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Another Swiss Card vs Swiss Pass Question

I have read the book and web page, written down my itinerary, crunched some numbers and I STILL can't figure out if a Pass or Card is a better way to go for our family. So many great comments on this forum, I just had to ask you experts about our situation. Here we go:
2 adults with 16 and 13 yo kids traveling together (so yes on the saver and family card options). 10 days, 9 nights in Switzerland, flying in and out of Geneva, all travel by public transit system (no car rental).
Itinerary:

Geneva to Lausanne (1 night),
Lausanne to Zermatt (2 nights, high lifts to Matterhorn if weather is good),
Zermatt to Rosenlaui via Interlaken (one night) then hike to Schynige Platte (overnight at Berghotel Faulhorn so no train or lift this day),
Lift down from Schynige Platte and train to Lauterbrunnen (2 nights, high lift to Jungfraujoch if weather permits)
Lift to Murrenberg (2 nights, high lift to Schilthorn weather permitting)
Lift and train back to Geneva for flight out
Our train-only fares are 295CH each and the 5 or 6 travel days with high lift travel in between over 10 days point to a Swiss flexipass. We may need to adjust some of the itinerary if the weather doesn't cooperate so may take a boat trip or more short lift trips. Thoughts?

Posted by
12965 posts

Good job on the Faulhorn overnight! It is a beautiful place and something I would love to do, but we have only been there mid-day.

Are you hiking there from First? Or Schynige Platte? If the latter I suggest you return via First, past the lovely Bachalpsee, and take the Gondolbahn down to Grindelwald, rather than hike the Panoramaweg between Schynige platte and Faulhorn twice. It is pretty rugged, and nice to do a through-hike rather than return the way you came.

To answer your pass question, there is no one right answer if you consider all the factors (cost, convenience, Jungfraujoch). the Half Fare Card does give you the best discount on the Jungfraujoch but that has never driven our decision. We like the 3-day Flex Pass with the 50% discount on non-pass days. Maybe that would work for you.

For the Family Card, note that a 16-year-old is not free. The age is "up to" 16.

For Zermatt, there is no lift that takes you up onto the Matterhorn. There is one to Klein Matterhorn. but the best views of this beautiful mountain are from the Gornergrat railway points, or the trails accessed by the Sunnega funicular (annoying because it runs underground and is very noisy and uncomfortable). Klein Mattterhorn gets up "up close and personal" with th3 Matterhorn but it is more beautiful from farther away.

Posted by
16500 posts

I get a slightly higher full fare estimate than you, 360 chf and change. First, toss the Swiss Card. It is 79 chf more than the 120 chf Half Fare Card. Your first day is 26 chf full fare and last day about 90 chf full fare. That is less than 2 times 79 chf, so the Half Fare Card beats it. In fact, the Half Fare Card is apt to be the best deal.

Posted by
39 posts

One more thought...if you and your family are always traveling together then you'll get a discount with a Saver Swiss Pass. Ask for the free family card for kids 6-16 years old (available with a pass)...they will be able to travel for free on most of the Swiss Rail system (but not up to Jungfraujoch above Wengen).
http://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/holidays--short-breaks-in-switzerland/swisstravelsystem.html

If you don't get the passes, there is also a 1/2 fare junior card for 30 CHF:
http://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and-tickets/tickets-for-switzerland/children.html

Posted by
16500 posts

The Swiss Family Card also works with the Half Fare Card.

Posted by
7205 posts

Yes, Jer, the kids <16 travel free with a Swiss Family Card even all the way to the top of the Jungfrau if they're traveling with a parent.

Posted by
16883 posts

Either offer can be a fine choice and costs are similar. There are trade-offs with both products and your plans are subject to change, so you'll never get an exact calculation. The Half-Fare Card gives you half off all transportation (not musuems) and you stop to buy tickets separately for each trip (120 + half of 360 = about 300 CHF spent for main trains). A Swiss Flexipass, such as 4 days within 2 months for $323, gives you more hop-on freedom for lower-altitude transportation (and museums) on your 4 longer travel days and then the same 50% discount in between those days (except for Jungfraujoch train).

Posted by
11 posts

Laura and everyone, thanks for your advice. The Half Price card sounds like the most flexible option. We will probably roll with that.