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Switzerland-germany train ticket question

I will be traveling thru Switzerland and Germany. Zurich to Murren. Staying 3 nights. Then to Germany, Black Forest, Knostanz and Meersburg. Back to Switzerland, St. gallen and Appnezell (3 nights) back to Germany, Fussen and Berchtesgaded, (3 nights). Then Salzburg (2 nights) then direct train back to Zurich. I had planned to buy a Switzerland- Germany rail pass. I believe it covers to Salzburg. Not sure if it will get me back direct to Zurich. I just realized that pass only covers to Interlaken, not up to Murren and Wengen. What is the best ticket option for a trip like this? Especially jumping back and forth.
Does a half fare card make sense to cover the murren and Wengen part?

Posted by
16722 posts

I'd stay away from a Eurorail pass. To get from Salzburg to Zurich, you really need to take the Railjet direct train which is Austrian and goes mostly through Austria, so that is another country on the pass. In Bavaria, you can travel daily with a cheap Bayern ticket. 23 euro each day (if you are traveling alone). And it includes Salzburg. Return to Zurich, buy an advance purchase nonrefundable ticket.

In the Black Forest, if staying there you can get a KONUS card from your hotel (check with hotel) to travel free on local trains and buses. Anyway, these are short trips and not likely to rack up any big price tickets.

Yes, I'd go with the Half Fare Card. Still the best value in Switzerland.

Posted by
8 posts

3 years ago I traveled around Germany with a rail pass. It made it easy. Just getting on and off. I live in a small rural town with no public transportation. So it is somewhat intimidating. So traveling Zurich to Murren . Then Murren for 2 full days, then train to Freiberg Germany. Sleep and train to Konstanz. 2 days later train to Appenzell thru St. Gallen, 2 full days in Appenzell ( Appenzellar card will cover those 2 days. Then train tk Fussen, Germany. train to Berchtesgaden and later train to Salzburg. Sounds like the RJ from Salzburg to Zurich will need to be a separate ticket. So Swiss flexipass and half fare card? ( to cover Discounts in Berner Oberland) Or Swiss/ German rail pass? Or Swiss half fare and just buy tickets daily? Is it simple enough to purchase train tickets as needed? And I am traveling with my 17 year old daughter. In bavaria a daily bayern ticket? But those have to be bought the day before? So much to understand!

Posted by
16722 posts

Add 5 euro for the second person on the Bayern ticket for the second person. You could buy several at once. They don't start until you validate them at the start of each day.
Don't buy a Swiss Flexi Pass AND a Half Fare Card. One or the other but certainly not both.
The Railjet ticket can be bought in advance and picked up at any Swiss station while you are there. It will cost 98 chf for both of you. Assuming that is to get to Zurich for your flight home, that date and train time can be fixed and you can take nonrefundable ticket.

Just trying to save some money. Its part of the fun of travel, just like the fun of shopping is figuring out the best bargains. You'll pay about 50% more to travel with a Eurorail Pass, but hey, different strokes for different folks.

Posted by
16883 posts

Without doing all the math myself, I think Sam's advice is pointing you in the right direction. It's not difficult to buy regional day tickets in Germany and half-price tickets in Switzerland with the Half-Fare Card, it's just a few more times that you stop to pull out your wallet and buy something (which you'll already be doing all day long). You might be willing to commit to an advance discount for the one long train ride.

Rail passes are convenient for jumping on and off most trains in all three countries, but there's no 3-country pass and the 4-country Select pass only comes in more expensive 1st class for travelers age 26 or older. Multi-country passes give you 25% off the train tickets from Interlaken to Muerren and Wengen (not counted as a flexi pass travel day, but requires stopping to buy those tickets, as above). The Germany-Switzerland pass does not cover the train from Salzburg to Zurich through Austria; it only covers Salzburg on the route to/from Munich; the Austria-Switzerland pass would cover that route.

Posted by
8 posts

Do I need to order the Swiss half fare card before I go, and have it for first ticket? Or can buy it when buying first ticket at the train station at Zurich airport?And same question about the Bayern pass? And should be ok to buy the Salzburg-Zurich RJ ticket early on while in Switzerland? I imagine after the first couple of times, this will all be easy!