3 days in Switzerland - rail pass/ itinerary help

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2 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2017 - 1:50 PM

Hello....My husband and I live in Stuttgart. We have just decided on a very impromptu trip to Switzerland. We would be leaving at the earliest tomorrow (Thursday) evening. And the latest, early Friday morning. We want to take one of the panorama trains. Most likely the Bernina, as we have a 6 month old puppy that will be traveling with us. It looks as if the only one that would not allow a dog is the Glacier Express. Is that correct information? It would be most convenient to have one base from which to travel, but that is not necessary at all. We would like to use the trains as much as possible. But will have our car if need be. We will be returning home Monday evening. So will have about 3 1/2 days. I see that there is a 3 day Swiss Travel Pass. 199 Euro?? I have not yet compared the cost of individual train tickets. But in your expert opinion, is it more economical to get the pass? I'm certain it would be much more convenient. But how much are you paying for convenience and how much for tickets? We also like to hike and want to experience the beauty of the country and not spend all of the time on the train. Just looking for a bit of guidance please. Thank you...

10496 posts
top member
Apr 26, 2017 - 4:31 PM in reply to mckenzie

Hi Mckenzie and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Yes, the dog is ok on the Bernina Express (a ticket for the dog must be bought however).
Yes, the Swiss Travel Pass is 199.50 Euro. At this late time you will have to buy it at a Swiss Rail Station.

The only way to know if it is more economical to buy the Swiss Travel Pass is to know what routes you plan on traveling and do a comparison on prices. Our page here can help you with that.

The Bernina Express ends in Tirano which isn't the first place to look for hiking. Towns like Interlaken and Luzern are good bases (with good train connections) to spend 2 nights with nearby hiking options in the mountains (Luzern may be best for a short trip).


2 posts
new member
Apr 27, 2017 - 10:15 AM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas. We are looking at Luzern or Interlaken as a base. Is one better than another for train

connections? As mentioned, wanting to do the Bernina Express. Probably from Chur? Could we also hit St. Moritz that day? Do we have to go back to Chur? Other considerations are Laurterbrunnen,

Gimmelwald, Schilthorn, Grindelwald. Is Zermatt worth a side trip? Pretty certain in our time we will not see all of them. How would you prioritize? Or even substitute with something else? We want this to be enjoyable and not frantic getting from one place to another. We will be back. Think this makes the Travel Pass worth it? Okay, last questions….honest. Would we be able to take our puppy (8 kilo) in a carrier on the cable cars? Sunday in Germany everything is closed. What about Switzerland? Also, Monday is a holiday here. Switzerland?Thanks ever so much for your assistance. This is a great website.

12324 posts
expert &
Apr 27, 2017 - 1:49 PM

Hi Mckenzie,

Luzern and Interlaken both have good train connections, although there are more trains departing from Luzern. You can check the timetable for the destinations you wish to travel to.

The Bernina Express runs in another part of the country. A very long day trip from Luzern is possible as explained here. I'm not sure if you'd like to spend that much time on trains in one day. There are other scenic train rides much closer to Luzern and Interlaken too, like the Golden Pass line, and mountain trains to Mount Rigi and Kleine Scheidegg.

Note that there is plenty to see for weeks just around Luzern or Interlaken. So you won't run out of options with 3.5 days to spend there. Yes, Zermatt is wonderful too, but it takes 2 - 2.5 hours to get there from Interlaken (one way) and even more from Luzern. The various links in my and Lucas's post provide more details so you can decide if the traveling time is worth it to you. Personally I would explore one region, considering the limited amount of time and the fact you'll be back for more later.

Dogs are allowed on cable cars. On Sundays most stores will be closed but in larger towns like Interlaken and Luzern you'll find some open ones too. Next Monday is Tag der Arbeit but grocery shops will mostly be open as usual.

Once you are sure about your plans you can pick a train pass. The Swiss Travel Pass will be worth it if you expect to do quite some longer trips. Otherwise the Swiss Half Fare Card, Tell-Pass or Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland will be better.

Have fun!

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