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information about Switzerland

  • 3 September 2022
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Hi everyone! I’d love to get a pass for Switzerland but I need more useful info like type of trains or reservations. Also, are the passes valid for the Bernina and the Glacier Express? If not, how does that work?
thanks to anyone who can help!

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Best answer by Angelo 3 September 2022, 21:44

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Userlevel 7
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Hi, almost all trains in Switzerland have no reservations or only optional reservations. 

Glacier Express needs a reservation, Bernina express needs a reservation exept on the first coaches at the top of the train (non panorama cars). 

On this lines you can use the frequent local trains to do the same route (have to change some times), but no reservation possible and less crowded with tourists.

Thanks Angelo! So, the Eurail pass is valid for the Bernina and Glacier too, correct? In this case, do you know where I can make those reservations? Also, what kind of pass do you recommend? Just for Switzerland…

Userlevel 7
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If you only want to travel in Switzerland, the best pass is the Swiss Travel Pass which is sold by the Swiss Railway and not by Eurail. There is no Eurail one country pass for Switzerland. 

 

Here you can read about the panoramic trains in Switzerland.

 

https://www.swissactivities.com/en-ch/panoramic-trains-in-switzerland/

 

If you only want to travel in Switzerland, the best pass is the Swiss Travel Pass which is sold by the Swiss Railway and not by Eurail. There is no Eurail one country pass for Switzerland. 

 

Here you can read about the panoramic trains in Switzerland.

 

https://www.swissactivities.com/en-ch/panoramic-trains-in-switzerland/

 

I see..I saw that option but it seemed pricey..perhaps separate tickets might be cheaper..and thanks for the link, by the way!

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If I see it correct you are from Italy? Then you need an Interrail Pass. It is the same like Eurail, but for people living in Europe it has an other name and like for Switzerland also a One Country option.

Reservations you can get easy via the website of Bernina Express and Glacier Express. 

If you travel only in Switzerland it depends. Thereis the Interrail One Country Pass Switzerland valid ONLY in Switzerland (and some border stations outside like Tirano or Domodossola) and valid only on most trains in Switzerland and 1 ship and you get discounts on many attractions in Switzerland like Jungfraujoch.

There is also the Swiss Travel System Pass, wich is valid on all public transportation like trains, bus, postbus and some cable cars. 

If you need also the pass to get from/to your home to Switzerland you can use an Interrail Global Pass valid in 33 countries and only on 2 days in your homecountry.

If I see it correct you are from Italy? Then you need an Interrail Pass. It is the same like Eurail, but for people living in Europe it has an other name.

Reservations you can get easy via the website of Bernina Express and Glacier Express. 

If you travel only in Switzerland it depends. Thereis the Interrail One Country Pass Switzerland valid ONLY in Switzerland (and some border stations outside like Tirano or Domodossola) and valid only on most trains in Switzerland and 1 ship and you get discounts on many attractions in Switzerland like Jungfraujoch.

There is also the Swiss Travel System Pass, wich is valid on all public transportation like trains, bus, postbus and some cable cars. 

If you need also the pass to get from/to your home to Switzerland you can use an Interrail Global Pass valid in 33 countries and only on 2 days in your homecountry.

Yes, I’m in Italy but I wanted to drive to the border and then explore Switzerland by train. Although it seems expensive so single tickets might be a better option..

When do you want to go? Soon or later? Actually, there's an interesting offer. But it's only valid until 09/25.   

When do you want to go? Soon or later? Actually, there's an interesting offer. But it's only valid until 09/25.   

I’d love to do in winter..which offer are you referring to?

Userlevel 7
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Yes, I’m in Italy but I wanted to drive to the border and then explore Switzerland by train. Although it seems expensive so single tickets might be a better option..

You need to calculate on this. If you plan in advance the single tickets might be cheaper but then you don't have the flexibility that a pass gives you. The cheapest tickets are valid just for a single train. 

When do you want to go? Soon or later? Actually, there's an interesting offer. But it's only valid until 09/25.   

I’d love to do in winter..which offer are you referring to?

At the moment you get a one month continous pass for Switzerland for 340 CHF. But the last day to start is 09/25.

When do you want to go? Soon or later? Actually, there's an interesting offer. But it's only valid until 09/25.   

I’d love to do in winter..which offer are you referring to?

At the moment you get a one month continous pass for Switzerland for 340 CHF. But the last day to start is 09/25.

I see, so if I decide to get a pass, I should just do the one offered by Swiss rail. Or get separate ones. Thanks for the help,

Yes, I’m in Italy but I wanted to drive to the border and then explore Switzerland by train. Although it seems expensive so single tickets might be a better option..

You need to calculate on this. If you plan in advance the single tickets might be cheaper but then you don't have the flexibility that a pass gives you. The cheapest tickets are valid just for a single train. 

I see what you mean..I think the non-Eurail option might work best for me..

Userlevel 7
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Side note: Swiss normal single tickets are among the highest price (for the distance) in all of EUR-together with NOrway. You can easily find the price for normal tickets on the travelplanner-but DO note that first they give you half price only-as most Swiss who use the trains have such a card.

There is also a discount dayticket, same validity as that Swiss Pass-but you have to order long advance. In case you only want a few days, this might be slightly cheaper.

Also note that all the special steep lines that go up mountains-and not to villages where people live, are always extra to pay, maybe with discount, but their prices remain very steep.

Many hotels give you a free pass for local transport-but thats only for the city or just around.

Side note: Swiss normal single tickets are among the highest price (for the distance) in all of EUR-together with NOrway. You can easily find the price for normal tickets on the travelplanner-but DO note that first they give you half price only-as most Swiss who use the trains have such a card.

There is also a discount dayticket, same validity as that Swiss Pass-but you have to order long advance. In case you only want a few days, this might be slightly cheaper.

Also note that all the special steep lines that go up mountains-and not to villages where people live, are always extra to pay, maybe with discount, but their prices remain very steep.

Many hotels give you a free pass for local transport-but thats only for the city or just around.

Ok, so the Swiss Pass from the Swiss rail system might be an option, especially since it includes the Bernina and Glacier..

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Just to get an idea of the ticket prices I checked the price for the Glacierexpress, not the PanoramaExpress but the normal trains on the route and the normal price from Chur to Zermatt is 119 CHF. 

 

Ok, so the Swiss Pass from the Swiss rail system might be an option, especially since it includes the Bernina and Glacier..

These are also included with InterRail. Just for these, it doesn't make any difference.

Userlevel 7
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There is no differences regarding the Bernina Express and the Glacierexpress between an Interrail pass and a Swiss Travel pass. If you want to travel in the panoramic coaches, then you need a reservation otherwise you don't need a reservation. 

There is no differences regarding the Bernina Express and the Glacierexpress between an Interrail pass and a Swiss Travel pass. If you want to travel in the panoramic coaches, then you need a reservation otherwise you don't need a reservation. 

I see, so for the panoramic trains it doesn't really matter what type of ticket I get. The passes are more for the local lines..I wanted to thank you for your help and time 🙏

Ok, so the Swiss Pass from the Swiss rail system might be an option, especially since it includes the Bernina and Glacier..

These are also included with InterRail. Just for these, it doesn't make any difference.

I get it now..so for these two trains, I might as well get the tickets. If I want to take other non-panoramic routes then I can consider the pass. Thanks! 

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No, you don't get it. In Switzerland the ticket and the seat reservations are separate. If you buy a ticket you don't automatically get a seat reservation.

For the Bernina Express from Chur to Tirano on the 14/9 the ticket is 63 CHF and the seat reservation is 26 CHF. Without a pass the route costs 89 CHF. With a pass, if you travel in the panoramic coaches with a seat reservation it costs 26 CHF. With a pass you can also travel in the reservation free coaches in the same train and then you pay nothing extra with the pass.

For the Glacier Express (Chur - Zermatt via Andenmatt) there is the Panorama Express (PE). The ticket is 119 CHF and the seat reservation is 49 CHF. Without a pass the route costs 168 CHF. With a pass the cost is 49 CHF.

There are no reservation free coaches in the PE but there are regional trains on the same route where you pay nothing extra with the pass.

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