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You convinced me to travel by train, :) & now I have more questions.....

I'm trying to find out if I should buy the Swiss Travel Pass for 4 days, but I haven't read how the "days" are figured.....are they "24 hour days" from when you board your first public transporation??

We are arriving in Zurich at 5:30 pm on Friday night after a long trip of layovers from the US. I had thought that we would stay in Zurich that 1st night & then begin our adventures on the following day (Saturday). If we left at noon on Saturday & headed to Lucerne, would our passes then start ticking at noon on Saturday & then if we bought 4 days, would it end then on Wed. at noon?? OR, would they just be good for the 4 days---Sat. Sun, Mon & Tuesday?? I must be reading in all the wrong places because I don't see any mention about this--sorry!!

After Lucerne, we will head to Lauterbrunnen Valley & will stay there until Wed morning & then need to go to Montreaux for a conference from Wed. afternoon thru Friday night. (We then will need to either take a train to Geneva or we might just rent a car after Montreaux & drive around Lausanna.)

We have our 2 young men (20 & 23) with us, so we are talking about 4 passes--or would you suggest to buy the 1/2 price card??

I quickly calculated the 4 day Swiss Travel Pass for us & it would be $948.00 CHF --certainly not cheap.....would we go through this much with all the trains, gondolas etc. in the Lauterbrunnen Valley for 3 - 4 days??

Any & all advice is truly appreciated!!

Sally

Posted by
16743 posts

A 4-day pass is four calendar days. So if you start using it on Saturday, your last day is Tuesday.

I suggest you look at the 3-day Flex Pass instead of the consecutive-day pass. That way you can use it for travel from Luzern to Lauterbrunnen, Lauterbrunnen to Montreux, and Montreux to Geneva. (It is not worth covering the short journey from Zurich to Luzern with a day on the pass). There is little point in having fully covered days on a consecutive day pass for the time you are based in Lauterbrunnen, as the pass only covers 50% or 25% of the cost of the cablecars and mountain railway above the villages. That is what the Half-Price card you can add to the Flex Pass is for---and it will give you a full 50% off the expensive Jungfrau trip if you choose to do that.

Posted by
16894 posts

All rail pass travel days are regular calendar days, midnight to midnight, with just an occasional exception for overnight trains. So a 4-day consecutive pass started any time on Saturday expires at midnight on Tuesday. See also http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/trains/using-your-rail-pass, but note that the Swiss Travel Pass will be pre-validated for either the 4-day or 1-month travel period you specify, if you buy it online. There's no more separate activation step at a train station.

Posted by
20343 posts

You might consider going directly to Luzern from the airport. There are direct trains that take 1 hour to Luzern, whereas it is 15-20 minutes to central Zurich.

Posted by
10 posts

Now I have a question about the Flex Pass Swiss Pass (3 day) pass which was suggested to me.

  1. Pay for the train ride from Zurich to Luzerne. (Fri nite & Sat. nite in Luzerne) NOW, since I won't be using the Pass to get Luzerne, then I assume that I won't be able to use the pass to get any of the free trains, busses, etc. around the town, right??

  2. Use the Swiss Pass to get from Luzerne to Lauterbrunnen Vallley--travel on Sunday to Lauterbrunnen & stay thru Tues. nite. (I would be able to use the free trains & discounts during the day of Sunday up until midnight, right??

  3. Use the Swiss Pass to get from Lauterbrunnen Valley to Montreux.

  4. Use the Swiss Pass to get from Montreux to Geneva.

THANKS for your awesome help & advise. As you can tell, I need lots of help!! :) :)

Sally

Posted by
1001 posts

Here is another possibility assuming you are arriving this Friday. You can buy day tickets at 49 francs rather than 73 francs at the local supermarkets (Coop) up to the 12 of Sept. Sorry the info is only in German. But if you go to the shops here will surely be people there who can help you.

Posted by
145 posts

dayto:

"We have our 2 young men (20 & 23) with us, so we are talking about 4 passes--or would you suggest to buy the 1/2 price card??"

Just in case you are unaware - that would be FOUR Half Fare Cards for the four of you :-)

If you don't have too many long trips on any of the days you are in Switzerland, I would think that the Half Fare Cards would still be the best value (disclaimer: I don't know about the benefit-cost scenario for the 20 and 23 year olds).

Porcupyn

Posted by
33146 posts

Oh JIM!!!! That's so cool.

I arrive on Monday so that CHF49 deal will be worth looking at for my wife. Thanks a bunch...

Posted by
544 posts

Maybe the 4-day flex pass plus the half fare card would be worth it? That way you can use it on your Zurich to Lucerne train trip and enjoy all the other discounts and free museums too.

Another option could be to do just the half-fare card. That way if you end up renting a car for some of the trip you're not paying for days you're not going to use.

Posted by
10 posts

First of all, THANKS for all the replies!!!!

I am wondering if we should just buy the 1/2 price card (good for one month, right? $120.00 x 4 ) & use this for the travels between cities/towns --(Zurich to Lucerne; Lucerne to Lauterbrunnen.....staying here for 3 days; Lauterbrunnen to Montreux; & then Montreux to Geneva) & then maybe purchase the Bernese oberland pass which I believe is $240 x 4 & then I would use this pass for the Lauterbrunnen Valley (which seems like a ghastly amount). I just don't seem to find the train fares from all the little towns from Lauterbrunnen to be able to make good costs comparisons.

THANKS again for any & all advice. You have all been awesome!! We start our travels on October 6, so it is coming up :)

Sally

Posted by
7209 posts

You already have a Half Fare Card - why would you buy yet ANOTHER pass for the BO??? Just use the Half Fare Card everywhere.

Posted by
16743 posts

The Berner Oberland pass is 180 CHF if you also have a Half Fare card.

http://www.regiopass-berneroberland.ch/offer-2015/

But it does seem redundant if you have the Half Fare cards. The BO pass only gives you 50% off the " biggies" (Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch trip) and you will already get that with the Half Fare card.

The BO will, on the other hand, fully cover your trip from Luzern to Lauterbrunnen if it is within the four days. So figure out the price of that ( considering the Half fare card) before you decide. I doubt the extra 180 CHF for the BO pass will be worth it.

Posted by
31 posts

From the SBB web site at http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html you can determine the times and cost of any train travel in Switzerland. You can then determine which combination of passes and 1/2 fare card is the best. I used this site to determine the cost of tickets for a trip I did this past summer and used a spreadsheet to compare combinations.

I ended up only getting the 1/2 fare card since most of my travel was in and around Lauterbrunnen. I bought a ticket at the SBB desk in the EuroAirport terminal near Basel to get from the airport to Wengen. I then purchased tickets as I needed them at the small uncrowded train station in Wengen . I purchased tickets for Wengen to Luzern and Luzern to the EuroAirport, including the bus from Basel SBB to the airport, for two different days. These tickets are good for a particular day without time restrictions.

If you do get a 1/2 fare card always have it with you because they will check it on the train along with your ticket.

Posted by
10 posts

THANKS for all of your awesome help & advice!!

Now, I have been looking at tickets & I don't understand the "1 day travel pass Plus"....is this something new? I haven't read anything about this on this forum.

It states that for 2 people = CHF 89, 3 people= CHF 109 , 4 people = CHF 129. HOWEVER, then on another spot on that page, it states "price per 2 passengers, instead of 73 now 44.50. One person is required to have the 1/2 Fare travel card.

Since we are with 4 people, isn't this a good deal?? Maybe use this at Lauterbrunnen with all the traveling from little villages? Or, use it to travel from Lauterbrunnen to Montreux?

Am I missing something here?

THANKS again for all your expert advice!!