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-   -   Do i need a Swiss Half-fare travelcard? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/do-i-need-a-swiss-half-fare-travelcard-1079413/)

iamcaren Nov 24th, 2015 08:48 AM

Do i need a Swiss Half-fare travelcard?
 
Hi,

Need urgent reply here. Thanks.

Q1: Is Swiss domestic train fare is fixed (within Switzerland)? Need to pre-book?

Q2: I will be staying 1 night at Interlaken and 1 night at Grindelwald. Itinerary as below.
Do i need to get a Swiss Half-fare travelcard?

Day 1 : Arrive Basel. Transfer to Interlaken. Stay 1 night.
Day 2: Interlaken to Grindelwald. Stay 1 night.
Day 3: - Half day trip from Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch
- Jungfraujoch to Interlaken OST
- Leaving Interlaken OST to Venice

tipsygus Nov 24th, 2015 09:42 AM

Fares are fixed, apart from the special fares that are sometimes available if you book in advance The only one that may apply to your tri is from Basel to Interlaken. There is no need to pre book, apart from the tourist trains such as the Glacier Express you cannot book the trains.

Do you have a reason for changing hotels from Interlaken to Grindelwald? If your only reason is for going is yo go to Jungfraujoch then be warned that it is quite possible that it will be cloudy and a very expensive trip could be a waste of time and money. I would suggest staying in Grindelwald and then you can make an earlier start if the weather is good.

neckervd Nov 24th, 2015 09:45 AM

Standard train fares:

Basel airport - Interlaken Ost (Basle airport bus included):
64 CHF
Interlaken Ost - Grindelwald: 11 CHF
Grindelwald - Jungfraujoch: 92 CHF
Jungfraujoch - Interlaken Ost: 102 CHF
For all these tickets, you get half fare with the Swiss Half Fare Card

Interlaken Ost - Spiez - Domodossola - Venice:
125 CHF WITHOUT Swiss Half Fare Card
97 CHF WITH Swiss Half Fare Card

With Standard Fare tickets, you can travel with any train in Switzerland; seat reservation is NOT compulsory.
For the Italian leg (Domodossola - Venice), seat reservation is compulsory and tickets are valid only in the train you booked.
If you want to go to Jungfraujoch and back the same morning, there is only 1 possible train connection:
Jungfraujoch dp 10.30 - Venice ar 20.10

The first train from Grindelwald arrives at Jungfraujoch at 8.52. Actually, the temperature at Jungfraujoch is about 18 degrees centigrade below zero around 9am.
Statistically, Jungfraujoch is completely in fog and clouds every third day.

PalenQ Nov 24th, 2015 12:32 PM

The Swiss Transfer ticket is the one you should look at in your case IMO - gives you a trip from any border station or airport to anyplace in Switzerland - to Interlaken in your case (or Grindelwald if you decide to stay there two nights - and then a trip out to any border point - in your case Domodossola and in between you can buy in conjunction with the Swiss Transfer Ticket and 50% off Half-Fare Card to use on anything else - may well be better than just the Half-Fare Travelcard in your case since both your incoming and outgoing trips are longish and thus expensive as neckervd shows.

But Swiss Transfer Tickets can only be purchased outside of Switzerland - see the following sites for lots on Swiss trains in general and things like transfer ticket - www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.swisstravelsystem.com. the in andout ticket can be used on any train anytime - butmust take the most direct route.

PalenQ Nov 24th, 2015 03:38 PM

Swiss TRansfer ticket costs about $235 along with a half-off Half-fare Card - $235 total - but have to buy in U.S. or other country outside of Switzerland TMK - but it could be a better deal than a straight up Half-Fare TravelCard - I have not done the maths but seems so with your expensive train trips to Interlaken/Grindelwald and out to Italy - I would stay both nights in Interlaken or Grindelwald - just 20 minutes apart - first-time to Switzerland I'd stay right in dem hills where from hour hotel balcony you'll be eyeball to eyeball with soaring sheer wall of rock several thousand feet high - glaciers all around. Relocating takes a lot of time and many hotels would rather rent for 2 nights than just one.

PalenQ Nov 29th, 2015 12:11 PM

Yes by all means do the Jungfraujoch train the first day you are there - first of all Jungfraujoch could be clouded or fogged in so if it is clear hop on it right away.

And that last day would leave little time up top where there is a surfeit of neat things to do - like walk to the nearby glacier - explore ice grottoes - and other delightful things.

The first train from Interlaken of the day though I believe is called the Early Morning Special and has significantly cheaper fares or used to at least.


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