Swiss Half Fare CardSwiss Travel System
- Offers 50% discount to use trains, buses, boats and public transportations in 75 cities.
- Children under 16 travel for free.
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.
Things to know
Who can buy a rail pass?Any person living outside the participating countries can use the Swiss Half Fare Card. Please note that residents of Switzerland and Liechtenstein are not eligible.
A seat reservation is a guaranteed seat on board a train.
Seat reservations are compulsory for high speed, international and night trains. However, as you will be travelling with a rail pass, you will only have to pay for a small reservation fee, as opposed to the usual standard fare.
Seats are generally available for reservation up to 90 days prior to departure and are limited. Book early to secure your seat!
We are not currently offering online seat reservations for high speed, international and night trains covered by the BritRail passes.You can book your seat reservation directly from train stations once you are in the United Kingdom.
Most regional trains do not require a seat reservation. Just hop on board with a valid rail pass, find a seat and relax as the train takes you to one of the many destinations served.
How to use a rail pass?
You must start using your rail pass within 6 months of the date of purchase.
To start using your rail pass, go to a European railway station where a railway official will fill-in your passport number and stamp your rail pass. On each travel day, please remember to write down the date on your rail pass.
Passengers travelling without having written down the above information risk a fine and payment of a full fare ticket.
A travel day lasts 24 hours from midnight to midnight.You can take as many trains as you want during a travel day.
The 7 pm rule allows you to benefit from a free travel day if the following conditions are met:
- Your pass should be activated.
- You must travel on board a night train departing after 7 pm and this should be your first trip of the day.
- You must reach your destination after 4 am on the next day.
- Your arrival date should be within the validity of the pass.
The validity is the number of travel days of a rail pass.
For a rail pass with a validity of 5 days within 1 month. If you activate your rail pass on the 1st of the month, you can travel on the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 12th and 30th of this month.
Rail pass benefits
Most rail passes include discounts and bonuses. Save money and make the most of your trip with your rail pass.
When available you will get hotel discounts, free entrance to museums, discounted boat trips and more.
- 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.
Interactive Rail Map
Use our interactive travel map to plan your trip and view the rail network of each country covered by your rail pass.
Offering unlimited travel in Switzerland, one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe. Discover the snow-capped mountains, green landscape and tidy little towns. Visit Bern, Montreux, Geneva and other major cities of Switzerland.
- A. You will need to first figure out who wants to share, and who does not. Once you have your travel party broken down, request the number of passengers who want to share a room together and request as either a 1, 2 or 3 person room. Request each compartment separately until all passengers have been reserved in a room.
- A. First class on the TGV East offers ergonomic reclining seats with head and foot rests, non-smoking coaches, individual power outlets, reading light, ability to book a taxi for your arrival with staff on the train and a restaurant car offering a selection of food and beverages for purchase. Second class on the TGV East offers ergonomic reclining seats with head and foot rests, non-smoking coaches and a restaurant car offering a selection of food and beverages for purchase.
- A. The Swiss Family Card is a terrific value that allows children under 16 years of age to travel free when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The card is free, simply request one at the time you purchase your Swiss Pass. If you forget to mention it, then present your Swiss pass before boarding the train at any Swiss train station ticket window, at the time of validation and advise them that you need a Family Card. They will be able to provide you one.
- A. A range of discounts and special offers are available in the European countries in which your Eurail Select Pass is valid. One of the most popular benefits is the discounted and free travel on various European ferry crossings. Other benefits include discounts on hotels, museums and additional transport.
- A. Reservation is compulsory on TGV and if you are a pass holder, you still need to buy a TGV ticket. Among the passes available on TGV, you’ll be able to choose between Eurail Global, Eurail Select Pass or Eurail two country pass including France. France Rail Pass and France Rail Pass Premium are also among the possible options and offer last minute Easy Access reservations.
- A. Eurostar services offer three classes of service: 2 for first class (Business Premier and Standard Premier) and one for second class (Standard). Among the facilities offered for Eurostar Business Premier passengers, you’ll find priority express check-in in 10 minutes at the terminals, a dedicated ticket desk for check-in, access to the Eurostar Executive lounges, spacious reclining seats with generous legroom, Wi-Fi access at the terminals, a dedicated coach for business travellers, complimentary newspapers, and also a 3 course meal served at seat. Eurostar Standard Premier passengers, whose check-in is 30 minutes before departure, will be offered spacious reclining seats with generous legroom, complimentary newspapers and a cold meal served at seat. In the convenience of a comfortable carriage, Standard passengers will also be enjoying themselves with a vast variety of dishes they will find at a bar buffet car.
- A. First class on the Lyria offers large comfortable reclining seats and a bar-buffet car offering a selection of food and beverages for purchase. Second class on the Lyria offers generous legroom and a bar-buffet car offering a selection of food and beverages for purchase.
- A. Yes, you may travel as many times are you like between countries that are on your pass.
- A. Most major train stations have lockers or luggage storage available at an additional cost. Make sure you have some change available if you are planning to use a locker.
- A. Like most high-speed trains in Europe, you need to make a booking when travelling with Thalys. Passholders with passes covering the whole Thalys route (Eurail Global Pass, Eurail Select Pass including France, Benelux or Germany, depending on the route, Eurail and Benelux-France) benefit from special Passholder fares. Just bear in mind that some passes covering partially the Thalys sector like France Rail Pass but also Eurail passes including Benelux-France / France-Germany / France-Italy / France-Spain / France-Switzerland / Benelux also offer special Passholder deals. German Rail Pass is not valid on Thalys routes to Germany.
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