split my train journey from zagreb to fussen
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 12, 2011 - 8:30 AM
Hi dhivyak! If you plan to focus on the region around Lauterbrunnen, Wengen and Grindelwald mostly, the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland may be a good option, especially since you may profit from the current 2 for 1 offer. This pass will cover many of your plans in this area. Part of the route to and from Lauterbrunnen is included too. Just click the link 'Overview of the network on which the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland is valid' at the bottom of the Regional Pass page: this map shows the exact area of validity. A Eurail Germany-Switzerland Pass wouldn't be a good choice. It wouldn't be economical for the German part of your trip (that is, if Füssen is the only town you'll be visiting there) and it wouldn't cover enough of your Swiss travel plans.

As for your itinerary: most days look doable, especially the ones spent in and near Lauterbrunnen, Wengen and Grindelwald. The trips to the Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn can easily be made from there. However, some other days seem to be too full. Visiting the Matterhorn and Andermatt both in one day from the Bernese Oberland would be too much in my opinion. So would visits to the Lungernsee, Bachalpsee (I guess that's the one you mean?), Reichenbach falls and the Aareschlucht be. The timetable helps you to plan your routes and check traveling times. This will guide you in finding out whether your travel plans are feasible.

By the way, would you mind creating a new topic for your own questions rather than attaching them to an already existing topic, as asked for in our forum rules? That'll help other forum visitors to note your question a lot easier. Thank you :-)!
dhivya
dhivya
25 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2011 - 7:10 AM
Dear Annika,

I feel sorry I didn't create a new topic for my queries. I assure you, this will not happen again. Can i continue posting reply here to follow my earlier queries already posted here?
And also Lots of Thanks for you advice.
As per your sayings, I omitted Matterhorn and Andermatt from my itinerary.
I have planned to buy Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland 2 for 1 offer.
Is this offer only for second class travel & not for first class?
I don't think, 2nd class train journey will have panoromic windows. Isn't it??
Can i opt for swiss transfer card? Is it worth for my plan?
Could you suggest me a train or cheap bus journey from Fussen to Lauterbrunnen with or without breaks?. Departing Fussen around 9:00- 11:00. Also provide me approximate fare information for the same. I need it would be cheaper.

Will be grateful to your assistance

drdhivyak
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 15, 2011 - 4:45 AM
Hello dhivyak! It's no problem to continue your post here, but if you have questions that aren't closely related to your initial request, you can best open a new topic for them.

The current Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland offer is indeed only available for 2nd class passes. All details are listed in the forum topic you've already found. 2nd class carriages normally don't have panoramic windows, but some still have large windows with great views. 2nd class traveling is quite comfortable, so you don't have to worry about that.

The inbound trip from Füssen to Lauterbrunnen can be found in the Swiss timetable. Fares can be requested here as well. This FAQ explains how to do so. A Swiss Transfer Ticket isn't worth the money in your case: regular train tickets up to Bern or Lucerne (depending on the connection you prefer) are cheaper. From Bern or Lucerne, your Regional-Pass will take over and the rest of the trip to Lauterbrunnen will either be for free (if you pick a free travel day) or discounted (on a non-free travel day).
nehagupta05
nehagupta05
11 posts
new member
Aug 15, 2011 - 5:40 AM
Hi Moderator,

I have a question regarding travel in Geneva. I checked out Sbb.ch and it appears that there are no tram connections between, Aug, 27 till Sep, 8. The site shows no connection for the following query:

From: Geneva Cornavin Station
To: Lancy, Les Palettes

Data: Aug, 29
Time: 19:30

This is what I see:

Dear customer,
Sorry! No connections have been found that correspond to your request. It is possible that the requested service does not operate from or to the places you stated on the requested date of travel (e.g. because some services do not stop at certain places on weekends).You can check this by viewing the the arrivals/departures tables for Genève, Cornavin and Lancy, Les Palettes .
Thank you.
Code: H890

Could you please advise how I can travel this route. I am carrying the Swiss Passes and we will be Geneva for 2 days.

Thanks,
Neha
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 17, 2011 - 6:47 AM
Hi Neha. I'm not sure why this is mentioned at the SBB website. When I check the departure timetables for Geneva Cornavin, there do seem to be trams leaving for Lancy les Palettes at Sunday August 28, but not at Monday August 29. This may be due to maintenance activities, but I'm not sure. You can best check with the SBB for more information.

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