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Eurorail vs Swiss Pass

  • 20 November 2023
  • 19 replies
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Hi All below is my iternary.Can you help me what pass will be suitable for me euro rail pass or Swiss pass.I am totally confused.I am traveling in the month feb 2024
 

 

Day 1-3: Paris

Day 4: Transfer to Interlaken from Paris (Evening lake thun)

Day 5 : Jungfraujoch 

day 6: Transfer to Lucerne(visit tiltis)

day 7 : Transfer to zurich 

Day 8 -12 :Transfer to Greece and explore Athens and Santorini 

 

 

             

 

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Best answer by thibcabe 20 November 2023, 11:43

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The Eurail Pass won't be good value for your trip for sure. First : trains from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen and above are not included (25% discount though). And you do not have a lot of long-distance trains on your itinerary, apart from the TGV which would require a 29€ reservation with Eurail.

Buy an advance ticket for the TGV Lyria to Basel (sncf-connect.com). The earlier you buy the cheaper it will be. Weekends will be quite expensive, feel free to ask for advice mentioning travel date.

Then within Switzerland get the Swiss Half-fare card : 120 CHF for a month to get 50% discount on all public transportation. Already 100 CHF saved with Jungfraujoch !

Buy half-fare point-to-point tickets at any time through sbb.ch/SBB app or even at ticket machines or counters.

Be aware that Titlis is quite far from Lucerne (for Swiss standards) and that it closes early (before 5pm) so plan around that.

Don't buy tickets for Jungfraujoch or Titlis in advance : tickets cannot sell out and if the weather is bad you'll have lost hundreds of CHF. Have warm clothes and good shoes : I'd recommend going out of the main crowded building for a bit.

You probably won't ride trains in Greece.

Thanks for the help. I really appreciate it .Below are my travel dates.I am planning to stay in lucenre to  visit Mt.Titlis.Is that a good idea?? Do you recommened any changes in my itenary. How’s the weather like in swiss and greece during the month of Feb.

 

(Feb 8th- Feb 10th)

Day 1-3: Paris (Feb 8th- Feb 10th)

(Feb 11th- Feb 13th

Train:  TGV Lyria to Basel (sncf-connect.com). Is this from paris to swiss??

Day 4: Transfer to Interlaken from Paris (Evening Lake Thun)

Day 5: Jungfrau

(Feb 13th- Feb 14th)

Train: Swiss train with Half fare card

Day 6: Transfer to Lucerne (visit tiltis)

(Feb 14th- Feb 15th)

Train: Swiss train with Half fare card

Day 7: Transfer to Zurich

(Feb 15th- Feb 19th)

What is recommened train or flight ?

Day 8 -12: Transfer to Greece and explore Athens and Santorini

Any other pass do you recommend?
 

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February is firmly a winter month with limited daylight. In Switzerland expect snow in the mountains, maybe a few snowflakes in the lowlands and mostly overcast and cold weather. In Greece weather should be sunnier and warmer but in the off-season some restaurants will be closed. Good news : less tourists !

Yes Basel is the first Swiss city you'll encounter coming from Paris. This is where you'll change trains after the TGV high-speed train.

Buy a Paris - Basel ticket on sncf-connect.com (French state railways) : the 07:22 direct TGV costs 71€ and the 10:22 98€ (prices vary like air fares so tickets will become more expensive closer to travel date).

Afterwards buy a half-fare point-to-point ticket to Interlaken West/Ost (valid all day on any train) : CHF. There are cheaper saver tickets but they're tied to a specific train. Use sbb.ch and/or SBB app.

Lucerne is a good base for Titlis. Simply take into account travel times.

You'll have to fly to Greece : trains could take you to Sofia (Bulgaria) in 3 days and then you'd have to take a bus across the border. No time for that. Check aegean-airlines.com : a Zurich - Athens - Santorini ticket is cheaper than Zurich - Athens. Airline fares are weird ! Hold luggage always costs extra nowadays.

If Greece is not a must maybe consider northern Italy like Venice and Florence. That way you don't have to fly within Europe.

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It’s possible to get to Greece without flying. The route would be Switzerland to Milan and then another train down to Bari on the Adriatic coast.  Then an overnight ferry to Greece, followed by bus + train on the other side to reach Athens.

It’s explained here (start from Day 2, because this page describes it from London). But unless you want an adventure, I would probably take the flight instead!

https://www.seat61.com/Greece.htm#london-to-athens-by-train-and-ferry-via-bari

Thankyou for all the information.It helps to plan my itenary better

Do you recommed travelling to swiss in month of the Feb.??

I see you have mentioned overcast weather Is it going to very bad to view Jungfrau and mt.tiltis??
 

I would like to visit Santorini.Fly option would be better as per the community recommendation.This can be still a go-to-option.If this is an off season????

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Honestly weather in the Alps is always unpredictable. Looking at last February it was mostly sunny but without snow in Interlaken or Grindelwald. Of course it could be totally different in 2024. Nobody can predict that ! In high pressure situations the lowlands are often covered in fog but there’s sun above in the mountains at the same time.

Yes I had a look at available flights : you can do Zurich - Athens - Santorini for 115€ (+ luggage).

Gotcha.Do you recommend any stay in Interlaken,Lucerne & Zurich.

 

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Places to stay within those cities you mean ? Nothing to recommend sorry : I live in Switzerland so I only made day trips to those places. Have a look at what Booking offers, hopefully you find something not too expensive.

Thanks for all the information.This help me a ton.

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Gotcha.Do you recommend any stay in Interlaken,Lucerne & Zurich.

One thing worth flagging is that Interlaken itself isn't much of a destination. It’s somewhere to change trains to access the mountains, but I wouldn’t plan to spend time visiting the town.

So by all means stay there if it works for your schedule, but I would think you might prefer to stay either higher up in the mountains, or based in a city instead.

Yeah,Below are the places I would like to visit in Interlaken.Which place would be closer to stay.If you can help me the nearrest location I can look for accomadation
 

Day 4: Transfer to Interlaken from Paris (Evening Lake Thun)

Day 5: Jungfrau

Nearest location ????

Places: Lake Thun & Jungfrau

(Feb 13th- Feb 14th)

Day 6: Transfer to Lucerne 

Nearest location ????
Place: MT.Tiltis

(Feb 14th- Feb 15th)

Nearest location ????

Day 7: Transfer to Zurich
Places :Rhine & Lindt chocolate

 

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                   To travel from paris to Interlaken. I need to travel in TGV train.How do I purchase ticket?? .I  am travelling in feb.Can you help me with the websites.I have purchased a half fare.How can I use it during my travel

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Community

                   To travel from paris to Interlaken. I need to travel in TGV train.How do I purchase ticket?? .I  am travelling in feb.Can you help me with the websites.

Are you travelling with a Eurail pass, or just buying a ticket.

A good way to look up prices for both is on raileurope.co.uk. You can add the rail pass discount into the search box.

If using a pass, you need a reservation on the train to Basel, €29.

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For regular tickets : sncf-connect.com as far as Basel. Prices vary by a lot depending on time and date, when are you travelling exactly ?

Then on sbb.ch or SBB app a half-fare ticket for Basel - Interlaken, either :

- point-to-point one-way ticket valid all day on any train

- saver ticket tied to a train (if the French train is late you should be able to take the next train)

I don't  have euro  rail pass.I need to purchase a ticket.I have purchased half fare card.I am traveling  on 10th Feb

Where  do I board  the train to Interlaken?? Should I purchase the ticket in advance 

To commute in Paris  to visit historic places  what is the best  option??

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The half-fare card will be valid from Basel.

Yes you should buy French high-speed train tickets in advance as the price increases closer to travel date and trains might sell out.

Saturdays are the most expensive day. The cheapest fares are long gone.

I'll look at what I can find. Do you value the least expensive route or the fastest route ?

Option 1 (fastest but most expensive) :

- TGV Paris Gare de Lyon - Basel SBB 07:22 - 10:26 or 10:22 - 13:26 119€

Option 2 :

- Ouigo Train Classique Paris-Austerlitz - Dijon 07:40 - 10:42

- TGV Dijon - Mulhouse 11:05 - 12:22 59€

- TER Mulhouse - Basel SBB 12:46 - 13:08 9€

Option 3 :

- TER Paris-Est - Mulhouse 07:36 - 12:56 63€

- TER Mulhouse - Basel SBB 13:19 - 13:50 3€

Option 4 (best option?) :

- TGV Paris-Est - Strasbourg 07:16 - 09:02 82€

- TER Strasbourg - Basel SBB 09:51 - 11:08 10€

Have a look at sncf-connect.com (Paris - Basel) yourself and do not wait to buy tickets.

Basel SBB - Interlaken Ost costs 32 CHF one-way half-fare, point-to-point ticker valid all day on any train. Use SBB app for purchases and schedules (train every 30 min).

Thanks  a lot for the information.Let me check on these options.

I have booked the tickets until  Basel SBB 

when I book from  Basel SBB to Interlakenost  the price is CHF 21.40 even If I use the half fare card.

Do I book the tickets in advance from  Basel SBB  to Interlaken??

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This is a saver ticket (tied to a train).

If your French train is late you should be able to take the next train by speaking to staff on the platform, get a proof of the first delay too. Let me find a source... there's the AJC (Agreement on Journey Continuation) for example : https://www.seat61.com/european-train-travel.htm#if-things-go-wrong

If you allow 30 min in Basel there will rarely be an issue.

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