Swiss Pass for stay in Switzerland & possible trip to Paris

I will be in Switzerland from July 26 - Aug 13th. I will be doing the tour de Mont Blanc from approximately Aug 3 - 13th. As I will have the first 8 days to tour around I had thought of buying the Swiss Pass. However, I may travel to Paris for a day or two. I am wondering if it would be better to buy the 8 day flex pass, if there are any discounts offered at this time for a single traveller, and if I need to pre-determine the specific 8 days that I would like to use the flexi-pass in advance or if I can just decide on the actual day I want to use it.

I am also wondering if there is any advantage to travelling to Paris via Geneva versus Bern. My home base for the first part of the trip will be Zug.

Thank you!!
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 22, 2015 15:03
    Hi Dorothy.

    Your best option would depend on the specific itinerary and various other factors. If you'll be doing multiple rail trips around Switzerland, it could certainly be in your interest to purchase the 'Swiss Travel Pass'.

    You would purchase the 'Swiss Travel Pass' here: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/swiss-pass/index.html.

    The 'Swiss Travel Pass' is unique from other rail passes in that it can be issued electronically as an 'e-pass' (the 'Swiss Travel E-Pass').

    If you opt to purchase the electronic version, you would have to choose its 'first day of validity' (the first day you plan on using the pass) at the time of purchase. The 'first day of validity' you choose for the electronic version would have to be within 2 months from the date it is purchased. The remaining days of validity on a 'Swiss Travel E-Pass' can then extend beyond the 2 months.

    If you opt for your 'Swiss Travel Pass' to be issued as paper document, you would have to validate at a station in Switzerland, and it would have to be validated within a time period of 6 months after the date it is purchased.

    A rail connection from Zug to Paris

    If you'll be departing for Paris from Zug, the connection would actually involve changing trains in Zurich, rather than Geneva or Bern. The trains from Zurich to Paris are high-speed 'TGV Lyria' trains.

    The 'Swiss Travel Pass' would qualify you to receive a special rate called the 'Passholder 3' on a direct train from Zurich to Paris. However, I would also recommend checking regular point-to-point ticket costs on these trains, because they would often have regular ticket costs less than expensive than the 'Passholder 3' rate.

    You would check costs and purchase tickets at a 'Passholder 3' rates for a 'TGV Lyria' train from Zurich to Paris by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage (instead of 'Find Fares & Schedules'), entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Swiss Travel Pass'

    To ensure that it's a 'Passholder 3' rate you're being quoted when you pull up the results of your search, you would click the 'View' button for the cost listed under your preferred class of service for your preferred departure. After you click the 'View' button, a box will expand out underneath. In this box, you would refer to the option(s) listed under where it says 'Ticket Flexibility' and click 'Read More'. When you click 'Read More', the name of the fare should display as something like 'TGV Lyria Passholder 3'. Generally, the 'Passholder 3' rates for these trains would be the 'Semi Flexible' option under 'Ticket Flexibility'.

    You would check regular ticket costs for a train from Zurich to Paris by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' (instead of 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations') on our homepage, entering the route, and not indicating that you'll be traveling with any type of rail pass.

    The 'Swiss Travel Pass' would be all you'd need to board your train from Zug to Zurich. For planning purposes, you can just refer back to 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage to check schedules for trains from Zug to Zurich. Since your purpose would just be to view the schedules, you would once again not indicate that you'll be traveling with any rail pass when doing this search.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 22, 2015 15:37
    If you'll be staying in Paris for multiple days and plan on using the Métro and RER networks to get around the city, you'd want to consider purchasing either the 'Paris Pass' or the 'Paris Visite'.

    The 'Paris Pass' covers entry to over 60 top attractions, as well as public transportation on the Métro, RER, and buses in central Paris. You would purchase the 'Paris Pass' here: http://www.raileurope.com/en/attractions/things-to-do/paris-pass/index.html.

    The 'Paris Visite' Pass just covers local transportation in Paris, which includes the Métro and RER networks, as well as city buses. You would purchase the 'Paris Visite' Pass here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/paris-visite/index.html.

    There is also the 'Paris Museum Pass', which doesn't cover any transportation, but does cover entry to over 60 museums and historic sites around Paris. You would purchase the 'Paris Museum Pass' here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/paris-museum-pass/index.html.

    To browse other city passes for a stay in Paris, you would click here: http://www.raileurope.com/en/activities/france/paris/.
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