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I am staying with family in Geneva Sept 12-21, 2014, my first trip here. I will have a few days to explore before taking the train to Paris on 9/24. Objective is to visit Interlaken, Lucerne, and perhaps Burn & Zurich. Current plan is to take the Golden Pass to Lucerne on 9/21, base there and take a day trips to Interlaken, Burn and/or Zurich. Looking at the map, it seems that I would be back-tracking on the day trip to Interlaken.

Can I buy tickets for the Golden pass in segments to allow an overnight stay in Interlaken then continue to Lucerne the next day? Or should I plan on regular trains? Is the Golden Pass route significantly different than other trains?

Are day trips from Geneva to Burn or Zurich an option? How about Interlaken and Lucerne?
Must train tickets be purchased in well advance or can I get them in Geneva?
How should I plan this trip to best utilize my time?
I only speak English, will be traveling solo, and will have a suite case to lug around. I'd appreciate suggestions and thank you in advance!

Posted by
16789 posts

OK, one at a time.
Tickets can be bought anytime right up to departure. There is no advance purchase discount (except train to Paris). You can buy online, from a station agent, or from a vending machine.
You can buy a one month Half Fare Card for 120 chf. Depending on how old your are (25 or under) there may be even better deals.
Golden Pass line is significantly different from mainline Swiss trains, and you can buy tickets for any segment you like. Look up schedules and prices at A half fare card cuts all prices in half. Just remember that prices that pop up first on the website are already the half price fares.
The Paris train should be bought on line now to get the best price.
Study up on some polite French and German phrases, but you should have no problem with English.