Help on transportation in Switzerland

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3 posts
new member
Mar 11, 2017 - 6:46 PM

So I have read through this site and others. I need some further clarity. We are a party of 6 (2 are 18 year olds) traveling in Switzerland for 8 days in June 2017. We land at Zurich Airport and are staying in Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland Mountains. Our intent is to travel by train to Grindelwald on Day 1 probably via Bern to Grindelwald. On Day 8 we will travel back to Zurich Airport probably via Lucern.

Grindelwald will be our base for 6 full days (not including Day1 and Day 8). We want to hike, exploring the Bernese Oberland region and do a side trip for 1 day (no overnight) to Zermatt. While in Bernese Oberland region we want to go to Interlaken, Jungfraujoch, Lauterbruen Valley, Murren, Schilthorn and Grindelwald First among other stops and possibly a side trip to Saas Fee although this is last on the priority list.

We have no interest in a car rental and only want to travel by train and bus as a last resort

I know discounts are available for individual train tickets if purchased in advance but then you cannot get off where you want say from Zurich to Bern (getting off there) and then traveling onto Interlaken and Grindelwald. . We like the idea of getting on and off at will without buying individual tickets. Second class on the train is fine. That initially led me to Swiss Travel Pass but it only offers 25% discount on Jungfraujoch. Then there is the Regional Bernese Oberland pass, Fungfrau Travel Pass, Half Fare Card and Transfer Ticket pass.

I would appreciate some guidance on this. If not the Swiss Travel Pass then the Swiss Half Fare Card looks attractive for 50% off on nearly everything essentially but we would need to buy tickets every time we travel and show the card and maybe passport. Not a huge problem but when you are on the run, buying tickets may not be ideal. Is this a better option for us?

The Jungfrau passbooks interesting but confusing as does the Bernese regional pass but I don't know how to compare them to the others well.

There used to be a Good Morning option to go up to Jungfraujovh but I cannot seem to find if this discount option pass in available for early morning travel.

Can someone suggest the best option for us given what we are planning and is there any opportunity to buy whatever passes suggested early and get a discount?

Thank you

10496 posts
top member
Mar 12, 2017 - 1:11 PM in reply to bgrindelwald

Hi bgrindelwald,

Correct, if you buy the discounted Supersaver tickets you can't leave the train when you want.

I think for you the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass is a good option. It will cover everything and 25% off Jungfraujoch from Grindelwald or Wengen is still nice (unless you plan on taking that trip a lot?).

Once you buy it you don't have to worry about tickets and just jump on any train (you will still be asked to show to the pass and ID on the train like everyone else).

Have you had a read through our pages on the Jungfrau Travel Pass? Here you get 50% off to Jungfraujoch but this pass would only be worthwhile if you stay within its boundaries for the 6 days you are there - and buy either the Swiss Transfer Ticket for Days 1 and 8 to get back to Zurich (or a normal ticket) depending on what is cheaper for you).

The Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland is not be necessary if you stay within the Jungfrau Pass area...But if you do think you will be traveling further afield from Jungfrau area, then I would take a hard look at just getting the Swiss Travel Pass in the end.

If you want to avoid buying tickets all the time I would not go for the Swiss Half Fare Card - especially if you don't leave the Jungfrau pass region.

I hope that helps, we also have a page on How to choose the best rail pass, and it has an excel sheet to help you do the math comparing passes to tickets.


Last modified on Mar 13, 2017 - 8:35 AM by Lucas
5721 posts
Mar 12, 2017 - 2:41 PM in reply to bgrindelwald

Hi bgrindelwald -

Welcome to My Swiss Alps!

Lucas has givien you plenty of good information.

I'll amplify his comments about on and off travel.

If you do not buy a "Supersaver" ticket, but rather have a regular ticket (full fare or one bought with a half-fare discount) those regular tickets are good for the day that you buy them ( with some exceptions on specialized tickets for local routes). You can get on and off along your journey.

It is important to know when in June you will be in the Jungfrau region. June 1 is pretty much the tail end of Winter on high, and many facilities are closed (not all). Most cable ways do open in late may. In mid-June hotels and restaurants that were closed for the "between seasons" time begin to open up. By the end of June, even though there is a lot of snow still around, the Summer season is fully in effect.

If you plan hiking, the early part of June may still find lots of higher trails closed. The Lauterbrunnen Valley at lower elevation will be more nearly snow free.

Here is some good reading: rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim


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