How to use my Swiss Card?

So I have done the math and it looks like a Swiss card makes sense especially as I am traveling with my 7 year old daughter who will be free with my purchases. The question is, once I get my Swiss Card, how do I actually book a ticket? For example, I am traveling from Milan to Interlaken. I understand that I buy a ticket to Domodossola - where the Swiss Card will kick. DO I need to purchase a onward ticket to Interlaken ? Or can I just show the conductor my Swiss Card? I am actually going all the ay to Gimmelwald. How far can I get with the Swiss Card? Will I need to pay for the bus or cable car from Interlaken to Gimmelwald? Thanks in advance! Maxine

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Please let us know what they say. It is true that Domodossola is not on the list of border Railway Sations, but the Validity Map for Swiss Card, Swiss Pass, etc., shows Domodossola as covered on a Swiss Card or Swiss Pass. And Trenitalia shows it as covered too. If you buy a ticket from Milano Centrale to Brig online at Trenitalia, the regualr fare is 36 euro. If you choose the fare with "GA Switzerland2" which is General Abbonement or price reduction applicable to Swiss Card and Swiss pass holders, the price drops to 15 euro for the same seat. That is actually less than the regular fare from Milan to Domodossola (19 euro).

Posted by Jim
Bern, Switzerland
341 posts

Hi Maxine, This information page on the Swiss Card, should address all your issues. If not, then use the contact form link at the bottom of the page - they are usually very quick to respond. Approximately half way down this page, is a link to a map, which shows you the routes covered by your ticket and the discounts you are entitled to. I believe you are correct in your understanding of how the ticket works, as you are entering Switzerland on an international train, the conductor will validate the pass for you, most likely after Domodossola. If your holiday destination is indicated as Gimmelwald, then your ticket should cover you on the train and bus, but you will need to buy a ticket there after at a 50% discount, at least that is my understanding. Have a good trip, Jim (Switzerland)

Posted by Maxine
Louisville, CO, USA
8 posts

Thanks so much Lola! I did not know that code was applicable to swiss card holders ...
You know I am finding I have missed many tricks like this for saving money. For example, I was booking trains in and to of Germany for many routes sine the rates are so good on De Bahn site. After booking several, it offered me a 4 month Bahn 25 card for only 25 euros. At that point I had finished my bookings but I could have saved about 40 euros on top of the card price had I known before I started booking. I so long for the days when a cheap 2nd class Eurail pass was all I needed!

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

The Swiss Card will fully cover your travel on two journeys, inbound from Domodossola to your destination" and then outbound from there to the border on your last day. In between, it covers all travel at 50%. You will be covered all the way to Gimmelwald on your first day. You can see this by finding the synoptic map own the link Jim gave you. Look for FAQ's and choose "more". Under "Travel within Switzerland" look for the question about area of validity, near the top. Mathis will give you a color-coded map. You will see that the Postbus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg is covered with a Swiss Card, as is the cable car up to Gimmelwald and onward to Mürren. Your free journey with the Swiss Card must be by a direct route, you cannot travel all over the country before heading to your destination. Someplace on it there should be a place to write your travel date. The conductor who validates the card should do this, but in the off chance he or she does not, make sure you date it before taking the next train from Spiez to Interlaken. An undated card or pass will catch a scolding from the conductor. After your first day's journey, all other travel to or from Gimmelwald will require a ticket purchase before boarding. Don't just get on a train and expect to buy a ticket from the conductor.

Posted by Maxine
Louisville, CO, USA
8 posts

Thanks for the information! According to the listing of Swiss Border Railway Stations, looks like I have to start at Brig so then I would need to buy a ticket from Milan to Brig. I have emailed to confirm this.