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
- Offers 50% discount to use trains, buses, boats and public transportations in 75 cities.
- Children under 16 travel for free.
WING SHAN Y
How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes are available in 1, 2, 3 or 4 country combinations for extensive travel on the national rail networks. Going for an extended trip? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering rail travel in 31 different countries.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service, First or Second, selected 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 subscribe to or unsubscribe from your e newsletter?
A. You can subscribe or unsubscribe from our e-newsletter at any time from your Rail Europe online account page. You will also find newsletter signup forms throughout our site, just enter your email address to begin receiving tips, deals, and offers in your inbox!
To unsubscribe, you can simply click the unsubscribe link found at the footer of our e-newsletter. This will unsubscribe you immediately.
Q. Can I choose a specific seat when booking a train ticket?
A. At this time, we are unable to offer this service. Unlike airlines, most rail carriers do not offer the possibility to select your specific seat.
Q. Can I open the train windows?
A. If you’re traveling on a slower train you may have the option to open a window, depending on the age and configuration of the car. However, most modern rail cars are air-conditioned and you won’t have the option of opening the windows.
For safety reasons, high speed trains don’t offer the option of opening windows.
Q. Do trains offer facilities for handicapped passengers?
A. The ability to exchange or refund a train ticket while you’re in Europe depends on whether you have a paper or e-ticket, as well as the specific conditions for the fare you booked.
If you have an e-ticket that you bought on our website, you can perform the refund online, according to the conditions of your train ticket. Please visit our Cancellation and Refund page to begin.
If you purchased a paper ticket, you must perform the exchange locally at the train station. Go to the ticket window and a railway representative will be able to assist you with the exchange procedure.
Please keep in mind that exchanges on train tickets are only permitted for the same city pair or route originally booked.
If your ticket is non-exchangeable, a new train ticket must be purchased.
To obtain a refund for a paper ticket/reservation, a railway official at the origin station must cancel your seat and they must stamp the back of your ticket/reservation “Not Used” before the original train departure time. Our partners at the European Railroads will not allow us to process a refund unless this step has been taken.
You must mail us the original unused ticket for the refund to be processed. When you’ve returned from Europe, mail us back your train ticket. Please visit the Contact Us page on this site for further details.
If you didn’t purchase your train ticket online or are unable to initiate the refund online, please contact us using our Contact Us page for assistance. In most cases, for a refund to transpire, the associated reservation must be released before the train departure.
Q. Where can I find more information about European train stations?
A. We offer valuable information on the most popular train stations in Europe. You can find a link to our Train Station page in the footer on any page on the website.
Q. Can I change seats after the train departs?
A. You may check with the conductor once your train departs to see if there are any other available seating options.
Please note that you should stay in the same class of service as your ticket or you may incur a surcharge.
If you change seats and the seat you move to is reserved by another traveller, they will have priority.
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. How do I read my RENFE print at home e-ticket?
A. If you are traveling to Spain and have purchased a RENFE train ticket please be advised that RENFE train tickets are available in Spanish only. We offer a guide to assist you in reading your ticket.
Q. Do I need to show my passport to board the train?
A. If you’re traveling with a rail pass and this is your very first train trip, you’ll need to present your passport to the railway official at the ticket window to activate your pass, before you board the train.
Please note that there will be no passport control (day or night) when traveling between countries that signed the Schengen Treaty. Not all countries belonging to the EU are part of the Schengen Treaty (e.g. Great Britain, Ireland). On the flip side, some countries that are not part of the EU are part of the Schengen Treaty (e.g. Switzerland, Norway).
Q. Can I board the train if I forgot my rail pass but have my seat reservation?
A. While you can board the train, the conductor will make you purchase a full fare ticket on-board, and you may be fined. It’s best to keep your rail pass in a safe place with all of your travel documents to avoid this situation!