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Swiss Travel Pass vs. Berner Oberland Pass

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May 8th, 2015, 09:47 AM
  #1
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Swiss Travel Pass vs. Berner Oberland Pass

Going in September. We've been before and have always gotten the Swiss Pass as it makes life a lot easier!

However, this time we will be in the Berner Oberland only and for just 4 days.

In second class: I see the Swiss Travel Pass is 251 CHF for 4 days and the Berner Oberland Pass is 240CHF for 4 days. Why would we get the Berner Oblerand pass instead of one that could get us all over Switzerland? Especially if it's rainy and we want to go other places?

Any thoughts? Anything I'm missing besides an 11 CHF difference?
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May 8th, 2015, 10:00 AM
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Just found the Swiss Travel Pass on Rail Europe for 428CH (or 204 CHF per person) for two. That's cheaper than the Swiss site!
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May 8th, 2015, 10:03 AM
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The Swiss Pass I believe would cover the Grindelwald/Wengen to Jungfraujoch via Kleine Scheidegg trains at 25% off - I believe B O pass is none but I am not sure - but one thing to investigate.

Swiss Pass ordinarily gives 50% off on anything not covered in full - this being the one exception that any average tourist will use - but I would also investigate the Jungfraubahn Pass - sold at any Jungfraubahn station as it covers more right in the Jungfrau Region than a Berner Oberland Pass, which is much more wider ranging - even going to Bern and Lucerne I believe - at least giving some discount on those if not covering in full.

But what exact things are you doing - Schynige Platte is probably covered in full by the other passes but only 50% for Swiss Passes I think. Swiss Pass cover travel to Murren and Gimmelwald from Lauterbrunnen in full - does the B O Pass and are you doing that.

So it may depend on what you are doing to see how they compare. But do check out the Jungfraubahn Pass - also check these superb sites on Swiss trains, passes, the Jungfrau Region, etc: www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

And yes if that is the only difference a Swiss Pass instead gives you transpsorts anywhere in Switzerland - your departure airport included if Zurich or Geneva.
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May 8th, 2015, 10:04 AM
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I'd get the SP since it covers more, just in case you want to do something outside the BO region.

This Rick Steves site also sells a variety of Swiss passes:
http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tip...nd-rail-passes
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May 8th, 2015, 10:08 AM
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and yes as ddancer says the exact same Swiss Pass is often IME cheaper at home than if bought in Switzerland - in years of tracking that is often the case - why don't know but has been - not always so always check both sources - and do not buy too early - specials often pop up with a free extra day or some other perk - if you buy early at a lower price you will not get the bonus - OTOH if prices go up... I've bought passes from Byron at www.budgeteuropetravel.com and IME he will answer any question objectively and expertly if you need some expert to talk to - he's a RailEurope agent so same prices but unlike RE someone you can talk to that knows something.

Also factor in any foreign transaction fees your c card may impose on foreign sales.
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May 8th, 2015, 10:10 AM
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RickSteves is another RailEurope agent whose staff also seems knowledgeable by all reports.
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May 8th, 2015, 10:14 AM
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Interesting - They no longer have the Saver Passes. No discount if 2 or more are traveling together at all times.

Pal - Will try to remember to use a card that doesn't charge foreign sales fees.

Will have to read carefully if one pass (BO vs. Swiss) gives us better coverage as far as price for mountain excursions.

This is so confusing!
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May 8th, 2015, 10:14 AM
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The Bernese Oberland Pass allows free rides to many mountain peaks where you would have to pay half fare with the Swiss Travel Pass. For Kleine - Scheidegg - Jungfraujoch it grants 50 per cent discount (25 per cent with Swiss Pass).

If you arrive at ZRH by plane or by meinfernbus.de, you will have to add a full fare ticket from there to Lucerne, from where the Bernese Oberland Pass is valid.

So, the Bernese Oberland Pass can make sense for people who want to go to Jungfraujoch, Schynige Platte, Niederhorn, Maennlichen, Kleine Scheidegg, Stockhorn, Brienzer Rothorn, Alpen Tower, First, Lauchernalp, Sunnbuehl, Gelmersee, etc.
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May 8th, 2015, 10:24 AM
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Interesting - They no longer have the Saver Passes. No discount if 2 or more are traveling together at all times.>

Saverpasses ended in 2014 - but RE lowered the price of solo passes to make up for that and now allows anyone to buy a half-fare card at 50% off with any Swiss Pass (regular price $129 in U.S.) which would then give 50% on the Jungfruajoch trains.

neckervd - what about the Jungfraubahn Pass for d dancer? (Neckervd is a Swiss resident who knows or will find out every fare, anything needed - a real God send IMO.
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May 8th, 2015, 10:27 AM
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Swiss Travel Pass:
Unlimited travel by rail, road and waterway
Including most panorama pleasures*
Free travel on public transport in 75 towns and cities
Free admission to more than 480 museums
50% discount off most mountain railways
Children under the age of 16 travel free of charge when accompanied by at least one parent holding the Swiss Family Card
Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Travel Pass Youth are also available as [email protected] tickets
Only persons domiciled outside Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein are entitled to purchase this ticket


I see it says "50% discount off most mountain railways". Wondering what those are.
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May 8th, 2015, 10:32 AM
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I am looking at the maps for the passes. If I'm reading it correctly The BO pass gives 50% discount (not free) for Murren to Schilthorn and Kleine Scheidigg to Jungraujoch.

We probably won't be going to the Jungfraujoch.

http://doc.myswissalps.com/docs/defa....pdf?sfvrsn=12
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May 8th, 2015, 01:16 PM
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I see it says "50% discount off most mountain railways". Wondering what those are.>

For the average tourist it means you get only 25% off Wengen/Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg and onto Jungfraujoch - nearly every other mountain railway or aerial cable way will be 50% off with consecutive-day Swiss Passes

So "most' for most means only that one exception.

Aerial gondolas to Gimmelwald-Murren-Grutschalp from the Lauterbrunnen Valley are fully covered only because they actually go between two places where people live - then a Swiss Pass covers them in full - but Murren to The Schilthorn is 50% off because it does not go to a town - just a mountain top.
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May 8th, 2015, 02:43 PM
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I think the efficacy of a pass vs other options, including zilch, is more if staying in say a Wengen or Murren - as travel with a pass is 100% covered so if you base in one of those two more remote towns and thus more expensive to commuter to and from the pass covering 100% would be a factor - plus being able to go on a day trip to say Lucerne without flinching if weather is poree - just two hours away by the scneic Brunig Pass rail route from Interlaken-Ost - part of the legendary Golden Pass train route.

If you were leaving from Zurich Airport I would be tempted to take tjhe lovely Brunig Pass rail route to Lucerne - spend most of the day there - put your bags in a station locker and explore lovely Lucerne and go to near Zurich airport to stay the night or if not an early flight the train ride from Lucerne to the airport could not take much more than an hour.
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May 8th, 2015, 03:58 PM
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Pal, you've cleared up some confusion for me so thanks!

We will be coming from Germany in a car and dropping the car off in Interlaken so no need for rail to Interlaken. We will be flying home from Zurich however. We have a hotel at the airport booked for our last night. Planning on getting there in early evening so we have almost the full day in BO.

We've been to Lucerne twice so I don't think we will be going there again. At least not this trip.
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May 9th, 2015, 12:39 AM
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Hi Diane- I am certainly not an expert on Switzerland passes, but I am committed to a trip similar to yours (driving from Germany in September, staying in BO for 4 nights, not going to Jungraujoch or Piz Gloria) and I decided that the BO pass is the best deal of all. According to the coverage map found at
http://www.myswissalps.com/regionalp...rland/validity

all of the trips of interest in the BO (excluding the Jungraujoch and Piz Gloria) are covered 100%. This include the Golden Pass from Luzern to Gstaad (in case of bad weather at Mannlichen/Kliene Scheidegg/Murren)), Bern, and even Brig. A lot of busses are also covered. I understand that the Swiss pass provides 50% coverage on most of the mountain railroads and cable cars in the BO. This is my 2 cents worth-

Have a great trip!!!

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May 9th, 2015, 12:42 AM
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See. I can't even spell Jungfraujoch correctly...
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May 9th, 2015, 06:37 AM
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since dd is driving to Interlaken from Germany and staying pretty much there the whole time or all the time it seems the Berner Oberland Pass may well be gthe best - thanks to Travelforbeer for the data - but are you going to have a steepdrop-off charge for picking up a car in Germany and returning it in Switzerland - if so just drop car off in say Lindau, Germany and take the train to your Jungfrau Region base - could change the dynamis of which pass, etc.
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May 9th, 2015, 07:03 AM
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The whole "which pass is better" thing is, I agree, "confusing" once you actually GET above Lauterbrunnen. I think Travelforbeer really has given you some of the best advice in terms of looking at the map with those little dotted lines (LOL) and all the rest of it.

When we went up a couple years ago we bought the regular rail tickets on the SBB site and then used one of those "passes" for everything beyond Grindelwald where we were pointedly told by a LOT of people here NOT to stay but we did it anyway and were amazingly enough quite happy.

I also think Pal has given you something to think about regarding the car. Unless you have convinced yourselves that the obvious flexibility of a rental car justifies that drop charge (assuming there is one) I'd bag it but that's up to you.
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May 9th, 2015, 07:35 AM
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Looked up rail rates from Lindau, Germany to Interlaken. 97CH per person. There will be 4 of us. As of now, we leave Munich and spend 2 nights in Fussen. Then we drive to and are meeting friends in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland and then the next day driving to Interlaken. Car that is large enough to hold 4people and all our luggage, including one way drop off fee is $350. We will be splitting the fee for 2 days' worth with the other two people. So I'm not sure that taking the railroad and changing our plans makes more sense.

Eventually we will take rail from Interlaken to Zurich airport.


Had to keep increasing the size of the various Pass maps to see the little red black and white lines. Still not set on what to do.

travelforbeer - Thanks for your thoughts. You could probably spell Jungfraujoch better if you cut down on some beer, ha!
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May 9th, 2015, 08:28 AM
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There is nothing WRONG with having a car and paying all the fees, etc., which come with it and nobody is going to dispute your judgement in terms of keeping it. And, IMO, there us no requirement for you to be justifying your choice to any of us by adding all these details.

Enjoy your trip regardless of how you travel as I think you'll find it to be memorable.
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