How to travel inside Switzerland cheaply
How to travel inside Switzerland cheaply Reviews
How to travel inside Switzerland cheaply Jun 20, 2012
if you are not coming from scandinavia and travelling inside switzerland - you would find that everything is double, tripled or even quadrupled in prices.
transportation in switzerland is VERY expensive and going from city to city could cost a fortune, same as taking cable cars and mountain trains for skiing in winter and hiking in high altitude in summer. prices of hostels are also very expensive and even eating. i thought i could never travel switzerland again but i had found some new and old tricks.
but first, i want to tell you all that i am not a city person, i used the opportunity of travelling switzerland cheaply to go into the alps which are the most expensive part of europe in general, so this guide would literally help travelers who are more into budget traveling, nature, hiking and THE NOT SO PICKY.
NOTE: about the mountain trains - mountain trains are different from the normal trains that goes from cities to cities - they have different rates.
examples of mountain trains are:
the jungfraujoch bahn, the gornergrat bahn, the kleine scheidegg bahn, the pilatus bahn, the schynige platte bahn, the brienzer rothorn bahn and the the rigi bahn.
TIP NO 1 - travelling switzerland for a maximum of 3-4 days and only staying in max. 2 places.
*if you have a swiss friend or someone you know who is living in switzerland ask them to buy you a TAGESKARTE GEMEINDE GA. the tageskarte gemeinde allows you to travel for a day around switzerland using all modes of transportation - trains, bus, ships and mountain trains and 50% discount on cable cars in high altitude for only 40 chf (my friend bought mine while it was only 36 chf) - second class.
but there is a catch - only the people residing in switzerland can buy this ticket because they have to be registered INSIDE the gemeinde (gemeinde zürich, luzern, interlaken, bern, basel etc) it can only be ordered on the gemeinde website by telephone and will be delivered after a week or so and a maximum of 2 months reservation because the contingent of the tageskarte gemeinde is very limited.
in every population of the gemeinde there are corresponding contingents to be given per day:
smaller than 2,000: 2 tickets
2,000 – 9,999: 5 tickets
10,000 – 49,999: 10 tickets
50,000 – 99,999: 25 tickets
over 100,000: 50 tickets
the tickets are of no return no exchange policy.
so what are the benefits of the tageskarte gemeinde?
i used the ticket to travel from zürich to interlaken and took the jungfraubahn (the highest raiwaly station in europe) and the männlichen cable car which normally would cost all in all: 315 chf but i only paid 146 chf (+ tageskarte gemeinde) for the entire activity.
i also used it (coz i had two) to travel from interlaken to zermatt, use the gornergrat train and return to zürich in one day which normall would cost all in all: 272 chf but i only paid 76 chf (+ tageskarte gemeinde).
TIP NO 2 - travelling switzerland on a longterm basis.
my friend from the states who came with me bought the swiss pass (note: swiss pass is different from the eurorail pass) for 3 weeks for around 500$ second class but you can have it for 4, 8, 15 days and even for a month.
the swiss pass will enable you unlimited travel inside switzerland with the trains/ships/buses even the mountain trains but not all - the jungfraubahn will only give 25% discount for the swiss pass (tageskarte gemeinde gives 50%) but the gornergrat bahn gives 50% discount.
the pass is perfect if you are not only staying in 1-2 places or in the mountains but also travelling from city to city like zürich-geneva-bern-basel-st. moritz. you can save a lot of money even buying the 4 day pass but you must buy months in advance because your tickets will be delivered by mail to you.
as what my friend tracy said - apply and order for the swiss pass very much ahead like literally MONTHS before the trip so you can get a good and cheaper deal.
NOTE: the SWISS PASS is DIFFERENT from the eurorail pass and whether you have the tageskarte gemeinde or the swiss pass present it first to the ticket counters so that you would know how much discount you would have and the ticket seller would give you ONLY the ticket with the discount and present all of them together to the ticket controller inside the train/bus/ship/mountain train/cable car.
TIP NO 3 - ACCOMODATION
if youre not picky like me, camping offers the best and cheapest accomodation in switzerland. they have the best and cleanest camping sites in europe. i paid only 12 chf for a night in a camping place in interlaken compared to 40 chf for a room in a hostel. all you need is a tent and a sleeping bag. some camping places - like mine gives a free transportation card. the card provided me free transportation of the bus system inside the gemeinde of interlaken.
TIP NO 4 - EATING
it doenst make any sense while camping and hiking and then going out partying and eating in expensive restos right? i mean even fastfood in switzerland is expensive - the cheapest way is to buy meals from the grocery or cook it yourself - there are also brands in the groceries for different things - lookout for the brand ACTION because it is the cheapest of all the brands they sell in the supermarkets. believe me - it will save you money more than you could ever think of.
all of these tips are not 100% guaranteed since we all have different lifestyles - but if youre similar to me, i promise you the tips would work for you to be able to travel switzerland cheaply.
if you have any more questions - fire! lol
Part of the an unforgetable journey across the EUROPEAN ALPS travel blog
Part of the list a guide to the EUROPEAN ALPS.
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