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Swiss travel plan

With help with this forum, I have changed this itinerary many times. Will buy Swiss half-fare cards. Any suggestions or tips on this trip would be appreciated:
Land in Zurich around noon. Train to Appenzell. Stay for 2 nights.
Train Appenzell to Murren via Interlaken. Spend 3 nights Berner Oberland.
Train via Golden Pass from Interlaken Ost to Montreux. 2 nights Lausanne.
Train Lausanne to Luzern. 2 nights Luzern.
Train to Luzern to Lugano. 1 night Lugano.
Use half fare card for train to Chiasso, then buy train ticket to Milan.

Posted by
33335 posts

everything looks OK, if rushed, until the last bit. Don't think of getting off the train in Chiasso and buying a ticket to Milano.

Instead, while you are in Switzerland and in a train station, show the half fare card to the person behind the window (be patient) and tell her where you are going (Milano). He will sell you a ticket which credits you with the discount as far as the border and then the correct fare into Milano, charging you the right price. Thank her and put the ticket away until you need it, and then your journey to Milano will be easy.

Posted by
16 posts

Nigel, Thanks for this valuable tip. Are the tickets marked for a certain time? Your reply sounds like I can buy ticket anytime, then use when needed. I was thinking we would buy tickets shortly before boarding for entire trip.

Posted by
33335 posts

No - it is a Swiss EuroCity train operated by SBB/CFF/FFS in Switzerland, then operated by Trenitalia in Italy. Swiss trains generally have no reservations, but Italian trains above Regionale require specific train reservations. In the Italian portion you'd better have one as all seats are assigned, and the Capotreno will hand out a big fine on the spot if you don't have one for his/her train.

If you turn up to buy your ticket in Switzerland and ask for the next train that's what they will put you on, space being available, as I detailed above.

You can get these tickets ahead anywhere in Switzerland, but you need to travel on the train for which you have a reservation.