Swiss Passes or Point to Point Tickets with local city fare card
by Michelle SG
I will be travelling and spending 10 days in Switzerland in the following sequence:
CHF 15.50 24/4 : Zurich - Basel(CHF 15.50)
CHF 31.00 25/5 : Day trip to Zurich (CHF 31)
CHF 31.00 26/4 : Day trip to Lucerne (CHF 31)
27/4 : Day trip in Basel (I will be staying in Basel for 4 nites)
CHF 41.00 28/4 : Basel- Lugano
CHF 31.00 29/4 : Day trip to Milan (return)
30/4 : Day in Lugano
CHF 44.20 1/5 : Lugano -Interlaken - Grindelwald
CHF 95.80 2/5 : Day Trip to Jungfraujoch
CHF 68.00 3/5 : Interlaken - Zurich - Salzburg
4/5 - 5/5: Salzburg
6/5 : Salzburg - Munich
7/5 : Munich - Prague
8/5 : Prague
9/5 : Prague
10/5 : Prague - Munich
For my days in Switzerland initially I'm thinking of getting the 4D consecutive Swiss Pass (CHF 266) and a 3D Flexi pass (CHF 254), a total of CHF 520.
When I went to check the point-to-point tickets, I realized it's much cheaper.
Can someone advise if I could optimize my train tickets purchase as follows:
1. Get the point to point train tickets but what fare card can I buy to cover the local transport in Basel, Lucerne or Zurich (I learned that there is a Zurich Card for CHF 20 that covers all local transport)?
2. Do I have to buy the point-to-point tickets before my trip or I can do it when I'm there?
3.What is the meaning of "1 day travel pass half card"? Can I buy this and does it cover the travel between the inter-city trips between Basel and Lucerne or Basel with Zurich?
Swiss Pass or Point-to-Point tickets
Need help figuring out the best Pass Option?
For all who landed here to find help with choosing a Swiss Pass,
please refer to my help page.
I've listed an example that will help you find the best deal.
This is quite an itinerary you have here. You need a holiday when you get back home ;-)
You are quite right with your calculation. I added all the point-to-point (pop) ticket prices in front of your list for easier calculation. I assume that you return to Interlaken Ost from the Jungfraujoch.
- Total cost: CHF 507.50 (pop tickets CHF 357.50 + CHF 110.00 for the Swiss Half Fare Card + CHF 40 for two City Passes)
- Total cost Swiss Passes: CHF 520.00 + Grindelwald - Jungfraujoch (CHF 95.80) + Chiasso - Milan and Buchs SG - Salzburg.
- Option: Discounted Flexi Pass until May 31st!
If you travel in a group of two at all times, then you are eligible for a discount of 15% per Flexi Pass: CHF 215.90 instead of CHF 254.00.
Total cost with discounted Flexi Pass for 3 non-consecutive days:
CHF 493.90 per person (215.90 for pass + 238 for pop tickets + 40 for city cards).
Recommended Flexi Pass days: Basel - Lugano; Lugano - Grindelwald; Interlaken - Buchs SG.
Sometimes there are Super Saver Tickets (pop) available online
. Check them regularly to see if there's an offer that would fit you. Right now, their discounted ticket for the Jungfraujoch is only valid up to End of April. Offers can change daily. Can only be purchased online.
1) Local transport costs in Basel, Luzern and ZürichBasel:
Since you are staying for four nights in Basel, you are eligible for the Mobility Ticket
, a Guest Card that allows for free use of the transport system throughout the city and a little beyond (including zones 10, 11, Airport and ferry rides). Your hotel reservation will guarantee your free transport from the train station to your hotel where you will receive the Mobility Card.Zürich:
You are correct, the Zürich Card will cost you CHF 20 for 24 hours and can be purchased either online
(use the Voucher option) or when you arrive at the Airport in Zürich: Switzerland Info Center located at Arrivals 1 and 2, in Check-In 2 and in the Transfer and Shopping Area A.
If it is a beautiful day when you visit Zürich, I'd recommend to go up to the Üetliberg - Zürich's "house mountain" - the view is excellent and the cost of the transport is included in the Zürich Card as are certain sightseeing trips on the lake. Lucerne:
The Lucerne Card costs CHF 19.00 for 24 hours and grants unlimited travel on all public transportation, a 50% discount at select museums, and more. Not sure if it is worth your money though. Lucerne is a small compact city and easy to explore on foot, and if you only take one or two tram rides it's maybe not worth your money.
I'd recommend visiting the Tourist Office when you arrive in Lucerne, located off track 3 in the central train station. Depending on what you are planning to do and see, it could be useful. I couldn't find, for example, which museums are included or if a city tour or a boat excursion (which I highly recommend if the weather cooperates) is part of the deal. Lugano:
If stay more than three nights in Lugano, you receive a free Guest Card that allows for free public transport and you receive discounts on many attractions.
No matter where you stay over night, ask for a Guest Card
(free). Most villages, towns and cities offer one. The discounts or free stuff you receive are different from place to place, but it's always worth to check. Ask at your hotel or at the local tourist office.
2) Where to buy tickets
You can buy pop tickets right at the train station before you depart, except for the leg Interlaken Ost (or West ) to Salzburg Hbf
if you want to profit from the Supersaver ticket of CHF 68.00 instead of paying the full price of CHF 97.00, you can only buy this ticket online
(check "Conditions and Validity"). Seat reservation required. Option
Normal train vom Interlaken to Zürich, then EuroNight train to Salzburg (arriving in Salzburg at 4:12 am). You can choose a chouchette (women car available) or a sleeper car from CHF 127.50. You can buy this ticket at the train station (or online - it's up to you). If you buy it at the train station I would recommend you buy it as soon as you arrive in Switzerland to be sure that your sleeping quarters are reserved (don't forget to show your half fair card for the Swiss leg of the journey). If you do, ask for further discounts - sometimes they are available depending on the seats they have left.
3) 1 Day Travel Pass
You can travel with this pass as you do with any other ticket; in fact, you enjoy the same benefit as if you would travel with the Swiss Pass (hop on hop off anywhere, free entries to Museums, free city transportation and so on), but it's not valid up to the Jungfraujoch.
There are two options: 1-day Travel Pass
(CHF 68.00) and Multipack 1-day Travel Passes
for 6 days: CHF 340.00 (CHF 57 per day). Both of them are not economical for you; you still need to purchase the Half-Tax card, which means another CHF 110.00 on top of the price. And although these day passes include city transportation, the leg Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch is not included, and neither are Chiasso to Milan and Buchs SG to Salzburg.
Then there's the 9'clock Travel Pass
, a little cheaper because you are not allowed to travel before 9am or on weekends. One day CHF 58.00 or the Multipack
for 6 days for CHF 290 (CHF 49.00 per day). All your pop tickets in Switzerland cost less, even the leg Interlaken to Buchs SG. And although you would profit from free city transport and more, I don't see a benefit for you.
Salzburg - München - Prague - München
Pop tickets are probably the cheapest way to go. Salzburg - München starting at CHF 50 (ask for savings fair), and roundtrip München - Prague starting at CHF 90. I checked the Eurorail Select Pass:
- Price for 5 countries (15 days within 2 month) CHF 950;
- Price for 4 countries (exclusive Italy - 11 days within 2 month)
CHF 700 plus the roundtrip ticket to Milan.
Both Passes don't include the trip to the Jungfraujoch (CHF 95.80).
I hope this helps you make a decision. I wish you a wonderful journey.
PS:Information on Swiss Passes and Swiss Half Fare Card