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Help with Rail Pass choice

We have the following itinerary...pls help us select what makes the most sense.

  1. Arrive Zurich on 9/13 at 9am and head to Murren to spend 4 days.

  2. After Murren we will spend 2 nights in Bern and then back to Zurich airport.

Thanks.

Posted by
5848 posts

I doubt a pass would be of benefit. Visit Swiss Rail and price individual tickets, then look at some of the deals they offer. They do have 3 day Flexipasses and something called a transfer ticket that might be worth looking at. They also offer a half price card, but seeing that it is good for a month, probably not useful for your limited travel.

Posted by
16742 posts

The Half fare Card is a simple decision. 240 CHF worth of full fare tickets per person and it breaks even, more than 240 CHF and you start saving money. And when you price the tickets at https://www.sbb.ch/en, the first price you see assumes you have a Half Fare Card, so you have to double that to get the full fare price. For instance, put in Zurich Airport and Muerren and you'll see a price like this:1× Individual Tickets, Half-Fare travelcard from CHF 47.00
That means it will cost you 94 CHF without a Half Fare Card. Also be sure to include the cost of lift rides in Muerren.

Posted by
11286 posts

As Sam says, you have to do the math, using the Swiss Rail website, and remembering that the first price shown will be WITH a Half Fare Card (you can click through and choose "No Reduction" to confirm the full fare).

Your options are no pass at all, Half Fare Card, Swiss Travel Pass, and Berner Oberland Pass (since you're spending the majority of your time there). Alas, there is no shortcut to just adding up all the numbers yourself, for all the trips you are definitely taking and possibly taking.

Some factors to consider:

1) The Swiss Travel Pass and the Berner Oberland Pass are very convenient, in that for fully covered items, you don't need to buy tickets. You just board, and flash your pass when tickets are checked. You only need to buy tickets for items not fully covered (such as the Schilthornbahn and the Jungfraujoch). With a Half Fare Card or no pass, you need to buy tickets each time. However, all ticket machines, including those for local buses and trams, have a "full fare" and a "half fare/children's fare" option, so it's not hard; you can of course also buy tickets at a staffed ticket window.

2) The Half Fare Card gets you 50% off everything, including the very expensive Jungfraujoch, which is only 25% off with the Swiss Travel Pass (don't know about the Berner Oberland Pass).

3) A Swiss Travel Pass also works as a museum pass; if you're seeing a lot of museums in Bern, don't forget to add that into the calculations.