Advice about travelling in Switzerland

Old Feb 6th, 2001, 11:30 PM
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Advice about travelling in Switzerland

Dear All

We are going to visit part of Switzerland this summer but dont' know how many days of swiss pass should we buy. Our itinerary is as follows. Please advice.

Day 1 Arrive Geneva Airport and go straight to Montreux, explore the city
Day 2 & 3 Will visit the neighbouring towns like Vevey, Cheauteau d'Ouex, Gstaad, Gruyerers,
Day 4 Go to Stein Am Rhein and explore the neighbouring towns in 2 days time (Day 4 and Day 5)
Day 6 will leave for Salzburg
Which type of pass(Flexi/Cont'd) should we buy and for how many days?

Old Feb 7th, 2001, 05:36 AM
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I've done some quick figuring, and I don't think you'll be getting your money's worth if you buy a pass. Here are the price calculations (2d class) for point-to-point tickets for your trips:

GVA-Montreux: 34 CHF (1-way)
Montreux - Vevey: 6 CHF
Montreux - Chateau d'Oex: 32 CHF
Montreux - Gstaad: 41 CHF
Montreux - Gruyeres: 32 CHF
Montr - Stein-am-Rhein: 84 CHF (1 way)
Total: 229 CHF

This is cheaper than the passes, flexi, etc which go at (w/15% reduction for two people travelling together) 6 days 289 CHF or 8 days 272 CHF.

I didn't incude the trip to Salzburg since most of it is outside CH and not included in any Swiss pass. FYI, the Rick Steves planning map estimates the trip from Zurich to Salzburg at $75.

You can play around with these fares and schedules at the Swiss Rail website (click on "Travel/Timetables").

Have fun at Lake Geneva!

Old Feb 7th, 2001, 06:03 AM
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You'll save a few dollars by buying a one month half-fare travel card at a price of CHF90. You can purchase at all rail stations. If you travel more than you've indicated you'll save more than a few dollars.

One advantage of the SwissPass is that you walk on trains with no need to stop and purchase tickets. If there's a chance at all that you'll be traveling more than you indicate you should consider this option.

Old Feb 7th, 2001, 06:12 AM
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A couple of things to consider: I don't have my Swiss pass info in front of me, but one of our highlights was going to Schauffhauesn, exploring the Rhine Falls, walking a loop down the river, across the bridge, then taking the bus up to the boat docks where we cruised up the Rhine to Stein-am-Rhine. All those things including the boat and bus are included on the Swiss Pass. Also we took the train from Zurich to Salzburg, but the lower route which was primarily in Switzerland,some in Austria rather than the northern route going into Germany. Much more of that very scenic route is included on the Swiss Pass. That may not be time effective if you are going from Stein-am-Rhine rather than Zurich however.
One other point. Although we have spent a lot of time in Gstaad, Montreux, etc., we have never been able to include Gruyerers. It takes a lot of connecting and time to do it by train. We keep postponing it until we can do that area with a car. It seems it is the one place in Switzerland that the trains seem to fail us.
Old Feb 7th, 2001, 06:40 AM
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I don't think the one month Swiss halb-tax abo. that Ed mentioned is available anymore. I just renewed my annual halb-tax abo. and I did not see the one month card listed in the brochure as an option.

Old Feb 7th, 2001, 06:51 AM
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It appears you're quite correct Christine. Quite a shame as it has been a useful tool for years. Thanks for raising the issue.

Old Feb 7th, 2001, 07:09 AM
Bob Brown
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Lee: If you will click on the address below, you will see a full schedule of the Swiss Pass and Swiss Flex Pass prices.
You can then use the scheduler to find exact fares at no discount for a comparison, as indicated so well above.
I used the Swiss Card one summer to good advantage because of the discounts it gave me on the various mountain cable lifts and mountain trains. A lot of it depends on what else you do besides simply ride to destinations and back.
There are cable lift systems all over the place to lure you higher.

I think the train to Salzburg is an Austrian train, at least ours was.
The cars were painted red and ÖBB was painted on the sides. The train, named the Maria Theresia, did not stop until it got to Sargans, 90K from Zurich. Then it stopped at quite a few stations in Austria. The whole trip, Zürich - Salzburg, is about 6 hours.
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 08:21 AM
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Ed, Christine, Lee

The 1-month-Half fare card (Halbtaxabo) IS still available and I don't think it is planned to stop this offer. Costs still 90 SFr.
In Switzerand you won't find it in any brochures, because it is not available for People LIVING in Switzerland, only for tourists.
The reason why the card is not mentioned in the "Swiss travel System" brichure is, probably, that the Swiss Passes are more expensive (=more income for the railways).

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