Swiss Travel Pass 2022 review: Is it good value or not?

When it comes to city passes and travel cards, it’s usually fairly easy to figure out whether they would be worth it for you or not. For things like the Paris Pass or London Pass, they have a list of the most popular attractions and how much they cost, right there for you to see. The Swiss Travel Pass, however, is shrouded in mystery, or at least it was until I spent several days tracking down all of the prices and benefits.

A great many of the visitors and commenters on my popular page about where to go in Switzerland on a short visit are wondering whether the Swiss Travel Pass is a good deal. Embarrassingly, I’ve always had to answer that I found the pass too confusing to confidently advise people on. Now that has all changed, after literally days of research.

Note: This article was written in 2016 and has last been updated in May, 2022.

Disclosure: This is a reader-supported website and some of the links are affiliate links where a small commission is paid to help keep this site going, but the cost to visitors is the same. The Swiss Travel Pass seems quite expensive at first, so it felt like it might be hard to get your money’s worth out of it. As it turns out, it’s pretty easy to get good value, and it’ll be a good deal for many visitors.

New in 2022

The Swiss Travel Pass in now fully functioning again in 2022 and the country is ready for visitors. Interestingly enough, they have expanded service a bit and lowered many prices, especially for travelers 25 and under.

We will be updating some of the changes that are new in 2022 soon, but generally the program works the same as it did before.

>>>Buy the Swiss Travel Pass online

Is the Swiss Travel Pass a good deal? Here's the short version

If you plan on taking at least 2 of Switzerland’s famous scenic train rides within a 3 or 4-day period, a Swiss Travel Pass can easily pay for itself. If you take 3 or 4 scenic train rides, as well as use the pass on one or more of the famous cable cars such as Schilthorn (50% covered by the pass) or 25% off the mountain train up to Jungfraujoch, the pass is definitely worth it.

The bottom line is that the scenery, train journeys, and cable car rides in Switzerland are stunning and not found anywhere else in the world. They are also quite expensive if you pay for them one at a time. So no matter how you visit Switzerland, you are going to be paying quite a bit, or skipping the absolute best things that you’ve come there to see.

With good planning it’s quite easy to get great value out of a Swiss Travel Pass, but it might be a poor choice for those who don’t like to plan ahead. You can easily do a scenic train ride and a cable car in the same day, and still have time to do a scenic hike in the process.

The longer you'll be in Switzerland, the better deal a Swiss Travel Pass will be

Most people visiting Switzerland only stay for 3 or 4 days and in visits of that length you really have to compare the costs of the Pass to the costs of the things you’ll do. And for many of those people who aren’t do longer train rides, the Half Fare Card (discussed below) is the best choice. It’s easy to see that the per-day cost of the Swiss Travel Pass is pretty high until you get to the 8-day and 15-day versions. However, the per-day prices on those longer passes are actually very low considering the price of typical train rides and mountain attractions.

In other words, if you are staying 5 days or fewer, you have to do the math to determine your best option. But if you are spending even 6 or 7 days in Switzerland then the 8-day Pass is almost guaranteed to be a great deal and your best choice. Once you have a Swiss Travel Pass you’ll absolutely love the ability to just hop on any train (excellent trains, always on time) and most boats and cable cars without having to worry about the cost. The per-day cost of an 8-day Pass even if you only use 6 of those days is about CHF65, and Switzerland is filled with amazing train rides and boats and cable cars that can get you that much value before noon each day.

Schilthorn is 100% covered by the Swiss Travel Pass, but that ends in 2020

From 2018 through the end of 2019, the full cable car ride up to the Schilthorn observation deck and the Piz Gloria restaurant is/was 100% covered with a Swiss Travel Pass. The cost of the cable car ride is CHF112 (about US$112), but starting again in January, 2020 the Swiss Travel Pass will only get you a 50% discount, so it will be CHF56.

The two most dramatic viewpoints and most beloved activities in Switzerland are Schilthorn and the Jungfraujoch tourist train that goes up the mountain across the valley from Schilthorn. Jungfraujoch is still only a 25% discount off the CHF205 price for Swiss Travel Pass holders, so it’s still very expensive.

Both of those peak experiences are extraordinary and different from each other. Even so, compared to Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn is also faster and more comfortable on the way up and down. You can enjoy an excellent visit to Schilthorn in 4 hours or so (or a bit longer if you eat at the spinning Piz Gloria restaurant at the top), while a visit to Jungfraujoch requires closer to 6 hours.

NOTE: Schilthorn closes for maintenance for a week or two in late November most years.

Consider the Swiss Half-Fare Card instead

If you AREN’T going to be doing two or more of the long (and expensive) scenic train trips, you will get much better value out of the Swiss Half-Fare Card, which is explained a bit below.

Is a Swiss Travel Pass right for you?

Determining whether a Swiss Travel Pass is a good deal for you is simply a matter of figuring out which of the scenic rail and cable car journeys you plan on doing while in Switzerland, and seeing whether the price of the pass will cover the benefits. Below in this article you’ll see a long list of every one of the most expensive and most popular scenic journeys and cable cars, along with how much they cost without the pass, and how much you can save.

Most people only visit Switzerland for 5 or 6 days at most, so the 3-day and 4-day passes are the ones to focus on. But if you are staying for 8 days or more, those longer passes are almost certainly a great deal for you.

Long story short, if you plan on doing 2 of the more expensive scenic trains and the Jungfraujoch railway or the Schilthorn cable car, then the pass will save you money. Switzerland is expensive, but it’s worth it, and the travel pass can help make it a bit more affordable.

What the Swiss Travel Pass includes

  • Free rail travel on normal trains and most scenic trains
  • Discounted travel (about 50%) on popular tourist mountain trains
  • Discounted travel (about 50%) on popular tourist cable cars, although Schilthorn and Mt Rigi are 100% covered
  • Free travel on public transport in 75 towns and cities
  • Free entry to around 500 museums in Switzerland

The Swiss Travel Pass covers the fare on the most popular scenic and panoramic trains. You can choose a normal seat in a regular carriage for no additional cost, but there is a supplement of CHF8 to CHF49 for a reserved seat in one of the special panorama carriages on these routes.

Prices of the 2022 Swiss Travel Pass

1st Class

  • Adult 3-day Pass: CHF369
  • Youth (4 to 25) 3-day Pass: 260
  • Adult 4-day Pass: 447
  • Youth (4 to 25) 4-day Pass: 315
  • Adult 6-day Pass: 570
  • Youth (4 to 25) 6-day Pass: 402
  • Adult 8-day Pass: 617
  • Youth (4 to 25) 8-day Pass: 436
  • Adult 15-day Pass: 675
  • Youth (4 to 25) 15-day Pass: 479

2nd Class

  • Adult 3-day Pass: CHF232
  • Youth (4 to 25) 3-day Pass: 164
  • Adult 4-day Pass: 281
  • Youth (16 to 25) 4-day Pass: 199
  • Adult 6-day Pass: 359
  • Youth (16 to 25) 6-day Pass: 254
  • Adult 8-day Pass: 389
  • Youth (16 to 25) 8-day Pass: 374
  • Adult 15-day Pass: 429
  • Youth (16 to 25) 15-day Pass: 307

Swiss Travel Pass Flex

This version costs a bit more, but you don’t have to use the travel days consecutively. It’s a great option for anyone who won’t be taking longer train rides each day.

  • Adult 3 Flex days in 1 month (1st Class): CHF424
  • Adult 3 Flex days in 1 month (2nd Class): 267
  • Adult 4 Flex days in 1 month (1st Class): 514
  • Adult 4 Flex days in 1 month (2nd Class): 323
  • Adult 6 Flex days in 1 month (1st Class): 610
  • Adult 6 Flex days in 1 month (2nd Class): 384
  • Adult 8 Flex days in 1 month (1st Class): 649
  • Adult 8 Flex days in 1 month (2nd Class): 409
  • Adult 15 Flex days in 1 month (1st Class): 706
  • Adult 15 Flex days in 1 month (2nd Class): 449

Where to buy the Swiss Travel Pass

The Swiss Half-Fare Card – A better option for many visitors

Far less confusing than the Swiss Travel Pass, you can instead get a Swiss Half-Fare Card, and it will be a better deal for many travelers. The price is lower and it’s much easier to do the math, and the discounts are greater on some things as well.

  • Swiss Half-Fare Card for 30 days: Adults – CHF120 or US$122

What you get:

Those who buy the Swiss Half-Fare Card will get 50% discount on all trains, buses, and boats in Switzerland for up to 30 days, as well as 50% off all public transportation in 75 cities and towns.

>>>Buy the Swiss Half-Fare Card

Why the Half-Fare Card is a better deal for many

While the Swiss Travel Pass is a great deal for those doing many of the expensive scenic journeys and mountain sights within a few days, it’s not good value for those who are doing fewer of the expensive trips and/or those who are staying longer. Also, the Swiss Travel Pass only provides a 25% discount on the amazing Jungfraujoch Railway, which costs between CHF120 and CHF205 return depending on your starting point, while the Half-Fare Card provides a 50% discount.

The math is simple as well. You can just add up the cost of the trains, boats, and buses you’ll be taking while in Switzerland, and if the total is more than CHF240 or so, the Half-Fare Card will save you money.

Example itinerary:

  • Zurich to Interlaken train (2nd Class): CHF50
  • Schilthorn Cable Car: CHF112
  • Jungfraujoch railway from Interlaken: CHF205
  • Interlaken to Lucerne train (2nd Class): CHF33
  • Mt Rigi roundtrip from Lucerne: CHF84
  • Engelberg (near Lucerne) to Mt. Titlis Cable Car: CHF92
  • Lucerne to Zurich train (2nd Class): CHF25

Total per person: CHF601
Total with Half-Fare Card (including price of card): CHF420.50

It would be tough to do all of those things in 4 days, although it is possible. If you bought a 4-day Swiss Travel Pass here is how it adds up:

4-Day Swiss Travel Pass: CHF259
Supplements for Schilthorn, Jungfraujoch, and Mt. Titlis: CHF203.25
Total cost: CHF462.25

Bottom line on the Swiss Half-Fare Card

Since the Half-Fare Card lasts 30 days and provides a larger discount on Jungfraujoch, it is better value for visitors who want to include that scenic top-of-Europe rail journey on their trip. The discounts also add up more quickly on Schilthorn (now fully included as of 2018) and Mt. Titlis trips, just to name two examples, and you don’t have to take many longer rail journeys to get value out of the Half-Fare Card.

New: Swiss Saver Day Pass (A one-day unlimited travel pass)

As if the Swiss travel situation wasn’t already complicated enough, in late 2017 the rail system introduced the Saver Day Pass, which is an unlimited travel pass (on regular trains) that must be purchased at least one day in advance and is cheaper the earlier you buy it, as far as one month out. This can be a great deal if you are only planning on traveling around Switzerland on the trains for 1 to 3 days and you aren’t planning on going up Schilthorn or Mt. Rigi, which are both free with a Swiss Travel Pass but still 50% off with a Saver Day Pass.

If you buy the Saver Day Pass at least 14 days in advance (and up to 30 days in advance) the 2018 cost is:

  • 2nd Class (with Half Fare Card): CHF39
  • 1st Class (with Half Fare Card): CHF66
  • 2nd Class (with no Half Fare Card): CHF52
  • 1st Class (with no Half Fare Card): CHF88

Once you research the normal cost of Swiss train fares you’ll see that the above prices are a very good deal for anyone riding more than 150 kilometers or so in a day. If you are just going, for example, from Zurich to Lucerne or Interlaken on a day, it’ll be cheaper to just buy that ticket individually. But if you are going from Geneva or Montreux to Interlaken or Lucerne then the Saver Day Pass will be much cheaper. Better still, you can use a Saver Day Pass to go from Interlaken to Geneva and back on the same day on the Goldenpass line and returning on the faster train through Bern, and it will still all be included for free.

If you don’t buy a Saver Day Pass at least 14 days in advance it’s more expensive, and if you only buy 1 to 3 days in advance it’s VERY expensive, so the key is to buy early. This is all confusing, but the Saver Day Pass should be a great option for many people only in Switzerland for one to three days.

Popular Swiss panorama scenic trains

The 5 train routes listed below are the best and most popular of Switzerland’s scenic train routes. With a Swiss Travel Pass, you can ride for free in normal carriages or pay a small supplement for a reserved seat in one of the special Panorama carriages. If you are going to do one of these as a journey unto itself, the Panorama carriages are highly recommended, and worth the supplement.

  • Glacier Express
  • Route: Zermatt to St. Moritz
  • Train type: Panorama
  • Journey time: 8 hours 3 minutes
  • Distance: 291km
  • 1st Class fare: CHF298
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF170
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 13 to 33 for panorama carriage
  • Bernina Express
  • Route: Chur to Tirano and Lugano
  • Train type: Panorama and bus
  • Journey time: 4 hours 13 minutes and 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Distance: 148km and 90km
  • 1st Class fare: CHF138
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF88
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 10 to 14 for panorama carriage
  • GoldenPass Line
  • Route: Lucerne to Montreaux
  • Train type: Panorama
  • Journey time: 5 hours 8 minutes
  • Distance: 191 km
  • 1st Class fare: CHF125
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF71
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 8 to 15 for panorama carriage
  • Gotthard Panorama Express (formerly Wilhelm Tell Express)
  • Route: Lugano or Locarno to Lucerne
  • Train type: Panorama and boat
  • Journey time: 5 hours 21 minutes
  • Distance: 182 km
  • 1st Class fare: CHF197
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF115
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 39 to 49 for panorama carriage
  • Swiss Chocolate Train
  • Route: Montreux to Broc round trip
  • Train type: Panorama or First Class
  • Journey time: X hours X minutes
  • Distance: 82 km
  • 1st Class fare: CHF89
  • 2nd Class fare: N/A
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 39

Popular Swiss scenic and theme trains

The scenic trains below are also extremely popular as sightseeing journeys rather than just as transportation, but can be used as both.

  • Jungfraujoch round trip
  • Route: Interlaken to Jungfraujoch
  • Train type: special mountain train
  • Journey time: 4 hours 41 minutes, round trip, plus time on top
  • Distance: 73 km
  • 1st Class fare: N/A
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF204.40
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 128 (so, a saving of CHF76.40)
  • Gornergrat Railway
  • Route: Gornergrat Railway
  • Train type: Cog railway
  • Journey time: 44 minutes return
  • Distance: 10 km
  • 1st Class fare: N/A
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF90
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 45
  • Rigi round trip
  • Route: Lucerne to Rigi
  • Train type: Cog railway
  • Journey time: 3 hours 25 minutes, plus time at the top
  • Distance: 58 km
  • 1st Class fare: CHF84.40
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF74
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: None (this one is free with the pass)
  • Mt Rigi Excursion (one-way and walk down)
  • Route: Lucerne to Mt Rigi
  • Train type: cogwheel train and/or cable car
  • Journey time: 45 minutes up
  • 1st Class fare: N/A
  • 2nd Class fare: 50
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 0
  • Lotschberg Mountain Route and Centrovalli
  • Route: Bern to Locarno
  • Train type: Narrow gauge
  • Journey time: 4 hours 40 minutes
  • Distance: 212 km
  • 1st Class fare: CHF158
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF90
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 5
  • Jura round trip (Watchmaking Tour)
  • Route: Neuchatel through Jura
  • Train type: Regular
  • Journey time: 3 hours 0 minutes
  • Distance: 143 km
  • 1st Class fare: CHF168
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF108
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 0
  • Pre-Alpine Express
  • Route: St. Gallen to Lucerne
  • Train type: Regular
  • Journey time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Distance: 146 km
  • 1st Class fare: CHF83
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF47
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 0
  • Jura Foot Line
  • Route: Basel to Geneva
  • Train type: Regular
  • Journey time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Distance: 248 km
  • 1st Class fare: CHF132
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF75
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 0
  • Lavaux-Simplon-Centrovalli Line (Wine Route)
  • Route: Geneva to Brig to Locarno
  • Train type: Regular
  • Journey time: 5 hours 20 minutes
  • Distance: 317 km
  • 1st Class fare: CHF132
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF75
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 0
  • Three City Line
  • Route: Lucerne to Zurich to Chur
  • Train type: Regular
  • Journey time: 2 hours 1 minutes
  • Distance: 174 km
  • 1st Class fare: CHF69
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF59
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 0

Popular Switzerland cable car rides

These are the two most popular cable car rides to obvservation peaks in central Switzerland. The Swiss Travel Pass offers a 50% or more discount, but not the whole fare.

  • Schilthorn
  • Route: Stechelberg (Lauterbrunnen) to Schilthorn
  • Train type: cable car
  • Journey time: 1 hour
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF112
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 56
  • Engelberg to Mt. Titlis cable car
  • Route: Engelberg to Mt. Titlis
  • Train type: cable car
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF92
  • Supplement for Swiss Pass holders: 46

Popular general train line routes for tourists to Switzerland

The following train routes are the ones that most tourists to Switzerland will be using. They are all free with a Swiss Travel Pass.

Note: In some cases, a Supersaver fare might be available, which can be a savings of up to 50% off the regular fare. However, they are for a fixed journey at an off-peak time, and they are non-changeable and non-refundable.

  • Basel to Zurich (for trips to or from Paris)
  • 1st Class fare: CHF58
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF33
  • Geneva to Zurich
  • 1st Class fare: CHF153
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF87
  • Bern to Zurich
  • 1st Class fare: CHF88
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF50
  • Zurich to Interlaken
  • 1st Class fare: CHF88
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF50
  • Zurich to Lucerne
  • 1st Class fare: CHF44
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF25
  • Bern to Interlaken
  • 1st Class fare: CHF49
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF28
  • Bern to Lucerne
  • 1st Class fare: CHF67
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF38
  • Interlaken to Zermatt
  • 1st Class fare: CHF142
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF81
  • Lucerne to Lugano
  • 1st Class fare: CHF105
  • 2nd Class fare: CHF60

The Swiss Travel Pass also includes free museum admission, but…

While it’s true that the Swiss Travel Pass includes free admission to around 500 museums all over Switzerland, it’s probably best to just ignore that when you are determining whether to buy a pass or not. Most of the included museums cost between CHF5 and CHF10 without the pass, although a few are closer to CHF20.

The problem is that the museums are only free on valid travel days, and almost no one would visit more than one or two museums with a Swiss Travel Pass. The trains and cable cars are so expensive that the pass gives very good value to cover those, so you don’t want to waste precious sightseeing time walking through a museum that only costs CHF10 anyway.

In other words, calculate the value of a Swiss Travel Pass on the travel savings only, and if you visit a museum here or there, then great. Most people are better off trying to squeeze in an additional train ride each day, and ignoring the museums. Switzerland is all about the outdoor scenery. As nice as the museums may be, they are not why you are there.

The pass includes free public transport in most Swiss cities

Similar to the free museum part of the offer, it’s best to ignore or minimize the value of free public transportation. It could be helpful in Zurich, but in most other Swiss tourist towns you won’t need much public transport. In fact, in Interlaken, each hotel or hostel guest automatically gets a card for free public transportation within the town (including between the two train stations).

So you might use a ride or two each day on public transport, but that won’t add up to much in terms of value of your Swiss Travel Pass.

Where to buy the Swiss Travel Pass

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All Comments

  1. Chris V says:

    Hi Roger
    The info in your blog is great, I was wondering if you could help me? I have been researching for quite some time and still can’t figure out what would be the best for me to do.
    I am basically looking to get a train from Zurich to Lucerne, spend a day doing Mt Pilatus, either silver or golden round trip, and also the GoldenPass journey from Lucerne to Montreux.
    Would the half fare card be the most cost effective way to do this? Can you use it for the silver/golden round trip on Mount Pilatus? And can you use it for the GoldenPass train ride?
    Many thanks

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I’m glad this has been helpful. Are you thinking about doing all of this in one day? Going up Pilatus and coming back down will take an active half of a day, whether by Silver or Gold. And the Goldenpass from Lucerne to Montreux takes close to 5 hours in each direction. It’s only about 3.5 hours if you go through Bern rather than Zweisimmin, and it’s recommended to do that in one direction anyway because that section of the journey that you avoid is quite slow (although gorgeous). In other words, if you tried to do both of those things in one day it would mean coming back to Lucerne in the dark. Just sitting on the train for 8 to 10 hours in one day is challenging for some people, so that’s a full day itself even if you want to try. Then it’s another hour from Lucerne to Zurich.

      I’m not sure the exact cost of each of those things so it’s hard to confidently give you advice. The Half Fare Card DOES apply to all of the things you are considering. I think it would be best to do this over two days and the Half Fare Card would almost certainly save you the most money. You could also consider a Saver Day Pass, especially if you want to do all of it in a day. As long as you buy at least two weeks (and hopefully a month) in advance, it can be the cheapest option. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  2. Khushnum says:

    Thank you so much Roger. You confirmed exactly what I had in mind. Just need to understand few things regarding the Swiss pass.
    1. Where is the best place to buy the Swiss pass. Are prices same on all websites, or are some better .
    2. Can I get off at any stop on any of the scenic routes and get in again at a different time or day. For eg, if I take the golden pass from Zurich and get off at Lucerne, spend the day and get in again either later that day or next, is it fine?
    3. My son is 15 yo. Is he also free with family pass.

  3. Khushnum says:

    Hi Roger, thank you for your blog, detailed information and your patience to reply to all the users. I have hope :). We are planning on a 8, 9 day Swiss trip in the end of May (half term holidays in London). It’s going to be 2 couples n 4 kids (ages 15, 12, 11, 8). While the whole itinerary is flexible and depending on your for advise, roughly We plan to fly into Geneva and out of Zurich. Places to visit
    1. Area around lake Geneva and Valais region
    2. Zurich
    3. Zermatt
    Now as I was researching I realised that we could take the Swiss pass and do 3 of the scenic train rides
    1. From Montreaux to st Moritz (golden pass)
    2. From st Moritz to Lugano (glacier express)
    3. From Lugano to Zurich
    However what I am unclear about is, is the above feasible and enjoyable. Or is it too much travel. Also, while my family has done the Titlis, Jungfrau, Interlaken, it’s not included in the itinerary. However should our friends want to do it, can it be fitted in.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I’ll try to help, but this is a tough call. If I understand correctly, some in your group have explored the wonders of Interlaken and Lucerne, while others have not. If this is correct, you are aware of how amazing those places are and it seems like it would be a shame to have your friends skip them when they are the main highlights of the whole country. I think it would be nice to at least spend some time in the Lauterbrunnen Valley area and perhaps do Schilthorn if you’ve already done Jungfraujoch (since those are sort of the twin, grand highlights of the country).

      Since you are planning 8 or 9 days I think I’d start by assuming that you’ll be getting Swiss Travel Passes for the adults and have the kids travel free with the Swiss Family Card. You could potentially get Half Fare Cards and still have the children travel free on the Family Card, but the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass is really a great deal for visitors staying that long who want to see as much as possible.

      You might have a quick scan of my article on where to go in Switzerland. Near the top I discuss the fact that a wide consensus of travel professionals feel that the Swiss cities are fairly dull by European standards, while the scenery (especially the Alps) is arguably the best in Europe. In other words, I’d recommend spending little time in Zurich or the other big cities (Bern is a bit of an exception) and more time on the scenery. So Zermatt will be great for a couple of days. You might also visit the Appenzell region, which is an incredibly scenic farming area famous for cheese and a traditional way of life. Lugano will also be great as it’s different from the German and French-speaking cities in the center and west of the country.

      If you start with the idea that you’ll get the 8-day Swiss Travel Passes you can use the list of included routes and attractions to help plan your trip. Near Lucerne you can take the lake cruise and go up and down Mt. Rigi, and it’s all included in the Pass. Those scenic train rides will also be fantastic and there are a few more to choose from as well. I hope this helps, but since you’ve already been to the top Swiss attractions, you already know a lot about the country and I’m sure you’ll plan a great trip. -Roger

  4. Reddy says:

    Thank you for the quick response.

    If I don’t want to rush it and enjoy the stay, how many days I need to visit those places which I mentioned in my prev post?

    Thank you!

    1. Roger Wade says:


      Again, it depends on how well the weather cooperates. But as long as you have clear weather I’d say Schilthorn takes at least half a day (including a visit to Murren on the way down) and Jungfraujoch takes a bit more than half a day, although you can visit Grindelwald and Trummelbach on that day as well. If you stay 3 nights and use your two full days to do those things, and if the weather cooperates, then 3 nights could be enough. Just make sure to get an early start each day and check the weather as you go. It can change quickly. -Roger

  5. Reddy says:

    Hi Roger,

    Does 3 days enough to cover below with staying 3 nights at Interlaken or you seggest different stay?

    Interlaken, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, trummelbach, schilthorn, Mt Jungfraujoch in cluding belowas well

    Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe
    Grindelwald – First
    Harder Kulm
    Schynige Platte

    Do we have direct trains from Zurich Airport to Lucerne/Interlaken and back? If I want to be at Zurich Airport by 6PM , how soon I should start from Interlaken if I am going by train?


    1. Roger Wade says:


      You can do all of those things in 3 days if you get an early start each day and if the weather cooperates. It’s hard to say how enjoyable it would be rushing like that. The weather on top of the mountains can be so foggy that it’s not worth going up, but that usually only happens for a few hours at a time. You’ll want to check the weather before you leave.

      Zurich Airport has its own train station, but for most trains you’ll change at the main Zurich station for the 9-minute ride out to the airport. So you’ll buy a ticket from Interlaken directly to Zurich Airport and you’ll usually have to change trains in Zurich, but there are departures to the airport many times each hour. If you leave Interlaken around 2 PM you’ll be at the airport a bit after 4 PM, which should be plenty of time. Swiss trains are expensive, but they are almost always exactly on time so you don’t have to plan on getting there too early “just in case.” Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  6. Reddy says:

    Hi Roger,

    Also would like to know best options for stay where I should go with hotels or with AirBnB.

    Does the kids travel free on Half Fare card or Swill travel pass or eu global pass or eu italy pass?


  7. Reddy says:

    Thanks for the quick response, Roger.

    I am planning for Italy trip as well within the same month with 3/4 days gap after the swiss trip.

    My Itinerary include:

    Day 0Evening: London to Naples

    Day 1:Capri

    Day 2:Amalfi

    Day 3:Rome

    Day 4:Vatican City

    Day5: Pisa and Milan by evening

    Day6: See Milan, Lake Como by evening

    Day7: See Lake Como Venice by night
    Day 8:Venice and back to London

    In this case, does the 15 days continuous EU Global pass is worth for both or take separately for Italy trip?

    Can the kids 9,14 age travel free on both Swiss and Italy trip?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Roger Wade says:


      As for the Italy trip I have good news for you. Train tickets in Italy are heavily subsidized by the government so they are quite cheap, and especially cheap if you buy at least a couple weeks in advance. So keep your Swiss strategy separate and the Italy part won’t actually cost too much on its own.

      If you fly to Naples I’d recommend staying in Sorrento as it’s a wonderful city and a better hub for all of those nearby places. You can take a ferry from there to Capri and also a bus from the Sorrento train station to Positano or Amalfi as a great way of seeing the Amalfi Coast. Then take a train to Rome to see Rome and Vatican City. The train to Milan via Pisa won’t cost much either, especially if you buy in advance.

      The kids (15 and under) can travel for free in Switzerland if you get a complimentary Swiss Family Card and use it with either a Half Fare Card or Swiss Travel Pass. There is no such program for Italy so you’ll have to buy Youth train tickets, but that will still be WAY cheaper than buying a 15-day Eurail Pass.

      Hotel rooms throughout Europe tend to be quite small by global standards so a “double room” usually only has room for a queen bed or two twins and a bit of room to walk around the bed. You can sometimes find family rooms with a queen bed and two twins, but these rooms tend to be very tight and it’s hard to even find room to set your bags down. You can find larger hotel rooms in the suburbs, but it’s not worth going 30 minutes out of the city and back every day to get a slightly larger hotel room. So I’d recommend checking Airbnbs and you’ll probably find places with enough beds and more room and also a small kitchen so you can make a few breakfasts to save time and money.

      The one warning about Airbnbs in these European cities is that it’s very hard to find one in the center of the tourist zone that is also cheap. You’ll usually have to pay hotel prices for a central location, or you can save some money by booking places that are a little outside the center. I think it’s worth it to book an Airbnb that might be a 10-minute walk from the tourist zone instead of a hotel that is IN the tourist zone that has tiny rooms. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  8. Reddy says:

    Hi Roger,

    Thank you very much for all the useful information on this blog!

    I am planning for a Swiss trip in June and looking for the best option for travel and confused about taking Swiss Travel Pass or the Half Fare Card.
    We are 4 adults and 3 kids (Ages 14,9,3). Below are the places in my Itinerary. I will be traveling to Swiss from London

    Day0 Evening: London to Zurich (O/N Stay)
    Day1: See Zurich and reach Lucerne by night (3 night)
    Day2: Mt Rigi

    Day3: Mt.Titlis

    Day4: Mt.Pilatus and reach Interlaken by night (3 nights)
    Day5: Interlaken, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, trummelbach, schilthorn

    Day6: Mt Jungfraujoch and leave to Zurich and fly back to London

    I want to cover below while in Interlaken

    Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe

    Grindelwald – First
    Harder Kulm
    Schynige Platte

    Based on the above Itinerary, please advise whether Travel Pass better or Half Fare Card.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks very much once again, Roger!


    1. Roger Wade says:


      This is a tricky one because it’s right in between the 4-day Pass and the 8-day Pass, which I’m sure you realize. I think your best option will be to buy Half Fare Cards and then look into buying Saver Day Passes for your Mt. Rigi day and perhaps some others. Those Saver Day Passes are only CHF39 if you buy them more than two weeks in advance for a specific day and if you already have a Half Fare Card. The Saver Day Pass is exactly like a Swiss Travel Pass for the days you buy them for. And the kids should be able to travel for free with a Swiss Family Card that you can request with your Half Fare Cards.

      Again, the only way to be sure is to add all of those things up and check the prices under the HFC and Swiss Travel Pass, but my hunch is that the HFC and one or two Saver Day Passes will be your cheapest option. -Roger

  9. Natalie says:

    Thank you so much Roger!

    This was the confirmation i needed , we will be getting the 3 day Swiss Travel Pass!
    You are absolutely right, it would be great to just hop on a train or boat or in a cable car and pay nothing extra and so much more flexible over all.

    Thanks again 🙂

  10. Natalie says:

    Hi Roger!

    Firstly, a huge thank you for all your helpful information on this blog,it makes planning so much easier.

    We are visiting Interlaken in April via train from Paris so will change trains at Basel, my itinerary looks like this:

    Day 1 – Change trains from Paris to Basel and then Basel to Interlaken. Will be there fairly early so will spend the afternoon in Lauterbrunnen.

    Day 2 – Schilthorn early morning, will explore Murren on the way down and possibly Grindelwald if time permits.

    Day 3 – Thun and Iseltlwald or one of the villages along Brienz.

    Would you recommend the 3 Day Swiss Travel Pass?

    I have been doing the maths and cannot decide.

    Thank You so much!


    1. Roger Wade says:


      I’m glad this has helped and I assume you are here because this is so confusing. My hunch is that the Half Fare Card might be the cheaper way to go, but I can’t be too confident about that. As I’ve said before, the only way to be pretty sure is to add everything and compare the two main options. One thing to consider that might make the full Pass sound better is that your plan isn’t too busy so you should have more time to fit in another cable car or boat ride as well as a few short train trips. If you have the Swiss Travel Pass you’ll certainly find other things to use it on. It’s fantastic to be able to just hop on a train or boat or in a cable car and pay nothing extra. If you get a Half Fare Card you’d still have to wonder, “Is this cable car worth an extra CHF20, even at half price?”

      In other words, if it’s a close call I’d recommend the full pass. Last year when Schilthorn was fully covered by the full pass it would have been easier to decide. Sorry I wasn’t able to help more. -Roger