How to travel cheap by train in Switzerland: The Ultimate Guide
You are planning to visit Switzerland soon and you are wondering how to travel cheap by train in Switzerland. Here you will find all the information you need before starting your train trip to Switzerland.
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The Swiss transport network is one of the densest in the world with hundreds of daily connections. Whether you live deep in a valley or in the middle of the city of Zurich. There is likely to be a bus or train near you.
That’s why travelling by train is the perfect solution. It is true that traveling by train in Switzerland can be expensive. But with these tips you will be able to save money and have a great time. I will explain you how to travel cheap in Switzerland by train.
Travel cheap by train in Switzerland: Ticket VS Pass
If you are coming to Switzerland for a few days and only plan to make two or three trips by train, it is better to buy regular tickets or the supersaver tickets.
With Supersaver Tickets, you can travel by train for cheap in Switzerland. These tickets are not available for all routes. Often, these tickets are only available during less frequented time slots. Supersaver tickets can save up to 70% of the ticket price
The other option is to take the regular tickets which cost a little more but are available for all trips. I recommend that you use the SBB app to get your tickets online. It is very easy to use and also allows you to see the different train schedules.
Swiss Half Fare Card
The Swiss Half Fare Card is a very good option for people who want to use trains on a more regular but not daily basis when traveling in Switzerland. This pass allows you to get all the public transport tickets at half price.
The Swiss Half Fare Card costs 120 CHF/USD per person and is valid for 1 month.
Swiss travel Pass
The Swiss travel Pass is the option to travel in Switzerland by train for cheap. This pass allows you to travel unlimited in Switzerland for a given period. You can use public transportation (buses, trains, boats, funiculars, …), have free access to several museums but also have discounts on some mountain trains and attractions (up to 50%).
This pass is great and allows you to save a lot of money if you want to discover Switzerland by public transport. For many of my clients, I make the comparison between traveling with the Travel Swiss Pass or taking separate tickets. The results were always the same. It is more cheap to travel in Switzerland by train with the Travel Swiss Pass.
Swiss Travel Pass which allows you to travel and use transport for a continuous number of days (between 3 and 15 days). This option is slightly more expensive than the second one.
Swiss Travel Pass Flex which allows you to travel and use transport for a certain number of days (between 3 and 15 days) over a period of one month. This option is perfect if you want to stay a few days in one place before continuing to travel in Switzerland.
Pros and Cons to travel Switzerland by train
Punctuality I I assure you, it is not a myth! Swiss trains and buses are very rarely late. As a very frequent user of the train, it is really very rare that my train arrives more than 2 minutes late, even during rush hour. And if, by misfortune, your train is a little more late, you should know that the SBB or BLS will broadcast a message in the train to apologize for this unfortunate delay.
Beauty of the landscape I If there’s one thing I love about taking the train, it’s being able to watch the scenery go by. Such a diversity of views sometimes gives the impression of visiting several countries in one. One of the routes I really enjoy, for its view of Lake Geneva with the vineyards in the foreground and the mountains in the background, is the one between Lausanne and Fribourg. Even after 3 years of driving this segment daily, I still marvel at it every time.
Available offer I As I said before, the transport offer in Switzerland is one of the biggest in the world. A small boat trip on the lake of Thun in the morning, then you can take the train to Lucerne in the afternoon. There is really nothing to be bored about. Moreover, if you have the Swiss Travel Pass you can benefit from additional discounts on many activities and cable cars. It’s a good way to travel cheaply by train in Switzerland and to save on some activities.
Price I And yes, it is expensive to travel by public transport. But if you make the right choice in terms of pass, you will be able to travel for cheap by train in Switzerland. It is also a good investment for you and for the planet. You will have less stress and more time to marvel at the scenery.
Time I Time is money! It is true that depending on where you want to go, it will take you longer to reach your destination than if you go by car. I am thinking in particular of trips to small mountain towns which are sometimes a little less well served or with slower transportation. But be aware that if you take the car, your journey will lose its charm.
Tips from a local to enjoy your train journey
- First of all, since you are on vacation, so we assume you have time, try to avoid rush hour transportation. This will allow you to take better advantage of the offer and avoid stress.
- Download the SBB application that will allow you to see in real time all the available connections and also to buy the tickets you need.
- Consider taking some snacks with you to save a few francs on food during your travels. Prices at the restaurant car can be quite high.
- A last one, very simple, but you never know, better to say it: sit near the window to enjoy the show.
I hope this guide has helped you in the organization of your next trip to Switzerland! Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any question about this subject or about Switzerland in general.
More about Switzerland:
- The Ultimate 1-Week Itinerary in Switzerland
- Hiking the Hardergrat Trail in Interlaken: all you need to know
Want to support me while preparing your trip
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Booking – allows me to find great deals on accommodations
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