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Which pass should i get for 4D3N in Zurich+Bern

Hi all,

Though all information is on the swiss web, it's just too complicated. Have been reading up alot. I get more confused each time i read. Seriously don't know which pass is the right one for us. AS some passes seems to have time restrictions( e.g only start your train journey from 9am onwards?). We are looking to head out early in the morn from our 2nd to 4th day since the day is shorter during november.

This is our itinerary for four adults. looking at 2nd class as 1st class is too pricey.

  1. Zurich airport to bern on 25th Nov.

  2. 26th Nov, day trip by train from bern to Kleine Scheidegg and followed by Lauterbrunnen. On the
    same evening, a train back to bern from Lauterbrunnen.

  3. 27th nov train from bern to Zurich city. On the Same day, train to Rhinefall
    then back to Zurich for a short rest. Then head to fashion fish factory oultlet
    outlet from Zurich and head to Lucerne from fashion fish Factory outlet. In the evening we shall head back to Zurich from Lucerne.

  4. 28th morning, train to Zurich airport from Zurich city.

Thanks for any help in advance.

Felicia

Posted by
16435 posts

Everyone in your group should get a 4 day Swiss Saver Pass. 245 chf per person. Everyone in the group will travel together. You only need to pay for the portion between Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg with a 25% discount.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi Sam,

Thanks for the reply. So for the extra fare to head to Kleine, I have to state from Grindelwald - Kleine Scheidegg - Wengen instead of Grindelwald - Kleine Scheidegg - Lauterbrunnen? I googled the route and it stated the route Grindelwald instead of Wengen. We plan to head for Kleine before heading to Lauterbrunnen to check the fall in the village and trummelbachfall. Btw there is this stop-over fill, do I state any stop over timing? Will I still be able to board the next train if I exceeded the stop-over duration stated? Pretty tedious to plan an itinerary especially when we are all new to it.

Posted by
16435 posts

First, there is no "stated stopover time". The trains to/from Grindelwald, Wengen, and Kleine Scheidegg run every half hour. Hop on, hop off as you like. The reason I mention going from Wengen is that it is a bit less money when traveling on a Swiss Pass, since Wengen is already half way up the mountain. The pass states you must pay at a 25 % discount above Grindelwald or Wengen. Going from Interlaken Ost to Wengen, you will change trains at Lauterbrunnen. The SBB website specifies going via Grindelwald because it is exactly 1 minute faster than going via Lauterbrunnen and Wengen. Just put Lauterbrunnen in the "Via" box in the on-line schedule. Departing from Interlaken Ost, it is on the same train, but it splits at Zweiluetschinen, and one half goes to Grindelwald and the other half goes to Lauterbrunnen. The train cars will show which is going to where, so keep that in mind when you board the train.
Now there is nothing wrong with going by way of Grindelwald. You'll just have a different view of the mountains than coming from Wengen. The price difference should be 6 chf per person. Nothing to bust a budget.

Posted by
27431 posts

I don't see it. How can it happen?

How far are you traveling to make this trip? Without actually seeing much of anything except in passing.

I don't want you to think I am rude, felicia, but it really doesn't hold together.

You can't see anything in the dark, the one place you could do after dark is the mall which on the day you want to do it is open until 20:00 but you are there in the middle of the day.

I don't think you have left enough time for all the travel so the events you want to do will be sharply curtailed.

You need to understand, and your itinerary above bears it out, that you do NOT have 4 days and 3 nights. You have, at best, 2 days and 3 nights and a bucketload of travel.

Are you flying into Zurich, or arriving some other way? Will you, or any of your 3 traveling companions, be jetlagged from a long flight?

I don't see the purpose for staying in Bern. Is there a special reason for going there? While it is a nice capitol city, and has some nice old fountains and a few bears, it is really a city like many others and has very few tourist attractions. It is well and gone from the Alps, but you could stay much closer to the Alps or in them for less money and much more convenience.

By no means is good weather guaranteed in the Berner Oberland in November. By tying yourself down to exactly the 26th of November you are setting yourself up for failure.

Why are you going to Kleine Scheidegg? (By the way, spell it out - By referring to it as Kleine you are just calling it "small" or "little", but little what? Use its whole name or people you bump into for help in Switzerland will have to ask that same question). Is it because you want to ski, or because you don't have the time for the rest of the journey to Jungfraujoch, or because you want to hike the ridge trail? If it is the hiking it is likely the trail will be closed at the end of November. If for the skiing so early in the season it may not be reliable. If you stayed the night in Muerren, Wengen, Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen you would be right on the spot and have the evening you arrive, the whole next day, and part of the morning of the day you move on to see the beauty of the place.

Your day on the 27th blows my mind. I really don't see it working. Let's see it play out.

You say you will be up early. What does early mean to you? Sunrise will be a few minutes before 8, and sunset will be 16:45, with a fair amount of dark around that. There will be virtually no moon at night. So what time do you think you will be checking out after breakfast? Say 7? So...

Out of hotel 7:00, to the station by 8? Where are you staying in Bern? I don't know any good hotels near the station in Bern.
One hour to Zurich and two hours to get to your Zurich hotel, introduce yourselves (probably much too early to check in), freshen up, leave your luggage with the hotel and return to the train station?
If you catch the right train to Schaffhausen it will take 40 minutes; if you miss it the next is about an hour. Then down to the Falls, on foot or by the City tourist Train? So 2 hours to get to the Falls, see them (boat? Freezing cold in November, to say nothing of the mist), have a bite, and get back to the station, and an hour or more to get back to the hotel in Zurich and check in.

It is now 15:00. How long is the short rest? An hour? 16:00.

To the Fashion Fish Factory Outlet in Schönenwerd. Time to get back to the station and about 3/4 of an hour to reach Schönenwerd. Lucky it is just over the road from the Schönenwerd station.
Oh, the sun just went down.

How long will the 4 of you be at the mall shopping?

What did you want to do in Luzern? Will you be carrying all your shopping bags?

Honestly, felicia, I think you need to think it out again, like I have.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi Ngel,

Thanks for the detailed information. Did thought it through like ya did. We will be flying in from Milan. Switzerland is one of the place that we wanna visit. We are staying in bern so that we can get to Lauterbrunnen and also at the same time, check bern out. As it seems the train ride will have to pass by Bern, so we though we shall stay in Bern so that it is also nearer to head back to Zurich. We are arriving at the hotel (Best Western Hotelbern) about 2pm. So will check the old town, Rosengarten, the bear park etc for the first day. Wanna head to Kleine Schiedegg just to have a closer look at the Icy mountain and maybe have our lunch there as the trip up to Jungfraujoch is too long. Or are the shops not open there? We are hoping to see early snow. Not sure if we will have the chance during the visit to Lauterbrunnen or Kleine Scheidegg.

As for Lucern, saw the lighted up Chapel Bridge & Water Tower in the evening. So was thinking of going there in the evening to dine and check the bridge out. Or maybe we should head to lucern before heading to fashion fish?

As for Schaffhausen, by s11 train from Zurich HB or others based on the timings. We are planning to enter from the northern entrance since I understand that during November there is no boat ride so no point paying for the southern entrance and having to take a train/bus to the northern entrance. So just a view of the fall from the area near the swatch. Ain't sure if all the leaves have fallen or it is still autumn.

Frankly, I agree it's quite rush. Hence, maybe you can share on which part of the city is not really worth the visit? Then we shall leave it out. Thanks!

Posted by
16435 posts

Hmm. I wonder if you realize that you could travel by train from Milan to Interlaken in 3 hours, probably half the time of flying from Milan to Zurich and then taking the train back to Bern. Less money too. From Interlaken you could get up to Kleine Scheidegg quicker than from Bern. At Kleine Scheidegg there is just a hotel, restaurant and train station. I don't want to stomp on your dream. Nigel brings up a lot of practicalities which experienced European travelers are familiar with. You have a plan, but every plan needs to be flexible. Of all your plans, the trip to the Rhein Falls is something you can cut if the you find things aren't flowing quite as smoothly as anticipated.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi Sam,

May I check where can I get the tickets for the train from Milan to Interlaken? I found Raileurope and eurail. Is it recommended to buy online or when we are there? Can it be bought from Milano Centrale or Malpensa Airport? We will be buying the Swiss Saver pass to travel around these places.

What if we stay at Lucerne instead of Bern? So we take a train to Interlaken from Milan.

25th Nov - Leave luggage in locker of Interlaken station. Head to Lauterbrunnen arriving at about 12pm to see the waterfall there. Evening about 5pm take a R train back to Interlaken to get our luggage and head to Lucern to check in and rest for the night.

26th Nov -Tour on Engelberg & Mount Titlis

27th Nov - reach Zurich at 1pm. Head to Fashion fish.

28th Nov - Depart

I am thinking maybe this will be better. Gotta give Rhinefall a miss.

Posted by
12040 posts

Read more carefully what Nigel wrote about the mountains in November. Most of the travel photos and videos you've seen of the majestic Swiss Alps were likely recorded in the summer or on clear days during the ski season. I can almost guarantee none you've ever seen were taken in November. Why? Because it's the single worst month of the year to visit the Alps. The skies are usually overcast, and the air is quite damp. Meaning, instead of gazing upon those awe-inspiring peaks that you paid so dearly to behold in person, you will more likely see nothing but fog and perhaps part of a mountain wall here and there. Yes, the sun does shine sometimes in November, but expecting conditions to turn favorable on the single day you have allotted for the mountains is unreasonable. The mountains and the weather they generate, quite simply, don't care how badly you want to see Switzerland.

Also, I'm not sure what expectations you have for Kleine Scheidegg at this time of year. You won't be able to do any hiking because it's usually covered by snow in November, and the winter walking trails likely will not have been groomed yet. The ski slopes usually don't open until December, so I doubt the restaurants will even operate at that time. So, no hiking, no skiing, likely no mountain restaurants and a good chance of overcast weather to obscure your views. Essentially, you've paid all that money and burned all that valuable vacation time to see a foggy small train station.

Further- Access to Trummelbach falls closes in the cold months. I don't know the exact dates, but I would be surprised if it's still open in late November. Engelberg, Mt. Titlus and anything else involving the Alps will be the same story- too early to ski, too late to hike, most of the mountain infrastructure closed, and overcast skies.

Not trying to be rude here, but as Nigel noted, what you have planned is not realistic, is expensive and will more likely prove a tremendous disappointment. Even in months that usually provide the best weather conditions, you should never budget any less than 3 nights in the Alps. That usually gives you an adequate hedge against the kind of weather I noted above. But in November? The odds simply are not in your favor at all. If you're really intent on enjoying the mountains at the worst time of year for them, you need to keep a very flexible schedule and budget several days. I would say no less than 4 nights, and even that isn't a guarantee.

Posted by
5 posts

Oh.. So chances of seeing the peaks is low huh? Thanks for sharing since it's our first time planning our own itinerary and being new to the place so ain't sure how it looks like. I am relying on reviews and pictures. In that case we shall not head to the mountains anymore. As we have only a day time to spare for visiting somewhere else rather than just the city. I was hoping to see the peaks like those images and videos. I was also wondering if we would even have a glimpse of the peak from Lucern or Zurich. If as mention that it will be foggy, can I also say that we might not see the peak clearly even in either of the city?

In the month of November, especially nearing December, where else would be good for visiting? Will Rhine fall be a disappointment as well? I have read that it's gonna be quite cold there and not much of a scenic during November. Is it true too?

trying to find some sightseeing places.

Posted by
16883 posts

I support the original recommendation of a Swiss Saverpass for 4 consecutive days, since it matches your time there and covers nearly all transport and museums (except 25% off Wengen-Kleine Scheidegg or 50% off most other high lifts). Those trains within Switzerland don't need reservations, so you can keep your plans flexible. You can easily get the train ticket from Milan to the Swiss border at the train station or a travel agency in Milan, and that ticket will be for a reserved date, time, and seat assignment (about $25 per person in 2nd class).

Some Swiss lifts may undergo maintenance in November. For instance, there will be limited service on the Stechelberg-Gimmelwald-Muerren gondola and no service to Schilthorn between Nov. 10 - Dec. 5. But I don't see any issue with the train to Kleine Scheidegg.