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Train Travel Germany/Switzerland

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Sep 16th, 2015, 07:52 AM
  #1
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Train Travel Germany/Switzerland

After a week in Bavaria and the Black Forest we are dropping off our rental car in Freiburg, Germany and then training to Zermatt. We will be in Zermatt for two days seeing sights and exploring the Matterhorn. Then training to Murren where we spend three nights. While in the Berner Oberland region we will use local trains, lifts and gondolas to get around. Finally training to Zurich for an overnight before flying home.
My question is should we purchase a Swiss Pass for each of the four of us or would you recommend another alternative?
Dkuczaj is offline  
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Sep 16th, 2015, 08:25 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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I would get the Swiss Pass because it is so convenient to bypass the ticket-buying step. It also gives you free access to intra-city transportation, lots of museums, and a steep discount on high mountain transportation such as to the Jungfraujoch or the Schilthorn.

The Swiss Pass can also be pricey. It's almost impossible to tell whether it is cheaper to buy tickets as you go - unless you know your precise itinerary and do not deviate.

This site has the details:
http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tip...nd-rail-passes
Edward2005 is offline  
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Sep 16th, 2015, 08:56 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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"After a week in Bavaria and the Black Forest we are dropping off our rental car in Freiburg, Germany..."

Why bother with the high cost of driving and shady rental agencies that have a reputation for conjuring up door dings and other damages and billing you later for hundreds of €?

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...z-Germany.html
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...a_Bavaria.html
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...g-Germany.html


Trains are free in the Black Forest:
http://www.dreisamtal.de/en/service/konus.php?lang=en
http://www.camping-muenstertal.de/en/konus-flyer.pdf

The Black Forest is criss-crossed by multiple train lines that take you nearly everywhere there is to go:
http://www.schwarzwald.com/karte/bahnlinien.gif

Trains are almost free in Bavaria - €28/day for two adults:
http://www.munich-touristinfo.de/Bavaria-Ticket.htm

And trains will get you nearly everywhere in Bavaria too:
http://www.bahn.de/regional/view/mdb...0717_sk_by.pdf
Fussgaenger is offline  
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Sep 16th, 2015, 11:56 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 35
If i am right you can do some research on SWISS PASS - 4 days pass (you get one extra day free pass so that all five days are covered) and an add on BO PASS(it is an extended pass for some speific no of days only for for BO REGION known as VIP PASS if i recall correctly) if you want to do cover all mountains within 3 days in Murren without any omission of places esp Jungfrau. Do some basic maths and decide.
shanmugamprakash is offline  
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Sep 16th, 2015, 12:16 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I too think a pass would be best - passes cover not only trains but lake boats - nice to do one on the lakes that bookend Interlaken - great info sites www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (if want expert answers to questions call Byron here - I've bought lots of passes from his thru the years and he will IME answer any questions expertly even if not buying!) and www.ricksteves.com.

check pass prices for those issued in the U.S. if an American and those you can buy at any station in Switzerland - often in my experience of tracking these for years the U.S. price often is cheaper - but not always so check Swis prices and factor in any handling charges for U.S. passes - most have none and foreign exchange transaction fee for those in Swiss francs.
PalenQ is offline  
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Sep 17th, 2015, 07:56 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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As said above, all depends on the mountain railways you may use.
The Swiss Travel Pass gives you free rides along the itinerary Basel Bad Bf - Spiez - Zermatt - Spiez - Muerren/Wengen/Grindelwald - Lucerne - Zurich airport and half fare on most mountain railways you may use, like Zermatt - Matterhorn Paradise, Zermatt - Gornergrat, Zermatt - Unterrothorn, Saas Fee - Mittellalin revolving Glacier restaurant, Brig/Moerel - Riederalp/Aletsch Glacier, Muerren - Schilthorn, Wengen - Maennlichen - Grindelwald, Grindelwald - First/Grosse Scheidegg, Wilderswil - Schynige Platte, Brienz - Brienzer Rothorn - Soerenberg......
as well as 25 per cent reduction between Wengen/Grindelwald - Kleine Scheidegg - Jungfraujoch.

With the Swiss Half Fare Card, you pay half fare for all the mentioned legs.
neckervd is offline  
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Sep 17th, 2015, 07:59 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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BTW: as you are 4 people, trains would cost almost nothing in Bavaria and Black Forest, thanks to the Bavaria Ticket and to the Baden-Wuerttemberg Ticket.
Kids pay nothing in Swiss trains/boats/gondolas, etc. if you get a Family Card.
neckervd is offline  
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Sep 17th, 2015, 09:41 AM
  #8
 
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Kids under 16 traveling with at least one parent - not grandparent - parent can get the free Family Card and like neckervd says never pay anything for anything the adults have a pass that covers or regular ticket that covers it. If ordering a Swiss Pass you can request a free Family Card or if buying one in Switzerland or any ticket of any kind I believe get one free once there.
PalenQ is offline  
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Sep 17th, 2015, 12:28 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Those regional passes neckervd mentions in Bavaria and B-w are great deals - they can only be used on regional trains however and not the faster more comfy trains but for the price - wow - that said they usually come in first class too for relatively little extra money and IME regional trains at times can get very crowded but first class will be half or more empty (not all regional trains have first class however).
PalenQ is offline  
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Sep 17th, 2015, 03:51 PM
  #10
 
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don't miss a boat ride on either or both of the two lakes bookending Interlaken - Lake Thun and Lake Brienz - each makes a wonderful day out with lots of neat stops - Swiss Passes 100% covered - on a nice weather day laze on deck - bring a picnic and chill!
PalenQ is offline  
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Sep 18th, 2015, 02:32 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Without any German rail pass, it wouldn't make much sense to drop off your car at Freiburg as you may do it along the Swiss border too: Loerrach, Weil am Rhein, Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg airport, Waldshut, Singen, Konstanz....
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