Pass or not?

Apr 10th, 2008, 04:44 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 55
Pass or not?

Hello and thank you in advance for your help. My sister and I will be in Switzerland for 4 days and I am trying to figure out if it'd be a good idea to get a Swiss pass or not...

We're flying into Basel.
Day 1 Basel - Lucerne

Day 2 Lucerne - Going in the steam boat and train and cable car up and down Mt Pilatus.

Day 3 Lucerne - Lauterbrunnen (or Wengen) for 4 nights While in Lauterbrunnen we want to go to Wengen and Murren, and depending on costs up the Jungfrau (spelling?)

Day 6 Lauterbrunnen - Venice.

We're visiting France, Italy and Greece as well and I've read that if getting a pass I should do it in Switzerland, but since we are not moving that much I am not sure if I'll end up losing money in the end.

Any advise....?

Thank you so very much!
travellover36 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 10:00 AM
  #2  
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Hello,
Any words of wisdom....? Thank you!
travellover36 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 10:41 AM
  #3  
JN
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 852
TL36
Have you typed in the words "Swiss train pass" in the search box, then clicked? If so, you will find tons of threads on this topic. In fact, there's one listed in the top 3-5 switzerland thread list.

Unless you know what exactly you'll be doing, it's hard to know whether/which pass will save money. Here is some advice I gave to a recently-posed fodor board question:

"....... The only way to determine if a pass is worth it is to:
1. list out all your trips
2. go to www.sbb.ch and price out each trip
3. Then compare to cost of a pass.

......

Have you ever contacted Budget Europe Travel Service? http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/

They are the nicest, most knowledgeable train travel experts. They'll answer all your questions, give accurate advice and, if a pass is best for you, will sell it without costly handling fees. Here are their toll-free numbers if calling from the US: 800-441-9413 or 800-441-2387"

Hope this helps


JN is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 08:34 AM
  #4  
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 55
Thank you JN,

Your comments do help, I appreciate the help.

I went to the suggested sites and the problem is that I cannot find the cost of transport between Lauterbrunnen and Wengen and/or Murren...am I blind?

I also can't find the cost of the whole trip we want to do on Mt Pilatus... for what I've read the lake steamer and going up and down Mt Pilatus would be covered by the pass right?

One last question I have is, on the last leg I am travelling Lauterbrunnen - Venice.... Do you know if I'll get any type of discount in the Switzerland - Italy part if I buy the Swiss pass?

Thank you very much!
travellover36 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 10:38 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
The train line from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen is one of the subsidiaries of the Jungfraubahnen, the parent company.

To find individual prices in the Jungfrauregion you need to use the Jungfrau site.

The url is:
http://www.jungfraubahn.ch/en/Deskto...9/86_read-158/

In the past few weeks we have given this subject a good going over. Try a search.

Here is a copy of what I told someone else just a few days ago.

--------------------------------

The Swiss half fare card is probably the best pass option BUT!!!!!!
only if you spend enough to amortize the cost of the pass. If you take just a few rides, it may not reward you.

You can find individual fares at this location.
http://www.jungfraubahn.ch/en/Deskto...9/86_read-158/

It is in English and gives a list of prices so you can get a comparison.

Travel is free between 6 and 15 years of age with the junior card, provided one parent is present. Sixteen and up pay adult fares.

For an adult, the Jungfraujoch from Wengen is 145 chf round trip. With the half fare card you would pay 72.50. If you then went from Grindelwald to First (assuming you would drive to Grindelwald), that ticket is 51 chf. With the card you would pay 25.50. Those two trips alone would cost you 196 chf without any discount and a total of 99+72.50+25.50 or 197 with the half fare card.

So those two trips alone would actually put you past the breakeven point because you have to pay to ride up and down the mountain side between Lauterbrunnen and Wengen.

That round trip fare is 12.40.


Anything else you did would be cheaper with the card than without.

So as with all passes, it depends on what you do while you are there.

There is no discount instrument that I know of which will automatically result in savings.

I know it sounds paradoxical, but you have to spend to save!!!!
bob_brown is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 09:01 PM
  #6  
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Posts: 55
Hello,

Thank you Bob Brown for your help, I went to the site you gave me and got some prices I needed.

I have been browsing around and was wondering if maybe I could get some help with another couple of things...?

After looking at the 2 sites I had for train tickets, I think it makes sense for us to buy the Swiss Pass... and actually the 8 consecutive day ($247) is actually cheaper than the 6 day non consecutive ($265), so I guess we'll just loose 2 days, but we'll save money.

For what I could see it will be cheaper to buy the pass while in the US than in Switzerland... is this correct?

On the 6th day we're going to go to Venice... Looking at things I think our best bet is go from Lauterbrunnen to Lugano and leave from there to Venice - which would be the cheapest Switzerland - Italy connection I can find, and even if getting from Lauterbrunnen to Lugano is kind of a hassle, the traject will be covered by the pass... any words of wisdom here?

Due to the fact that we are pretty tight on money, I think we might skip the Jungfrau... should I reconsider? We are going to go up Mt Pilatus...

Finally, I have reservations both at Wengen and Lauterbrunnen for the 3 nights we'll be in the area and can't make up my mind... help??

Thank you so very much for your help!
travellover36 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2008, 05:48 AM
  #7  
 
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Posts: 6,019
Don't forget that the Swiss Card includes a built-in trip from the border or entry airport to your first night's destination, and a trip out of the country.

Therefore your trip Basel to Luzern would be included in the Swiss Card as would your trip from Lauterbrunnen to the last town near the border when you go to Venice.

Not sure why you say going to Lugano is the cheaper option. It is a long trip that way -- 10 hours versus 7.

Is it really that much cheaper?

Now where to stay?

Wengen is on the east side of the valley, perched on a shelf left by the glacier that carved the valley.

Lauterbrunn is down on the floor.

Arguably you get better views of the Alps from Wengen than from Lauterbrunnen.

If you are like me, I am not in Lauterbrunnen during the day very much. I am elsewhere looking at the mountains, walking a trail, or riding a cable car or cog train upwards and downwards.

Because I am going places virtually all day, I stay in Lauterbrunnen because of the fact that it is a transportation hub. I can go to any point in the valley from there.

From Wengen, you could get to the east-side places like Kleine Scheidegg, the Jungfraujoch, the crest of the ridge known as the Männlichen a few minutes quicker than I could.

On the other hand if you wanted to go to Mürren or Grindelwald or Schynige Platte, I can get there more quickly from Lauterbrunnen because from Wengen you have to ride down the hill to Lauterbrunnen.

By the way I suppose you have read that Wengen is car=free. You don't drive there, although one guy tried it last summer using some cockamamie GPS system that he thought was giving him a route. It did, up a farm road suitable for a little tractor. He ran in the ditch and had to be hauled out.

If I were there for only 3 days, I can see your question about where to stay.

Knowing what I do about the area, I think my 3 day choice would be Wengen. My 7-day choice would be Lauterbrunnen.

Besides, for 7 days,I want a little more space than that offered by a hotel room. Our apartment has a separate bedroom and a balcony that gives us a good look at the Breithorn, which is next to the Jungfrau, and a goodly section of the girl herself as it looms up slightly east of south as we view the peaks.

We also get the full flavor of the Männlichen as it towers 4,500 feet over the valley.

Look at it this way. You win either way unless rain is falling and the sky is cloudy.



bob_brown is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 04:43 PM
  #8  
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Thank you so very much Bob Brown!

SO I finally finished what I should have done from the beginning... a detailed itinerary, and you are right about the card. Providing that my numbers are right (hope) that is the cheapest option.

I copied my itinerary below, I used a lot of past posts, this board is so wonderfully full of info... if you have any comments, please share?maybe you might see any leg that I have using transportation and you think it might be a good walk...

still a bit undecided on if stay in Wengen or Lauterbrunnen... I did my chart based out of Lauterbrunnen but I think I am changing my mind.

Day 1
Basel to Luzern
Visit Luzern

Day 2
Luzern to Alpnachstad (boat)
Alpnachstad to Pilatus (cogweel)
Pilatus to Krienz (cable car/gondola)
Krienz to Luzern (bus)

Day 3
Luzern to Lauterbrunnen (train)
Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp (cable car)
Grutschalp to Murren (walk)
Murren to Gimmewald (walk)
Gimmewald to Stechelberg (cable car)
Stechelberg to Lauterbrunnen (cc or walk)

Day 4
Lauterbrunnen to Grindewald (train)
Grindewald to First (c car)
First to Bachalpsee beyond area of the Dam and to Faulhorn maybe (walk)
Bachalpsee to First (walk)
First to Grindewald (c car)
Grindewald to Lauterbrunnen (train)

Day 5
Lauterbrunnen to Wengen (train)
Wengen to manlichen (c car)
Manlichen to Kleine Scheidegg (walk)
Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen (train)
Wengen to Lauterbrunnen (train)
Visit to Trummelbachfalle

Day 6
Lauterbrunnen to Brig (train)
Brig to Venice (train)

You were also right on the Lugano thing... not sure what I was thinking! Too far and not cheaper! Thank you for calling it out!

The only thing that I hope I don't regret is not going up to the Jungfraujoch, it's so expensive...

Again, thank you so so much for all the help.

Regards.
travellover36 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 04:52 PM
  #9  
 
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Posts: 1,079

We were in Switzerland last summer and stayed in Lauterbrunnen. I felt it was much easier to stay there and go up one side and then go up the other side, as we pleased. I think it saved us time to be in the middle rather than on one side or the other. It is all so beautiful you can't really go wrong.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 04:55 PM
  #10  
 
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I should also have added that we did spring for the trip up to the Jungfraujoch. We had the Swiss Pass, but, yes, it is still expensive. My husband didn't think we should do it, but I thought it was one of those once-in-a -lifetime kind of events that you should not miss. This depends a little on weather and we had this gorgeous sunny day and I talked him into it. He was NOT sorry! If you are not sure you will ever return, try to do it if the weather cooperates.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 06:02 PM
  #11  
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Thank you Kristinelaine, I really appreciate your input!

I actually looked over my little chart again and the card is not the best option, the pass is.... I think... so hard!

Thank you!!!
travellover36 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2008, 04:29 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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travellover, we are going to be in switzerland this August for 8 days, and our itinerary is pretty much identical to yours, including all the hikes and the day by day schedules ! We did a detailed costing, and found the Swiss Pass for 8 days to be the cheapest option. Remember, you also get a 15% discount on the Swiss Pass if 2 or more people are travelling together. Besides, you can use the boat trips at Luzern and Thun and Brienz for free, and also get free access to all museums. Besides, you can use it for free travel on your Basel-Luzern leg, as well as your Lauterbrunnen - Venice leg (for the Swiss portion of your journey).
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