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Swiss Pass

Hi Travelers!

Family of 5 ( ages 20, 29, 29, 56, 82) traveling in Switzerland and Paris. Here is our itinerary:
Sunday- arrive Zurich airport, take train to Lucerne
Monday-Full day in lucerne
Tuesday- take train to interlaken
Wednesday- Full day in interlaken
Thursday- Full day in interlaken
Friday- Train to Basel, then train to Paris Gare de Lyon station(final destination)

Would it be wise to buy the Swiss Pass, especially since we will be visiting different areas in Interlaken like Jungfroch, Lauterbrunner?

If we were to get the Swiss Pass, would it cover our train from Interlaken to Basel also? From my understanding, Swiss pass can cover all railways in Switzerland, is this correct?

Also, with the Swiss pass, we CANNOT obtain train tickets in advance and must obtain the train ticket day of travel. Is this correct?

And if we cannot obtain a train ticket in advance, for example from Interlaken to Basel, would it be wise to reserve online a train ticket from Basel to Paris? Or also buy Basel to Paris day of travel?

I would like to know if anyone has traveled the same itinerary or similar, and some advice please!
Thank you!

Posted by
8954 posts

The Swiss Pass can typically save you a lot of money in pricey Switzerland. It covers all forms of inter-city transport via rail, bus, boat, or cable car. In addition it also covers municipal transport inside the cities, and also gets you free entry to a lot of museums. For cable cars, and trains that take you to mountain peaks you get a steep discount. With the Swiss Pass you simply hop-on and off trains (or whatever) no need to get tickets just show your pass. The only exception would be the mountain peaks, you will need to get a ticket before boarding to claim your discount. For more details on the Swiss Pass click the "rail passes" tab at the top of the page.

Basel to Paris is all together different. For that journey you will need to take the TGV high-speed train. These trains use airline style pricing, so it's essential you purchase tickets well in advance (90 days allowed)to get the cheapest price. For schedules, fares, and tickets head to http://tgv-europe.com. Don't let the site redirect you to Rail Europe.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you! That was really helpful! Do you know if it covers the golden pass from Lucerne to Interlaken? Or is it discounted?

Posted by
6898 posts

Stephanie, if you were just going from Zurich to Lucerne, Lucerne to Interlaken and then back to Basel, I would indicate to you that you may not need any kind of Swiss pass or card. You would be just about breaking even. But, you have mentioned the Jungfraujoch. From Interlaken, that round trip fare is about $190. Plus, if you want to visit the Schilthorn, that's another $110.

I would suggest buying the Swiss 1/2 fare card upon arriving in Zurich before buying any other train tickets. The card costs 120CHF and is good for 30 days. It provides a 50% discount on all types of Swiss transportation throughout the country (trains, buses, boats, cable cars, etc). It even works for the Jungfraujoch and the Schilthorn.

All of the above being said, 2-for-1 Swiss Saver passes are available during certain times of the year. These can be either consecutive or flex passes. For the flex pass, travel days are free (except the two mountain tops) and there is a 50% discount on non-travel days.

Posted by
8954 posts

Thank you! That was really helpful! Do you know if it covers the
golden pass from Lucerne to Interlaken? Or is it discounted?

You're welcome, the Swiss Pass completely covers the Golden Pass train, all you have to do is hop on the train.