Swiss rail pass options 1 week with teenagers

Swiss rail pass options 1 week with teenagers

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jmurr
jmurr
15 posts
new member
Oct 22, 2017 - 4:15 AM

Hi. I am planning on coming to Switzerland for 1 week from December 26th and will enter via Basel in a rented car from France. I'd like to leave the car there and continue via train to Bern, Interlaken, Lausanne and then Geneva. I am with my 17 and 19 yr old sons and have not yet got a definite itinerary but perhaps a day or 2 in Bern and then 3-4 days in Interlaken with a trip to Jungfrau. I'm a bit confused with the rail passes but is someone able to give me a steer from my details above as to whether a half-price card or a swiss travel pass would be better and do I need to buy 3 ? Thanks in advance Julia

Removed user
Removed user
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new member
Oct 22, 2017 - 7:01 AM in reply to jmurr

Hi Julia,

You won't know which pass is most economical until you have a more detailed itinerary, and know what trains, buses, boats and cable cars you are likely to take. The only way to know for sure is to add up the full-fare cost for all those trips and compare that with the cost of the same itinerary using a Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card.

There is information here to assist you with that task:

www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass

If you can't be bothered doing that, and will be out and about every day on public transport, an 8-day Swiss Travel Pass would probably suit you. You would need a Swiss Travel Pass for yourself and a Swiss Travel Pass Youth (discounted) for each of your sons. If you end up choosing a Swiss Half Fare Card, each of you will need one (all at the same price).

Alpenrose

Last modified on Oct 22, 2017 - 7:10 AM by Lucas
jmurr
jmurr
15 posts
new member
Oct 22, 2017 - 11:43 PM in reply to Removed user

Thank you so much. I'm not an itinerary type person and often work it out once we're there so thanks for the advice. Julia

Removed user
Removed user
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Oct 23, 2017 - 7:00 AM in reply to jmurr

>> I'm not an itinerary type person and often work it out once we're there

A Swiss Travel Pass would give you the ultimate flexibility with that approach. You can download a map from the link below, showing what is covered by the Swiss Travel Pass.

As explained in the legend on the map, red lines are trains, yellow lines are buses, black lines are cable cars, white lines are boats. Solid lines are free, dotted lines are discounted. Discounts are mostly 50%, but only 25% for transport where you see the number "1" inside circle near the dotted line. There are a few grey lines on the map as well, which indicate transport that is not covered by the Swiss Travel Pass. Dashed red lines on the map are railway tunnels, and are on routes that are free with the Swiss Travel Pass.

www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity

Just be aware that from a few days before Christmas until the end of the first week in January is a school holiday period all over Switzerland, and the period from 26 December onwards in particular will be a peak season in the alpine resorts. I wouldn't leave it too late to book accommodation if you plan on staying anywhere in the alps. The alps also have a lot of regular visitors, both skiers and non-skiers, who go back every year, and book their accommodation a year in advance.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Oct 23, 2017 - 7:02 AM by Removed user
jmurr
jmurr
15 posts
new member
Oct 23, 2017 - 7:14 AM in reply to Removed user

Thanks for all that wonderful detail. Good to know about the holiday time too. We kiwis aren't so used to crowds and having to book places months in advance is hard. I looked briefly at the hostels as thought the boys might like to mix with other over billiards but the prices seemed quite high so I left my search a bit dejected! Julia

Lucas
Lucas
8092 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 23, 2017 - 8:42 AM in reply to jmurr

Hi Julia,

We have a couple options to help your search for accommodation.
Our hostel page lists some options for searching as well - they would be the least expensive options for you - Switzerland is very expensive. Here is also some tips on how to save money here.


Removed user
Removed user
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Oct 23, 2017 - 9:06 AM in reply to jmurr

>> I looked briefly at the hostels as thought the boys might like to mix with other over billiards but the prices seemed quite high so I left my search a bit dejected!

Yes, Switzerland is expensive compared with neighbouring European countries, but for Australians it's pretty much on a par with what we pay here for accommodation, and food is often a bit cheaper in Switzerland. I don't know how NZ compares.

I have stayed in youth hostels in Saas-Fee, Locarno, St Moritz and Scuol. The one in Saas-Fee was outstanding, those in St Moritz and Scuol were excellent, and the one in Locarno was not bad. The common facilities are excellent. The bedrooms are basically furnished (as you would expect in a hostel), but comfortable, clean and well-maintained. If you have your meals there, they are a bargain (cafeteria standard, 3 courses, usually a choice of 2-3 mains including a vegetarian option), but that means being back in the hostel by about 6pm of an evening, and you have to pre-book your meal by a certain time in the afternoon at the latest. Breakfast buffets are substantial and included in the overnight tariff.

If you are interested, I have posted pictures of the hostels in Saas-Fee and Scuol in previous messages:

Scuol Youth Hostel - my post of Jul 11, 2017 - 2:31 AM on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/base-for-hiking-in-lower-engadine

Saas-Fee Youth Hostel - my post of Oct 5, 2017 - 2:13 AM on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/lucerne-as-base-for-mountain-excursions-and-hiking

There are also photos of St Moritz Youth Hostel attached below.

I assume you have already found the youth hostel site:

www.youthhostel.ch/en/ hostels

Alpenrose

Last modified on Oct 23, 2017 - 9:10 AM by Removed user
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jmurr
jmurr
15 posts
new member
Oct 24, 2017 - 7:33 AM in reply to Removed user

Very helpful. Thanks very much. Julia

jmurr
jmurr
15 posts
new member
Oct 24, 2017 - 7:35 AM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas. I'm having a good look around those sites. Julia

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