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. Can I add a friend to my existing rail pass?
A. Once a rail pass has been printed, another name cannot be added. We may be able to exchange the rail pass through our contact center, but exchange fees and penalties will apply. The only exception is if you bought the Rail Protection Plan along with your rail pass. In that case, you’re eligible to exchange your rail pass for a new one that includes your friend, without incurring any fee or penalty. You’ll just need to pay the additional cost of the rail pass for your friend.
Q. Do you offer discounts on tickets for groups?
A. If your group consists of 10 or more passengers, you’ll be entitled to group rate tickets. Please note that for British domestic trains, we can provide a quote for nine travellers. First and second class group rates are available. Simply fill out our Group Quote form and a dedicated agent will answer your request.
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. When I board the train, can I sit anywhere I want?
A. If you booked a reservation for a specific train, you’ll have a designated car and seat number. This information will be located on your ticket.
If you don’t have a reservation and the train you’re traveling on either doesn’t accept reservations or reservations are not mandatory, then you’ll be able to get on board and look for an available seat in the class of service you booked. Keep in mind that during the train journey, if another traveller gets on board and has reserved the seat you’re occupying, you will need to move.
Keep in mind that local commuter trains generally do not accept reservations. During peak hours (typically before 9am and in the evening between 5-7pm) the trains are used by locals going to work and tend to be a bit more crowded. This may make it more difficult to find an available seat.
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. Are the fares offered on your website based on live availability?
A. Yes, in most cases. The fares displayed on our website are based on current seat availability at the time you requested the fares and schedules for your journey. our booking engine has a direct link to the inventory of many European rail carriers including SNCF, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Trenitalia, RENFE, the UK’s Association Of Train Operating Companies, and more.
There are some routes which we can only display a cached price at the time of quotation, based on generally available fares for those trains. Actual confirmation of space and fare occurs upon completion of your order. If there are any issues, you’ll be contacted.
Q. Are there discounts available for rail passes?
A. Yes, many rail passes offer discounted options. The most common discounts are:
Child discount: Children between 4 -11 years of age usually travel for half the price of the regular adult rate. Most Eurail passes offer free travel for up to two children per adult pass holder.
Youth Discount: If you or anyone in your party is a traveller aged 12 to under 28 years of age on the first date of travel, discounted rates are available for certain rail passes.
Senior Discount: Seniors over the age of 60 are eligible for a discounted rate on certain rail passes.
Saver Discount: Small groups of 2 to 5 people traveling together are eligible for savings of about 15% on certain rail passes.
Group Discount: If you travel in a party of 10 or more, see our special group offers for a more customized travel solution.
Q. How can I subscribe to or unsubscribe from your e newsletter?
A. You can subscribe or unsubscribe from our e-newsletter at any time from your Rail Europe online account page. You will also find newsletter signup forms throughout our site, just enter your email address to begin receiving tips, deals, and offers in your inbox!
To unsubscribe, you can simply click the unsubscribe link found at the footer of our e-newsletter. This will unsubscribe you immediately.
Q. I misplaced the printout of my print at home e-ticket. What now?
A. No problem. You can simply reprint your train ticket from any printer, as long as you can still access the pdf provided to you at the time of booking.
You can find links to the pdf in the confirmation email sent to you. Or if you’ve registered for an online account, you can access the booking in which the pdf link was contained in your dashboard.
The only exceptions are if you purchased a Thalys or NTV-Italo print at home e-ticket. Those pdf’s are sent in separate emails and can’t be retrieved online at this time.
If you request to have your train ticket reprinted at a station ticket window, there may be a local service fee.
Q. How far in advance can I buy my rail pass?
A. A rail pass can be purchased anywhere from 6 to 11 months prior to your first travel day. We advise you to check the specific conditions of use for the pass you are interested in.