Is the Swiss Travel Pass worth the price?

Is the Swiss Travel Pass worth the price?

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ss2k2016
ss2k2016
8 posts
new member
Jul 1, 2017 - 8:54 AM

My wife and I are travelling to Germany and Switzerland from 31 Aug to 16 Sep. We will be in Switzerland from 6 to 16 Sep (10 days).

Since there isn't a 10-day Swiss Travel Pass, we are thinking of getting the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass 2nd Class. We love the idea that we don't have to buy tickets with the Swiss Travel Pass. It would be a hassle to carry coins for ticket machines, or queue at the ticket counter. Even buying tickets via the SBB app by credit card may require us to have our home SIM card in the phone for the two-factor authentication. So the Swiss Travel Pass is a great idea.

However, it is also rather costly. So, we would like to know if it's worth the cost based on our itinerary. We hope that you could advise us please.

Here is our travel itinerary, and questions.

6 Sep: Leave Munich and arrive in Ameron Hotel Floral Luzerne. For travel today, we will likely walk around or just buy single tickets.

7 Sep: START OF THE 8-DAY PASS.

7 Sep: Golden Roundtrip to Pilatus. Does the Swiss Travel Pass (STP) cover this entire trip up to Pilatus? I read somewhere that we still have to pay for some rides along the route even with STP?

8 Sep: Free and easy around Lucerne. What's a typical cost of public transport for a free-and-easy day around Lucerne. We are staying at the Ameron Hotel Floral.

9 Sep: Leave from Luzerne Bhf to Interlaken Ost Bhf by IR. Does the STP cover IR? What's a typical cost of public transport for a free-and-easy day around Interlaken. We are staying at the Hotel Interlaken at Hoheweg 74.

10 Sep: Travel from Hotel Interlaken Hoheweg 74 to Harder Klum. Does the STP cover the whole trip?

11 Sep: from Hotel Interlaken Hoheweg 74 to Mt Jungfraujoch. I understand there is entrance fee? But we get to buy the tickets at half price or 25%?

12 Sep: Leave from Interlaken Ost Bhf to Geneva Bhf via ICE and IR, then free and easy for the day. Does the STP cover the ICE trip? Or do we just get a discount off the ICE tickets?

13 Sep: Go from Hotel Suisse10 Place Cornavin to Calvin College and Cathedrale de St Pierre. What would the typical travel cost like?

14 Sep: from Hotel Suisse10 Place Cornavin to MIR. Does the STP cover the entrance fee to the museum? We will also be visiting the the Flower Clock dome. In the evening, we will take ICE and IR from Geneva to Zurich. I hope the STP cover all these trips.

15 Sep: 5 AM END OF 8-DAY PASS

15 Sep: from Novotel Zurich Airport Hotel Lindbergh Opfikon to Swiss National Museum, Grossmunster Church, and Zwingli Monument. For this day, I'll have to buy single ticket. Is there a Day ticket that is more worthwhile to buy?

16 Sep: 9 AM leave for home (buy single tickets)

Finally, is the SBB mobile app related to Swiss Railways? Is the Swiss Travel Pass a e-ticket that I could download into the SBB app?

Thanks!

Arno
Arno
10361 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 1, 2017 - 9:24 AM

Welcome to MySwissAlps ss2k2016!

Whether or not the Swiss Travel Pass is worth it can be calculated as explained here. Please see myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass/ validity, particularly the map, for what's included in the Swiss Travel Pass. The type is train is not relevant, only the route is. The Pilatus trip is entirely free. See the Details tab for a link to the museums website where you can find all included museums.

There is no entrance fee to Jungfraujoch, you only need a train ticket.

Typical transport costs are hard to give as it all depends on what you plan to do and whether you'd like to walk instead. Most Swiss towns are easily navigated on foot, including Lucerne and Interlaken. If you need urban transport it is all included in the Swiss Travel Pass. There is not much to see with Interlaken by the way. The surrounding area is wonderful though.

For Zurich you can either buy a 24 hour pass or a Zurich Card which also includes museums.

You can't import the Swiss Travel Pass in the SBB app. You will need to print the pass once you've purchased from any of the websites listed here, and you can use the app to lookup schedules. Or you can use the online version of the timetable. SBB is the biggest public transport company in Switzerland, but by no means the only one. Their timetable does show all public transport though, regardless of who's the operator.

I hope this helps you out!

ss2k2016
ss2k2016
8 posts
new member
Jul 1, 2017 - 1:49 PM

Thanks a lot Arno! Will check up the various links!

ss2k2016
ss2k2016
8 posts
new member
Jul 2, 2017 - 7:12 AM

Arno,

The Excel spreadsheet for comparing the cost of travel between full fare tickets, Swiss Travel Pass (STP) and Swiss Half Fare (SHF) card was very useful. Thanks for making it available.

The tricky thing now is identifying which trip is covered by the passes. Could you help to eyeball the costs in the attached file? I've followed the instructions but wasn't sure on some points. I've highlighted in yellow the cells in the attached file that I need help with. I'll also list them here for easy reference:

For Swiss Travel Pass (STP)

1) From Ameron Hotel Floral to Mt Pilatus: CHF72 per pax. I put 50% for STP.

2) From Hotel Interlaken to Harder Kulm via funicular train: CHF32 per pax. I put 50% for STP.

3) From Hotel Interlaken to Jungfraujoch: CHF210.80 per pax. I put 50% for STP.

For Swiss Half Fare Card (SHF)

1) From Ameron Hotel Floral to Lake Lucerne: CHF5 per pax. I put 50% for SHP but I suspect I would not get any discount because of minimum fare?

2) From Novotel Zurich Airport Messe to Swiss National Museum, Grossmunster Church, Ulrich Zwingli Monument (Zurich Card): CHF24. I put 0% for STP as this is on the 9th day. I also put 0% for SHP, assuming that the SHP does not apply to the Zurich Card.

As for the rest of the trips between cantons (Lucerne-Interlaken; Interlaken-Geneva; Geneva-Zurich) and travel within each of these cantons, I have put 100% for STP and 50% for SHP. If I got it right, it looks like the SHP is a better deal.

Full fare: CHF559.90 per pax

Swiss Travel Pass: CHF560.50

Swiss Half Fare: CHF411.95.

Looking forward to your reply!

Thanks!

Christopher

Please login to see the attached documents
ss2k2016
ss2k2016
8 posts
new member
Jul 2, 2017 - 7:14 AM

If you could help adjust the percentages in the file and attach it in your reply, I would be very grateful. Thanks!

Annika
Annika
4924 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 2, 2017 - 6:20 PM

Hi Christopher,

Great that you've been doing such comprehensive calculations. That's the best way to find out which pass fits your needs. As for how to find the coverage for each excursion: the downloadable coverage maps and lists of discounted attractions on myswissalps.com/swisst ravelpass/validity and myswissalps.com/swissh alffarecard/validity should help you answers these questions. In short:

  • Pilatus is fully covered by the Swiss Travel Pass, so the 50% reduction in your Excel isn't right. Please see myswissalps.com/pilatu s/tickets as well;
  • the Jungfraujoch journey has to be split in two legs: the first to and from Wengen/Grindelwald is 100% covered by your STP, the second between Wengen/Grindelwald and Jungfraujoch is 25% discounted.
  • I see that you didn't enter any costs for a boat ride on Lake Lucerne on day 2. Is that correct? Do you just want to get to the shores of Lake Lucerne and won't you be making any boat ride? If you do, you should add those costs with 100% STP coverage and 50% Swiss Half Fare Card coverage;
  • correct, the ZurichCard won't be discounted with a Swiss Half Fare Card.

I hope this helps you to the last numbers right!

ss2k2016
ss2k2016
8 posts
new member
Jul 9, 2017 - 4:16 AM in reply to Annika

Thanks Annika!

"the Jungfraujoch journey has to be split in two legs: the first to and from Wengen/Grindelwald is 100% covered by your STP, the second between Wengen/Grindelwald and Jungfraujoch is 25% discounted." - In the case of the Swiss Half Fare Card, the entire journey is at half price, as I indicated in my spreadsheet? Did I get that right?

for the Harder Kulm trip, both the STP and SHF will get me 50% off, is that correct? I also heard that the Interlaken Hotel where we will be staying will also give us a bus card, presumably to travel for free around Interlaken?

I also heard that our Geneva hotel will give you a free transport pass which covers all public transport in the canton of Geneva. So neither the STP nor SHP would be needed?

Everything considered, it seems that the SHP is better for us? Would you think so too?

Lucas
Lucas
5656 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 9, 2017 - 9:25 AM in reply to ss2k2016

Hi Christopher,

Yes, if you are looking at the Swiss Half Fare Card then all trips are 50% off. You just split the cost to Jungfraujoch into 2 trips to get the correct price with the Swiss Travel Pass (as noted by Annika).
I think the confusion is you mentioned 50% off from your Interlaken hotel to Jungfraujoch with the STP (which isn't correct).

Yes, both passes offer 50% off to Harder Kulm. Your hotel may be able to give you a transit card - you would have to contact the hotel to be sure.

Also correct I believe, but you should contact the Geneva hotel to be sure.

Cheers!
Lucas

ss2k2016
ss2k2016
8 posts
new member
Jul 9, 2017 - 9:36 AM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas, Arno and Annika for your help. The spreadsheet was very useful. I've bought two Swiss Half Fare card for my wife and myself.

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