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(another) Swiss Rail question

Similar to the other thread, we'll be travelling for five days in Switzerland the third week of September and are trying to figure out which 'pass' (if any) works best for the following itinerary: Day 1 - Lugano to Lucerne. Overnight in Lucern. Day 2 - in and around Lucerne (probably the Mt. Pilatus "Golden Round Trip" and ??). Overnight in Lucerne. Day 3 - train to Lauterbrunnen. Rest of day there. Overnight. Day 4 - in and around Lauterbrunnen (Jungfrau, Schilthorn, etc, or ??). Dav 5 - train to Geneva via Montreux. Would the 3 day 'Flex' pass (I understand the 'off' days can be used for a 50% discount) be the best bet? Or ??? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. Morley Jameson
Vancouver, Canada.

Posted by
781 posts

If you log on to the Swiss train site: www.sbb.ch, you will be able to calculate the cost of the tickets and determine the best solution.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks, have done that and determined that the Flexi Pass works well, if ..... we're unclear re the wording on the "50% discount on most mountain top trains". For those trams, does one need to use one of the 'days' on the Flexi or does it apply to the 'off' days? Thanks!

Posted by
12016 posts

The 50% discount on "most" mountain lifts applies whether you are using a covered day or not. MIT just has to be in between the first and lat covered day. That is, with a 3-day Flex Pass, the 50% discount does not apply to lift rides after you use the third Flex day. It says " most" mountain lifts because the Jungfraubahn is covered only 25% above Wengen or Grindelwald.

Posted by
6898 posts

Morely, if you are going to the two mountain tops (Jungfrau and Schilthorn), a flex pass of any kind is not your best choice. Even if you used the flexi pass for one of your travel days, you only get a 25% discount on the fares to and from the mountain tops from Wengen and Muerren. The round trip fare to the Jungfrau from Lauterbrunnen is about 197Canadian Dollars. Round trip to the Schilthorn from Lauterbrunnen is about 100Canadian Dollars. I would suggest considering the Swiss 1/2 fare card. It costs 120CHF and is good for 30 days. You get a 50% discount on all Swiss train, bus, boat, gondola, etc. fares. On a round trip to the Jungfraujoch using the 1/2 fare card, you would recover 75% of the cost of the card. With all of the travel you list above, you'll be a fair bit ahead. Simply buy the 1/2 fare card when you arrive in Switzerland before you buy your other train tickets. Or, you can buy Swiss tickets online at the 1/2 fare card but you must have the card in hand before you can use the tickets.

Posted by
8 posts

Larry, thanks very much for the advice. We wondered about that and haven't done the math. But, as you say, for those two trips it seems like a much better deal. We'll have a closer look. Thanks, again. Morley

Posted by
31255 posts

Morley, You may get some good tips by having a look at the www.ricksteves.com/rail/switzerland.cfm section on the Railpasses page. The 50% Pass would probably be a good one to consider, but you might also have a look at some of the Regional Passes such as the Berner Oberland or Jungfrau VIP. Unfortunately, you'll have to spend the time and do the "number crunching". I found that to be a complicated task, as the "best" pass varies with the specifics of each Itinerary. Good luck and happy travels!

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks, Ken - we'd wondered about the regional passes. Fortunately, I'm retired and good with Excel ... I've already done the work on the Passes/Cards, now I'll add in the regionals. Morley