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Swiss Pass and train reservations

We are 3 travelers, 2 seniors and a 22 year old, who will be traveling to Gimmelwald, Switzerland, for 2 nights after touring Italy and before departing from Zurich. Is the Swiss Transfer Ticket my best option? Can passes be bought while in Italy, or is it better to buy before my trip? Which is be best website to buy it from? (I've read that Rail Europe is not good). And can I book reservations on the Swiss trains?
Also, what will the weather be in Gimmelwald at the end of July? I'm trying to figure out how to dress right, being that I'll be coming from the brutal heat in Rome to the top of the mountain in Switzerland in the same trip, all the while trying to pack everything in a carry on and a back pack.
Thank you for your help.

Posted by
7205 posts

To find out which pass is the best for you requires you to do all of the math...not a pleasant task. Gimmelwald is definitely a stunning place, but just a bit "too" small for me. We always stay in Mürren just above Gimmelwald. It's a bit easier to get to, has a grocery store (Coop), and a few more restaurants and hotels.

It's going to be difficult for you to purchase your Swiss Pass while in Italy so I would just purchase them now. Have a look here for the Swiss Tickets:

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/transport-travel/tickets.html

Swiss Pass products including the transfer ticket are nice because you don't have to stop and purchase your tickets individually in Switzerland, just show your pass. I don't think you want a Swiss Transfer Ticket, but rather a Swiss Card which includes the benefits of the Transfer Ticket and it also gives you 50% discount for the other days you travel in between. If you're planning on going up to the Schilthorn or to the expensive Jungfrau you'll be glad you have the additional 50% discount.

Are you coming by rail from Italy into Switzerland? If so you can book your Italian tickets at www.trenitalia.com and if you book early enough you may even benefit from the Super Economy tickets. You're probably traveling Milano Centrale -> Brig -> Spiez -> Interlaken Ost -> Gimmelwald correct? You can purchase tickets from Milano Centrale all the way to Spiez for only 22 Euro which is a really good price.

Generally you don't need reservations on Swiss Trains.

Are you traveling all the way from Gimmelwald to Zurich Airport on the day of your departure flight? I hope not, that's a long time on the train, and I would personally either stay in Lucerne (50 minutes by train from Zurich) or in Zurich close to the main train station and then just get up the final morning and jump on the train for 10 minutes directly into the Zurich Airport.

Mountain weather is unpredictable so just bring some layers and a water proof shell in case you hit rain in the mountains. Never been at the end of July, but in late May/early June, I've been dressed in everything from shorts and t-shirt to winter coat and sweater and heavy socks.

Posted by
27 posts

Tim,
Thank you for your reply.
Although I've booked the hotel in Gimmelwald for 2 nights, we're actually only going to have 1 full day there, as the others will be for traveling to and from. So, I thought we wouldn't be doing that much traveling on the only day we have to relax and enjoy the sights. What do you recommend doing that is a "must " near there?

I've seen that the Swiss Pass is $70 more than the Transfer Ticket, which would give me a 50% discount on additional transportation. I'm just not so sure if it would be worth it for my short stay.

Where do you suggest to eat that is economical?

Thank you for taking the time to help me figure this all out.
Anne

Posted by
27428 posts

The Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald has reasonable food and reasonable (for Switzerland ) prices - and a great view of the mountains and hills from its terrace.

If by economical you mean inexpensive - that is really hard to achieve anywhere in Switzerland and especially in the mountain villages where everything has to be carried in.

Posted by
7205 posts

There are quite a few good places to dine if you take the gondola up to Mürren. We always eat at the Stager Stubli at least once while we're there and enjoy the hearty alpine menu. Tham's Asian food is also a winner. Like I said, Mürren is just a bit larger with a bit more amenities. In Gimmewald I think Hotel Mittaghorn also has a restaurant.