Which pass for 1 stop in Switzerland while in France? Paris-Chamonix-Lausanne-Dijon-Paris (& day-trip to Versailles)

We will be staying in Paris for 5 days, then going to Chamonix, then to Lausanne, then back to Dijon and Paris. We will also likely do a couple of day trips from Paris, including Versailles. Do I need to purchase the France/Switzerland Pass or is it better to purchase the France pass and pay extra for the travel segment to Lausanne?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 28, 2015 19:36
    Hi Chantal.

    For an itinerary like the one you described, I would just recommend that you purchase regular point-to-point tickets, as opposed to any rail pass.

    You would purchase regular tickets by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) and entering a route.

    A connection from Paris to Chamonix would take about 5.5 to 7 hours in duration and involves at least 2 train changes along the way; once in Bellegarde and then once in St Gervais Les Bains. When purchasing tickets for this trip on our site, you would break up your search once in Bellegarde. Therefore, you would do one search for the trains from Paris to Bellegarde and then another search for the part of the connection from Bellegarde to Chamonix.

    Trains from Paris to Bellegarde are high-speed 'TGV' trains. The trains making up the part of the connection from Bellegarde to Chamonix are regional 'TER' trains.

    A connection from Chamonix to Lausanne would take just under 3 hours in duration and involves 2 train changes along the way; once in Vallorcine and then once in Martigny. The segment from Chamonix to Martigny (via Vallorcine) is considered a scenic route called the 'Mont Blanc Express'. When purchasing tickets for this trip on our site, you would break up your search once in Martigny. Therefore, you would do one search for the part of the connection from Chamonix to Martigny and then another search for connecting trains from Martigny to Lausanne.

    There are direct, high-speed trains from Lausanne to Dijon. These trains are 'TGV Lyria' trains.

    From Dijon to Paris, there are high-speed 'TGV' and 'TGV Lyria' trains.

    To get from Paris to Versailles, you would take Line C of the local RER rail network. RER Line C can be picked up at a number of local RER/Métro stops in Paris, including Champs de Mars/Tour Eiffel, Pont de l'Alma, Invalides, St. Michel/Notre Dame, and Austerlitz. You would get off the RER at the 'Versailles-Rive-Gauche-Château' stop, which is only about a 5 minute walk from the palace itself. These RER trains depart 3 or 4 times every hour and the ride between the city and the Versailles-Rive-Gauche-Château stop only takes about 25 to 40 minutes in duration (depending on the station in Paris where you board).

    You would pay to board the RER at the station. However, if you happen to purchase a 'Paris Visite' for zones 1 to 5, it would cover you for the full route of the RER between Paris and 'Versailles-Rive-Gauche-Château'. The 'Paris Visite' covers local transportation in Paris, including the Métro and RER networks, as well as city buses. You would purchase the 'Paris Visite' here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/paris-visite/index.html.

    There is also the 'Paris Pass'. The 'Paris Pass' would only be valid on the portions of these RER lines that run within zones 1, 2, and 3. Versailles is located outside of these zones, so this particular pass would not be valid to cover the entire ride on the RER, but it does cover free entry to the palace. If you purchase the 'Paris Pass', you would just have to purchase an additional ticket locally to cover you for the portion of RER Line C that's beyond zone 3 to Versailles. The 'Paris Pass' covers entry to over 60 top attractions, as well as public transportation on the Métro, RER, and buses in central Paris (zones 1 to 3). You would purchase the 'Paris Pass' here: http://www.raileurope.com/en/attractions/things-to-do/paris-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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