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To buy pass or not?

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4 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2011 - 10:01 PM
Hi. I'm interested in the golden pass line route and will be flying in from Italy.
My intended itinerary is as follows:

Day 1 - Fly in to Geneva from Italy
Day 2 - Rail from Geneva to Montreux. Take scenic (panoramic) train to Interlaken.
Day 3 - Stay 1 more day in Interlaken
Day 4 - Take scenic (panoramic) train from Interlaken to Lucerne
Day 5 - Stay 1 more day in Lucerne
Day 6 - Rail from Lucerne to Zurich
Day 7 - Fly off from Zurich back to Milan

I have a total of 4 pax (1 of which is less than 25 yrs old).
Appreciate if you could help me with the following enquiries as I'm quite confused now:

1) Pass versus individual tickets: Should I get the 3-day swiss flexi pass or just purchase individual tickets? Saw that the flexi pass costs CHF281 for 1st class (am I right?), while the full fare for golden pass is only USD$166 (http://www.eurorailways.com/swiss/gold.htm). Not sure whether these information are correct. Does the swiss pass fully cover the cost of the scenic trains as well, or do I need to pay extra? Also, if I were to buy the individual tickets from montreux to lucerne, can the entire journey be broken down and consumed across a few days, according to my itinerary?

2) How to buy: Can I buy the ticket / pass online? Read from somewhere else that if I were to buy the individual tickets, I can only get them when I reach Switzerland.

3) Train journey duration: What is the duration for each leg of the journey?

4) 1st Class vs 2nd Class seats: For the scenic trains, are the panaromic carriages only for 1st class seats? Do I get the same good view at 2nd class seats?

Thanks in advance!!
15709 posts
expert &
Apr 17, 2011 - 6:26 AM

Hi amy159,

1) If you have just planned to make the trips you listed, you can purchase regular tickets each day, which would cost CHF 134 in total. That's about USD$ 150. Regular prices can be found in the timetable. A pass would be more expensive. However, I would recommend to visit some viewing points from Interlaken and Lucerne. If you do, a Swiss Half Fare Card could be an interesting option, depending on which and how many lifts/funiculars you want to use.

A Swiss Pass or a free day of a Swiss Flexi Pass would cover all trains from Geneva Airport to Zurich Airport, except for the reservation fee of the Golden Pass Panoramic Express. All pass pages include a link to a detailed map showing what's included.

2) Purchase options for the passes can be reviewed from the links above. Tickets can be purchased locally, through the timetable, or in some cases, along with the passes.

3) Please check the timetable for that.

4) The view is good from both 1st and 2nd class. 1st class offers more space so it's more convenient to look around, especially in case the train is fully occupied. There are eight 1st class VIP seats in the front of the train. They're more expensive to book but they offer the best view you can get.

These pages about hotels in Geneva and Zurich might come in handy as well.

Enjoy the ride!

Last modified on Jan 27, 2020 - 11:14 AM by Arno


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