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Best railpass combo for Switzerland trip in 2022


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John Tyson
John Tyson
5 posts
new member
Jul 11, 2021 - 5:11 PM

Greetings!

My wife and I are planning a trip to Switzerland in 2022. The two of us will be visiting Switzerland for 3 weeks and will be travelling in mid-September to early October to avoid the tourist season and take advantage of discounted accomodations. Our goal is to use the train system and public transportation (e.g., bus) and not rent a car.

Our anticipated trip itinerary is as follows:

DAY #TRIP

1 Portland Airport (PDX) - Zurich Airport (ZRH)

2 Zurich Airport - Lucerne

3 Lucerne

4 Lucerne - Mount Titlis - Engelberg

5 Lucerne - Mount Pilatus (Golden Round Trip)

6 Lucerne - Thun

7 Thun - Murten/Morat - Bern

8 Thun - Wattenwil

9 Thun - Wengen

10 Wengen - Jungfraujoch

11 Wengen - Männlichen; Grindelwald (First?)

12 Wengen - Lauterbrunnen

13 Lauterbrunnen - Schilthorn - Trummelbach

14 Lauterbrunnen - Zermatt

15 Zermatt - Gornergrat

16 Zermatt - Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

17 Zermatt - Montreux

18 Montreux - Gruyeres

19 Montreux - Zurich

20 Zurich

21 Zurich Airport (ZRH) - Portland Airport (PDX)

There are a lot of travel pass options available but it requires some research to determine which is best for our itinerary. You have a fantastic website and I have looked at rail pass calculations spreadsheet, but gets complicated trying to factor in travel between destinations along with activities and day excursions (e.g., Mount Titlis, Mount Pilatus, Jungfraujoch, Shilthorn, Goernergrat, and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise).

Based on what I've read so far, I'm considering the Swiss Half Fare Card, Swiss Travel Pass (8 Days), and/or the Jungfrau Travel Pass (5 Days).

Three questions:

1. Based on our proposed itinerary, which pass or combination of passes would you recommend for us to minimize expenses? For example:

a. Swiss Travel Pass (8 Day) only;

b. Swiss Travel Pass (8 Day) + Jungfrau Travel Pass

c. Half Fare Card + Jungfrau Travel Pass

d. Other?

For example, the Swiss Travel Pass (8 Days) might be a good option but there are trade offs (it won't cover all of our travel days but it might cover or discount some of our activities and day excursions).

The Half Fare Card is cheaper than the Swiss Travel Pass (120 CHF), but I'm not sure if the disounted travel costs would be less than the difference between the two passes?

For the Jungfrau Travel Pass (5 Days; CHF 229) it looks like there is a 25% discount available on the pass price if you have a valid Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card at the time of traveling.

2. If we are planning to travel in 2022, should we buy the travel passes now or wait? Currently there is a 25% discount available for the Swiss Travel Pass (8 Days) if purchased in July 2021 (CHF 312). I'm assuming the travel passes are good and don't expire until there are activated and used.

3. Based on the places we want to visit, would you recommend a better itinerary?

Thank you for your time and any advice!

Gingy500
Gingy500
10 posts
new member
Jul 11, 2021 - 9:32 PM in reply to John Tyson

You could also look at the Tell pass for your Luzern days. It can be a very good deal because it covers all the mountains near Luzern. With that and possibly a Swiss travel pass with flexible days plus a Jungfrau or Berner Oberland pass, you might be set. The BO pass would cover much of your Thun and Bern days while the Jungfrau pass would not.

Are you changing hotels from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen? I would just stay in Wengen to avoid too much packing. They are very close.

John Tyson
John Tyson
5 posts
new member
Jul 11, 2021 - 9:55 PM in reply to Gingy500

Thanks for the response! I’ll take a look at the Tell Pass. We’re only planning to do Mount Pilatus and visit Mount Titlis (provided the weather is good) and Engelberg during the few days we’re in Luzern, otherwise exploring town and taking it easy to recover from the long flight. I’d prefer to purchase two travel passes at most due to budget.

my thinking was the Swiss Travel Pass or Half Fare ticket would help with travel costs in Thun and Bern area. Not really planning any activities other than exploring town.

It was harder to decide where to stay in the Jungfrau region, I thought splitting time between Wengen and Lauterbrunnen might be smart because we love both places and each are close to particular day trips we’d like to make. We don’t necessarily want to change hotels but we also wanted to avoid multiple train trips back and forth to the town we decided to stay in addition to day trips like Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn. We thought staying in each place might also provide us with more time to actually explore each town as well, with less hurrying from place to place. Totally appreciate your thoughts though because we’re still fine-tuning plans.

Cheers!

Sarahleai
Sarahleai
5 posts
new member
Jul 11, 2021 - 11:05 PM in reply to John Tyson

Hi! I thought I saw that the 25% discount passes purchased by July 2021 had to start us after 11 months? This is what I saw. Depending on the length of pass you are thinking of buying, these restrictions might work for you. My travel date is December 2022, so I will be watching and waiting to see if there are any offerings next summer.

Sarah (below is what I saw)

If you buy a Swiss Travel Pass in July 2021, you will get a 25% discount, and you'll be able to pick a start date up to 11 months in the future.

John Tyson
John Tyson
5 posts
new member
Jul 11, 2021 - 11:40 PM

Thanks Sarah! I missed the restriction on the time frame usage associated with the current Swiss Travel Pass discount offer. Hopefully there will be similar discounts offered in the future :)

Anna
Anna
1540 posts
top member &
moderator
Jul 12, 2021 - 10:03 AM in reply to John Tyson

Hi John Tyson,

Welcome to MySwissAlps.

It's great that you are planning your trip well in advanced. Your itinerary looks great and I'm sure you'll have a fantastic trip.

Based on your itinerary, a combination of a Swiss Half Fare Card and a 4-day Jungfrau Travel Pass would work well in your case. I did some calculation below (for the first week of your trip) just to give you some ideas how you can save on train tickets with the Swiss Half Fare card.

The following prices are based on 50% off current regular ticket prices when you use the Swiss Half Fare Card. Prices are approximate based on current SBB timetable information. Please take note these prices excludes cable cars and mountain transportation.

(this has been edited)

Zurich Airport - Lucerne CHF15 one way
Lucerne - Engelberg (Titlis base station) CHF19 return
Lucerne - Kriens (Pilatus cable car) CHF4
Lucerne - Thun CHF25 one way
Thun - Murten CHF 34 return
Thun - Wattenwil CHF 8 return
Thun - Wengen CHF CHF16 one way
Total ticket prices using the Swiss Half Fare Card: CHF121.00
(Please take note this does not include mountain transportation such as cable cars and cogwheel trains).

You can also use the Swiss Half Fare cards to buy Supersaver or Saver Day cards on long distance travels such as Zermatt to Montreux and Montreux to Zurich. You can find more information about Saver Day Pass here: www.myswissalps.com/saverdaypass/details
Information about supersaver tickets here: www.myswissalps.com/traintickets/switzerland

For greater flexibility and convenience, I would consider getting the 8- day Swiss Travel Pass so I could have one ticket for all my trips instead of buying a ticket for each trip.

I agree that it takes a little research to compare all the possible railpass combinations. This guide will help you to compare the different railpass combinations: www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/chooserailpass
And it's fairly easy to use the SBB timetable to calculate the cost of each journey: www.myswissalps.com/timetable

I hope this helps you in your planning. If you have further questions, let us know.

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Jul 12, 2021 - 8:01 PM by Anna
John Tyson
John Tyson
5 posts
new member
Jul 13, 2021 - 1:24 AM in reply to Anna

Thank you for taking the time to provide this information Anna! I will take some time over the next few weeks to compare the different options using the links you provided.

Cheers!

John

Annika
Annika
6615 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 13, 2021 - 7:07 AM in reply to John Tyson

Hi Sarah and John! Details about the current Swiss Travel Pass (Flex) promotion can be found here, just for your reference: www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/swiss-travel-pass-25-off-for-trips-in-20212022.

John Tyson
John Tyson
5 posts
new member
Jul 14, 2021 - 12:35 AM in reply to Annika

Thanks Annika!

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