Which train route to see the Swiss alps?

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armrev
armrev
4 posts
new member
Feb 15, 2018 - 2:45 AM

We will be in Switzerland from 18 March to 26 March. We already booked for the Bernina Express from Tirano to Chur , staying one night in Chur then our plan is to go to Lucerne for 4 days (19 to 23), then Geneva until 26. Lucerne and Geneva (flight going back home) will be sort of home base to take day trips. Our main purpose in this trip is to see the Alps. We will be happy taking a train rides to see it but we don't know which route is the best. Will it be possible having our base in Lucerne or Geneva to accomplished this. Also, which is better Mt. Tiltis, Mt.Pilatus or Mt. Rigi from Lucerne? From Lucerne we plan to do a day trip to Bern, I was reading that going back to Lucerne we can take the Golden pass for a more scenic route but reading the golden pass line I don't see any train coming from Bern. And if we decide to take the Glacier Express from Chur to Zermatt, will Eurail pass accepted on this route. Any help will be much appreciated.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4021 posts
expert
Feb 15, 2018 - 4:01 AM in reply to armrev

You will see plenty of mountains on the Bernina Express.

If you want to see more of the Alps a better base than Geneva would be somewhere in the Jungfrau Region. Wengen is my pick but beware Eurail Pass is not as generous as Swiss Travel Passes when you get off the main rail connections and head into the mountains. See Eurail Validity map downloadable from this page www.myswissalps.com/eu railselectpass/validit y.

Montreux is a nicer place to stay than Geneva although in March the weather may not be terrific.

The mountains around Lucerne boil down to personal preference. Titlis is very popular. Pilatus will only be accessible by cable car. The cog-wheel railway to Alpnachstad won't be running.

From Lucerne taking the Golden Pass Line to Geneva you will go through Interlaken (which is the main transport hub of the Jungfrau Region) so you may not need to go that way for your Bern day trip. If you want to you can search the timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) for Bern to Lucerne via Interlaken Ost.

See this thread (www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/golden-pass-reservations-zweisimmen-to-montreux) regarding reservation issues on Golden Pass Line from 9 March onwards.

Yes you can take Glacier Express for Chur to Zermatt using Eurail Pass. You need to make reservations which are an additional charge (also on the Bernina Express).

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Feb 16, 2018 - 3:15 AM in reply to armrev

>> From Lucerne we plan to do a day trip to Bern

For the most scenic reasonably direct route, put "via Trubschachen" into your timetable search. That will take you through the picturesque Emmental (Emme valley), which is characterised by rolling hills and traditional buildings. That is of course the place of origin of Emmentaler cheese.

The Golden Pass route (about which rockoyster has given you advice) will definitely provide a scenic way back. It will take around 3 hours.

Alpenrose

armrev
armrev
4 posts
new member
Feb 23, 2018 - 12:37 AM

Thank you very much for your input. Up to now i have not bought the Swiss travel pass. I booked our Bernina Express not using any passes. Am I too late to get a Swiss travel pass flex if we will be in Switzerland on the 18th of March? Also is it worth using one day Swiss pass if we will be taking the train from Chur to Lucerne? Another question when looking at timetable/schedule of train, there are more than one Lucerne, which station do I need to put in? If we are going to Geneva from Lucerne, part of the route is covered by the Golden Pass which entails to many transfer, will it be hard if we have our luggages with us?

rockoyster
rockoyster
4021 posts
expert
Feb 23, 2018 - 1:32 AM in reply to armrev

As well as the Swiss Travel Pass (www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass) there are many reigonal passes (www.myswissalps.com/re gionalpasses) which can work depending on where you are based and how much travel you plan. Before you can know for sure which pass suits your travel plans you need to do the sums based on the cost of all your planned trips on trains, boats, cable cars etc. You can use the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) to work out the fares for any trip. 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).

If you have already decided on a Pass be aware that I bought a Swiss Travel Pass Flex from Happy Rails last year. It took 3 weeks to reach Australia. To be safe I’d buy on arrival. Did you already buy tickets for Bernina Express? If so the maybe an 8 day STP (not Flex) would suit you better?

Full fare Chur to Luzern is CHF49. A Saver Day Pass (www.myswissalps.com/on edaytravelpass/details) won’t help. Luzern is the main station.

My wife and I carried 2 suitcases and 2 back packs with us on trains all over Switzerland last year. We didn’t find it a problem. Many people follow the Golden Pass Line (www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass) with luggage.

armrev
armrev
4 posts
new member
Mar 1, 2018 - 3:40 AM

Thank you. I already booked the Bernina Express ticket so I think I will get the 4 day travel pass which we are using when we are in Lucerne. Do you think it is worth paying for the 1st class? Also if we want to do the golden pass from Lucerne to Geneva, can you tell me what train route to take. I have a hard time using the map.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4021 posts
expert
Mar 1, 2018 - 4:03 AM in reply to armrev

If you mean is it worth paying for a 1st Class Swiss Travel Pass then I would say no. If you have a 2nd Class Pass and want to travel 1st class on any specific journey you can always buy a class upgrade which will cost half the difference between the 1st and 2nd class fares for that journey.

For details of the Golden Pass Line see www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass. It is really three different trains. Luzern to Interlaken Ost, Interlaken Ost to Zweisimmen and Zweisimmen to Montreux. Then another regular train Montreux to Geneva.

This www.mob.ch/en/reservat ion-procedure might help you envisage the route but as mentioned earlier in this thread it is not possible to make reservations between Zweisimmen and Montreux after 18 March.

armrev
armrev
4 posts
new member
Mar 12, 2018 - 1:40 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you for your reply. I am trying to do my itinerary to see which pass is good. Leaning more on the half fare since the 4 day swiss travel pass is not enough while the 8 days is too much. I would just need at least 6 days. Anyway, I am trying to check the fare from Bern to Lucern, which route will I put in the via route if we want to take part of the golden pass route? If that is really possible. If not, if I do the golden pass route to Geneva from Luzern as mentioned do I buy tickets for each train?

rockoyster
rockoyster
4021 posts
expert
Mar 12, 2018 - 2:24 AM in reply to armrev

If you are doing the Golden Pass Line from Luzern to Montreux then there is no need to follow the Golden Pass Line Luzern to Interlaken to Bern. But you can if you want to.

For Luzern to Geneva you can buy just 1 ticket or use the Swiss Travel Pass if you get one.

Don't ignore the 8-day STP in your calculations. Although you might also consider a Saver Day Pass (www.myswissalps.com/on edaytravelpass/details) to top up a 4-day STP.

Last modified on Mar 12, 2018 - 2:26 AM by rockoyster

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