Apr 7, 2013 - 11:40 AM
My girlfriend and I are heading to Switzerland from 18 to 22 May. I'm 26 (adult). She's 24 (youth). Our itinerary (with regards to transportation) is as follows. For all forms of transportation, we're planning to take 2nd class seats. We are basically contemplating whether to get the 4-day Swiss pass, the 1 month Half Fare Card, or simply just buying regular tickets as we travel.
1. Zurich airport - Zurich - Lucerne
2. Lucerne – Alpnachstad – Pilatus Kulm – Kriens – Lucerne ("Silver Round Trip" - i.e. Lucerne to Alpnachstad by train rather than boat. If I'm not wrong, this train ride is free if I hold a Swiss Pass, but the cogwheel up to Pilatus and gondola down to Kriens are half price?)
1. Lucerne - Interlaken
2. Funicular up to Harder Kulm and back down (half price with Swiss Pass?)
1. Interlaken - Lauterbrunnen - Grutschalp - Muuren - Schilthorn - Stechelberg - Lauterbrunnen - Interlaken
(From the Schilthorn website, seems like this is 124.60 CHF per adult and 38.50 with a Swiss Pass)
1. Interlaken - Jaufraujoch - Interlaken (via Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, KL Schneidegg)
(need your help on this one)
1. Interlaken West - Basel (I think this is about 58 CHF per adult and free with a Swiss Pass)
I tried hard to come up with my own calculations but I got stuck because I wasn't sure of the various discounts (most train rides are completely free if you have a Swiss pass, while others are 50% off, or even 25% to Jaufraujoch, etc). Can anyone help me with a breakdown of prices for the 3 options (regular tickets, 4-day Swiss Pass, 1 month Swiss Half Fare Card)? I read through some of the other threads and already got some very useful info, particularly from the moderators, Arno and Annika. If you guys can help me with this, I'd truly appreciate it. :-)
If we get the 4-day Swiss Pass, it looks like it's best that we both just count ourselves as adults and get the 15% discount for travelling together (Swiss Saver Pass). This seems to be cheaper (231 CHF x 2) compared to me buying the adult pass and my girlfriend getting the youth pass (272 + 202).
An unfortunate thing is that the Swiss Pass only covers 4 days. Our last day, where we take the train from Interlaken West to Basel, costs 58 CHF per adult, but free of charge if we hold the Swiss Pass. But since the pass only covers 4 days, it seems that we have to forfeit using the pass on this last day and waste 58 CHF per person. To be frank, we were both quite set on getting the Swiss Pass to begin with, but when we realized about this additional 58 CHF per person, it became a major turnoff and a main reason why we are contemplating just buying regular tickets or get the Half Fare Card (haven't researched much about that one). Also, we know there's this other pass called Swiss Flexi Pass, where you can select 5 days instead of 4 days, but the difference between a 5-day Flexi Pass and a 4-day Swiss Pass is more than 58 CHF per person so that's out of the question.
Also, for what it's worth. In Interlaken, our hotel is at Interlaken West, in the Unterseen area. I'm not sure if it makes a difference because I know the Swiss Pass also covers the short train or bus ride between Interlaken West - Interlaken Ost.
Thanks a lot for your help!