Please sign in to post.

Regional Pass for Berner Oberland or point to point train tickets?

My wife and I will start in Lucerne and spend five nights/six days in Wengen from September 12-17. We plan to hike around the area and wonder if the Regional Pass for four or six days is worth it. We'll do the Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn cable car and believe we get a 50% discount with the pass. Otherwise, we plan to hike as much as possible and enjoy the village life of Wengen, Mürren, and other picturesque spots. Will the regional pass be worth it or should we just pay point to point?

Posted by
11315 posts

We go there every year (except 2020) and the BO Regional Pass always pays off for us. Staying in Wengen you will need the train or a lift every day not to mention traveling in from Luzern.

Posted by
99 posts

My wife and I stayed in Lauterbrunnen for 7 days in mid-June 2016. We had the BO pass and it paid off for us. One thing I will say is that I noticed that the train stations in that area at times had a tendency to be very busy with tourists. As a result, I am glad that we had the pass and did not have to buy tickets at the station the day of. We were able to just show up a few minutes before the train showed up and then hop on. Also, I would say that at least once a day we were asked to show our pass when the attendant came around checking everyone had tickets.

Posted by
32 posts

Thank you Laurel and DB. Helpful information. I was leaning toward the Swiss Half Fare Pass as a cheaper alternative and wonder if the crowds in the middle of September would warrant a Regional Pass to get on quickly or if the SHFP would be sufficient.

Posted by
32 posts

Well, after further review, you have convinced us to get the BO pass. Thanks for the help. One last question: Is it best to get the BO pass in the U.S. or simply get it at the train depot in Zurich or Lucerne?

Posted by
11294 posts

There's no advantage to buying it in advance, so just get it while you're there.

Posted by
497 posts

Echo everyone else. This will be our fourth trip there, we tried the half fare once just to compare. The BO pass is worth every penny. It’s especially nice if you want to switch gears due to weather, hop on and head here or there. We’ll be there this year about two weeks ahead of you!

Posted by
99 posts

We bought ours ahead of time. 5 years ago, you had to print it out. I am not sure if they have an electronic one that you can put on your phone now. But what I did is print out two copies and laminated both. I wanted to protect it so it wouldn't fray, get wet, etc. I used the second one as a backup just in case we lost the main one.

Posted by
118 posts

The Swiss Half Fare Card is good for long haul trips, such as going from Zurich or Geneva to Interlaken.

Also I believe the HFC gives you a discounted price on the Berner Oberland pass.

So you have to kind of add up the trains you expect to use outside of the Berner Oberland region and any discount the HFC provides for the BO pass against the price of the HFC.

Posted by
4690 posts

Is the discount for the BO Pass the same if you have a Swiss Travel Pass, versus the Half Fare Pass? Thx so much!

Posted by
11294 posts

"Is the discount for the BO Pass the same if you have a Swiss Travel Pass, versus the Half Fare Pass? Thx so much!"

The Half Fare Card gives a discount on the BO Pass, and on the Swiss Travel Pass. However, if you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you would not want or need a Half Fare Card or a BO Pass, since it covers the whole country, and the things it doesn't cover fully are still cheaper than buying another pass or card (unless you're doing them a LOT). With a Swiss Travel Pass, you would just pay the supplement for the Jungfraujoch, Mt. Titlis, Allmendhubel, etc.

What someone said above is that, since the BO Pass only covers a region of the country, if you're also doing a fair amount of travel outside this region, you may make out better with a BO Pass combined with a Half Fare Card, as compared to just buying the Swiss Travel Pass. As with all Swiss travel pass products, you have to crunch the numbers yourself. Add up all the trips you are definitely taking and the trips you are possibly taking, and see how the price compares for the various options. It's a bit of work, but it's the only way to be sure of getting the best deal. Or, just get the Half Fare Card, and accept that it may not be the best deal, but if you're taking more than 240 CHF of rides, you can't lose.

One more factor to complicate things even further: the Swiss Travel Pass acts as a Swiss Museum Pass. Swiss museums are as expensive as everything else in the country, so if you're seeing more than a few of these, this can make the Swiss Travel Pass a better deal, even if it's not the best deal for transit alone. If the only bigger city you're going to is Luzern, you probably don't need a museum pass, but if you're also going to Bern, Lausanne, Zurich, Basel, etc, then it starts to pay off. Here's a PDF list of participating museums organized by city: https://www.museumspass.ch/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Falterli-2021.pdf

Posted by
118 posts

Yeah I did the spreadsheet exercise a couple of years ago.

Actually I don't think I planned for the BO Pass until I was in Wengen and added a few things up.

But one good reason for HFC, with the SBB app, you can jump on a train or cable car at the spur of the moment!

The SBB app will show you latest train schedules (I believe they reflect the actual trains en route to your location) so you can have flexibility on where you decide to go.

Remember, in the mountains, weather can change abruptly, so you can look at webcams of a peak and decide whether to go up or go somewhere else. The SBB app lets you search other options, buy the ticket through the app using your Apple Pay, then just board the train or cable car or ferry.

A lot of mountain trains and cable cars shut down around 5 PM, even in peak summer. So you may need to optimize your time, especially if you buy something like the BO pass and you try to hit as many of the "free" cable cars and trains as possible.