Which Swiss rail pass- 1 week Biel, 1 week travel

Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 7
This thread is closed. You are welcome to log in and submit a new thread.
5 posts
new member
Jun 3, 2018 - 5:12 AM


Thank you for the informative website and opportunity to ask questions. I have been researching rail passes and I at a loss of which one to get or if I should one

We are flying into Zürich Saturday August 18 then traveling by train to Biel/Bienne where we will stay until Saturday August 25. We may travel on trains in and around Biel but nothing set yet because of work.

August 25 from Biel to either Interlaken or Wengen or Grimweld (can’t decide where to stay).

August 27 from above to Zermatt.

August 29 GEX Zermatt to Chur

August 30 BEX from Chur to Tirano.

Thoughts? Swiss Pass? Flex pass? Half pass?

Any and all advice is much appreciated.

4991 posts
Jun 3, 2018 - 6:05 AM in reply to Abbii

Hello Abbii,

You will need to do some homework.

A clearly mapped out itinerary will provide you with the basis for deciding which pass (if any) suits.

Using your itinerary you need to do the sums based on the cost of all your planned trips on trains, boats, cable cars etc. You can find the fares for any trip using the SBB Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable). If you are not familiar with the timetable it will pay to first read the instructions on that page.

When you go to buy a ticket the fare you see on the right hand side of the page will normally be the half-fare price. Double it to get full fare. With A Swiss Travel Pass it is free provided it is shown as free on the Area of Validity map ( PDF downloadable from www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity).

You should read “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass), download the handy spreadsheet calculator and do the math.

On 25 August you probably mean Grindelwald not Grimweld. I'd recommend Wengen.

46 posts
active member
Jun 3, 2018 - 2:45 PM

You definitely have to figure the places you want to visit and do the math. But having visited Mt Rigi; Mt Titlis; Jungfraujoch, and other places we were 2 adults and found that the Swiss Travel Pass worked the best for us as far as price and convince. Allows you travel in case you change plans and decide to visit another place and some places for boats and cable car are free with the pass.

Last modified on Jun 3, 2018 - 5:46 PM by Lucas
5 posts
new member
Jun 3, 2018 - 5:02 PM

Thank you both so much for your replies. I think I have a basic itinerary and basic prices. Now trying to figure out if I want a half price fare ticket or rail pass. I used the excel spreadsheet to work it out and it seems that the half price is better??

8 day Swiss Flex Pass versus Half Price Pass

ZRH - Biel: CHF 57 (100%) or CHF 28.5 (50%)

Biel - Bern CHF 18 (100%) or CHF 9 (50%)

Bern - Wengen CHF 50 (100% I think) or CHF 25 (50%?)

Wengen - Zermatt CHF 100 (100% I think) or CHF 50 (50%?)

Zermatt - Chur on GEX 2nd class CHF 120 (100%) or CHF 60 (50%) but husband wants 1st class and we can't do that if we buy a 2nd class Swiss pass can we??? Half price 1st class CHF 105 (50% of CHF 210)

Chur to Tirano on BEX 2nd class CHF 64 (100%) or CHF 32 (50%) but AGAIN husband wants 1st class and we can't do that if we buy a 2nd class Swiss pass can we??? Half price 1st class CHF 56 (50% of CHF 112)

So from my calculations option1: the 8 day Swiss Flex Pass = CHF 445 and we could pretty much do the whole trip above for free. If we wanted to upgrade to first class on the GEX and BEX (for husband!) I think the upgrade is difference between 1st and 2nd divided by 2 (??) So CHF 45 for GEX and CHF 24 for BEX. Total of CHF 514.

Option 2: Half price ticket = CHF 120. If I am right and we get 50% on all of the above the trips and use only 2nd class then the finally cost is 120 + 204.5 = CHF 324.50. Now if we use the half price fare ticket and use first class for the GEX and BEX then the cost would be CHF 120 + 273.5 = 393.50.

So Half Price Pass looks like financially the better option especially if we want 1st class on GEX and BEX. Swiss Flex Pass more would be a little more convenient for hop on and off but the CHF difference of 120 is quite a lot of wine or even a hotel room!!!

Thoughts ...are we missing out on anything not getting the Swiss Pass? Am I right about the route upgrades?


Last modified on Jun 3, 2018 - 5:42 PM by Abbii
10496 posts
top member
Jun 3, 2018 - 5:54 PM in reply to Abbii

Hi Abbi,

The Swiss Half Fare Card gets 50% off all trips yes. The timetable (https://www.myswissalp s.com/timetable) gives you the 1/2 fare price by default so it is easy to find those prices.

If you (or your husband) wants 1st call on the GEX and BEX trains that isn't an issue. You can buy a class upgrade at any rail station for the trip. It is 1/2 the price difference between 1st and 2nd class tickets. You must make seat reservations on those trains though (no matter what ticket or rail pass you have). So you'll want to reserve 1st class seats as soon as possible. Buy the tickets and class upgrade whenever you like.
You can buy the tickets online here though to get it out of the way: https://www.myswissalp s.com/traintickets/swi tzerlandhalffare

Reservations: Glacier Express / Bernina Express

The math looks ok at a quick glance. Nothing strange about the Swiss Half Fare Card is indeed the cheapest option. :)
You can buy it online here and print it at home before you travel:
https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisshalffarecar d/price

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jun 4, 2018 - 12:30 AM in reply to Abbii

Hi Abbi,

>> are we missing out on anything not getting the Swiss Pass

Your calculations only seem to account for your major travel between bases. I don't see any costings for activities at any of those locations, such as boats or cable cars, or travelling between villages in the Jungfrau Region (Grindelwald, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Mürren).

Boats on the Brienzersee (Lake Brienz) and Thunersee (Lake Thun), and the cable car to the Schilthorn are free with the Swiss Travel Pass, as is travelling on most routes between the villages in the Jungfrau Region.

If you are planning to do a day trip to Luzern at any stage, the Rigi, the Stanserhorn, and boats on the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne) are also free with the Swiss Travel Pass (as are the trains to and from your base, and between attractions).

If you plan to include any of those, I would take another look at your costings to see whether the Swiss Half Fare Card still comes out ahead, and by how much.


Last modified on Jun 4, 2018 - 5:57 AM by Lucas
5 posts
new member
Jun 4, 2018 - 12:57 AM

You guys are amazing .. thank you so much.

After more research!!! We have decided to go to Luzern versus Interlaken for 25th and 26th August. There is a summer music festival going on and we thought that would be a fun way to immerse ourselves into the culture. Plus we love music.

I will have to redo my calculations now and figure out if we want extra side trips while in Luzern!

thanks again,


More about Swiss trains and rail passes

More on MySwissAlps.com

Get a free account to plan your trip

Planning your trip is much easier with a free MySwissAlps account. Learn all about Switzerland and get in touch with us quickly if you have questions.

Learn more

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They will book your entire trip.

© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2019