Milan to Interlaken - seperate tickets?

Milan to Interlaken - seperate tickets?

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mhdluqman
mhdluqman
19 posts
new member
Mar 4, 2018 - 4:14 AM

Hello! I’m from Indonesia and this would be my first time travelling to Europe. I have some questions about travelling to Interlaken from Milan.

1. I understand that I need to buy tickets from Milan Central to Brig or Spiez. but I recently discovered that I can also buy ticket to Domodossola. Can I just buy ticket only to Domodossola and then buy another ticket to Interlaken? My last stop is Interlaken West.

2. I will only stay for 2 nights in Interlaken and since it’s outside my budget to visit Jungfrau and, are there any activities worth doing in Interlaken? I will be on Switzerland mid- late April.

3.I have only 32 hours effective time to enjoy Interlaken. I am deciding whether to buy Swiss Half Fare Card. Is it worth it? I mean I have so little time to enjoy Switzerland.

Thank you inadvance for answering my questions.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3711 posts
expert
Mar 4, 2018 - 4:50 AM in reply to mhdluqman

Hello mhdluqman and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

What a pity you have such a short time to see Switzerland.

You can buy a ticket from Milan to Interlaken. Use the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) to plan your travel. You will stay on the same train at Domodossola. If you have a Swiss Half-fare Card you would only have to pay half fare between Domodossola and Interlaken. But I doubt buying a half-fare card would be worth it. It costs CHF120 You need to buy at least CHF240 full-fare tickets to break even. You would have to do the sums based on your itinerary.

You can use the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) to work out the fares for any trip. When you go to buy a ticket the fare you see on the right hand side of the page will normally be the half-fare price. Double it to get full fare. With A Swiss Travel Pass it is free provided it is shown as free on the Area of Validity map ( PDF downloadable from www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity).

You should read “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass).

Another option which might save you money on train fares (but not up in the mountains) is the Saver Day Pass (www.myswissalps.com/on edaytravelpass/details).

From Interlaken the best thing to do, I think, is to head into the Jungfrau Region. You could go to Wengen or even to Schilthorn if the weather is good.

You don't say where you are going after Interlaken.

mhdluqman
mhdluqman
19 posts
new member
Mar 4, 2018 - 5:33 AM in reply to rockoyster

I will answer the last question first since it’s easier.

From Interlaken, I plan to go to Amsterdam cia Zurich because I want to see the Keukenhof.

The airport in Zurich is Zurich Flughafen, right? Because I was confused whether to buy ticket to Zurich HB or Flughafen. But many threads gere already said to buy ticket to Flughafen.

I think I will check oit the Save Day Pass as you siggested. Might be what I actually need during my stay in Switzerland.

But I want to confirm is, if I stay inside the train from Milan to Domodossola but my ticket is actually only from Milan to Domodossola, not to Interlaken West, am I going to be in troubke? Or can I just buy the ticket on the train?

I want to buy separate tickets from Milan - Domo and then Domo - Interlaken because it’s cheapest that ways.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3711 posts
expert
Mar 4, 2018 - 6:21 AM in reply to mhdluqman

Flughafen is what you need, indeed.

"But I want to confirm is, if I stay inside the train from Milan to Domodossola but my ticket is actually only from Milan to Domodossola, not to Interlaken West, am I going to be in troubke? Or can I just buy the ticket on the train?"

You can't buy a ticket on the train. So if you have a ticket Milan to Domodossola then:

If you have a Saver Day Pass you can just show that to the inspector between Domodossola and Interlaken West.

If you don't have a Saver Day Pass then you will either need to buy a ticket (which you can do on-line at SBB.CH) from Domodossola to Interlaken West. Or, which I wold suggest is not ideal, get off the train at Domodossola and buy a ticket there. You can actually buy a ticket from Milan to Interlaken West at SBB.CH but if you say it is cheaper buying two tickets I'll take your word for it.

For Interlaken to Zurich Flughafen the most scenic route is via Meiringen and Luzern on the Luzern to Interlaken Express. It departs Interlaken Ost.

If you don't mind taking a little longer can I suggest you travel Domodossola to Interlaken West via Kandersteg. It is a very scenic route and between Brig and Spiez you will travel on the Regio-Express Lötschberger train over the traditional, more than 100 year old mountain route, giving you a wonderful view along the impressive peaks and down into the Rhone Valley.

Lucas
Lucas
7222 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 4, 2018 - 6:56 AM in reply to mhdluqman

Hi mhdluqman,

You'll want to buy tickets ahead of time for both parts of the route. Most of the time you can't buy tickets on the train, and the few times you can they add a surcharge for the trouble so it is never cheaper for you.

You can buy tickets from Milan to Interlaken or to Domodossola here.
If needed you can buy tickets from Domodossola to Interlaken here.

mhdluqman
mhdluqman
19 posts
new member
Mar 4, 2018 - 7:36 AM in reply to rockoyster

Oh my god! thank you so much for this suggestion. I am very confused about the train system in Switzerland. I will try to google them all now.

Can I go ask you some more if I am stuck?

Thank you.

mhdluqman
mhdluqman
19 posts
new member
Mar 4, 2018 - 7:37 AM in reply to Lucas

Thank you so much for te info. I will look them up using your link now.

Thank you.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3711 posts
expert
Mar 4, 2018 - 9:38 AM in reply to mhdluqman

Of course.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4737 posts
expert
Mar 4, 2018 - 11:49 AM in reply to mhdluqman

Hi mhdlugman-

<<"I am very confused about the train system in Switzerland. I will try to google them all now.">>

Part of the confusion may be due to the fact that you are traveling in two countries. The train systems in Italy and Switzerland are coordinated for international travel, but the systems and procedures within the two countries are different.

Switzerland has a very dense and effective rail network, serving the long distance or international traveler, as well as local travelers for short trips. So, it has many , many options and variations. It can be confusing. Just keep asking. ;-)

And, once you are at Interlaken, the travel as far as Wengen is subsidized by the Swiss government (because it is between population centers), but the same train that goes to Wengen may go on to Kleine Scheiodegg, which is a mountain train or an excursion and much more expensive. All the those trains are owned by private companies.

Slowpoke

mhdluqman
mhdluqman
19 posts
new member
Mar 7, 2018 - 3:50 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Yes I think that's why it's confusing for me. The most complicated train system I've encountered so far was Japan train system. Even then it was pretty straight forward. I just need to purchase Japan Rail Pass and all the route covered by the JR company are covered, that includes high speed trains to all over Japan. so much easier than Switzerland :D

mhdluqman
mhdluqman
19 posts
new member
Mar 7, 2018 - 3:58 AM

I want to ask more questions :

1. I opened the SBB via web and application. But my date is not available for booking yet (22-24 Apr 2018) is it because the system can only book within 1 month from today's date or is it already fully booked? I am hoping for the former.

2. About the Saver Day Pass, it's 52 CHF for a day for unlimited train ride around Switzerland right? I just want to confirm because all I read is that the Saver Day Pass is the same as 1 Day Travel Pass without the mountain area transportations (scenic trains, cable cars, etc).

3. Swiss Half Fare : I am still confused about this card. I mean I know that if I buy this card, all the train tickets in Switzerland will be reduced 50%. But what I want to ask is, I have the impression that the 120 CHF is already in the card balance so I just need to tap out at the ticket machine until 120 CHF runs out (imagine Oyster card). Because like rockoyster said, I need to buy tickets as much as CHF 240 for the card to be break-even. Can somebody explain this?

Thank you.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3711 posts
expert
Mar 7, 2018 - 4:52 AM in reply to mhdluqman

Hello again mhdlugman,

Stay tuned and all will be revealed. The Swiss Travel Pass is probably the answer to the Japan's Rail Pass.

To answer your specific questions:

1. You can only buy tickets 30 days in advance using the SBB site or mobile app. On nearly all trains in Switzerland you don't need to book (as in reserve seats). You can buy tickets up to 5 minutes before you board. Tickets don't sell out. The only real exceptions are the major tourist attractions the Glacier and Bernina Express trains on which reservations are compulsory. Some regular trains will appear in the timetable with a letter "R" next to then. That means reservations are possible but in practice rarely needed or used. The timetable also shows a projection of how busy a train might be. 3 red figures indicates it is going to be crowded but this only usually happens in, around and between major cities at peak hours.

2. OK, so the 1 day Travel Pass is a supplement to the domestic Half-fare card (different from the Swiss Half-fare Card for tourists) which most Swiss people have already. So you can forget that. The Saver Day Pass you can buy with or without a Swiss Half-fare Card. The lowest prices are CHF29 (with) and CHF52 (without). If you have a SHFC then you get 50% discounts on the mountain railways and cable cars as well. You have to pay attention to get the cheapest price for the SDP. You can buy between 30 and 10 days before travel to stand the best chance.

3. The Swiss Half Fare Card is not actually a card - it is just a piece of paper and nothing at all like an Oyster Card. You buy one for CHF120 and carry it with you. When you buy individual tickets you pay the half price fare (the one that normally shows up first in the timetable search anyway). The only place the SHFC comes into play is that when an inspector on a train asks to see your ticket and you show him a half-fare ticket then you have to also show him your SHFC to prove you are eligible for the half-fare ticket. So once you have shelled out your initial CHF120 you have to buy CHF240 worth of full fare (ie CHF120 at half price) tickets to break even. That is to say if you buy CHF240 full fare tickets at half price then you effectively save CHF120 which JUST cancels out your initial CHF120 outlay on the SHFC. Once you reach that point all the additional tickets you buy you really are saving 50%. I can't see that for the length of your visit a SHFC would be cost effective especially when you consider a 3-day Swiss Travel Pass at CHF225 costs less then the SHFC break-even price.

See, it’s not that complicated. 🤓

And if you want super convenience the Swiss Travel Pass really is as simple as the Japanese one. With the STP you almost never have to buy another ticket.

But if you are still confused let us know.

Arno
Arno
10757 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 7, 2018 - 6:21 AM

Hi mhdluqman,

Rockoyster summed it up very well. The Swiss Travel Pass is as simple as the Japanase rail pass. It's what most tourists go for. Second choice is the Swiss Half Fare Card for people who do not travel that much and don't mind buying tickets for all their trips. If you allow me to simplify a bit: all the other options are an exception. Like if you would only travel in and around Tokyo, I'm sure there's a regional pass, and there are many options like that in Switzerland too. Also keep in mind that when you start searching you'll also run into various options that are only or mostly intended for locals (commuters, students, people doing a day trip). Note that the SBB website is primarily geared to locals, hence the many options you'll find there. No need to look into all that, but their timetable is a valuable resource to plan your trips.

Basically all you need is the Swiss Travel Pass. It includes all the trains in Switzerland. Excursions like mountain tops are discounted. You can buy and print it via several websites: www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price. Very easy. I just printed one myself yesterday.

To reach Switzerland you need a ticket from Milan to Domodossola (the border), as Rockoyster explained in his first post. Please see www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/italy/price for a list of easy to use ticket retailers. You simply stay seated in Domodossola as the rest of your trip is covered by the Swiss Travel Pass.

Happy travels!

Last modified on Mar 7, 2018 - 6:24 AM by Arno
mhdluqman
mhdluqman
19 posts
new member
Mar 8, 2018 - 2:31 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you so much for your explanation. Now I have at least a rudimentary understanding which is enough for me to survive Switzerland.

Yes, from reading about the travel passes, I understand that Swiss Travel Pass is mostly the same as Japan Rail Pass. The only downside is, my itinerary is already fixed and it will just be a waste of precious money to me. So my next choice was Swiss Half Fare, which I told you, I thought was an actual card. But then I found out that it is not.

Since you kindly mentioned Saver Day Pass, I realized that it is exactly what I need. I can only enjoy a full day in Interlaken area and the day I arrive from Milan. the next I have to go to Zurich to catch my flight to Amsterdam.

So just to be on the safe side, I want to confirm about SDP. If I buy it, I can use it to travel with trains, buses and boats for a full day, as long as I don't go to the mountain area, i.e. Jungfraujoch?

Thank you so much. This forum is really helpful.

mhdluqman
mhdluqman
19 posts
new member
Mar 8, 2018 - 2:37 AM in reply to Arno

Thank you so much Arno.

Yes, I realize that after reading about it again. But like I said to rockoyster, it is too costly for me for this trip since I can only enjoy roughly 48hrs and the least number of days available is 3-day pass.

But if I decide to go to Switzerland for longer time, I will surely get the Swiss Travel Pass.

I notice that there is a region pass for Jungfraujoch (3-day pass) which will cost me 180 CHF. But it is said "Available for traveling in summer (in 2018: May 5 to October 21). Please look into the Jungfrau Hiking and Sledging Pass if you will be traveling in the winter;" on the page. Does it mean that it is also availble in summer or is it only available in summer?

Thank you.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3711 posts
expert
Mar 8, 2018 - 3:02 AM in reply to mhdluqman

You wrote "So just to be on the safe side, I want to confirm about SDP. If I buy it, I can use it to travel with trains, buses and boats for a full day, as long as I don't go to the mountain area, i.e. Jungfraujoch?"

Yes, from Interlaken you can get as far as Wengen, Grindelwald and Mürren in the Jungfrau Region.

Lucas
Lucas
7222 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 8, 2018 - 8:15 AM in reply to mhdluqman

Hi mhdluqman,

The Jungfrau Travel Pass is only available from May 5 to October 21. If traveling outside those dates you could look at the Jungfrau Hiking & Sledging pass (slightly different). It is available until April 17. In your case you can't get either pass.

So you could stay with the Saver Day Pass (which is probably sufficient) or look at the Regional Pass - Bernese Oberland (available as of April 21).

mhdluqman
mhdluqman
19 posts
new member
Mar 9, 2018 - 7:46 AM

Hey Lucas,

Thank you for the information. After reviewing the Bernese Oberland Pass, I decide to take the Saver Day Pass. It is the only one with the right amount of cost & benefit. Thank you for your suggestion. I will definitely come back to Switzerland to enjoy it fully with all the pass it has to offer.

mhdluqman
mhdluqman
19 posts
new member
Mar 9, 2018 - 7:49 AM

Thank you guys so much for your information and suggestion.

For this 1st time trip I decided to just buy the Saver Day Pass just get me hassle free travel during that one day. The next time I am in Switzerland, I will try to stay at least 3 days to be able to enjoy more.

mhdluqman
mhdluqman
19 posts
new member
Mar 12, 2018 - 2:59 AM

Hello, I have one more question. Please bear with me.

About the Swiss Half Fare Card. I am travelling with my friends, so is it possible to buy just 1 Swiss Half Fare Card so we can all use it? Or do each of us need to buy 1?

Thank you.

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