Hello Mitzi! The map mentioned under the link 'Overview of the network on which the Swiss Card is valid' (on the Swiss Card page
) shows all routes for which the Swiss Card offers either free travel (during your inbound and outbound trip) or a 50% reduction (on the remaining days of your stay in Switzerland). So yes, your Swiss Card would provide free travel between Waldshut (the border station) and Mürren and back again (question 1 and 6). A 50% discount appplies to the Schilthorn cable car, the funicular between Lauterbrunnen and Grütschalp, the mountain train between Grütschalp and Mürren (question 3) and the trains to and from Grindelwald (question 4). Nearly all regular train, bus and boat routes, and many mountain routes are included.
Which pass is best for you, depends on a number of factors. The Swiss Card, however, is not the cheapest solution. The return trip from Waldshut to Mürren costs CHF 154.20 (regular 2nd class fares per person). A Swiss Card, which would allow you to make this trip for free, costs CHF 182.00. A Swiss Half Fare Card
would be cheaper: it costs only CHF 99.00 and allows a 50% discount on all trips, including your inbound and outbound trip. So the total fare for your inbound and outbound trip, including the purchase costs of a Swiss Half Fare Card, would be CHF 99.00 + (CHF 154.20 / 2) = CHF 176.10. Apart from this, there's no difference between a Swiss Card and a Swiss Half Fare Card: both offer a 50% discount on the other trips during your stay in Switzerland. This means that a Swiss Half Fare Card is in any case cheaper than the Swiss Card. If you plan to take only a few other mountain trains and lifts, and if long and intensive train journeys (apart from the inbound and outbound trip) aren't part of your itinerary, my advice would be to purchase a Swiss Half Fare Card. It's definitely more cost effective than purchasing regular tickets and cheaper than a Swiss Pass. The Swiss Pass is suitable if you plan to make quite some long, and therefore expensive, trips. (Question 8 and 10.)
Both the Swiss Card and the Swiss Half Fare Card can be purchased online, by selecting your country (USA) under the header 'Order your... here' at either the Swiss Card
or the Swiss Half Fare Card page
. Local purchase on larger railway stations during opening hours is an option too. The Swiss Card can only be bought at border stations and I'm not sure if Waldshut is included. It would be best to contact the SBB
to find out. The Swiss Half Fare Card price is CHF 99.00, both for an online and a local purchase. The Swiss Card price for a local purchase is CHF 182.00. You can check prices for online purchase of the Swiss Card by getting into the order process as described above; prices in USD are listed there. Whether an online or a local purchase is cheaper, depends on current exchange rates (question 11). Both the Swiss Card and the Swiss Half Fare Card don't offer discounts for two or more people travelling together (question 9).
I'm not sure about parking facilities at the Waldshut railway station. Most railway stations offer parking places, and in many cases you can arrange for an economical ticket if you want to park you car for several days. Please contact the SBB
for more details.
You can plan your trips using the online timetable
(question 12). Trains leave from Waldshut two to three times per hour, and the trip lasts about 4 hours.
I hope this answers your questions. Good luck on preparing your trip. Have a nice stay in Switzerland and a happy birthday!