Swiss Pass

Aug 19th, 2007, 03:40 PM
  #1  
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Swiss Pass

I'm going to Switzerland (3days) and Northern Italy (5 days) then back to Switzerland for two more days. There isn't a Swiss-Italian rail pass. Do you recommend just paying for the train as we go, or buy a 3 or 4 day swiss pass? What's the rule people go by when traveling?
lucayaboy is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 08:12 PM
  #2  
 
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There's no rule, you just need to do the math for each situation. Figure the cost of point-to-point tickets purchased separately for each trip you are planning to make, then compare it to the cost of a pass that covers that same travel.
suze is online now  
Aug 19th, 2007, 11:23 PM
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And do buy a ticket. The chances of someone checking your ticket on the train is 95%.
kleeblatt is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 01:25 AM
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You could try inputting the proposed rail itinerary at www.railsaver.com to compare pass vs. point-to-point ticket prices.

There are parts of northern Italy where a SwissPass is actually valid but I suspect that probably doesn't apply to your itinerary.
Dukey is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 07:55 AM
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There is also a Half Price type of Swiss pass. That seems to be one more people buy and use, rather than the full Swiss Pass. You might check that out as well.
suze is online now  
Aug 20th, 2007, 08:15 AM
  #6  
 
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well what are you Swiss travel plans?

no Swiss-Italy pass and in Italy best usually to buy local tickets as Italian pass is way overpriced for what most do and Italy trains are dirt-cheap compared to most of Europe.

Not so in Switzerland - IME the Swiss Pass is often a better deal than the Half-Fare card and you do not have to wait in line and carry extra money to buy tickets each time.

Pass you just hop on.

Swiss flexi gives a minimum of three days of unlimited travel in a one-month period and in betweent he first and last day you get 50% off everything that moves in Switzerland (except 25% on Junfgraujoch Top of Europe train)

thus if you are traveling fairly long distances on three days this can be better than paying half price.

Go to www.sbb.ch to check on actual prices.

Half-fare passes only sold at stations in Switzerland i believe - add 3% to Swiss franc prices for credit card charges foreign transaction.

Swiss Passees also sold at stations in Switzerland but about 15-18% higher it seems last time i check www.sbb.ch with U.S. prices for same exact pass. so buy abroad for significant savings.

www.swisstravelsytem.com has lots of great info on Swiss trains. I also always refer folks hoping to get a fix on Swiss trains to visit www.budgeteuropetravel.com and request their free European Planning & Rail Guide that has a good chapter on Swiss trains, with itineraries on their web site. www.ricksteves.com also has interesting info on Swiss trains and passes.

Swiss Passes are good on city trams, buses, many lake boats, nearly all trains except those going to mountain tops, postal buses - almost every conveyance in Switzerland except aerial cable cars which are 50% off.

If you have kids under 16 then they get a free Swiss Pass to match the one the adults buy.

A Saverpass is two names or more on one pass and is cheaper than two individual passes.

There are cheaper passes for folks under 26 - youthpasses.

Even just three days in Switzerland could merit a look at the 3-day Swiss flexipass or the 4-straight day pass which is only $9 p.p. more.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 11:05 AM
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with the half-fare card you apparently do get 25% off trains from Switzerland to Italy however. Not sure of details but some well-informed FodorFriends have said this is so.

May have to buy ticket in Switzerland. Not sure of details but worth looking into. Now sure Swiss Passes get it - think not
PalenqueBob is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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Note that the Swiss Pass rules have changed - or been re-interpreted recently. Before it was said the 50% off thing was good for the whole month of the pass

but now it's been clarified that the 50% off discount is good only between the first and last of the flexibile travel days - once the final day is used up the pass benefits expire.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 07:44 AM
  #9  
 
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<Do you recommend just paying for the train as we go, or buy a 3 or 4 day swiss pass? What's the rule people go by when traveling?>

tell us your proposed itinerary and we can comment better
PalenqueBob is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 09:31 AM
  #10  
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day 1 zurich switz
day 2&3 luzern switz
day 4-9 bellagio italy
day 10 zurich switz
lucayaboy is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 10:02 AM
  #11  
 
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A month ago I was in Switzerland with the family starting from Zurich. At the station I took a ticket number to wait for few minutes. Then at the Counter I showed my planned travel for the 4 places intended while we were in Switzerland. The Counter did the calculation and adviced me the best ticket. Which was flaxi pass for the adults and family pass for the children which is free for under 16. It is much better than I do the calculation - the station will do it for you for the best price either first or second class. If you have luggage and long distance i think first class is better with much more seating and the children travel free.
Ahmed is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 10:10 AM
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But as Swiss Passes cost significantly more in Switzerland than they do in the U.S. or other countries the calculations may be different.

Same pass but about 15-20% more last time i checked (to check: www.sbb.ch for prices for passes in Switzerland; www.budgeteuropetravel.com for prices in $ - BETS no mailing fee except rush orders or www.raileurope.com would also add $18 mailing fee for this type of pass.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 11:14 AM
  #13  
 
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<day 1 zurich switz
day 2&3 luzern switz
day 4-9 bellagio italy
day 10 zurich switz>

if i were you i'd take a look at www.sbb.ch and see if you can get one of the online discounted Luzern-Como and Como-Zurich fares like some Swiss experts have said is possible on the site.

And try www.cisalpino.com - the company that runs most Switzerland to Italy trains - check fares there too. (Cisalpino is a subsidiary i believe of the Italian and Swiss railways) Reservations are required on Cisalpino trains if they cross a border.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 10:53 AM
  #14  
 
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It seems as though the Half-Fare card may be best for you - especially if ?? it gets you a discount on the Italian portion of the Cisalpino train.
PalenqueBob is offline  

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