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Type of railpass

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new member
May 31, 2015 - 5:39 AM

Dear Arno and Annika

First off thanks for the very informative site and I have spent the last couple of hours reseaching Switzerland by mainly reading your site!

it will be the first trip to Switzerland for my wife and I in June, and we can't decide on which rail pass is most suitable. Below is our itinerary, happy to hear your thoughts:

Day 1 - Reach Zurich airport Zurich - Bern Explore Bern for half a day before heading to Interlaken Check in at Hotel @ Ringgenberg (via Interlaken OST)

Day 2- explore Jungfrau (via Interlaken OST) Head To Lucerne Chapel Bridge / Water Tower @ Lucerne

Day 3 - Day Trip to Mount Pilatus Gondola from Krien, Cableway to Summit, Cogwheel railway to Alpnachstad, Boat on lake lecerne back to luzern Head to Zurich

Day 4 Zurich Walking Tour before flying off to Rome. We are thinking of taking a night train to Rome and hopefully can save a night of accommodation. Not sure if that works.

thanks In advance!



7148 posts
expert &
May 31, 2015 - 8:31 AM

Hi kanyon!

Good to hear you've gathered some useful information so far. Your itinerary looks fine as it is now. Do plan some back-up alternatives in case weather doesn't allow you to visit mountain tops on day 2 and 3. Examples are the transport museum in Lucerne and Lake Thun, Lake Brienz, the Aare gorge or Grindelwald gorge, the Trümmelbach falls and the Ballenberg museum near Interlaken.

As for your question: I think you should look into these options:

  • a Swiss Half Fare Card, that allows you to buy 50% discounted tickets for all trips;
  • a 4 day Swiss Travel Pass, that allows free traveling by trains and boats and that provides discounts on mountain trips like Pilatus and Jungfraujoch. Especially if you plan to travel to the Swiss/Italian border by train (rather than flying out of Zurich) this may be cheaper and more convenient, as it will cover the Swiss leg of such a train ride.

If you want to make sure which option turns out to be the most economical, you should make calculations as explained here.

There's no night train from Zurich to Italy, so if you plan to travel by train you should do so in daytime. The journey takes 7 to 8 hours and you have to change trains in Milan. You could either leave by 4 pm and arrive in Rome in the evening, or take an early morning train from Zurich and arrive in Rome by (early) afternoon. Details can be found in the timetable. In either case you won't save the costs of an overnight stay of course. Flying will be a bit quicker, but the train journey is certainly a scenic alternative to consider. Hotels close to Zurich's main railway station are listed here; hotels close to Zurich airport can be found here.

I hope this helps!


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