My first Switzerland trip

  • Removed user
    52345 posts
    3 June 2011 at 1:49:19 #804359

    Hello, I’ve read some of your advice to other travelers and I’d like to compliment you on your fast, professional and detailed responses!

    I’m going to Geneva for a business trip from Jun 27 to July 3. I plan to arrive a week earlier with my partner to do some exploration and visit Paris as well. Since this is our first trip, we’d like to get a taste of Switzerland – lakes, mountains, peaceful towns – we don’t mind more touristy areas as long as they’re not too expensive! Here’s a draft of my itinerary:

    6/21 (Tue): Arrive in Geneva 7:45am –> Lausanne (Olympic Museum) –> Montreux (Leman Lake) –> Chateau de Chillon –> Montreux
    6/22 (Wed): Montreux –> Interlaken (Golden Pass) –> Bern –> Luzern
    6/23 (Thu): Luzern –> Titlis –> Luzern
    6/24 (Fri): Luzern –> Geneva –> Paris
    6/25 (Sat): Paris
    6/26 (Sun): Paris –> Geneva

    1. I searched and found that the cheapest round-trip ticket from Geneva to Paris is US$120 (even though they advertise fares as cheap as 29 Euros). I have 2 options:
    a. Swiss Pass (4 days) + Geneva/Paris by TGV = $236 + $120 = US$356.
    b. Eurail France-Switzerland pass for 4 days = US$376.

    Since the Swiss Pass provides free urban/post bus transport and generally more discounts in Switzerland, I think I should choose that instead of the Eurail pass?

    2. On 6/22, is it too agressive to stop by Bern briefly before arriving in Luzern? Would you recommend staying in Bern that night and then transferring to Luzern the next day before going to Titlis?

    3. Does my itinerary make sense in general? Any advice?

    Thanks in advance for your help!


  • Arno
    15042 posts
    3 June 2011 at 4:21:15 #833027

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for your compliments! As for your questions:

    1. Yes, a Swiss (Saver) Pass includes more than a Eurail Pass: free urban transportation and (post) buses, and discounts on more cable cars/lifts. By the way, the Eurail France-Switzerland Pass would indeed cost $376 for 4 days, but you need one for 5 days. The 4-day Swiss Saver Pass is currently $249. Prices are listed on the right side of the Swiss Pass page. Another difference between both passes is that Eurail is 1st class. A 1st class Swiss Pass is available as well, but it would be more expensive.

    2. You can stop in Bern if you leave early in the morning. You can best check the timetable for details. I would recommend to continue on to Luzern that same day as that allows you to arrive at the Titlis fairly early in the morning on the next day. Generally, the views are better in the morning (clearer skies), but you can best check the weather forecast the evening before.

    3. It definitely makes sense! Extra tip: You can travel back from Luzern to Geneva via Meiringen – Interlaken, so you see the Northern part of the Golden Pass as well. You may consider to continue on via Spiez – Kandersteg – Goppenstein – Brig for even more scenery.

    Removed user
    52345 posts
    3 June 2011 at 4:35:34 #833028

    Hi Arno, wow that was fast! =)

    1. You’re right that I would need a 5-day Eurail France-Switzerland Pass, which makes the 4-day Swiss Saver Pass even better. I got the amount of $236 from the Swiss Travel System website ( Do you know why it’s different from the $249 on your Swiss Pass page?

    3. Thanks for the tip. I definitely want to see more scenery but I need to take the train to Paris, so I don’t think I’ll have time for that.

    One more question: Which parts of my journey do I need to make seat reservations for?


    15042 posts
    3 June 2011 at 5:19:03 #833029

    Hi Karen,

    The $236 is a “non-binding, guide price” (it’s explained in the footer text). It’s the local price in Swiss francs converted into dollars using a recent exchange rate. It’s just informational. The prices on our site is what you actually pay through the resellers we list. We use today’s exchange rates in case you pick another currency from the list than the one the reseller is using. As you can see, buying online would be cheaper than locally.

    The timetable shows whether seat reservations are necessary for a particular train. For most trains it’s not required or necessary.

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