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Rail passes for 4 day visit to Switzerland

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127 posts
active member
Dec 21, 2015 - 1:54 PM


I and my wife will be travelling to Switzerland in mid-April for 5 days. I am from India but we will be first going to Paris and from Paris to Switzerland. An approx itinerary is as below :

  • Day 1 (18/4/2016, Mon) : Paris to Switzerland by TGV. Arrive by afternoon. Visit the Rhine Falls by late afternoon / early evening if possible.
  • Day 2 (19/4/2016, Tue) : Visit Interlaken and Jungfrauch
  • Day 3 (20/4/2016, Wed) : Visit Lucerne and Mt. Titlis
  • Day 4 (21/4/2016, Thu) : Either take a ride on the Glacier Pass or visit the Pilatus / Chateau de Montreaux
  • Day 5 (22/4/2016, Fri) : Yet unplanned but any suggestions are welcome for activity or visit.

Considering the above :

  1. What would be the best location to stay (have a tight budget), so that all these places can be covered at ease?
  2. Which would be the best rail pass to buy so that most or all of the transportation is FREE?
  3. Any other suggestions ?
16008 posts
expert &
Dec 22, 2015 - 7:56 AM

Hi sskundu, thanks for joining us,

As for your questions:

  1. There is not a single town that is convenient for all the places you mentioned. They're pretty much spread out across the country. I'm not sure what you mean by Glacier Pass. If it's the Glacier Express train ride: you can't do the entire 8 hour ride from one base town. Please see here for all the details.
  2. There is no pass offering all transportation for free, but the most comprehensive one is the Swiss Travel Pass. It offers a lot of free traveling, plus free museums entrance. If price is important, I'd recommend to first finalize your itinerary, and then pick the best pass as explained here. If you prick the Swiss Travel Pass, you would only need a ticket to Basel (Swiss border), as the pass covers the Swiss portion of the trip.
  3. If you're on a budget, I would recommend to stay in one town, e.g. Lucerne, or in or near Interlaken. Do day trips to nearby locations from there. The links provide ideas on what to do and where to stay. More tips regarding trip planning can be found on myswissalps.com/ plantrip/doityourself.

Please have a look at all the links, and let me know if this was helpful to finalize your plans.

Last modified on Dec 22, 2015 - 7:57 AM by Arno
127 posts
active member
Dec 22, 2015 - 10:31 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thanks for the reply. I am trying to come up with a more definite itinerary in next couple of days as I have to start making bookings by 1st-2nd week of Jan itself to get lower prices. As for now, I have a faint idea :

1. 18/4 - Paris to Basel (buy tickets) and Basel to Zurich (using Swiss Travel Pass for free)

2. 18/4 - Stay in Zurich for 1 day and visit the Rhine Falls by afternoon/evening and return

3. 19/4 & 20/4 - Leave for Lucerne and stay in or around Lucerne so that visiting Mt. Titlis and Jungfraucjoch on adjacent days becomes easier. (Lucerne to Engelberg using Swiss Travel Pass and then the cable cars for 50% off. Also from Lucerne to Interlaken using the Pass and the cogwheels at 25% off to Jungfraucjoch)

4. 21/4 - Take the Golden Pass route starting from Lucerne to Montreaux and visit some places in Montreaux (return to hotel by late evening)

5. 22/4 - Plan to do the Glacier Train this day but confused (see question below).


1. Does points (1),(2) & (3) above sound good ?

2. Is point (4) above OK to take the Golden Pass Panoramic train ?

3. How to plan the Glacier Train, point (5), if we are at Lucern ? We don't intend to cover the entire route from Zermatt to Chur or Davos but a substantial part of it with scenic views should be good enough.

Last modified on Dec 22, 2015 - 10:32 AM by sskundu
7202 posts
expert &
Dec 22, 2015 - 5:10 PM in reply to sskundu

Hello sskundu,

1./2. Although Lucerne is a wonderful town, it makes more sense to stay in or near Interlaken to save travel time. You can travel from Zurich to Interlaken on 19/4. Then do your trips to Titlis, Jungfraujoch and Montreux from there. Please check the timetable to compare traveling times from Lucerne and Interlaken.

3. If you just do the part from Brig to Chur you'd be able to make it in one day from either Lucerne or Interlaken. It will be a very long day, but it's possible. Again, details can be found in the timetable.

Last modified on Dec 22, 2015 - 5:11 PM by Annika
127 posts
active member
Dec 22, 2015 - 5:50 PM

Thank you Annika. I was just writing up an itinerary considering we stay at Lucerne (Paris to Basel with full ticket ; Basel to Lucerne for free). Will complete the write up and post it here to get it reviewed by you once. It might be hectic but I think we should be up for it. :-)

7567 posts
Dec 25, 2015 - 2:17 AM in reply to sskundu

Hi sskundu-

It is tough to cover the Jungfrau region while staying in Luzern.

Annika has made a good suggestion - stay nar the Jungfrau.

By the way, there is no such place as "Jungfrauch." Perhaps you mean Jungfraujoch?



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