Eurail pass vs swiss travel pass price comparison

  • Keeps calm and carries on
  • 33 replies

I'm looking to get confirmation on my math for the Swiss Pass or Eurail pass.

I will have 7 days of traveling or benefits from the Eurail pass. 

only 4 of the days will be used in Switzerland (STP). My hotel in Lucerne provides the local passes.

Below is a breakdown of each day of travel and expected costs. I priced out the Seat reservation itinerary against

This will be for One adult and a 6 year old in April 

Day 1 Paris to Frankfurt       120.35EUR Includes seat reservation, ICE / Eurail Seat Reservation costs 19EUR PP

Day 2 Frankfurt Flugen to Mannhein 17.9 EUR. I need to go to Heidelburg Station, how would that work, separate ticket for the S train? The Eurail site included the ticket there. Seat reservation not required

Day 2 Heidelburg to Zurich HB    69.9 EUR Seat reservation not required

Day 3 Zurich
Day 4 Zurich to Lucerne        23.4CHF IR trains, Seat reservation not required
Day 5 Mt Rigi       50% for Eurail and STP
Day 6 Titlis 25% Eurail, 50% STP: STP 60CHF, Eurail 84 + (42 or free with Family/Junior card )
Day 7 TBD, Pilatus?  39, 50% Eurail and STP

Day 8 Golden pass to Geneva  (I didnt see it requiring a seat fee but the page here listed fees for the reservation)


It seems like the Eurail pass is a better deal as I'd only have to pay for Paris to Frankfurt seat reservation and possibly Golden pass? 


Junior card costs 30 CHF while the family card is free.


Flexi 7 days costs 324 EUR 

4 Day STP 295 CHF or 308 EUR. This excludes the train ride from Paris to Frankfurt and to Lucerne totalling 230+ EUR. 


Thank you for reading 



13 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Looks like you made some calculations :)

Get the 30 CHF junior card for sure.

Day 5 : it will probably be cheaper to buy a full-fare saver day pass in advance and save a Eurail pass day. Valid on the boat to Vitznau + cogwheel train up to Rigi Kulm.

Golden Pass has optional reservations, I've taken it multiple times and didn't make one. The full journey is Lucerne - Interlaken Ost (- Spiez - Zweisimmen) - Montreux - Geneva. Beautiful but slow.

I'd choose Eurail over the Swiss Half-fare card for the convenience at least. STP is too expensive anyway.

About Heidelberg : Eurail is valid on S-Bahn (suburban) trains. If you go for the tickets, simply book something like Frankfurt Flughafen - Zurich via Heidelberg (2h stopover).


For eurail it's either 7 days 324 or 5 days 271.

Do the 5 days and don't use it day 3 and 4? Save ~25 CHF.  Zurich to Lucerne is running around 20-25 EUR 

I am seeing 52chf for the full fare day pass unfortunately this was a last minute change in itinerary. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

A 5 days could be enough and you don't use it on day 3, 5 and 6.

Day 3 : Eurail won't be good value within the city.

Day 5 : even with Eurail the day trip to Rigi (boat + cogwheel) would cost 65.50 CHF + pass day. Meanwhile the full-fare saver day pass is 52 CHF (minimum price, couldn't be lower).

Day 6 : you don't need to use a pass day for the Pilatus discount.

Or you prefer to be sure and get 7 days. For example if you decide to go out of the city on day 3, don't want to go to Pilatus in the end, etc.

In my opinion you'll have enough of peaks at this point so you might prefer to go towards Interlaken on the beautiful railway (using a pass day in that case) instead of Pilatus.

Note that the little funicular is closed until 6th May and only the less impressive cable car is open -> even a better reason not to go.


Right that's why I have Pilatus marked as TBD. You're suggesting I take a day trip solely for Interlaken even though I will pass it via the golden pass trip ? I am open to suggestions. My girl will probably be sick of nature thus I threw in Titlis so she can play in the snow 

Day 7 (Pilatus replacement) Luzern to Interlaken ost is only 12chf one way. What's your reason for using a day?  12x2 = 24. Wouldn't be worth it to use it no?


Day 5, are you saying the transportation for Rigi costs 65.5chf but the full fare saver for 52Chf would cover all needed transportation? 

So I will need it on day 1, 2, 5, 6, 8? 

Seems like I need 5 days unless day 7 needs the pass? 



To add a correction:

Zurich to Lucerne. Costs less than 10 chf, my previous number was probably from the seat reservation page. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

You're confused with the half-fare vs full-fare prices. SBB app and website always show the half-fare prices first as millions of Swiss people have that discount card (195 CHF a year, really good value).

Lucerne - Interlaken Ost is :

- 17 CHF one-way half-fare point-to-point ticket -> valid all day

- 12 CHF one-way half-fare saver ticket -> tied to a train

Full fare would be 34 CHF or 24 CHF. Same thing for Zurich - Lucerne.

It's true that it doesn't make sense to go to Interlaken on Day 7 unless you were to stay there for the night. Maybe visit the Transportation Museum in Lucerne instead?


On pricing, I think the issue was on the phone, it doesn’t let me select half fare when I try to price out the trip.

So if I want to take the side trip to Interlaken it’d be 34x2 or 68s Round trip.


Are there any day trips you’d recommend? My girl is not into hikes, she is into feeding animals if there are any farms nearby. Perhaps I just dedicate a day checking out Lucerne?

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

You must select full-fare manually : click on the half-fare price (1/2) and choose full fare (1/1). Or simply double every price you see.

A Saver Day Pass (from 52 CHF full fare) would be cheaper than a return ticket but at this point get a longer pass. I'd do that anyway, even if you end up losing a pass day.

You can't just decide to feed animals. There are a lot of farms around but I don't know if they let you do that.

Lucerne is small (even for Swiss standards) : an hour or two is enough. You go there for the nearby peaks and scenery or for the transportation museum.


I personally would love to go on these nature hikes. My fear is she will be natured out and I'll have a complaining 6yo in tow. She hates to hike. 


If I get a longer pass wouldn't that force me to get the 7 day pass? 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Yes indeed you'd need a 7 days pass but the price difference is 58 USD (= 51 CHF). Basically the price of the Saver Day Pass.

Don't miss the 15% sale on Eurail.

Would she prefer the transportation museum?

I mean with the 7 days pass you can remain flexible and literally decide on the day what you'd like to do. Don't plan things months in advance!

EDIT : Same thing for peaks : there's no advantage to booking in advance. If the weather is bad that day but not the following one you'll have lost hundreds of CHF...


 I believe my prices came from the bahn site but then I did select no discount card.   Their prices are much lower than b-europe that I also have been using. Although the Lucerne to Interlaken is more in line.

It does say 'Information for your booking

The price shown includes all entered passengers and all discount cards that can be applied to the offer in accordance with the conditions of carriage.'


When using  I was able to select no discount and for me and her. 

The cost from Zurich to lucerne was around 39eur while from Lucerne to Interlaken ost was indeed 51 EUR but the banh site quoted 21.60 Zurich to lucerne 30.80eur to Interlaken. 

Which are significantly higher


The 7 day flexi costs $ 324 EUR and includes the 15% current promo. 271 for 5 days 




I'm getting confused w the different prices from these sites. 

For the passes I guess use it on day 1, 2, 4 ,5,6 8

Day 1 Paris to Frankfurt

Day 2 Frankfurt to Zurich via Heidelberg

Day 4 covering fare from Zurich to luzern (39eur)

Day 5 Rigi

Day 6 Titlis. Is this even worth it given it's only 25% discount.

Day 7 TBD. (Perhaps rest day after Rigi)

Day 8 Golden pass. 

Could make this 5 if not using it on Titlis 

figure widgigure widgetfigure widget

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Please use or SBB app for Switzerland. Start from there.

DB should show the correct prices but I wouldn't trust it 100%. B-Europe even less.

Generally other countries' websites can sell flexible tickets but not always the saver options.

Don't count your daughter in the calculations. She will have the Junior card (30 CHF) and/or the Eurail free chidren pass.

Titlis is up to you. Basically do you want to see snow in July?


I am going in April. You wouldn't trust the ticket from b-europe? I used them for my Paris to Antwerp on the Eurostar roundtrip in December. I believe they were significantly cheaper than Eurostar direct.


One of the purposes for Titlis is the trubsee snowpark for my daughter, she definitely would want it. We don't get snow in California so for sure. My comment on it was more do I use one of my railpass days for Titlis. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Yes sure I would definitely trust B-Europe in Belgium, but not in Switzerland. (Still weird that they were cheaper than Eurostar though, it should be exactly the same price.)

Lucerne - Engelberg is 36.40 CHF full-fare return. Your child will travel for free with the Junior card and/or Eurail child pass.

With Eurail you get 25% discount on the cable car → no need to use a pass day but you’ll likely use one to get to Engelberg in the first place.

If you don’t use a pass day for Titlis it might not even make sense to buy a Eurail pass altogether. The Swiss half-fare card (+ free card for the child) could be a better deal idk.

Frankfurt - Heidelberg - Zurich : I see tickets from 38€ (incl. x hours stopover in Heidelberg) on 15th April. Free for the child. Eurail would give you more flexibility.

Paris - Frankfurt (on 14th April) : 09:05 TGV for 118€ (2nd class)/131€ (1st) through DB. A bit more expensive through SNCF (each company has a quota of seats which they sell at different prices). Prices for both of you.

In the end you might also prefer the most convenient option (Eurail), even if it’s not the cheapest.