Switzerland train - point to point vs pass

My itinerary is: Zurich (cable car to Appenzell) Lucerne day trip to Bern Interlaken (cable car to Murren) Scenic train to Montreux
Train from Montreux to Geneva airport. This involves about 5 days of train travel. I'm trying to figure out the point-to-point train costs vs. buying a Swiss pass. What about the half-fare card?

Posted by Jim
Dallas, Texas, USA
499 posts

I would like to know what you come up with. We're taking a similar trip to include Murren to Schilthorn. I plan on doing the half-fare, seemed to be the best deal the last time we did it. However, we also plan to do Mt. Pilatus cruise/gondola ride out of Lucerne as well.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6888 posts

Carol, in general, you need to amass about 240CHF in train fares before any type of Swiss Pass or card will be of benefit. Depending on when you travel, the Swiss saver 2-for-1 card may be available. I'm not sure if its available in the high season. One option is the Swiss 1/2 fare card. It costs 120CHF and is good for 30 days. It does what it says. 50% off on all Swiss transportation (trains, cable cars, gondolas, buses, boats, etc.). For openers, here's what I see. Zurich to Appenzell (Round Trip) 70CHF Zurich to Lucerne 24CHF Lucerne to Bern (Round Trip) 74CHF Lucerne to Interlaken 31CHF Interlaken to Muerren (Round Trip) 36.40CHF
Interlaken to Montreux 51CHF (Special seats over Engine are extra. Must do) Montreux to Geneva 34CHF The fares may vary slightly but I'm close. Also, you may travel more that you have identified above. If you go to the Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn, note that the ordinary R/T fare to the Jungfraujoch is about 176CHF. Schilthorn about 85CHF. It's half fare with the card.

Posted by Carol
Aurora, CO, USA
11 posts

Thank you. That is about what I figured as well. I think it is a 'wash' with getting the 1/2 fare card but I may as well get it in case we do other things as well. I don't think the swiss pass is cost-effective for this trip though it might be less 'brain damage'.

Posted by Devon
833 posts

I don't know if the Swiss Pass includes transport like the boat across Lake Lucerne or the train up to the top of Mount Rigi, but if you're interested in doing anything like that it may make it more worth it to buy the 1/2 price or the Swiss Pass. I was able to use a Gemeinde Tageskarte (day pass that locals can buy) and it included all public transport, even up to the top of Mount Rigi, so maybe the Swiss Pass does too.

Posted by steven
white plains, ny, usa
1205 posts

@ Devon ,Yes , the Swiss Pass does cover both the lake boat and the cog railway up to Rigi and return to Luzern ! Point to point ticket is about 120 CHF , I think . Right there ,if you have the pass , it's a good deal if the rest of your tickets add up to the pass price . The pass also covers all municipal transportation during the pass validity as well as many museums . Do the numbers to see if it works for you . We took the Rigi trip and loved it . After all , we had been thinking about it for thirty five years . Also , if you take into consideration the numbers Larry has provided , you'll see that you will be way ahead !