Need help 4 day Swiss itinerary - Grindelwald (BO)

Need help 4 day Swiss itinerary - Grindelwald (BO)

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puneet478
puneet478
7 posts
new member
Mar 26, 2018 - 10:28 PM

Dear All,

I need your help to plan 4 day itinerary for part of our tour in Switzerland. I have got through a number of threads/forums but still very confused. Will really appreciate if you could provide personalized advice.

Group: Two adults + 1 child (3.5 yrs old)

Dates: Arrival in Geneva on evening of Apr 7, departure from Zurich on late evening on Apr 11 (4 days in total).

Accommodation/Base: Grindelwald for entire duration (booked, can't change), planning to buy Swiss travel pass for 4 days.

High level plan: Day 2/3 could be switched according to weather (giving preference to Jungfrau)

Day 0 (Apr 7): Overnight stay in Geneva

Day 1 (Apr 8): Early morning train from Geneva to Grindelwald via Golder Pass (Geneva -> Montreux -> Zweisimmen -> Interlaken -> Grindelwald). We will stopping in between . Rest of the day at Grindelwald.

Day 2(Apr 9): Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch (via Kleine Scheidegg), back via Wengen (via Kleine Scheidegg) or back to Grindelwald without visiting Wengen. Q(1): What is the best way back from Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald (via Wengen)?

Day 3(Apr 10): Grindelwald -> Interlaken Ost -> Schynige Platte -> Grütschalp -> Murren -> Wengen -> Grindelwald Q(2): Is it doable? If way too much, what to cut short?

Day 4(Apr 11): Grindelwald -> Lucerne -> Zurich (by 8:00 pm). Catch flight from Zurich at 10:00 pm. Q(3): How could I plan this day starting in Grindelwald and ending in Zurich? Which place can be covered on the way?

Any suggestions for activities for kids in general around Grindelwald? Any further suggestions with respect to what to do and what to skip will be really helpful.

Many thanks for your time.

Best Regards,

Puneet

rockoyster
rockoyster
3725 posts
expert
Mar 27, 2018 - 3:03 AM in reply to puneet478

Hello puneet and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

This www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfraujoch/gettingther e might help you work out your Jungfraujoch route.

Schynigge Platte will not be open at that time.

Have a look at the map you can download at www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity to see what routes are available to get from Grindelwald to Mürren but also read this thread www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/gondolarail-access-to-mountains-in-aprilmay-2018 for details of closures of some transport facilities.

A very nice circuit to do is Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp (cable car), Mürren (cogwheel train), Gimmelwald (cable car), Stechelberg (cable car), Lauterbrunnen (bus). From Mürren you can easily visit Schilthorn if you have time and the weather is good. In between Stechelberg and Lauterbrunnen the bus stops at the Trummelbach Falls. Well worth a look. All these places are searcheable on the MySwissAlps website.

From Grindelwald to Zurich first return to Interlaken then Golden Pass to Luzern then to Zurich. You can leave bags at Luzern Station (lockers) and do a tour of the city. Lots to see there.

puneet478
puneet478
7 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2018 - 10:41 PM

Dear RockOyster,

Thanks a million for the wonderful suggestions. Here is what looks like the final plan:

1) Train from Geneva to Grindelwald (Golden pass route)

2) Grindelwald to Jungfrau via KS and return via Wengen.

3) The circuit as per your suggestion.

4) Grindelwald to Zurich via Lucerne (about 3-4 hrs at Lucerne or whatever available time).

Could I ask you two more questions pls?

(i) Could I squeeze any boar trip (perhaps on Day 1) or Grindelwald to FIRST walk in this itinerary?

(ii) I know there is no direct answer to this but from experience (if I stick to the above plan), do you think I will be better off with Half fare card (CHF 240 for 2 adults) or Swiss pass for 4 days (costing CHF 540 for 2 adults) or 1 day saver pass - www.sbb.ch/en/buying/p ages/kontingent/kontin gent.xhtml;jsessionid= 11E7A342DF091085386791 E9349E92DB? Strangely, I did not find many people talking about 1-day saver pass which seems to be a lot cheaper that other cards.

Thanks & Regards,

Puneet

rockoyster
rockoyster
3725 posts
expert
Mar 27, 2018 - 10:58 PM in reply to puneet478

Q1. I doubt Grindelwald to First will be walkable in early April. Boat trip could be problematic but you might fit a Lake Brienz trip (Interlaken to Brienz) into your trip to Luzern. Timetable is here www.bls.ch/-/media/bls/pdf/fahrpla ene/schiff/fahrplan-sommer-2018.pdf?la=en&vs=1.

Q2. You have to do the sums to work out if a Swiss Half Fare Card is better than a Swiss Travel Pass. I should tel you to read “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass), download the handy spreadsheet calculator and do the math.

But I would lean to Swiss Travel Pass just based on convenience and flexibility.

Saver Day Pass and 1- Day Pass are two separate products. For 1- Day Pass you need to already have a Swiss Half Fare Card. It is really designed for Swiss residents who by and large already have a domestic Half-fare card. Saver Day Pass can be by anyone but prices vary depending on when you buy it.

Hope that helps.

Last modified on Mar 27, 2018 - 11:00 PM by rockoyster
puneet478
puneet478
7 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2018 - 11:08 PM

Sorry, found the answer for the second question, so please ignore that. I will go ahead with half fare card with companion ticket (for my spouse) which will allow her to travel along for CHF 38.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3725 posts
expert
Mar 27, 2018 - 11:14 PM in reply to puneet478

Bad news puneet. I got this response from SBB when I asked if you could do that: "The companion ticket for CHF 38.00 is not valid in combination with the Swiss Travel Pass or any Swiss Travel System offers." That means tourist oriented passes and includes the Swiss Half-Fare Card.

puneet478
puneet478
7 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2018 - 11:35 PM

Dear RockOyster,

Is that a recent response? If yes, that strange as the website has the following for year 2018:

From 19 march to 6 May 2018, you can travel in twos at a special low price: with the companion ticket, you can travel throughout Switzerland for one whole day with someone holding:

a 1-day travelpass for the Half-Fare travelcard (including a 1-day travelpass for the Half-Fare travelcard for public transport employees),

a 1-month travelpass for the Half-Fare travelcard,

a saver Day Pass

a GA travelcard (including a GA travelcard for public transport employees)

As per above, even HFC is not mandatory (a saver day pass will do!)

Regards.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3725 posts
expert
Mar 28, 2018 - 2:16 AM in reply to puneet478

Yes. The response was on 22 March.

The Half-fare Travelcard (HFC) mentioned on the SBB site, and which you have highlighted above, is a domestic product available only to Swiss Residents - not for tourists.

I can only report what I was told by SBB. Feel free to contact them yourself to confirm whether the advice I got was correct.

You can by a Saver Day Pass with or without a HFC or SHFC. So you could theoretically buy a Saver Day Pass (which you can do even as a tourist) and a Companion Ticket for each day of your trip but the Saver Day Pass doesn't work too well in the mountains unless you also have a Swiss Half-fare Card.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 29, 2018 - 2:08 PM in reply to puneet478

Hi puneet,

>> You quoted the following from the SBB website:

From 19 march to 6 May 2018, you can travel in twos at a special low price: with the companion ticket, you can travel throughout Switzerland for one whole day with someone holding:

...

a 1-month travelpass for the Half-Fare travelcard

The way I read this is that you need BOTH a Half-Fare travelcard AND a 1-month travel pass for the Half-Fare travelcard.

The 1-month travel pass for the Half-Fare travelcard costs CHF 420 (second class).

Is that your understanding of it as well?

Alpenrose

Last modified on Mar 29, 2018 - 2:10 PM by Removed user
puneet478
puneet478
7 posts
new member
Mar 30, 2018 - 3:41 PM

Hi Alpenrose,

Hope you have been well. My understanding was that one take a companion (ticket costing CHF 38) along for a day one holds a HFC (costing CHF 120). RockOyster had a communication with SBB and it seems that HFC means the annual half fare card which only swiss residents are entitled to buy.

The half fare card (HFC) for tourist is called Swiss half fare card and I think the similarity in the name creates the confusion. Looks like tourists are not entitled to make use of companion ticket.

I have not personally checked with SBB folks though.

- Puneet

rockoyster
rockoyster
3725 posts
expert
Mar 30, 2018 - 9:18 PM in reply to puneet478

Hello Puneet,

Alpenrose is, as always, correct. Even with a HFC a Companion Ticket is not valid for a fellow traveller unless you also have a 1-day or 1-month Travel Pass in addition to the HFC. Fortunately, as a tourist, the complexities of the Swiss Pass system is not something you need to grapple with. 🤓

As I said above . . .

You can buy a Saver Day Pass with or without a HFC or SHFC. So you could theoretically buy a Saver Day Pass (which you can do even as a tourist) and a Companion Ticket for each day of your trip but the Saver Day Pass doesn't work too well in the mountains unless you also have a Swiss Half-fare Card.

puneet478
puneet478
7 posts
new member
Mar 30, 2018 - 9:25 PM

Hello RockOyster & Alpenrose,

Many thanks for taking time out and providing great advice, you guys rock!

So in summary, swiss half fare card + day saver pass + companion ticket shall do the trick when a lot of (non-mountain) travel is involved (Day 1 and 4 in my itinerary) and for the remaining (mountain days), Swiss HFC will reduce the prices to half. That's my best bet!

Really Appreciate all the help. Have a wonderful time!

Best Regards,

Puneet

rockoyster
rockoyster
3725 posts
expert
Mar 30, 2018 - 9:52 PM in reply to puneet478

Hi Puneet,

If you have done the sums and that’s your conclusion then that’s fine.

Not sure of your logic “swiss half fare card + day saver pass + companion ticket shall do the trick when a lot of (non-mountain) travel”. What is the half-fare Geneva - Grindelwald? Is it more than cost of SDP + CT?

But I’d be really surprised if the 4-day STP wasn’t your best bet - if not for price then definitely for convenience.

Last modified on Mar 30, 2018 - 9:56 PM by rockoyster
puneet478
puneet478
7 posts
new member
Apr 4, 2018 - 10:53 PM

Hi RockOyster,

I finally ended up buying 4-day STP as that was coming out to be cheaper and of course it is super convenient.

Many thanks for all the advice, looking forward to visiting this beautiful country.

Best Regards,

Puneet

rockoyster
rockoyster
3725 posts
expert
Apr 4, 2018 - 11:01 PM in reply to puneet478

Greetings Puneet,

You’re most welcome. Happy travels and be sure to let us know how your trip went and share a few photos. 😎

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