Compare Train Ticket Costs: Map shows point-to-point, one-way, 2nd-class rail fares in $US. Add up fares for your itinerary to see whether a rail pass will save you money. For 1st class fares, add 50%. Source: www.sbb.ch.
Best Value: A Swiss Pass for consecutive days gives you lots of freedom on trains, boats, city trams, buses, museums (see www.museumspass.ch), and discounted lifts during your stay. The Swiss Flexipass gives you the same coverage on selected "travel days" during a one-month window, plus 50% transport discounts in between those days (great for days focused on high-mountain lifts and short or unplanned side trips). A Swiss Card or Swiss Transfer Ticket is like a two-day flexipass that gets you in and out of a central destination. A few deals sold only in Switzerland are also listed below, though exchange rate fluctuations have reduced their value. For a few days in Switzerland as part of a wider-reaching trip, a two-country or multi-country Eurail pass is fine. Choose the rail pass that best matches the countries and number of travel days in your plan.
Reservations: Most trains and other transport in Switzerland do not need reservations. Switzerland's named scenic rail lines and some international trains (such as to/from France and Italy or night trains through Germany) do require paid reservations, as indicated on train schedules.
Coverage & Private Trains: All rail passes that include Switzerland cover national network trains, boat trips on Swiss lakes, and many sightseeing and private rail discounts. See Comparing Swiss Pass Coverage (below) for differences between Swiss Passes and multi-country Eurail passes. Read more about Jungfrau region trains and popular scenic rail routes in Rick Steves' Switzerland. As you travel higher up the mountains on some private trains and lifts, show your rail pass at the ticket window and smile when they give you a discount. Don't waste time trying to calculate every discount in advance.
Free Kids: The Swiss Family Card allows children under 16 to travel free with a parent who has a Swiss Travel System train ticket or Swiss rail pass (not a multi-country Eurail pass). Based on the validity of the parent's ticket or rail pass, they're free even on the high mountain routes. Request a free Swiss Family Card when you order an adult Swiss Pass (Consecutive or Flexi) , Swiss Card, or Swiss Transfer Ticket in the U.S. One Swiss Family Card has space to list seven kids (even though you don't enter their names when ordering online). Kids 6–15 not accompanied by parent pay half of full adult (not saver) pass rates; under 6 free. Both the Swiss Family Card and a Grandchild Travel Card are also sold for 30 SF per kid at Swiss train stations.
Two-Country Eurail Passes: Options later on this page work for those traveling between Switzerland and one neighbor: Austria, France, or Germany (but not Italy).
|Swiss Pass Buy This Pass|
|Consecutive Pass||1st Class Indiv.||1st Class Saver||1st Class Youth||2nd Class Indiv.||2nd Class Saver||2nd Class Youth|
|4 consecutive days||$479||$408||$359||$300||$255||$225|
|8 consecutive days||$693||$588||$520||$433||$368||$325|
|15 consecutive days||$839||$713||$629||$524||$446||$393|
|22 consecutive days||$972||$826||$729||$608||$517||$456|
|Flexipass||1st Class Indiv.||1st Class Saver||2nd Class Indiv.||2nd Class Saver|
|3 days in 1 month||$458||$390||$287||$244|
|4 days in 1 month||$555||$473||$347||$295|
|5 days in 1 month||$641||$544||$401||$340|
|6 days in 1 month||$729||$620||$456||$388|
Covers all trains, boats, buses, city trams, 400 Swiss museums, and Liechtenstein buses on your counted travel days. 50% discount on most high mountain rides. Saver prices are per person for 2 or more traveling together. Youth passes are for travelers under age 26 only. See Swiss Family Card for kids. Swiss passes are also sold in major train stations. Prices subject to change.
The Swiss Flexipass also acts as a Half-Fare Travel Card. Between your counted, full-coverage travel days, you can get 50% off any transport (but not museums).
|Swiss Transfer Ticket Buy This Pass|
|The Swiss Transfer Ticket gives you one train ride in from any Swiss airport or border station to any point in Switzerland, then one trip out from that same point to any airport or border for $238 in first class or $149 in second class. Each direction must be completed in a day by the fastest, most direct route and both trips must occur within a month. Sold only outside Switzerland. Prices subject to change.|
|Swiss Card Buy This Pass|
|The Swiss Card includes one trip in and out within a month as described above, plus 50% discounts between those two trips on all Swiss railways, lake steamers, postal buses, and high mountain lifts for $304 in first class or $215 in second class. Think of it as a "2-days in 1 month Flexipass." Also sold at a few Swiss airports and border stations. Prices subject to change.|
All rail passes that include Switzerland cover national network trains, boat trips on Swiss lakes, and many sightseeing and private rail discounts. A map of this network comes with your rail pass. All rail passes cover these and other scenic rides:
|Route or bonus:||Eurail Global, Select, or 2-Country Pass||Swiss Card or Transfer Ticket||Swiss Pass or Swiss Flexipass|
|Swiss Family Card (kids travel free)||No||Applies||Applies|
|Urban transport in 40 cities ($2/trip)||No||No||Covered|
|Swiss museums admissions||No||No||Covered|
|Brig-Disentis section of the Glacier Express scenic route ($50 2nd cl, reservation extra)||25% discount||Covered if it's most direct route (fr/south border to south destination)||Covered|
|BrigZermatt private train to see the Matterhorn ($40 2nd cl)||25% discount||Covered if Zermatt is final destination||Covered|
|Mt. Rigi Railways ($25-40 per leg)||50% discount||50% discount with Swiss Card||Covered|
|Jungfrau Region Railways (e.g., from Interlaken: $10 to Lauterbrunnen, $11 to Grindelwald, $15 to Wengen; $200 round-trip to Jungfraujoch)||25% discount above Interlaken||50% discount with Swiss Card; Jungfraujoch not covered on in- & outbound roundtrip||50% discount above Murren; 25% off above Wengen or Grindelwald|
|Stechelberg-Schilthorn mountain lift ($105 roundtrip/$80 early bird)||25% discount||50% discount w/Card, not w/ Transfer Ticket||50% discount|
|Half-fare option — 50% transport discount between fully covered flexi travel days||No||50% discount w/Card, not w/ Transfer Ticket||50% discount w/flexipass|
|Le Châtelard, Switzerland to Chamonix, France ($14)||Need France on pass||Covered (e.g., entering or exiting country via Chamonix)||Covered (no 50% discount option)|
|Pass holder rate on international night trains||Applies||No||Applies|
|7 p.m. rule for night trains||Applies||No||No|
|All "covered" services start use of a travel day on a flexipass, but discounts do not.|
The Half-Fare Card for visitors gives you 50% off on all national and private trains (including Jungfraujoch), postal buses, city trams, lifts, and lake boats for about 110 SF ($120) a month. This can save you money if your Swiss travel adds up to more than $240 in point-to-point tickets. Buy it at your first Swiss train station.
The Berner Oberland Pass for the Bern-Interlaken-Luzern area, is the most useful of Switzerland's regional passes, but costs almost as much as a full Swiss Pass. It offers 4 continuous days for 230 SF ($253), 6 days for 290 SF ($319), or 8 days for 330 SF ($363). The highest mountain lifts are either 50% off during the validity of the pass or have special prices (e.g., Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch, or Murren to the Schilthorn are 50% off). Parts of the Glacier Express and Golden Pass scenic routes are also discounted 50%. Also available in first class for 20% more; or if you have any type of Swiss Pass or discount card, all prices are 25% less. To see a map of covered and discounted rides, go to www.regiopass-berneroberland.ch.
While single-country rail passes in these regions allow travel within one month, the passes below offer a two-month window. These two-country Eurail passes push adults 26 or older (and families of mixed ages) into paying for first class.
|Austria-Switzerland Eurail Pass Buy This Pass|
|Type of Pass||1st Class Individual||1st Class Saver||2nd Class Youth|
|4 days in 2 months||$419||$357||$295|
|5 days in 2 months||$465||$396||$327|
|6 days in 2 months||$511||$435||$359|
|7 days in 2 months||$557||$474||$391|
|8 days in 2 months||$602||$513||$423|
|9 days in 2 months||$648||$552||$455|
|10 days in 2 months||$694||$591||$487|
|Saver prices are per person for 2 or more traveling together. Youth passes are for travelers under age 26 only. Kids 4–11 half single adult or saver fare; under 4 free. Prices subject to change.|
For about the same price as a first-class Swiss Pass Flexi, the Austria-Switzerland Eurail Pass covers two countries and allows you to spread travel over a longer period. Separate, second-class rail passes for each country are cheaper, but you'll use a day of each pass when crossing the border.
|France-Switzerland Eurail Pass Buy This Pass|
|Type of Pass||1st Class Individual||1st Class Saver||2nd Class Youth|
|4 days in 2 months||$441||$376||$310|
|5 days in 2 months||$479||$408||$337|
|6 days in 2 months||$536||$456||$377|
|7 days in 2 months||$583||$497||$410|
|8 days in 2 months||$632||$538||$444|
|9 days in 2 months||$683||$581||$479|
|10 days in 2 months||$730||$621||$512|
|Covers many Swiss boats as well as trains. See our Switzerland page for an outline of coverage. Saver prices are per person for 2 or more traveling together. Youth passes are for travelers under 26 only. Kids 4–11 pay half of adult or saver fare; under 4 free. Prices subject to change.|
If your trip is really Swiss-focused with just one train ride in France (e.g., Paris-Basel for $150, or less with advance-purchase discount ticket), consider a Swiss Pass plus a separate, reserved French train ticket. If you need more of France, you probably want the two-country Eurail pass.
|Germany - Switzerland Eurail Pass Buy This Pass|
|Type of Pass||1st Class Adult||1st Class Saver||2nd Class Youth|
|5 days in 2 months||$468||$400||$329|
|6 days in 2 months||$516||$440||$364|
|8 days in 2 months||$609||$520||$429|
|10 days in 2 months||$704||$601||$495|
|Covers many Swiss boats as well as trains. See our Switzerland page for an outline of coverage. Saver prices are per person for 2 or more traveling together. Youth passes are for travelers under age 26 only. Kids 4–11 pay half of adult or saver fare; under 4 free. Prices subject to change.|
Separate single-country rail passes may be cheaper, but you'll use a day of each pass when you cross the border.