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Half Card Confusion

Help! I've been reading other posts and gone to several sites and am now more confused then ever. My husband and I will be traveling this summer, spending one night in Lucerne (planning on take a boat ride and walking about town - we are staying a few miles outside of city center. (I should mention that we are traveling by car from Italy.) From there we will drive to Lauterbrunnen and park our car at the garage. We are staying three nights in Murren where we plan on doing several hikes (not determined where yet) saw Rick Steves ride his bike to a town and take the tram back to town - looks like fun. A day (if the weather is good) to Jungfraujoch and maybe Schilthorn - if we have time. What I cannot determine if it is worth the cost to buy the Half Card. From what I can tell, the price from one area to another isn't crazy - 11CHF/20CHF one way, what I cannot determine is how many times will I actually be using these modes of transportation? If it is in fact alot, yes, that will add up and maybe the card makes sense. I've read conflicting things - buying the half card - allows half price to Junfraujoch, then somewhere else is said no discount. So if anyone out there has spent 3 nights in Murren - what do you advise? Yes to the half card based on what I said we plan on doing, or pay as we go? Appreciate any/all information you can provide. Even my husband spent some time looking and is shaking his head. THANK YOU!

Posted by
10060 posts

Here's what I do for every trip to Switzerland: I build a spreadsheet with every trip I plan to take by train or mountain lift and note the full prices. Then I look at the pass options, both 1/2 fare card and for the region you will be in, the Berner Oberland Regional Pass, and I note the fares with the discounts and add in the cost of the passes. Math is your friend and will point the way. Sometimes we buy both, but that is when we have several train trips planned, too.

A word on the BO Regional Pass: once you buy it, everything except the final legs to the Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch is included, and those two sections are discounted. So with the BO Pass you can joy ride lifts and the little trains to your heart's content. The Post Bus is included, too.

Posted by
27759 posts

If you are driving from Italy, in addition to the rides you will have costs for that drive into Switzerland.

Unless you get the car in Switzerland it is unlikely to have a Vignette on the windscreen. That will cost you CHF40 at the border, the highways police and their cameras will arrange for a large fine if it isn't on the car correctly.

If you use the Gotthard tunnel there is often a backup at Chiasso at the border and again at the tunnel; the tunnel is very very long, and speed and separation distances are tightly patrolled by camera.

The route from Luzern to Interlaken is scenic but mostly single lane, with many tunnels, very windy and very steep in parts - nowhere near as scenic as the train ride adjacent.

Parking while you are at Mürren is next to the Lauterbrunnen Station at and 3 days will cost CHF 34.

You can't take the car any higher.

Remember Traffic Tutor, IDP, and ZTL for the Italian driving, and to reduce your speed as directed by signs in Switzerland and never exceed the speed or distance in tunnels.

I don't think it is possible to get to the top of the Jungfraujoch, enjoy the top, and get back down in anything anywhere as short as half a day.

Posted by
7205 posts

Of course the HFC gives a 50% discount to the Jungfrau and also to Schilthorn and everywhere else in Switzerland...thus "Half" fare card.

The fares up and down from Lauterbrunnen to Murren or Gimmelwald is really not much at all.

If you go to the Jungfrau then the savings on that trip alone will almost pay for the purchase of the HFC. If you plan on going back down to Lauterbrunnen or over to Wengen or down to Interlaken, etc then you'll be able to use the HFC on all those little trips. Only you can decide how much train travel you'll be doing and therefore if the HFC is good for you.

You mentioned taking a boat ride in Lucerne. Note that the Half Fare Card also gives you 50% discount on boat rides, so there's an additional item you can save on.

Posted by
145 posts

I saw your other post and noted that you've got two kids with you. IIRC (and assuming things have not changed over the last year or so), if you get the HFC, you are entitled to a family card which in turn gives free transportation to kids younger than 16 as long as they travel with you - anywhere in the country including the mountain routes. If you have two such kids, you will easily recoup the cost of one HFC at least.

  • Porcupyn