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. 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. How do I know the right rail pass and how many days I should purchase?
A. We provide simple tools on our site to help make finding the best products for your journey - easy! Our tools help you find both the most cost effective and logical travel solution for your travel needs.
Use our Interactive Rail Map to help you plan your journey, our site will then display available options to bring that journey to life with rail passes, train tickets, and even great add-on products that can truly enhance your experience. Enter the number of days you wish to stay in a particular city, and where you wish to travel next, and our system will provide you with the best options for your itinerary.
The more you know about the train rides you plan on taking, the better you’ll be able to research which trains are running, how long each of those rides take, whether or not you’ll be traveling on night trains, etc… All these factors determine how many travel days you’ll need on a pass.
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. 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. I haven't departed for Europe yet and want to exchange or refund my train ticket. How do I proceed?
A. There are different ways you can exchange or refund a train ticket prior to your departure to Europe, but they depend in whether you booked a paper ticket or e-ticket.
If you booked a paper train ticket, the original ticket must be returned to us for the refund to be finalized. Please visit the Contact Us page for further information.
It’s strongly suggested that you send your documents by some type of traceable mail for proof of delivery.
If you booked an e-ticket from our website, you can usually complete the refund online via our Cancellation and Refund page. The refund will be processed immediately and no further action on your part will be required.
Similar to the previous situation, the original paper train ticket must be returned to us for the exchange to be processed. Visit our Contact Us page to begin the exchange process for paper tickets, or the Cancellation and Refund page for e-tickets.
When exchanging tickets, you are responsible for paying the difference in fare, as well as any applicable fees for your new train tickets. Please keep in mind that exchanges on train tickets are only permitted for the same city pair or route originally booked.
Q. If I bought my rail pass from another company, can I still book my seat reservations through Rail Europe?
A. Yes. You can book your reservation with Rail Europe regardless of where you purchased your rail pass.
Q. What is a Rail Pass?
A. A rail pass is a travel document that entitles you to travel on European trains in a specific geographic area (country/countries), for a specific number of days.
Be mindful that having a rail pass doesn’t necessarily mean that you can hop on any train at will, within the geographical area covered by your rail pass. Depending on the country, the type of train and the route, you may need to purchase seat reservations at an additional cost.
Lastly, rail passes are packed with additional benefits, also known as rail pass bonuses which can range from discounted shopping in retail stores, to preferential rates on other modes of transportation like ferry or bus, to rebates on hotel nights, reduced admission at museums attractions, and more.
Q. How do I contact you while I’m in Europe?
A. If you need to contact us while you’re in Europe, you can send us a message by visiting our Contact Us Page.
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. Are there facilities on board for disabled travellers?
A. Special amenities for disabled travellers are offered on trains and at many train stations, and are clearly indicated with pictograms (for telephones, toilets, elevators, etc.).
Special equipment is also available for use by disabled travellers but must be reserved locally in advance. You can do this while you’re in Europe by inquiring at the train station or through your hotel concierge.
Be sure to specify if you need personal assistance (whether with a wheelchair, boarding, etc.).