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Train ticket options in Switzerland (one adult + two kids 12&13)

I would love some advice on train/bus ticket options for Switzerland. I will be traveling with my kids aged 12 and 13. We will be coming from Paris to Murren, staying 3-4 nights, then on to Milan. Is my most economic train option in Switzerland to buy a Junior Travelcard for two children when we arrive at the train station in Basel? Then just buy my own separate tickets for travel in Switzerland? Or can I combine the Junior Card with a pass for myself?

Transportation while we are in Murren would include going to the Schilthorn, going to Brienz for the open air museum, plus other small hikes like walking to Gimmelwald and other places with transport back to Murren each night.

Posted by
16894 posts

If you plan to buy full-priced Swiss tickets, then you buy the Junior Travelcard, usually for 30 chf per child. But if you buy a Swiss Travel Pass or a one-month Half Fare Card sold only to visitors, then you get the similar Swiss Family Card for free to cover both of your kids. Those are also sold in Basel station. The pass for 4 consecutive days works border to border if you stay 3 nights, but will run short if you stay 4 nights. The Half Fare Card will pretty surely be cheaper than nothing.

Posted by
41 posts

Thank you Laura. The 4 day pass looks like a good option for us. I’m glad you posted about the family card free with the pass. That really helps my budget. It looks like the only thing above the pass I would buy is the gondola rides high up the mountain.

Posted by
16894 posts

Correct, and those extra tickets will be just for yourself. The kids still travel free.

Posted by
20309 posts

The Swiss Travel Pass covers the trip to the Schilthorn, at least this year.

Posted by
768 posts

Melissa,
I've been to Murren with 13 yr olds--several times. If your kids get the travel card you should make good use of it, with their trips essentially "free".

Walking down to Gimmelwald is ok (20 min), but I'll bet they'd like going up to Allmendhubel even better (cows and playground there), or walking under Sprutz Falls. I'd also venture a guess that they'd like the Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg walk even better than the open air museum. (I'd save the museum for a misty/overcast day.)

My kids loved the hikes in the area so much they've returned with me twice as adults to do the exact same trails. I'll send our dozen favorite trails to your private forum mail (look in upper right of page for "you have unread mail" link).

Posted by
16639 posts

If you get the 4-day Swiss Pass for yourself, here is a really fun day you can have:

From Mürren, he'd down to Lauterbrunnen, either by the train/cable car route, or take the S hilt horn cable car down. Is Gimmelwald to Stechelberg, then Postbus to Lauterbrunnen. The latter is pretty exciting as the cable car swings out over the cliff. Then catch the train up to Wengen. This much is fully covered with the Swiss Pass.

At Wengen, walk through town to the Männlichen cable car. Your pass will give you a 50% discount, and the kids are free. Ride up and take the easy and scenic walk to Kleine Scheidegg. If it is lunchtime, stop at the mountain restaurant on your left before you get to Kleine Scheidegg for a bite to eat. The view from the deck is lovely.

From Kleine Scheidegg, take the train down to Grindelwald. This will again be free for the kids, but your pass will give you only a 25% discount. At Grindelwald, walk through town to the First (pronounced "Fearscht") gondola. Again, the kids will be free and you get a 50% discount. There are numerous adventure activities from the top of this lift: zip line, Trottibikes, mountain scooters. All are good.

https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/tag/grindelwald-first/

To return to Mürren, take the train from the main station on the valley route back to Lauterbrunnen (via Wildsrswil and Zweilutscheinen). This will be free for the shoe way back to Mürren with your Swiss Pass, and for the kids.

Posted by
219 posts
  • Grindelwaldblick is the name of my favorite restaurant on the left, just before you walk down the little hill to Kleine Scheidegg. (There are 2 or 3 to choose from, as I recall.)
Posted by
768 posts

Lola has a great idea; I've done it with my kids. It has a nice mix of walking and riding and cows and stores, so the kids should stay engaged. By the way there is a nice little Coop store just up the hill from the Wengen train station where you can get snacks for the hikes.

I'll also add that you should save this route for a clear day, because the vistas allow you to see for miles.
Also, if you are in Grindelwald, you can also walk over to the cable car up to Pfingstegg where the kids can take the Rodelbahn (luge on wheels). I guarantee they'll like that.

Posted by
16639 posts

Yes, the Pfingstegg Rodelbahn is another option. Los of choice, all good!

Posted by
41 posts

Followup question on tickets. I should buy a direct train ticket in Paris to Basel, then use my Swiss travel pass starting in Basel? When leaving Switzerland for Milan, can I buy the ticket from the border to Milan while in Switzerland? How does that work if I'm using a Swiss pass for the Switzerland potion? I'd like to take the direct eurocity train from Spiez to Milan.

Posted by
697 posts

Thank you Lola and Shoe for those hike/activity details! We are staying in Mürren with our 14 and 13year olds next June, and I have bookmarked this thread.

— Deb

Posted by
16639 posts

Melissa, for your inbound trip from Paris, you can indeed just buy the TGV ticket from Paris to Basel, then use your Swiss Pass frommthere to your destination. No tickets needed. Just be sure the Pass is activated to start on that day of travel, before you board the train. And the Family Card should have the childrens' names and birth dates written in by you ( maybe passport number as well but I do not recall).

For you departure from Switzerland, you can buy a ticket onnthe direct train from Spiez to Milan either from an agent in Switzerland, or on SBB.ch, or from Trenitalia. The agent will deduct the appropriate amount for the Swiss Pass and Family card for the travel between Spiez and Domodossola, where the pass coverage ends. The two websites can each do the same (adjust for the Swiss Pass coverage) but you have to look for the button with the drop-down menu to claim the Pass discount.

Posted by
41 posts

Thank you Lola! I appreciate your help. I’m trying to be as organized as I can beforehand. I’ve been to Europe many times, but not with my kids and not as the only adult.