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Please help......train ticket info. needed!

Hi, I am planning our first trip to Switzerland, we plan to ski a couple days and explore on the others. I know that I do not need to book my train tickets in advance, but I wanted to get a general idea of how much they will cost before I decide where we are going to ski. I would like to go to Zermatt from Zurich. If I go to RailEurope, and enter the days of Jan 8 for two people, I get a price of $334. If I go to GoEuro, I get a price of $107 for two people on the same date. Why is this varying???? Where should I look for an accurate price????

Honestly, if the train ticket to Zermatt is that high, we will look for a closer ski resort in central Switzerland, so that is why I need to get an accurate estimate.

Thanks, I hope somebody can help me, I greatly appreciate it!!!!

Posted by
33141 posts

Use the official website of the Swiss railways, not some third party, and especially not RailEurope because although heavily pushed by our host here they only show some trains and usually the highest prices available (trying to force you into buying an overpriced pass from them), and show none of the available discounts.

The website of SBB, the Swiss national railways, is https://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html

Start there, and read carefully the results, the initial prices shown default to you using a Half Fare card. Speaking of which, if you add up to a reasonable amount the Half Fare Card can really help.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you Nigel, I did not realize that I was looking at a third party site. Well, I suspected I was, because a couple of my Google searches yesterday were to try to find out what the actual rail way was. I am off to look at the website and also....see what the half fare card is all about. I appreciate your time!

Posted by
15578 posts

I just spent a couple of weeks traveling by train around Switzerland. It's not the first time I traveled around Switzerland by train.

I agree with Nigel 100%. Use the SBB website. If you insist on using a third party, try Trainline.eu but why not just buy from the people who operate the train. I downloaded the app and bought from that. You can keep your tickets on your phone via the app.

RailEurope is the worst site to buy individual train tickets anywhere.

Posted by
20336 posts

The official price from www.sbb.ch/en is 130 CHF per person, so for 2 people it would be 260 CHF. Since the CHF is virual equal the USD as of today, that is $260. I don't know how GoEuro can offer you $107 unless it is actually a bus, Flixbus perhaps?

The key question is, are you going elsewhere in Switzerland during this trip? There is the 30-day Half fare Card for 120 CHF. That would make a round trip Zurich to Zermatt, 260 CHF normally, 250 CHF (120 plus half of 260). Not a big deal, but if you were going elsewhere in Switzerland later, all further tickets would be half price.
https://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/travel-in-switzerland/international-guests/swiss-halffare-card.html

If you are just going to Zermatt, then back to Zurich, you can get a Swiss Transfer Ticket for 154 CHF per person. That would get you a round trip on 2 different days. You must purchase this ticket before you arrive in Switzerland. https://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/travel-in-switzerland/international-guests/swiss-transfer.html

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you, yes, I will buy directly from SBB. I also just found the Swiss Transfer Tickets, which seem like they would be idea. I know w.e are going to land in Zurich and then go directly to Zermatt for several days. With the Swiss Transfer Ticket, I believe that means we would then have to travel roundtrip back to Zurich. At that point, I think we will simply stay in Zurich for a couple days, but we may look to take the train somewhere else fairly close by. Thank you for your input and advice. As this is only my third trip to Europe, it is a bit overwhelming to look at the train options, but I feel like I am on a much better track to make a confident decision!

Posted by
20336 posts

You are allowed to make stopovers with the Transfer Ticket, but they must be on the most direct rail route between the start point and the destination, and travel must be completed in 1 day. The most direct rail route from Zurich airport to Zermatt would pass through Zurich Hbf, Bern, Spiez, and Visp. So returning, you could travel to Bern in the morning, stopover for the afternoon, then continue to Zurich in the evening.

Zermatt is pretty special during ski season. Expensive, but like the real estate agents say, "Location, location, location".

Posted by
16731 posts

The Transfer Ticket does not require you to return to Zurich on the second half. You could head to Geneva, Basel, or other border city if you like.

Posted by
16894 posts

Also note that the Swiss Transfer ticket will not be sold past this December, so you'll have to buy it before you go.

If this ticket price is enough to scare you away from Zermatt, then be sure you investigate other costs of the stay before committing.

Posted by
15 posts

Laura, thanks for letting me know about that the Swiss Transfer Ticket won't be sold past December. I knew that I had to buy it at least 5 days in advance, but had not seen anything about it not being sold past Dec. May I ask where you received this information, as I have not seen it elsewhere?

Thanks also for your advice about price. I am buying my plane ticket this week and will then get more serious about where we are going to ski. If needed, we will go to a resort that is more centrally located.

Posted by
15 posts

Larua, sorry, I should have used Dr. Google before I wrote! Yes, I see that it will be discontinued in 2019. It LOOKS like I can buy it in 2018 and use it in 2019, so that is good. I will read carefully before I purchase for sure. Thanks!!!!!!