What pass suits my France-Switzerland trip best?

What pass suits my France-Switzerland trip best?

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Gasdev
Gasdev
10 posts
new member
May 25, 2017 - 5:33 PM

Hi there!

I'll be visiting Switzerland on mid July since I will happen to be on Paris for work during the summer. I'll be couting with 7/8 days to visit around and I've been investigating hard on how to make the most out of this journey since it has always been a dream of mine to visit the Alps. Eventhough it is my plans to spend a week there I am eager to find out which is the train pass that suits my trip the best since I am not travelling with the widest budget. I have figured out that I want to visit Geneva, Bern, Luzern, Zermatt and the Jungfrau region and I solved my scheduled to be something like this

Saturday the 15th: Go to Geneva right from my flight to Paris via the TGV Lyria.

Sunday the 16th: The final goal for this day would be to arrive to Zermatt and spend the night there. So, Id start from Geneva and check out Laussane and Montreux along the way.

Monday the 17th: Zermatt (Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and Gornggrat, if possible). I wouldnt know if it could be possible to do all of these and still travel to Lautterbrunnen that same day.

Tuesday the 18tyh: The Jungfrau Region: Schilthorn and around

Wednesday the 19th: The Jungfrau Region: Jungfraujoch and around

Thursday the 20th: Like Sunday, the final goal for this day would be to arrive to Luzern, getting to know Interlaken and Brienz along the way.

Friday the 21st: Luzern (Mt. Pilatus) and then spend the night at Bern.

Saturday the 22nd: Bern and go back to Paris via TGV Lyria.

I have read along the way that prior to buy a predetermined pass I should calculate every single move and then compare it with the available Train Passes, having in mind to choose from the 3-day Swiss Travel Pass (which at the zermatt.ch web only costs 216 CF) and the 120 CF Swiss Half-Fare Card. Then, I also had in mind to also get a 4-day Eurail Select Pass (FR-SW) in order to cover my journey in and out of Switzerland, one latter day I'll spend in Paris and one day in Switzerland.

As I have been warned, I found out that I could save considerable ammount of money with the Half-Care Card instead of the Swiss Travel Pass (more than 100 CF, to be honest), having to pay half of the train fares every single time in exchange of the confort of having the (almost) unlimited STP and considering the mountain top excursion prices do not diverge that much from one to the other.

In conclusion, I will be getting the Eurail Pass to cover my way in and out of Switzerland and one day there and the Swiss Half-Fare Card for the rest of my stay there. Or would it be wiser to pay for the TGV Lyria alone without having to buy the Eurail pass?

It may look like I have everything sorted out but I just wanted to write this down here in case anyone could point out something that I could be missing or not yet considering. Opinions and advices are more than welcome.

PS. Where is it the best place to buy passes online?

Arno
Arno
9657 posts
expert &
moderator
May 25, 2017 - 5:47 PM

Welcome to MySwissAlps Gasdev!

A few comments on your itinerary:

  • 17th: that will fit in a day if you don't mind an early start and late arrival in Lauterbrunnen.
  • 20th: I wouldn't spend too much time on Interlaken. There is not much to see in town.
  • 21st: personally I would not shift base again as that takes time. I'd rather spend more time in/around Lucerne. If you have two days to optionally go to Mount Pilatus you have better chances of good weather.

You can compare passes price wise as explained on this page. CHF 216 is the regular price for a 3-day Swiss Travel Pass by the way. As for where to buy passes, please see:

The Eurail Select Pass for France and Switzerland works if you extensively travel from one town to the other in both countries. If you just stay in Paris (urban transport is not included) and have one return trip to Switzerland, it is very likely that regular TGV Lyria tickets are much cheaper. The sooner you buy the cheaper they are: myswissalps.com/traint ickets/france. Then add a Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card to that. But again, you will have to do the math to be 100% sure.

I hope this helps to make a decision!

Last modified on May 25, 2017 - 5:51 PM by Arno
Gasdev
Gasdev
10 posts
new member
May 26, 2017 - 8:47 PM in reply to Arno

Arno, thank you so much for your reply and the information you've provided me. I'm taking your advice and making the propper revisions so I will get back to you with what I end up coming up with.

I'm definitely getting the sole TGV Lyria tickets instead of the Eurail Select Pass then. The only thing I am trying to sort out is whether it is better (and by better I mean less expensive) for me to buy an 8-day Swiss Travel Pass or a 3/4 day-one and mix it with a Half-Fare Card.

New question: Is it possible to walk right to Klein Scheidegg from any town in Jungfrau? I've been meaning to cheapen the Jungfraujoch ticket in order to try use that same cash to afford other things (perhaps the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass).

Arno
Arno
9657 posts
expert &
moderator
May 27, 2017 - 12:53 PM

You're most welcome Gasdev!

An 8-day Swiss Travel Pass is in any case better than buying two separate passes. A 4-day Swiss Travel Pass plus a Swiss Half Fare Card would cost you CHF 379. An 8-day Swiss Travel Pass only costs CHF 376, is more convenient and there's more included (more free traveling, free museums). With the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass you only need TGV Lyria tickets from the Swiss border (so not from Bern but from Basel usually) as the rest is covered by the pass.

In summer you can walk to Kleine Scheidegg or even Eigergletscher from anywhere, provided you have enough time. I would not do it to save money. It saves you about CHF 20 one way. The Swiss Travel Pass gets you free traveling as far as Wengen and Grindelwald. Please also see your other thread: myswissalps.com/forum/ topic/descending-from-jungfraujoch-and-schilthorn.

Last modified on May 27, 2017 - 12:57 PM by Arno
Gasdev
Gasdev
10 posts
new member
May 28, 2017 - 10:48 PM in reply to Arno

Arno,

Certainly, the 8-day pass seems to be the most logical option. I was kind of hesitant towards it at the beginning because, eventhough I am going to spend 8 days, I was not counting on needing a pass for the full stay, it was not even about the price (which is also convenient). But I most definitely will and its going to be handy even around the cities I will be visiting.

Then, what about the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland? I just found out it exists but I don't think it is the right option for me. I am surprised at the amount of passes available since the Swiss Travel Pass has proved to be the most convenient, but that is probably because of the time I will be spending here and the places I will be visiting. If I was just to stay in Jungfrau, the regional pass would probably be the best option.

There's one thing I did not understand from your last post. When you say "with the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass you only need TGV Lyria tickets FROM THE SWISS BORDER", what do you mean?

Lucas
Lucas
3460 posts
expert &
moderator
May 29, 2017 - 9:41 AM in reply to Gasdev

Hi Gasdev,

If you are traveling to France you only need to buy a ticket from the Swiss border town to Paris etc (The Swiss Travel Pass will cover the train trip right to the border). So in your case you need only buy a ticket from Basel to Paris to cover that portion of the trip.

Last modified on May 29, 2017 - 3:49 PM by Lucas

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