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Swiss Travel Pass

Hello,

First timer here, starting to plan for early summer of next year :)

We are planning to do a 10 day trip. Fly into Geneva and out of Zurich.

We will start our trip in Montreux for two nights. First night will be just relaxing and exploring Montreux and the 2nd day will be visiting the Castle and Rochers de Naye. I was planning to pay for our trip by train to Montreux from the airport then start the 8 day Swiss travel pass on day 3 when we travel to Zermatt and then Grindelwald. We will stay in Lucerne on our last night and take the train to Zurich the next day to fly back to the US (that will be our day 10), so was thinking the train pass would still be good for that day of travel (if I start it on day 3). Hoping I'm understanding this correctly and have explained it to make sense.

My questions are this:
Can I buy the Swiss pass at the train station in Montreux when we catch the train to Zermatt or do I buy it at the airport but just not use it until Day 3 to Zermatt?
Would this be the best way to do this?
Am I understanding it correctly, that my 16 year old is free under my pass?

Thanks so much.

Posted by
8061 posts

Can I buy the Swiss pass at the train station in Montreux

You could buy it at Montreux or at Geneva when you arrive. Both stations have SBB ticket offices.
When you buy it you choose the first day that it would be valid or when you plan to use it.
Some here on the forum have bought it online before leaving the USA and it comes as a PDF in your email.
It costs the same either way.

Am I understanding it correctly, that my 16 year old is free under my pass?

You need to get the Swiss Family Card with the Swiss Travel Pass.
The Swiss Family Card is free but you have to request it.
https://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/travel-in-switzerland/international-guests/swiss-travel-pass.html

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you so much for your help.

He will already be 16 on the date of travel so it looks like (from what I saw on the link provided and if I’m reading it correctly) he will need his own pass. It said 6 up to 16th birthday.

Posted by
20440 posts

Right, at 16 he will qualify for the Youth pass which is slightly less than an adult pass. 8-day adult 2nd class is currently 418 CHF and the youth is 357 CF. Expect a slight increase for 2021.

If you want to save money, you could buy 30-day Half Fare Cards for 120 CHF per person. Then all tickets will be half price, including local tickets, like from Montreux to Chillon. Also, when you are in Zermatt and Grindelwald, you get half fare for mountain excursions like the Gornergratbahn, and Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfraujoch. These are only covered at 50% by the STP for the Gornergrat and 25% for KS and JJ. You will still have to buy tickets for each trip. Add everything up and I'll bet you save more with the HFC over the STP.

Posted by
32 posts

I was in Switzerland 2 years ago (open jaw Geneva to Zurich also). The Swiss pass is so easy, and getting around Switzerland is a piece of cake. The Swiss joke that they set their watched by the train! I stayed in Zermatt and made some cool friends (ended up drinking at their place until 3 A.M. after the bars closed down, lol). I enjoyed Zurich much more than I was expecting also. Enjoy.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you Sam, I hadn't even considered the HFC cards, after looking that does seem to make more sense.

Brian, I'm so glad to hear this, lol. I always tend to be a over thinker and this is comforting to know.

Posted by
20440 posts

Rereading my post, this statement:

Also, when you are in Zermatt and Grindelwald, you get half fare for mountain excursions like the Gornergratbahn, and Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfraujoch. These are only covered at 50% by the STP for the Gornergrat and 25% for KS and JJ.

I should have added that this is with the STP. Both are 50% discount with the HFC. To get a true picture of the costs either way, you need to get the actual prices at www.sbb.ch/en for each trip you plan. Note that the first price you see will assume you have a Half Fare Card with the wording; "from CHF XX.XX". So without the Half Fare Card, you would pay twice that amount. Mountain excursions to uninhabited destinations are generally only covered with a discount with the STP. These are things like the Gornergratbahn in Zermatt. You can see the coverage on the Map of Validity downloaded at https://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/travel-in-switzerland/international-guests/swiss-travel-pass.html

Posted by
771 posts

Shonda, welcome to the forum! Your trip sounds great. Trying to figure out your best options with Swiss train passes can be very confusing. You often have to figure out all the pieces, as Sam said, to see what is best for you.

For example, the activities you want to do on Day 2 would be covered by the Swiss Travel Pass, as it covers local buses and museums, as well as trains. So Chillon, and the bus to get to it, are covered. The train to Rochers is covered, and if you had the time and energy, you could do a boat trip, covered by the STP, on Lake Geneva (or Lac Leman, as it is called there.) We did a late afternoon loop trip on the lake that was about an hour and a half. If you get the STP, you would have to weigh the cost of these against the cost of the train from Lucerne to Zurich. The link Sam posted for the area of validity is helpful.

There is a website devoted to these questions: www.myswissalps.com, then look for the rail forum. The moderators answer a lot of the questions.

I did a lot of comparison and it was close for us. We opted to get the Swiss Travel Pass, and were glad for the flexibility it gave us. We didn't have to think twice about visiting extra museums, taking boat rides, taking local buses, besides using the trains. We only had to buy train tickets when 50% of the fare was covered. The rest of the time we just showed our pass.

Maybe the Half Fare card will make more sense for you and your son, but it is worth trying to figure it out. Good luck!

Posted by
5132 posts

We enjoyed the ease and flexibility of using the STP.
For instance, the Swiss Travel Pass covers all of the expenses of going to Mt. Rigi [out of Luzern,] however not Mt. Pilatus. We appreciated not having to buy tickets for each leg of transportation, and just boarding, showing our STP when the staff came around to check.
Note- Most hotels in Switzerland give you a Mobility Pass, free, which covers local buses/trams.
Safe travels .

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you everyone for the great feedback. It is so great to read everyones experience and get such helpful advice.

I'll post my itinerary once I have it semi finalized, I seem to make changes daily as I research and learn, lol!

Posted by
15 posts

Hi, does the STP cover completely the cost of E-bus at Zermatt?
Undertand that with STP also covers 50% of train/cable car rides at Zermatt?

Thanks very much