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Train Travel from Switzerland to Salzburg

Hello all, my husband and I are taking a three week train trip in late August-September through Switzerland, Austria and Germany. I will be purchasing the Swiss Travel Pass and the Germany Pass where we will be spending most of our time.

At the end of the Switzerland part, we will be traveling from Lucerne to Salzburg over the course of most of a day. I understand that, with the Swiss Travel Pass, we would travel through Zurich and to Buchs, Austria (border station) for free on the Swiss Travel Pass. I will need to buy a point to point ticket from Buchs to Salzburg.

Should I buy the ticket in Zurich? Is it possible to buy it on the train from Buchs to Salzburg? Any advice is much appreciated!

Posted by
13079 posts

You can buy the whole ticket on the Swiss rail website, www.sbb.ch

There is a dropdown menu where you can enter your Swiss Pass (GA for General Abonnement) and it will apply the Pass to the Swiss portion of the trip. If you book 3-4 months ahead, you should get a Special Offer price of 42 CHF as well as the regular price of 72 CHF. ( Full fare without a Swiss Pass is 137 CHF).

These Special Offer prices are not yet listed for September, but I did see them for a date in July. So check the website next month or in May.

Posted by
13 posts

Hi Lola, thank you so much for this great information! We are novice train travelers and truly appreciate your taking the time to share your knowledge. I will keep an eye out for our date.

Posted by
13079 posts

You are most welcome. Switzerland is a great place to start with train travel, as the trains are so. . . Swiss. Well-organized and well-run. You will receive a copy of the Swiss travel network map (trains, oats, buses, and mountIn lifts with your pass.

For Germany, you may not want a railpass. German trains are affordBle and there are many ways to save without pSs, depending on your itinerery. For the intercity (IC) trains between cities, there are discounts for advance purchase on the German train site, www.bahn.de

And for local ( regional trains) there are deals available for weekend or group travel. You should post your itinerary on the Germany forum and get some advice (assuming you have not already bought the Pass).

Posted by
13 posts

Hi Lola, I priced out the train tickets through Germany and found you to be absolutely correct. By taking advantage of the Bayern ticket for most of the travel, we can each save over $130 for four days of train travel if we purchase the point to point tickets rather than the Rail Pass. Thank you for all your help!

Posted by
27720 posts

The Bayern-Ticket is a great deal but even that is not always the cheapest.

There are other tickets which give even better deals depending on where you are traveling. For example you can go for several Euro cheaper between Munich and Salzburg if you don't need the local Munich transportation.

Also be aware you need to have a good breakfast at the beginning of the day, the Bayern Ticket is not valid before 09:00 Monday through Friday.

There are just so many ways to do so well and so cheaply.

Can you post your itinerary?

Posted by
13 posts

Hi Nigel, I did note that on one leg in Germany there is a Regio ticket that is even less expensive than the Bayern.

Total Itinerary:
Switzerland -
1) Fly into Zurich and train to Bern (2 nights)
2) Bern and day train to Murten and Avenches
3) Train to Montreux (3 nights)
4) Day train to Gruyeres
5) Train to Murren (4 nights)
6) Train to Luzern (2 nights)
Austria -
7) Train to Salzburg via Zurich
8) Salzburg (3 nights)
Germany -
9)Train to Munich (2 nights)
10)Train to Fussen (3 nights)
11) Train to Rothenburg ob der Tauber (1 night)
12) Train to Frankfurt Airport late in the day (1 night)
13) Fly to U.S.

It seems to make good sense to get the Swiss Rail Pass with lots of train travel, mountain discounts, boats, and museum and cultural inclusions.

With four days of rail travel in Germany, it seems that buying the early discounted tickets makes sense. Any other insights are appreciated.

BTW, we did take a train from Inverness to London a few years ago and loved it!

Posted by
27720 posts

The Bayern Ticket includes local bus, tram, U-Bahn and S-Bahn transportation. Will you need those in Munich or are you walking distance?

Posted by
13 posts

We will be using the local transport to get around and are also planning a visit to Dachau.