Need help to pick rail pass for Wengen & Luzern

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alister
alister
4 posts
new member
Apr 1, 2018 - 4:53 AM

Hi everyone,

First of all I want to say thanks for this website, for all the information collected here. I am visiting Switzerland in July this year, and I've been trying to use the website and spreadsheet to plan passes, but I am finding it pretty confusing. Especially since the passes are valid for different days. I went to Murren, Luzern and Mt Rigi by myself for a few days last year (no passes, all individual tickets), but this time I'm taking my wife on honeymoon.

Let me post my itinerary and ask for some advice as to which passes I should be considering:

  • Day 1: Flying into Zurich arriving at 3pm. Undecided whether to overnight in Zurich, Berne or go straight to Wengen.
  • Day 2: (If staying in Zurich or Berne) Train to Wengen, 3 nights booked at Wengen.
  • Day 3: Jungfraujoch if weather ok
  • Day 4: Hike around Wengen/Murren and/or Spiez/Brienz Lake cruise
  • Day 5: Wengen -> Luzern, 2 nights booked in Luzern.
  • Day 6: Mt Rigi/Pilatus
  • Day 7: Bernina Express + train to Como (does that link?), overnight in Como (somewhere on a lake)
  • Day 8: Como -> Florence

Questions:

Am I correct in thinking that the Jungfrau pass, the Bernese-Oberland pass and the Half Fare Card and Swiss Rail Pass are all options for the first 4 days, I just need to do the maths for them. Not sure if they can be combined though?

Is it worth it to consider the Tell-Pass for the last 2 days as well? Or is a better option to consider the Swiss Transfer Ticket with or without the Half Fare Card add on, which then affects the first 4 days' passes as well?

It's the differing lengths and regions of the passes that I'm finding it difficult to compare.

Thanks for helping with all my headspin!

A

rockoyster
rockoyster
4022 posts
expert
Apr 1, 2018 - 5:31 AM in reply to alister

Hello Alister,

I would get an 8-day Swiss Travel Pass for simplicity and convenience. But you've probably seen the regular advice about needing to do the sums based on you own particular itnerary. I'm supposed to say you should 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.

I'd go direct to Wengen rather than swapping hotels.

Day 7 is problematic unless you don't mind setting the alarm for pretty early and/or skipping breakfast. The Bernina Express (www.myswissalps.com/be rninaexpress) departs Chur at 8:32am. To make that connection by 10mins you would need to leave Luzern at 6:10am. For a more comfortable connection (and a quick brekkie in Chur) you would need to depart at 5:48. Use the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) to plan your travel. If you haven’t used it before it will pay to read the instructions on that page before delving into the timetable.

The Bernina Express will take you to Tirano then by bus to Lugano. Stay there overnight. It's on a lake. You can get a train from there to Florence.

If early mornings aren't your thing I can highly recommend the Gotthard Panorama Express (www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress) as a slow and relaxed way of getting from Lucerne to Lugano.

Have a happy honeymoon.

Last modified on Apr 1, 2018 - 6:00 AM by rockoyster
Lucas
Lucas
9609 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 1, 2018 - 6:25 AM in reply to alister

Hi Alister,

Without doing the math I too would lean to the Swiss Travel Pass. I like the regional passes when you are staying in one region for essentially the entire trip. I'd also consider not doing the Bernina Express and just taking the Gotthard Panorama Express to Lugano on your way south. The Bernina Express is doable but a long and early day!

alister
alister
4 posts
new member
Apr 2, 2018 - 1:20 AM

Thanks for your replies. I was originally afraid of the cost of the Swiss Travel Pass and wondered if I would be wasting days. But I'll compare others to the Swiss Travel Pass first then and see which comes out ahead.

Thanks for the tip about the Gotthard Express, I'll check that out!

alister
alister
4 posts
new member
Apr 3, 2018 - 4:35 AM

One further question: If I buy the Swiss Travel Pass and want to travel from Lugano to Florence on Day 8, how do I handle crossing over to Italy? Do I have to get off the train at the border and buy a ticket to keep going?

rockoyster
rockoyster
4022 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2018 - 4:43 AM in reply to alister

You can pick a train Lugano to Florence using the SBB Timetable (goo.gl/PXbqWw). A Swiss Travel Pass will cover you to the border at Chiasso. You will need a ticket and reservation from Chiasso to Florence. Just stay on the same train. If you buy the ticket from SBB you will need to nominate GA 2cl for the reduction within Switzerland. That's the domestic equivalent of the 2nd Class Swiss Travel Pass.

See www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/italy for more information and alternate ticket purchasing options.

alister
alister
4 posts
new member
Apr 3, 2018 - 4:52 AM

Thanks, that's very helpful!

rockoyster
rockoyster
4022 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2018 - 4:56 AM in reply to alister

Forgot to mention when I said if you buy from SBB I meant on-line or at Lugano station. But you may be better buying your Italian ticket early as the prices can rise closer to travel time.

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