Economical travel pass for a 6 day stay

Economical travel pass for a 6 day stay

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Posts: 6. This thread is closed.
msrajey
msrajey
31 posts
active member
Jan 9, 2017 - 10:07 AM

Hi,

I'm travelling to Switzerland over a course of 6 days and saw a few options for travel pass but can't seem to differentiate on which works best for us.

I'm travelling with husband and 2 kids (aged 2 and 6). We fly in to Geneva on 29 April, travel to zermatt on 30 April and leave Zermatt to Basel on 3rd May and 4th May flight out from Basel airport to Amsterdam.

I need rail transport for the following routes: (1) Geneva airport station to zermatt (via visp); (2) Zermatt to Basel and (3) Basel central to Basel airport. Apart from these, I don't intend to use public transport within Geneva or Basel, unless really needed as my hotels are walkable to the tourist attractions.

1. Looking at the above, could you advise how does the Swiss transfer ticket versus the swiss travel pass flex work and which is suitable?

2. What is meant by the following conditions for a swiss transfer ticket? "The transfer to and from your destination must be on one day and via the most direct route. Validity: 1 month (30 days)."

3. For the swiss travel pass flex, if i got the 3 days pass (for travel on 30th april, 3rd may and 4th may), can i still get the 50% mountain railway discount on days i am not travelling by rail (e.g. 1st May)? Or would it consider that day (1st May as one of the 3 days? How does the card track the 3 days being used?

4. Can the swiss travel flex card be print-online paper ticket or it must be delivered if i include a family card? How do i avoid delivery and obtain a paper ticket? I was trying to purchase from sbb.ch but it only had 1 option of deliver by post.

Looking forward to your help on the above query. Thanks!

Annika
Annika
4880 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 9, 2017 - 3:02 PM in reply to msrajey

Hi msrajey! Let's take a look at your questions:

1. If these are the only trips you plan to make, a Swiss Transfer Ticket for Geneva-Zermatt and Zermatt-Basel would work well. You'd additionally pay for the short and inexpensive trip from Basel to Basel EuroAirport. However, are you sure that you won't be needing any further public transportation while in Geneva and Zermatt? If you intend to use urban transportation in Geneva, or cable cars near Zermatt, things will very probably change. In that case a Swiss Half Fare Card offering 50% discount on all trips might be more beneficial for you.

2. This means that your inbound trip (Geneva-Zermatt) has to be completed within one day. The same goes for your outbound trip (Zermatt-Basel). The outbound trip must happen within one month after your inbound trip. It's also explained at myswissalps.com/swisst ransferticket/howtouse.

3. No, the Swiss Travel Pass Flex doesn't offer discounts on non-free travel days: myswissalps.com/swisst ravelpassflex/howtouse. You can write down the dates of your desired free travel days on the pass.

4. The Swiss Travel Pass Flex isn't available as a print at home ticket yet. The Swiss Transfer Ticket and the Swiss Half Fare Card are. You'd best not order via sbb.ch, as that website is mainly geared to Swiss residents and not to tourists. The official SBB tourist webshop can be found at www.swissrailways.com/ en. I suggest you use this website or one of the other retailers listed at the "Price" tabs of each of our pass pages (for example: myswissalps.com/swissh alffarecard/price), some of which offer free shipping. They all allow you to order along the free Swiss Family Card.

Does this help?

msrajey
msrajey
31 posts
active member
Jan 12, 2017 - 5:33 PM

Hi Annika,

Thanks for ur reply. A few more qns:

1. Where can I check on which cable cars does the half fare card has 50% discount for? I intend to travel to gornergrat on 1 day and Matterhorn glacier paradise on another (without any travel card discount, return tickets for both cable cars cost 194 CHF per adult). Do these routes have 50% discount with the half fare card?

2. I checked the individual ticket price for the routes I mentioned: Geneva airport to zermatt (51.50CHF) and zermatt to Basel central station (61CHF). In total, the individual 1 way undiscounted tickets cost lesser than the transfer ticket price (146 CHF). Am I able to use the transfer ticket for travel within Geneva and within Basel on the same days of transfer? Otherwise, the transfer ticket may not be beneficial either? Am I right to say that?

3. Without these travel cards, do I need to pay for travel for my 6yr old child? If I didn't get the travel cards, is there any local travel card which I can top up value with and deduct per the usage (e.g. Similar to the Oyster card in the U.K.)? Also, does the child travels free if accompanied by paying adult rule still apply? Where can I get such cards or are there only cash payment options at the buses and train stations for tourists?

im considering the transfer ticket more as with kids and purchasing tickets for every route with the half fare card is still a hassle.

appreciate your help.

Annika
Annika
4880 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 12, 2017 - 6:55 PM in reply to msrajey

Hi msrajey,

1. Please check the Swiss Half Fare Card validity page. The downloadable map allows you to zoom in and check all details. Gornergrat and Klein Matterhorn are both discounted.

2. I don't think these prices are correct. You may have taken the half-fare rates which are displayed by the timetable by default. That's explained at our timetable page. Full fares for Geneva-Zermatt are CHF 98, for Zermatt-Basel CHF 122. So the Swiss Transfer Ticket would certainly be more economical for just these routes. But again, since you seem to consider using local/mountain transportation too, a Swiss Half Fare Card would be cheaper. I understand you'd rather not buy separate tickets for your trips. But note that with just a Swiss Transfer Ticket you'll have to do so for your other trips from Geneva and Zermatt anyway. If you want to travel as easily as possible,I recommend you look into yet another option: the Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

3. Without a rail pass you could use the Junior Travelcard. I don't expect the solution without a pass to be better in your case though. If you want to be certain, you'd best do the math as explained at myswissalps.com/train/ ticketspasses/practica l/chooserailpass.

I hope this helps!

msrajey
msrajey
31 posts
active member
Jan 13, 2017 - 2:30 AM

Hi Annika!

thanks for pointing out I was looking at the wrong pricing. I didn't realise. And you are right, based on the new fares, the half fare card is more worthwhile.

just a quick check, is it convenient to purchase tickets for buses and trams and trains? Are the ticket machines situated at every bus stop / tram stop?

If I wished to pre-purchase online for the longer routes so that I don't have to struggle with luggage and kids at the main stations, which website link is good to use so that the reduction and ticket price is accurate for the half fare card?

Lucas
Lucas
3076 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 13, 2017 - 8:01 AM in reply to msrajey

Hi Msrajey,

It is very convenient to buy tickets for buses, trams and trains. There are almost always a ticket machine each stop in larger towns.

Please take a look here for details on where to buy your Swiss rail pass.

If you buy the Swiss Travel Pass as Annika suggested (see her link above) all local transit (buses, trams, trains) are included so no need to buy extra tickets.

Regards,
Lucas

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