Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   1 month swiss rail pass? (

vball623 Jun 10th, 2009 09:59 AM

1 month swiss rail pass?
Does anyone know the best deal train pass I can get for travel around switzerland?? I'm a Youth under 26 and will be in Lugano from June 13-July 23 and would like to travel around.

I found this website but am confused on passes?? Anone familiar with this?


swandav2000 Jun 10th, 2009 10:41 AM

Hi vball623,

A good site with an overview of all the passes and discount cards is

There is a Half Fare Card that costs 99 chf and gives half off every train, ferry, and cable cars for one month.

Have fun!


clevelandbrown Jun 10th, 2009 06:05 PM

A few years ago we spent time in Switzerland and had a pass. We recently spent time there and had a half-fare card. I preferred the half-fare card, but the decision really depends on how you travel. You almost have to plan your itinerary in perfect detail to figure out which pass, if any, is best for you. I felt the half-fare card gave us more flexibility, as we didn't have to keep track of how many days on one of those four-days validity in a one week period passes we had used, and we didn't have to pay the higher cost of a good-for-all-days in a week pass, then not use it for a few days we had paid for.

I would say that if you are making frequent long trips, a pass might be the best option. If you make frequent short trips, or infrequent long trips, the half-fare card may be the better choice. Another benefit of the half-fare card is that you can buy either first-class (a little more space; a more formal atmosphere) or second class (just as comfortable in my opinion, with a lot friendlier crowd, much more willing to talk to you than the people in first class). On our recent trip, we bought first class seats for the Bernina express, a scenic ride where we wanted to be sure of a window seat, and second class on most of our other rides; we wouldn't have that option with a pass, although I think you can buy a first class ticket using a second class pass and some extra cash.

You will also want to check what each option covers. The half-fare card we have covered all trains, boats, busses, and cable cars we rode. I think most passes do too, but my vague memory is that certain passes did not cover some of the big-name mountaintop excursions, but only gave a discount.

We spent some days in Lugano; it was very nice. Be sure to partake of some of the boatrides there, whether you have a pass or a half-fare card.

Melnq8 Jun 10th, 2009 08:32 PM

Since you're under 26, you might take a look at the Youth Swiss Pass, which you can buy for 4, 8, 15, 22 or 30 days. The 2nd class 30 day pass is only $376, which is a heck of a deal as it covers transportation on most Swiss transportation, including trains, boats and buses.

This pass also covers:

Cable Cars and Funiculars up to the mountain peaks

50% discount on mountain railways and cable cars.
25% discount on Kleine Scheidegg-Jungfraujoch route

and a few other things as well.

More here:

We used to always buy a Swiss Saver Pass, but used the Half Fare Card on our last visit too - worked well for us, and saved us about 110 SFr over the Swiss Saver pass, but as clevelandbrown mentions, it takes some work to figure out which is the best deal.

Melnq8 Jun 10th, 2009 08:36 PM

BTW - Swiss Passes come both First and Second class, I've personally never seen the benefit of First class

vball623 Jun 10th, 2009 09:50 PM

Thanks so much for all the input. This helps!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:41 PM.