Swiss Travel Pass discounts and reservations

Swiss Travel Pass discounts and reservations

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Posts: 13. This thread is closed.
MaryR
MaryR
9 posts
new member
Apr 4, 2017 - 10:38 PM

Hello! We are travelling to Switzerland in July and would love your opinion as to our plans (we are really looking forward to it!). We will be arriving in Zurich on the 2nd and travelling by train to Grindelwald for 4 nights. Whilst there we would like to visit Jungfraujoch, First and have a a day to do a walk (maybe the Eiger trail). We will then go to Zermatt by train for 3 nights. Here we would like to visit Gornergrat and Klein Matterhorn. We then travel back to Zurich and fly out on the 9th.

We are intending to purchase an 8 day Swiss Travel Pass.

Is it worth it to purchase a first class pass as opposed to 2nd class?

Do we have to also reserve seats on all these trains/cable cars particularly for first class?

Which trains/cable cars would we need to purchase 50% tickets for - is it only to Jungfraujoch, Gornergrat and Klein Matterhorn?

We are a bit nervous about making these bookings so your advice is appreciated.

Thank you.

Lucas
Lucas
3375 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 5, 2017 - 7:25 AM in reply to MaryR

Hi MaryR and welcome to MySwissAlps!

This looks like a nice trip!

  1. No, I would not book 1st class on the Swiss Travel Pass - on 98% of trains you can't tell the difference (except there are less people there so it is quieter!). Many people do upgrade to 1st class for panoramic trains like the Glacier Express train - I'm not sure if that might be in your plans?
  2. No reservations are needed unless you travel by panoramic train like the Glacier Express and a few others.
  3. You can find the attractions that still require you to buy a ticket (at discount) here. Jungfraujoch is 25% off for the ticket from Grindelwald or Wengen. Klein Matterhorn and Gornergrat are both 50% off.
  4. If you are looking to buy the Swiss Travel Pass you can do so here (and read more about it).

I hope that helps! The rail system is amazing but a little complicated here ;) let us know if you have more questions!

Lucas

Last modified on Apr 5, 2017 - 7:25 AM by Lucas
MaryR
MaryR
9 posts
new member
Apr 5, 2017 - 11:04 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas, Thank you very much for your advice. We appreciate it. We have another questions please. Because we obviously will be travelling with luggage, do we put in on to a luggage carriage for the travel between Zurich - Grindelwald - Zermatt - Zurich or can we take it on board with us? And do we change trains on any of these routes? If we do change trains, is it up to us to get our luggage and take to the next train? or does it get moved for us (similar to what they do on planes?).

Cheers

Lucas
Lucas
3375 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 5, 2017 - 11:15 AM in reply to MaryR

Hi Mary,

No typically you take the luggage on the train with you. There is a luggage service which can send your luggage on to your end destination for a fee if you wish - click here to read about that option.

Most people take their luggage on board the train with them. You will most likely have to switch trains and then of course take your luggage with you. You can search for the train schedules here.
Next to the list of trains you are given it will tell you how many connections are made: hit the + sign to see the stops and layover times.

Don't be afraid of 5 or 6 minute layover times, Swiss trains run on time and they know how big or small a train station is and will build in enough time for you to make the connection. If your train does run late (and they don't hold the train for you, if its a busy connection) there is often another train to take you to your destination 20 or 30 minutes later a lot of the time.

Lucas

Last modified on Apr 5, 2017 - 12:25 PM by Arno
MaryR
MaryR
9 posts
new member
Apr 8, 2017 - 6:20 AM

Thank you for your advice Lucas!

andrew
andrew
42 posts
active member
Apr 13, 2017 - 10:25 AM

Hi MaryR,

The question of first or second class is very personal and I’m afraid I don’t entirely agree with Lucas.

Some years ago, my wife chipped a vertebra in her back while tobogganing and we upgraded to first class for the rest of our holiday. We’ve travelled first class ever since in Switzerland even though her back is fine. Even when busy, the carriages are quieter, the seats are wider and adjustable and it’s simply more comfortable all round. On those boats which have first class (a very large majority do) the difference is even greater and very well worth upgrading, even if you travel second class on the trains. You can pay the extra on the boat. It's up to you and what you find when you go on board.

By the way, Lucas, I’m sure you meant that there are fewer people. Less would mean that they are smaller or in some way inferior!

Andrew

Lucas
Lucas
3375 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 14, 2017 - 7:59 AM in reply to andrew

Hi Andrew!

Don't worry Andrew, lesser people probably don't travel in 1st class ;). Good catch.

I agree the train carriage is quieter in 1st! I have traveled 1st class twice now on long train trips (10 hours) when the price was only 10-12% more and enjoyed it.
It is always nice to travel in relative peace and quiet if the price is acceptable!

Lucas

Last modified on Apr 14, 2017 - 8:11 AM by Lucas
Debra
Debra
52 posts
active member
Apr 14, 2017 - 1:11 PM

How can you tell which train cars are first class and which are second? Are they marked on the outside?

Lucas
Lucas
3375 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 14, 2017 - 5:23 PM in reply to Debra

Hi Debra,

Yes, they are marked with a #1 or 2 on the outside and also on the inside....but it isn't too obvious sometimes so be careful! They will fine you!

Lucas

andrew
andrew
42 posts
active member
Apr 14, 2017 - 5:29 PM in reply to Lucas

It's much easier than that, Lucas. First class carriages have a yellow stripe at the top of the coach sides above the windows. Also the station signs above the platform usually show the order of trains' carriages. Failing that look for the same thing on the blue bill boards which also show the order of carriages for that platform.

Andrew

Lucas
Lucas
3375 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 14, 2017 - 5:36 PM in reply to andrew

Thanks for the tips!

Yes, it is marked on platform signs as well although they aren't obvious if you don't know what you are looking for (and I've lived here almost 2 years and never noticed the yellow stripe you mentioned!).

It is surprisingly easy to make the mistake and get on the wrong carriage if you aren't careful - especially for people who haven't used trains often.

Cheers,
Lucas

Last modified on Apr 14, 2017 - 5:43 PM by Lucas
andrew
andrew
42 posts
active member
Apr 14, 2017 - 5:58 PM

I forgot: if you miss all the external stuff, once you're on board count the number of seats across the carriage. In second there are two either side of the aisle. In first it's two and one, which is why they can make the seats wider. Narrow gauge trains often have two and two in first class. All firsts have the yellow stripe which is international, even in the UK.

Andrew

Lucas
Lucas
3375 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 14, 2017 - 6:24 PM in reply to andrew

I wish I knew all that when I first moved here! It would have saved me 50chf! haha

Debra, you have no excuse now if you were to get on the wrong train carriage ;)

Lucas

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