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2 1/2 days in Zurich/Lucerne, please advise.

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2 posts
new member
Dec 14, 2014 - 11:39 PM

My family of three (two adults, 20-yr-old daughter) will be in Zurich/Lucerne for a few days in early June 2015. I have read all the advice on passes, but am a bit overwhelmed with info. Here is our tentative itinerary:

Day 1 - Arrive late afternoon to Zurich Airport, transport to hotel (right across from Zurich HB). Walk or perhaps a bus to dinner that evening.

Day 2 - Train to Lucerne, then transfer to Stans, then up to Mt. Stanserhorn for a few hours, then back down and back to Lucerne for mid-afternoon through evening. Back to Zurich at night.

(Alternative on Day 2 is train to Weggis, up Mt. Rigi for a few hours, then down to Vitznau, boat to Lucerne, and late afternoon through evening in Lucerne, then back to Zurich)

Day 3 - Morning in Old Town Zurich area, afternoon perhaps in Rapperswill by train, then back to Zurich for evening plans. Perhaps using a bus or two in Zurich

Day 4 - Straight to Airport in morning.

I like the idea of a passes and not having to buy individual tickets for every part of the journey, but don't want to spend a lot more on passes than we would pay for individual tickets. Any advice?

Also, it seems that there is a huge upcharge to by passes ahead online (when switching to US dollars, it was 1 1/2 times as much, even though the exchange rate is almost 1 - 1.

Thanks for help!

15885 posts
expert &
Dec 15, 2014 - 6:44 AM

Hello dmckee,

Thanks for your post! A 3-day Swiss Travel Pass (for day 1 to 3) includes all trips (even Rigi) for free, except for the Stanserhorn cable car (50% discounted). A Swiss Half Fare Card is possibly cheaper overall, but you would need tickets for each trip. See here for how to find the cheapest option.

I have not seen the huge upcharges you mentioned. Where did you see that? For example, a 4-day Swiss Saver Pass is currenty CHF 245 or USD 260 per person. The US price is a bit more, but it's not a huge difference. Prices in other currencies change all the time due to exchange rates and promotions. Just recently there was a promo offering a $75 discount on the Swiss Pass, so that was much cheaper than buying in Switzerland. Please note that there will be new passes as of January 1. The Swiss Travel Pass I mentioned is one of them. All pass prices will be announced early January, and we'll show them on our prices pages, like this one, by then. Also keep an eye on the promo page.

There's no train to Weggis by the way. There's a bus and a boat. Alternatively you can travel to Arth-Goldau by train and go up to Mount Rigi from there, then proceed as planned. I would prefer that as you will see both sides of the mountain that way. See here for all the options.

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:54 PM by Arno
2 posts
new member
Dec 15, 2014 - 9:05 AM

Thanks for you reply. I agree that the new 3 day Travel Pass sounds the best in that we wouldn't have to worry about buying all the separate tickets. In terms of the CHF-USD price difference, I actually saw that on your site, but may be confused. On the page describing the new 2015 Travel Pass, it shows a price of 210 CHF. There is a link to show prices in other currencies, so I clicked on USD, and saw those more expensive prices. I noticed that the 3-day pass actually isn't listed (it's the old 4-day pass), but I would think that the US price for the new 3-day would be just a little more than the 210? I will check back after the new year when the prices are all updated. If I do buy our passes online ahead of time, can I use a US credit card for the charge?

I think we are leaning more toward Stanserhorn instead of Rigi. Any advice on picking between the two. The new CabriO, and the fun restaurant at the top of Stanserhorn seemed appealing, but not sure if one would be better for our "Swiss mountain" part of our trip.

Thanks again for your kind advice!

7184 posts
expert &
Dec 16, 2014 - 8:57 AM

Hi dmckee,

I can understand why that is confusing. Our page about the new pass shows the 2015 price for the 3-day pass, as sold by the Swiss Railways. However, their page currently still shows the 2014 prices (before you start ordering), which does not include a 3-day pass yet. There's only a 4-day pass, and also the 10% group discount is not applied to those default prices. So all in all you're looking at entirely different prices. It's best to wait until early January (second week or so). All prices will be announced by then. Also your local reseller in the US will be offering the pass and we'll include them in the purchase options. They offer payment in USD, you can pay by credit card, and shipping is free.

Stanserhorn and Rigi are totally different experiences. It's cable car versus cogwheel train/boat, but there are more differences, so you can best check these pages with all the details to see what appeals most to you:

Note that the Rigi trip is free with a Swiss Pass. Stanserhorn is discounted by 50%. Also check the weather before you go up, as one mountain may have clearer skies on the day than the other.

Last modified on Sep 18, 2022 - 1:54 PM by Annika


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