Please sign in to post.

Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic- Saver passes Vs. point to point

Our family (2 teens and 2 mid-40's) is traveling soon, and I'm having trouble deciding whether it makes more sense to buy Swiss/ Austria Saver passes with point to point in Czech Rep., or point to point tickets all the way. My husband leaves after 2 weeks, then the other 3 of us stay 1 more week. The web sites I've looked at have varying prices for point to point, and RS's estimate is in dollars so I'm not sure how the prices have changed since Nov '06 when it was published. None of the sights I've looked at have prices similar to what his map shows. Does anyone know where to look for point to point prices?

Posted by
18524 posts

Yeah, Rick's map is a rough estimate, but not really that useful, or, I think, up-to-date. Railsaver.com makes too many mistakes to be helpful. Unfortunately, the only way to accurately tell which is best is to grind it out. Look up the point-to-point prices on the national rail websites and compare everything to the cost of a railpass.

For Switzerland, its www.sbb.ch. For Austria, it's www.oebb.at. For Czech republic, its www.cd.cz/static/eng. Unfortunately, none of these websites give fares outside their country. Use one of them to get the full schedule for that train, including the border crossing. Then get the fare from each of them from/to the closest station to the border. Use the time difference to make a rough guess as to the remaining fare to the border. And remember, due to currency conversion, profit, etc, the country where you buy the ticket might not use the same price from the border to your destination in the second country.

Posted by
7 posts

As I try to compare, I'm also not sure whether the Swiss- Austria Pass has the same bonuses as the Swiss Pass. Does anyone know? It could make a difference in the Berner Oberland.

Posted by
7 posts

I just found Autrian "1-PLUS-Freizeit-Tickets", and was wondering if anyone has used them. My German is rusty, and the translation not great, and I'm not sure whether there are limitations on them, if they are bought here or in Austria, and whether all tickets after the first are 1/2 price, or whether more tickets have different discounts. They do look interesting.

Posted by
7 posts

You could spend a lot of time checking this and the fares system is often very complicated, but as a rule of thumb I would suggest that if you spend more than 2-3 days per week in each country travelling by train a significant distance (say greater than 150km) daily, you will find the Saver passes better. Other wise use the point to points. Note that the Saver passes do save confusion at booking offices and are normally heavily discounted.
In Switzerland, only the Swiss Pass covers the Bernese Oberland railways. The InterRail single country pass doesn't. But you can also get a half price card at main stations in Switzerland, valid for one month, and costs about USD80 or so per adult plus a Junior card (about USD 16) per child. This gives you unlimited half price travel, including the Bernese Oberland lines, and this is often the best way of doing things if you don't want to travel that much in Switzerland. (The Junior Card is also valid with Swiss Passes etc., by the way.)