Please advise the best type of rail pass for two seniors who will be staying in Zurich 2 days, Interlaken 3 days, and then traveling to Geneva 1 day. We do want to go to Schilthorn and Uetilberg (spelling on both). Please advise the best rail pass to purchase.
The Swiss Pass should be best. It cover all transportation, free entry to most museums, and big discounts on the high-mountain excursions like the Jungfrau. Click the "railpasses" tab at the top of this page for all the details.
I agree with Michael. The Swiss pass is best for 7 days. On the Schilthorn (and the Jungfrau), even the best Swiss pass only covers 50% of the fare. However, you should be covered on all other train, bus, boat and gondola fares. For your journey to Geneva, you might look into to Golden Pass scenic train from Interlaken to Montreux. From Montreux, you can pick up a train to Geneva. It takes longer to get to Geneva but it's much more scenic. CLICK HERE for the Golden Pass website. For an extra 7CHF or so, you can ride in the special 8 seats on top of the engine directly over the engineers. You can see the cabin on the website pictures. It's the best. And no excuse for being seniors.
How long would it take from Interlaken to Montreux and then to Geneva? Sit on top of the engineers sounds like fun. We are young seniors and I walk 2 to 3 miles per day. I have saved this Golden Pass information.
Our current plans are to explore Interlaken, then go to Schilthorn for one day. I also would like to go to Harder Klum but don't know how to get there. We saw a whole movie on the Jungfrau and I think that is too long of a trip for my husband.
What else would you suggest for our 3 days in Interlaken? Any castles?
There is a castle on Lake Thun, the Oberhofen:
But if you like castles, you really should make time to visit Chateau de Chillon, near Montreux. Take a break in your transit from Interlaken to Geneva at Montreux, with a side trip to the castle (you can walk there from Montreux if you like). You can leave your luggage in a locker in the Montreux train station.
As for the pass, there is no 7-day Swiss pass and the 8-day is more than you need, considering that your first two days are in Zurich. There is no point using a "covered" day on your pass to get to Zurich from the airport, or to spend a day in and around Zurich. Consider a 3-day Flex Pass---$184 instead of $279 for the 8-day Swiss pass. Use the first day of your pass to travel to Interlaken, and the last day to travel from Interlaken to Geneva (assuming you are completing that trip in one day). Pick your longest travel day from Interlaken to use for the third coverred travel day (Uetliberg, maybe?), but don't use it for the Schilthorn as that is 50% no matter what. Everything else (trains, boats, lifts) will be 50% off, and museums as fully covered.
Sandra, its 3.0hrs from Interlaken Ost to Montreux with a train change in Zweisimmen to the scenic train. From Montreux to Geneva, its about 90 minutes. That's a total of 4.5hrs or so. If you take the regular train from Interlaken Ost to Geneva, the train runs vary from 2hrs-45min to 3hrs-20min. Thus, the Golden Pass scenic train will cost you an extra 90 minutes or so.