Switzerland can be discovered by trains, buses, boats and scenic mountain trains. Use the Swiss half fare card to get one month’s of half-price travel, while children under 16 travel free of charge when accompanied by an adult who is a holder of a Swiss Family Card.
Swiss Half Fare Card
This card provides savings up to 50% off for travel on most trains, boats, and buses in Switzerland
- 50% discount on most trains, buses and boats for one month
- Issued as a paper document
- Discounts off 1st and 2nd class travel
- Free Swiss Family Card: Children under 16 travel for free with a parent or legal guardian
WING SHAN Y
How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes can be booked for travel in one specific country or you can choose one of a few pre-selected country/region combinations. Extensive travel plans? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering train travel in 31 different countries - including Great Britain.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service selected, passenger type, and the number of rail travel days.
2. Reserve your seats
Most trains in Switzerland do not require reservations. You can simply board with your rail pass and take any open seat.
3. Activate and travel
Your pass was pre-validated at the time of booking, it is now valid for use for the duration you selected. You're all set and ready to explore.
More than just trains
Main discounts and bonuses in Swiss Half Fare Card
- 50% discount when travelling on board trains.
- 50% discount when using urban public transport in 75 towns.
- Free travel for children under 16, accompanied by a parent, holder of a Swiss Family Card.
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. How can I ensure that my traveling party is seated together?
A. In general, when you request fares and schedules for multiple travellers at once, we’ll always attempt to request that they be seated together. The best way to ensure this is to correctly indicate the number of travellers when you request your fares and schedules for your itinerary.
Occasionally, it might not be possible to seat everyone together based on availability at the time of booking, in which case the travellers will be seated in the closest available seats.
If the train you’ll be taking is non-reservable, all you have to do is board the train and sit in any available seat with the rest of your party.
Q. Is there WiFi onboard?
A. WiFi availability is increasing on European trains. This service, however, is not currently offered on ALL trains. Where it is offered, it’s usually complimentary with the purchase of a First class ticket. If you’re traveling in Second class, you may incur a fee to connect to the WiFi service.
Here is a brief list of trains offering WiFi:
ICE (select trains)
SJ High Speed
In addition, WiFi access can typically be found at many major train stations throughout Western Europe. More than likely, you’ll encounter a small fee to use the WiFi service. In some stations First class ticket/pass holders will find complimentary WiFi, usually in designated First class lounges.
Q. Can I book a rail pass and a seat reservation at the same time?
A. Absolutely, and we encourage it. Once you’ve added the pass you want to your booking, you will be prompted to make seat reservations for trains you wish to travel on. Alternatively, you can visit the homepage and search schedules, just be sure to check the "I have a rail pass" box.
We always recommend buying your reservations before you depart for Europe because high speed and night trains often have a limited number of seats set aside for rail pass holders, and these seats tend to sell out. So the earlier you secure your reservation, the better.
Q. What does the “Login with Facebook” button do?
A. The “Login with Facebook” button allows you to log in to the Rail Europe website with your Facebook login credentials, even if you have never registered to the Rail Europe website before.
Q. Do I need to buy a reservation if I already have a rail pass? How do I book one?
A. If you plan to travel on a high speed, scenic, or overnight train, you will need a reservation as many of these types of trains require them - even if you have a rail pass. Seat reservations guarantee you a seat on the train you wish to travel on. While additional fees apply, many trains offer reduced fares to passholders. When you reserve your train, be sure to check the box that states "I have a rail pass", this will allow our system to find the best fare possible for your journey.
Q. Do I need to purchase a reservation and if I do, how do I book it?
A. To find out if the train you plan on taking requires travellers with a pass to purchase a seat reservation, use our reservation booking tool.
You can book most reservations from our website or mobile site, prior to your departure to Europe. In some countries, Greece and Portugal as an example, seat reservations are mandatory for some trains and can only be purchased locally.
If you’re already in Europe, you can still purchase your reservation from us as long as e-tickets are offered for the train you wish to travel on.
Q. Are the train tickets you send me the actual tickets, or do I need to exchange them at the station?
A. If you selected the paper delivery option, then yes – the travel documents you receive from us in the mail are your actual train tickets. Do not lose them, because we cannot replace them.
Only the original paper ticket will be accepted onboard the train. No other document such as a print out of the email invoice can be used in lieu of the original paper train ticket.
Q. Who should I contact to book travel for a group of 10 or more people?
A. For groups of 10 or more traveling together please fill out our Group Department form for assistance. If you know what you’re looking for, you can also request a quote online from our Group Department.
Q. Can I use my rail pass on any train within its area of coverage?
A. In general, yes, but there are some exceptions and a few rules to keep in mind.
First, be mindful that some trains (such as high speed, scenic, and night trains) require rail pass holders to purchase reservations at an additional cost.
For international train journeys, be sure that your rail pass covers the country of departure, country of arrival, and any countries through which your train will travel.
Lastly, some private rail lines in certain countries don’t offer reservations for rail pass holders and don’t accept rail passes. In these cases, you can purchase a train ticket locally for the desired journey.
Q. How can I book an itinerary with multiple cities?
A. Our website makes booking multi-city journeys very easy!
Simply enter the cities you plan to depart from, arrive to, and your travel dates. Our system will then search the database to provide the best matching schedules.