May 7, 2010 - 4:35 AM
Hello Eamy, and welcome! Which Swiss towns are worth a visit, is a very personal decision. It also depends on whether you will mostly stay in the town's centres, or rather explore their surroundings. Still, some highlights in my opinion are Zermatt, St. Moritz and Interlaken. These towns aren't very special themselves, but they're surrounded by (or close to) beautiful nature and spectacular mountain peaks. Some larger towns which offer not only nice surroundings but also a pleasant city centre with musea, parks, and so on, are Bern, Geneva, Lucerne and Zürich. I'd recommend that you pick a number of cities (not too many) and spend one day (but preferably a few days) in each. This gives you the opportunity to really explore the city, visit a nearby viewing point by cable car or mountain train, and so on. You could of course also visit as many cities as possible and spend only a few hours there. In that case your trip will be more about train traveling than city visits, but you might prefer just that.
You could combine some of the Swiss towns mentioned above by heading to Geneva first from Paris, than moving onto Zermatt, taking the Glacier Express to St. Moritz and travel to Zürich from there. From Zürich you could travel to Lucerne and from there you could move on to Interlaken via Meiringen. This is just an example. Please use the online timetable to plan your itinerary.
Which pass suits your travel plans best, depends on the exact trips you will be making, the duration of your stay, and so on. If you plan to travel by train a lot and make some longer journeys (for example the Glacier Express route I just mentioned), a Swiss Saver Pass or a Swiss Saver Flexi Pass would be a good option, as this allows free traveling on the regular train network. If your trips will be mostly short and local, a Swiss Half Fare Card is the best choice. But that's not the case if you decide to visit a number of towns across Switzerland and therefore need to travel quite a lot. If you'd be able to work out how long you will be in Switzerland and what trips you will be making, I would be able to give you better advice. You can select the best pass yourself as well, by calculating regular prices for your Swiss journeys in the online timetable. Next, you can compare that to the costs of the several Swiss rail passes. More information on this can be found in our Swiss rail FAQ.
As for the trip from Paris/Venice to Switzerland: Swiss rail passes only cover traveling in Switzerland. So a Swiss rail pass would only be valid from the Swiss border and it wouldn't cover the French/Italian part of your journey. You could best purchase separate tickets from Paris or Venice to Switzerland. If you're looking for a pass covering your trips from Venice and Paris as well, you might take a look at Eurail passes. Please note though that these don't offer many discounts for Swiss cable cars and mountain railways.
In case you'd decide on a Swiss Half Fare Card, you would need two Swiss Half Fare Cards for your husband and yourself. If you don't have children, you don't have to order a Swiss Family Card. A Swiss Saver Pass or Swiss Saver Flexi Pass on the other hand, is one pass for 2 or more adults.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance!
Last modified on Nov 1, 2018 - 4:17 PM by Arno