Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card?

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oopsan
oopsan
11 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2018 - 7:28 PM

hi all,

im sanj from india. im planning to travel to switzerland with my fiance . my dates are 22nd may 2018 to 30th may 2018. im landing in zurich on 22nd early morning... and im flying back to india on 31st morning... i came across 2 best options for travelling in switzerland and those are swiss travel pass and swiss half fare card... difference between both the prices is huge...

but my main confusion is what is the difference between those two? i have checked online but all i got was some technical answers... can anyone be an angel and simplify it for me?

plus can i buy the best option pass online with my flight bookings and my accomodations?

will be eagerly waiting for the reply...

oopsan.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4027 posts
expert
Mar 27, 2018 - 9:56 PM in reply to oopsan

Hello Sanj and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

With a Swiss Travel Pass (www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass) most (not all) travel is free and ticketless. With a Swiss Half Fare Card (www.myswissalps.com/sw isshalffarecard) you need to buy tickets for every journey but you get them at half-fare. Looking at the initial outlay can be very misleading. Make sure you look at the "Where it's valid" and "Prices" tabs on those pages. The "Prices" tab shows where you can buy from. It is most convenient to buy on-line and print at home before you travel.

That's the easy answer. Deciding which pass suits you requires a bit of homework.

As well as the Swiss Travel Pass (www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass) there are many regional passes (www.myswissalps.com/re gionalpasses) which can work depending on where you are based and how much travel you plan.

A clearly mapped out itinerary is the basis for deciding which pass (if any) suits. Based on your itinerary you need to do the sums based on the cost of all your planned trips on trains, boats, cable cars etc. You can use the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) to work out the fares for any trip. When you go to buy a ticket the fare you see on the right hand side of the page will normally be the half-fare price. Double it to get full fare. With A Swiss Travel Pass it is free provided it is shown as free on the Area of Validity map ( PDF downloadable from www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity).

You should read “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass), download the handy spreadsheet calculator and do the math.

Last modified on Mar 27, 2018 - 10:43 PM by rockoyster
oopsan
oopsan
11 posts
new member
Mar 28, 2018 - 3:40 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you so much rockoyster.... Your detailed reply clears up my confusion for sure... Will make my itenary 1st n then make my choice...

Im flying to Zurich on 22nd may 2018 morning... n was just thinking about making my base in central area in Interlaken or bern... So that many places would be in 3hrs reach... Tell me if I'm thinking this right or wrong about the base accommodation?

I'm flying back to india on 31st may 2018 so I'm keeping 29th n 30th of may to explore Zurich n then fly back the next day... Will 2 days be enough for zurich?

rockoyster
rockoyster
4027 posts
expert
Mar 28, 2018 - 5:28 AM in reply to oopsan

Some more harsh than I might say that 2 days in Zurich is two days too many. Just joking but I would say a day in Zurich on 30th would be ample.

Lucerne (www.myswissalps.com/la kelucerne/activities) is a lovely city and a very popular starting place. You can search for any city on this website.

Read what 1960man has to say about a single base at www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/permalink/g7 dlE6DW9mqS6v8AAFcRTQ.

Feel free to share your itinerary when you have a clearer idea. There will always be plenty of hopefully constructive suggestions.

Last modified on Mar 28, 2018 - 5:57 AM by rockoyster
oopsan
oopsan
11 posts
new member
Mar 28, 2018 - 5:40 AM

Thank you so much dear... You are a Saviour...

Will get back to you soon...

Oopsan

oopsan
oopsan
11 posts
new member
Apr 1, 2018 - 4:15 AM

Hi rockoyster,

Need your help again.... I've kept 29th/30th nma 2018 for zurich... I'm thinking I would make my base in Interlaken... It's just that I'm very crazy about snow n snowfall... I want to stay in snowfall area for at least 1day... Which area would you suggest for me to stay for 1 day considering snowfall in may last week.... Does Zermatt fir the bill?

Plus I wish to travel by bernina express... does Swiss travel pass covers d ticket? Are there any other speciality trains?

Geneva I'm doing for 2 days travelling to n fro from Interlaken....

Im planning cover Geneva, Interlaken, bern, bernina express, Zermatt, zurich in 9days... Am I missing anything?

waiting eagerly....

Oopsan.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4027 posts
expert
Apr 1, 2018 - 5:09 AM in reply to oopsan

Hello Oopsan,

I'm not sure you are going to get actual snowfall anywhere in last week in May.

You will certainly be pretty close to snow in Zermatt and also in the Jungfrau Region if you went to Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn.

The Bernina Express (www.myswissalps.com/be rninaexpress) would be pretty tricky to fit into that schedule. It is covered by the Swiss Travel Pass but you need to make separate seat reservations at www.rhb.ch/en/panorami c-trains/bernina-express#info.

A possibility is the Gotthard Bernina Circular Tour - a long, 10-hour, day trip from Zurich. See www.rhb.ch/en/tickets-travelcards/promotions /gotthard-bernina-circular-tour

You mention doing 2 days travelling to and from Interlaken. That's not a great plan.

Could you spell out your day by day itinerary, when and where you plan to arrive and depart Switzerland and where you intend to stay each night. That might make it easier to offer better advice.

oopsan
oopsan
11 posts
new member
Apr 3, 2018 - 10:14 AM

hi...

its very true when they say that too much information leads to confusion... similarly ive searched so much last few weeks that it lead me to confuse a bit... so after taking a brief break yesterday im here again to complete my itenary with all the needed info....

im landing in zurich on 22nd may 2018.

then im planning to make my base in lucerne or bern (still a bit confused in which one is right..) from 22nd may to 27th may.

in the period of 22nd to 27th may planning to travel and explore geneva, interlaken and bern and lucerne itself...

on 27th morning reach zermatt... explore zermatt for 27th and 28th

29th morning reach back to zurich and explore zurich for 29th and 30th...

and fly back to india on 31st morning....

now i want to book gotthard bernina circular tour... from when n where in my itenary i can accomodate it?

what will be perfect base bern or lucerne?

on more thing.... as im a baker too im very passionate about 2 swiss specialities... swiss cheese and swiss chocolate... can i do some fun workshops of making of cheese as well as chocolate? if yes where and when?

waiting eagerly....

oopsan

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Apr 3, 2018 - 7:20 PM in reply to oopsan

Hi oopsan,

My recommendation would be to choose Lucerne as your base. From there you can do a day trip to Bern. Bern is a nice city but I wouldn't stay there for a few days. There is much more to do in Lucerne and the area is beautiful.

Geneva is not that special in my humble opinion and it's quite a journey from Lucerne. Use the Swiss timetable to plan your trips.If you don't have a special reason to visit it, I would skip it.

Lucerne will probably be a better base for the Gotthard Bernina Circular tour. It's basically a day trip with the Bernina Express. You take a train to Chur and board the Bernina Express train there. Take the bus from Tirano to Lugano. Then take a train back to Lucerne. This day trip takes about 14.5 hours.

There is a cheese factory in Gruyere and a chocolate factory in Broc which can be visited on the same day as they are not far from each other. I'm not sure if they do workshops. You can also use the search box at the top right of this page. You might find some relevant posts regarding this activity.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4027 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2018 - 8:50 PM in reply to oopsan

Hi Oopsan,

Not meaning to confuse you more but you could take the Glacier Express (www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress) from Zermatt to Chur for a night on 29th. On 30th you would have a head start on Bernina Express which starts from Chur.

Or perhaps you mean the Gotthard Bernina Circular Tour (www.rhb.ch/en/tickets-travelcards/promotions /gotthard-bernina-circular-tour) which departs Zurich.

Last modified on Apr 3, 2018 - 9:19 PM by rockoyster
oopsan
oopsan
11 posts
new member
Apr 8, 2018 - 3:12 AM

hello.....

with your great help(CHANTAL AND ROCKOYSTER) im finally sorted with my basic thing for my trip to switzerland.

im keeping my base in lucerne from 22nd may 2018 till 27th may 2018. then i ll be in zermatt for 27th and 28th may. then on 29th i ll check out from zermatt and move to zurich which will be my last destination for this trip before flying on 31st morning.

now help me with one thing .... while going from lucrene to zermatt or zermatt to zurich can i do it in any of the special scenic train? like glaciers express or gotthard bernina express or panorama express?

i ll be doing all the internal travelling by swiss half fare card. i need to know more about the activities i can do in lucerne and zermatt and zurich. i ll be travelling to geneva and jungfraujoch and bern and interlaken from lucerne... going to mount RIGIS AND PILATUS. I got to know about a city called montreo... is it worth going?

how to travel to GRUYERE cheese factory from lucrene or is it closer from zermatt?

thanks for all your help....

OOPSAN.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4027 posts
expert
Apr 8, 2018 - 3:42 AM in reply to oopsan

Hello oopsan,

I would use the SBB timetable to find the route Lucern to Zermatt via Kandersteg. You could also insert via Meiringen before Kandersteg if you don't mind a longer trip and if you have not yet already travelled on the Luzern - Interlaken Express.

Via Kandersteg you will travel between Spiez and Brig on the Regio-Express Lötschberger train over the traditional, more than 100 year old mountain route, giving you a wonderful view along the impressive peaks and down into the Rhone Valley. The 1-hour faster route via Visp takes you through the fairly lengthy Lötschberg Base Tunnel with rather limited views.

The Bernina Express (www.myswissalps.com/be rninaexpress) is too far out of your way. You can do a day trip from Lucern and back on the Gotthard Panorama Express (www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress) but it is a long day.

You can travel from Zermatt to Zurich on the Glacier Express Glacier Express (www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress). You go to Chur and then on to Zurich on regular trains. You will need reservations for the Glacier Express.

Gruyères is closer to Lucerne than Zermatt but would still be close to a 6 hour round trip not including your stopover at Gruyères. That's a long way to go for some cheese. You will find plenty of cheese shops in Lucerne. 😇

But if you are going to Geneva you could combine Gruyères with that or your day trip to Bern.

If you are going to Geneva the most scenic route is the Golden Pass Line (www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass) which ends in Montreux (www.myswissalps.com/mo ntreux).

One thing with the Swiss Half Fare Card - you may find for long trips that a Saver Day Pass (www.myswissalps.com/on edaytravelpass/details) could be a worthwhile addition. If you can get one for the best price of CHF29 you can use it to travel pretty anywhere in Switzerland for a day. If you get the SBB Mobile app and check the timetable using that it will offer you a Saver Day Pass if that provides a good price for your trip.

Happy travels.

Last modified on Apr 8, 2018 - 3:46 AM by rockoyster

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