Buy a Swiss Travel Pass with a rental car or not?

Buy a Swiss Travel Pass with a rental car or not?

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Winnie
Winnie
13 posts
new member
Mar 26, 2018 - 7:06 AM

Good morning

We will be travelling to zurich on august 8 this year

We have 2 nights stay in zurich then to interlaken for 3 night by car we will rent

From interlaken we will move to milan

We are a couple with a daughter(age 5 years and 10 months at time of our travel)

We plan to include lake zurich rhine falls

Lake thun/brienz(one only)

Mount pilatus/rigi(probbly one)

Grindelwald by car then hop on FIRST cable car

+/_ one or two more lake cruises or mountain ride like trumelbach falls or lake lucerne

This is our itinery for switzerland than we leave for milan

I have 4 questions for experts... thankyou in advance

1. I cant decide wether or not to buy swiss pass.... since we will be travelling by car... but then we can have reduced fares on boats and cables cogwheel... will it benefit to buy swiss pass... (also i understand swiss pass flex is more expensive than regular pass)

2.should we travel by car to milan or train... problem is we will have 3 large suitcases along with 2 hand carry bags atleast....

3. And if we travel by car (we rented in zurich) can we drop it off in venice... which is our last destination

4. I understand august is very touristy time... are private small boat tours availabla on lakes... for which early booking is not required

Thanking in advance.... 🌺

rockoyster
rockoyster
3704 posts
expert
Mar 26, 2018 - 8:47 AM in reply to Winnie

Hello Winnie and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

I would say a Swiss Travel Pass and travel by car are mutually exclusive. Or maybe you mean a Swiss Half Fare Card?

But if you read this www.myswissalps.com/ca rversustrain the a Swiss Travel Pass may look more attractive.

If you decide against driving then you should read “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass).

Last modified on Mar 26, 2018 - 8:48 AM by rockoyster
Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Mar 26, 2018 - 9:02 AM in reply to Winnie

Hi Winnie, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

  1. Usually people buy the Swiss Half Fare Card when traveling by car.
  2. In general, I believe the best way to explore Switzerland is by train anyway. Read here why. So I would also take the train to Milan.
  3. The company where you're going to rent the car should be able to tell you whether that's possible.
  4. I'm sure there will be private tours available, but I'm afraid I don't have more details. You might want to research the internet. You could also book a first class ticket for the regular boats. You don't have to do that in advance. Some boat trips you might be interested in: Lake Brienz, Lake Thun, Lake Lucerne, Lake Geneva.
Winnie
Winnie
13 posts
new member
Mar 26, 2018 - 10:16 AM

Thanks a bunch .... yes i checked on ssb site and half fare pass suits us better....

and relieved to find out that we dont need to make reservations for boats πŸ™‚

Thanks again

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2018 - 1:22 AM in reply to Winnie

Hi Winnie,

>> or mountain ride like trumelbach falls

Just to be clear, the Trümmelbach Falls does not involve a mountain ride. Trümmelbach Falls is accessed from the floor of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, between Lauterbrunnen and Stechelberg. You can walk there, or get a bus, from either Lauterbrunnen or Stechelberg. You could also drive.

Alpenrose

Winnie
Winnie
13 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2018 - 3:16 AM in reply to Removed user

Thanks alpenrose... 🌷.. ill note it down in lauterbrennen trip.... plz ignore if i made spelling mistakes... swiss language is new to me ;)

Peterli
Peterli
449 posts
top member
Mar 27, 2018 - 7:23 AM

Hello Winnie,

I have a few questions:

1.Are you flying into Zurich on August 8 ? Arrival at what time ?

2. On what date will you be going to Milan ? Are you flying home from Venice ? If so, on what date ?

3. Have you already rented a car ? In Zurich ? When you rent a car you specify the pick-up location and the drop-off location, and there will almost certainly be an extra charge when these are different locations, even if they are in the same country. So you can count on an extra charge for a Switzerland/Italy rental. Rental rates are usually higher if you pick up and/or drop off at airports.

Winnie
Winnie
13 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2018 - 7:50 AM in reply to Peterli

Hi peterli

yes fluing into zurich on aug 8 around 3 in afternoon

milan probbly on 14aug

yes flying home frm venice on 18

no havent rented till now...

we will most probbly ride train to milan... πŸ™‚

Last modified on Mar 27, 2018 - 7:59 AM by Winnie
Peterli
Peterli
449 posts
top member
Mar 27, 2018 - 8:46 AM

Hi again Winnie,

Leaving aside the question of car rental vs public transport for now, and the places you have mentioned for overnight stays, do you mean you plan to stay in Zurich on the nights of Wed Aug 8 and Thu Aug 9 ? You mention Interlaken for 3 nights, so do you mean the nights of Fri Aug 10, Sat Aug 11, and Sun Aug 12 ? You mention going to Milan on the Tue Aug 14 and no doubt staying in Milan on the evening of Aug 14. However there is another night, Aug 13, that is still unaccounted for. May I assume that you have activities planned for Milan and north-eastern Italy that will take you to Venice a day or so before your departure on Sat the 18 ? If you do go to Milan by train, are you also planning to do your travels in Italy by public transport rather than renting a car ? There are other people on this site who are much more knowledgeable about the great variety of passes available and of course you can also look for more information yourself online. If I were you, I would draw a large 2 x 7 grid on a full sheet of paper and mark in Sun to Sat across the top, put the number of day in the top corner of each section, put "Arrive Zurich" at 3 PM on Wed Aug 8, and "Depart Venice" at whatever time your flight leaves on Sat Aug 18, and then (with a pencil) start seeing how you can block in the days, where you think you want to go, what you figure you would like to do each day, and what location would be best for each overnight. Once you have a pretty good idea of where you want to go and what you want to do, you will be able to figure out the cost if going by public transport (pay as you go) and compare this to the cost of a pass (for instance the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass will cost 398 Swiss francs per adult and I'm pretty sure your daughter will travel free. So for just under 800 CHF your travel for eight days in Switzerland will be all covered. The train experts on this site will correct me if I am wrong here. If you bought the 8 day pass you could use it starting on the day of your arrival and it would be valid until Wed Aug 15 and so if you were to consider going to Milan on the 15th instead of the 14th, your Swiss Travel Pass would cover you right up to the Swiss/Italian border and Milan isn't that far from there. That would then give you one extra night somewhere in Switzerland and one less in Italy. I have never rented a car in Switzerland but you could find out the rental cost for eight days to compare.

Last modified on Mar 27, 2018 - 8:59 AM by Peterli
Winnie
Winnie
13 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2018 - 9:06 AM in reply to Peterli

Thankyou for your concerned reply

actually my husband likes to drive... wherever we go he has to hire a car and drive... he loves to drive in new places and beautiful countries....but we would also like to ride some trains since they are so good and enjoy scenic journey...

till now we have decided to go to italy by train and rent a car again πŸ™‚

we will get half fare pass... i understand we can print it at home?

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Mar 27, 2018 - 9:29 AM in reply to Winnie

Hi Winnie,

Yes, you can order them online: www.myswissalps.com/sw isshalffarecard/price and print at home.

Peterli
Peterli
449 posts
top member
Mar 27, 2018 - 9:42 AM in reply to Winnie

Hi again Winnie,

I too like to drive, and I have rented a car in France for the last seven years. I like the total freedom one has when in a car. You can stop when and where you want, stay as long as you want, and get to places where there is no easy public transport available, and sometimes none at all. The flip side is that there are places in Switzerland where you cannot go to by car and cars don't do very well on lakes. Since you used the word "hire" may I take it you are from the UK, Ireland, Oz, or some other former British place ? Not that it matters, it is just my curiosity. Regarding the half fare pass, as I stated before, I am not really a train expert, so I will leave it to one of them to answer that question. Perhaps you can find out online ? I would have to look on line just to find out what they cost, let alone how to print them. Why not start looking here ? https://www.swiss-pass.ch/swiss-half-fare-card/

By the way, if your husband really likes to drive, why not drive over the Alps on the way to Italy ? I've driven over the Simplon and Saint-Bernard (no tunnels for me) and they are a blast.

Peterli
Peterli
449 posts
top member
Mar 27, 2018 - 9:46 AM

Oops, once again, somebody answered while I was typing my latest post. So there you go with your answer from Chantal, one of the "train experts".

Winnie
Winnie
13 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2018 - 10:46 AM in reply to Chantal

Thankyou πŸ˜‡ chantal and peterli

MaRock
MaRock
29 posts
active member
Mar 28, 2018 - 3:57 AM

Hi, Winnie

Some of the Swiss towns are car free. Perhaps you would like to hire car for a few days and then travel by train/public transport for the rest of your journey.

Last year we did this and enjoyed driving through eastern Switzerland as well as train travelling in central and western Switzerland.

We bought the Swiss Half Fare Card, after calculation, online and printed at home. Car Hiring in Switzerland is expensive and will cost more when drop-off at different place. If your drop-off day is Sunday, be aware of the opening hours of the shop.

Have a nice trip.

MaRock

Winnie
Winnie
13 posts
new member
Mar 28, 2018 - 5:06 AM in reply to MaRock

Thankyou for the sunday advice... yes very important ... we will be driving in zurich interlaken grindelwald and probbly lauterbrennen... hopefuly i got the spellings right

about the trains... i got this question since inter city trains can be a hassle .. we once used metro paris to commute within paris... very difficult a task since they are full... and if you have luggage and children... then its another story...

hopefully trains from spiez to milan will be different.. are there alotted seats and space for baggage?? How can we make sure that the train we are about to board is major train with baggage and seats... iv checked the internet sites... they do look good.. but what to ask for if you want good seats and luggage space... hopefully im not asking too many dumb questions... thing is im not from europe .., so everything is different for us... hence the adventue πŸ›ΆπŸšžπŸ”πŸ˜‡

Thanks again for the precious time 🌺

Peterli
Peterli
449 posts
top member
Mar 28, 2018 - 5:07 AM

Hi MaRock and Winnie,

<< Car Hiring in Switzerland is expensive and will cost more when drop-off at different place. If your drop-off day is Sunday, be aware of the opening hours of the shop. >> On two occasions I rented a car at the French end of the EuroAirport at Basel-Mulhouse and had to drop it off in Lyon. The extra charge was 75 Euros which was cheaper than what it would have cost to drop it off at Basel and then get myself to Lyon by the French railways SNCF. Add to this the greater convenience of being able to drive straight to the airport, drop off the car, and take the 24/7 shuttle to the the terminal. In fairness to the SNCF, there is a train stop connected to the air terminal (just like in Zurich/Kloten).

Lucas
Lucas
7201 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 28, 2018 - 5:21 AM in reply to Winnie

HI Winnie,

All trains you take will have space for luggage. The Paris Metro are subway trains (I assume you are talking about the underground?) and I've never seen them with luggage space in any town. However in Switzerland there is no "metro/subway" only trains, which all have luggage space and 95% of the time you'll find a seat. The only exception might be around larger cities around rush hour - but within 10-15 minutes people will get off the train and you'll find a seat (worst-case).

Peterli
Peterli
449 posts
top member
Mar 28, 2018 - 5:53 AM in reply to Lucas

Hej Lucas,

Don't forget the Lausanne Métro ! It is the only one in Switzerland. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Lausanne_Metro

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Winnie
Winnie
13 posts
new member
Mar 28, 2018 - 9:04 AM in reply to Lucas

Yes thankyou lucas so relieved to know that... yes it was underground paris metro...

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