Feb 15, 2011 - 2:55 PM
Hi supriya. You can indeed use a Swiss Card, but according to may calculations a Swiss Half Fare Card
would be cheaper. This is because a Swiss Card offers a free round trip from the airport or border station to a destination in Switzerland, and back from any destination to an airport or border station. On all days in between, a 50% discount applies, just as with a Swiss Half Fare Card. Because of this, the Swiss Card is more expensive than the Swiss Half Fare Card. This means that a Swiss Card is economical only if your inbound and outbound trips are long and expensive, and in your case they are not. If you want to start using your Swiss Card immediately, a short trip within Geneva would count as your free inbound trip. And even if you would start using the pass when travelling to Lucerne (thus counting Geneva-Lucerne as your inbound trip), it's still more expensive than a Swiss Half Fare Card.
If you still decide to purchase a Swiss Card and start using it when travelling to Lucerne, there are other ways to travel economically in Geneva during the first few days of your stay. Many hotels offer a Geneva Transport Card to their guests, which allows free travelling by public transportation within the Geneva area. Please refer to our Geneva hotel page
for more information. The Swiss Half Fare Card offers 50% discount on urban transportation as well, but you could still use this Geneva Transport Card when sightseeing in Geneva.
The difference between first and second class is explained in our rail FAQ