Which rail pass more feasible for a family of 7?

Which rail pass more feasible for a family of 7?

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Hussain
Hussain
10 posts
new member
Jul 21, 2015 - 11:33 PM

Hello. So we're a famy of 7, ( my parents, and us siblings aged 17, 16, 10, 8 and 2), and we'll be biding Switzerland from August 3 to August 7. Our trip is arranged through a travel agency so everything else is under their control but we have 2 days at leisure in zurich (aug 4 & 7)and one day at leisure in interlaken (aug 6, where we plan to take a cruise on river thun). We were hoping to use the bus from zurich to get to the Rhine falls and maybe enjoy a cruise there too. Considering our number and our plans, please suggest was pass would be most economical to us and whether each member of our family should buy one or is there some family pass we could avail? All details on the best option for us are really appreciated! I've searched a lot myself but I can't seem to get something in our budget! Thanks in advance for any help :) really looking forward to hearing on a solution on my problem!

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 23, 2015 - 6:07 AM

Hello Hussain!

Which pass is best, strongly depends on the exact plans for August 4 and 7. You should first make plans and then calculate which option suits your needs. In your case, I'd say there are two options:

  • Swiss Half Fare Cards for the parents and the 17 and 16 year old children, along with a free Swiss Family Card allowing the younger children to travel along for free. This may be the cheapest solution if you plan to make some longer journeys from Zurich and Interlaken.
  • regular tickets, combined with Junior Travelcards for the younger children. If you plan to stick to Zurich and its immediate surroundings, a Zurich Card may come in handy too.

I hope this helps you to narrow down your options!

Last modified on Jul 23, 2015 - 6:33 AM by Annika
Hussain
Hussain
10 posts
new member
Jul 23, 2015 - 6:59 AM in reply to Annika

Thank you so very much Annika on your insightful response! I'm truly grateful for all that help! I'll just share some more info on our itinerary if that helps :)

Firstly, we'll be staying at hotel Leoneck.

August 4/7: For one of the days in zurich, we plan on visiting the Rhine falls (passing and stopping briefly at scaffenhousen on the way) and probably go for a boat trip on the falls. We were hoping we could also go up a hike up utielberg the same day but I just read your response on my other post (thank you so much for it!) and I guess you're right.. It might not be possible.. But just Rhine falls for the whole day might leave us quite a few hours on our hands.. What would you suggest doing after the Rhine falls..? Also, when would be best to visit the Rhine falls?

August 6 (interlaken) : we hope to cover quite a lot here and hence we'll end up using the rail system extensively! Reichenbach falls (or would it be more feasible to fit in Giessbach fall instead) , aare gorge (or should we go to lake thun/brienz instead), harder kulm, rosenlaui glacier George. (If I take interlaken ost as the starting and end point for my journey, how should I sequence the places?)

August 4/7 : following your help on the other post for which I'm highly obliged, we plan to go on a boat trip on lake zurich, old town (including the famous churches) Bahnhofstrasse, and lindenhof. (Is this too less for a whole day? Should we add more?)

We haven't got the cost of traveling from zurich to interlaken, that's under control of the agency..

So looking at this, what should we go with? 4 half fare cards for the parents and teens and the free Swiss family card seems like a nice option but I just checked the price after it becomes really costly then, so would it be better to go for a all zone ZVV card for the Rhine falls day and a a centre-only ZVV card for the other day? But in this case, would we have to get these cards for the children too? If so I might consider opting the junior travelcard.. One purchase is enough for both the kids (10, 8)? And how'd we manage reducing costs in interlaken then?

Oh and We've heard that the aufsehen festival shall be going on during those days? Is there anything special we should consider doing/seeing then?

Finally, please suggest some budget friendly ideas for gifts to get back home for family and friends from zurich!

I understand my reply got really long and heartily apologize, but I'd be really grateful if I could get the help I need, since we doubt we'd ever return to Switzerland (although I hope I really do!) and I want to make it the best thing ever for both me and my family :)

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 23, 2015 - 2:42 PM

Hi Hussain!

ZVV passes certainly make sense for your days in Zurich. I understand that the Swiss Half Fare Card may seem costly at a first glance, and I'm not sure if it's the best option for you. But do note:

  • that you can buy ZVV passes at half the price too with a Swiss Half Fare Card;
  • that for your day in Interlaken, the 1 day travelpass as an add-on may be cost effective. You'll be able to travel for free the entire day and this may be cheaper than buying 50% discounted tickets, especially if you plan to make a long (thus expensive) boat trip, of which you're not sure yet as I understand. The 1 day travelpass is explained at our Swiss Half Fare Card page;
  • that children travel along for free on all routes, so there's no need to buy Junior Travelcards or other tickets for them.

The alternative is buying full priced ZVV passes and regular tickets for the trips in Interlaken. Furthermore, you'll need Junior Travelcards for both younger children, as explained on the Junior Travelcard page. Which option is cheapest can only be calculated as explained by the link I gave you, and it really depends on the details of your plans. It requires some serious effort, but it's the only way to tell for sure.

Affordable souvenirs can often be found in Swiss supermarkets. Further budget tips can be found at our budget page.

I'm not familiar with the Aufsehen Festival myself, but the Aufsehen website may be of help.

Last modified on Jul 23, 2015 - 2:44 PM by Annika
Hussain
Hussain
10 posts
new member
Jul 23, 2015 - 7:38 PM in reply to Annika

Thank you so much on the insight Annika! I guess the Swiss half fare card may be best for us after all then! Just a few questions regarding it..

For the interlaken day, what would be the difference if I purchase the 9 o'clock travelpass in place of the 1-day travel pass, considering the fact that the 9 o'clock travelpass is more economic?

And, is there any way to avail the Swiss family card without the purchase of the Swiss half fate card?

And thank you for the link to the bugdets page!

I really appreciate all your help!

Hussain
Hussain
10 posts
new member
Jul 23, 2015 - 7:43 PM in reply to Annika

Oh and one more concern Annika.. I've been trying real hard to find the costs for the ZVV cards but haven't been able to.. Some guidance on that would be really appreciated!

Hussain
Hussain
10 posts
new member
Jul 23, 2015 - 9:09 PM in reply to Annika

I was just reading about the 9 o'clock travelpass on the sbb website, where they state "The 9 o'clock travelpass is valid throughout the GA area of validity." They've given the link for th GA area of validity but its not in English and I fail to find that page in English so I really hope you could lead me there Annika! Thanks in advance :)

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 24, 2015 - 11:15 AM

Hi Hussain,

A 9 o'clock pass can only be used after 9 AM, that's the only difference. All information in English is available through www.sbb.ch/en/travelca rds-and-tickets/tickets-for-switzerland/1-day-travelpass/9-oclock-day-card.html.

A Swiss Family Card is available for anyone who purchases one of the Swiss Travel System passes.

ZVV ticket prices can be found through www.zvv.ch/zvv/ en/travelcards-and-tickets/tickets.html.

Last modified on Jul 24, 2015 - 12:28 PM by Annika

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