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Swiss Travel Pass vs Swiss Half Fare Card


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Posts: 10 
alicet
alicet
4 posts
new member
Oct 8, 2021 - 3:45 PM

Hi all,

I am travelling to Switzerland for 9 days. I am travelling with 3 more adults. I originally planned to buy the 8 days Swiss travel pass. However, among reading from this website, I decided to use the Excel to compare the Swiss travel pass with the Half fare pass.

It turns out the half fare card is cheaper. But I am not sure did I put in the full fare amounts correctly. Can you please have a quick look?

Column C is full fare without discounts, Col E is with Swiss Travel pass, and Col G is with Half fare card.

Thank you so much in advance

Alice

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Anna
Anna
1553 posts
top member &
moderator
Oct 8, 2021 - 5:08 PM in reply to alicet

Hi Alice,

Thank you for joining MySwissAlps.

Based on your excel sheet, it is indeed cheaper to get the Swiss Half Fare Card instead of the Swiss Travel Pass for your trip. That's a big saving really, you've certainly done your research :)

If you have further questions, feel free to post again.

Regards,

Anna

alicet
alicet
4 posts
new member
Oct 8, 2021 - 5:38 PM in reply to Anna

Thanks Anna,

I will buy the half fare card at Zurich airport counter, is it easy to find the counter? Is there a map you can provide?

I understand my first two days are quite tight and will not go everywhere listed in that excel for those two days. The 4 of us are going to Switzerland the first time, which one of those mountains do you personally recommend? I completely understand it is also based on the weather but just so to get the personal experience.

I also want to know something off topic, if that's ok. How should one dressed in the middle of October? Do we need down filled jackets, big scarf, woolen hats?

How hopeful are we to have clear weather? Any experience travelling around October?

Thank you all again

Alice

Anna
Anna
1553 posts
top member &
moderator
Oct 8, 2021 - 6:58 PM in reply to alicet

Hi Alice,

Yes, you can certainly buy the Swiss Half Fare Card at Zurich Airport. The SBB travel office is located at Level -02, where the train station is. You'll find directions to get there here: www.myswissalps.com/airports/zurich For an interactive map, click on the Zurich airport website on the left hand side column (or scroll down)

You can also buy the Swiss Half Fare Card in advance and online here: www.myswissalps.com/swisshalffarecard/price

It is possible to visit both Mt Rigi and Stanserhorn in one day. But that depends what your arrival time is on Day 1, how fast you can get through immigration and and how much time you want to spend at each destination. Also, do you plan to check in at your hotel first or after your excursions? A rough estimate of travel time assuming you are taking the train to Rigi from Lucerne, then a cruise to Stansstad to get to Stanserhorn, the journey will take you a little more than 3 hours . You would need to look at the timetable to find the best connection and travel times. To avoid feeling rushed, I suggest doing just 1 mountain on Day 1. So maybe Rigi on Day 1? And save Stanserhorn for Day 2, after the excursion to Pilatus in the morning.

It's autumn in October so you can expect the weather to be a little unpredictable :) In general, the temperature could maybe be around 15 - 20 degrees Celcius during the day and drop to below 10 degrees at night. Up in the mountains, temperature drops could be more substantial and they may even be some slight or wet snow. If you're not used to the cold, definitely bring a long a rainproof thick jacket, scarf and beanies especially for a trip to the mountain. A great tip is to wear layers. You can find more useful information about the weather here: www.myswissalps.com/weather

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Oct 8, 2021 - 6:59 PM by Anna
Shroffchetan
Shroffchetan
178 posts
active member
Oct 9, 2021 - 2:59 AM

Frankly difference is not significant. What I like about Swiss Travel Pass is convenience. You just board without bothering about tickets. We could board trains at last minutes many times due to Swiss Travel Pass

Annika
Annika
6619 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 9, 2021 - 8:03 AM in reply to Shroffchetan

Hi Alice! With this price difference, I too would prefer the Swiss Travel Pass for its flexibility. Your may have to adjust your plans at the spot due to weather or other circumstances. Being able to travel wherever and wherever you want, without having to buy tickets for each trip, is a significant advantage. And a few other routes, detours or extra trips can soon bridge the current price gap. But of course these are personal choices :-).

You can read about buying online vs in Switzerland here: www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/wheretobuy.

Last modified on Oct 9, 2021 - 8:05 AM by Annika
alicet
alicet
4 posts
new member
Oct 9, 2021 - 6:47 PM

Thank you all for your input, I really appreciate it. We are still thinking the pros and cons of each pass for our itinerary. Therefore, we have more questions, sorry!!

1. If we get the half fare card, how easy is it to buy tickets from machines/ at counters? Are the lines usually long/ short?

2. Can we get tickets the night before? For example, I know we will head to Grindelwald from Lucern tomorrow morning, can I go to the train station and get the ticket tonight?

3. If question 2 is yes, then the ticket I get would be an open ticket? I might have to select a date but don't need to select the time of the train?

4. How easy is it to exchange trains in Switzerland? Do we have to carry luggages up/ down the stairs?

5. I found it online that we can purchase Swiss sim card on our way to the train, is this still the case? We are coming from Ireland and they offer us the worst plan ever to use roaming in Switzerland. A sim card is a must to us. Which provider do you recommend?

Thank you

Alice

Last modified on Oct 9, 2021 - 6:58 PM by alicet
alicet
alicet
4 posts
new member
Oct 9, 2021 - 11:44 PM

Hi Anna,

I have done more research on this website. In one of the forum threads I found "the ticket prices you see on the SBB website are half-price by default (as most Swiss commuters have the Half fare card)" Can you please confirm this is correct? If so, then my calculations are incorrect as I have taken the prices from the SBB mobile app.

Thank you

Alice

Shroffchetan
Shroffchetan
178 posts
active member
Oct 10, 2021 - 4:53 AM

Apparently what fares you calculated are correct. It is convenient to buy tickets on sbb app online also

But my experience with any rail pass or day pass is that you tend to travel more and you can make changes spontaneously on the spot based on feedback received from locals / fellow travellers

We were supposed to visit Bern but our landlady informed me that weather in Zermatt is clear today and we can see Matternhorn and we landed in Zermatt

Unfortunately every year Swiss Railways is increasing price of Swiss Travel Pass and tinkering with concessions and making it less attractive

Annika
Annika
6619 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 10, 2021 - 10:48 AM in reply to Shroffchetan

Hi Schroffchetan, thanks for your input!

Yes, prices of rail products usually go up. That's true for Swiss Travel Pass too. However, prices for 2022 will not increase and they'll even go down for several variants! There will also be a new 6-day version. For anyone interested: details can be found at www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/changes-to-the-swiss-travel-system-passes-in-2022.

Last modified on Oct 10, 2021 - 10:49 AM by Annika

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