Zurich to Paris by rail or fly via Geneva?

Zurich to Paris by rail or fly via Geneva?

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Pranav
Pranav
12 posts
new member
Apr 13, 2017 - 4:55 PM

Hi,

We plan to be in Switzerland during May 3rd week. Will depart from Zurich to Paris on May 25th.

TGV Lyra has direct service from Zurich to Paris (about 4hrs30mins journey). The prices for online booking of 4 tickets (including wife and 2 kids) are quite steep. Obviously, can't blame anyone - we made our plans little late!

It would help to know, are there any other economical options? We will have Swiss Rail Pass, will this help in reducing the cost. We couldn't see any option on the online booking site offering discounts for Swiss Rail Pass holders.

A friend advised to travel upto Geneva (using Rail pass) and from there take Easyjet flight to Paris. Easyjet prices would be about one-fourth of TGV direct fare. But then, to do this, we will have to include Geneva in our itinerary (which would actually eat into the time we wanted to spend in Zurich). Moreover, Easyjet would fly to Paris Orly airport instead of CDG. This will call for figuring out the connectivity from Paris Orly to Novotel Center Eiffel Hotel (which shouldn't be difficult, if it needs to be done).

Another option which is coming to mind as I write this. If we have a rail pass for Paris, in addition to the swiss rail pass, do we actually need to buy the tickets of TGV. Should not the combine Paris and Swiss rail pass cover Zurich to Paris. In Paris, we would be going to Disneyland (thats the only place I think we would use rails in Paris).

Any suggestions will be of help.

Thanks

Pranav

Arno
Arno
10344 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 13, 2017 - 7:37 PM

Hi Pranav,

Welcome to MySwissAlps! Flying takes more time in most cases, and even more so if you have to make a detour to reach Geneva. The trains are more comfortable, eco-friendly, and take you to the center of Paris rather than a remote airport.

Train tickets from Switzerland to Paris are explained here: myswissalps.com/traint ickets/france. Click to the Price tab to find purchase options. Booking early would indeed have been cheaper, but it's worth it to check the websites listed on the Price tab. Tickets from € 74 are still available on www.trainline.eu/searc h for example. Not for the fastest trains though. Note that prices vary by the time and day. Traveling a day earlier or later could make a difference. Bus trips are available from € 34 but take a lot of time: www.flixbus.com/bus-routes/bus-paris-geneva.

If you have a Swiss Travel Pass on your departure day then don't search for train/bus tickets from Zurich but from Basel (the border). That's cheaper. Your pass will cover the ride up to Basel.

A pass for Paris won't help with this trip. A pass that also includes the whole of France (e.g. Eurail Select Pass) would covered the whole ride, so no ticket required, but you still need seat reservations which with otherwise be included in the ticket. Such a pass most probably not make sense though if you only visit Paris and Disneyland.

In any case, booking soon is recommended. By the way, is Zurich your base town during your stay in Switzerland?

Pranav
Pranav
12 posts
new member
Apr 22, 2017 - 11:44 AM

Hi Arno,

In continuation of last post on this thread - we will be based in Grindelwald for entire 7 days in Switzerland. Managed to get a decent chalet near the train station. Since traveling with family (wife and 2 kids 13/10yrs), didn't want to take the hassle of shifting hotels every 2/3 days.

We have also managed to book (thanks to your advise!) TGV train to Paris from Lausanne on 25th afternoon at reasonable prices. Since we will be doing Montreux via Golden Line earlier, we will go to Lausanne from Interlaken via Bern - this would be faster too!

Only thing we have to figure out is how best to use 7 days in Grindelwald. Will keep writing-in for all the help and guidance.

You people are doing fantastic job!

Many congrats!

Pranav

Arno
Arno
10344 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 22, 2017 - 12:17 PM

Hi Pranav,

Great to hear you're making progress! Grindelwald is wonderful, look here for things to do. Normally you'd travel from Grindelwald to Paris via Basel as that's quicker than Lausanne. But I think there are construction works between Basel and Paris on your travel date so in your case there's not much of a difference. In any case, enjoy the ride(s)!

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