4 days in Switzerland - Basel/Mulhouse to Lauterbrunnen, exploring Lauterbrunnen (including Schilthorn), & return to Mulhouse - Which Rail Pass should I purchase??

Hi, can you please recommend a rail pass strategy for a 4-day visit to Switzerland for 2 people. We are flying into Basel / Mulhouse, taking the train to Lauterbrunnen, exploring the Lauterbrunnen area (including Schilthorn) staying 3 nights and then returning by train to Mulhouse. We probably won't do the Jungfraujoch. Thank you.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 12, 2018 18:05
    Hi Tim,

    It depends on what you do while you're in Lauterbrunnen. However, if you'll just be traveling round-trip between Basel and Lauterbrunnen, as well making a trip up to Schilthorn, then your most economical option would be the Swiss Half Fare Card.

    The Swiss Half Fare Card enables travelers to receive 50% off all tickets for trains operating within Switzerland (as well as public transit in Swiss cities, buses, and boats).

    For the Swiss Half Fare Card, click here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/swiss-half-fare-card-8025.

    The actual half-priced tickets (between Basel and Lauterbrunnen) are not available to be purchased on our website, but they can be purchased by calling us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday.

    The return from Lauterbrunnen to Mulhouse goes through Basel. The Swiss Half Fare Card is not valid in France, so you would just have to purchase a regular ticket to cover you on a connecting train from Basel to Mulhouse.

    You would purchase tickets from Basel to Mulhouse by searching the route under 'Book Train Tickets' on the homepage of our website, www.raileurope.com. For planning purposes, you can also use this same search feature just to view schedules for trains between Basel and Lauterbrunnen. Connections between Basel and Lauterbrunnen do involve changing trains once in Interlaken along the way.

    Mount Schilthorn

    For the excursion to Schilthorn, you would purchase the 'Mountain Tops: Schilthorn Interlaken to Schilthorn for Swiss Half Fare Card Holders' option of the pass for 'Mount Schilthorn'. You would purchase this pass here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/mount-schithorn.

    This pass is valid on 2 different routes between Interlaken and Schilthorn.

    The Grütschalp route would look like this:

    -Train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
    -'Grütschalpbahn' cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp
    -'Mürrenbahn' train from Grütschalp to Mürren
    -‘Schilthornbahn' cable cars from Mürren to Birg and Birg to Schilthorn

    The Stechelberg route would look like this:

    -Train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway'
    -Bus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg
    -'Schilthornbahn’ cable cars from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald, Gimmelwald to Mürren, Mürren to Birg, and Birg to Schilthorn
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    • Jeff (Official Rep) July 13, 2018 15:12
      There is no option of the Mount Schilthorn pass that starts in Lauterbrunnen, so we often offer the Interlaken option, even though it is redundant for that small portion between Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen.

      As you saw, your other choice would be to purchase the option of the Mount Schilthorn pass that starts in Mürren ('Mountain Tops: Schilthorn Mürren to Schilthorn for Swiss Half Fare Card Holders'), in which case you'd pay for the segments between Lauterbrunnen and Mürren locally using your Swiss Half Fare Card. In fact, I could see this being the better option for you. Sorry for not mentioning it initially, but you already seem to have a good grasp on what you'll need.

      Between Lauterbrunnen and Mürren, you'd then still have the option of going either via Grütschalp or Stechelberg/Gimmelwald.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) July 13, 2018 15:17
      Regarding your second question, you can just purchase the half-price tickets locally when you get there. For travel with the Swiss Half Fare Card, that would not be an issue. Just remember to mention that you already have the Swiss Half Fare Card.
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