8 days, Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Travel Pass?

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6 posts
new member
Mar 19, 2017 - 5:55 PM

Hi there.. I am making myself crazy looking at train prices and trying to see the right decision. In late June, we are flying into Zurick from the USA. then train (1) right to Murren. stay there for 6 nights (mosy all of it Murren and higher), then train (2) for 2 nights in Luzerne, then train (3) to paris (I suppose thru Basel). that looks like 3 train trips to me, plus various cable cars, like the Schilthorn . since we are a total of 9 days (not 8), I am thinking that the swiss travel plan 8 or the swiss travel plan flex are not optimal.

My current thinking is that the 1/2 price pass is best, as it seems to cut my costs - estimated at (92+52+23) *2 in half, and provides discounts on the cable cars. I just don't think we will spend enough time on trains to make the full passes worth it. am I thinking about this right?

also - It appears that there are further discounts when I buy early, and I almost bought it today, but I got confused about adding Schilthorn . it made me put in a date (which it called "starting date"). does this mean I have a range of dates, as we would want to pick the best weather day of course.

any thoughts from the experts?

thanks so much

Don M


451 posts
top member
Mar 19, 2017 - 9:04 PM

the Swiss Half Fare Card is your friend. The Swiss Travel Pass is expensive and only gives you discounts on some cable cars/gondolas, not "free".

With a Mürren base you will spend far more time on public transport than you think. Most of the Jungfrau Region is only accessible this way. And the high mountain transports are far more expensive than getting to any of the populated areas (Mürren, Wengen, etc). Paying full fare would be an unhappy choice!

You can buy HFCs when you arrive in Zurich or buy ahead of time, whichever you prefer. See here for an overview and buy-ahead pricing www.myswissalps.com/sw isshalffarecard

Last modified on Mar 20, 2017 - 6:55 AM by Lucas
10496 posts
top member
Mar 20, 2017 - 7:38 AM in reply to dmahler99

Hi Don and welcome to MySwissAlps!

The Swiss Half Fare Card is valid for one month, so you would enter your first date of intended use for the starting date.


Last modified on Mar 20, 2017 - 7:38 AM by Lucas
5008 posts
expert &
Mar 20, 2017 - 9:22 AM

Hi all!

Just wanted to add that the Swiss Travel Pass includes free boat rides (e.g. over Lake Thun, Lake Brienz, Lake Lucerne and Lake Zurich), free entrance to museums, discounts on many cable cars and free mountain rides to Pilatus, Rigi and Schynige Platte. A full overview can be found here. So Don M, depending on your exact plans this may still be worth it. The only way to tell is, indeed, to make calculations based on all details of your schedule. I'm not sure if you've found our calculation help already. If not, here it is: myswissalps.com/train/ ticketspasses/practica l/chooserailpass.

As for your Schilthorn ticket: I assume you intended to buy it from www.swissrailways.com/ en? The date asked for there indeed is a start date only. It's not fixed, so you can still pick the day with best weather. It's no problem to buy your ticket at the spot either, e.g. in Stechelberg or in Mürren right before boarding.

Last modified on May 17, 2018 - 11:42 AM by Arno
6 posts
new member
Mar 20, 2017 - 10:43 AM

thank you all for all the replies. and so - I have my answer:. I will buythe 1/2 price pass, with Schilthorn option, for late June.. I am excited to try a vacation with no driving (and my wife will not have to stress about my terrible manual transmission driving skills). i am unsure of how much the cable cars cost, but the 1/2 price fare helps me on those also, I believe.

to me the rule of thumb for the for the full pass vs half pass is how many days I will be train traveling. since I will be 6 nights in Murren and above, it is not all that many days of train.

I am so glad I found this forum... I may post some question about the mountain huts elsewhere.

44 posts
active member
Mar 20, 2017 - 2:57 PM in reply to dmahler99

Hey Don, I am not an expert, but just a guy planning a trip for June as well. My metrics are different since I have 3 adults and 1 child (free for the most part) and am staying in Wengen. And I am looking for the best value that will cover the most stuff. I do not want to be constantly reminded how expensive Switzerland can be by having to buy tickets all the time. I'd rather just bite the bullet once at the front end, and be done with it (the two mountain peaks excepted of course). Lo0king at your 6 days in Murren, it seems to me that you will probably be on multiple trains, cable cars etc... every day. I would take a look at the 6-day Bernese Oberland pass ($310/$50 a day; 25% off if you buy the 1/2 pass too). It gets you down and back from Luzern, and allows for rain-day trips to Bern etc...I magnified the maps of the swiss pass and the BO pass for the immediate area, which helped me visualize it better. I attach it. This doesn't help you much for your 2 days in Luzern, but if you are going to try and do Rigi and Titlus when you are there, perhaps the 2-day Tell Pass can fill that gap nicely. There is also a Jungfrau region pass, but my first review of that map seemed to show that it covered less in the area than the Bernese Oberland pass; but I need to look at that again.

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