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Swiss Rail Confusion

I have read all the information I can about the various options and what we should buy, but still confused as to the best option. We are flying into Zurich, taking the train from the airport to downtown Zurich for a few hours and then back to airport. We then are taking the train to Wengen for three days, and will also be taking the Top of Europe train up to Jaunfraujoch. The only other train travel we expect is the return trip to Zurich four days later to fly to Venice.

Any advice?

Posted by
16793 posts

The Swiss Transfer Ticket with the Half Fare Card is your best deal, but you added a wrinkle with going in to the Zurich Hbf and then back to the airport to get on a train that will then go back to Zurich Hbf on the way to Wengen. The reason for this plan?

Posted by
6 posts

We are headed to Wengen for four days but since we are flying in and out of Zurich Airport wanted to visit the downtown Zurich area briefly. It appears it is just a short trip from the Zurich airport to downtown, so that made it attractive too.

To be clear I understood that the train to Wengen departs from the Zurich airport station and does not go back through downtown station, maybe I read that wrong. That is why we are traveling as described to/from downtown Zurich.

Posted by
16793 posts

I am saying that you can just go to Zurich Hbf with your luggage, store it in a locker, visit Zurich, then proceed to Wengen from Zurich Hbf without doubling back to the airport. You have to pass through Zurich Hbf to get to Wengen from the airport.

Posted by
6 posts

Wow thanks for that information, I did not have the routes right. Probably read too much into everyone saying you can go direct from the airport station to Wengen.

I need to check anyway to see if Pentecost Monday means stores and restaurants will be closed the day we fly into Zurich.

Posted by
16793 posts

The Swiss transfer Ticket must be bought before you arrive in Switzerland. I believe RS sells them. The price is 141 chf plus the Half Fare Card adder for 60 chf. RS prices would be in US$ at close to equivalent prices. so that would cover from Zurich airport to Wengen and return. While in Wengen, you can use the Half Fare card on the trip to the Jungfraujoch. Normally that would be 170 chf round trip, but it is 85 chf with the Half Fare, so the 60 chf cost of the card is covered. The normal round trip from Zurich airport to Wengen is 175 chf, so the 141 chf cost of the Transfer Ticket pays off there as well. Plus, the Half fare Card will also save on any other journeys while you are in Wengen.

Posted by
7205 posts

Why don't you just train from Wengen to Venice? We do the opposite route every year from Venice -> Milano Centrale -> Lauterbrunnen -> Murren Yes, it's a long trip, but you'll spend just as long (if not longer) training all the way back to Zurich to catch a flight to Venice. The train drops you right at the mouth of the Grand Canal whereas if you FLY you'll have to get transportation from the Airport all the way either to your hotel or to the Venice Train station area. Trust me - just take the train.

Posted by
6 posts

I looked at train schedules from Wengen to Venice, and the number of times we'd have to switch trains. That bothered me some so we just opted for a late afternoon train back to Zurich from Wengen, and an early flight to Venice. We are using Hilton points for the hotel that night, and that gives us a good part of the day in Venice. I'll pay for that with a water taxi from the Venice airport to hotel, so cost was not the issue. Just could not get comfortable with the train schedules, probably should have been on this forum before we nailed down our travel plans.

Posted by
7205 posts

Yes, there are definitely train changes along the way. Hotel points, in my very humble opinion, are never reason enough to divert your plans. You'll be effectively trading a glorious night in Venice for a free hotel night at a boring airport hotel. Don't mean to be crass, but the evening and night time are the best times to be in Venice. You'll probably arrive into Venice the next day just as the tour bus and mega cruise ships are dumping all of their thousands of daytrippers onto the island. Just know they WILL leave at toward the late afternoon/evening.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for the advice all, I did purchase the Swiss Transfer Tickets with Half Fare Cards as suggested. I understand that one requirement is that you have to take the most direct route to your destination from the airport however is it permissible to make a stop for a couple of hours along the way? And then continue that direct route? Also any experience with left luggage services at Zurich HB Station?

Posted by
16793 posts

There lots of lockers at Zurich Hbf of several different sizes. The large ones are 9 chf and easily fit a large suitcase, back pack and brief case with room to spare, and are big enough for two people with a moderate amount of luggage. They are located on the mezzanine level below the main hall. They have escalators.
Edit- The terms are clear that it is valid by the most direct route and travel must be completed in one day. So stopovers are allowed. http://www.swisstravelsystem.com/en/rechtliche-hinweise-swiss-transfer-ticket.html