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Choosing the appropriate rail pass

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new member
Apr 17, 2011 - 12:03 PM
We are 4 women travelling in Switzerland in June and July, but with complicated arrival and departure dates. We would like to all buy rail passes if it is an economical decision, but like everyone else on this forum we do not know which one to choose. :-) Four of us are arriving at the Zurich aiirport on June 24th and immediately leaving the same day for Zermatt. The fifth person arrives at the Zurich airiport on June 29 and meets us in Zermatt. From Zermatt we will be taking a train on June 30 to either Lauterbrunnen or Wengen where we will stay until July 8 and we will be hiking the Berner Oberland area every day using your various forms of transportation. Then 3 of us go back to Zurich on July 8th to catch our plane. Two of the three at that point are the same two as departed from there so perhaps a "saver" pass would work for us. One woman is staying for another two weeks so perhaps for her the Swiss pass is best?? Help!!!
7157 posts
expert &
Apr 18, 2011 - 3:44 PM

Hello Connell, and welcome! I understand your confusion, but I'm sure there's a good solution.

First of all, it's important to consider what you expect out of a rail pass. When staying in Zermatt and Lauterbrunnen/Wengen, will you be making short day trips within the region only, or do you have some longer train trips planned as well? And do you mind purchasing seperate tickets with a reduction for each trip, or does unlimited travel on all or on some days of your stay appeal to you?

If you'll be making shorter regional trips mainly, and if you don't mind purchasing seperate tickets, Swiss Cards for all members of your travel party may be a good solution. They provide a free trip from the Zurich airport to Zermatt, and from Wengen/Lauterbrunnen back to the Zurich Airport again. If the last member of your group, staying two weeks longer than the rest, ends her journey at an airport or border station as well, the Swiss Card is suitable for her too. On all days in between your free inbound and outbound trip, a 50% discount applies. The Swiss Card is valid for a maximum of 1 month, so if I'm right this should work for all five of you. In terms of the different travel dates within your travel party, this is certainly the easiest solution.

If you want to profit from free travel on all days of on some days of your stay, a Swiss Pass or Swiss Flexi Pass would be a better solution. A Swiss Pass may turn out to be too expensive if you'll concentrate on short day trips during your stay in Zermatt and Wengen/Lauterbrunnen. It will prove to be cost effective if some longer journeys are planned too. A Swiss Flexi Pass may therefore better suit your needs if you'll be making short trips most of the time. It offers a fixed number of free travel days, which can be used for the longer and more expensive train trips (Zurich Airport-Zermatt, Zermatt-Wengen/Lauterbrunnen, Wengen/Lauterbrunnen-Zurich Airport, and may be some other train, bus or boat journeys that are part of your plan). On all days in between your first and last free travel day, a 50% discount applies just as with the Swiss Card.
In this case, you could consider:
- a Swiss Saver Flexi Pass for the two members travelling together most of the time;
- a regular Swiss Flexi Pass for the two other members;
- a regular Swiss Flexi Pass or a regular Swiss Pass for the member staying for another two weeks. A Swiss Pass would be best if she plans to travel a lot.

In all, calculations of all the trips you've planned should be made to find out which solution is cheapest. If this is too complicated, you should try to base your decision on your travel preferences and the considerations I listed above. I know it's not a decisive answer, but I do hope that it helps you decide! Best regards,

Last modified on Jan 27, 2020 - 11:19 AM by Arno


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