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What type of train passes recommended to purchase?

We are 2 first time US travelers to Germany and Switzerland. We’re traveling first two weeks in July 2019. Flight into Frankfurt. Plan NO CAR RENTAL. Our planned itinerary:
• Travel from Frankfurt airport to Hotel NH Collection Frankfurt City for one night.
• Travel next day from Frankfurt to Munich for 3 days. Planning on day trip to Salzburg, Neuschwanstein Castle and possible Dachau.
• Traveling to Stuttgart for 2 days for planned visit to Porsche museum.
• From Stuttgart traveling to Lucerne Switzerland to meet up with friends spending 2 days.
• From Lucerne to Luterbrunnen spending 2 days.
• From Luterbrunnen off to Zermatt for another 2 days.
• Off to Geneva for 1 day and flying back to US.

We were planning on purchasing a 15 day continuous Eurail pass, however after reading, this may not be needed. What is the most convenient and cost effective pass to purchase? Does the Eurail pass allow any train access? Sound like we need to purchase S-Bahn pass separately. Any suggestion or help would be appreciated.

Posted by
7196 posts

Get the Swiss Travel Pass 4 day for sure. I am in Switzerland now.
I got a 3 day that expires tomorrow it is worth it.

I do not think you need one in Germany.

Posted by
7205 posts

You’re spending 3 days in Munich and spending 2 of those days to travel to Neuschwanstein and Salzburg...do actually plan to do anything in Munich other than ride the rails from and back to? Munich is a great destination, but you actually need to spend time in the city to see.

Posted by
16823 posts

OK, I'll weigh in on this. If you got a 15-day global pass, that is $499 each, or $33 per person per day.
Day 1 is just a local ticket for 5 EUR per person.
Day 2 You can buy now a nonrefundable Sparpreis ticket for a direct ICE to Munich for 39.80 EUR for 2.
Day 3 You can on the spot a Bayern Ticket for 32 EUR good for a round trip to Salzburg.
Day 4 You can on the spot a Bayern Ticket for 32 EUR good for a rounYou can on the spot a Bayern Ticket for 32 EUR good for a round trip to Salzburg.d trip to Neuschwanstein.
Day 5 Local MVV ticket to Dachau and back is a 16.10 EUR day ticket, then you can buy now a nonrefundable Sparpreis ticket for a direct ICE to Stuttgart for 39.80 EUR for 2.
Day 7 You can buy now a nonrefundable Sparpreis ticket for a train to Luzern for 39.80 EUR for 2.

So that is 210 EUR ($236) and you are in Switzerland now. You have a nominal 227 CHF ($) of train travel from Luzern to Zermatt to Geneva. Normal break even point for a Half fare card is 240 CHF. But you are not going to sit on your porch in Lauterbrunnen and Zermatt and gaze at the mountains. You are going to want to ride the lifts up into those mountains. The Half fare card works everywhere, where as the Eurail pass only gives you a 25% discount. Heck, it won't even get you all the way to Lauterbrunnen, only a 25% discount on the train ticket from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen. It will also work on lake boats in Luzern and mountain lifts there as well. so buy Half Fare cards when you get to Luzern for 120 CHF per person, Then everything will be half price.

This strategy will leave you money ahead over buying Eurail Passes that don't really work very well in Switzerland.

Posted by
12897 posts

If you decide on a Pass , get the Swiss Pass. I use a Pass but with your itinerary I would not suggest getting a Global Pass , obviously not a continuous one.

Why with your itinerary? It is not going farther enough distance -wise, trip duration is too short, and I use the Pass for the obvious 2-4 night train rides I take on a trip.