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Using the Swiss Pass

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Apr 16th, 2016, 08:14 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 78
Using the Swiss Pass

Hello everyone!

Please help make the most of our Swiss Passes. We are a couple travelling and hiking about 4 weeks in August through the magic that is Switzerland. RS makes the SP sound so easy, but some trains require seat reservations. Is there a way to reserve seats now?

Would you recommend buying the passes online? The site I checked did not seem to allow purchase of consecutive passes per traveller.

It also doesn't seem a good idea to purchase added excursions with the pass, not knowing the weather in advance.

Hopefully this is all very simple.

Also, online photos show people on the trains in shirtsleeves on a sunny day! Great advertising, but I had been planning to pack specialized ski/hiking layers, boots, gloves, and hat!

Thanks so much! I really appreciate any advice here.
Macaroni09 is offline  
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Apr 17th, 2016, 03:55 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Only 2 trains require seat reservations:
Glacier Express:
Zermatt - Brig - Andermatt - Chur - Filisur - Samedan - St. Moritz
Bernina Express:
Chur - Filisur - Samedan - Pontresina - Bernina - Tirano
Davos - Filisur - Samedan - Pontresina - Bernina - Tirano
St. Moritz - Pontresina - Bernina - Tirano
You can book these seats a few days ahead at any Swiss railway station.
Connaisseurs prefer to travel along these itineraries in local trains, however: no reservation needed, trains about every hr, only slightly slower, hop off - hop on possible at any station, contact/interaction with local people possible.
neckervd is offline  
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Apr 17th, 2016, 04:01 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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You will need hiking boots and som rain protection for hikes in the mountains. If the weather is fine, the 0 degrees centigrade limit is usually around 3000 metres in August, but it's not unusual that it comes down up to 2000 metres for a few days.
At sunny days, people usually walk in shirts as long as they are at sunny places. It's colder at shadowy places or before sunrise.
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Apr 17th, 2016, 07:29 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,083
The Swiss Pass is good not only for trains but also postal busses and lake boats. And a discount on some privately owned train lines and gondolas.

The Swiss postal busses are very modern and comfortable and go deep into the mountains to little towns. Some people spend their whole trip taking different busses and hiking. Best of all is the bus horn, modeled on those of old time coaches. Here's a sample of the experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNfmi_1EgS4.
Mimar is offline  
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Apr 17th, 2016, 09:10 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,687
for lots of info on Swiss Passes and your questions - check www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (any questions call Byron there -I've bought passes from him for years - will answer any question IME even if not buying -if you need an expert to talk to) and yes www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com.

Passes are easy to use - just board virtually any train or lake boat or postal bus and flash it at the conductor when they come by - except those two trains neckervd talks about - gives 50% off most all gondolas and trains to mountain tops - if conveyances connect two actual towns or hamlets then it is 100% covered. Also fee entry to 470+ Swiss museums.

check prices online in Swiss francs and prices for buying in North America - the latter has often been cheaper for the exact same pass for some reason since I've been tracking for several years -not always the case so check both sources - figure any cc charges in for foreign transcations.
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Apr 17th, 2016, 01:28 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Just got back from 10 days in Switzerland...it was warmer than my home city in Pennsylvania. Granted, it was too early in the season to hike, but even when I do, I rarely need anything more than a long-sleeved tee and light jacket at higher altitudes!
Unless there is a fantastic on-line bargain, I have always purchased whatever pass (or HalfFare Card) when I land in Switzerland (no shipping fee).
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Apr 17th, 2016, 03:14 PM
  #7
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Wow Palenque! I will contact Byron for our passes. The DB link is fantastic!

Kumar--love that name! I love the video of the postal bus. We'll definitely be looking for Chances to do this!

Neckervd, Thanks so much for the real weather info on mountain hikes! You are the best. And thanks to you and PalenQ, I will no longer sweat the train connections. ����
Macaroni09 is offline  
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Apr 17th, 2016, 03:16 PM
  #8
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Those were supposed to be Smiles!
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Apr 17th, 2016, 07:03 PM
  #9
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Mimar--sorry I did not catch the auto-correct!
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Apr 18th, 2016, 07:32 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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A thread I started and others commented on about Switzerland's fantastic postal buses- like in Grindelwald area the Three Passes Tour - by postal bus - a great day out from the Jungfrau Region - not for nervous Nellies however.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...witzerland.cfm
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