Train pass for Lucerne, Interlaken, Lausanne?

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jmurr
jmurr
15 posts
new member
Dec 3, 2017 - 6:18 AM

Would appreciate comments on my plan. We're a family with 2 teenagers. Have booked in Interlaken for Dec 30th, 31st and 1st Jan for New Year. Am leaving Colmar in Alsace 26th Dec and was going to stay in Basel for a few nights but have found appealing accommodation in France very nearby so could still explore Basel from there with less expense and we'll still have the rented car giving us also the opportunity to explore smaller villages. Am wondering about leaving the car in France ( maybe french side of the Basel airport) and then using the trains which are recommended so highly on this forum. So here's the choice I guess with where to next. Am thinking Basel to Lucerne for nights 28th and 29th as that sounds such an old appealing town and could provide family thrills with Mt Titlis. On the 30th, we'd catch the Golden Pass train to Interlaken. After our 3 nights there, we could train to Lausanne on the 2nd Jan or straight onto my friend's place near Geneva. A lovely central Lucerne hotel recommendation would be great too.

Also - train passes. Am leaving NZ in less than a week so little time for spreadsheets. Does the 8 day pass sound the best choice for all this? 4 day flexi ?? and not do the Mts from Lucerne so they'd not be train days? Am reading about having to reserve seats on the golden pass train - guess I'd have to have my pass first? Is that necessary on the Lucerne to Interlaken sector too?

THANKS Julia

Lucas
Lucas
9597 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 3, 2017 - 11:51 AM in reply to jmurr

Hu Julia,

Your itinerary looks fine to me! Without knowing your day to day travel (and using the spreadsheet) it is hard to recommend the best rail pass.

BUT If you are in Switzerland for 6-8 days (how long total, are you here for a few days after reaching Geneva?) and traveling every day by train, bus cable car etc. then I would just get the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass and be done with it. Plus if you order it today or tomorrow it can be emailed to you for printing at home (The Swiss Travel Pass Flex must be physically mailed to you).

The 4 day Swiss Travel Pass Flex works out ok if you have no more than 4 days during your stay in Switzerland of major trips/travel.
IE if you have 4 of your 8 days just using buses in a local town then you could pay for those separately and use the 4 days of the STP Flex pass on your mountain trips or city to city trips).

You do not need to reserve on the Golden Pass route no. The only section of the route we often recommend reserving on (optional anyway) are the panoramic trains between Zweisimmen and Montreux. If you do want to reserve you can do so here (link at bottom of page) and you do not need a rail pass before reserving.

jmurr
jmurr
15 posts
new member
Dec 5, 2017 - 5:02 AM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas

Am getting a bit bogged down in these passes and worked out that if I keep the car ( hired in Strasbourg) until the 3rd January and leave it at the French side of Geneva, I'll only pay Euro 340 more than the 5 day hire planned so am now even more confused. An 8 day pass for 2 adults and the 2 kids ( 17 and 19 yrs) would cost nearly Euro 1194 (!!). We'll actually be in France when I say at a friend's near Geneva and can use her car so in Switzerland it'd be entering on 28th Dec via Basel and getting to France on 2nd or 3rd Jan.

Wondering if we kept the car and got a 1/2 Fare card, that'd be useful for the trip to Mt Titlis when we're in Lucerne and the trip to Jungfrau which would be CHF 91.00 ( 136 with a STP which is quite a difference). However I don't know how much petrol costs/ how difficult it is to find parking in Lucerne and Lausanne or how expensive it is and those intercity fares on the train are actually not the big costs as far as I can see. Also do road trips in Switzerland hide you in the tunnels so you can't see the lovely views or is this not much of a point of difference between trains and cars?

I do so appreciate your help and your patience with all these questions!

Julia

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Dec 5, 2017 - 9:04 AM

Hi Julia,

Perhaps this page 'Car versus Train' can help you to make a decision: www.myswissalps.com/ca rversustrain.

I personally find parking difficult in Switzerland. Your best bet are underground garages, but they're also the most expensive option.

I hope this helps.

jmurr
jmurr
15 posts
new member
Dec 5, 2017 - 9:19 AM in reply to Chantal

Thanks Chantal

I hadn't come across that page so yes it is helpful.

Lucas
Lucas
9597 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 6, 2017 - 7:26 AM in reply to jmurr

Hi Jmurr,

If you do rent a car still the Swiss Half Fare Card is still probably a good idea.

To do a comparison or rail passes (once you know all your trips you will be doing) use our page here on how to choose the best rail pass - with our helpful spreadsheet.

More about Swiss trains and rail passes

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