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5-day trip in September - Zurich to Geneva

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ChrisVits
ChrisVits
4 posts
new member
Aug 24, 2020 - 10:36 AM

Good morning everyone

I have got a trip for 5 days planned from Friday 4th September - Tuesday 8th September. My planned itinerary is the following:

Friday 4th - Land in Zurich. Train to the centre to explore for a couple of hours. Train to Lucerne, stay the night in Lucerne.

Saturday 5th - Golden tround trip to Mount Pilatus, explore Lucerne, stay the night in Lucerne.

Sunday 6th - Golden pass train Lucerne to Interlaken. Train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen. Trip To Schilthorn. Stay the night in Lauterbrunnen.

Monday 7th - Train to Interlaken. Harder Kulm funicular. Golden pass train from Interlaken to Zweissimen, then Zweissimen to Montreux. Explore Montreux (Chillon Castle).

Tuesday 8th - Train from Montreux to Geneva, explore Geneva for a couple of hours then train to the airport and home.

i was wondering if there are any restrictions in place currently for any of the above? Also, some advice on the best time to buys tickets for the train journeys and Mt Pilatus etc?

I have used the travel calculator and worked out the cheapest option for the trains is the half fare care - although the convenience is tempting with the rail pass (this works out the most expensive option - I have attached my calculations), but I am wary of buying too far in advance in case travel restrictions change and I can't get these refunded. I am travelling from London in the UK and currently we are ok to travel, but Scotland for instance has just put travellers returning from Switzerland on the quarantine list.

Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Chris

Please login to see the attached documents
Anna
Anna
937 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 24, 2020 - 11:36 AM in reply to ChrisVits

Hi Chris,

Thanks for sharing your itinerary and calculations. I had a look at your spreadsheet and noticed that some of the fares are incorrect. For example, a standard single trip train fare from Lucerne to Interlaken based on Half Fare is CHF16.50, not CHF7 (unless you manage to get a Supersaver deal).

If you are using the SBB timetable to compare prices, note that the timetable displays 50% discounted fares by default. You may see "from" prices being displayed along with the travel options. Such lower fares only apply to holders of a discount pass, or they're fares for special types of tickets such Supersavers that come with restrictions. They're not the regular ticket prices, so be sure to find the standard fares as explained.

After a quick comparison, I found that the Swiss Half Fare Card still works out the cheapest for you (total CHF337).

Also do note that you can get a Swiss Half Fare Card from the train station at the airport upon arrival. This is valid for a month from the date of purchase so you can use it immediately to get discounted fares for your trips to Zurich and Lucerne on the first day.

More information about how to use the Swiss Half Fare card here: www.myswissalps.com/swisshalffarecard/howtouse

Please be aware that wearing masks is compulsory on public transports and in some places such as Geneva and Montreux, wearing masks is also compulsory in shops.

For new updates about travel restrictions in Switzerland, please follow this thread: www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/does-the-corona-virus-affect-trips-to-switzerland

Regards,

Anna

ChrisVits
ChrisVits
4 posts
new member
Aug 24, 2020 - 6:27 PM in reply to Anna

Thanks Anna.

Not quite sure how I got the prices wrong as I was aware they show as half price on the SBB site, took me hours to do as well 😐 thank you so much for your feedback on this.

Would you have any advice on when to buy tickets etc? I know usually the earlier you book, the cheaper the tickets but slightly reluctant in case anything gets cancelled again (I was originally supposed to come in June).

Thank your for the advice on face masks, we have bought plenty in advance 👍

Would also be interested to hear if anyone has any thoughts on my itinerary.

Thanks

Chris

Anna
Anna
937 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 25, 2020 - 5:03 AM in reply to ChrisVits

Hi Chris,

I would recommend getting your tickets or travelpass when your itinerary is set and fixed. Ideally it's good to arrange for tickets and passes before you leave. Here is list of retailers if you decide to get the Swiss Half Fare Card online: www.myswissalps.com/swisshalffarecard/price

Alternatively, you can purchase the Swiss Half Fare Card in person from the SBB Travel Centre at the airport. Also I recommned installing the SBB Timetable mobile app (www.myswissalps.com/timetable) on your smart device, so you can buy your tickets online.

Due to the Coronavirus, do read this guidelines before your trip: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus/planning

Regards,

Anna

1960man
1960man
2735 posts
top member
Aug 25, 2020 - 4:27 PM in reply to Anna

I disagree with Anna. I don't recommend buying in advance with such a fluid situation as at present. Regardless of the current situation, one of the benefits of the half fare card is that you can wait until you are about to travel to buy a half fare ticket. This can be beneficial anyway, as you can change your mind. For example if the weather forecast is poor you might not want to travel on higher altitude routes as you may only see fog and precipitation!

1960man
1960man
2735 posts
top member
Aug 25, 2020 - 4:33 PM in reply to ChrisVits

Note that Luzern - Interlaken isn't really the Golden Pass.

Current tourist branding can be confusing

The Luzern - Interlaken railway is actually the Brünig Pass (the true Goldenpass is just the MOB railway Zweisimmen - Montreux).

The Luzern - Meiringen - Interlaken line is the Brünig pass line operated by Zentralbahn (ZB), which dubs the regular trains "Luzern - Interlaken Express'. Due to the geography of the area the lines from Luzern and Interlaken approach Meiringen from the same direction, so the trains must reverse direction in Meiringen station. Be aware of this as you may want to change sides for the view (the best views Luzern - Meiringen are on the right hand side but the Brienzersee is on the left if travelling from Meiringen towards Interlaken )

ChrisVits
ChrisVits
4 posts
new member
Aug 25, 2020 - 6:49 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone.

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