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. Karyn says:

    This is all so helpful – thank you! Can I ask a question on the math on the half-price tickets? Above, you wrote: “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.”

    Is the CHF240 assuming two adults? That is, it represents the 120 cost per half-price ticket times two? I kind of assumed that is where the 240 came from, but wanted to make sure. Thank you!

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Karyn,

      In that case I was referring to the card costing CHF120 per person to get the half-price tickets, so if you buy more than CHF240 in tickets and entrances, it will already pay for the card. So for a couple you’d double it. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

      1. Karyn says:

        Aha – got it. Thank you!

  2. Paulo Caus says:

    Hey Roger! Thanks for the article, the best one about the swiss pass maze I’ve seen!

    One thing is on my mind though, if I buy the half fare pass, I’ll have to wait to be on switzerland to buy each one of the trips in the counter? Isn’t there a risk that the fares would already have gone way too high due to the lack of antecedence?

    If that risk exists, maybe the half fare pass isn’t that good, right?

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Hey Paulo,

      You can buy the half-price fares online even before you buy the Half Fare Card, believe it or not. When you actually get on a train, the ticket-checker will come by and ask to see your ticket. If you show them a half-price ticket they will also want to see your Half Fare Card. As long as you also have a valid one of those, you are good. When you go to purchase a ticket online there is a field before payment where you get to choose your fare, and one of the options will be Half Fare. Nearly all Swiss residents use Half Fare Cards as they are cheap for an annual version if you are a resident.

      That is a good question and I hope this helps. -Roger

  3. Sigh Robes says:

    Hi Roger,

    I need help in trying to figure out if we need to buy the Swiss Travel Pass. I will be traveling with my husband and 2 kids (ages 4 and 7)

    Here is our itinerary
    Nov 17 – airport arrival (Zurich Airport to Zurich Hotel)
    Nov 18 – Zurich to Basel (and back to Zurich Hotel)
    Nov 19 – Zurich to Winterhur (and back to Zurich Hotel)
    Nov 20 – Zurich to Grindelwald (will stay at Grindelwald hotel)
    Nov 21 – Grindelwald to Bern (will stay at Bern Hotel)
    Nov 22 – Bern to Gruyere (and back to Bern)
    Nov 23 – Bern to Interlaken-West (and back to Bern)
    Nov 24 – Bern to Luzern (and back to Bern)
    Nov 25 – Bern to Zurich Airport

    Thanks

    Sigh Robes

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Sigh,

      It really depends on which activities you’d be doing in those places. If you are just taking those train rides (most of them are fairly short), then there might be a cheaper way than the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass. Sorry about the delay in responding. -Roger

  4. Joe says:

    Hi Riger,
    An awesome research and information you shared here. Thank you!!! We’re planning a trip to BO next month (1st week of July) and will be driving from Italy. It’ll be for 5 overnights and will be based in Lauterbrunnen. Though we will have a car, I’d like to ride the train when it makes more sense. I have this tentative itinerary. Would appreciate your thoughts on this plan and if a Swiss Pass, Half-Fare Card, Jungfraubahn Pass, BO Regional Pass, or any other pass will be money-savers to get.

    Day 1 — Arrive morning in Lauterbrunnen; walk to Stechelberg; walk back to base of Staubach Falls; back to Lauterbrunnen village

    Day 2 — Train to Grindelwald (walk around town); First Cliff Walk; hike to Bachalsee; train to Wengen (walkd around town); then back to Lauterbrunnen

    Day 3 — Train to Jungfraujoch; train to Klein Scheidegg (walk around town); train to Wengen (walk around town); then to Lauterbrunnen

    Day 4 — Cable car to Schilthorn; then to Murren (walk around town); then to Gimmelwald (walk around town); then back to Lauterbrunnen

    Day 5 — Train to Interlaken; take Golden Pass train from Interlaken to Montreaux; then back to Lauterbrunnen

    Day 6 — Depart Lauterbrunnen; drive to Thun (see town and castle), then drive to Interlaken (walk around town), then drive to Lucerne for 2 overnights before heading back to Italy

    Let me know any suggestions you might have for a better plan. Thanks again in advance.
    –Joe

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Joe,

      This is my first question like this about an upcoming trip since COVID began and I’m thrilled about it. I am not aware of what is open and what isn’t, but it sounds like you’ve done your research.

      Honestly I’m a bit out of practice with figuring out which card is best. My hunch is that the Half Fare Card will be your best option and probably a Saver Day Pass for your day on Jungfraujoch. You might look into the fares for your trip to Montreux as that one might be cheaper with a Saver Day Pass as well.

      Let me know if you have any other specific questions and I can help you figure it out. It’s been a long time! -Roger

  5. Menka says:

    Hi Roger,

    Thank you so much for your input. Tentatively this is going to be for April 2021. Hopefully the weather would permit and I am able to cover all of these.

  6. Menka says:

    Hi Roger,
    I just needed some piece of advice actually. I had initially planned a trip to Switzerland for July of this year. Unfortunately due to the current pandemic I will have to postpone my trip to next year (most probably for April). I am not sure of how the weather would be like in April and whether my initial itinerary would still be good for that period of the year.
    Can you please advise if the following itinerary that I had planned would be good or not? Or maybe for that period some may not be appropriate?
    Sun 05/07: Reach Zurich in early afternoon and take the train to Lucerne. Easy afternoon and night in Lucerne.
    Mon 06/07: Day in Lucerne. Afternoon train to Lauterbrunnen (using this as a base)
    Tues 07/07: Morning Train to Jungfraujoch. When returning, take the train to Grindelwald for a visit.
    Wed 08/07: Cable Car and train to Murren. Walk around. After lunch, take the cable car to Gimmelwald.
    Return to Lauterbrunnen, pick up luggage and take train to Bern. Night in Bern.
    Thurs 09/07: Day in Bern. Take afternoon train back to Geneva airport for evening flight.
    Sorry to be so long!
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Kindest Regards
    Menka

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Menka,

      It’s been a couple months since I’ve received a question like this and it’s great to have them again. Your plan looks really great, actually. I think you are seeing the best highlights and not rushing too much. Spending around 24 hours in Lucerne should be enough, and hopefully you’ll be able to take at least a short lake cruise (they can be as short as 60 minutes). As mentioned a few times on this site, Bern is the best of the Swiss cities to spend a day in, and I think that is a great plan. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  7. Chantel says:

    Thank you so much Roger! We are going to purchase the half fare card 🙂

  8. Laura B says:

    Hi Roger,
    Love this blog! We arrive in Zurich and are heading to St. Moritz for 3 days. We will head to lake Como for the week. We will be just outside of Moltrasio, Italy. After the villa stay, we will head to Lucerne for a few days and then back to Zurich for our departure. Would you recommend the Swiss Travel Pass, as we do expect to go back and forth to towns along the Bernina Express while in St. Moritz. Thank you for your help!!

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Laura,

      It doesn’t sound like you are planning nearly enough expensive train journeys to justify the cost of the Swiss Travel Pass. I think the Half Fare Card is probably best, and you can also get a Saver Day Pass for any day or days that you’ll be taking expensive rides. But I think a STP for the whole journey wouldn’t pay off. Have a great trip. -Roger

  9. Chantel says:

    Hi Roger!

    Your blog is a life-saver! Thank you for taking your time to provide so much helpful information! I’ve already read your other article, “Where to go in Switzerland on a short trip”, and used your suggestions to plan out our itinerary! However, even with all the information available online I’m still struggling to lock in our plans. I’m hoping to share a quick break down of our current travel plan and get your advice on the following two questions:

    1. If we should purchase the swiss travel pass or the half fare card
    2. How to maximize our limited time in Switzerland.

    (Please feel free to recommend any changes or suggestions to our current travel plan!)

    May 16th-19th, 2020

    Day 1: Arrive in Zurich  10:30am – make our way to our hotel (Hotel Silberhorn) located in Lauterbrunnen. Explore surrounding area.

    Day 2: Murren & Schilthorn OR Wengen & Jungfraujoch?? (back up plan if weather doesn’t cooperate?) — At the end of day 2 we have to travel to Kanderstag as we are eloping the next day and need the hotel room to get ready starting in the morning

    Day 3: Elopement / wedding ceremony in Kanderstag and Oeschinensee

    Day 4: Lucerne (traveling here in the morning from Kanderstag and then taking overnight train to Florence, Italy )
    Mt. Pilatus – Chapel Bride – Explore old town – catch night train out of Lucerne to Florence, Italy

    Thank you SO MUCH in advance!

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Chantel,

      Sorry about the delay. I was on a cruise and the internet was dreadful. Based on what you’ve written, it doesn’t look like you’re planning enough long train rides or expensive attractions to justify the Swiss Travel Pass, so I think the Half Fare Card is almost certainly your best bet.

      On Day 2 you could do either of those options and it will be one of the best days of your lives. They are quite different from each other, but the observation areas look across the same valley from each other. Schilthorn is faster and easier, and there is a lovely restaurant at the top that revolves slowly, so it might be a better place for a celebration before Day 3.

      If you decide to add some longer train trips it’s possible that a Swiss Travel Pass could be better, but based on this list I’m pretty sure that the Half Fare Card will save you more money. Have a wonderful journey and congratulations in advance! -Roger

  10. Chris V says:

    Thanks for the speedy reply (apologies for sending 2 messages, I wasn’t sure whether the one went through)
    I’m basically looking to spend the first day wandering around Zurich before getting the train to and wandering around Lucerne.
    Then the second day doing Mt Pilatus on one of the trips, and maybe the taboggan run and little walk around whilst there, but at a leisurely pace.
    Third day I was going to do the Golden Pass, and maybe stop off at some of the stops (possibly a little journey to Grindewald or Lauterbrunnen) and have a wander – time permitting – then stay the night in Montreux before flying home from Geneva the following day.
    I will do some more research to see if the half fare card works out more cost effective, thanks again!

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Chris V,

      In that case the Half Fare Card is almost certainly your best bet, and you might also buy a Saver Day Pass for the Pilatus day and for the Goldenpass day. Enjoy! -Roger