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Eurail or Swiss Rail

Old Jan 15th, 2003, 06:03 AM
Michael Zubler
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Eurail or Swiss Rail

My son, who is 22, and I will be traveling in Europe (mostly Switzerland, in July 2003) and would like to find out about rail in Switzerland and Europe. Is it imperative that we have rail reservations made before going to Europe at that time of year? We would like to be as free as possible.
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 06:15 AM
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The Swiss Card is great. It gives you a free trip into/out of Switzerland from any aiport or border, plus 50% off most other trips for your stay, including some discounts the mountain lifts. Switzerland is very expensive, and I think this pass is a good investment. It basically pays for inself in the free round trip. has info on it and also on other passes.
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 08:53 AM
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The imperativeness of the reservation depends on which route on which day and the kind of seat desired.
We last travelled Switzerland in July using Eurail. For the most part, we did not make reservations, there were plenty of empty seats in the 1st class. We did make a reservation on Panoramic Express from Montreux because we wanted premium seats at the end of the train, there are only 16 such seats per train.
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 09:57 AM
Mike Zubler
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Thank you all so much for your help. I want to make this trip as open ended as I can. A certain travel agent here in Houston told me that I must make seat reservations in Switzerland ahead of time before going over. I guess that that was wrong advice and I am glad that we can now be flexible. Should we use a combination Swiss Rail and Eurail?
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 10:15 AM
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No need for reservations unless it's an overnight journey or one of the special panaramic trains (check your guidebook for more info). If you do decide to make reservation, make them in Switzerland, not the US.

Where else are you going? Point to point tickets are often the cheapest option. The Swiss Card is a great value, especially if you are going to be taking the mountain lifts. An even better value if you are spending your whole trip in Switzerland (the pass is good for a month).

If you are looking for more info, is a great resoource for Switzerland.
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 10:28 AM
Mike Zubler
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Thanks for the help on the Rail Pass. The Swiss Card does sound like the one for us. I will probably try to add Milan and Vienna to the beginning and end of the trip. But most of this trip will be in Switzerland.
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 01:32 PM
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We are planning a week in Florence, a week in Switzerland, and a Week in Venice, and I have done a lot or research. I found point to point tickets best for the travel in Italy (Florence to the border, and the border to Venice), and, since we will be using trains everyday in Switzerland, the 8 day Swiss pass was best, but only marginally better than buying point to point tickets. It does give you discounts on the mountain trains and cable cars, and free passage on boats and busses, and I feel more comfortable knowing that if the weather is bad in once place, we can hop a train for another without worrying about additional cost.
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 04:12 AM
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Michael -

We've visited Switzerland many times and have yet to make a reservation on a train. The scenic trains (Glacier Express, Bernina Express) may require reservations during the busy season, but you can easily make these a short time in advance - certainly no need to make them in the US before you even leave. Note: There is usually a reservation fee and sometimes a supplement for scenic trains.

If you plan to travel mostly in Switzerland, I'd highly recommend the Swiss Saverpass - it's valid for unlimited travel on most rail, boat and postbus lines throughout Switzerland. The Saverpass is good for 2-5 people traveling together and is available for 4, 8, 15, 21 or 30 days of travel. It also entitles you to discounts (usually 25%) on lines not covered, such as the Jungfrau Railway, and covers some cable cars and funiculars,(such as the cable car between Stechelberg-Gimmelwald-Murren and the funicular from Lauterbrunnen).

The Eurail Pass won't get you near as much, but what you need will really depend on how much travel you plan to do in each particular country.
Old Aug 6th, 2003, 11:16 AM
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missabe454 is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2003, 11:40 AM
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This is an old thread, and I answered you a bit under the other "First Time Ever" thread....
A Swiss Flexipass, 2nd class, for any three days of train travel within a month is $156 per person or six days for $240 per person. HOWEVER, for two or more persons travelling together, a SWISS SAVER Flexipass costs $132 per person for any three days of travel and $204 pp for six days of travel. Top limit is Eight days of travel within a month (for $249 per person) with this type of pass. Check for fuller discussion!
rach is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2003, 11:52 AM
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Assuming this is still desired cannot reserve seats on trains in Switzerland for any trip to occurs wholly WITHIN Switzerland with the exceptions of the specialty routes such as the Panoramic, Crystal Panoramic, Bernina, William Tell, and Glacier Express trains.
I think the best site to use to determine whether or not a pass is a good idea and also which pass to get is
Some railroads in Switzerland do NOT honor Eurail passes but all of them will honor a Swiss Pass or a Swiss Card.
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