In February I found myself in Zurich.
You know, the go-to destination for cheap travel.
One of the advantages of remote work is that I don’t need to take time off to enjoy another part of the world. I can work somewhere and just take in the local culture, food and experience the change of scenery. I can pick a cheap flight at an unpopular hour and have a regular workday without skipping a beat.
My Fiancee was in Costa Rica at this time, so I decided to visit my friends in Switzerland. Not that I needed an excuse – Switzerland is a gorgeous country that has the things I love the most: mountains, forests, lakes, and waterfalls.
But since we spent last winter in Thailand and India, my main focus was to get a chance to practice my amazing snowboarding skills.
By amazing I mean perfectly average.
During the weekend I would ski, and on the workdays, I would roam around the city, have a nice walk and work from their home, maybe a coffee shop. Or a fondue parlor, since what you really need on your keyboard is not crumbs nor spilled coffee, but melted cheese.
OH MY GOD, THERE IS SO MUCH CHEESE HERE.Me.
Ok, enough about cheese.
There are plenty of ski areas nearby, so we decided on the closest one.
Flumserberg is the easiest one to get to. The train from Zurich HB takes 1 hour to get there, and the lift starts 20 meters from the train station.
Swiss locals come into the train wearing their ski boots and with the gear on. It is perfect for a 1-day or a weekend trip.
It is also gorgeous. The city of Unterterzen is by the lake, surrounded by almost vertical walls of Fjord-like peaks
We came here with a 7am train, arriving at 8am and returned on Sunday at 5pm and were at Zurich HB at 6PM.
Swiss rail runs a special promo that gives you:
- 10% reduction on the 1-, 2- or 6-day ski pass for the entire Flumserberg region.
- Free baggage transport for the outward and return journeys worth CHF 12 each.
- 15% reduction at Intersport Rent.
You cannot purchase it online though. You have to use a machine at the station.
Here are the details
I paid 156,80 for a 2-day ski pass and transport to Flumserberg and back.
Once you arrive in Flums, you have to exchange the coupon from SBB into the actual ski pass at the counter.
Theoretically, on these 2-day tickets, we could have gone back to our place in Zurich on Saturday evening and return Sunday morning. But since Switzerland is such a cheap country, we decided to live like kings and splurge on accommodation.
Which means that we got the cheapest option available on Booking and we stayed overnight.
And what a fantastic decision it was! We got to sleep in a 120-year old wooden hotel.
Don’t get me wrong, restrooms were not in the room, and it was very cramped, but we passed out almost immediately anyway.
We got sheets, towels and a big breakfast with fantastic views. We were happy.
We paid 149 CHF (including beers) for 2 people in a 4-person room. I would be very surprised if in 4 people would indeed fit there comfortably.
But it was 74 CHF after splitting between 2 people.
I had my Snowboard boots with me, but I had to rent the Snowboard and a helmet.
The passes from SBB should have given us a 15% discount on Intersport rental. But because of a misunderstanding with our friends, we rented in a place just by the gondola.
I paid 101 CHF for a helmet and a snowboard for 2 days.
My friend paid 65 for skis + boots etc., for 1 day.
I have Star Alliance Gold status, which entitles me to a piece of free luggage on all star alliance flights except „light” tariffs on Lufthansa and Swiss. But I found a cheap ticket on LOT (PL national airline, Star Alliance), also in the „light” pricing.
But because of my Star Alliance status – I got luggage for my snowboard shoes and drone for free.
Zurich is a peculiar place. It is a place of employment many expats, and they want to fly home for the weekend. Which means that if you come here FOR the weekend, you pay less.
I arrived Saturday morning and flew back Sunday. I paid about 55 CHF for all of that.
If you want to read some tips on how to get to Star Alliance Gold cheaper and faster – do sign up! ?
So there you have it. I paid 331 CHF for the whole trip. If you want to include the flight to Zurich, that is an additional 55 CHF. So for 380 CHF, you can enjoy a weekend of skiing in Swiss Alps.
But then again, if you want it to be cheaper, then you probably should not choose Switzerland. ?
And here is Michał who organized all of this. Thanks Michał!