What is the best Swiss travel system to select?

What is the best Swiss travel system to select?

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alexmabel
alexmabel
5 posts
new member
Jun 18, 2016 - 2:29 PM

Hi,

I am planning our visit to Switzerland departing Milan, Italy on 11th July 2016, early morning. I am travelling with my family and friends: my husband and myself + 3 children ages 4,7,9 and my friend's family (couple + 2 children ages 3 and 7).

Initially, the plan was to drive from Milan to Switzerland and for some unavoidable reason, it was cancelled. Before the driving option was cancelled, I have already booked our last journey which is an overnight stay at Chur (13th July 2016) then take booked the Bernina Express on 14th July 2016, 0832 hrs - Chur to Tirano. From Tirano, will be our return to Milan which I have not yet book.

I need your advise in organizing our trip starting on the 11th July and we would like to spend a whole day at Jungfrajouch on 12th July 2016. I have looked on some hotels at Grindelwald because Interlakken is impossible at this time.

I have also some concerns on which swiss travel system to buy and if I am able to refund the purchased Bernina ticket since STS is offering discount or free ride on this.

Pls. tell us also the most practical and convenient route coming from Milan.

Appreciate your kind response.

Thanks,

Maribel Arevalo

resident of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 18, 2016 - 3:04 PM

Hi Maribel Arevalo,

Thanks for joining us! First of all, you don't have to worry about not being able to drive. Swiss public transportation is excellent and you'll easily get by just using trains and mountain lifts. Now, as for your specific questions:

  • all routes, including the international ones from Italy, can be found through the timetable. When traveling from Milan to Interlaken/Grindelwald you'll travel via Brig. You can either use the quick tunnel connection, or the slower but more scenic local trains through Goppenstein/Kandersteg (enter "Goppenstein" as via-station in order to find details about this option);
  • quite some hotels in Interlaken may indeed be booked by now, as mid July is tourist high season. Looking for options in Grindelwald certainly makes sense. Wengen, Wilderswil, Mürren and Lauterbrunnen are other alternatives, all close to the Jungfraujoch;
  • there are lots of options for the rest of your stay, too many to randomly mention. If you plan to extend your stay in the Jungfrau region, you'll get to choose from quite some activities. Please find options here. You may want to include another base/town region too; in that case Lucerne is worth your consideration;
  • it's a bit hard to tell which travel pass is best, as this too depends on your finalized itinerary. The easiest and most flexible solution would be 4 day Swiss Travel Passes for the adults. All children will travel along for free with the free STS Family Card. Here's how to find out which pass is most economical;
  • whether or not your Bernina Express trip can be changed or cancelled depends on the company you booked your trip with. So you'd best contact your retailer and ask for the options. The entire route would indeed be fully covered by the Swiss Travel Pass mentioned above, and you'd only need the additional seat reservations;
  • information on train tickets Tirano-Milan can be found here.
Last modified on Jun 18, 2016 - 3:36 PM by Annika
alexmabel
alexmabel
5 posts
new member
Jun 18, 2016 - 8:34 PM

Hi Annika,

Thank you for your reply.

I have tried booking tickets following your suggested route on SBB, but there is no selection for Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card.

Below is our planned itinerary:

1. 11th July 2016 Milano Centrale to Grindelwald

2. 12th July 2016 Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch (return)

3. 13th July 2016 Grindelwald to Chur

4. 14th July 2016 Chur to Tirano (Bernina)

5. 14th July 2016 Tirano to Milano Centrale

Pls. advise if Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card is applicable to the above route #s 1,2,3 and 5 and if so, how can I book using STS.

Thanks,

Maribel arevalo

Arno
Arno
7700 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 19, 2016 - 8:09 AM

Hi Maribel,

What's included in both passes can be found on the maps:

Please let us know which pass you intend to buy. We can then look into which additional tickets you need.

alexmabel
alexmabel
5 posts
new member
Jun 19, 2016 - 8:27 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

I have gone through these sites already and I am having difficulty on understanding the map.

I intend to buy the 4day Swiss Travel Pass, starting from 11-Jul-2016 until my end journey. I think 4day is sufficient, pls. confirm also. Pls. tell me in details if I need to pre-book each journey and if it is covered by STP as free ride.

Could you also provide the exact step by step route of getting from Milan to Grindelwald, will be using STP.

Lastly, my friend's family is planning Chur to Geneva (pls advise if this is free with STP). Then give the most practical and convenient route from Geneva to Milano.

Thanks,

Maribel

Arno
Arno
7700 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 19, 2016 - 9:24 AM

Hi Maribel,

The Swiss Travel Pass basically includes all town to town traveling for free (no tickets required, just board with your pass), and mountain trips are discounted. It's explained in the upper right corner of the map: solid lines are free, dotted lines are discounted. A 4-day pass would indeed be sufficient for July 11 to 14.

  1. 11th July 2016 Milano Centrale to Grindelwald: free from Domodossola (the border). So you need a ticket from Milan to Domodossola. Please see here. Just stay seated in Domodossola as you will have a ticket and pass for the entire ride.
  2. 12th July 2016 Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch (return): 25% discounted. You can buy the ticket locally.
  3. 13th July 2016 Grindelwald to Chur: free
  4. 14th July 2016 Chur to Tirano: free. If you prefer to travel on the Bernina Express, you need to buy seat reservations. Not so for all other trains.
  5. 14th July 2016 Tirano to Milano Centrale. You need a ticket for this leg in Italy. Please see the link under 1.

There's nothing to book on the SBB site, but it's the best site to find train schedules from any place to any place, as explained on our timetable page. You can buy your pass through any of the websites listed here and print it at home. You'll receive it through e-mail within 1 to 3 business days. Apart from this you can buy the two tickets and the optional seat reservation through the links I gave above. In your case you may want to check www.raileurope-gcc.com/pass/swiss-travel-pass-82 as they will probably sell all products you need and offer a discount (see here).

alexmabel
alexmabel
5 posts
new member
Jun 19, 2016 - 9:34 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thanks a lot for the info, it is so helpful.

Think you have forgotten to reply on this:

"Lastly, my friend's family is planning Chur to Geneva (pls advise if this is free with STP). Then give the most practical and convenient route from Geneva to Milano."

Thanks,

Maribel

Arno
Arno
7700 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 19, 2016 - 9:50 AM

Hi Maribel,

Chur to Geneva and all other town to town transfers within Switzerland are free (solid lines on the map). There's a direct train from Geneva to Milano, but there are other options as well. Please see the timetable I referred to, and enter your date and time.

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