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3 days Bernese Oberland, then Geneva: which pass?


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Teri
Teri
4 posts
new member
Jul 9, 2022 - 4:31 AM

I have a few questions trying to decide what pass to get. We will be 3 days in the Bernese Oberland area and then the rest of the time we will be in Geneva but plan to do day trips to annecy and Chamonix from geneva. I was thinking of getting the Bernese Oberland pass. What I am wondering is this....

1. The bernese oberland pass says its area reaches almost to the far side of lake geneva, so how do you figure out how much your train ticket will cost from Gemeva to Wengen if you have the Bernese Oberland pass? Im assuming once you enter a "paid for area"its free or is that not how it works?

2. Does it make any sense to buy the swiss travel 1/2 price pass along with the bernese oberland pass. It looks like the bernese oberland pass is discounted to 150 dollars is you have the 1/2 price pass and the 1/2 price pass is 120 dollars. Where the regular price for the bernese oberland is 230 so If my train ticket round trip from geneva is more than 40 dollars then I would break even? Or am I confused ? Also since we are planning on going to Chamonix we can use the 1/2 price pass on that as well?

3. Is the 1/2 price pass only good for the train To Chamonix or can it also be used on the bus?

4. Does the 1/2 price pass work at all to annecy?(I know it's france)

5. Also, I had read that you get a free travel pass for transportation in geneva from your hotel while in geneva. Is there anything that the 1/2price pass would discount in geneva that would make it more worthwhile to purchase?

6. Or am i just confused about everything ?

thanks!

Anna
Anna
3883 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 9, 2022 - 10:31 AM in reply to Teri

Hi Teri,

You can use the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland (RPBO) for unlimited travel on public transport and selected mountain transport within the Bernese Oberland region. This doesn't include Geneva. You can download and study the validity map here: www.myswissalps.com/regionalpassberneseoberland/validity. For the journey from Geneva to Wengen, you would need to get a ticket from Geneva to Bern. From Bern to Wengen, the journey is free with the RPBO.

If you have a Swiss Half Fare Card (SHFC: ), you only pay half the price of the regular ticket from Geneva to Bern. Similarly, for the trip to Chamonix, you pay half-price up to the border. The SHFC is valid in Switzerland only. You must have a valid connecting ticket to cover the French portion of your trip. You can find more information about buying train tickets in France here: www.myswissalps.com/traintickets/france

So yes, getting the SHFC is worthwhile if you're planning more more than a few trips outside of the BO region. You can find more information here: www.myswissalps.com/swisshalffarecard

With the Geneva Visitor Card, you can travel for free on the local public transport: https://www.myswissalps.com/geneva/travel. In my opinion, this is just a small area within the city limits. You should contact your hotel for more information.

I hope this helps in some ways to clear your confusion.

Let us know if you need more help.

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Jul 10, 2022 - 9:42 AM by Arno
Teri
Teri
4 posts
new member
Jul 9, 2022 - 5:04 PM

Thanks for responding back. We leave in a week and I'm still not sure I know what I need to do. So I have a few more questions

1. Should i buy the passes the bernese oberland and or 1/2 price now or wait until we arrive at the airport?

2. When looking up prices on the sbb app are all the pricesthey quote the 1/2 price price or is it the full price?

3.Do we need to get our train tickets before hand as well or do we just get them at the airport?

4. What about bus tickets to chamonix and annecy? Do we need to reserve those or just show up at a bus station the day we want to go?any benefit of doing it earlier?

5. I have read some posts about people buying sim cards for their phones. What is the benefit of that and where do you buy them if it's necessary.

Anna
Anna
3883 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 9, 2022 - 7:01 PM in reply to Teri

Hi Teri,

1. You can buy the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland and Swiss Half Fare Card directly from the SBB Travel Centre at the airport. But buying online saves time: www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/wheretobuy. Click on the links for purchase options online:

2. The ticket prices on the SBB timetable are half-price by default. To find the standard fares, go to this link and follow the steps listed under How to find ticket prices.

3. You can get discounted tickets in advance or on the day of travel from any train stations (at the counter or ticket machines). You can purchase them online from the SBB website, app and a list of resellers here: www.myswissalps.com/traintickets/switzerlandhalffare/price

4. Bus tickets to Chamonix and Annecy can be booked in advance online here: www.myswissalps.com/traintickets/france. You might be able to find some good deals if you book early. Am not sure if you could just show up and get the tickets on the spot.

5. I suggest using the Travelers' Wifi if you wish to stay connected throughout your trip. You can find details here: www.myswissalps.com/simcard

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Jul 10, 2022 - 9:43 AM by Arno
1960man
1960man
4353 posts
expert
Jul 9, 2022 - 10:10 PM in reply to Teri

Chamonix and Annecy are both in France, so no Swiss rail passes are valid on trains from Geneva to those places. However they are both on the recently introduced LEMAN EXPRESS cross border integrated regional transport network:

www.lemanexpress.ch/en/plan-your-journey/tickets-and-passes

Like most visitor cards issued by hotels in major cities, the Geneva card is only valid on central area transport. For Geneve this is Zone 10 - Tout Geneve'

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