Jul 10, 2015 - 7:11 PM
My family of 2 adults, 3 children (ages 8, 11, and 13) will be traveling from Paris to Murren on 29 Aug and returning from Murren to Paris on 4 Sep. We will have 6 nights in Murren where we plan to visit a variety of scenic areas and day hikes. Even though we are experienced travelers, we have never been to Switzerland and are quite confused about the best way to book our travel. Here are my specific questions and I would be most appreciative of any guidance you could provide.
1. Should we book a round trip ticket from Paris to Bern, which seems to be the fastest way to get from Paris to Murren but seems not to allow us to take full advantage of any Swiss rail discount we purchase?
2. Should we book a round trip ticket from Paris to Basel, then in Basel purchase our fare to Murren? This seems to allow us to use a discount card for all our Swiss travel but doesn't seem like a very efficient choice.
3. Should we purchase the Swiss discount card? This seems like the best benefit for our family since all 3 of our children are under 14 and we would only need cards for my husband and myself. If so, do we wait and buy the card when we get to Switzerland or should we purchase now and pay for it to be shipped to us in the US?
4. If we book in advance, what site(s) should we use? I understand that some sites look official but actually add a surcharge and are not a good choice.
5. Do we need to be concerned about getting 5 seats on our Paris-to-Murren and back trips? The French portion we can book assigned seats but it appears we can not for the Swiss legs. Given that we are traveling on an August Friday and a Saturday, should we be concerned about capacity?
6. We are actually going to be in Normandy, France the day before we head to Murren, but we won't be ready to leave Normandy until evening. Is there a better choice that to return to Paris for the night and head to Murren the next morning? We are planning to rent a car for the trip to Normandy and are open to staying anywhere as this night will just be a way point. We do need to return to Paris on 4 Sep.
7. What are we failing to consider or misunderstanding that we should know?
Again, thank you for any help you can provide.