After spending 5 days in Switzerland, I owe most of my savings to The Swiss Travel Pass. Honestly, I enjoyed so much scenery and adventures. I’ve put together a post on all you need to know if you’re thinking of heading to Switzerland and using the pass.
The Swiss Travel Pass
The Swiss Travel pass allows you to travel unlimitedly on a set amount of days. On rail, bus, boat as well as most cable cars to the top of the mountains. The amount of days this can be bought for is 3,4,8 or 15. Due to our plane times, we had 3 days in between so we opted for those 3 days to be covered by the pass and just payed the fare to/from Zurich airport.
The Swiss Travel Pass is only available to people who do not live in Switzerland and has two classes. 1st and 2nd. If you’re looking for incredible views and train cars with large windows, 2nd class still offers you this! Do not think for one second you need to buy a first-class seat to see the amazing views!
Prices:For 2020, It’s my understanding the prices for The Swiss Pass will not be increasing or decreasing. Please see below for the most up to date price information.
The Train Journey’s
Sometimes there is a train with a bar cart on, someone may come around and ask if you want to purchase a drink. Most times however, I would recommend purchasing food or drink before you board. Most train journeys are over 1 hour long, and the connection is always waiting for you on arrival for any change overs. In some destinations, the train only comes every 1 hour – 2 hours, so it’s worth leaving a little earlier and making sure you get some snacks, just in case. (Does anyone else have a little fear of long journeys and being snack-less?)
The trains can also get quite busy and they always leave on time! I never saw a train leave late. So, I recommend arriving 20 minutes early to get the best window seat. Our train was always in the station by this point, so we always had our pick of seats. Views was quite foggy in the morning, we couldn’t see a thing! But stick with it, because once you’re above that view, you won’t be able to put your camera down!
The ticket comes electronically through your email, and they do check this frequently. Mostly when trying to board cable cars and change over some trains. This pass will not allow you through the gates of the cable cars, you will need to find a person who can manually scan this for you. You will also need to have your passport/identity card with you. We had two instances where they asked to see this.
It’s up to you if you want to print this off or show the ticket on your phone. We opted to show it on our phone, they scanned it and it was fine.
We boarded a lot of cable cars for “free” with this pass. (I only say “free” like this because we paid for the pass in the first place haha!) The only extra one we had to pay was for Mount Titlis, but this became half price when presented with the travel pass. If you are travelling to Jungfrau, it is my understanding that the final cable car to the top, you will have to pay for. This will be half price with the Swiss Travel Pass.
Alternatively, you may have to pay from Murren (as there is two more cable cars from here to the top!) They were repairing the cable car when we went, so the furthest we travelled was Murren. But it was beautiful anyway! Murren also has spectacular views so please do not be disheartened if you also can not get to the top.
Where to buy
You can buy this online. (click here) or on arrival at any Switzerland airports. We bought ours from the direct Swiss website (link above) but it is my understanding that you can purchase this through a travel agent too.
There is also the option of a family card that you can purchase if you are heading there with yours. Any child from age 6-16 can travel for free on public transport, as long as they have one parent holding a Swiss travel pass. Those between 6-16 who are travelling NOT accompanied by a parent, get 50% discount on a variety of other Swiss Travel tickets, which is pretty handy if you ask me!
Here is a list of journeys that we personally took while on The Swiss Travel Pass.
Lucerne to Engelberg
Lucerne to Interlaken
Bus to Lauterbrunnen (as the railway was closed for maintenance!)
Vitznau Station > Top of Mount Rigi.
Mount Rigi > Half Way Point
Engelberg Cablecar to Top of Mount Titlis (**This was half price at £37 with the pass.**)
Lauterbrunnen > Murren (This is divided into one cable car & one cogwheel train which is free)
Murren > Gimmewald
Gimmewald > Lauterbrunnen
Mount Rigi Half Way Point > Vitznau
Lucerne to Vitznau boat/train station
Disclaimer: Please note that these are not in order on how to get to individual locations. This is just to let you know if you are considering the Swiss Travel Pass if your train/cable car is covered in reference to the journey’s I took. I will be writing a post on every individual location mentioned above and how to get there (which will be in order) so please stay tuned if you are interested in the routes.
If you’re looking for beautiful views and a comfy seat, the following lines are covered by your Swiss Pass Ticket.
- Golden Pass Line
- Glacier Express
- Gotthard Panorama Express
- Voralpen Express
- Centovalli Railway
Below is a rough coverage of map that the Swiss Travel Pass covers. Red is trains, yellow is buses. Black lines are cable cars on this map, but I cannot see any personally. You might be able to spot a few.
If museums are your cup of tea, I’ve got some good news. The Swiss Travel Pass covers around 500 museums! Click here to find the full list. Personally, we just didn’t have time while there to check them out anyway. But if you’re heading there for longer and want a more relaxed, culture enriched experience, I’d definitely recommend checking out the list!
That’s all for my guide on the Swiss Travel Pass! I hope you’ve found it useful. If you find anything I’ve missed out, please let me know.
What do you think? Do you think The Swiss Travel Pass is good value? Let me know in the comments!