Day trips from Bern on the train - best rail pass?

Day trips from Bern on the train - best rail pass?

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mschneider
mschneider
3 posts
new member
Oct 3, 2017 - 1:08 PM

Hi,

I am currently staying in Bern for a few months for business. My wife will be joining me for a week later this month and we would like to take a few (day) trips. Since I have an apartment in Bern I would like to stay here and avoid paying for any hotels etc. We would like to go to Jungfraujoch and Titlis (Cliff Walk, Rotair, etc) I want to know if this is possible to do in a day and return to Bern in the evening? From what I have read so far it should be no problem. I think I am just a little nervous about getting the correct trains. I am also interested in the Glacier Express but I am having a hard time figuring out if I will only have time to do part of the route. I have already found a lot of great info on this site but some is several years old so I want to make sure it is still correct.

For the rail pass it seems I can buy the half fare card now and then go to the ticket desk the day before and purchase my tickets for the whole route. Other option would be the 3 day Swiss Travel Pass and then I don’t need to worry about purchasing the individual tickets. Once I have my itinerary planned I will check the excel spreadsheet.

Also if you have any other recommendations that would be great.

Thanks

rockoyster
rockoyster
3916 posts
expert
Oct 3, 2017 - 11:25 PM in reply to mschneider

Hi mschneider and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

Trains are super easy to use. The SBB timetable(www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) will show you what's possible.

For example if you search Bern to Bern via Brig and Chur you will find you can cover most of the Glacier Express (denoted GEX) route and get back to Bern in 8 hours. (There is a tight 7 minute connection in Brig though) Note reservations are compulsory on the Glacier Express although you can follow same route on regular trains.

You can do Bern to Bern via Engelberg (to visit Titlis) in 4 hours. Bern to Bern via Wengen (to join Jungfraujoch trip) in under 4 hours.

One thing to watch out for is that several mountain activities are close towards the end of October. See attached list compiled by Alpenrose666.

Please login to see the attached documents
rockoyster
rockoyster
3916 posts
expert
Oct 4, 2017 - 1:41 AM in reply to mschneider

Also Bern to Zermatt is a bit over 2 hours one way. If you get an early start you may even have time to ride up to Gornergrat. See www.myswissalps.com/go rnergrat

Lucas
Lucas
8881 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 4, 2017 - 8:20 AM in reply to mschneider

Hi mschneider ,

If you buy the Swiss Half Fare Card it is valid for 30 days. With a Swiss address you could also buy the Half Fare Travel Card (for Swiss residents) that is valid for a year but is not too much more money (about 40chf I think).

Then all your tickets will be 50% off. Most every trip can be done in a day in this country - it is just limited by how much time you want to spend on a train (1 or 2 hours each way or 3 or 4 hours each way).

You can also set the timetable to give you longer train connection options as well (advanced search).

Depending on how many trips you plan to take over the week the Swiss Travel Pass may well be worth it for you (and it is much easier as tickets don't need to be purchased on most trips). Exclusions are some mountain trips like Jungfraujoch and Mt. Titlis where a portion of the journey is only discounted.

Read through the validity page on the Swiss Travel Pass here (use the PDF map and scroll down for notes on major attractions.

mschneider
mschneider
3 posts
new member
Oct 6, 2017 - 10:14 AM

Hi,

Thank you for the great info and sorry it took me a few days to reply. With our plans it seems that the half fare card makes the most sense. I will probably go ahead and purchase them now as it will immediately save on her trip from the Zurich airport to Bern. We will most likely do a few things between the 12th-16th and then again 21st-26th. She will visit a friend in UK 16th-20th so there will be several trips between Bern and the airport in Zurich. Thanks rockoyster for sharing the list of closed activities. I may have to do a few things earlier so that the closures do not interfere with our plans.

mschneider
mschneider
3 posts
new member
Oct 9, 2017 - 11:01 AM

Can someone help me understand the difference between buying tickets from the SBB site vs buying from the raileurope site? I am looking at this link.....

www.raileurope.com/act ivities/jungfraujoch/i ndex.html

It states "Round trip travel to the Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe from Interlaken, Grindelwald or Wengen.

Scenic trip to Eiger Glacier Station and through the Eiger tunnel to the Eigerwand and Eismeer stations.

Sightseeing at the Great Aletsch Glacier, Ice Palace, Ice Gateway, Sphinx observation terrace, high alpine research exhibitions and more."

Is there anything special about this or are these the normal activities that you can do when you reach Jungfraujoch? From what I can tell they are all included when you reach Jungfraujoch. Also I understand that there is no need to pre-purchase tickets since I can buy them at the station. If I DO purchase ahead from the SBB site for Bern to Bern via Jungfraujoch does that cover my whole trip with no need to purchase anything else?

Thanks

Arno
Arno
11155 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 9, 2017 - 1:54 PM in reply to mschneider

Hi mschneider,

Those are the normal activities included in a ticket, regardless of where you purchase it. Various purchase options including the one you mentioned are listed here: www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfraujoch/packages. You don't have to purchase in advance. The main advantage of doing so is that you have one thing less to arrange for when in Switzerland. In some cases buying online saves you money, e.g. if there are promotions that give you a discount if you spend a minimum amount. Currently there is such an offer that expires tomorrow: www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/95-off-rail-passes-for-us-and-canadian-travelers

Do not buy tickets for a fixed date, unless you are absolutely sure you will travel that day regardless of the weather. The ticket you're considering is flexible so you won't have this problem. SBB tickets can cover the whole trip from Bern to Jungfraujoch and back, but have a fixed date so not recommended.

Last modified on Oct 9, 2017 - 1:56 PM by Arno

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