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Help! Too many options!

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new member
Jun 30, 2010 - 4:41 PM
Hi, I have to also say that I am thankful I found this forum. I can't believe all the rail options - which means if we take the time to figure everything out we'll be able to find an economical option that fits our needs. There is a lots of great information on this forum for me to use with planning.

Anyway, I have done research but I really want to make sure that I've understood everything correctly so I thought I'd post my situation. My husband and I are coming to Switzerland August 12 - 24 from the USA. We arrive in Zurich. We are staying 7 nights in Interlaken. During this time I think we'll get the Bernese Oberland Regional pass since we will want to extensively explore the whole area via trains and foot. After we leave Interlaken, we will go to Saas Fee and then hike to Zermatt. From Zermatt we will return to Zurich to fly home.

Would the Swiss Card cover both our airport transfers to Interlaken and from Zermatt? The information says roundtrip which sometime implies to and from the same place.

From what I can see this is what I'd pay for the individual pieces as long as I have a swiss pass, swiss card, or half-card:

Bernese Oberland Region Pass: 184 CHF ( price is after discount for having one of the Swiss railway passes)

Zurich to Interlaken 30 CHF (after 50% discount)

Interlaken to Saas Fee 28.40 CHF (after 50% discount)
Zermatt to Zurich 58.00 CHF (after 50% discount)

Depending on the airport transfers, it looks to me like I'd benefit from a Swiss Card. Do you agree?

Thank you!
7333 posts
expert &
Jul 1, 2010 - 8:39 AM

Hello Belinda, and welcome to the forum. I'm glad to hear that it's helpful. As for the Swiss Card: yes, it covers both your trips from Zurich Airport to Interlaken, and from Zermatt back to Zurich Airport. The Swiss Card is valid from any border station or airport to any destination in Switzerland, and from any destination back to any airport or border station.

The prices you've calculated are mostly correct, but please note that it makes quite some difference whether you use a Swiss Pass, a Swiss Card or a Swiss Half Fare Card:

  • there are two possible routes from Zurich Airport to Interlaken. One is through Bern and Olten. Its full price is CHF 67.00 and the discounted fare is CHF 33.50. Another option is to travel via Lucerne and the Brünig Pass, which I'd definitely recommend as it's a beautiful route. It's even a bit cheaper than the alternative: the trip costs CHF 51.00 without reduction and CHF 25.50 including reduction. With a Swiss Pass, this trip would be for free. This would also go for the Swiss Card, as this would count as the first part of your round trip from the airport to a destination in Switzerland. With a Swiss Half Fare Card, the 50% reduction would apply;
  • the trip from Interlaken to Saas-Fee costs CHF 56.80, which indeed is CHF 28.40 with discount. This discounted price would apply to the Swiss Card and the Swiss Half Fare Card. Again, the trip would be for free with a Swiss Pass;
  • the trip from Zermatt to Zurich Airport costs CHF 116.00, which is CHF 58.00 including discount. With a Swiss Pass, the journey is for free, just as with the Swiss Card as this would be the second part of your return trip from a destination back to the airport. The 50% reduction would apply to the Swiss Half Fare Card;
  • yes, a Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland costs CHF 184.00 including the 20% off if you possess a valid Swiss railway pass.

A Swiss Card may indeed be a good option for you. In any case it's more economical than the Swiss Half Fare Card, as the amount of money you'd save with your free return trip would be larger than the price difference between both passes. I'm not quite sure if it's economical to supplement this with a Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland. A Swiss Card offers a 50% discount on most cable cars and mountain trains in the Bernese Oberland as well. A 7 day Regional-Pass Bernese Obeland does the same, but offers 3 days of free travelling on top of this. So only if you plan to make long and expensive trips on 3 days, this could be cost effective. As I'm not sure which trips you want to make during your stay in Interlaken, it's hard to give a definitive answer. If you have in mind what trips exactly you'll be making, you can try and calculate this using the tips in the rail FAQ.

I hope this gets you started!

Last modified on Jan 27, 2020 - 11:19 AM by Arno


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