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Swiss trains

Hi all,

We are spending two nights in Switzerland, in transit from Paris to Milan. We will be arriving 2:49 pm and our hotel is meters from the Zurich HB station. We will have that afternoon and the next day to explore, as on the third day the plan is to leave on the Bernina Express to Tirano and then on to Milan.

I already have reservations for the Bernina Express train. What I want to know:

Is it worth to buy the train tickets from Zurich HB to Chur in advance? Also, we might take a day trip to Luzern. The price of tickets seems pretty expensive, so again, is it worth it to buy ahead of time? We definitely need the tickets to Chur, but not so sure about the day trip to Luzern.

I have looked into the half fare card, but its like 232 CHF for three days. We would only need tickets for the route on the Bernina Express, and a RT to Luzern, based on the amount of time we have. So its not worth it, unless I am missing something.

Also, third question, has anyone purchased Bernina Express tickets using the trick explained on Seat61 which uses the German website and results in a better fare? How has it gone?

Thanks in advance,
Thanks in

Posted by
1422 posts

I'd just explore Zurich with so little time. Leave Luzern and the rest of Switzerland for another time.

Posted by
3815 posts

I have used the Swiss ticket trick you mention in 2020 with great success (between Pontresina and Basel), but you cannot use it for the named Bernina Express - it only works on for regular trains on the line.
You just have to book a ticket from Freiburg im Breisgau to Tirano on the Deutsche Bahn website or app. Each routing option will show you all the details you need, including the hour at which the train calls at Zürich.
The ticket is ONLY valid for the trains listed on the ticket.

I'll also add that even though it is a "trick", it is perfectly legal and the apparent loophole has been available for years.

You could also have a look at Supersaver tickets sold by the Swiss Railways. The fares aren't as good, but a little bit easier to book.