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Qtn on Swiss Pass and Train reservation

Old Jul 6th, 2005, 09:42 PM
  #1  
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Qtn on Swiss Pass and Train reservation

I will be in Paris for 4 days before I head out to Switzerland. Need to buy a Swiss Pass.

a. Where can I buy a Swiss pass? Can I pick it up in Paris or when I reach Switzerland or do I have to order it before? Also, any cost differential between these two options.

b. I will be taking a train from Zurich to venice - specifically an overnight train leaving at 11:00. Does it need reservations in advance - if yes, how soon - now itself or is it ok 10 days before the trip (when I'm in Paris). Basically, should I expect these tickets to be sold out?

Thanx for your inputs.

Rgds, Kram


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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 11:34 PM
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Topping
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 04:25 AM
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I always order Swiss Passes online from this company:

http://www.railpass.com/eurail/passes/swiss.htm

The service is great - I once ordered on a Friday and the pass was delivered to my door in Kuwait by Monday. At the time they were offering free international delivery for repeat customers, but like many good things, that offer has disappeared.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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Depending on how much travel you are doing, are you sure you need a Swiss Pass? since you mention only 'b' from Zurich to Venice you could buy point to point at the train station a few days before. For overnight trains most likely depends on the type (do they have seats available or only couchette and private cabins?) and what kind of reservation you are seeking.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 02:40 PM
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Suze makes a good point. I just returned from CH and used the 1/2 fare card. Bought it at the Zuerich aiport, but you can buy it anywhere in CH. I found that for train travel from Zuerich and 6 nights in the Berner Oberland, the 1/2 pass gave me great flexibilit on tranportation modes (train, boats, funiculars, lifts, gondolas,etc.)and saved me about $100 over any other pass.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 03:00 PM
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Suze, I have done the trip by trip breakdown and comparison of various options - Swiss card, pass, Eurail, point to point etc.

The Swiss card works out cheaper for me as I plan to move around quite a bit in Switzerland.

But I'm unsure how I can make reservations on trains beforehand.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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I know it is a good value when you are moving around the country alot! Sorry I've only done point-to-point buying and making my reservations directly at the train station (so am no help to you about reservations before hand). Hopefully someone else will join in here and be able to tell you.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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I've traveled all over Switzerland with Swiss Pass a number of times and about the only reservations I've ever done were for the Golden Pass and the Glacier Express. And we've usually been there at the height of tourist season in the summer. We always go first class, and just hop on a train, that's the great beauty of having the pass.

We also usually get ours in advance from RailEurope.

Don't forget the bonus of free trips on the lake steamers too. If you're near a lake it's a great way to relax in the late afternoon or evening after a busy day of exploring and hiking.

By the way, we've sometimes made reservations on those special trains while we were in London beforehand -- doing so at the Swiss tourist office. I'm thinking there's one of those in Paris too, but I don't know where.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 07:37 PM
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Kram,

You original post asked about the Swiss Pass. Then later you mention that your spreadsheet shows the Swiss Card is the best value. Do you mean the Swiss Pass or the Swiss Card? The Swiss Card gives you a free inbound and outbound trip and basically 50% off all other Swiss travel.

We bought Swiss Cards for our June Switzerland trip. We purchased 2nd class Swiss card in the US from Rick Steves (Rail Europe)for $130 each.

Does this help?
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 07:59 PM
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sorry, that was a typo. The Swiss Pass is actually cheaper (not the card).

I can get the Swiss pass on the web - but dont know how to make a reservation on the net using it.

Or if people can confirm that the Zurich-Venice overnight does not need reservations till a week to 10 days before the journey date, that will be great too.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 08:08 PM
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Then, I don't know the answer to your question about reservations. However, I found the Euraide office is very helpful. I know they can make the reservation for you. Not sure about the cost, but they make reservations and sell tickets, couchettes and sleepers for the train at the same price as at the station ticket windows. Why not call or email them? Here's the info:

www.euraide.com
email - [email protected]
tel. in Munich - 089-593-889

Hope this helps!
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Old Jul 8th, 2005, 05:23 PM
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^^^
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 07:12 AM
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I can't *confirm* because I don't want to give misinformation, but on 2 different occasions I booked the overnight train at the train station for Vevey(Geneva)/Venice trip a few days before the trip.

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