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Swiss Saver Pass or Half Fare Card

by K. Roy
(Ghana )

Hi, I will be travelling to Switzerland with my wife in August 2012 for a total of 8 days. We will stay for 4 days in Luzern and for 4 days in Interlaken. Point of entry and exit: Zurich airport.

While in Luzern I want to take the Mt Titlis, Pilatus and some other tours.

In Interlaken: Jungfrau and Schilthorn as well as some other tours.

Should I buy the 8 day Swiss Saver Pass for a couple?

If so from where should I buy them (from airport or train station)?

Or is there any other saver city passes in Luzern and Interlaken.

This is my first trip to Switzerland. Please advice.

Additional question: can I do the trips in Luzern and Interlaken on my own or are there any guided tours?

Thanks and best regards.

Answer to

Swiss Pass, Regional Passes or Half Fare Card

Hello Roy,

According to your wish list, the Swiss Saver Pass for 8 days would be the way to go.

However, you also wish to add more tours. So planning a bit more to find out which pass is really the best option is worth your while.

For example, there are almost no mountain rides included in the Swiss Pass, whereas in the Tell Pass all mountain rides except Titlis are included. The Bernese Oberland Pass offers 50% discount up to the Jungfrau whereas with the Swiss Pass you only receive a discount of 25%.

  • Swiss Saver Pass for 8 Days

    The Swiss Saver Pass gives you free rides on train, bus and boat travel throughout Switzerland during these 8 days. You receive a 50% discount on most mountain rides except Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch (25% discount). The price for a return ticket from Lauterbrunnen to Jungfraujoch is 169.80 minus 25% = CHF 126.75, and although this is almost the price of the Good Morning/Good Afternoon Ticket (CHF 130), you are free to choose your travel time.

    Swiss Saver Pass for 8 days plus additional discounted tickets for Titlis, Pilatus (roundtrip ticket Kriens-Pilatus-Alpnachstad), Lauterbrunnen - Jungfrau and Mürren - Schilthorn:

    Total cost: CHF 566.75

  • Regional Passes

    5 day Tell Pass for Luzern (practically everything included except Titlis for which you receive a discounted ticket (CHF 32.50.) Included also the trip from Luzern to Interlaken via Brünig (see Area of Validity);

    3 days Bernese Oberland Pass (Lauterbrunnen - Jungfrau and Mürren - Schilthorn 50% discounted tickets);

    Zürich Airport to Luzern and Thun to Zürich Airport full price

    Total cost: CHF 694.50

  • Regional Passes combined with Half Fare Card

    Included the same as above, except you add a Half Fare Card (CHF 110) to receive a discount for the tickets from and to the airport as well as any other trip you plan to do outside these two regions. If you purchase the Half Fare Card in combination with the Regional Passes you are eligible for discounted prices for the Regional Passes.

    Total cost: CHF 664.50

To help you make a decision, use the following websites:

Tell Pass: Great travel tips and ideas on what to do in this region. Rigi and Klewenalp are two of my favorites. Of course, a boat trip on Lake Lucerne is a must - when you go up to Mt. Pilatus consider taking the "Golden Round Tour" (included). Click on "Service" on the left navigation bar and it will lead you to information on what you can do and see in this region. City transport included.

You can buy the Tell Pass here.

Bernese Oberland Pass: I quoted the pass for three days within 7 days. During 3 days city transport, boat rides on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz as well as bus and trains are free (except for the "green lines" where you receive 50% discounted tickets); on the other 4 days city transport is free and for all other tickets you receive a 50% discount.
The "Links" in the top navigation bar lead you to sights in this area. Worth your limited time (in case the mountains are shrouded in clouds): Reichenbach Falls; Beatus caves/and or Ballenberg; boat excursion on Lake Thun. Thun is a marvel of a medieval city - tourist office right in the train station - next to the boat lounge. Walk through the cobbled stoned streets, visit Schloss Thun (Castle Kyburg), have tea and desert at Schloss Schadau and don't forget to visit the Wocher Panorama while there).

Tip: you say you travel in August; but both Regional Passes offer deals 2 for 1 in September, which means one person would almost travel for free.

Also, don't forget to keep an eye on the weather forecast. It would be a pity to arrive at the top (especially on the Jungfrau considering the price) and not being able to see anything. You can buy the tickets right before you leave at the train station.

You can buy Swiss Saver Pass and Half Fare Card online or all passes upon arrival, at train stations, tourism offices or in Zürich Airport's SBB Reisebüro (Swiss Railway travel office), Check-in 3.

You can buy the Bernese Oberland Pass here.

All prices are quoted in 2nd class. Subject to change.

Guided or not?

Sightseeing companies offer day trips starting at around $120 (pick up, food, gratuities not included). Tourist offices also offer tours for groups and individuals. But of course, you can do all trips on your own. Buy yourself a good guide book (Frommer' or Fodor's for example), and get additional information and latest news at the tourist offices in Lucerne (directly in the train station), Interlaken (Höheweg 37 - next to the hotel Metropole).

I'd be happy to hear about your adventures upon return.

Enjoy your holiday in Switzerland,

Related Info:
- Click here for Festivals in Switzerland
- Click here for Swiss Pass Information (including Swiss Card and Swiss Half-Fare Card)
- Click here for Travel in Switzerland by train, bus, boat and ship
- Click here for Train Travel Tips

Comments for Swiss Saver Pass or Half Fare Card

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Swiss Pass or Half fare Pass
by: Jessie


I will be travelling a 5 days 4 nights in Switzerland in April 2013 with another companion with the following sequence:

05-Apr Basel airport - Lucerne by train
06-Apr Lucerne - Interlaken by train
07-Apr Interlaken - Jungfraujoch (up) by train
Jungfraujoch - Grindelward (down)by train
Grindelward - Interlaken (down) by train
08-Apr Interlaken - Geneve by train
09-Apr Geneva - Amsterdam by flight

I’m not sure which one I am supposed to choose – a 4-day-consecutive Swiss pass (CHF 266) or a half fare card (CHF110). It seems a half fare card is much cheaper than a Swiss pass.

Individual tickets – Total cost CHF 334.20

Basel airport – Lucerne - CHF 35.20
Lucerne – Interlaken – CHP 31.00
Interlaken – Jungraujoch (up) – CHF 99.60
Jungraujoch – Grindelward (down) – CHF 90
Grindelward – Interlaken (down) – CHF 13.40
Interlaken – Geneve – CHF 65.00

Half fares card – Total cost CHF 277.10

Basel airport – Lucerne - CHF 17.60
Lucerne – Interlaken – CHP 15.50
Interlaken – Jungraujoch (up) – CHF 49.80
Jungraujoch – Grindelward (down) – CHF 45
Grindelward – Interlaken (down) – CHF 6.70
Interlaken – Geneve – CHF 32.50
Half fares card – CHF 110.00

Swiss Pass – Total cost CHF 360.80

Interlaken – Jungraujoch (up) – CHF 49.80
Jungraujoch – Grindelward (down) – CHF 45
Swiss Pass – CHF 266
**If all travel within Switzerland is included I have to buy additional ticket for Jungfraujoch visit

Can someone advise me as follows:

1. Is my calculation above correct?
2. Do I need to buy the Swiss Pass or half fare card before my trip?
3. With Swiss pass of Half fare card am I entitled a 50% travel to Jungfraujoch from Interlaken?
4. Is Swiss pass cover the travel within Switzerland i.e Basel to Lucerne / Lucerne to Interlaken / Interlaken to Geneva?
5. How much is the local transport card for Interlaken and Geneva?
6. If I have bought the Swiss pass or Half fare card – do I need to book my trip in advance from here
- If yes, what if I missed the train, can I take the next train?
- If no, is there any problem for me to buy the ticket on the day I travel? Will the seat be sold out and will it be long queue to buy the tickets right at the train station?
7. Is there any other option which is much cheaper than this?

Swiss Pass or Half Fare Card
by: Fida

Hi Jessie,

1. I suppose the ticket prices above are correct. I didn't have time to check. You receive a 50% discount on all train, bus and boat tickets if you choose the Half Fare Card. So yes, your calculation seems correct.

2. You don't need to buy a Swiss Pass or Half Fare Card before you depart. You can buy both upon arrival at the airport. If you choose to buy it in advance from the Swiss Travel System (or any other online source), here are the links: Swiss Flexi Pass, Swiss Pass, or Half Fare Card.

3. With the Swiss Pass, you receive 25% discount going up to the Jungfraujoch; with the Half Fare Card you receive 50% discount.

4. Yes, these trips are covered.

5. With the Swiss Pass, city transportation is covered on the day of travel.

If you decide to buy the Half Fare Card, you can buy so-called "city tickets" instead of normal point-to-point tickets (before you depart) and city transportation is covered too (it's just slightly more expensive than a normal train ticket).

If you only need city transportation in Geneva and Interlaken: In Geneva you can get a free "Geneva Transport Card" (Tourist office or hotel/hostel/camp site or even rent a bike for free);
For Interlaken, there's no "City ticket" available. The town is small and easily covered on foot (unless you stay in a hotel far outside Interlaken, but you would get a 50% discount on bus transportation with the Half Fare Card).

6. You don't need to book any normal train trips in advance, and you can buy your ticket directly before you depart. If you miss a train, you can take the next one (there are regular half-hour and hourly schedules to pretty much anywhere).

The only time you would have to make a reservation would be if you take one of the "Clasic train trips" (Jungfraujoch is not considered one of them and you can choose to go any time. Just make sure you have good weather, otherwise you wouldn't see anything on top).

7. Half Fare Card or Swiss Pass are the best options.

You might want to check with your hotel. Sometimes they offer special arrangements, where the price up to the Jungrau is included. But again, that might not be the best option if you catch bad weather.

Hope that helps,

Interlaken - Jungfrau - Lucrene - Mt. Titlis
by: Jazzy


We (my wife and me) want to do a 4 nights / 5 day trip with 2 nights at Interlaken and 2 nights in Lucerne. We want to do a trip to Jungfrau from Interlaken and a trip to Mt. Titlis from Lucerne. We were planning to buy a 5 day (in 1 month) pass. How do we add the trips to Jungfrau and Titlis in that?

- Do we buy point to point ticket? If yes then what are the name of the stations where we should buy the ticket?

- Will we get any discount because of the pass?

- Should we buy pass first and then tickets later or in one go we buy everything?

Connecting tickets for Swiss Pass holders
by: Fida

Hi Jazzy,

You can buy these tickets at any train station in Switzerland or at the train station where you start your day trip; For example, you can buy the Titlis ticket in Lucerne or Engelberg. Just show your Swiss Pass and you will receive the right connecting ticket.

The same applies for Jungfraujoch. You could buy it anywhere or in Interlaken before you board the train.

Yes, you will get discounts. 50% for Titlis, and 25% for Jungfraujoch. But there are other options for the latter. Refer to my page for tips on the Jungfraujoch (click on "Tickets").

In case you visit other mountain tops, the validity map will show you how much discount you receive as a Swiss Pass Holder.

I wouldn't buy any point-to-point tickets in advance. It's easy to buy them at ticket counters or ticket machines right before you board a train. And in case you change your plans or the weather doesn't cooperate, you don't have to deal with getting your money back (which would cost a fee).

You can buy your Swiss Pass online directly from the Swiss Railways or RailEurope (should you add other countries) or at the SBB Travel Centre at Zürich Airport.

Here's a help page to find out the best pass option for you.

Safe travels,

Half fare Card or none at all
by: Atticus


I'll be traveling to Interlaken from Zurich on August 22 then will be heading to Milan on Auggust 25.

If the weather allows I would like to visit Jungfraujoch and the surrounding areas like Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen etc...

Should I get some sort of pass or none at all?


Hello Atticus,

That really depends on how many trips you take. Please do click on the following links in the post right above: Jungfrau to see your ticket options; and the help page. The latter shows an example how to calculate prices.

Note: should you choose the route from Interlaken to Milano via Centovalli Express and Locarno, then all tickets and passes are valid on the Italian stretch between the Swiss Border and Domodossola too.

Safe trip,

Swiss Saver Pass or Half Fare Card
by: Divya


We'll be travelling to Switzerland for 11-12 days. Zurich would be our fly in fly out. We would base ourselves at Interlaken (5), Lucerne (3) and Montreux (3). We are still thinking about staying a day at Locarno... or doing a day trip to the Verzasca valley from Lucerne... So that would be another day.

1. We are four adults. Is buying Swiss super saver passes a good decision or you think we should buy some other pass?

2. What is the cost of Swiss super saver pass for 4 adults?

3. Does it cover: Train trips to Montreux, Vevey, Geneva, Rochers de Naye, Evolene, Zurich to Rhine falls and back, train trip to Interlaken, Lake Brienz cruise, trip to Lauterbrunnen, Schilthorn excursion, cable car to Grindelwald First and Bachalpsee and back? Excursion to Jungfrau, Titlis or Rigi, Lugano to Swiss Miniature and Vercasca Valley?

Which of the above is covered or not covered in Swiss saver pass?

For the above itinerary is Swiss saver pass a good choice? How much would we save?

Hello Divya,

All your questions are already answered in this thread. Check the answers I gave Jazzy and Jessie.

The validity map will show you exactly where you get free train and bus travel and what kind of discounts you receive on mountain trips; the link to the Swiss Pass will give you the prices for the Saver Pass; the link to Jungfraujoch will show you the options you have for going up to the top of Europe; the link to the help page will show you how to figure out the best pass option for you.

As for additional perks you receive when buying a Swiss Pass click here.

Here a few direct links so you can see what it would you cost going up to:
- Titlis
- Rochers-de-Naye
- Schilthorn from Mürren
- Schilthorn from Stechelberg
- Pilatus
- Stanserhorn
- A trip to Rigi is included in the Swiss Passes (and so is the lake cruise)

Safe travels,

Mountain Dizzyness
by: Patricia


We'll be in Interlaken mid May 2014 for 3 nights and hope to go to the Top. With my mild angina/heart condition, will my seasickness patch help with dizziness up there?

Thanks for all the railpass info... we're still struggling with that one!

Hello Patricia,

You are welcome :)

Fact is, that even people without any health problems can experience altitude sickness on the Jungfraujoch. I am not a MD though and I can't give you any advice. You better contact your physician.

Enjoy your Swiss trip!

Zurich - Lauterbrunnen - Zurich : Swiss Saver Pass or Half Fare Card
by: Leila


I will be visiting Switzerland with my family (2 seniors, 2 adults, 1 youth) 15 Dec to 24 Dec 2016. 2 Will be arriving at Zurich

1) Lauterbrunnen (15 Dec to 20 Dec 2016))
paragliding, Jungfrau, Schilthorn

2) Zurich (20 Dec to 24 Dec 2016)
Rhine Falls and Black Forest Day Tour (any suggestion pls)

Is the Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Saver Pass cover the train ride from Interlaken OST to Lauterbrunnen?

If I buy the 8 Days Swiss Travel Pass, the ticket will expire midnight 22 Dec 2016. I still have 1 day to spend in Zurich, what ticket should I buy?

Your advise please, Swiss Travel Pass? Swiss Saver Pass or Half Fare Card?


Hello Leila,

All Swiss Travel Passes are valid to Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, Wengen and Grindelwald.

The "Swiss Saver Pass" was discontinued. You might have a look into the cost of a Swiss Travel Pass Flex or a Flex Combi Pass.
The validity map - the link is on the same page - will show you where the passes are valid and where you will receive a discount.

All passes are only valid within Switzerland. If you visit the Black Forest area (Germany) you will have to buy separate tickets.

To figure out the ideal pass you really have to include all trips you are planning to take and then compare prices.

As for the day in Zürich, you can buy single tickets for the trams or a day pass. The Tram Office is across the train ticket counters in the main train station.

Or look into buying a Zürich Card. The card includes more than just city transportation.

Happy travels,

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Date: 22.04.13
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