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Swiss Pass or not?

1) I am still trying to understand the benefits of buying a Swiss pass. We are in Switzerland for 13 days and I was considering buying the 15 days consecutive pass because it is the same price almost as the 8 days flex pass.
2) But when I started mapping out our individual journeys I felt that the individual legs would be cheaper than the pass....
3) I am so confused and don't know what to do!

Please HELP!

Posted by
83 posts

We just got back from seven days in Switzerland and used the 8 day pass, probably would have saved $50 if we did half fare but for us the convenience of not having to screw around buying tickets for every train, gondola, boat etc was well worth the extra money. We were in Zurich, Murren and Lucerne, using transportation daily.

Posted by
8011 posts

It sounds like you totaled the costs of all your train trips in Switzerland using the SBB website but did not realize that it automatically defaults to show the price of a particular route as half the price; most people living there using the trains have a half fare card.

I do not know where you are planning to go but here is what The Half Fare card covers

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en/planning/transport-accommodation/tickets-public-transport/swiss-half-fare-card/

Posted by
188 posts

is that right??? i think i should check again then.

Posted by
20336 posts

The 30-day Half Fare Card gives you 50% off all transportation. Rails, Ships, buses, trams. It costs 120 CHF, so to make it pay, you need at least 240 CHF worth of full fare tickets.

People often get the Swiss Travel Pass because they don't have to buy tickets, just hop on with the pass and ID. The exception is those tourist transports like mountain lifts going to places where nobody lives permanently. Even then there are a few exceptions, like the Schilthornbahn. Otherwise you still have to buy tickets and the Swiss Travel Pass gives you a discount. You pay a premium for that convenience. The Half Fare Card usually saves more money, but you still have to buy a ticket for each journey.

Posted by
188 posts

since we are with two smaller kids and our parents i prefer having to buy - cause we might keep changing the days we want to do things. moreover I think i can buy on the app as well right? is there is huge benefit of not buying for each leg? there will atleast be 8 or the 14 days we won't be buying any tickets anyways!

Posted by
188 posts

also realized if we get the pass the my son who is 7 is free, vs. if i dont get the pass I am paying 50% for him ! starting to look like the pass makes sense

Posted by
16731 posts

Kids 15 and under travel free with a parent who has any kind of Swiss Apass. Just ask for a free Family Card when you buy the Pass.

Posted by
16894 posts

For half of the days will you not be taking any lifts or transportation at all? There are additional pass benefits that you might take advantage of each day, such as lift discounts/coverage, other local transport, and many museums. On your new thread, I count at least 11 days where you've mentioned a route that requires some sort of transportation, and there may be more, depending on where you start those hikes in Zermatt, for instance.

Posted by
6 posts

Is there any need to buy the Swiss Travel Pass in advance? I've read some conflicting statements on it. I'll be doing an 11 day trip and the 15 day pass seems the most economical given our itinerary. Thanks!

Posted by
8011 posts

There is no need to buy any of the Swiss Travel passes in advance. At which city are you arriving in Switzerland?

Posted by
8889 posts

There is no price advantage to buying any Swiss Passes in advance. Buying them on the internet is exactly the same price as buying at a border or airport station.

  • Except there is one reason to buy in advance

    • If you are arriving by train and intend to get a Swiss Pass, you only need to buy a ticket to the border station. It is then advantageous to already have the pass in your hand (buy in advance) so you do not have to get off the train at the border to buy the pass.
  • And one reason not to

    • If you are getting a Swiss Flexi Pass, you cannot get it as a self-print option, it must be pre-printed. So you either get it posted to you (delay, possible extra postage cost, risk of it getting lost), or buy it when you arrive.

Your choice

Posted by
57 posts

I feel your pain. Estimating the travel expenses prior to our trip was so challenging that I finally gave in and decided on the STP. We purchased both an adult and a youth 15 day Swiss Travel Pass upon arrival at the Geneva Airport train station. We have recently returned home and after calculating all of our transportation expenses, STP vs HFC, we saved 116CHF. Not a great savings, but the STP really made traveling so easy for us. Even if it had cost us an additional 300 I would still feel it was worth it. The STP also covered our admission to 3 castles and the St. Gallen Abbey Library saving us 96CHF. Our travel expenses totaled 1,747.14CHF for our 14 day stay. This was our itinerary:
DAY ONE - ARRIVAL GENEVA TO WENGEN
DAY TWO- WENGEN TO JUNGFRAUJOCH
DAY THREE- FIRST/GRINDLEWALD
DAY FOUR-SCHILTHORN/MURREN/GIMMELWALD
DAY FIVE-KANDERSTEG/LAKE OESCHINEN/LAKE BLAUSEE
DAY SIX-THUN CASTLE/LAKE THUN CRUISE/OBERHOFEN CASTLE/HARDER KULM
DAY SEVEN- WENGEN TO AARE GORGE/ AARE GORGE TO LUCERNE
DAY EIGHT- LUCERNE TO MT. TITLUS
DAY NINE- LUCERNE TO MT. PILATUS GOLDEN ROUNDTRIP ROUTE
DAY TEN- LUCERNE TO BELLINZONA/BELLINZONA TO LUGANO/CAMPIONE ITALY/LUGANO TO LUCERNE
DAY ELEVEN- LUCERNE TO ST. GALLEN/ST. GALLEN TO ZURICH
DAY TWELVE-ZURICH TO RHINEFALLS/RHINEFALLS TO SCHAFFHAUSEN/RHYBADI SCHAFFHAUSEN TO ZURICH
DAY THIRTEEN-ZURICH TO BASEL/BASEL TO WEIL AM RHEIN TO HUNINGUE TO BASEL
DAY FOURTEEN-BASEL HOTEL TO BASEL MULHOUSE AIRPORT

Posted by
188 posts

thanks all for all the replies...i am still confused and not sure the best option it looks like the Half Fare Card might work a lot better for us still. but we would need to purchase tickets for each trip - the main trips are on 4 days and other days its much smaller journeys! i don't know what to do!!!