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ULTIMATE SWISS TRAIN PASS GUIDE: How To Pick A Swiss Rail Pass Travel Switzerland On A Budget

For the most part, you can hop on nearly all Swiss trains with just your rail pass in hand. Designated scenic routes (those with names, such as the Glacier Express), and some international trains (such as to/from France and Italy or night trains through Germany) do require paid seat reservations, as indicated in online train schedules.

ULTIMATE SWISS TRAIN PASS GUIDE: How to Pick A Swiss Rail Pass | Travel Switzerland on a Budget


Note: As is true on any European rail pass, "covered" services, including museum admissions, require use of a counted travel day on a flexipass. Discounts generally do not (as is the case with the Global Pass), but the Swiss Travel Pass is an exception: Discounts on high-mountain lifts and trains are only available on the counted travel days of this pass.

The pass comes with a map of validity so you can easily see all the railways, buses, boats, cable cars, and urban areas where you can use your pass for free travel. The map also shows mountain lifts where you get a price reduction as well as the few lifts where no discount applies.

Big bonus for families: With the Swiss Travel Pass or Half-Fare travelcard, children up to the age of 15 travel free of charge! If the parent(s) take a Swiss Travel Pass or Half-Fare travelcard, you can then pick up a Swiss Family Card free of charge at the ticket office on arrival. With this pass, your children up to the age of 15 travel free of charge as long as they are accompanied by a parent with a valid pass or ticket!

Hi,I think it really depends what you would like to see ? cities/nature a mix?If it is your first time in Switzerland I would recommend you take a look at the panoramic train tour I suggested in the blog post. I suggested an 8-day route, but you could easily extend it to 12 by extending stays in places such as Zermatt or Interlaken where there is a lot to do!If you plan to move quite a lot I would go for the swiss travel pass. If your daughter is not 16 yet, she would travel for free if you take the pass and for your 18 year old daughter there is the Youth Swiss Travel Pass which is really a great deal!Wishing you a wonderful trip in Switzerland!

The Jungfraujoch is the highest train station on the continent. Started in 1896 and stretching 9 kilometers (5 miles), this mountain railway takes passengers up Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch where they can admire stunning views and an incredible amount of snow. A round-trip journey costs 210.80 CHF.

Eurail passes are valid on the entire Chocolate train route. Reservations are compulsory and can be made online through the Golden Pass website. Select Montreux as departure station and Broc-Chocolat as arrival station. Select the option 'Pass' (1st or 2nd class).

What is a travel day?A travel day lasts 24 hours from midnight to midnight. On each travel day you have access to the train networks where your Eurail pass is valid.7 p.m. ruleWhen traveling on a direct night train that departs after 7 p.m. (19:00) and arrives at its final stop after 4 a.m. (04:00), you only need to enter the arrival date in the travel calendar, even if you leave the train before 4 a.m. This way you get 5 hours of travel for free. This is known as the 7 p.m. rule.

Brilliant and a very useful article. I had a query: Do they match your name on the eurail pass with that on the passport everytime you board a train? My passport does not have my surname, so I have not applicable written on my eurail pass. Will that be a problem?

Hi, I am an exchange student living in the Netherlands, and I believe I should be eligible for the cheaper Interrail pass since I have a Dutch Residence Permit valid for the rest of the year.The thing is, two of my friends are coming to Europe to backpack with me for a month using Eurail passes. My question is, do Eurail and Interrail offer the exact same trains, in other words will our passes be compatible? Thank you for your time!

You will simply put the train, time, direction (cities), and any other required info in the schedule/table provided with the Eurail pass. This you will do with every train you hop on the same day or any given day. Once the train conductor gets your ticket, they will validate the entry with their timestamp.

Hello Norbert, Thank you very much for such a great detailed article. I do have one question, however. If it was answered in comments or in the article, I do apologize. We are traveling to Paris in about one month. Our plan is to cover 3-4 countries in about 11 days of stay. We are thinking of visiting Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Bern. I were to get pass for 5 days in 2 months. Question: Does the flexible pass allow a person to travel in local trains for free? (i.e Staying in Paris, use the pass to travel to Versailles. Stay in Bern, and travel to Interlaken? What would be your suggestion in such circumstances?Thank you in advance for your time.Bhavesh

Good Day! Hope all is well on you end. I have a question please. If i choose the 4 countries Eurail Pass. Then for each country i will stay 5 days each and i want to use my Eurail pass to visit some cities on the following days. Will the travel days be deducted on my pass?

I know London/Scotland not covered by Eurail, the Eurostar reservation cost is high, Italy trains are cheaper and Swiss rail are very expensive etc., I still find the Global pass with 10 trips are better option however need your view on this.

Some friends and I are travelling to Madrid, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris and/or Barcelona, and back to Madrid in 12 days this upcoming summer. I am still curious as to when we are travelling that day with a Eurail pass that I will not need to purchase anything (unless its a reservation train) that travel day? So I can basically find a train route and time hop on it and not have any problems? Thank you for your article! It really did help a lot.

If you do not need a reservation for that specific train, you just validate the travel day on your pass at the stamp machine at the station, and go straight to the train (sit wherever you like). If you need a reservation, then you must go to a ticket kiosk at the station or purchase it online if available. Then, just head to the appropriate reserved seat.

I am currently 27 and looking to purchase my Eurail Pass in the next couple days. But, I will be 28 by the time I get to Europe. Can I still get a youth pass or will they see my Date of Birth on my passport and wind up charging me full price on all of my train rides?

I am so frustrated. I bought a Global 1st class Eurail pass for Septemer 2023. We are traveling to multiple countries in the month of Aug 27-Sep 28th. I have the Eurail app and cannot get train schedules or anything to show up. Of course, Today is February 2, 2023 and we are not traveling by train until September 1st.

There are many important things to understand about the Swiss trains to better prepare yourself for your time there. From travel passes and discounts, to scenic trains and mountain railways, the Switzerland train network has a lot to take into consideration.

On top of train passes, the guide will cover many more topics regarding train travel such as understanding different train classes, buying individual tickets, learning more about the Swiss train app, among plenty other topics. So, read on for everything you need to know about train travel in Switzerland!

I am sure there are also travelers who are only taking a couple quick train rides within the country and therefore will have no need for a travel pass. In this case you will have to buy individual full fare tickets.

Hi Sue - if you are just going from Geneva to Montreux and then Montreux to Basel, buying individual tickets is going to be the way to go. However, if there are more day trips / transport in between, then it may be worth looking into a Half Fare Card. It is difficult to give a definite answer without knowing each and every route you plan to take. But in general, if just taking these couple of trains, then individual tickets will be cheaper than any travel pass.

Hello, thanks for your positive feedback, glad you love this Switzerland itinerary by train. Yes you can use the swiss pass for that route. And I can suggest visiting Bern from Solothurn as an alternative to Lucerne. Hope this helps and have a great trip!

Hello Jonny. I am planning a trip to switzerland in early july- 2 adults and a 12 year old. We will be there for 9 nights. Our general plan is to use public transport: zurich to luzern,luzern to wengen(in this area for 4 nights), wengen to zermatt, zermatt to montreux, and then montreux to zurich. Is the swiss rail pass worth it? I guess it comes out to $845 USD for the three of us. Its hard to tally the individual train prices as its too far ahead. I would love your input! Thanks!

We are a couple planning for a 8N/9D day trip in the 3rd week of Sept, we are going with the swiss travel pass for 8 days. Can you pls suggest 3/4 places to stay, asumming 2-3 nights per places which will be ideal to stay and travel acorss pls.

Love your blog. am looking at staying in Switzerland for 4 days . Stay at Interlaken and travel to Lauterbreunen and jungfraugh and Thun . then to zurich and do a 1 day tour in zurich. should i still get the 8 day pass? what are other alternatives? Are individual train ride tickets a better option?

Hi JonnyThanx for sharing this wonderful experience. We are planning to go in end of september and have plans to pick up a swiss pass. Can you let me know any journeys that swiss pass wont cover.

For passengers who prefer to remain undisturbed during their journey, the quiet compartment in 1st class is the right place to go. Here travellers can read, work or simply relax without being interrupted by unwelcome noise. InterCity trains offer workspaces complete with power supply, optimised data transfer, amplifiers for mobile phone reception, and large work surfaces in 1st class.

Hi Jurga,I have gone through your blog, its really interesting and informative.we are a couple, and would be staying in Switzerland from 1st November to 5th November,2022.out itinerary isDay1- arrive Zurich airport, dump luggage and visit Rhine falls. Then collect luggage and travel to the hotel at Wilderswill by train.Day2 - jungfraujochDay 3- Zermatt day tripDay 4- Montreux & Chillon castle by golden pass lineDay 5 Departure for Parisour base is in Interlaken (wilderswill). 041b061a72


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