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Zurich-Vienna: Train vs Fly Niki

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Zurich-Vienna: Train vs Fly Niki

On another thread I am trying to get my head around the confusing Swiss Transfer ticket as the only place we are really visiting is Zermatt.

We need to get from Zurich to Vienna and have the following options:

Fly Niki is actually a bit cheaper, 54 Euros plus 6 Euros from the airport to the Vienna Westbanhof so 60 Euros all in and we get there around 10:30pm. If we do this option after arriving in Zurich by train from Zermatt we would also have some time to kill in Zurich.

The other option has us leaving Zermatt by train around 9am and getting another train from Zurich to Vienna that gets to the Vienna Westbanhof also around 10:30pm and costs 89 Euros.

So the Fly Niki option is 29 Euros per person cheaper but the one thing I am worried about is the stability of these low cost carriers. With the current economy, a lot of them are shutting down and I know the Swiss trains aren't in jeopardy. I have seen that some international trains have cheaper tickets bookable in advance but I can't find this option on the Swiss Rail website. Is 89 Euros the cheapest price to Vienna?

I am also looking into the Swiss Transfer ticket to get from Geneva (arriving on Easy Jet from Amsterdam) to Zermatt and using the Swiss Transfer Ticket to go Geneva-Zermatt-Zurich/Austrian border.

I would appreciate any advice from Swiss experts! Thanks!

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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1. Re: Zurich-Vienna: Train vs Fly Niki

Hi Tikibird,

You've done some good homework already, getting all the schedules and fares!

You don't say when you're travelling, but the international discounts are usually available 90 days in advance, and they sell out quickly. So, if you're going in the summer, the discounts may not be up yet, or if you're going in April, they may be already sold out.

I just tried the fare from Zürich to Vienna for 25 April, and, yes, that 89E is what they're saying (Swiss rail at www.rail.ch). There is something called "Click 'n Rail" where fares between the two cities are as low as 48 chf or 74 chf. But these are non-refundable and are last-minute -- and I don't think you'd want to travel like that. But here's the site if you want to look at it:

www.sbb.ch/mct/wi/shop/b2c/adw.do…

One thing I do have to mention, though, is to check the luggage limits on Fly Niki **very** carefully. These discount airlines only allow very light weights for checked luggage, and passengers can face additional fees of around 100-200E for "excess" luggage.

Finally, as kileysmom told you on your other post, I personally would enjoy a train trip over a boring flight. Gah! All those hours in a bland, businesslike airport. Yuck! Instead, I would rather be enjoying a gourmet picnic of fresh, local produce, and some wine too.

Or -- if you want to go totally the other way and make it a real indulgence, spring for a private compartment and take a night train. It's a real romantic adventure!

Have fun!

s

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2. Re: Zurich-Vienna: Train vs Fly Niki

Hi Swandev,

Thanks for all that! Our trip is in Sept and I had to really struggle to find cheap accommodation. I wanted to go with Priceline but bid up to $90 in Vienna for 4* with no luck so decided just to go as cheap as possible and book backpacker hostels-but private rooms for both Zermatt and Vienna. I actually booked the last private double room in the Matterhorn Hostel in Zermatt and it's over 6 months from now!!

So for a Sept trip, we can't book trains until June? That's fine if everyone else is in the same boat, nothing would be booked up. I think I ran into some trade fairs or something and the hotels are overpriced.

I do prefer the train but I don't want to do the overnight one as we could only afford 2nd class and I worry about thieves on trains. Since we have to get from Zermatt to Zurich I think that afternoon train that gets in at 10:30pm is the only choice.

We will have only carry-on backpacks, so won't need to check anything. LOL, if they get testy about the weight of the backpack I have no compunctions about putting on 5 sets of clothing to get the backpack past the gate check!

I guess we won't know until June if we can get a cheaper train ticket?

I am wondering if we should get the Swisscard that also gives 50% off other trains?

Brisbane
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3. Re: Zurich-Vienna: Train vs Fly Niki

Oops, I forgot one more question. If I book the train on www.sbb.ch can I print the ticket as a pdf? I have no place in Europe for them to post a hard copy to and I don't think they post to Australia.

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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4. Re: Zurich-Vienna: Train vs Fly Niki

Hi again,

Yes, for a Sep trip, you should start looking at about June. I usually do a practice run a day or two early just to see what the fares are like.

Just for the schedules, though, go ahead and do the whole thing in one shot -- Zermatt to Vienna. For instance, there's one that leaves Zermatt at 09.39, changes in Visp and Zürich, and arrives in Vienna at 22.24. Or you could leave earlier, at 07.39, and arrive at 20.24 (though this connection has five changes). You can get all the details for all of your options at the Swiss rail site.

Again, check the Air Niki luggage rules CAREFULLY. They are even more restrictive about carry-ons. You may well be wearing everyting. Do check the rules and weights, pack your backpack, and weigh it.

Yes, when you buy through the Swiss rail site, you get the ticket as a pdf that you can print on your computer. It's very easy!

Have fun!

s

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5. Re: Zurich-Vienna: Train vs Fly Niki

Yes, it's that first one that leaves at 9am-ish I had my eye on. I may be using a Swiss transfer ticket for the Geneva-Zermatt-Zurich/Swiss border portion so I would only have to pay for the Swiss-Austrian border town to Vienna in that case isn't that right?

What's the name of the border town? I cant figure out from the map.

Or the other possibility is (if I have this right) is to get a Swiss card which gets me the same as a Swiss Transfer ticket plus 50% off the cable cars in Zermatt?

I really am leaning towards the train, I wouldn't have even looked at the Fly Niki if it wasn't so cheap and I was surprised to see a flight cheaper than a train. We would have daylight for most of the trip to see the scenery.

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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6. Re: Zurich-Vienna: Train vs Fly Niki

Hi again,

You can get the name of that border town easily. Just use the train scheduler to get your schedule. Once it comes up, look at the middle of the block with a blue picture of a train and some numbers underneath it, like "EC 163." Click on that number (which is the specific train), and you'll see the whole route with every stop. You should be able to tell which ones are in Swizerland and which are in Austria -- especially if you have a map!

Or, you can do it this way. Again at the rail site, get your connection. At the bottom of the block are a series of words in blue; click on "map," and you'll get a map of the route. You can enlarge it as much as you like to get to the town names.

You have to check the rule for the cable cars. I've only been to Zermatt once and was skiing that time so had a ski pass. Usually though The Swiss cards and passes do not cover mountain railways completely (mountain railways are privately owned) but give some discount. You'd have to check the ones you intend to use to see what the rules are.

Oooh yes, I do love the trains, especially if you don't get to use them much at home! To me, being on a train is (was) an integral part of being on vacation. I moved to Germany last fall, so now I get to use them quite a lot!!

Have fun!

s

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7. Re: Zurich-Vienna: Train vs Fly Niki

Buchs is the last Swiss station, Feldkirch is the first Austrian station. So if I have a Swiss Tranfer ticket, I pay only Buchs to Vienna?

If so, that part is only 70 Euros.

Very interesting, if I quote with a half price Swiss card, it comes to around 53 Euros rounded.

Well either way, it makes the train more competive with the flight plus the added bonus of trains being more fun.

I guess the next step is to compare the price of the Swiss Card with the Transfer Ticket and see if it is worth paying extra.

Brisbane
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8. Re: Zurich-Vienna: Train vs Fly Niki

I really wish I could edit my posts! This forum software is driving me nuts!

Anyway, in Australia a Swiss Card costs $245 AUD and a Swiss Transfer Ticket costs $171 AUD. Difference is $74 AUD roughly 38 Euros. I have already seen that it saves 17 Euros from the Buchs-Vienna ticket. I also see from this post tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g188098-i858-k5512…

it saves 50% off of mountain cable cars. According to this …zermatt.ch/e/preise/kleinmatterhorn.html it saves 43.50 CHF (29 Euros) off a RT Matterhorn cable car.

So it would seem that the Swiss Card is the way to go? The other thing I am thinking is if the AUD drops any further, at least I locked in the cost.

Am I doing this right?

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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9. Re: Zurich-Vienna: Train vs Fly Niki

Hi again,

I'm not a math person, so I'm the wrong one to ask. I do my calculations as best I can and usually get a Half Fare Card -- and then don't worry about it any more!

One thing, though. The Swiss use the Swiss Franc (chf), not the Euro, and it is a little less valuable than the Euro. When talking about Buchs to Vienna, yes, use the Euro. But when discussing the Transfer Ticket or Swiss Card, you need to do in in chf.

Good luck!

s

10. Re: Zurich-Vienna: Train vs Fly Niki

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