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.
Exclusive limited-time Spring offer: use promo code 21SPRING19 to get ฿1800 off bookings of ฿23200 or more, or 22SPRING19 to get ฿2800 off bookings of ฿31400 or more. Offer ends 23 April 2019.
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.
From our travel community
You may also be interested in
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. Will the conductor take my passport?
A. Conductors will not take your passport during day trips. If your passport does need to be checked, the local border control staff will simply walk through each train car checking each passengers travel documents and hand them back to you.
With overnight trips you’ll generally provide the train attendant with your reservation voucher, rail pass or train ticket, and passport as you board. That way, they can take care of everything with conductors and customs officials so you can sleep uninterrupted through the night.
Q. Do the train stations offer services to help carry my luggage?
A. Many train stations in Europe have self-service luggage carts that you can use to transport your luggage through the train station. These carts are usually coin-operated and when you return your cart, you’ll get your coin back.
It’s always best to pack light and anticipate that you will need to carry your own luggage. Only a few stations in Europe offer porter services. Also keep in mind that while some stations offer elevators and/or escalators, you may need to carry your luggage up or down stairs to reach the correct train platform.
Q. Once on the train platform, how can I find my car? Is there a difference between where first and second class carriages are located or how they look on the outside?
A. Typically you will see a (1) or a (2) or the words “First” or “Second” or a combination of both on the outside of the train car indicating First or Second class. Once you board the train, you’ll notice that some trains have inside indicators for first or second class. Some high speed trains have headrest covers that state the class of service.
For certain high speed trains such as the Thalys, TGV, or Eurostar you’ll also find displays right on the platform indicating where each car of the train will be located for boarding. You can use this chart to find the mark on the platform corresponding to the car you would like to board. It is a good rule of thumb to arrive at the station early so that you can find the train and the right car matching the class of service on your pass or ticket.
And of course, you can always ask a railway official or conductor for assistance.
Q. What ways can a train ticket be issued? Paper? e tickets?
A. There are potentially three ways to receive European train tickets.
Paper tickets: the rail pass or train ticket is physically printed at the Rail Europe fulfillment center and shipped to you.
Print at home e-ticket: the train ticket may be issued as a PDF which may either be emailed to you directly, or retrieved via a web link that is communicated to you at the time of purchase, depending on the rail carrier. You must print the PDF from a computer printer on any regular paper prior to boarding the train. Some e-tickets are delivered with a unique e-ticket confirmation code that is printed on your Rail Europe confirmation email. You must provide this e-ticket confirmation code along with your id to the conductor on board the train.
Print at station e-ticket: you will receive an e-ticket confirmation code (also known as PNR or Passenger Name Record) on your confirmation email, as well as a link to detailed instructions for retrieving your ticket. Use this e-ticket code at a self-service kiosk located at the train station in Europe to print out your actual ticket, prior to boarding the train.
Print at home e-ticket and print at station e-ticket are “electronic” delivery methods requiring no physical shipment to you. This means we can issue you an e-ticket whether you’re still at home or already in Europe.
Please note that all three methods are not always offered for a given train ticket. In fact, many tickets only support one of these issuance methods.
Q. Can I purchase a rail pass when I'm in Europe?
A. In general, rail passes can only be purchased prior to your arrival in Europe and cannot be purchased locally. If you’re already in Europe and would like to purchase a rail pass, we may be able to assist you, please call us at 1-800-622-8600.
With international shipping, we can send your rail pass to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, or Switzerland. The fee for orders sent to Europe is $40 USD or $45 CAD and delivery takes 3 to 7 Business days.
Q. Are there discounts available for rail passes?
A. Yes, many rail passes offer discounted options. The most common discounts are:
Child discount: Children between 4 -11 years of age usually travel for half the price of the regular adult rate. Most Eurail passes offer free travel for up to two children per adult pass holder.
Youth Discount: If you or anyone in your party is a traveller aged 12 to under 28 years of age on the first date of travel, discounted rates are available for certain rail passes.
Senior Discount: Seniors over the age of 60 are eligible for a discounted rate on certain rail passes.
Saver Discount: Small groups of 2 to 5 people traveling together are eligible for savings of about 15% on certain rail passes.
Group Discount: If you travel in a party of 10 or more, see our special group offers for a more customized travel solution.
Q. How far in advance can I buy my train ticket?
A. Train tickets can be purchased 60 to 180 days in advance, depending on your route of travel. Rail carrier policies vary, depending on when their schedules are available for sale.
For the best deals, purchase your train tickets three months in advance, if possible. But always book as far in advance as you can to assure the best price and to avoid your class of service being sold out (especially during peak travel season on high speed trains).
Q. Do you offer maps of European train stations?
A. We do offer links to Google Maps for many European train stations. At this time we do not have specific layouts of any train station interiors in Europe.
Q. My credit card has been declined. What should I do next?
A. If your credit card has been declined it’s important to first make sure that you have entered your credit card information correctly. Next, check to make sure that the funds required are available in your account as the transaction may have been declined by your card issuer for this reason.
To protect our customers, we also employ a booking verification system to help us identify and block suspicious transactions. It is possible that certain characteristics associated with your booking or method of payment has triggered an alert with our booking verification system. If you continue to experience difficulty, please contact us via our Contact Us page for assistance. Alternatively, you can also try to use a different credit card.
Q. Can I share my rail pass with others (family, friends, or charity)?
A. No. Rail passes are strictly personal and non-transferable. A rail pass is valid only upon presentation of a passport. Therefore the name(s) printed on the rail pass must match the traveller’s identification.