Italy-Switzerland rail pass including cable cars

Italy-Switzerland rail pass including cable cars

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Matt123
Matt123
3 posts
new member
Jun 6, 2017 - 1:49 PM

Hello,

My wife and I will be visiting Europe in 2 weeks and trying to find the best rail pass for our time in Italy and Switzerland. Ideally we would like something that gets us free cable car travel to Grindelwald, and discounted Jungfraujoch tickets, whilst still allowing us to visit Oeschinensee, and travel between Zurich-Wengen for our arrival/departure. The Bernese Overland pass looked promising but it doesn't get us from Zurich-Wengen and back again (which constitutes 2 out four 5 travel days). I was thinking it might be good to get the Bernese Oberland pass for the 3 days we plan to spend in that region (and just get a two-country Eurail Pass to cover the return zurich-wengen trip as well as our time in Italy) but unfortunately the pass is a minimum of 4 days (and we would only need 3 days)

Our itinerary for our 5 days in Switzerland is as follows:

  1. Train from Zurich airport to Wengen.
  2. Cable cars from Wengen-Mannlichen, then Mannlichen-Grindelwald, then Grindelwald-First. After spending the day at First, we plan to get the cable car back down to Pfingstegg, ride the summer Toboggan a few times and then head back to Wengen - if we are on time to catch the cable cars back to Wengen we'll do that, but if we end up spending longer at Pfingstegg and miss the last cable car from Grindelwald (which I believe leaves at around 5.30pm) then we will catch the train from Grindelwald back to Wengen.
  3. Train from Wengen to Oeschinensee and back again.
  4. Train from Wengen to Jungfraujoch and back again.
  5. Train from Wengen to Zurich airport.

Our train itinerary for Italy is as follows:

  1. Train from Venice to Florence (stay in Florence for a few days)
  2. Train from Florence to Manarola (stay in Manarola for a few days)
  3. Train from Manarola to Monterosso (and then hike back to Manarola)
  4. Train from Manarola to Milan (to catch flight to return home)

Based on the travel itinerary listed above would somebody be able to suggest the best travel pass (or combination of travel passes) for my wife and I? Taking into account value for money as well as convenience of having a pass, I don't mind paying a little extra to have the convenience of a pass. PS: I am 30 years old and my wife is 27 years old - I'm aware that some passes are discounted for those younger than 27 years old.

Lucas
Lucas
3096 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 7, 2017 - 6:27 AM in reply to Matt123

Hi Matt123 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Unfortunately there is not a perfect rail pass for everyone's itinerary - tempting thought though!

My first recommendation is always for people to do the math on the various rail passes and point to point tickets and compare them - our page "How to choose the best rail pass" has an excel sheet and information to help you do this. This is the only way to know 100% which is best economically.

The only pass that covers your entire route in Switzerland is the Swiss Travel Pass but it is not available for 5 days. (4 or 8 would be options for you). Even the 8 day may be a good option for you depending on the prices of point to point tickets (I know psychologically it seems wasteful to get an 8 day pass - but it really depends on total ticket costs)

In Italy, you should also look at the train costs of your 4 trips (sometimes great deals can be had) before you look at a 2 country Eurail Select Pass (as it's benefits in Switzerland aren't as good as the Swiss rail passes).

In the end, A Eurail Select Pass for Italy and Switzerland combined with the Swiss Half Fare Card may be your best option - on routes not covered in Switzerland with the Eurail Select Pass (gondolas etc.) you can get 50% off the ticket with the Swiss Half Fare Card.

I hope this helps with your decision! You can see PDF maps for each rail pass on what they cover on each link above.

Lucas

Last modified on Jun 7, 2017 - 6:27 AM by Lucas
Matt123
Matt123
3 posts
new member
Jun 7, 2017 - 12:58 PM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas,

I thoroughly appreciate your help. I did the math and ends up best to buy the 4-day Bernese Oberland pass and a 6-day Eurail pass. The Excel document was very useful!

Just one last question, does the Bernese Oberland pass get a 50% discount from Wengen to Jungfraujoch, or just a 25% discount? I've come across some conflicting information.

Matt

Arno
Arno
9571 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 7, 2017 - 6:40 PM in reply to Matt123

Hi Matt,

It's free to Kleine Scheidegg and 25% off from there: myswissalps.com/region alpassberneseoberland/ validity.

Matt123
Matt123
3 posts
new member
Jun 8, 2017 - 11:31 AM

Thanks Arno,

Do you know if the Bernese Overland regional pass is available to purchase and display in the SBB mobile app? Or is it possible to purchase and print at home? Or is it best to buy at airport or train station? I'm just trying to take every measure to avoid potential long lines to buy the pass while at the airport.

Arno
Arno
9571 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 8, 2017 - 8:22 PM in reply to Matt123

You're welcome! Purchase options are listed on the page I linked to if you click to the Price tab. It can't be purchased in the app.

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