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Wish there was a 5 day Swiss Pass!

Our family will be landing in Zurich on 16 May, staying in Lauterbrunnen, heading to visit family in Vicenza on 20 May. We are planning to buy 4 day Swiss Passes(2 adults, 1 youth, 2 younger kids travel free.) The problem is that this will leave out one day of travel on either end.

If we buy that 5th day a la carte, train fare arriving from Zurich airport to Lauterbrunnen would be 58CHF x 3 adults, 29 x 2 for the younger kids. Departing Lauterbrunnen to Vicenza would be double that.

Are there other options I'm missing? Other than heading to Vicenza a day earlier? Thank you!

Posted by
12911 posts

A 3-day Flex pass is cheaper than a 4-day Swiss Pass, and will help you a lot. It works as a half-fare card between the first and last day. So use the first and last day as days 1 & 5 of your trip; use the one other fully covered day for the most expensive travel you will do in between (remembering that trips like Schilthorn are only covered 50% no matter what, and the Jungfraujoch only 25%). The other 2 days are half price. And the kids under 16 are free with the family card for all trips.

Posted by
15 posts

Are you saying that a 3 day Flexi Pass offers 3 fully covered days, and the "off" days are half price? Are the "off" days limited in number? I was interpreting the SBB website that we would have to buy 5 day Flexi Passes. I appreciate help in clarifying this!

(I did email the SBB site, and they suggested buying a Swiss pass...)

Posted by
12911 posts

Yes, a Flex Pass works as a half-fare card on the "off days", but only between the first and last day of use, if that makes sense. For example, if you are there for 5 days, use your 3-day Flex for fully-covered travel (but only 50% on the high mountain lifts) on days 1 and 5, plus one other day. On the remaining 2 days, you can use it for 50% off.

This is a quote from the Swiss Travel System webiste: "On the days between the first and the last activated day, your Swiss Flexi Pass offers a 50% discount on train, (postal) bus and boat rides, as well as on most mountain-top excursions."

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you, Lola, my fog is starting to clear! So we need to do our most expensive, covered travel on the first and last days plus one day in between. How do the rail people know how to validate the pass? Do we tell them on the first ride of the day if we want 100% or 50%?

Also, I'm thinking for our trip to Vicenza on the last day that we should take the train from Lauterbrunnen to the Swiss/Italian border(covered by our pass) then pay point to point from Brig to Vicenza? Am I correct that the Swiss Passes won't cover anything on TrenItalia?

Thank you for your patience!

Posted by
12911 posts

Have the agent validate the pass before your first use, at the Zurich airport station. They usually will want to check your passports and see the kids and make sure you are the people on the pass.

If you are going from the airport to Lauterburnnen that day, it will cover the whole ride. That will start the 30-day period for using the pass. The pass will have 3 little boxes where you enter the date for the day you choose to use it for full coverage. Be sure you enter the date before you board the train, or the conductor will scold you--or possibly levy a fine. For the other (non-covered) days, just show your pass when you buy a ticket and you'll get the 50% discount.

On Day 5, when you travel into Italy, the pass will actually cover to the first stop beyond the border, which is Domodossola on the courte you will be taking. I would buy my tickets to Vicenza at the Lauterbrunnen station before starting this journey. Otherwise you would have to do it when you change trains at Spiez or Brig. Again, show your pass and they shoudl price the tickets just onward from Domodossola. Make sure that the route you are taking goes to Milano Centrale, not one of the other Milan stations.

You can see the coverage for the Swiss pass (or Flex pass) if you Google
"Swiss synoptic map"---it is the same map that comes with your pass. It will show all the trains, boats, lifts, etc. and which ones are only covered 50%. And you can see the schedule and routes for each of your journeys at www.rail.ch

Do not worry about asking too many questions. It's confusing if you havent done it before. And have a great time--we'll be a few weeks behind you, landing in Zürich and heading for Italy.

Posted by
15 posts

I feel like I am starting to have a clue now:) Do we have to fill in all 3 dates on the first day, or just each of the 3 days as we use them?

Thanks for your help!