Feb 19, 2018 - 3:49 AM
I am NOT an expert on the various rail passes that are available for travel in Switzerland. I see that you are looking at a nine day visit. Aside from a possible side-trip to Annecy (which is a beautiful place and well worth the visit), most of your train travel consists of a trip from Geneva to Zurich, via Berne, Thoune, and Lucerne, with a side trip to Wengen where you are booked at an AirBnB for 5 nights. Do you know what the cost of a single train ticket would be for Geneva - Berne - Wengen - Lucerne - Zurich ? And how would this cost compare to the cost of an eight day rail pass ? If the cost of either is about the same, that's fine, and I would go with the pass, as it would then allow for any other rail travel I might decide to do, but if there is a big difference I would consider buying the single tickets (times four of course), especially since you are planing on spending five days in the Wengen area. My first attachment is a map of Switzerland, showing (with a blue line) the path from Geneva to Zurich via Berne, Thoune, Lauterbrunnen, then Lucerne and finally to Zurich (the red arrow shows the location of Annecy). The total distance of this trip is in the neighbourhood of 370 kilometres. I say this ("in the neighbourhood") because there could be a slight difference between the distance by road and that by rail.
I clicked on a site where one can buy Swiss rail passes and found that for eight days the cost for 2 adults, 1 youth, and 1 child (under 16) the total cost quoted is US$ 1196. See second attachment.
Then I went to the CFF/SBB site and found that the cost for a single ticket for Geneva - Berne - Lauterbrunnen - and then to Zurich via Berne (not Lucerne) is only CHF 69.60 per adult. See third attachment. Since single rail tickets in Switzerland are based on kilometres travelled, I assume that going to Zurich via Lucerne instead of via Berne will not add to this cost, and might even reduce it ! I am not even sure if the CHF 69.60 fare even applies to your younger son.
My point is that I think there is a HUGE difference between going with a single ticket with multiple stops and going with a rail pass. If there is a problem with the validity period of the single ticket, then I would suggest buying single tickets for each segment. As ticket prices are based on kilometres, I figure the total cost will work out pretty well the same. Have I missed something ? I invite the train experts to comment.
Last modified on Feb 19, 2018 - 3:59 AM by Peterli
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