SwissTravelSystem.com

More than just travelling.

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Frequently Asked Questions

There’s so much to think about when you’re planning a journey. To ensure that your preparations run smoothly, we have the answers to the questions most frequently asked about travelling to and in Switzerland.

Planning your journey

Are there discounts for families?

Yes – the free Swiss Travel System Family Card. It is available on request with every Swiss Travel System ticket and allows children under the age of 16 to travel free of charge when accompanied by at least one parent. You can order the Family Card online or obtain it at all main railway stations in Switzerland. Children under the age of 6 do not require a ticket and travel free of charge.

Children travelling unaccompanied by a parent are entitled to a 50% discount off the entire range of Swiss Travel System tickets.

Swiss Family Card
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Are there discounts for groups?

If you are travelling on the Swiss public transport network with a partner or a group (maximum 6 persons), you can purchase a Saver Pass and take advantage of a 10% discount off the regular Swiss Pass or Swiss Flexi Pass prices.

Swiss Saver PassSwiss Saver Flexi Pass
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Are there discounts for senior citizens?

No – there are no special discounts for senior citizens.
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Is the Swiss Pass transferable?

Swiss Travel System tickets are personal, non-transferable and valid only with an official ID card or passport.
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What is the difference between 1st and 2nd class?

They offer different levels of travel comfort. In 1st class, you can enjoy extra legroom, a more spacious seat and a quieter journey.

1st & 2nd class
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Which documents do I need to carry with me when the Bernina Express travels through Italian territory?

Please enquire at the Italian embassy or appropriate consulate concerning the required travel documents (passport, visa).
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Can I purchase tickets for certain zones in Switzerland?

If you wish to limit your travel to a certain region within Switzerland, you can take advantage of either a Regional Pass or a fare network.

Regional Passes Fare networks
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Are there discounts for young adults?

Yes – with the Swiss Youth Pass young adults aged under 26 pay 25% less than for the regular Swiss Pass.
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Booking tickets

Is it better to order the Swiss Pass in advance or purchase it in Switzerland?

If you have already planned your travel programme in detail, it is advisable to purchase the Swiss Pass in advance. There are points-of-sale in many countries: points-of-sale worldwide and you can also order the Swiss Pass online. Prices may vary depending on shipping fees and currency exchange rates. Please bear in mind that the Swiss Transfer Ticket is not purchasable in Switzerland. If flexibility is important to you and you wish to choose when and where to travel once you are here, we recommend that you buy the Swiss Pass in Switzerland. They can be purchased at all main railway stations.

Ticket Shop
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Can I order a Pass online shortly before I leave for Switzerland?

If you intend to travel to Switzerland at short notice, we recommend that you purchase your Pass either at a Swiss railway station or a point-of-sale in your country. If you still wish to order online, please read carefully the delivery times, terms and conditions. Execption: The Swiss Transfer Ticket cannot be purchased in Switzerland.

Ticket Shop
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What happens if I have to cancel my travel plans?

Please contact directly the address on your order confirmation.
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Travelling to Switzerland

How do I activate my Swiss Pass (applies to Open Date Passes only)?

You can validate your Swiss Pass by presenting it together with your passport/official ID at any attended railway station in Switzerland. Please note that you are required to validate the Pass before your first journey. International trains are the exception – if you are entering Switzerland by train, the train attendant will validate your Swiss Pass.

International trains
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What is the difference between the Swiss Card and the Swiss Transfer Ticket?

Both tickets allow you to travel from the airport/border railway station to your holiday destination and back. The transfer both to and from your destination must be by the most direct route. The Swiss Card also gives you a 50% discount off the regular fare price when you travel by train, bus, boat and mountain railway. Both tickets are valid for one month. The places of arrival in and departure from Switzerland need not be identical.
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Which ticket do I require for international arrivals or departures? Are Swiss Travel System tickets valid on these trains? Are reductions available?

Swiss Travel System tickets are valid only on the national route network of the STS. For international arrivals and departures, separate tickets are required.

International arrivals in Switzerland:
When booking an international ticket to Switzerland, you can (under "Reduction") deduct from the international point-to-point fare that part of your journey covered by the Swiss Travel System ticket in your possession.

Travelling from Italy
Are you travelling to Switzerland by EuroCity? If so, present your Swiss Travel System ticket at any Trenitalia point-of-sale in Italy (station, travel agency) and you will obtain a reduced fare for your journey (GA tariff, Switzerland). These reduced fare tickets may also be booked online under: www.trenitalia.com
State your preferred travel time and mark the option "VIEW OTHER PRICES AND SERVICES (CARTAFRECCIA offers, discount cards, other offers)“. Under "Offer“, select one of the following options:
  • "HTX Switzerland" for holders of a Swiss Half Fare Card (or Swiss Flexi Pass/Swiss Card on travel days with 50% reduction)
  • "GA Switzerland" for holders of a Swiss Pass, Swiss Flexi Pass, Swiss Youth Pass, Swiss Saver Pass or Swiss Card/Swiss Transfer Ticket on transfer days.
Travelling from France
Are you travelling to Switzerland by the TGV Lyria? If so, present your Swiss Travel System ticket (Swiss Pass, Swiss Flexi Pass, Swiss Youth Pass, Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Card/Swiss Transfer Ticket for transfer days) at any SNCF ticket counter and you will obrtain a reduced fare (Tarif Pass Partial 3). These reduced price tickets may be purchased only from ticket counters and not via the website of Voyages-SNCF.com.

Travelling from Germany and Austria
Are you travelling from Germany or Austria by a City Night Line train (reservations always compulsory)? If so and you are in possession of a Swiss Pass, Swiss Flexi Pass, Swiss Youth Pass, Swiss Saver Pass or Swiss Card/Swiss Transfer Ticket for the transfer day in question, you can obtain a fare reduction. For travel by daytime international trains, it is necessary to purchase only a ticket up to the Swiss border. From the border into Switzerland, your Swiss Travel System ticket is valid.

International departures from Switzerland:
These tickets can be purchased at every staffed counter of the Swiss Federal Railways, by telephone via Rail Service or online. www.sbb.ch
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With the Swiss Transfer Ticket, can I interrupt my journey?

It is possible to interrupt a journey while travelling on a Swiss Transfer Ticket. However, the stop must be located on the most direct route from the airport/border railway station to your holiday destination (or vice versa) and must be made on the same day.

More information
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I’m travelling with a lot of luggage – is it possible to check it in?

If you are flying to Switzerland, you can take advantage of the Fly Rail Baggage service. Simply check- in your luggage at your departure airport anywhere in the world and it will be sent via Zurich or Geneva Airport to the railway station at your Swiss destination. For your return flight, luggage for many international airlines can be checked in at 56 Swiss railways stations. For detailed information, please consult the following link:

Check-in at the railstation
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Travelling in Switzerland

Where is the Swiss Pass valid? Which buses does it include?

The Swiss Pass entitles you to free travel on trains, buses and boats throughout the whole of Switzerland. Also included are panorama trains such as the Glacier Express as well as public transport in 75 towns and cities. You can find out whether your ticket is valid for a certain route by consulting the area of validity map. Urban areas where public transport is free of charge for Swiss Pass holders are marked with a red and white circle.

 Area of validity (1,002 KB)
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What do I have to bear in mind if I wish to travel a panorama route?

Travel on panorama trains is included in the Swiss Pass. Please bear in mind that most panorama trains require a seat reservation and are subject to a supplementary charge. We recommend that you book your seat as early as possible. Travelling on a Swiss panorama train is a special experience – depending on the route, you can enjoy additional services such as a three-course menu, brunch or other highlights. Panorama trains run at certain times only. The same routes are also served by regular train compositions – we therefore advise you to consult the timetable before your panorama trip.

Panorama trains
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Is seat reservation required on Swiss trains?

No – you do not normally require a reservation to travel on Swiss trains. Individual passengers can book seats for certain journeys if they wish to do so. Panorama trains are the exception – on these trains, reservation is compulsory.

Panorama trains Individual seat reservation
Exception: Reservation is compulsory for panorama trains. Reservation is necessary for Glacier Express, Bernina Express, Wilhelm Tell Express and Palm Express. Travelling with GoldenPass Line, reservation is compulsory for VIP fron seats (GoldenPass Panoramic):
Glacier Express Bernina Express GoldenPass Line Wilhelm Tell Express Palm Express
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How far in advance do I need to book a seat on a panorama train?

As early as possible. Although you are free to make your reservation on the day of your journey, the trains are very popular and might be fully booked on the day you wish to travel. We recommend that you make your seat reservation early to avoid disappointment.

Panorama trains
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Can I benefit from any other discounts by buying a Swiss Travel System ticket?

All Swiss Travel System tickets entitle you to various discounts from our bonus partners – for example, on hotel accommodation or city tours. The Swiss (Flexi) Pass also entitles you to free admission to over 480 museums and a 50% discount off most mountain railways and cableways.

Note: The Jungfrau Railway is an exception. The Swiss Pass, Swiss Flexi Pass, Swiss Youth and Saver Pass entitles you to a 25% discount from Wengen and Grindelwald and the Swiss Half Fare Card and the Swiss Card (on travel days with 50& reduction) to a 50% discount off excursions to the Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe.
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Does the Swiss Flexi Pass entitle the holder to free museum admissions for a whole month?

No – free admission is granted only on the days validated for free travel.

More information
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Do mountain railways operate the whole year round?

Not all mountain railways operate all year round. Please enquire at the respective mountain railway about seasonal opening and operating times.
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Is a single day of travel with the Swiss Pass valid for 24 hours?

No, a calendar day counts as a single day. This means that your ticket is valid from 00.00 hrs on the first day of validity. Exceptionally, on the day following the last day of validity it may be used until 05.00 hrs (29 hours in total).
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Do passengers travelling on a Saver Pass always have to travel together?

Holders of a Saver Pass receive a ticket with the dates of travel and a control voucher with the names of all passengers. You can use the Saver Pass if only a part of the group is travelling – for example, taking a city excursion, day trip. But the travelling party must carry both (ticket and control voucher).

Swiss Saver Pass Swiss Saver Flexi Pass
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Is there a smartphone app for the Swiss public transport network?

Yes – you can either download the Swiss Federal Railways SBB app featuring comprehensive timetable and ticket purchase functions; or receive timetable information via the text message (SMS) service.
Please note that, depending on telephone provider, roaming fees may apply.

SBB AppSMS-Service
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Does the EuRail Pass offer the same validity as the Swiss Pass?

No – the EuRail Pass does not offer the same validity as the Swiss Pass. Please check with EuRail directly if you have questions concerning your ticket’s validity.

EuRail
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General information

At which railway station ticket counters can I purchase a Swiss Travel System ticket?

Swiss Travel System tickets can be purchased in Switzerland at most railway stations, as well as in the Tourist Offices of Zurich, Bern, Basel, Geneva, and Lucerne. (Swiss Transfer Tickets cannot be purchased in Switzerland). Swiss Cards can be purchased only at the following points-of-sale: Basel EuroAirport, Basel (Swiss Federal Railways), Brig, Buchs (Canton St. Gallen), Chiasso, Constance (Germany), Geneva, Geneva Airport, Koblenz (Switzerland), Schaffhausen, St. Margrethen, Tirano (Italy), Zurich and Zurich Airport.

Railway station opening times Sales outlets
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Will my Swiss Pass be replaced in case of loss or theft?

No – in the event of loss or theft, there is no replacement.
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Will my Swiss Pass be refunded in case of illness or accident?

In case of illness or accident, please contact directly the address on your order confirmation.
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I’m travelling with my dog – what do I have to do?

Your four-legged friend is welcome to accompany you on Swiss trains. You will have to purchase an additional half-fare 2nd class ticket for your dog or a 1-day travelpass for dogs. This ticket is also valid if you are travelling in 1st class. Small dogs up to 30 cm. shoulder height travel free of charge as carriage hand luggage, providing they are in an appropriate carrier or basket. If the dog is removed from its carrier or basket during the journey you will be charged for a half-fare ticket.

Travelling with a dog
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Can I take my bicycle on the train?

Simply bring your bicycle along for the trip: with a valid bike ticket, you can load your bicycle or your bike trailers (unloaded) onto most SBB trains and private railways yourself. The same applies for most postbuses. If your bike can be folded up and stored in a suitable carry case, you can even take it along free of charge as hand luggage.
Please note that the transport capacities for self-service loading of bicycles may be restricted during periods of peak traffic volume. Be sure to take this into account when planning your trip. For further details concerning trains requiring advance reservation, please consult the following link:

Transportation of bicycles
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What are the opening times of Swiss railway stations?

You can find the opening times of all Swiss railway stations here
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