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HUGE transportation/train mess! Swiss based..

Hello, my husband is working at a hospital in Fribourg, Switzerland for 6 weeks in September. While he is at work I will be exploring Switzerland and depending on his schedule (which we don't really know yet), he will be able to do some traveling with me in Switzerland on weekdays when he gets off but definitely not as much as I will. Also, there are three countries we would like to visit on his weekends off: France, Germany, and Italy. We would have to leave Friday afternoon and come back to Switzerland Sunday night. I do not know if getting passes for just two or three days depending on how you look at it would be worth considering. The other weekends we have free we will explore Switzerland. Is there any particular passes that stand out that make sense for us to get ahead of time? I think a Swiss Pass for me but I don't think he would need one that expensive. I have no idea about the other countries. Sorry, a little overwhelmed, we do not have trains this way here. Please help if you have any advice! Thanks so much!

Posted by
4353 posts

You'll probably want a Swiss Half Fare Card - 1 month is 120 CHF. Enjoy your time in Switzerland!

Posted by
27461 posts

I don't see the HUGE mess. What is the concern?

Posted by
16460 posts

If you are going to be there for 6 weeks, you might as well spring for the 1-year Half Fare Card for 175 chf. For trips to France, Germany, & Switzerland, get nonrefundable advance purchase discount fares on line, or regional day tickets. Just buy them when you get there.

Posted by
16883 posts

Advance-discount tickets can be great deal, no argument, especially booked 2 - 3 months in advance. Flights may be cheaper to get to the bigger cities in neighbor countries; see www.skyscanner.com.

A Selectpass that covers those 4 countries costs, for instance, costs $533 per person for 6 travel days in 1st class (3 weekend roundtrips), plus a couple of seat reservation fees (important to reserve ahead for France). That's a good value if you will do 6 long train rides.

Posted by
7205 posts

Yes - that title is definitely misleading. I thought there actually had been a big train mess in Switzerland.

Posted by
2818 posts

You can get good discount prices on tickets from Switzerland into another country ( France, Switzerland, or Italy) by buying in advance on the Swiss rail site, www.sbb.ch or www.rail.ch. Generally these are city to city tickets ( like Basel to Paris or Zurich to Munich on the intercity trains. Discount tickets for travel within Switzerland are rare, especially in summer.

A Swiss pass works much better for travel in Switzerland than a multi-country Eurail pass. One time we made the mistake of buying a France-Switzerland pass and had to pay hefty supplements or ride some trains. So I would suggest you buy a Swiss Flex Pass or Half Fare card for Swiss travel, and buy advance discount tickets for your travel to the other countries.

And if you plan it right, you could get by just fine with the cheaper 30-day Half Fare card. Just go to France, Italy or Germany your first and last weekends, leaving 30 days in the middle to be covered with the Half Fare Card or Flex pass if you do that. Note that the flex pass gives you 50 % off travel on "non-covered" days between the first and last day. So if you buy a 3-day Flex pass, you could use it for day 1 and day 30 travel to more distant places within Switzerland, plus one other day. All other travel within Switzerland would be half price ( except the Jungfraujoch trip which is 25% off above Wengen).

That is what I would do anyway.