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Which pass, if any to choose? Traveling with kids...

I have been perusing these forums as well as the Swiss railways website to figure out what the best money saving option is for me and my family for our short visit to Switzerland in July this year. There are SO many options on travel passes that I must admit I'm a bit lost, and thus am reaching out for advice from seasoned travelers, as many people probably do.

Some details:
1. We are a family of four: 2 adults, 2 children, ages 7 and 9.
2. We will be based in Zurich for 3 nights/2 days and will take a train to Luzern for a day trip (round trip).
3. We will be using public transportation for all of our journeys throughout both cities. Not sure about to/from the Zurich airport yet, perhaps it is cheaper/same to take a taxi from airport for all 4 of us then go by train to our hotel in Zurich.

From what I have learned, the Swiss travel pass is not going to be worthwhile for us as our stay is so short and only involves one train trip. I think possibly our best value would be point to point pay as you go tickets.

Question: Do children travel half price on all modes of Swiss transportation (within Zurich and Luzern, as well as on city to city trains)? Or do you need to/can you purchase some type of discount card for them to do so?

I did see a sale on Junior travelcards for half price now through 2018. Would it be worthwhile to purchase Junior travel cards for our children, and do we qualify for those if we DO NOT have any type of travelpass? Not sure what the difference is between the Junior pass and Co-travelcard pass, but that is another detail I'm trying to figure out...if anyone has any insight on that one, that would be great!

Thanks in advance to anyone who is able to help, and thank you for reading my lengthy post!! And -- happy travels to all of you !

Posted by
16894 posts

Without any cards, kids qualify for 50% off regular ticket prices, based on age. If you buy the Junior Travel Card at the current discounted price of 15 francs per child, then they travel free with a parent. If checking ticket prices at www.sbb.ch, note that the first rate you see is usually 50% of the total.

Posted by
16401 posts

Junior Cards will work with regular tickets for the parents, but you need one for each child. If you are just going from airport to Zurich Center, then a RT to Luzern, it may jot be worth the 30 CHF.

But where do you go from Zurich and how are you traveling?

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for the replies. We are just spending one of the days in Zurich sightseeing and one in Luzern.

Does the junior travelcard also cover short rides/transportation in the cities as well?

Thank you again.

Posted by
7209 posts

THe adult full price 1 way Zurich Main Station to Lucerne is only 26 CHF. The price for your kids is only 13 CHF. They travel for 1/2 price of adults.

Full adult price Zurich Airport -> Zurich Main Station is only 6.80 CHF.

The cheapest way to get to your hotel (hopefully a downtown hotel near to the main train station) is to take the train directly from the airport to downtown main station. Walk to your hotel from there...or take a short taxi ride from there to your hotel. Hopefully you're not staying at an airport hotel which would be really boring and make traveling a hassle.

Must you spend your entire 3 days in Zurich? Is it possible for your to spend those 3 days in Lucerne? Lucerne would be much more interesting.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks. Yes, we have to be in Zurich for two days unfortunately, no way around that. If we had more time we would go other places, but I feel happy we will at least get to Lucerne for a day.

I think it sounds like the junior travel card at it's half off price will save us a few dollars, even if it doesn't turn out that it covers intercity transport. Doesn't sound like any other special pass for us parents will be helpful, unless anyone has any other insights.