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I'll visit Switzerland in November.

  • Day1 : I arrive at Geneva Airport and go to Leukerbad. Stay 1 night.
  • Day2 : I go up to Basel. I'll stay there 3 nights.

Once I go to Basel, I may just hang around. I don't think I will go to other far places like Zurich.

  1. In this case, what would be the best choice of purchasing tickets for transportation? I think "Swiss Travel Pass 3 days" is more expensive than just purchasing train tickets (Geneva - Leukerbad, Leukerbad - Basel). Am I right?

  2. Where can I purchase those tickets? I've searched some websites. However I don't know if they're trustworthy. And I'd like to know if there's any unofficial, but trustworthy and cheaper website. Purchasing tickets online is better than offline, right?

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I will answer your second question, as it will be quite easy to find out the answer on your first question on your own.

Let me start by mentioning that there's another sort of ticket called Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi which is a return ticket from a border crossing or an airport to any place in Switzerland and then back to the airport. It will also allow you to buy all other tickets at half the price in between. I don't think this will be good for you though, as you don't seem to travel back to Geneva Airport.

Now for your second question. As far as I know, there isn't really point in buying tickets anywhere than from the railways themselves. The prices are fixed and don't depend on when you buy them. On the plus side this means that you can buy the ticket at the counter or the ticketing machine and it will be the same price as if you bought them online.

There still is some options to get cheaper tickets. There are so called supersaver tickets. These tickets are sold for a specific train connection (other tickets are valid for any train the same day) and are limited in numbers. Usually they are only available for non-peak hours and on specific routes. They are released one month in advance, and can run out quite fast.

Another (a bit obscure option) for your second leg to Basel is to buy a ticket from the German railways to take advantage of their very cheap international saver offers. They have offers, where it's possible to get a ticket for 39 Euros from anywhere in Switzerland to anywhere in Germany (and vice-versa). So instead of booking a ticket to Basel, you pick a city the other side of the border (try Freiburg, Stuttgart or Frankfurt) and make sure that the connection goes through Basel where you will get off the train and not take the connection to Germany. This is often substantially cheaper. Note however, that the sales of this ticket starts 3 months in advance and can sell out quite fast as well.

Of course this second option doesn't work for your first leg, as Geneva-Leukerbad is nowhere close Germany. Also note that as @Relaxed mentioned, it is currently not possible to buy tickets after the 12th of December, as this is the date of the change of timetable and the new time table hasn't been announced yet.

  • Of course many people sell railway tickets. Travel agencies at home and abroad can do it, some new players like loco2 and Capitaine Train also do it. – Relaxed Oct 14 '15 at 7:23
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    @traindriver I think I tried that before and it didn't work, but I'm not quite sure, it'd definitely be worth a try. Generally it doesn't seem to work for stations to close to the border. – drat Oct 14 '15 at 7:34
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    One last thing that might be useful to add: Connections after mid-December aren't available yet, due to the yearly schedule change. – Relaxed Oct 14 '15 at 7:34
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    @drat Thanks a million! It's my first time using Travel Stack Exchange and I'm so impressed by your answer. I've learned a lot from your answer. After reading your answer, anyway I did some search prices on sbb.sh. First I thought I'd purchase a train ticket from Geneva Airport to Leukerbad and purchase 3days Swiss Travel Pass for moving from Leukerbad to Basel. However supersaving ticket for Geneva-Leukerbad isn't that cheap so I've just made a decision to purchase 4 days Swiss Travel Pass. It's my total first time being in Europe, so there's so many things unfamiliar. Thank you very much. – eunjae.lee Oct 14 '15 at 15:18
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    Please note that (unless something has changed in three years), a Swiss Travel Pass also works as a Museum Pass on any day that it is valid. In Basel this would include an outstanding classical art museum that claims to be the first open to the general public, an experimental art museum, a printing press museum, etc. The pass always works on most city public transit, which lets you stay or eat dinner in France (much cheaper), as the border is maybe 50m from the end of a tram line. – Andrew Lazarus Oct 14 '15 at 17:14

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