Swiss rail pass confusion -Murren, Lucerne, Zurich

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6 posts
new member
Feb 15, 2017 - 10:14 PM

My husband and I are planning a trip to Europe this spring, ending with a few days in Switzerland as outlined below:

Sat. May 13 Depart Munich for Murren via train, arriving late afternoon (2 nights in Murren)

Mon May 15 Depart Murren for Lucerne, (3 hour train ride, departing early evening)

Tuesday, May 16 Walking tour of Lucerne and excursion to Mt. Pilatus, then after-dinner train to hotel near Zurich airport prior to early morning flight the next day

I have enjoyed planning this trip.. until now, when I have become a bit overwhelmed with the train/rail pass options. I am hoping the forum experts can steer me in the right direction.

For the trip from Munich to Murren, I originally had heard about the swiss transfer ticket but today I looked and saw I can book a trip for only 39 Euro per person. This seems like a great deal so I plan to forego the transit ticket since with that I'd still have to buy a ticket from Munich to the Swiss border city.

Once we get to Switzerland, however, I get a bit overhwhelmed with options. Swiss rail pass, Berner-Oberland Pass, half-price card? We are only in the Berner Oberland for two days but (weather-permitting), we'd like to get up either the Schilthorn or the Jungfrau (probably not both), and hop on/off a few lifts to access some of the towns and short hikes. I see that the half-fare card is 113 Euro pp so once I buy that and also book tickets from Murren to Lucerne (26 Euro pp with the card) and from Lucerne to Zurich (15Euro pp) I've spent 154 Euro pp. Without the half price card my per-person train cost for the two trips would be 82 Euro, but I'm still thinking the 72 Euro difference would be rapidly consumed on the lifts in the Berner Oblerland, especially if we do end up riding the Jungfrau or the Schilthorn. Also, I think it gives me a discount on some of the Lucerne lifts/boat rides but I'm not sure on that. I'm thinking Half-fare card makes the most sense. If anyone who has been to the area could confirm I would be very appreciative. I also know there's a "Berner-Oberland" pass but I'm very unclear on what this would include and I'm not sure it's the right fit for me.

Thanks in advance for any and all tips offered!

12080 posts
expert &
Feb 16, 2017 - 9:22 AM

Hi LHiskey,

Thank you for joining MySwissAlps! Indeed tickets from Germany to Switzerland are sometimes cheaper than a ticket for just the Swiss leg (see here). Glad to hear you're taking advantage of that.

What's included in all of the passes can be found on our pass pages. Each page offers a coverage map you can download. I'd recommend to compare the Swiss Half Fare Card and 3-day Swiss Travel Pass as explained here. Be sure to read the pass pages carefully so you know what's included. For example, the Swiss Travel Pass includes many museums and also the trip to Mount Pilatus for free.

If you prefer the Swiss Half Fare Card you can buy your discounted tickets at the station or online here.

Did you already book hotels? If not, you can consider to visit Lucerne first and Murren second. I'd slightly prefer that order as Lucerne is at low altitude and Murren is a lot higher, so you can work your way up to the Alps. Also the trip from Munich would be shorter. You'll find hotels on the Lucerne and Murren pages.

5518 posts
Feb 17, 2017 - 3:19 AM in reply to LHiskey

Hi MHiskey-

Arno commented on it, by referring to to your order of travel. Mid May in the Jungfrau region is not yet spring. Cableways start up on May 25th. (Cograil runs all year, so do cable cars on the route to Schilthorn (although they do take a break once, sometime in late Fall, I think.)

You can enjoy a pleasant stay, but many facilities will not be open until ealry to mid or even late June.

Of course, many are available, too.

Progress toward Spring is highly dependent on altitude in all of Switzerland, and in that region in particular.

At lower altitudes ( such as Luzern) Spring will be welladvanced by mid-May.


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