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Transportation for four days in Switzerland

by Emm

My friends and I will be visiting Switzerland for 4 days this coming August. There are four of us - all undergraduates (21-23 years old). We plan to stay in Zürich for two nights and take a train to Geneva after.

We would be travelling by public transportation.

We are budget travellers and we would love to see as much as possible in this short period of time. There are several things that confuse us though:

1. Visiting Jungfraujoch: The cheapest means to get there and suitable time (morning or afternoon)?

2. Cheapest way to get around. Is a Swiss pass the answer (Flexi pass etc.)?

3. Should we buy travel tickets in advance? Is it more economic?

4. Must places to visit in Switzerland. We would love to see everything and wouldn't mind walking a lot (city, nature and culture).

That is all. Thank you.

Answer to

Transportation for 4 days in Switzerland

Hello Emm,

1. The cheapest way to visit the Jungfraujoch depends on the pass you choose:

  • If you have any of the Swiss passes you get 25% discount;

  • If you choose a Half Fare you receive 50% discount;

  • If you have none of the above, you could get a "Good Morning" or "Good Afternoon" ticket. Prices depend on where you leave (from Interlaken, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen…). See Jungfraujoch information here.
  • ;
  • Any Regional Passes start at 3 days travelling by train (Jungfrau Pass 6 days). In your case not feasible;

  • Also, Hotels sometimes offer 1-night accommodation with the ticket to Jungfraujoch included.

Mornings are often better for visibility, less clouds. The ticket is very expensive and I only recommend going up to the top if the weather is good or you'd be very disappointed.

There are plenty of options to see instead: Open air museum Ballenberg near Brienz (lots of walking and you can take the boat from Interlaken to Brienz); Trümmelbach falls; Cog wheel train from Wilderswil to Schynige Platte with Alpine Garden (wonderful hiking options); Visit the Beatus Caves (by boat on Lake Thun); steam engine train ride to the Rothorn; Hiking, climbing, bungee jumping, hang-gliding on the Stockhorn; visit the William Tell open air play in Matten (near Interlaken - dates see here). More info on the Bernese Oberland here.

Get the visitors card if you stay in or near Interlaken (from the Hotel or tourist office) and you receive discounts on entrance fees, transportation and more.

2. Again, that depends on how often you want to use public transportation. If you stay for 2days/2nights in Zürich, there are not many travel days left, so one of the pass options is probably not the most economical way. Use the SBB Timetable widget in the right column to figure out normal point-to-point tickets and then compare the result with the Swiss Passes or Half Fare/Swiss Cards. Here's a template that will help you figure out the best option for you.

3. If you decide to buy normal train tickets (even the "Good Morning/Afternoon tickets"), you can do that at the train station right before you board the train. Prices are the same if you buy online or at the ticket counter. What's more, if you change your travel plans you don't have to worry about getting a refund or having to pay an extra fee for changing the route. You can buy any Swiss Pass upon arrival at the airport or online through the SwissRailways or RailEurope.

4. Oh Dear, seeing all in two days (after spending two days in Zürich) would be quite a challenge. Going up to Jungfraujoch from Zürich or Geneva will already take away one day, unless you stay near or in Interlaken. To make the best of your time I'd recommend going up to the Jungfrau directly from Zürich instead via Geneva. If you want to see either Bern or Thun (both great cities for strolling along and sightseeing), then take the train via Bern to Interlaken. If you are more interested in nature and a really scenic train journey, then take the scenic route via Luzern/Brünig to Interlaken.

From Interlaken/Zweisimmen to Montreux you could take the Golden Pass Line (panoramic train - seat reservation compulsory), and then the normal train from there to Geneva.

There is a lot to do and see in Geneva that keeps you busy for one day. The tourist office is right down the street from the train station (Rue du Mont-Blanc 18) where you can get tons of good information and maps.

City transportation in Zürich and Geneva:

You can purchase a ZürichCard at the Airport (if that is where you arrive) or in tourist offices for 24 or 72 hours for free public transportation (including the train from the airport into the city), even up to the Uetliberg, Zürich's house-mountain, free admission to all museums, discounts on city tours, in some restaurants and shops.

If you overnight in Geneva, you get the Geneva Transport Card for free. You receive the card at any hostel, campground or hotel upon check-in.

Enjoy your Swiss holiday!

Comments for Transportation for four days in Switzerland

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9 days Family Trip
by: Lyes


Please, need your help in planing my trip.
We are family of 4 - 2 adults and 2 kids 8 and 9 .

We will land in Geneva on July 21 and head straight to Zurich :

- 4 nights in Zurich (no choice!) plan a day trip to Luzern and 1 to rRheinfall
- 2 nights Interlaken includes day trip to Jungfraush
- 2 nights Geneva
July 30th flight back home from GVA

1. I'm not sure if this is good plan for us! Appreciate your comments and suggestions if any.
2. A big issue is what is the best and most economic way of transport for us. I find the 8 day pas for 2 bit expensive. Renting a car seems cheaper but concerned about parking in cities. Buy the way we will not use cars in the cities

Please advise.

Hello Lyes,

I will gladly help you planning your itinerary. Please check out the different planning options I provide.

If you only need help with choosing the right pass for you, follow the links provided in the above post (2).

I am glad you are not planning to drive in the cities. As you mentioned, parking would be a hassle. You can use the so-called "Park and Ride" parking spaces provided at the outskirts of most cities and then use public transport.

All the best,

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Date: 22.04.13
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