Which rail pass for our 5 nights/6 day itinerary?

Which rail pass for our 5 nights/6 day itinerary?

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jhsmama
jhsmama
3 posts
new member
May 24, 2016 - 5:25 PM

Hi,

I am so glad that I've found this great website!

We, family of five, will be visiting Switzerland from 6/19-24.

My kids are 16,13, and 12.

I have a lot of questions so please bear with me. Following is my itinerary.

  • 6/19: Arriving from Paris on TGV then get to Grindelwald where we booked our hotel for 3 nights
  • 6/20: We will take cable car to Mannlichen and explore Kleine Scheidegg little bit and then visit Jungfraujoch.
  • 6/21: Lauterbrunnen, take cable car to Grutschalp and walking to Murren. Then visit Schilthorn, lifts down to Stechlberg and walk back through the Lauterbrunnen Valley and maybe visit Trummelbach fall
  • 6/22: Any sites that we could not get to or easy hiking in the morning and then leave for Luzern and visit
  • 6/23: Explore Luzern and Mt Pilatus
  • 6/24: Leave for Zurich to catch flight to US

So for this itinerary, I am not sure what type of rail pass to get. I did try to calculate cost of transportation loosely and it looked like half-fare card was a better deal vs. Swiss Travel Pass. Also, because number of days we would need is 6 days, Swiss Travel Pass probably is not the best option.

  1. When we arrive in Geneva (station name is Geneve CFF), how do we connect to Golden Pass line trains?
  2. I am planning on getting rail pass once we get to Geneva or should I buy it in advance? Do you think we need to reserve seats on Golden Pass line trains to Grindelwald?
  3. Can you also comment on my itinerary in mountain areas? Are we trying to do too much?
  4. Should I do just one of Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn and devote more time in other activities?

Any comments and suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
May 24, 2016 - 6:19 PM

Welcome to MySwissAlps, jhsmama!

The Swiss Half Fare Card may indeed be the best option in your case. Your children aged 12 and 13 will travel along for free on all routes if you order along the free Swiss Family Card; the 16 year old will need his/her own Swiss Half Fare Card. Retailers are listed here. I suggest you use www.swissrailways.com/ en, as they offer online tickets you can print yourself, without charging additional handling or shipping fees.

As for your further questions:

1. You first need to get to Montreux, as that's where the Golden Pass line starts. It's described here. The timetable allows you to search for all connections. Mind to enter a via-station like Zweisimmen. If you don't, the timetable will display other routes (e.g. via Visp/Spiez) by default, as these are quicker than the Golden Pass alternative.

2. An online purchase as described above is a lot easier. If you take along your printed passes, you can start using them as soon as you arrive in Geneva and you won't have to spend time at a manned desk arranging for your passes first.

Seat reservations aren't required: www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass/tickets.

3./4. Your plans for June 20 and 21 certainly look doable. Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch are quite different in my view, so there's nothing wrong with visiting both. It's a very personal decision though, and it's really up to you to decide how to prioritize. Alternatives for the Jungfrau regio and the Bernese Oberland are listed here. Mind that skies are typically quite clear in the early morning, but less so in the course of the late morning and afternoon. It's quite a common pattern in spring and summer, and for that reason you may want to consider visiting Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn first on both days. Do check weather forecasts shortly before leaving in any case. Weather is very changeable and unpredictable in the Alps, and during your visit you may encounter circumstances that are entirely different from the pattern I just described.

jhsmama
jhsmama
3 posts
new member
May 24, 2016 - 6:52 PM in reply to Annika

Thank you so much for your information and suggestions Annika!

I've been searching high and low for travel pass information and I could not come up with decision but you definitely helped me to decide to get half-fare card. Also for getting that pass in advance and be able to print at home, I was not aware of this option so thank you again!

So for connection from Geneva, I would need to first research timetable to know which connection i want to use to get to Grindelwald. I've tried a couple of time to use timetable but it was not easy since there were so many different options and I was not sure of where to connect to next destination.

So, From Geneva, I would get on is it inter city or inter regional rail to get to Montreux? then from there, I an get onto Golden Pass Line via Zweisimmen to Interlaken ,then maybe another train to Grindelwald?

I'll definitely keep in mind about the weather in Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch so we will try to get up to summit in the morning and leave a room for hiking and visiting towns for afternoon.

I really appreciate your help and I know I will be spending a lot of time on your website. Thanks for creating this wonderful resource!

Arno
Arno
7716 posts
expert &
moderator
May 24, 2016 - 6:59 PM in reply to jhsmama

Hi jhsmama,

You described the route correctly, and you will need to change in Montreux, Zweisimmen and Interlaken. Sometimes there's a change in Spiez too, between Zweisimmen and Interlaken. The timetable shows all these details, but it will be announced in the train as well, and you can ask the train staff too.

Enjoy the trip!

jhsmama
jhsmama
3 posts
new member
May 25, 2016 - 3:41 AM in reply to Arno

Hi, Arno

Thanks for your reply.

I was trying to use timetable and I have a few more questions.

I was searching Montreux to Interlaken and it gave me about 4 choices.

1. Regio 2234
GOLDENPASS PANORAMIC
Direction: Zweisimmen

2.Regio 2236
Direction: Zweisimmen

3.Regio 2238
Direction: Zweisimmen

4. Regio 2240
Direction: Zweisimmen

For #2, Regio 2236, #3, Regio 2238 and #4, Regio 2240, are those still Golden Pass Line ? but it does not say that on description.

Only #1 option I put above says Goldenpass Panoramic...

So I visited Goldenpassline.ch and looked at their timetable and I see train # 2234 but I don't see any other train #.

How do you read timetable? If I read it correctly, latest Goldenpass Line train leaving Montreux is Regio 2234 at 17:41?

I've attached Goldenpass Line schedule.

So sorry for so many questions.

Thanks.

Please login to see the attached documents
Arno
Arno
7716 posts
expert &
moderator
May 25, 2016 - 8:27 AM

Hi jhsmama,

All trains from Montreux to Zweisimmen follow the Golden Pass line. There is no other route. Some trains have extra large windows and are labelled as "official" Golden Pass trains, but any other train is fine if that suits your plans better.

The website suffers from some technical issues right now so you may not be able to immediately reply. Sorry for the inconvenience, we are working on it.

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