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We are from TX and have little experience with trains!

Fort Worth
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We are from TX and have little experience with trains!

Ok, I have read every post, done the math and still find myself uncertain of best way to travel during our first trip to Switzerland. We have rented a car in every country we have visited but really want to try our hand at train travel on Switzerlands famous trains.

We land Zurich mid-August, take train to Lucerne.. Next day depart to Lauterbrunnen. Spending 2 nts in valley and 2 nts in Wengen.. We plan to be flexible with weather and just explore the area so I cannot give you specific hikes but will move about great deal. We do plan to go up to Jungfrauoch and possibly Lake Thun. After 4 nts, back to Zurich. Planned on buying Swiss Pass until I read bout the Bernese Regional Pass. Now not sure.

Please advise and thank you as I know this question keeps coming up!

Anchorage, Alaska
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1. Re: We are from TX and have little experience with trains!

The only way to know what will work best is to sit down, write out your list of probables for each day and the add up the cost with the various options of passes, discount cards (the half fare card often works best) and see what works. If you like to be free to change your plans, etc., then just add up what you would like to do if all goes perfectly inc. weather and be prepared to take the financial hit is it doesn't.

Remember that the Swiss Rail website defaults to a half fare so you will need to untick that box on the fare pages.

The Swiss Rail website in English is

www.sbb.ch/en

Hope this helps.

Wimborne, United...
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2. Re: We are from TX and have little experience with trains!

As kileysmom says also consider the 1 month Half Fare Card at 110 HF. Gives a better deal to Jungfraujoch than the Swiss Pass.

Do you realise Lauterbrunnen and Wengen are only 14 minutes away from each other by train? Much better to stay in one location and save having to waste time moving.

Fort Worth
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3. Re: We are from TX and have little experience with trains!

We decided after reading guide books that we wanted the convenience of the valley and a different feel up the mountain. Don't mind the move but do you suggest another village?

Thank you

Fort Worth
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4. Re: We are from TX and have little experience with trains!

Thanks Kileysmom for thoughts. We have spent a good deal of time trying to decipher Swiss rail website. The month half price card is a better value for the jungfrauoch but does it give the 50% discounts on other mountain trains, etc. .

Have you used the Berner Oberland Rail Pass (hope I have that correct) for all travel once we get to BO?

Wimborne, United...
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5. Re: We are from TX and have little experience with trains!

If your happy with the move that's fine. No I would not suggest another village. We always stay in Wengen when visiting the area.

If you visit this webcam in Wengen you can see Lauterbrunnen at the bottom of the valley.

bellevue.roundshot.ch/

The Half Fare Card gives a 50% discount on most mountain transport throughout Switzerland. This synoptic map will show you the area of validity.

sbb.ch/content/sbb/en/desktop/abos-billette/…

Here is a link to the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland. Again you will need to cost out your journeys in the area to decide if it gives value, particularly if you have a HFC.

www.regiopass-berneroberland.ch/

Martigny...
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6. Re: We are from TX and have little experience with trains!

I think you need to weigh the tasks of moving house (as it were) against staying in one place all the time. And really, taking the train down or up from or to Wengen is like taking a bus (but maybe you aren't used to them either??)

Seriously. There is great advantage when travelling to have as few moves as possible. You can spend time sightseeing with the time you would spend moving from hotel to hotel.

And speaking of sightseeing. A place that should be on your MUST list is the open Air museum at Ballenberg, very close to Brienz. Easy to get to from Wengen and since you have so little time with us it will enable you to see architecture from all over the country and to experience a little bit of why this country is so special - 4 linguistic areas, many different styles of architecture, and all jsut beautiful!

www.ballenberg.ch

Fort Worth
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7. Re: We are from TX and have little experience with trains!

Thank you swissaholic, . If available, we may go ahead and cancel lauterbrunnen and move to wengen for all 4 days.

I guess I will dig into the Swiss rail site again and see what we can come up with. About ready to buy first class Swiss pass and be done with it!! Next trip, we will have better understanding. All said, we are so excited to visit beautiful Switzerlans!!

Edited: 21 July 2012, 01:44
Martigny...
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8. Re: We are from TX and have little experience with trains!

Rememeber that your Swiss pass includes free use of all city/town busses, trams etc, lake boats AND entrance to more than 400 museums. There is a list of the museums included on the SBB site. Don't pay any entrance fees until you show them your pass as even when admission is not included you might get a significant reduction.

Anchorage, Alaska
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9. Re: We are from TX and have little experience with trains!

Hi, as a transfer ticket (the only Swiss Rail product that must be purchased before you enter the country) isn't appropriate for your purposes, why not just wait until you arrive and then go to the Swiss Rail travel office at the airport. The staff will help you figure out the best product for your purposes!

Ketchum, Idaho
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10. Re: We are from TX and have little experience with trains!

Dear Texas Folks,

We hope you enjoy your trip to Switzerland. We travel there this September for our 22nd time! By now, you probably have your rail passes figured out. We always buy the Swiss Saver Pass, because we go other places than the Bernese Oberland. The Swiss Pass or Swiss Saver Pass gives one free passage on any type of transportation that goes to a recognized Swiss city or village, i.e. Wengen and Murren, even though cars can't drive there. Plus, the Pass is good on ferries on Lake Luzern, Thun, and Brienz, and Zurich. Few tips: our favorite hotel in Luzern in the Wilden Mann, favorite restaurant is Bodu. We have stayed in Grindelwald (Hotel Schweitzerhof), Murren (Eiger Hotel), and Wengen (Hotel Regina), but not Lauterbrunnen. The walk along the river from Lauterbrunnen, past waterfalls to the Stechelberg Hotel for rosti is lovely. One of the most scenic walks in the whole area is from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg (best lunch at the Grindelwaldblick--just at the end of the trail) , with the Eiger looming in front of you. Take the tram from Wengen to Mannlichen. We are not so fond of the trip to the Jungfrauhoch, because of the hour spent inside a tunnel, and LOTS of tourists. If you are strong hikers, the hike from Murren to the Rotstock Hutte is spectacular. Sweet, easy walk from Wengen to Chez Mary's for lunch. We think Lake Brienz is prettier than Lake Thun. Boat from Interlaken Ost to GeissbacSee to Brienz is knockout gorgeous. Have fun!!! SunValleyLady