Sanity check on 4-day Swiss rail itinerary

Sanity check on 4-day Swiss rail itinerary

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munichmaria1
munichmaria1
10 posts
new member
Mar 6, 2018 - 3:46 AM

Howdy,

I am ready to press the "purchase" button on the SBB Swiss Rail Pass site when it occurred to me I should check with the experts one more time. We intend to buy the 4 travel day Swiss Rail Pass. Here is the itinerary. Arrive Zurich from U.S, .immediately take train to Lucerne for two days. Then to Montreaux for two days. Then to Interlaken (up to Wengen) four days. Then to Salzburg. I count four travel days. Sound right?

Second question is I thought I saw somewhere in the reams of printed out forum posts (don't tell the tree huggers) that there is a discount if we buy the three Swiss passes together. Any truth to that or am I hallucinating again. ?

rockoyster
rockoyster
3401 posts
expert
Mar 6, 2018 - 4:38 AM in reply to munichmaria1

Hello Maria,

I think you mean the Swiss Travel Pass, yes?

A 4-day Swiss Travel Pass works for 4 consecutive days. A 4-day Swiss Travel Pass Flex works for 4 days of your choosing in a 30 day period.

What are you planning to do in Lucerne, Montreux and Interlaken? If you do the sorts of things most tourists do (mountain railways, cable cars, lake cruises etc) then you may be better with an 8-day STP rather than the 4-day Flex variety. There is a premium to pay for the flexibility. Also the Flex pass only works on the 4 days you nominate. It offers no benefit at all on the intervening days.

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Mar 6, 2018 - 8:02 AM in reply to munichmaria1

Hi Maria,

There is no bulk discount on Swiss Travel Passes. They sometimes appear at promotional prices but not often. They will be reported on this forum when an offer does come up.

kim11
kim11
406 posts
top member
Mar 6, 2018 - 5:53 PM in reply to rockoyster

Rockoyster asks an excellent question. The price of excursions in the mountains (cable cars, gondolas, trains, etc) is far more expensive than the "flat land" transportation from one city to the next. Certainly during your days in Lucerne and Wengen you will want to visit the peaks, take a lake cruise, and so on. Otherwise, why go?

Look into the Half Fare Card. That gives you 50% off of all forms of transport during your entire stay and is nearly always the best value for the money.

munichmaria1
munichmaria1
10 posts
new member
Mar 6, 2018 - 7:24 PM in reply to kim11

Thank you all for your responses. Yes, the last two times I was in the Jungfrau region we had the Swiss half fare cards as I was traveling with my grandkids. This time we will be three adult women. I am just trying to get the most economical way to go. Yes we will be doing all the tourist things as I want to show my sisters all the places I love.

In looking back back at last years expenses I do see we got half fare on almost all excursions - especially the Jungfrauhof which at the time was listed at $175.00. I will price out the half fare card.

How do I figure out the cost from Interlaken to Salzburg. I assume the SHCard will pay to border. Which town do I choose for the rest of the journey? We will rent a car in Salzburg.

You guys are the greatest!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3401 posts
expert
Mar 6, 2018 - 7:43 PM in reply to munichmaria1

You can use the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) to check the route and price.

The quickest route via Bern and Zurich crosses the border at Buchs. The SHFC works up to Buchs. You’ll need a separate ticket from there to Salzburg or you can buy a ticket for the whole trip from SBB and claim Half-fare reduction for Swiss leg of journey.

kim11
kim11
406 posts
top member
Mar 6, 2018 - 8:30 PM in reply to rockoyster

Good advice (as always) from Rockoyster.

The SBB website will tell you the fare Wengen - Salzburg with the HFC applied to the Wengen - Buchs part of the journey. Simply use the drop down menu to indication you have an HFC. The selection is "Half-Fare Travelcard 1/2/3-year" as the site is geared to Swiss residents and that's what they have. But it is the same for the tourist one month Half Fare Card. You can either buy the tickets on the site or once you arrive in Wengen and you are more sure of your schedule/timing. The Wengen train station can sell you a single ticket with the half fare reduction applied.

All that said, you may be able to get a Saver ticket if you book in advance which oftentimes works out to be even less expensive than with the Half Fare Card. Plug in your dates and see what you get. The down side to a Saver ticket is that it is only valid for the time/day/train you buy the ticket for with no changes or refunds.

If you don't already have your car rental agreement for Salzburg I highly recommend visiting www.gemut.com. We never rent any other way when visiting German-speaking countries. Great information, great service, great value for the money. If nothing else download and read their document about renting cars in Europe.

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