If you’re a frequent SBB traveler and hold a full-on GA card, then this is not the best deal in Switzerland for you. However, if you’re like us, and you travel mostly by car and only occasionally by train, then you should look into the Tageskarte Gemeinde.
The Tageskarte Gemeinde is a GA-Flexi pass that allows you one full day of unrestricted travel on the entire SBB network as well as several local networks for one low price. The actual price varies from district to district, but throughout the Rhine Valley, the train pass costs just CHF 35.
Each Gemeinde makes a set number of train passes available per calendar day, and many provide an online reservation system, so you can see if passes are available for your desired date. Say there are no more passes available on the date you would like to travel: check with a neighbouring Gemeinde to see if they have passes available.
I have picked up passes for friends who live outside of my Gemeinde, and they have picked up passes for me. I even picked up some for Mom and Jim to use on their solo trip from Au to Luzern. The passes are non-personal, so ticket controllers only check that your pass indicates the appropriate date. No need to show identification. Easy train travel with no questions asked.
Let’s talk numbers, shall we? The figures I will share below are per person, one way, 2nd class, full price.
Here’s how much point-to-point tickets from Au to Lugano with a stop at the Morteratsch Glacier would have cost:
Au to Morteratsch: CHF 61
Morteratsch to Lugano: CHF 76
Total: CHF 13
What we paid: CHF 35
Savings: CHF 102! (CHF 33.50 for half-fare cardholders)
Here’s how much a trip on the Bernina Bus, Bernina Express and back to Au would have cost:
Lugano to Tirano to Davos Platz: CHF 69
Seat reservations: CHF 24
Davos Platz to Au: CHF 39
Total: CHF 132
What we paid: CHF 59 (including one seat reservation for the bus and one seat reservation for the train)
Savings: CHF 73 CHF (CHF 19 for half-fare cardholders)
The best part about the day pass is FREEDOM. You can hop on and off as you wish and even change your destination mid-way through the trip! Have you traveled with such a day pass? Where did you go? How much money did you save? (Do tell!)
Note: Just in case you think this text reads like an advertisement, please know that this is not a sponsored post. I am only sharing this information because I’d like to spread the word about how to save some cash in Switzerland. I wish I would have known about this deal when I first arrived in CH…