Eurail Select 2 Country or Swiss Travel Pass?

Eurail Select 2 Country or Swiss Travel Pass?

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Posts: 13. This thread is closed.
suzycox
suzycox
10 posts
new member
Jun 12, 2017 - 6:12 PM

Hello!

We are flying in to Frankfurt (long story) on July 22nd but will be staying the entirety of our stay in Bern with day trips to various Swiss locations. Our itinerary is approximately (what we do on each day is flexible, but we want to do these things):

July 22nd - fly in to Frankfurt, train to Bern

July 23rd - trains/cable cars to Oberland and back

July 24th - explore Bern and Ostermundigen (ancestral home)

July 25th - trans/boat/cable cars to Luzerne and back

July 26th - maybe visit Gruyere, train back to Frankfurt

July 27th - fly home

Would it be best to get the Eurail Select 2 Country pass for Germany and Switzerland, the Swiss Travel Pass and book the Frankfurt legs separately, or the Half-fare card and pay as we go?

Please help! This is confusing!

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1100 posts
top member
Jun 13, 2017 - 1:32 AM in reply to suzycox

Hi Suzy, and welcome to MySwissAlps!

>> Would it be best to get the Eurail Select 2 Country pass for Germany and Switzerland, the Swiss Travel Pass and book the Frankfurt legs separately, or the Half-fare card and pay as we go?

I doubt if the Eurail Select 2-Country Pass would be the best deal, as most of your travel is in Switzerland, and the Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card would provide much better coverage in Switzerland than a Eurail Pass.

For your trips between Frankfurt and Bern, I would book on the Deutsche Bahn website as soon as possible, as you can get advance-purchase fares at a discount. These discounted tickets are only valid for the exact trains printed on your ticket though.

Deutsche Bahn

reiseauskunft.bahn.de/ bin/query2.exe/en?rt=1&amp

For Switzerland, it would be a toss-up between a Swiss Travel Pass for 3-4 days and a Swiss Half Fare Card. If you wanted convenience and flexibility, I would go for a Swiss Travel Pass. If you wanted the cheapest option, you would have to do your sums.

This page here can help you decide:

www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass

Alpenrose

Lucas
Lucas
3096 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 13, 2017 - 6:00 AM in reply to suzycox

Hi Suzy,

I would lean towards the Swiss Travel Pass - it is much more convenient and includes most city transport as well (so no need to buy tickets when hopping on trams and buses etc in Bern ,Luzern...)

If you do the calculations using the excel sheet (from Slowpoke's link above) and find the Swiss Half Fare Card to be much cheaper than maybe go that way, but if pricing is close I would be the Swiss Travel Pass - you can buy it online here and print it at home (so it is ready to use as as soon as your train enters Switzerland).

That way you only need to buy tickets from Frankfurt to the Swiss border town (most likely Basel).

Lucas

suzycox
suzycox
10 posts
new member
Jun 13, 2017 - 5:39 PM in reply to Alpenrose666

Thank you for the great advice! I got the Swiss Travel Pass with the discount code through Eurail.

I'm encountering quite a few problems trying to buy the train tickets from/to Frankfurt. I seem to get significantly better prices through SBB than Eurail, and I can't get prices at all through Deutsche Bahn. Am I OK to buy them through SBB? Looks like they're going to cost me as much as the Swiss Travel Pass!

Arno
Arno
9571 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 13, 2017 - 7:28 PM in reply to suzycox

Hi Suzy,

Can you share a few more details about what you are trying to buy and where? Looking at this thread you need a ticket from Frankfurt Flughafen (airport) to Basel Bad Bf (Swiss border) for July 22. What's the departure time? Did you try the websites listed on myswissalps.com/traint ickets/germany/price? What do you mean by buying through Eurail? Eurail.com only offers Eurail passes and no tickets or Swiss Travel Passes.

Thanks!

Last modified on Jun 13, 2017 - 7:29 PM by Arno
suzycox
suzycox
10 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2017 - 1:44 AM

So sorry! I meant Rail Europe. I did try the websites you listed and kept getting messages that the fair wasn't available.

I'm trying to do:

Frankfurt Flughafen (airport) to Bern (because our Swiss Travel Pass won't start until the 23rd) around noon on 7/22

Basel to Frankfurt Flughafen (airport) around 6pm on 7/26

You folks are so helpful! Thank you so much! I'm an educated person and am finding it frustrating that this has been so confusing!

Lucas
Lucas
3096 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 14, 2017 - 7:12 AM in reply to suzycox

Hi Suzy,

I clicked on Arno's link above and tried 2 websites: Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Happy Rail. They both gave me prices of 99 euro for your first trip Frankfurt Flughafen (airport) to Bern.

Maybe there was a website issue - give it a try again and let us know if you have more trouble!

Lucas

Last modified on Jun 14, 2017 - 10:10 AM by Arno
suzycox
suzycox
10 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2017 - 2:38 PM

Lucas,

I have attached pictures of what I get when I go to Deutsche Ban and Happy Rail. Is it because I am trying to get tickets for my family?

Suzy

Please login to see the attached documents
suzycox
suzycox
10 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2017 - 2:42 PM

Also,

I can get fares on www.sbb.ch/en/travelca rds-and-tickets/billette-international/germany. html, as shown in the attachment. At first they say they're about 90, but then when I go through the process of adding my family, it comes out at 134 for my husband and I, and the kids are free.

Is there a reason I shouldn't book through SBB? Are those fares reasonable or can I get a better price through Deutsche Bahn?

Suzy

Last modified on Jun 14, 2017 - 2:44 PM by suzycox
Please login to see the attached documents
suzycox
suzycox
10 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2017 - 4:21 PM

So, here's a fun fact: I can book our tickets 2 at a time, but not all four at once! And I found a 39 fare if I'm willing to wait around until 4.

This is fascinating!

Lucas
Lucas
3096 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 14, 2017 - 5:05 PM in reply to suzycox

Yes, train tickets now have dynamic pricing like airlines in Europe - it can be a bit crazy with price changes sometimes!

I would say book with whomever is cheapest. :) No reason to pick SBB over DB or Happyrail - Usually SBB is more expensive - but not always. How old are your kids out of curiosity? Kids under 5 are free in Switzerland and I think it is similar in Germany but I'm not sure.

I'll assume you will grab those 39 euro tickets - let me know how it goes!

Lucas

suzycox
suzycox
10 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2017 - 5:08 PM in reply to Lucas

The kids are 15 and 11. The 11-year old is free, but the 15-year old is not.

suzycox
suzycox
10 posts
new member
Jun 15, 2017 - 3:38 AM

Thanks again for all of your help!

I ended up getting the great 39-euro fares - I found them in both directions at decent times - on Happyrail.com. We'll have a bit of a wait on the first day, but that's probably a good thing, given that we could have plane delays and whatnot.

Because of your help, I was able to get both train trips for less than I was seeing for one, so thank you so much!

I did end up having to book 2 of us at a time instead of all four. There seem to be some weird restrictions about families, even though I booked myself and my 11-year old together and my husband and my 15-year old together. We just can't all four book online together. FYI for future confused travelers!

Suzy

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