Switzerland is a land where your Swiss Francs can easily go down the drain. And that’s starting with 1 CHF for toilets, even 5 CHF just to take a selfie at Lake Brienz / Iseltwald, one of the filming locations site of popular Korean drama Crash Landing on You. And I mean it when every cent is going to go away, because the food is just terrifyingly expensive, moreso, if you’re staying in Zurich.
And of course, that doesn’t count your attractions. Why, that’s all there is to do in Switzerland. Mountains, mountains and mountains… The Alps. Jungfraujoch, Matterhorn, Mount Titlis. Glacier Express. Planning can get really daunting.
But it doesn’t have to be expensive. Switzerland is much like Japan… where there are tons of travel passes to choose from. In this review, I am going to outline the popular travel passes available as of the time of writing.
Swiss Half Fare Card with option to add Family Travel Pass
Price of the Pass: CHF 117.73
The Swiss Half Fare Card is a discount card that offers a 50% reduction on the regular fare for most modes of transportation in Switzerland. It is valid for one month and can be used on trains, buses, boats, and some mountain transportations. The card is personalized with the traveler’s name and is non-transferable.
If you’re traveling as a family, you have the option to add a Family Travel Pass upon purchase of the Swiss Half Fare Card. The Family Travel Pass allows children aged 6 to 16 to travel for free when accompanied by at least one parent with a valid Swiss Half Fare Card. This pass provides cost savings for families and encourages travel with children within Switzerland.
3 Day Swiss Travel Pass
Price of the Pass: CHF 240.74
The 3 Day Swiss Travel Pass is a comprehensive pass that allows unlimited travel on the Swiss Travel System network for three consecutive days. It covers trains, buses, boats, and some mountain transportations. With this pass, you do not need to buy separate tickets for each journey within the validity period. Additionally, the pass includes free entry to many museums and discounted rates on certain mountain excursions.
Saver Day Pass
Price of the Pass: CHF 39
The Swiss Saver Day Pass is a special discounted ticket offered by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) for travel within Switzerland. It is designed for individuals or groups of two to five people traveling together. The pass allows unlimited travel on the Swiss Travel System network for a single day, offering flexibility and convenience for exploring various destinations.
The Swiss Saver Day Pass is available for purchase online and at train stations, and it offers significant savings compared to regular fares. The pricing of the pass varies depending on factors such as the travel date, availability, and demand. It is important to note that the pass is valid only for the specified date of travel and cannot be used on any other day.
With the Swiss Saver Day Pass, passengers have access to all modes of transportation covered by the Swiss Travel System network, including trains, buses, trams, and boats. This pass allows travelers to easily explore different regions of Switzerland, enjoy scenic journeys, and visit popular tourist attractions.
As you can see, it really depends on your length of stay in Switzerland. All of these options are definitely going to let you save money. So let’s look at what the savings are, compared to buying individual tickets. These are assuming you’ll be doing the following activities / attractions in Switzerland:
- Train from Tasch to Zermatt
- Jungfraujoch Top of Europe
- Glacier Express – Andermatt to Zermatt
- Engelberg to Mount Titlis including train and cable car rides
Cost Comparison of Swiss Travel Passes
|Attraction||Individual Tickets||Swiss Half Fare Card (Klook)||3 Day Swiss Travel Pass||Saver Day Pass with Half Fare Travel Card|
|Jungfraujoch Top of Europe||CHF 138||CHF 70||CHF 70||CHF 138|
|Round Trip Train Tasch – Zermatt||CHF 32.80||CHF 16.40||Included||CHF 16.40|
|Glacier Express 1-way
Andermatt to Zermatt 2nd Class
(doesn’t include seat reservation)
|CHF 73||CHF 36.50||CHF 73
|Engelberg to Mount Titlis||CHF 92||CHF 46||Included||CHF 92
|Price of the Pass||0||CHF 117.73||CHF 240.74||CHF 39|
|Total||CHF 335.80||CHF 286.63||CHF 382.74||CHF 358.40|
To make the most out of your travel pass, you will need to take as many transportation as you can during your stay. The cost comparison above is just a mere illustration, but from there, I can say that for the sample itinerary above, you can probably get the greatest savings with the Swiss Half Fare Card. The best thing about it is that it’s valid for 30 days, so you don’t have think about flexibility or whether you need the discounts on 3 consecutive days. It gives you a no-brainer especially if you’re riding the Glacier Express, which the other travel passes do not have.
When it comes to using the Saver Day Pass to reach Mount Titlis, it covers the train journey from your starting point to Engelberg, which is the base town for Mount Titlis. This means that the train ride to Engelberg is included in the pass, and you do not need to purchase a separate ticket for that leg of the journey.
However, it’s important to note that the Saver Day Pass does not provide discounts or free access to the cable car rides from Engelberg to Mount Titlis. The cable car fares for the ascent to Mount Titlis would need to be purchased separately, and the Saver Day Pass does not provide any specific benefits or discounts for those cable car fares.
Therefore, while the Saver Day Pass offers unlimited train travel within its validity period, it does not include discounted or free access to the cable cars for Mount Titlis. You would need to pay the regular cable car fares as applicable for the ascent to the mountain’s summit.
Of course, if you put Eurail Pass into the equation, that’s a different story altogether.
In my case, I traveled with a mix of children and adults during my trip to Switzerland, so the Family Travel Pass which was included in the Half Fare Card is for free. It all depends on who you are traveling with, how long you are staying and what activities you want to do in Switzerland.