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Swiss pass vs Swiss-Austria eurail pass, which is better?

Hi,
Me and my husband are planning to spend 8 days in Switzerland and Austria. We started looking at the rail passes as an option.
I did look at point to point ticket costs also to all our stops and have a table for that.
We are thinking of either buying Swiss pass for 4 days or Swiss-Austria eurail pass for 8 days. Right now we are really confused about which one to go for or skip both and just go for point to point tickets :). This is my itinerary for the 8 days. Can you tell us which pass should we go for? Or should we go for point to point tickets?

2nd june:- Reach Zurich, stay at zurich
3rd june:-Visit Bern and/or Lucerne, stay at Zurich
4th june:-Early morning,leave for interlaken, cover Grindelwald, Kleine Scheidegg, night stay at Interlaken
5th June:-From Lauterbrunnen to Murrenn- Gimmelwald hike, Visit Schilthorn
6th june:-Leave for Vienna by afternoon train
7th, 8th and 9th In Austria. Planning to cover Vienna, Krems, Melk,Hallstat and Salzburg. Does this sound too ambitious?
Any preferences that you would suggest?

10th morning leave for Munich from salzburg. Will be in Germany till 16th.
In Germany, we are planning to cover Frankfurt to Black-forest stretch by car. Is this a good idea?

Posted by
8889 posts

Not a comment on which pass to buy, that would require a lot of arithmetic, which it sounds like you have already done.

But, regards your itinary. I would not stay in Zürich. Instead from Zürich airport go direct to Luzern and stay there. There are 2 trains per from Zürich airport to Luzern, time just over 1 hour, price CHF 29.

4th June, the train from Luzern to Interlaken is the Brünig Pass route (See this video the narrator mis-pronounces most of the names), or one of many others on YouTube. This is the first half of the "Golden Pass" route.

I don't think you have enough time fro Bern, but if you do, make it a day trip from Interlaken, it is closer.

6th June: Salzburg is a few hours closer than Vienna, so go there first, and work on to Vienna.

Posted by
16883 posts

If your time in Switzerland fits into 4 consecutive days, then that version of the Swiss Travel Pass for $278 per person would be a very convenient choice. Plus an Austria pass for 4 days of travel within a month at $185 per person add up to $463 per person, versus the 8-day, 2-country pass at $361. The one-country Swiss Travel Pass gives you more coverage of museums, local transport, and bigger lift discounts (sometimes 50% instead of 25%) around both Luzern and Lauterbrunnen; see the comparison list at http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/trains/switzerland-rail-passes. Those differences can easily make up the $100 difference in pass price.

If your travel within Switzerland stretches over 5 days, the pass choice is less obvious. If you travel from Zurich to Luzern on June 2, a separate ticket only costs about $25, but wouldn't give you museum, tram, or lake boat coverage on that day, which you might have time to use.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks Laura and Chris.
If I buy Swiss pass and Austria pass differently...will it cover our travel from Zurich to Vienna?...that train ticket itself is $63 for two .Does the discount offered on cable cars differs between Swiss pass and eurail Swiss-Austria pass?
We are planning to take a cable car from Murren to Schilthorn, Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp and maybe Grindlewald to Mannlichen.
We are not planning to take jungfrau express or Glacier express. We are planning to make Lauterbrunnen as our base now instead of interlaken and then do the hiking trails.If we buy passes for these two countries differently and If we have to pay for Zurich to Vienna as well then it will around $163 more from the Swiss-Austria pass.Moreover in eurail Swiss-Austria pass we are getting Golden pass train journey from Lucerne to Interlaken free.It even gives a stretch on Glacier express free.Since it will cover our Zurich to VIenna journey aslo and it gives 25% off on mountain trains like swiss pass...I thought eurailSwiss-Austria pass will save us more. Please correct me if any of my findings are wrong here.

As if now we are not really planning to go to museums.Do you think we should have some on the list? And if we have to choose between Bern and Lucerne what should we choose?

Thanks