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Passes to get : Swiss Pass + Jungfrau Pass ?

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May 25, 2010 - 4:34 AM
Please advice me on the cost effective passes to get. 4 of us will be in Switzerland end-July to mid-Aug 2010 ~ 12 days. The outline are :

Day 1 : Lucerne (Mt Pilatus)
Day 2 : Lucerne (City)
Day 3 : Lucerne -> Lugano (William Tell route, but regular service boat/train, omitting reservations ).
We intend to visit Swiss Miniatur Park at Lugano
Day 4 : Lugano(by bus) -> Tirano (by Benina Express) -> St Moritz (Heidi's Wild flower ...)
Day 5 : St Moritz(Glacier Express) -> Zermatt
Day 6 : Zermatt ( Gornergrat Train )
Day 7 : Zermatt -> Andermatt
Day 8 : Andermatt (Romantic Route Express) -> Grindelwald
Day 9 : Grindelwald (First) -> Interlaken Ost ( Lake Cruise)
Day 10: Interlaken OST (Piz Gloria-Schilthorn, Launterbrunnen)
Day 11: Interlaken OST (Jungfraujoch)
Day 10: Interlaken OST -> via Zurich -> Paris
Day 11: Paris
Day 12: Paris -> Zurich

We(2 senior citizens, 2 adults) plan to go for 8Day Swiss (saver) pass - ~chf 319. This will cover us for Day1 to Day 8. Thereafter we have to get another pass

From Day8 onwards, we will be in Berner Oberland region. We intend to go for another Jungfrau Pass - chf 200 (adults). From Jungfraubahnen website http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-20/172_read-696 (offer from 1May - 31Oct 2010). It allows 6d consecutive unlimited free travel in many areas of inclusive are Schilthorn, First, Kleine Schediegg, Manlichen Gondola. EXCEPT need to pay for the part between Eigergletscher <->Jungfraujoch ( there is no explicit indication of the price).

I roughly est even with a Swiss Pass discount, one will need to pay additional chf 100+ for Jungfraujoch return tickets. Plus another chf 40 range for Schithorn. Plus alpine tickets for Romantic Route Express, G/First tarrifs. All easily amount up to chf 200 which justify for a Jungfrau Pass (as indicated).

Now I am not sure if my sums work out to be cost effective and serve their purpose ? Any opinions, inputs, counter suggestion ?

I have yet to work out the train trip from Interlaken OST -> Zurich -> Paris. Noon TGV to Paris is most economical (so far I reserached). Please advice the est price or solution. In Paris, my rough cue is the get "tickets of 10".

Any input will be appreciated. Have a nice day.
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May 25, 2010 - 9:08 AM
Hello - I'm sure the moderators will pop in with a more comprehensive answer, but I do have a couple of comments..

Just fyi, many of the "special" trains like the Bernina Express and Glacier express will require surcharges and/or reservations over and above your pass cost. The pass covers the main ticket price (the most expensive part) but you'll still be on the hook for the surcharge and reservation.

Regarding the jungfraujoch trip, they don't explicitly publish the fare for that last leg from what I can find, but it is the most expensive part of the trip. It's CHF109 for a return from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch, and CHF13 from Kleine Scheidegg to Eigergletscher, so I'm guessing the Eigergletscher<-> Jungfraujoch leg is about CHF97 return (though I think the pass entitles you to a discount?), but this is just a guess and I could be wrong. This, to me, makes the jungfrau pass less attractive, since it's only paying for the cheapest part of this trip, but you'd have to do the math on all the trips you expect to take to know for sure. The point to point tickets in and around Interlaken aren't all that expensive, and who knows - after all that running around you may take a day off! :-) It's hard to beat the convenience of just being able to "hop on" with a pass though.

You might also look at which "end" of your trip was more expensive - the inbound or the outbound. If the outbound trips to and from Paris were the most expensive, you could shift the pass to the END of the trip and pay for the cheaper tickets at the front - it depends on how you're getting to Lucerne. I was going to recommend a Swiss Card to get you in and out of the country, but I noticed at the end you're coming back to Zurich, presumably for your flight home (why not fly out of Paris?), so that probably won't work. If you have long trips outside the validity of your pass perhaps a half fare card (CHF99) could help defray the cost of those, but obviously it's only worth it if you buy more than CHF200 worth of tickets - it confers 50% off of the Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch excursions, so that's a good chunk right there. It might even make the jungfrau pass redundant.

You can look up the schedules and fares for any route in and around Switzerland at the swiss rail site - http://www.sbb.ch/en/ . I would figure out which days are most expensive and shift your 8 pass days to try to cover them.

Good luck!
15843 posts
expert &
May 25, 2010 - 2:26 PM

Hi libbis,

It's always quite a bit of comparing pass prices and ticket prices to get to the most convenient and economical solution.
These are the pass prices (per person):

As you see, a 15-day Swiss Saver Pass is only slightly more expensive than an 8-day Swiss Saver Pass. Therefor, buying a second pass for the remaining 6 days would be relatively expensive. It depends on ticket prices and the granted discounts per pass whether a second pass would still be worth considering. Ticket prices can be found here:I looked up the prices of 3 options for those last 6 days to cover. The routes may be slightly different from what you intend to do, as I am not sure of all details, but it should come close:

Day 9:
Grindelwald - Interlaken West (train): CHF 13.20
Interlaken West - Thun (boat): CHF 38.00
Thun - Grindelwald (train): CHF 26.00
Day 10:
Interlaken Ost - Mürren - Interlaken Ost (train): CHF 34.40
Mürren - Schilthorn - Mürren (gondola): CHF 71.40
Day 11:
Interlaken Ost - Jungfraujoch - Interlaken Ost (train): CHF 181.80
Day 12:
Interlaken Ost - Basel (train): CHF 55.00 (Traveling via Basel is the most direct route. Traveling via Zürich is more expensive. Trains to Paris depart from Basel.)
Day 14:
Basel - Zürich: CHF 31.00

This is CHF 450.80 in total.

If you would have a Swiss Saver Pass for those days as well, the costs would be:
Day 9:
Grindelwald - Interlaken West (train): free
Interlaken West - Thun (boat): free
Thun - Grindelwald (train): free
Day 10:
Interlaken Ost - Mürren - Interlaken Ost (train): free
Mürren - Schilthorn - Mürren (gondola): CHF 35.70
Day 11:
Interlaken Ost - Jungfraujoch - Interlaken Ost (train): CHF 111.75 (free to Wengen, then 25% discount)
Day 12:
Interlaken Ost - Basel (train): free
Day 14:
Basel - Zürich: free

The tickets would thus cost CHF 147.45. The price difference between an 8-day and 15-day Swiss Pass is CHF 67. The total is CHF 214.45.

Day 9:
Grindelwald - Interlaken West (train): CHF 2.20 (free to Interlaken Ost)
Interlaken West - Thun (boat): CHF 38.00
Thun - Grindelwald (train): CHF 14.80 (free from Interlaken Ost)
Day 10:
Interlaken Ost - Mürren - Interlaken Ost (train): free
Mürren - Schilthorn - Mürren (gondola): CHF 71.40 (not included as far as I know)
Day 11:
Interlaken Ost - Jungfraujoch - Interlaken Ost (train): CHF 48.00 (free to Eigergletscher, then 50% discount)
Day 12:
Interlaken Ost - Basel (train): CHF 55.00
Day 14:
Basel - Zürich: CHF 31.00

The tickets would thus cost CHF 260.40. The Jungfrau Railways Pass is CHF 200. The total is CHF 460.40.

As you see, using an extended Swiss Saver Pass would be the cheapest option by far. Another advantage is that you only need to pay from Basel for your tickets to Paris, instead of the full lap from Interlaken Ost.
Does this help you picking your passes?

Last modified on Dec 24, 2021 - 11:06 AM by Arno
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May 25, 2010 - 9:19 PM
Thank you all for your enthusiasm and time to work out those indepth analysis/breakdown. Really appreciate it :-)

There are few questions you counter and the returns are as below:
1. Must get back and fly off from Zurich becos of return flight tickets ;
2. For the Paris leg, I am under the impression (and queried Sbb/Eurail site) - return trip tickets is much cheaper then per-trip. Thus in the direction of Zurich<>Paris.

With all the advices, looks like a 15D swiss pass is more fruitful. With this option, the idea of a return trip between Basel <-> Paris also looks feasible. On returning the train from Basel to Zurich is still cover by the 15D Swiss Pass - hassel free and neat. A query on SBB returned the trip as ( Basel SBB <> Paris ). So I am not sure the TGV is from Basel-SBB or Basel station ?



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