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. Do I need to buy a train ticket for children or infants?
A. In general, any traveller that will occupy a seat will need to have a train ticket. Children under the age of 4 may travel on your lap, though the exact age can vary by rail company. If you want them to have a reserved seat on a train, that offers or requires a reservation, you would need to pay the same price as an older child on most trains.
Q. I selected a train ticket, but when I placed my booking the price changed. Why? Can the previously quoted price be honored?
A. For most trains, the price quoted is based on live availability from current seat inventories. However, for some trains, we cannot check fare availability at the time of quote due to technical limitations of the international rail distribution system. Therefore, we use a cached price to build your quote, based on generally available fares for the trip you requested.
While rare, sometimes, we find out that the fare used for quoting your trip is no longer available as we’re trying to confirm your reservation. This is when the system gives us the new price based on that very moment’s availability. This explains why you may receive a message advising you that the price has changed from the original quote.
Q. I’ve already booked my rail pass, but think I’d like a different one. Can I exchange it? It’s totally unused.
A. Unused and unvalidated rail passes can be exchanged for an alternate rail pass of equal or greater value. A 7% administration fee, any price difference, and additional shipping fees would apply. Some promotional rail passes are non-exchangeable; please read the terms and conditions for these passes for more details.
Please send us a message through the Contact Us page to begin the exchange process. To exchange a rail pass, we must receive your original unused and unvalidated rail pass no later than 3 days prior to your departure to Europe, issue a new rail pass, and ship it to you.
If you bought the Rail Protection Plan™ when you placed your rail pass order, you are eligible to receive the full value of your original pass as a credit and use it towards any future Rail Europe purchase within 2 years, with no fee or penalty incurred.
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. 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 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. Where can I store my luggage on an overnight train?
A. Luggage can be stored on a small luggage rack and any floor or bed space available. Keep in mind that this space is shared among all travellers occupying the sleeping compartment or couchette.
Q. Does each journey I take require using a separate day of travel on my rail pass?
A. No. You can take as many train journeys as you want within one day and only use one day, as long as your last train ride arrives before 11:59pm.
Q. I need to cancel my trip to Europe. How do I request reimbursement through the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. Although the Rail Protection Plan™ doesn’t allow you to get reimbursed in case your trip is cancelled, you may be eligible to receive an in-store credit. That in-store credit will be good for two years (from the date the credit is issued) towards your next booking, for the full value of the products covered. You can choose to receive this credit toward a future booking or to request to have your tickets refunded per the after sales policies of the products booked.
If you choose to forego the in-store credit and opt for a refund, the regular exchange and refund rules of your products will apply, and you will be subject to the regular carriers penalties, if applicable, in addition to the Rail Europe booking fee.
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.