Replies: 2 - Last Post: Oct 22, 2012 9:01 AM Last Post By: neckervd
Oct 22, 2012 4:44 AM
travel passesI am planning a trip in May 2013. I have already selected my hotel in Bern.
My anxiety is getting the best deal as far as travelling around the Bernese Oberland is concerned as well as travelling from the U. K. to Bern.
I am travelling alone
I am tempted to perhaps travel first class from Paris to Bern but otherwise am intending to travel 2nd class unless advised otherwise.
All of the possible passes have got my head spinning as to which is best.
Oct 22, 2012 6:00 AM
1I am not sure of your questions, but I think you're asking if a) you should get a train pass and which one and b) which class should you book? I take it you are planning on taking the train the entire way.
For London-Paris, obviously a pass won't work and you'll have to book directly with Eurostar. For Paris-Bern (you can also search Paris-Basel), it would be cheapest to be an advance ticket from SNCF: http://www.tgv-europe.com/en. I would count on sale fares being available about 3 months in advance. If you can get a cheap 1st class ticket, great; otherwise, 2nd class is perfectly fine - in my experience, 2nd class on French high-speed trains is more spacious than 2nd on UK trains. In any case, there's no need for a Eurail or Interrail pass for this portion.
The Swiss Rail Pass options are more complicated because there are many instances in which the passes offered by SBB (Swiss Rail company) end up being cheaper. There's probably no sure way to know if this is the case without adding up your fares and comparing the total to the travelcard price: http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html
A quick rule of thumb to start with is that the travelcards in Switzerland tend to pay off if you're staying for a long time or are taking transport up high mountains. Half-fare cards are the option more likely useful to the tourist. For point-to-point between towns, I would just buy individual tickets.
Oct 22, 2012 9:01 AM
2Round trip fares London city airport - Bern airport start at 150 GBP
Easyjet round trip fares Gatwick - Basle start at 80 GBP
A standard fare bus/train ticket from Basle aiport to Berne costs 85 CHF/60 GBP
It's impossible to find the best Swiss train pass as long as we don't know your itineraries.
Make first your program and compare then the Standard fares (http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html, http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/travel-information/tickets-fares/interlaken-ost/) with the amounts you pay with the half fare card, the Bernese Overland Pass, the Swiss Pass and the Swiss Flexi Pass
(3 star Hotel)
From US$124.61 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$232.32 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$39.91 per night