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.
From our travel community
You may also be interested in
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. I’m leaving for Europe within 3 days and need to buy train tickets or rail passes. What are my options?
A. Some European train operators now offer electronic ticketing. If the train you’re interested in offers this, you can buy a train ticket up until its day of travel and retrieve it locally at the station using your unique e-ticket confirmation code or by printing it at home before you leave.
Currently, e-tickets are only offered on Eurostar, Thalys, Renfe, Talgo, Italo & Trenitalia along with select German, French (including international TGVs), and British trains. This type of ticketing will be available on other routes in the near future. At this time, the only rail passes available as e-passes are the Renfe Spain Pass and Swiss Travel Pass.
All other trains, certain activity vouchers, and rail passes must be issued as a paper document and mailed to you prior to your departure. If you’re leaving within three days, you should contact us via our Contact Us page and we’ll be able to advise whether there’s enough time for you to get your train ticket or rail pass prior to your leaving for Europe.
Q. How do I use a Rail Europe Gift Card?
A. Simply use the Gift Card code that was provided by Rail Europe on your certificate. Enter this code on the delivery page during checkout. Note: the full dollar value of the Gift Card doesn’t need to be used all at once; you will be sent a new Gift Card code for any remaining balance.
Q. Will a National Rail Strike affect my train travel?
A. A national strike impacting rail services could affect train travel for locals and visitors alike. Typically, during a rail strike there will be a reduced number of trains operating which could lead to more passengers on board trains that are running, changes in schedules, or even alternate modes of transportation (such as buses) to transport passengers to their destinations.
In the event of a strike, Rail Europe will provide as much information as possible to assist those who may be impacted. If a strike has been announced, you can always submit inquiries to Rail Europe through the Contact Us page or, if you’re already in Europe during a strike, go directly to a railway station and ask the local railway official for assistance.
Q. Where do I my send train tickets and/or rail passes for refund?
A. We recommend that any documents being returned for refund be sent via traceable mail for proof of delivery.
Please visit our Cancellation and Refunds page for information regarding refunds. If you need further assistance we invite you to send us a message using our Contact Us page.
Q. My promo code is not working. What should I do?
A. If for any reason you experience an issue with your promo code, please verify that all criteria are met for the code to be valid (dates, booking minimum, products, etc.). If all of this seems correct, make sure you’re using the correct code. If you received your code in an email, sometimes it’s best to copy and paste the code to avoid typographical errors.
If you continue to have trouble, get in touch with us using our Contact Us page.
Q. I understand that some of the train platforms in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy now have gates. How do I get to my train?
A. Many train stations in the Netherlands and the Brussels Airport Station in Belgium now have platforms with entry/exit gates. To enter or exit from the train’s platform, you will need to pass through these gates that are controlled with a bar code reader.
Most paper tickets and e-tickets and all Eurail Pass covers have a square barcode which can be scanned at the entry/exit point of the platform. Just hold the bar code on your travel document to the scanner on the illuminated area on the gate and pass through the gate.
Some of the high traffic train stations in Italy, such as Milan Centrale, Roma Termini and Firenze Santa Maria Novella stations now have entry/exit gates. Access through these gates are exclusively reserved for traveller’s holding a ticket. It is suggested that you have your paper or electronic tickets ready to present upon arriving at these security gates.
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. 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. What is the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. We offer an exclusive Rail Protection Plan™ that gives you the flexibility to change your train ticket, rail pass, reservation, and select activities with no questions asked. You’ll also be protected in the event of a railroad strike for train tickets, and in the case of loss or theft of paper tickets, rail passes, city passes or tours.
The Rail Protection Plan™ may be added to your booking on the delivery page after adding the products to your itinerary or any time prior to final payment being applied to your booking. (Select city passes and tours are excluded from coverage). The Rail Protection Plan™ fee is non-refundable and non-exchangeable. View the detailed terms and conditions of the Rail Protection Plan™ coverage.
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.