Nov 14, 2019 - 7:06 PM
in reply to JT2020
My partner and I were in Switzerland last month for a week. We flew into Zurich, travelled by train to Grindelwald, and the explored the Jungfrau area using trains, trams, cog railway, etc. We did most of the hikes you listed and also the Eiger hike that took us up to Kleine Scheidegg. We then travelled back to Zurich for a few days and also took a day trip from there to Lucerne.
We did buy the half-fare pass but did NOT get the Jungfrau pass as we weren't there long enough to justify both. One important tip: you can download the Swiss Rail App to your phone and that will allow you to see the price of the tickets in advance for your research. As you've seen, you can buy tickets in advance (at least a day before) and get the "Supersaver Fare" but then are committing to being on a particular train at a particular time We did this for one of the tickets between Grindelwald and Zurich but otherwise we liked to be able to adjust our timing on the fly. We also found we were able to use the Swiss Rail app for buying tickets in the Jungfrau area (even up to First) but the tram operators are not always set up for it and sometimes just wave your through when you show them the electronic ticket.
I did the calculation and found that we didn't break even on the upfront cost of the Half-Fare Card until our return ticket to Zurich. Had we not done the day trip to Lucerne, the Half-Fare Card would not have been worth it. Now we didn't go all the way up to Top of Europe (Jungfraujoch) but I calculated the Half-fare Card WOULD have been worthwhile if we were to go all the way up there since that ticket is crazy expensive. So, unless you are staying in Jungfrau area 4 days or more, taking other longer trains around Switzerland, or going to Top of Europe, I wouldn't recommend the Half-fare card or other discount card (like Jungfrau pass). The half-fare card is a bit of a pain as you have to get it scanned along with your ticket each time they check you for a ticket. I will say that the Half-fare card reduced our stress over taking trains since it brought the ticket into a reasonable price range. But you could accomplish that by committing to trains each day and using the Supersaver fares. If you are on a trip of a week or more where you are taking trains every day, it probably is worthwhile to get a pass.
Hope that is helpful. The SBB app is GREAT! There were multiple times where we were running for a train, jumped on the train, and THEN bought the ticket as the train was leaving the station.
Last modified on Nov 15, 2019 - 6:12 AM by Anna