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Discount on buses & cable cars without Swiss Pass

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2 posts
new member
Jun 25, 2015 - 6:03 PM

Hello, I am planning on being in Switzerland from July 11 th to July 19th. My plan involves flying into Geneva, staying the first two nights on Lake Geneva near Montreux, the next three nights in Berner Oberland & the last three nights in Lucerne before heading back to Zurich for our flight back to Chicago. Because we have a total of eight travelers (two families), and nature of my travel noted above, I quickly concluded it would be too expensive and inconvenient (one elderly person) to not rent a car. Based on everything I have read so far, it sounds like everyone recommends taking the train. Here are my questions:

1) I will likely go to a number of towns & mountains. I understand that not having the swiss pass would mean I would be paying full fare for all the inner city trains / trams / buses / boat rides I would take as well as the cable cars. How expensive can this get?

2) Is there an alternative to swiss pass that would give me discounts on the cable cars, boat rides & buses?

3) I will most likely visit Mt. Titlis, Jungfraujoch & Matterhorn - (a) is it worth going to all three or do they offer similar views & (b) if I do all these three, should I go on the cog train up to Rochers-de-Naye?

4) Any tips on how / where best to park when we drive to these towns?

Apologies if I mis-spelled any of the names (tried to copy / past as much as possible!) Thanks for all your help.>>Ashish

16096 posts
expert &
Jun 26, 2015 - 10:00 AM

Welcome to MySwissAlps ashishb!

Yes, using the excellent train network is the way to travel in Switzerland. You can even have your luggage transported, and children travel for free. But of course there can be good reasons to rent a car. I assume you will need a minivan for 8 travelers plus luggage.

1) Without any pass, cable car tickets will be quite expensive. Between about CHF 40 and CHF 200 per person, depending on where you go.

2) Yes, most drivers choose the Swiss Half Fare Card, so they get a 50% discount and free traveling for their children. If you don't wait too long with ordering you can still get them online for a better price, please see here.

3) All of them are different. You can best visit our pages about these places and decide for yourself which ones you like most: myswissalps.com/ activities/ naturalsites

4) Please see myswissalps.com/ jungfraujoch/ gettingthere and myswissalps.com/ zermatt/travel. Also you can explore this section: myswissalps.com/car.

The names were correct. We don't see that very often, so well done!

2 posts
new member
Jun 26, 2015 - 4:22 PM in reply to Arno

Thank you so much. I know what website I am referring my friends to when they visit Switzerland!

7567 posts
Jun 26, 2015 - 10:30 PM in reply to ashishb

<<"1) I will likely go to a number of towns & mountains. I understand that not having the swiss pass would mean I would be paying full fare for all the inner city trains / trams / buses / boat rides I would take as well as the cable cars. How expensive can this get?">>

Parking int main station garage in downtown Luzern is roughly 4 CHF per hour. The garages are often full on weekends. The whole country is geared to using public transport, and cities are working hard to make driving in the cities difficult and expensive.

You would be wise to carefully consider the 30 day 1/2 fare discount card for 120 CHF per person. It will give you substantial discounts on all intra city transport...typically about 50%

in a city, you can purchase any of a confusing array of tickets for local or near local public transport

Tickets are available from machines, but making choices is confusing.

I suggest that in each city you go to the Tourist Info office in the main station or the office of the local transport network (also in the main station), and ask about ticket options.

Here are some rough ideas on costs...sorry, I can't remember the exact amounts.

A single ticket in Zürich good for an hour or a few hours or maybe less on the buses and trams in zone 110 ( the city itself) is about 4.5 CHF. A "short trip ticket" good for less than one hour is about 3 CHF.

A 2nd class 24 hour city card is costs about as much as 4 or 5 or so single tickets. Maybe a bit more. If you add access to more zones near the city, the cost is 3 or so CHF per zone.

There is a so-called 9 o'clock card that give free travel after the 9 AM "end" of the rush hour until midnight... I forget what it costs. Cheaper than the 24 hour "day card."

Luzern has similar costs, and that arrangement is similar to other major cities in Switzerland. Luzern is quite compact...you may be able to walk to everything. Ypu may not need to [ay for local transport.

If you have a Swiss Pass, you ride free.

Three days of 24 hour cards per person could add up to 50 or more CHF, roughly, based on my memory.

Out in the country...or the Berner Oberland, different rules apply.


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