Help regarding short visit

  • Removed user
    52345 posts
    21 February 2015 at 18:21:29 #806906

    I am from India and would be traveling to Switzerland for first time, alone. I would be arriving from Prague (around 4 May). My area of interest are Alps and I can skip the town. I wish to see the matterhorn and also the highest Glacial train in the world. I have read a lot about Jungfrau experess and also about Glacial express.
    I would like to know how to go about planning itinery from my following queries

    1>Which airport to arrive ?
    2>Can I visit Interlaken and take the Jungfrau express
    3>From here can I proceed to zermatt via Glacial Express
    4>Or should I first visit Zermatt see matterhorn , then proceed ahead
    4>Does the swiss pass cover the above 2 trains
    5>Are any budget hostels in these area where I can stay
    6>I am looking at 4-5days in swiss and I am here for photography and travel blogging

    Any guidance appreciated

  • Annika
    7001 posts
    22 February 2015 at 10:55:52 #841799

    Welcome to MySwissAlps, lodhra!

    You will be able to visit the Jungfraujoch and take the Glacier Express ride in 4 to 5 days. This will involve quite some traveling though, and you should decide whether you’re fine with spending this much time in trains if your main interest is photography. However, an itinerary could look like this (it can be done the other way around too, of course):

    Please follow the links for further information on each town and attraction.

    If you want to travel less and be less weather dependent for your trips to mountain tops, you could instead choose to stay in Interlaken or only, or in Interlaken and Lucerne. You can make a beautiful (shorter) scenic train ride between Lucerne and Interlaken using the Golden Pass line.

    All trips can be planned using the timetable. A rail pass will save travel costs and offer you lots of convenience. If your stay lasts 4 days, consider a 4 day Swiss Travel Pass. If you need a 5th day, you could buy regular tickets if the journey on this day isn’t too long (e.g. from Interlaken or Lucerne back to Zurich). You will first need to have a final itinerary before you can decide which pass suits your needs best.

    I hope this helps you plan your trip!

    Removed user
    52345 posts
    22 February 2015 at 16:06:00 #841800


    Thank you so much for your reply. Some final queries I would like your precious time which may help me decide

    1>I may fly to Bern as I have an acquaintance there. So can I take a train to interlaken. See if weather is clear and visit Jungfrau [or I should go anyways]. If not next day go to lucerne.
    2>From lucerne go to zermatt [can I take glacial train on this route or some other train]
    3>Zermatt see if I can go to gornegrat. I would like to capture the Matterhorn. Are there cheap accommodation available here or I may have to stay at Zermatt
    4> Fly out of Swiss

    I am planning to visit between 28 april to -1/2 may. In this time do you think I may be able to captuer or visit the locations I am aiming for. My aim is to photograph and document this places for solo travellers back home in India who read my blog

    With regards to pass, should I opt for half card pass [since it offers 50% disc on GE and JE] or should i take flexi passof 4 days [my stay days maybe of 6 days but train travel may include 4 days] or should i go for 4 consecutive swiss pass

    Does the flexi pass and swiss pass have same benefits and discounts the only difference being the number of days [continuous versus flexible]??

    Would be highly grateful if you can guide me a bit further which may help me plan in an efficient way


    15041 posts
    23 February 2015 at 15:25:18 #841801

    Hi lodhra,

    If you fly into Bern then the more logical order is Bern – Lucerne – Interlaken – Zermatt. This includes the Golden Pass line, or at least the Northern section of it. The Glacier Express does not fit in this plan. You can see its route in detail on the Glacier Express page Annika referred to.

    The only difference between the Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Travel Pass Flex is indeed continuous days versus flexible days. See the links for all the details please. Price-wise, the flex pass is more expensive per travel day, so most people are better off with the regular Swiss Travel Pass, even if it’s not being used every day.

    More planning tips can be found here.

    Removed user
    52345 posts
    11 March 2015 at 4:51:14 #841802

    Hello Moderators

    Thank you for your help. I have finalized my itinery based on feedbacks and research in the forum. I would like final tips which may help me seal the trip

    30apr: Budapest to Basel [fly easy jet arrival 4.20 pm] transfer to wilderswil
    1may: wilderswil [jungfrau, schillthorn]
    2may: zermatt [matterhorn/ gonergrat]
    3may: zermatt
    4may: lucerne [mt titlis]
    5may : fly to amsterdam [basel 4.20pm]

    I have decided to take Swiss travel pass [4days/8days] for my journey is swiss. My queries as follows

    1>Since on 30 apr I arrive to basel evening 4.20pm and I need to go to wilderswil 2hr journey and being my first day in swiss should i

    a>Buy swiss pass [4days] at basel airport [is it available] and use it from that day onwards [which i assume will get over by 3 may and I may have to buy tickets for rest of my journey]. ??

    b> Should i buy the 4.5CHF bus ticket from basel airport [lane 50 as i found out] to basel sbb and buy my ticket to wilderswil. Buy the swiss pass from wilderswil on 1may [is its available] and use till 4may??

    c> Buy swiss pass at basel[8days] or buy a half card pass for entire journey ?? would it be more economical as I feel after taking out point to point tickets [Basel= Wilderswil,Zermatt- Engelberg, Engelberg Basel, plus Mount titlis cable car , if i select 4 day pass]

    d>I hope the bus journey from airport is covered by the pass. Also I have heard about validating the pass. I mean to ask even if i buy pass at Basel on 30 April but wish to use it from 1st May how do I validate it from 1st May ???

    e>Where is the counter for Swiss pass at Basel???.

    f>Can I buy swiss pass online and get it shipped to India or can easily buy when I come to Swiss??

    g> Is the train from Lucerne to Engelberg covered by swiss pass. [I would be traveling from zermatt to engelberg. I think there is no direct connection and I may have to do break journey from lucerne)

    Any guidance on this will help me make my journey smooth

    15041 posts
    12 March 2015 at 11:42:19 #841803

    Welcome back lodhra,

    You can buy the Swiss Travel Pass in Basel (if the airport ticket office is open when you arrive), but it’s cheaper to buy it online. Please see here for prices, and be sure to check the Discounts section as well. If you buy online you can also pay in your own currency, so no exchange rate issues or fees. The pass will be issued in India and shipping is free. Please check the link and you can see all the options.

    The bus from the airport to the rail station of Basel is included in the pass too, see the map please. Lucerne to Engelberg is covered as well.

    An 8-day Swiss Travel Pass makes sense, but you can check whether a Swiss Half Fare Card would be cheaper, or even a 4-day Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi (free travel days on Apr 30, May 2, 4, and 5). How to calculate is explained here.

    Does this help you out?

    Removed user
    52345 posts
    12 March 2015 at 12:26:42 #841804

    Hello Arno

    Thank you so much for taking out time to revert to me. I have only few more queries for my understanding.

    1> I was of the opinion that Swiss flexi pass cannot be used on consecutive days. Now the Swiss pass flexi combo as I understand from the following example, I would like to know if its correct Just for my knowledge

    My travel
    Swiss flexi pass 30,2,4,5 [free, can i use 4,5 consecutive days]
    Combi HFC 1,3 [50% on all point to point tickets]

    2> On your information I went to rail europe site and BOUGHT the swiss travel pass 8days and paid in my currency. It cost me around 335 CHF with discounts , thanks for the tip. [on swiss official site its was 363CHF]

    It however says that the pass must be validated within 6 months of issue date. I would like to know if I can validate it at basel airport [since the transfer from airport to SBB is covered]. If not as someone else suggested. I can hop in the bus and if Ticket checker asks I can tell him that I plan to get it validated at Basel SBB

    Your suggestions on both

    Thank you

    15041 posts
    12 March 2015 at 16:08:14 #841805

    Hi lodhra,

    1) Using the Swiss Travel Pass Flex on consecutive days is no problem. It was designed for flexibility, so one can use the days however one likes. The only restriction that matters is that the discounts on the “Combi days” only apply between the first and last free travel day. In other words: the pass is no longer valid after the last free travel day. It is explained here. Anyway, with the 8-day pass you can go wherever you like on all days.

    2) You can validate the pass at the ticket office at the airport (level 2, arrival section). I just checked and it should be open until 7.45 PM, but closed on Sundays. If it’s closed when you’re there, please ask the bus driver what to do when you board.

    I wish you a wonderful time in Switzerland. You’re welcome to post a trip report once you’ve returned. It would be great to read about your experiences.

    Removed user
    52345 posts
    12 March 2015 at 16:36:24 #841806

    Thank you so much Mr Moderator. I will definitely post a trip report. Thank you for all your help

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