Swiss Half Fare card with car rental

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May 16, 2017 - 11:28 PM

We (3 adults and a 12 year old) are traveling in Switzerland for 2 weeks during June. We plan to rent a car in Zurich and travel to the Lucerne area for 3 nights, spend 4 nights in Wengen, 2 nights in Stein am Rhein, and the other to be determined. We plan at least 2 boat trips, trip to the Jungfraujoch, the Bernina Express, and at least 4 other short train trips. Is the Swiss Half Fare Card the best option for us? Are children's fares free with this or do you need the Family Card also?

Concerning the Bernina Express - if you take the panoramic train from Chur to Davos or Tirano and return by regular train, is the price the same? Also how far in advance do reservations have to be made?

Thank you for any help or suggestions.

12131 posts
expert &
May 17, 2017 - 6:34 AM

Hi vmap4,

Thanks for joining MySwissAlps! Yes, with a car at hand the Swiss Half Fare Card is almost always the best option to save on day trips. In some cases the Swiss Travel Pass Flex is better (for longer trips), but I don't think that applies to you. You need a Swiss Family Card, which is free, to allow your 12 year old to travel along for free. You can print all the cards at home via en. Pick the Swiss Half Fare Card, enter the passengers and tick the Family Card box for the child. After filling out your address, they will show the delivery options. Pick "Online Ticket" from the bottom of the list. They will e-mail the cards within 1-3 business days (no delivery fees).

Regarding the Bernina Express: there is one from Chur to Tirano and from Davos to Tirano, not from Chur to Davos. All tickets are priced the same regardless of the type of train, but the "official" Bernina Express does require a seat reservation for each traveler including the child, which is about CHF 15 p.p. extra. You don't need that for regular trains. It's best to book as soon as your travel date is fixed.

You may have already considered this, but a car is not a necessity in Switzerland. It's often much more convenient to travel by train only and not deal with parking and finding your way. Wengen is car free, and so is most of the surrounding region there. This page might be helpful: carversustrain.

Last modified on May 17, 2018 - 11:50 AM by Arno

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