Rail pass for 6 wks in Swiss & other countries

Rail pass for 6 wks in Swiss & other countries

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Sweber
Sweber
4 posts
new member
Oct 27, 2016 - 4:25 AM

I'm from the US, coming to Switzerland for 6 weeks starting mid December 2016.I'd like to not schedule a bunch of trips in advance but would rather be spontaneous with travel. I want to travel around Switzerland and other countries. What's the best pass or combination of rail passes to purchase? Because of the extended stay, I want to save as much as I can on travel so I can see and do more. My base of operations will be Biel/Bienne and I'll probably fly in/out of Geneva. I'm not a skier but would like to see the winter Alpine sights. - Thank you.

Arno
Arno
11160 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 27, 2016 - 7:00 AM

Hi Sweber,

Welcome to MySwissAlps! Six weeks allows to see a lot, that is great. I understand you can't fix your entire itinerary in advance, however to pick a rail pass we need a bit more details. If you travel a lot, a Eurail Pass might be the best choice, perhaps combined with a Swiss Half Fare Card if you plan to do a lot of trips in Switzerland not covered by Eurail. If you focus on Switzerland and only do a few side trips to other other countries, multiple Swiss Travel Passes and point to point tickets to those countries may work. It all depends.

Also the 15-day Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi might be an option. This product will be discontinued in 2017, but as you start using it in December you can still take advantage of it.

Last modified on Oct 27, 2016 - 7:03 AM by Arno
Sweber
Sweber
4 posts
new member
Oct 27, 2016 - 9:03 AM in reply to Arno

I'd like to get out and go all over, not just Switzerland. I'm from the Western US so 4 hours doesn't get me out of my state (but ironically gets me almost to Calgary, Canada). But to have all sorts of options of places and countries to go to would be something I want to take advantage of.

So what will they replace the Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi with? Will it not be accepted in 2017 or if you've started it in 2016 you can keep using it until the 15 days are complete?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5007 posts
expert
Oct 28, 2016 - 1:40 AM in reply to Sweber

Hi Sweber-

Biel/Bienne has a nice (small) old town. Check it out while you are there.

Apart from traveling around and looking around, do you have specific interests? If , so, it may help point you toward some destinations within Switzerland.

You will be traveling at a time when much of the outdoors is inhospitable (unless you like to ski ...and you don't).

Do you speak any German or French?

Slowpoke

Sweber
Sweber
4 posts
new member
Oct 28, 2016 - 2:44 AM in reply to Slowpoke

I don't have time to plan anything so that's why I want a flexible train pass so that when I get there I can decide what I want to do. My question remains regarding the Swiss Travel Pass Flex and and Combi. - If they are getting rid of the Swiss Travel pass Flex Combi, what will they replace it with? Will it not be accepted in 2017 or if you've started using it in 2016 can one keep using it until the 15 days are complete?

I have a friend in Switzerland so they are making recommendations for me. However, they don't travel by rail so they don't know details such as what I'm inquiring about here.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5007 posts
expert
Oct 28, 2016 - 8:26 AM in reply to Sweber

Hi Sweber -

<<"Will it not be accepted in 2017 or if you've started using it in 2016 can one keep using it until the 15 days are complete?">>

Arno and Annika are the experts on rail passes.

Please reads his post on this point earlier in the thread.

Do you have any special interests .....museums, old cities, Alpine views? Do you speak or read any French, German or Italian?

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
11160 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 28, 2016 - 9:32 AM in reply to Sweber

As long as the various retailers sell you the Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi, you can use it for the entire month, even into 2017. It wouldn't be fair otherwise! The replacement is a "regular" Swiss Travel Pass Flex plus a separate Swiss Half Fare Card, which is CHF 60 more expensive. But it has the benefit of getting discounts for a whole month, and not just between the first and last free travel day. The two separate passes may fit your requirements better as you're not sure yet about your itinerary.

Another option is just buying the Swiss Half Fare Card. For long trips you can always get a 1-day travel pass as an add-on to the Swiss Half Fare Card. This is more expensive than a travel day on a 15-day Swiss Travel Pass Flex though: CHF 73 versus CHF 36.

The links provide lots of details about the various passes.

Last modified on Oct 28, 2016 - 9:33 AM by Arno
Sweber
Sweber
4 posts
new member
Oct 30, 2016 - 11:47 PM in reply to Arno

Thank you for the information. You've answered my questions.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5007 posts
expert
Oct 31, 2016 - 12:56 AM in reply to Sweber

<<"Thank you for the information. You've answered my questions.">>

Good to hear that you got what you wanted.

Slowpoke

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