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.
This card provides savings up to 50% for travel on most trains, boats, and buses in Switzerland.
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 28 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.
From our travel community
You may also be interested in
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. Who is eligible to buy a rail pass?
A. Rail passes are available to anyone except residents of Europe, the United Kingdom, Morocco, Turkey or any of the countries of the former Soviet Union. If you’re a resident of these countries we can’t sell you our rail passes, but there are other similar options available to you such as the InterRail pass.
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.).
Q. What happens if I board a train with my rail pass but forgot to purchase a reservation?
A. We suggest advising the conductor as soon as possible of the situation and purchase the required reservation. If you’re traveling on a train that requires a reservation you could be fined.
Q. I’ve noticed a big difference in the cost of seat reservations for different trains. Why?
A. Fares for reservations may vary greatly from one train to another. Unfortunately, we have no control over these prices as they’re set by each individual railroad.
Trains that have higher priced reservations are typically high speed, international trains such as Thalys or Eurostar, as well as night trains.
Various factors are considered by rail carriers when pricing reservations for rail pass holders. These factors can include: the technology used by the train (high speed or regular speed), the types of tracks the train travels on and their associated maintenance cost, the range of services and amenities offered on board, possible tolls incurred by the carriers depending on the train routing (such as tunnel crossing tolls) and partnerships between rail carriers for the operation of cross border trains.
In addition, there are also specific costs associated with traveling on a night train that may include food for dinner and breakfast, as well as cabin maintenance costs (sheets, etc…). Since these costs are not associated with travel on day trains, day train reservations generally cost less.
Q. Can I use more than one credit card to pay for my booking?
A. Yes. You can enter up to 10 different credit cards for a single purchase. At the time of payment, use the “Add additional card” button to display all credit card options. After entering each credit card’s information, you can modify the amount to be charged to each individual card. You’ll need to make sure that the total charged for all credit cards matches the total of your booking.
Q. Will the conductor take my passport?
A. Conductors will not take your passport during day trips. If your passport does need to be checked, the local border control staff will simply walk through each train car checking each passengers travel documents and hand them back to you.
With overnight trips you’ll generally provide the train attendant with your reservation voucher, rail pass or train ticket, and passport as you board. That way, they can take care of everything with conductors and customs officials so you can sleep uninterrupted through the night.
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. My group lives large. Can we book an exclusive carriage or charter an entire train?
A. Whether your group is looking to book an exclusive carriage on a scheduled train for their sole use, or wishing to charter an entire train, we can arrange it. Simply fill out a Group Quote form and one of our dedicated group consultants will respond with a quote to fit your groups’ needs.
Q. Can I sit in Second class if I have a First class rail pass?
A. Yes you can, provided there is an available seat. If you are traveling on a train that requires reservations, you can reserve your seat in Second class with a First class rail pass (subject to availability). Please note that there will be no refund given for the difference in fare.
Q. If my train tickets have been lost or stolen, how do I request reimbursement through the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. Here’s what you need to do if your train ticket, rail pass, reservation, city pass or tour was lost or stolen and you plan to request receive a reimbursement through the Rail Protection Plan™.
You must file a police report within 24 hours of the incident.
You may purchase a replacement rail pass, train ticket, reservation, city pass or tour in order to continue with your travel plans.
Upon return home, you must submit the traveller request form to Rail Europe within 30 days, along with a copy of the police report, replacement rail pass, train ticket, reservation, city pass, or tour purchased abroad, and your roundtrip airline tickets from home to Europe. A brief explanation of the situation is also necessary to better evaluate the traveller request form.
If you purchased the Rail Protection Plan™ when you booked your train ticket/rail pass/reservation/city pass/tour, you received full documentation on what to do in the event of loss or theft. Please refer to this information for full details.