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Bill_D Feb 22nd, 2005 05:32 PM

Best Rail/Lift Pass
My wife and I will be traveling in Switzerland in June, but we are confused which rail pass to purchase.

We plan to begin with the Bernina and Glacier Express trains, then spend a week in the Berner Oberland (Wengen).

My dilemma is, should I purchase a 12-day Swiss Rail Pass, or should I purchase a 4-day Swiss Flexipass (for the scenic rail journeys into and out of the Berner Oberland) and a regional Berner Oberland Pass for the week that we will be staying in Wengen?

Maybe it will help if I share with you our travel plan.

Day 1: Bernina Express from Tirano to St. Moritz.
Day 2: Stay in St. Moritz
Day 3: Glacier Express from St. Moritz to Zermatt
Day 4: Stay in Zermatt
Day 5: Rail from Zermatt to Interlaken to Wengen
Day 5 - 11: Stay in Berner Oberland with daily use of trains and lifts.
Day 12: Train from Wengen - Interlaken to Zurich for our flight home.

Any help will be greatly appreciated! We've traveled a lot in Europe, but never by train. Now I know why!

rex Feb 22nd, 2005 06:11 PM


Best wishes,


Edward2005 Feb 22nd, 2005 06:44 PM

I am also planning a similar itinerary, so I have done a good bit of research on this (with the help of a few good folks around here).

My research shows that it's pretty much a toss-up between the Oberland Pass (1 week, 2nd class) and the Half Fare Card (this gives you 1/2 fare on all public and private trains and lifts, including the Jungfraubahn; cost is 99 SF for 1 month). My research is based on the assumption I'll be staying 5 nights in the Oberland with several round trips between the various cliff-side towns and Lauterbrunnen/Interlaken, as well as doing both the Schilthorn and the Jungfraubahn.

However, staying a whole week in the Oberland, as you plan to do, seems to tilt things in favor of the Oberland Pass.

In no scenario was the Swiss Pass (15-day, 2nd class) a better buy than either the OP or the HFC.

But it's not a big deal. Comparing the relative value of the OP and HFC requires knowing *exactly* what routes you will take and how frequently. No way to know that in advance. Besides, the savings difference between the two never seems to be more than $30 to $50, so you'll do fine regardless.

clevelandbrown Feb 23rd, 2005 11:30 AM

Use the search function on this forum to find many previous threads that cover this, often in numbing detail.

With your destinations set, it should be easy to calculate the cost of point to point tickets, then compare that to the cost of the various passes. Personally, I would be willing to pay a little premium for the pass, as you then have the flexibility to go anywhere on anything; one day we ran into rain, so we just hopped on a train to Bern to visit the art museum.

Be sure to include consideration of the Swiss saver rail pass and Swiss saver Flexipass. These give a group discount, and two of you is a group.

Ingo Feb 23rd, 2005 12:34 PM

The Half Fare Card for one month (99 Sfr.) is your best choice. It gives you a reduction of 50% of all the railway travels you listed.

If the weather is fine and you plan to use mountain railways/cable cars etc. every day you should also purchase a Jungfraubahnen Pass for the Bernese Oberland. I heard it is valid for six consecutive days this year (five in the last years). The Half Fare Card gives you a reduction for this pass as well.


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