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BERNER OBERLAND – from and to ZURICH – Swiss Pass? Jungfrau region pass?

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Mar 21st, 2010, 08:02 PM
  #1
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BERNER OBERLAND – from and to ZURICH – Swiss Pass? Jungfrau region pass?

I am planning to spend 5 days in BO. On the first half day: getting there from Zurich; on the last ½ or 1 day going back to Zurich via Bern. This leaves 3 full days in the area.
I am planning to stay in Lauterbrunen, visit ~5-6 towns in the Lauterbrunen-Jungfrau valleys, and visit some towns next / around Lake Brienz, / Lake Thun / Interlaken.

I am interested in traveling around for scenery, nature, photography, architecture. I will not have time for much hiking, and am not interested in entertainment).

Swiss pass – Is it worth while buying a Swiss Pass? For 4 or 8 days? A 4 days pass will not cover the trip to or from Zurich. An 8 days pass might be too expensive for only 5 days? Is a Jungfrau region pass + 2 Zurich fares a better idea? Does it also cover trains, buses, boats around Lakes Brienz and Thun?
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Mar 21st, 2010, 10:18 PM
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Hi Tuli,

Have you looked into the Half Fare Card? It costs 99 chf and gives you half off everything that moves (including the mountain rail at the Jungfraujoch) for one month. That, or the Swiss Card (journey from border to a spot, journey from a spot to border, and then operates like a Half Fare Card in between) might be best.

I have to do a spreadsheet to keep track of all the fares and passes and pass combinations for my own trips. And then it usually comes down to the HFC.

Have fun!

s
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Mar 22nd, 2010, 12:05 AM
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Another vote for the Half Fare Card. In the past we've always used a Swiss Pass, but on our last visit we opted for the Half Fare Card, which proved to be very convenient and ended up costing us 125 CHF less than the Swiss Pass would have. As swandav mentions, the Swiss Card is yet another option, but to see what's right for you, you'll really need to do the math.

I definitely wouldn't fork over the bucks for an 8 days pass, but a four day pass might work if you just plan to purchase tickets for the fifth day. Once again, you'll need crunch the numbers to see what works best.

The Swiss Rail system is a wonderful thing, but all these passes tend to give one a major headcramp.
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Mar 22nd, 2010, 05:50 PM
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Thank you swandav2000, Melnq8 for the info about the diff. types of cards. U R right, it's a headache! I spent today a 2-3 of hours looking for the cost and coverage of these cards (cable cars, funiculars, etc.), which was hard to find.

In order to compare I need to know what is covered (or rather, not covered) by each type of card, what is 50% and what is less discount (i.e. Jungfrau, Schilthorn, cable cars, funiculars, etc). It is NOT clear to me.

The summary (all in CHF)is:
- Half-Fare-Card (HFC)is $99 for 1 mo as you stated.

- The Swiss card is $182 for 1 months: free round trip from/to Zurich (IF I can do this a few days after arrival, and IF I can go once via Luzern and once via Bern). It seems that everything else (jungfrau, cable...) is covered 50%.

- The Swiss pass is $221 for 4 days (376 for 8). I Understand that trains / buses / boats are free. some local excursion are covered 50%, some cost more(i.e. Jungfrau)

- What about the Jungfrau Region Pass? I couldn't find the price. Flexi card?
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Mar 22nd, 2010, 08:33 PM
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I think the Jungfrau Regional Pass is seasonal - it's only on sale from May-October. Details here:

http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/desktopdef.../172_read-696/

I crunched the numbers on our last Switzerland trip. The details can be found at the very bottom of my April in the Alps trip report posted here on Fodors, if you're interested in doing a comparison.

Good luck - it's maddening, I know.
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Mar 22nd, 2010, 08:39 PM
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Tuli - Here's the section I referred to above. Maybe it will help, maybe it won't:


Melnq8 on Jun 7, 09 at 12:37pm

On past trips to Switzerland we’ve always purchased the Swiss Saver Pass, which covers unlimited travel on most trains, buses and boats throughout the country and includes free admission to many museums as well as a few other perks. The Swiss Pass also offers a 50% reduction on most mountain excursions, which include a vast array of trains, funiculars and cable cars, several of which have been mentioned above.

http://www.swisstravelsystem.com/pro...e.php?passid=1

The Half Fare Card is exactly what is sounds like, a pass that entitles the purchaser to a 50% reduction on the entire Swiss Public transport system, most private and mountain railways, boats, buses, funiculars, cable cars, etc. The Half Fare Card is valid for a month from the date of purchase and can be purchased at most train stations within Switzerland.

http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/reisemarkt/abonnemente/halbtax

As an experiment, we decided to try the Half Fare Card this time, knowing that with the exception of our location changes (Zurich-Kandersteg-Zermatt-Lauterbrunnen-Zurich), most of our trip would involve transportation only covered at 50%, regardless of which pass we bought.

So here are the numbers:

Half Fare Card: 99 CHF x 2 = 198 CHF

Total spent on ½ price transportation that would have been covered by the Swiss Pass at 100%, including buses: 208.70 CHF x 2 = 417.40 CHF

Total for two people = 617.40 CHF, including the Half Fare Card*

15 day Swiss Saver Pass good for two or more people traveling together:

If purchased within Switzerland: 386.75 CHF x 2 = 773.50 CHF

If purchased in the US: $335 x 2 = $670 (roughly 727 CHF at today’s bank exchange rate of .92)

*I haven’t included the cost of any mountain excursions (Sunnega, Gornergrat, Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg, etc) as both passes give you 50% off, so it’s a wash.

So, we saved about 110 CHF using the Half Fare Card instead of the Swiss Saver Pass.
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Mar 25th, 2010, 09:34 AM
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Thank you very much,MELNQ8, for the info.

I did my home work

The HFC is $90 + 50% Zurich-Lucern-Interlaken-bern-Zurich is $57.50, total $156

Indeed, the Swiss Card gives me the Zurich round trip free(?) but is cost $175

(I don’t start the round trip from Zurich on my arrival day, but a few days later,What might disqualify) – so, it is out.

The Swiss-Pass concept of not needing to wait in lines to buy tickets is very appealing to me,

however, a 4 day pass is $221 + 1 fare to Zurich ( via Lucern), since I have 5 days, is $48, total $269

The difference between the HFC & Swiss Pass is $113

The Swiss pass coverage of cable-cars, funiculars, mountain trips etc. might be better,

But unless the difference amounts to $113, or close to it, it is too expensive.

The 8 days Swis-pass, to cover all 5 days, is$376 – definitely too much.

The HFC is for a month; I read that city transportation isn't covered by some cards. Will it cover the 5-6 days in and around Zurich / Lucern /Pilatus / Titlis / Rheinfall...?

I spent many hours researching the different Swiss Transportation Web sites.

I could not find anywhere a complete list of what of the side trips they, each, cover, and by what percentage (or don’t cover).

What is really IMPORTANT IS TO KNOW WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT PASSES / CARDS. F.i., if I am not wrong, the Schilthorn is covered by the Swiss-Pass 50%(?) but not covered at all by the others. I believe that there might also be a differences for the Jungfrau.

Could you enlighten me, laying out (only)the differences in the Berner Oberland and the two lakes areas between SP & HFC?

Thanks a lot
Tuli


Read more: http://www.frommers.com/community/fo...#ixzz0jCsqEcbm
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Mar 25th, 2010, 05:04 PM
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I feel your pain Tuli, I know how confusing Swiss rail passes are. Instead of looking at the rail pass sites, it might be more helpful to look at the individual train, cable car and funicular sites, as they list the reductions for each pass on their tarrifs page.



It depends. For instance, the Swiss Pass will cover you at 100% to Wengen and Murren. From Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfrau, there's a 25% reduction whereas with the the Half Fare Card thre's a 50% reduction. This is an expensive trip. The Half Fare Card covers you at 50% to Wengen and Murren, but these fares are inexpensive.

Both the Swiss Pass and the Half Fare Card give you only a 20% discount on the Grindelwald-Pfingstagg cable car, but again, it's not an expensive excursion.

This site might help - look at the bottom of the page for the reductions:

http://www.jungfrau.ch/desktopdefaul.../86_read-6483/

The cable car to the Mannlichen from Wengen, for the popular walk to Kleine Scheidegg (below the Jungfrau) is covered at 50% with both the Half Fare Card and the Swiss Pass:
http://www.maennlichen.ch/fahrplan_t...arife/?lang=en

Yes, the Half Fare Card will get you to Engleberg at 50% of the fare, where you access the Titlis. The Half Fare Card and the Swiss Pass both offer a 50% discount on the cable car to the Titlis:

http://www.titlis.ch/en/titlis/titli.../prices_titlis

The Half Fare Card is valid on all SBB routes and well as most private railways and buses:

http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/reisemarkt/...te/halbtax.htm

Both the Swiss Pass and the Half Fare Card cover the cable car to the Schilthorn at 50%.

Look here:

http://www.schilthorn.ch/en/timetabl...s/all-tariffs/

I hope this helps.
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Mar 25th, 2010, 05:37 PM
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This site gives a really good run down of what the Swiss Pass covers:

http://www.raileurope.com.au/rail-pa...s=2&familyId=5

Here's a map covering the area of validity of the Swiss Pass:

http://www.bls.ch/e/reisen-ausfluege...-sts-karte.pdf

Regarding the boats:

The Half Fare Card covers the boats on Lake Thun and Brienz at 50%, the Swiss Pass covers these boats at 100% (as long as it's not a 'special' cruise)

http://www.bls.ch/e/schifffahrt/fahrplan-preise.php
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