Review of 14-day Swiss itinerary & rail passes

Review of 14-day Swiss itinerary & rail passes

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Simmy2018
Simmy2018
32 posts
active member
Feb 18, 2018 - 3:41 AM

Hi all

We are a group of 4 friends(in our fifties) who will be travelling to Switzerland for the first time fr 1/4/2018 - 14/4/2018, flying in to Zurich.

We have planned an itinerary (quite ambitious one I think), and would appreciate your advice and comments if it seems too much to handle !!! We would also appreciate for advice on the Swiss Travel Pass as we would like to buy from authorised seller which allows us to print from home and make reservation for the Glacier and Bernina Express. We intend to buy 2nd class and also reservation of seat for 2nd class for the 2 express trains. I have also highlighted the advice we need for the intermittent travels we have during the trip such as the coverage for the cogwheel train rides.

1/4/18 - Arrive Zurich at 6am. Take train to Zurich and store luggage at station. Join a day trip to Rhine Falls, then visit Bahnhofstrasse.

2/4/18 - Join Zurich Free Walk Tour of 1.5 hours and Chocolate & Sweets Walk Tour. Explore Altstadt & stroll along Lake Zurich.

3/4/18 - Train to Lucerne and DIY around places of interest in Lucerne (Europaplatz, Chapel Bridge, Old Corn Market, St. Peter's Church & Swan Square). Stay in Lucerne for 2 nights.

4/4/18 - Day trip to Mt Rigi - how do we get there? Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover this trip? Followed by Swiss Chocolate Adventure exhibition inside the Swiss Museum of Transport - can we make it in time before it close?

5/4/18 -Train from Lucerne to Interlaken. Followed by Day trip to Jungfrau "Top of Europe" - how do we get there? Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover this trip? Visit Jungfrau park and Unterseen. Stay in Interlaken for 3 nights

6/4/18 - Train fr Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen/Murren for day trip to Schilthorn Peak. Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover this trip? Walkabout Murren and hope to visit the revolving restaurant Piz Gloria. Visit Staubbach and Trummelbach Falls on the way down. Visit Grindelwald Village, Glacier Gorge then train back to Interlaken.

7/4/18 & 8/4/18 - Train to Bern for day trip on 7/4. Then train/move to Geneva on 8/4/18. Half day Tour of Geneva City & Boat Cruise, join guided tour of Old Town Geneva. Stay in Geneva for 2 nights

9/4/18 - From Geneva, train to Montreux to visit Chaplins World Museum & Chillon Castle. Can we use the Swiss Travel Pass to go all the way to the castle?

10/4/18 - Check out Geneva to Zermatt. visit Klein Matterhorn & Glacier Palace. Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover the travels to the mountain? Then visit Hinterdorf, Matterhorn Museum & Sunegga.

11/4/18 - Visit Gornergrat. Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover the cost of the train ride on Gornergrat rail? Besides Gornergrat, is there any place else to visit nearby?

12/4/18 - Check out Zermatt to St Moritz. We will take the Glacier Express departing Zermatt at 8.52am ( is this still correct?) Any advice on which side of the seat we should book on? Please advice if we can reserve the seats at the same website we book our Swiss Travel Pass and can we print our reservation at home? Upon arriving we plan to visit Leaning Tower of St Moritz & stroll around town

13/4/18 - Check out St. Moritz to Lugano. We will take the Bernina Express at 9.48am (is this still correct?) Any advice on which side of the seat we should book on? Please advice if we can reserve the seats at the same website we book our Swiss Travel Pass and can we print our reservation at home? Where can we buy the Bernina Express Bus Ticket to Lugano? Upon arriving we plan to visit Piazza della Riforma & Parco Civico.

14/4/18 - Take a Classic Tur Lugano-Gandria 1 hour boat ride. Visit the Lugano Market and Lake Lugano. Then take a train from Lugano to Zurich Airport.

Thank you once again and all advice is appreciated. Plse feel free to suggest places for visit as we like historical and cultural building and experiences.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3694 posts
expert
Feb 18, 2018 - 5:19 AM in reply to Simmy2018

Hello SImmy and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

That's a lot of questions right there.

I won't attempt to answer them all but will point you at some resources.

To work out where the Swiss Travel Pass is valid (free trips or discounts apply) use the downloadable map on this page www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity. Have a careful look at the map legend. Go to the Price tab to see where you can buy a pass for on-line delivery.

For Glacier Express (www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress) and Bernina Express (www.myswissalps.com/be rninaexpress) bookings (including the bus) see www.rhb.ch/en/home. You will find timetable information at www.rhb.ch/en/panorami c-trains/bernina-express#info. The 9:48 from St Moritz is NOT the actual Bernina Express. It is a local train which takes you to Pontresina in time to make a 10:22 connection with the real BEX from Chur to Tirano. Don't book on the 9:48 St Moritz to Tirano if you want the real Bernina Express. Book on the 10:22 from Pontresina to Tirano and hop a local train to Pontresina.

Get familiar with the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) and use it 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.

Your itinerary look quite doable. I would suggest you consider Montreux as a better base than Geneva. Consider Interlaken to Montreux on the Golden Pass Line (www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass).

On your Schilthorn (www.myswissalps.com/sc hilthorn) excursion a very nice circuit to do is to Grütschalp (cable car), Mürren (cogwheel train), Gimmelwald (cable car), Stechelberg (cable car), Lauterbrunnen (bus).

Similarly with Jungfraujoch (www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfraujoch) you can go up from Wengen and down via Grindewald.

Interlaken is not the most scenic place. You might want to think about staying in one of the villages like Lauterbrunnen or my favourite, Wengen.

See how you go with all that come back with further queries if you have them.

Last modified on Feb 18, 2018 - 5:40 AM by rockoyster
Simmy2018
Simmy2018
32 posts
active member
Feb 18, 2018 - 9:31 AM in reply to rockoyster

Dear rockoyster

TQ very much for your advice. The resources/links provided were very very helpful.

Can you clarify on the discount available to Swiss Travel Pass holders for Zermatt to Gornergrat(50%) & the Jungfraujoch (25%)? Does it mean we present the Swiss Travel Pass when buying at the counter? Can I buy it online? I also can't seem to be able to reach the "Online Ticket" site as when I press that button, I am directed to Jungfraujoch Packages & Tours?

Thank you once again for your very insightful advice.

Sim

Lucas
Lucas
7167 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 18, 2018 - 9:35 AM in reply to Simmy2018

Hi Simmy2018,

HappyRail can sell you a Swiss Travel Pass online as well as the reservations for both the Glacier Express and Bernina Express. When making reservations there, make sure you select "pass holder fare Glacier Express & Bernina Express" so you are just charged for the reservation only.

For details on what side of the train and other comments on the routes for the panoramic trains use these links: Glacier Express route / Bernina Express route.

For things to do around each town we list suggestions on the town pages here.

Let us know if you have further questions. :)

rockoyster
rockoyster
3694 posts
expert
Feb 18, 2018 - 9:39 AM in reply to Simmy2018

Hi Sim,

Yes Gornergrat is 50%, Jungfraujoch 25% discount (from Wengen or Grindelwald and free up to those places).

Buy the tickets when you know what the weather is like. No point going to Top of Europe if all you see is the inside of a cloud. No need to book ahead generally. You'll be fine buying on day of travel (which is the first time you'll know for sure what the fickle Swiss weather is going to do). Just go to the station and wave your STP to get the discount.

Happy travels.

Last modified on Feb 18, 2018 - 9:40 AM by rockoyster
Simmy2018
Simmy2018
32 posts
active member
Feb 18, 2018 - 9:44 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster

TQ for your advice on the weather. At least I don't need to worry of buying online now. We will buy from the Swiss Rail Ticket Office on our outing.

Can't wait for April to come!!!

Sim

Simmy2018
Simmy2018
32 posts
active member
Feb 18, 2018 - 11:43 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas

TQ for your links provided. HappyRail allows home printing and is also a little cheaper too yea!

When I make Glacier Express reservation, the charge is CHF32. Is that the correct fare for Swiss Travel Pass holders?

Thanks again for the information.

Sim

Lucas
Lucas
7167 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 18, 2018 - 5:27 PM in reply to Simmy2018

Yes, that is about correct - the price might fluctuate slightly from one site to another.

Simmy2018
Simmy2018
32 posts
active member
Feb 19, 2018 - 12:22 PM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas

I just did a booking for reservation for GEX. However there was no request during the submission of names and payment on the seat reservation?? How do I request for the seats that we want? Appreciate your assistance on this.

TQ

Sim

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Feb 19, 2018 - 12:47 PM in reply to Simmy2018

Hi Sim,

Then I'm afraid that something went wrong. Do you receive a confirmation email?

I just went to the website of HappyRail and was requested to provide all the details. Could you try again by using this link www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress/packages?

Let me know if you managed to make the reservation.

Simmy2018
Simmy2018
32 posts
active member
Feb 19, 2018 - 1:03 PM in reply to Chantal

Hi Chantal

I managed to make the 4 reservations at the Happy Rail website and also received the email from them. After I selected 4 reservation, I provided the details of the travellers, then I was asked to make payment and select mode of delivery. I did all the above. However there was no seat selection process so I do not know where we are seating ? and if there is a possibility for us to choose our seat??

Can you assist?

TQ, Sim

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Feb 19, 2018 - 3:40 PM in reply to Simmy2018

Hi Sim,

Unfortunately it is not possible to select your seat. You will find the coach and seat numbers on the confirmation email that you have received.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3694 posts
expert
Feb 19, 2018 - 8:52 PM in reply to Chantal

Wow! You can certainly pick seats here shop.glacierexpress.ch /gex_en.

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Feb 19, 2018 - 9:03 PM in reply to rockoyster

I saw that rockoyster. I'm not sure why it is not possible with Happy Rail.

Simmy2018
Simmy2018
32 posts
active member
Feb 19, 2018 - 10:03 PM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster

the website u refered requires both seat reservation and ticket.In my case we have decided to use STP. So I don’t think we can use this. Any thoughts on Bernina before I book my seat reservation?

Appreciate all assistance’.

TQ

Sim

rockoyster
rockoyster
3694 posts
expert
Feb 19, 2018 - 10:18 PM in reply to Simmy2018

The link I provided offers reservation only.

For BEX see www.rhb.ch/en/panorami c-trains/bernina-express#cart.

Simmy2018
Simmy2018
32 posts
active member
Feb 20, 2018 - 3:42 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster

Strange? When I opened the GEX website ( shop. glacierexpress. ch /gex_en), I got "Reservation and Train Ticket". I couldn't do Reservation only. I attached the screen shot.

This is for information only as Chantal has already confirmed that I couldn't choose my seat with Happy Rail. I hope we are given good seats. Still waiting for the email from Happy Rail on my Seat Reservation.

Cheers, Sim

Please login to see the attached documents
rockoyster
rockoyster
3694 posts
expert
Feb 20, 2018 - 4:09 AM in reply to Simmy2018

Hi Sim,

You gave up to soon. Don't believe everything you read in a page title. 🤓

For your travel date I reached the attached page which tells me I can ONLY make a reservation.

If you were booking for an closer date you would get the option to state if you already had a ticket of a travel pass.

Last modified on Feb 20, 2018 - 4:18 AM by rockoyster
Please login to see the attached documents
Removed user
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0 posts
new member
Feb 20, 2018 - 4:16 AM in reply to Simmy2018

Hi Simmy,

You have to go further than that.

When you get to the screen where you have to fill in the personal details for each individual traveller, there is a box with a drop-down list of reductions passengers might be entitled to. If you will have a Swiss Travel Pass when you travel (whether or not you have already bought it), select that, and the fare will reduce to the cost of the reservation only. I have attached a screenshot.

Alpenrose

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0 posts
new member
Feb 20, 2018 - 4:19 AM in reply to Simmy2018

>> Still waiting for the email from Happy Rail on my Seat Reservation.

If they haven't issued it, it might not be too late to cancel without penalty.

You could check with them, but first make sure good seats are still available on the Glacier Express website before cancelling your Happy Rail reservation.

Alpenrose

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