Switzerland in 1 month by car...but what passes?

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2 posts
new member
Jul 25, 2010 - 12:38 PM

I have just found this website and I find all the info here extremely valuable. We arrived yesterday to Berne and will be staying here for about 3 more weeks. Our base is in our friend's house and we have a car that we can use.
My question is:

We are a family of four (kids 5 and 7) are planning to explore different parts of the country. Coming from Florida with kids who have never seen snow before, high mountain tops - like the Jungfrau- are our #1 destinations.
Most of our travels will be by car, but we will use mountain trains/lifts/gondolas. Seeing all these options with the passes I am getting confused and can't figure out what would be the best for us. What's the best for motorists who don't take the train for longer trips? Maybe the HalfPrice Pass?

Also, the kids are 5 and 7. Once I read that with the half price pass they will travel for free, at another place I read that the 7 year-old will get a 50 % discount. which one is correct?

I appreciate any comment or answer.
Thank you very much for your help.
300 posts
top member
Jul 26, 2010 - 6:50 AM

Hello barbpinter,

Travelling most of the time by car to a region you want to explore using cable cars, mountain trains, etc. indeed makes the Swiss Half Fare Card the option of first choice.

As you can see this card is valid during one month, will cost CHF 99 per person and will give you a 50% discount on travelling by train (1st or 2nd class), bus and boat, as well as a 50% discount on most gondolas, funiculars and mountain trains. Your children will travel for free with the (free) STS Family Card.
In case you want to travel for free on one day you can purchase an additional daycard ("Tageskarte zum Halbtax").

If, on the other hand, you would like to be able to travel for free on some days during your stay, please look into the possibilities of the Swiss Flexi Pass. This Pass also has a validity of one month but gives you a 50% discount and free travelling for 3, 4, 5 or 6 days of your choice within this period. Purchasing this Pass for two persons travelling together will give you a 15 % discount and is called the Swiss Saver Flexi Pass. With the additional (free) STS Family Card your children will travel for free.
I just want to mention this second possibility because the Swiss transportation system is very well organised and convenient. Travelling by train (bus, boat) gives you the opportunity to see different landscapes in a very relaxing way.

Many trips can be planned using the Timetable Switzerland

Here are suggestions for hikes and daytrips in the Bernese Oberland, but you can also find hikes and daytrips in Wallis and Graubünden (but maybe that's too far away?)

I wish you and your family a very pleasant stay in Switzerland.

6101 posts
expert &
Jul 26, 2010 - 7:52 AM
Hi barbpinter! I fully agree with Wandermann's advice. If you want to order your pass online through one of the links Wandermann gave you, please be sure to select the purchase option 'Other European countries'. This way you can have your pass delivered at your friend's house. Local purchase at a (larger) railway station is possible as well.

Have a great stay in Switzerland!
2 posts
new member
Jul 28, 2010 - 2:47 PM
Thank you very much for the replies!!!! I did not know that you could purchase "free days" for the half fare pass. We already got teh pass and we might do that on days when we go up on a mountain.

Thanks again! This site is great!
6101 posts
expert &
Jul 29, 2010 - 7:39 AM
Hello barbpinter! I'm glad to hear that the advice has been helpful and that you can start using your Swiss Half Fare Card. As for the extra 'free days': this means that free travelling on train, buses and boat routes is allowed. Mountain transportation will still be discounted, which is the case with all Swiss rail passes, as mountain trains and cable cars are too expensive to allow free rides. Only some regional passes sometimes offer free access to mountain transportation. So for specific mountain top visits such a free day may not add that much, unless it requires quite a long trip to get to the valley station from Berne: this would be for free with such a free day travel pass. More information on the so-called 1-day travelpass is available through this link and this link. A synoptic map is available here as well, showing which routes are for free and which ones are discounted.

Have a beautiful stay! And of course you're welcome to tell us whether you used the 1-day travelpass and how you liked it.

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