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Best rail option for my itinerary?

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2 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2011 - 11:02 AM
Dear all,
I'm so glad that I found this forum; I've been going insane with looking at different combinations of rail passes that'll best fit my itinerary in November- December and hopefully there's someone here who'll be able to point me in the right direction!
It looks like this:
We're coming in (there's just 2 of us - over the age of 26) from Frankfurt and taking a slow trek towards Switzerland through the Alsace region. My total time in Switzerland is really, only 5 days but my itinerary is unfortunately trickier than that.
Day 1: Frankfurt - Strasbourg
Day 2: Strasbourg
Day 3 - 5: Alsace region
Day 4: Freiburg, Germany
Day 5: Freiburg - Lucerne (possibly with a day stop in Basel) - overnight in Lucerne.
Day 6 - 7: Murren in Berner Oberland (2 nights) via the Golden Pass Line to Interlaken. I'll be hoping to visit either Schilthorn or Jungfraujoch within these 2 short days, based in Murren.
Day 8-9: 2 nights in either Montreux/Lausanne or Geneva, possibly Vevey. Again, continuing with the Golden Pass Line from Interlaken. During this time I'm also thinking of doing several trips to the wine region, Montreux, Vevey or Lausanne, depending on where I stay.
Day 10: Leave from Geneva

I did some preliminary calculations and it seems like the Eurail France-Switzerland pass is actually the most expensive option. That however, leaves me with several Swiss Pass options. Either take the Half-fare card, or the Swiss Pass, or the Swiss card.
If I've calculated correctly, it seems like the Swiss half-fare card is the best way to go. It's incredibly confusing still though. Should I purchase anything from my country, rather than wait till getting to Switzerland?
Hoping for some help here! Thanks so much in advance!
15758 posts
expert &
Aug 14, 2011 - 12:54 PM

Hello oggywoggy,

I'm glad you found us! Looking at your itinerary, I agree with your conclusion: a Swiss Half Fare Card would probably be your best bet. The reasons for that is that you have planned a pretty efficient route, thus the number of long trips seems to be limited. Also, the Jungfrau would be 50% discounted with the Swiss Half Fare Card and 25% with a Swiss (Flexi) Pass. Two more notes though:

1) If you value the convenience of not buying tickets for each trip and being flexible, a pass would be worth to look into;
2) Assuming that you're looking for the cheapest way to travel, you can only be sure if you know exactly what you'll be doing and calculate the costs. I understand that you've done some calculations already. However, whether your trips to wine regions are long or short, and whether you will be going to the Schilthorn (50% discounted with any of the passes) or Jungfrau, could be making a difference. A Swiss Card does not fit your plans as your inbound and outbound trips are too short to make the included free transfers worth the extra money.

Where you can best purchase depends on a lot of factors. The Swiss Half Fare Card is currently equally priced locally and online (excl. shipping), but other passes are mostly cheaper online. You can best visit our pass pages and fill out the upper right corner to see the options that apply to you.

I don't know where you're from, but you may qualify for this promotion or this one.

Last modified on Dec 24, 2021 - 10:37 AM by Arno
2 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2011 - 9:36 PM
Hi Arno!
Thank you for your reply! I'm flying in from Southeast Asia - unfortunately I don't qualify for any discounts. :(

1. Would the Swiss Pass (both Flexi/Consecutive days) only give a 25% discount on other rides?
2. My initial plan was actually to look into whether a 1 or 2 day pass for Berner Oberland existed just to use for my 2 days there, but it doesn't seem to be one so far.
3. What difference is there between the Swiss Card and the Swiss Half Fare Card - this is confusing me greatly - as they both seem to offer 50%?
Glad to hear from you!
7156 posts
expert &
Aug 15, 2011 - 4:59 AM

Hello oggywoggy!

1. No, free traveling in regular trains, buses and boats is offered by the Swiss Pass (on all days) and the Swiss Flexi Pass (on free travel days). So you can just get on board without having to buy (discounted) tickets. Most cable cars and mountain trains are discounted by 50%. The 25% discount for the Jungfraujoch is an exception. All specifics, including a link to a map with the area of validity, can be found at the Swiss Pass and Swiss Flexi Pass page.

2. There's no 2 day regional pass available indeed.

3. The Swiss Half Fare Card offers a 50% discount on nearly all trips in Switzerland. So does the Swiss Card, but it also provides a free trip from an airport or border station to you destination, and from your destination back to an airport or border station, on top of that. This free round trip isn't included in the Swiss Half Fare Card. The Swiss Card wouldn't be an economical solution for you though, as Arno mentioned.

I hope this helps you out!

Last modified on Jan 27, 2020 - 11:14 AM by Arno


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