Family of 4 Bern to Zermatt via Glacier Express

Family of 4 Bern to Zermatt via Glacier Express

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waichia
waichia
15 posts
new member
Apr 18, 2017 - 2:39 AM

We will be spending 4 nights in bern, covering Lucerne, Zurich, Interlaken. After that we would like to go for Glacier express and wish to depart from Bern. May I know which train station do we depart from and to which station should we be heading to in order to start our journey in Glacier Express?

We will be spending 2 days in the Zermaat/ Matterhorn area and would you be able to recommend the best place to stop for the 2 nights during the trip which is affordable and will enable the kids to have some play in the snow and whatever activities which may be suitable for them. we will be holding the swiss travel pass and we might be bringing 2 kids (8 year-old and 5 year-old). I believe they will be able to travel for free with Family Card? I know we have to book Glacier Express train in advance. However, is there any surcharge we have to pay to make the booking how much is the surcharge?

1 more question, if I hold an 8-day travel pass and if I cant finish utilizing it as I will be going on a work conference in between can the pass be used by my husband to continue the journey with the Kids?

Can an adult holding swiss travel pass be travelling free with 1 kid of 8 year-old for free with Family Card and free also for another kid of 5 year-old?

Looking forward to your recommendation.

Lucas
Lucas
5490 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 18, 2017 - 9:37 AM in reply to waichia

Hi Waichia and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Have a read through our Glacier Express page here. The entire route is St. Mortiz to Zermatt, but there are several places you can pick up the train if you don't want to do the whole route. Chur is popular, as is Andermatt or Brig. The ticket cost is included on the Swiss Travel Pass but you must pay for the reservations, some companies may have a surcharge included - the summer prices are higher than the winter for example but that is true for everyone. We recommend buying the reservations here.

Zermatt is quite expensive, even by Switzerland standards. We do have a list of recommended hotels here for different budgets. we also have a list of activities that are possible in Zermatt here.

The Swiss Travel Pass is non-transferable unfortunately. Any number of children (between 5 and 15) can travel free with the Swiss Family Card as long as they are with one adult traveling on a valid Swiss Travel Pass.

I hope that helps, let me know if you have more questions!

Lucas

Last modified on Apr 22, 2017 - 8:18 AM by Arno
waichia
waichia
15 posts
new member
Apr 18, 2017 - 3:41 PM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas for your detailed advice.In fact just now I went into the website to browse through the reservation for Glacier Express...even after keying in no. of passengers together with the option of swis travel pass, it still doesn't seem to be able to display what's the reservation fees required. Is it because I haven't purchased my swiss travel pass yet that's why I cant check the reservation pricing?

as I am planning to purchase 8 days flexi ticket and would need a Swiss FAMILY card for my kid to travel for free, does it mean I will have to have all my passes purchased and collected before I can proceed to make reservation for Glacier express?

Lucas
Lucas
5490 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 18, 2017 - 4:34 PM in reply to waichia

Hi Waichia,

No, you don't have to buy the Swiss Travel Pass first. Are you using the website from our reservation link (in my earlier post)?

It should give you the price but you do have to tell it that you will have a Swiss Travel Pass (so the website charges you the correct amount). You don't have to prove that you have it when buying reservations.

If you consider the Flex version of the pass please check the Swiss Travel Pass Flex page for details on how it works and where to buy.

Lucas

Last modified on Apr 18, 2017 - 7:34 PM by Arno
waichia
waichia
15 posts
new member
Apr 22, 2017 - 7:47 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas,

I did try the link that you gave to access to the reservation for Glacier Express. However, it links me straight to Rail Europe Singapore website. After I input the 2 destination from Brig to Andermatt and chosen the Swiss travel Pass and clicked find tickets, it mentions "The fares you requested are not available with the selected rail pass. Please select a regular fare and proceed to the next step. "

I can only see an option to choose flexible fare, which I believe is full fare. I still cant succeed in finding the reservation fees only.

Any further advice.

waichia
waichia
15 posts
new member
Apr 22, 2017 - 8:16 AM

Hi Lucas,

is the reservation cost about CHF36 from Brig to Andrematt correct? Even if we hold the swiss travel pass, we still have to pay CHF36 to go on Glacier Express from Brig to Andermatt?

May I know whether or not children travelling with us using the Swiss Family Card will also be imposed CHF36 for the seat reservation?

Is there different seat reservation rate for Adult and Children?

Arno
Arno
10343 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 22, 2017 - 12:10 PM

Hi Waichia,

I'm not sure I understand your planning. You're staying in Zermatt but want to take the Glacier Express from Brig to Andermatt? It does depart from Zermatt. Brig to Andermatt is just too short to make the Glacier Express additional costs worth it. Reservations are CHF 33 per person, and are also required for children (except for children up to 5 who sit on your lap).

I'd suggest to either take a regular train and avoid the reservation fees, or take the Glacier Express from Zermatt to Andermatt. I just filled that out on www.raileurope.com.sg# tab3 and got the correct fare. For the shorter ride I indeed got the message you mentioned. There are other sites selling this too if you prefer, and you can also check the link at the bottom of the Tickets tab.

Enjoy the ride!

Last modified on Oct 27, 2017 - 5:02 PM by Arno
waichia
waichia
15 posts
new member
Apr 23, 2017 - 7:10 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

my initial intention is to stay in Zermatt for 2 nights... and we will travel from Bern to Brig via normal train. Then thinking of taking Glacier Express from Brig to Andermatt and back to Zermatt for one day. then the next day will probably just be around Zermatt area.

Didn't realise the reservation fee is also so expensive...

Do you then recommend to do Bern to Zermatt via normal train. and stay around Zermatt for the night. then the next day, take Glacier Express from Zermatt to Brig and stop by to look around, then from Brig to Andermatt and stop by then from Adermatt back to Zermatt?

Does it then mean we will have to do 3 reservations, ie Zermatt to Brig; Brig to Andermatt; Adermatt to Zermatt? Does it mean the reservation fees will multiply by 3 for the 3 legs above?Does it make sense at all?

Lucas
Lucas
5490 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 23, 2017 - 9:15 AM in reply to waichia

Hi Waichia,

Yes you would have to make separate reservations so it doesn't make sense - I don't think Brig is worth stopping to look around either.

If you are coming from Bern and don't want to do the whole route then I would take the regional train (via Visp not Brig) to Zermatt. If you want to be on the Glacier Express train for the experience I would take it from Zermatt to Andermatt one-way and the regional train back (one reservation fee only).

Or go out of your way, start the trip in Chur and do the whole route on the Glacier Express to Zermatt on day one - then spend the 2 days exploring Zermatt at your leisure.

There are typically more than one Glacier Express train leaving Chur per day and you could get there from Bern in time to catch it (depending on travel date) It makes for one long'ish day but then its done! :)
Search the timetable here.

Lucas

Last modified on Apr 23, 2017 - 9:18 AM by Lucas
waichia
waichia
15 posts
new member
May 5, 2017 - 10:57 AM

Hi,

we are in the midst of finalizing the itinery.

Does it make sense to do this ?

Day 1 Arrive Zurich, Zurich town and chill

Day 2 Zurich --> Luzern --> Bern (does Luzern station have any place for luggage storage while we explore the city?)

Day 3 Bern (to save on swiss travel pass)

Day 4 Bern --> Interlaken --> Bern

Day 5 Bern --> Zermatt

Day 6 Zermatt (to save on swiss travel pass)

Day 7 Zermatt --> Montreux/ Lausanne --> Vevey

Day 8 Vevey (to save on swiss travel pass)

Day 9 Vevey --> Geneva

Day 10 Geneva (to save on swiss travel pass)

Currently looking for Accomodation in Zermatt, but would like to stay somewhere near the station for easy access, but at the same time still want good view of the Alps. Which area should we be looking at?

Preferably somewhere with activities for the kids to have fun at the same time.

we would like to cover Lake Thun, Jangfrau at the same time. is this workable with the above itinery we have arranged?

thanks and looking forward to your recommendation or any better way to arrange the itinery.

Lucas
Lucas
5490 posts
expert &
moderator
May 5, 2017 - 5:44 PM in reply to waichia

Hi Waichia,

It looks like a quite nice itinerary - makes sense to me!

Day 2: Yes, there are luggage storage lockers at Luzern rail station.

Zermatt: We have a list of recommended hotels in Zermatt with a note as to how far from the town center and rail stations they are located. Most hotels will have a village/mountain view for you to enjoy - their websites will tell you more.

Where are you starting your day for the Lake Thun and Jungfraujoch visits? Are you in Bern or Interlaken that day? From Interlaken it shouldn't be a big issue but from Bern it will be a very long day.

Lucas

waichia
waichia
15 posts
new member
May 8, 2017 - 7:11 PM

Hi Lucas,

would like to check for kid travelling on Swiss Family Card à do we have to indicate the specific name of the Adult accompanying the kids in Swiss Family Card?

This is because me and my husband will travel separately for a few days during my work trip in switzerland.

do we have to indicate name of either of us in the family card so that my kid aged 8 will be able to travel for free?

or as long as the kid has family card, he will be able to travel for free with any accompanying adult with valid travel pass?

Thanks!

rgds,

waichia

Lucas
Lucas
5490 posts
expert &
moderator
May 9, 2017 - 9:36 AM in reply to waichia

Yes exactly, as long as the adult has a valid Swiss Travel Pass and you also have the Swiss Family Card for the child you are covered.

Lucas

waichia
waichia
15 posts
new member
May 12, 2017 - 12:51 AM

Hi ,

I would like to find out for Day 1, if I land in Zurich, what will be the best/ affordable ticket for me to get if I am to travel from Airport to Zurich town and stay in Hotel Olympia in Zurich, and probably back and forth a couple of times, if I don't want to utilize my Swiss Travel pass for the 1st day.

Another leg that I would not want to utilize Swiss Travel Pass is from Vevey to Geneva. which ticket should I target to get. If I am not wrong, it seems that Geneva doesn't seem to be covered under Supersaver Ticket.

on my last day, I will be staying in Geneva near city centre and from there to catch the public transport to the airport. Again, if I am not using Swiss Travel Pass, what's the most affordable way to travel? Could it be by bus?

rgds,

elaine

Lucas
Lucas
5490 posts
expert &
moderator
May 12, 2017 - 7:25 AM in reply to waichia

Hi Elaine,

Buses only operate where trains or trams don't travel. The cost doesn't change with the mode of transport - only for how far you travel.

The quickest route between Zurich airport and downtown Zurich is by train - 9 minutes and about 7chf.
You can also take a tram but it takes longer (same price).

If you think you will be using public transport around Zurich a fair bit after arriving, you can buy a day pass at the airport to cover the trip into town and the town center (3 zone day pass, for 14chf). More details and links to the public transit website can be found here.

Geneva is similar, the best option is to take the train to the airport (free for hotel guests) - More details and links to the public transit website can be found here.

Lucas

Last modified on May 13, 2017 - 4:01 PM by Arno
waichia
waichia
15 posts
new member
May 13, 2017 - 4:01 PM

If I decide to purchase Swiss Travel Pass online but then also plan to apply for the family Card, does it mean I still have to ensure Faamily Card has to be delivered before my trip?

or is still also e-ticket for Family Card?

Arno
Arno
10343 posts
expert &
moderator
May 13, 2017 - 4:11 PM in reply to waichia

Hi Elaine,

Both can be printed at home. Please go to www.swissrailways.com/ en. Click to the Swiss Travel Pass, fill out the number of travelers, and tick "Family Card" for the children. After filling out your address, they will show the delivery options. Pick "Online Ticket" from the bottom of the list. They will e-mail the pass and card within 1-3 business days.

Last modified on May 17, 2018 - 11:50 AM by Arno
waichia
waichia
15 posts
new member
May 13, 2017 - 4:25 PM

Thanks Arno for your swift reply.

On the other hand, I have also explored the option of buying from an agent called Boustead Travel http://bousteadtravel.com/raileurope/raileurope-price-2017/

is this considered an authorized agent? I cant remember where I have gotten to know that this is an agent... but I would just like to verify for the authenticity.

is it possible to buy the swiss travel pass from this agent, but get the family card from SBB Website (with e-ticket option) in order to avoid handling fees?

Arno
Arno
10343 posts
expert &
moderator
May 13, 2017 - 4:57 PM in reply to waichia

You're welcome! I've never heard of the website you mentioned, sorry. So I can't comment on them. Their page looks a bit weird to me (technically) and they don't seem to offer online purchases.

You can't order a Swiss Travel Pass from one website and a Swiss Family Card from another. If you don't order them combined you will have to visit a staffed ticket office in Switzerland and show them your passes and passports to get the Swiss Family Card there. That would take more time and there's no need for that I would say. Simply buy them online and print them at home, that's the common way.

There are no handling fees if you buy through the official web shop I linked to in my previous post. This is a trusted website, as well as the ones listed on our Swiss Travel Pass page.

Last modified on May 13, 2017 - 4:58 PM by Arno
waichia
waichia
15 posts
new member
May 13, 2017 - 5:30 PM

We are interested to also go for Golden Round Trip to Mount Pilatus.

is it best to book the tickets online or it's advisable to purchase when we are there?

children travelling with us using Swiss Family Card (Aged 5 and 8) will travel for free, correct?

If we would also like to go for the Toboggan run at Mt Pilatus, how do we best plan our trip?

for eg : Do we do Gondola/ Cogwheel first before proceeding to do Toboggan etc?

Looking forward to your recommendation.

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