Please help a family of 4. Which travel pass for Zurich - Lucerne - Interlaken (including Schilthorn & Jungfrau) - Geneva - Montreux - Geneva ?

Hi, we are a family of 4, 2 adults, 2 kids 16 under, travelling to Switzerland for 8 days on Aug 1-9.Our likely itinerary...Into Zurich on Aug 1, including FIFA MuseumInto Lucerne on Aug 2, possibly including Transportation MuseumInto Interlaken area staying in Murren on Aug 3-4-5 to include Schilthorn and/or JungfrauInto Geneva on Aug 6-7, including CERN tour, Olympic MuseumInto Montreaux on Aug 8, including castle/fortress on lakeLeaving from Geneva on Aug 9Does this itinerary make sense? Are we missing anything? What travel passes are best for this itinerary? Should we rent a car and buy individual passes? Help us please
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 24, 2018 16:42
    Hi Katherine,

    In terms of efficiency, scenery, comfort, etc, Switzerland has one of the best rail networks in the work, so trains are a highly recommended way to travel.

    The itinerary you already came up with sounds perfect. I'd maybe just recommend hitting Montreux before you hit Geneva, for a reason I'll explain below.

    The most economical option for the requested itinerary would be to purchase something called 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: https://www.raileurope.com/pass/swiss-half-fare-card-8025.

    The actual half-priced tickets themselves are not available to be purchased on our website, but they can be purchased locally or 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.

    Zurich to Lucerne

    While the actual half-priced tickets from Zurich to Lucerne can only be purchased locally or by calling us, you can still use our website just to view schedules for these trains. For planning purposes, you can use the route search feature under 'BOOK TRAIN TICKETS' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) to just view schedules for trains from Zurich to Lucerne.

    Lucerne to Interlaken/Mürren (and Schilthorn)

    The gateway to Mürren is Interlaken. Direct trains from Lucerne to Interlaken represent part of the famed GoldenPass scenic route. To reach Mürren, you would first have to take a train along the Bernese Oberland Railway to Lauterbrunnen.

    From Lauterbrunnen, you have 2 different options for getting to Mürren.

    One option would have you taking the Grütschalpbahn (cable car) from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp and switching to the Mürrenbahn (train) to Mürren.

    The other option would have you taking a bus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg and switching to the Schilthornbahn (cable cars) up to Mürren via Gimmelwald.

    The half-price tickets from Lucerne to Interlaken and Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen can be purchased locally or by calling us. In your case, the tickets from Lauterbrunnen to Mürren (via either route) would have to be purchased locally when you're there.

    As for a trip from Mürren up to Schilthorn, you would purchase the 'Mountain Tops: Schilthorn Mürren to Schilthorn for Swiss Half Fare Card Holders' option of our pass for 'Mount Schilthorn' here: https://www.raileurope.com/pass/mount-schithorn. This pass is valid for 24 hours and would grant you 50% off the Schilthornbahn (cable cars) from Mürren to Schilthorn (via Birg).

    For planning purposes, you can use the route search feature under 'BOOK TRAIN TICKETS' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) to just view schedules for trains from Lucerne to Interlaken and Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen.

    Jungfraujoch

    If you want to do the Jungfraujoch excursion while you'll be staying in Mürren, you would first make your way back to Lauterbrunnen. To do so, you can use either of the two routes I mentioned above (either via Grütschalp or Stechelberg) and purchase the half-priced tickets locally.

    From Lauterbrunnen, you would then take the Wengernalp Railway to Kleine Scheidegg, where you would switch to the Jungfrau Railway to the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe station.

    To receive the half-price discount from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg and Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch, you would purchase the 'JUNGFRAUJOCH/TOP OF EUROPE Grindelwald or Wengen to Jungfraujoch Swiss Half Fare Card Holder' option of the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' pass here: https://www.raileurope.com/pass/jungfraujoch-top-of-europe-8315. Since you'll be traveling during August, be sure to choose the specific 'High Season' option of this.

    The ‘Jungfrau Railway’ itself runs mostly through a tunnel (the ‘Jungfrau Tunnel’), but there are two ‘sightseeing stops’ in the tunnel (‘Eigerwand’ and ‘Eismeer’) where passengers can exit their train and take in the views through windows built into the side of the mountain.

    At the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe station, you have access to the Sphinx Observation Terrace and the Aletsch Glacier (Great Aletsch Glacier). The Jungfrau Railway is the highest railway in Europe, the Jungfraujoch station (Top of Europe) is the highest rail station in Europe, the Sphinx Observation Terrace is one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world, and the Aletsch Glacier (Great Aletsch Glacier) is the longest glacier in Europe.

    Mürren to Geneva

    To get from Mürren to Geneva, you would once again first have to make your way back to Lauterbrunnen via either of the two routes previously mentioned (either via Grütschalp or Stechelberg) and purchase the half-priced tickets locally.

    From Lauterbrunnen, you would take a train on the Bernese Oberland Railway back to Interlaken.

    The most feasible connections from Interlaken to Geneva involve changing trains once in Olten along the way.

    Otherwise, if have a little extra time and you want to complete the GoldenPass scenic route, you can take a route to Geneva through Zweisimmen and Montreux. Trains from Interlaken to Zweisimmen and Zweisimmen to Montreux make up the final two segments of the GoldenPass scenic route. From Montreux, you would take a direct train to Geneva.

    Between Lauterbrunnen and Geneva, the half-priced tickets can be purchased locally or by calling us, whether you go via Olten or Zweisimmen/Montreux.

    For planning purposes, you can use the route search feature under 'BOOK TRAIN TICKETS' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) just to view schedules for the trains between Lauterbrunnen and Geneva. To do so, you would just have to piece together your connection segment-by-segment when you do your search.

    For the route via Olten, that would mean one search from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken, another search for connecting trains from Interlaken to Olten, and another search for connecting trains from Olten to Geneva.

    For the route via the GoldenPass scenic route (Zweisimmen & Montreux), that would mean one search from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken, another search for connecting trains from Interlaken to Zweisimmen, another search for connecting trains from Zweisimmen to Montreux, and another search for connecting trains from Montreux to Geneva.

    Geneva to Montreux

    For the direct trains between Geneva and Montreux, you would again purchase the half-priced tickets locally or by calling us. In the meantime, for your reference, you can use the route search feature under 'BOOK TRAIN TICKETS' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) just to view schedules for these trains.

    Geneva to Geneva Airport

    Trains from Geneva to the Geneva Airport depart every 10-20 minutes throughout the day and the ride only takes about 7 minutes. The Swiss Half Fare Card would once again grant you half-price on these tickets purchased locally.
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