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Advice requested for specific Switzerland transport, Switzerland to France, Lifts, Mountain Trains

I have been so confused over the plethora of information and choices regarding transport IN Switzerland, Switzerland to France and the costs of mountain lifts etc. I am a retired adult and an experienced independent traveler (since late 1960's), will be traveling with my adult son, so this trip has something for both of us. This is our final (quirky and very specific) travel itinerary for mid-September, 2017:

1 - flying directly to Zurich, train from Zurich airport to Lauterbrunnen, lifts and train to Murren - arrive same day.
2 - 5 days in Murren: 1 trip up Schilthorn, use of lower lifts/trains in area each day to accommodate mostly downhill walks.
3 - Train from Lauterbrunnen to Bayeux, France, arrive same day (4 days).
4 - Train from Bayeux to Paris (4 days).

Based on this plan, and after checking: Point to Point ticket prices, Eurail Flex 2 country pass, Swiss Travel Pass, Half Off Swiss travel card, and Swiss Transfer Card and Half Off Card combined, I calculated that the last option, Swiss Transfer Card and Half Off Card combo, is the way to go. This would also allow for a half off trip on train to Junfraujoch, if we have a good weather day.

I usually buy point to point tickets online, on the specific country's rail websites (ie SNCF) as opposed to RailEurope, and have always saved money. Just save the eticket to my smartphone and print a paper copy as back-up and I am good to go.

I have never been to Switzerland -- so any comments or suggestions regarding my ultimate choice of The Swiss Transfer card / Half Off card combo, is greatly appreciated. If anyone sees a better way (other than flying!!), please feel free, all suggestions and helpful information is greatly appreciated. If my Swiss Transfer Card/Half off card combo is not the best choice, again, I am open to suggestions. BTW, I have purchased Rick's Switzerland book, which has already guided me in the right direction to research my choices. Thanks in advance!!

Posted by
16785 posts

Just be sure to have your Swiss Transfer Ticket (plus Half Fare Card add on) before you enter Switzerland.

Your tickets from Basel to Bayeux and return to Paris should be bought at as for in advance as you can, 3 or 4 months generally, in order to get the best price. Note you will need to transfer from your Paris arrival station, Gare de Lyon to your departure station, Gare St Lazare, for Bayeux. The No 14 Metro line is the easiest with escalators and elevators at all stations.

Posted by
16883 posts

Maybe you started out confused, but I'd say that you have come to a logical conclusion.

Posted by
5697 posts

We did essentially the same trip last September (beautiful weather!) and figured out that the costs of Half Fare Card with Lausanne>Muerren>Lausanne plus Schilthorn was pretty close (+/- $10) to Transfer Ticket plus reduced price Half Fare Card. Bought Paris>Lausanne>Paris from home on SNCF, then a separate Paris>Caen trip for a week later. Bought the Half Fare Card at Lausanne on arrival; I left the purchase too late to have Transfer Ticket mailed to home before we left.
Have a great trip!!

Posted by
73 posts

Thank you all, so much, for the info, especially supporting my choice of the Swiss Transfer card/Half Price Card combination. After a full day of number crunching and seemingly infinite transportation and Pass options, I did think my choice was both logical and cost effective, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway, just in case I was missing something!

On SBB website, they priced a thru ticket for me from Lauterbrunnen to Bayeux, and then asked if I had a Travel Pass, I responded yes to the Half Price card, and the website then calculated the ticket giving me the Half Price to Basel, and then connected me with TGV from Basel to Paris, and on to Bayeux. **I realize they may not have given me the best price for the Basel to Bayeux portion, so I will calculate both point-to-point tickets separately, when they are available for purchase, later next year. ** (on SBB for Lauterbrunnen to Basel, and SNCF for Basel to Bayeux). Yes, SNCF has great advance purchase discounts.

I also realize we will have to change train stations in Paris, for the onward journey to Bayeux. Knowing both stations have escalators and elevators is essential for me, with a little arthritis in my back, walking is great but heavy lifting up flights of stairs is not ideal.

Thanks again to all of you, I feel confident going forward, that my travel plans are on track, no pun intended !! :)