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 33 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 have my train ticket. Do I also need to buy a reservation?
A. Rail Europe train tickets usually include a reservation whenever possible. In other words, if you’re taking a train that requires a reservation, one will already be included with your train ticket from us. If you’re boarding a train that offers reservations but doesn’t require them, tickets sold on our website will include one, if available, at the time of booking.
For certain trains that offer reservations but don’t require them, it is possible that we do not include a seat reservation with your train ticket. This may happen when we don’t have access to those reservations, which can only be purchased locally. Rest assured that even if this is the case, your Rail Europe train ticket will still allow you to board and sit at any unoccupied seat.
Q. Do you offer student, family and/or senior discounts?
A. Yes. Rail Europe offers a wide range of train tickets and rail passes that provide discounts to children, youths, seniors or groups of people that travel together.
Discounted rates vary depending on the type of train ticket or rail pass you are purchasing, and are not always offered.
We do our best to provide you with the cheapest fares for your traveling party and get you the discounts you’re eligible for. This is why it’s important to accurately indicate the composition of your traveling party when requesting fares and schedules or rail pass prices from our website. You may also have to enter the age of certain travellers, so we can determine whether they’re eligible for certain age-related discounts.
Q. How can I book an itinerary with multiple cities?
A. Our website makes booking multi-city journeys very easy!
Simply enter the cities you plan to depart from, arrive to, and your travel dates. Our system will then search the database to provide the best matching schedules.
Q. I missed my train. What should I do?
A. If you’re traveling with a train ticket that doesn’t include a reservation, you can simply get on the next train that accepts tickets without reservations.
If you’re traveling with a train ticket that includes a reservation, you may have to purchase a new train ticket. Review the exchange and refund terms of your ticket to determine if your train ticket can be exchanged.
If you missed your train due to a connecting train being delayed, ask a Conductor or railway official to endorse your train ticket to say there had been a delay. This is usually sufficient proof for the train staff at the onward station to allow a free transfer to the next available train.
Upon your return home, please contact us via the Contact Us page to inquire about an applicable refund your ticket may qualify for. All refund information may be found on the after-sales voucher that was included with your train ticket.
Q. What should I do if I am downgraded due to equipment issues, or affected by a traffic disruption or a strike?
A. If your travel is affected by circumstances beyond your control, such as a strike or mechanical problems, the railroad will often put in place measures to compensate travellers.
If a train is canceled by the railroads due to a mechanical issue and alternate transportation has not been offered or you decline the alternate transportation, then a railway official at the origin station must cancel your seat and they must stamp the back of your ticket/reservation “Not Used Due to Mechanical Issue” before the original train departure time.
Our partners at the European Railroads will not allow us to process a refund unless this step has been taken.
Please send the ticket to our Customer Relations department within 30-days from the train departure date so that they can process any applicable refund.
Q. Do restaurant cars cater to specific dietary needs like vegetarian, diabetic or kosher?
A. Some European trains do offer special menu items. You can check the menu card found on board the train when you get on. Please keep in mind that you are also permitted to bring food on to the train, so if you have a specific dietary condition that requires special food, you can purchase before getting on the train and avoid any disappointment if the train you are on does not cater to your specific needs.
On Eurostar a wide variety of meals can be arranged prior to your departure to Europe. They include vegetarian, kosher, halal, vegan, diabetic, low fat, low salt and gluten-free meals. For vegetarian meals, we require 24-hours notice in advance of travel. For all other meals we require 48-hours advance notice. If you need to arrange a special meal for your Eurostar journey, please contact us via our Contact Us page.
Q. What types of sleeping compartments or accommodations are available on overnight trains?
A. There are Second class, First class, and on some overnight trains, Premier class accommodations.
In Second class, you can relax in a reclining seat, a ‘couchette’ that is a shared compartment with up to 6 beds, or a compartment with 3 to 4 beds.
In First class, you’ll share a more relaxing locking compartment with one or two beds and a wash basin in the compartment.
Lastly, on some trains, you can book a Premier class ticket for a great night of sleep with private, lockable accommodations for one or two, a private shower and toilet, and includes breakfast and on some trans, dinner.
Sleeping accommodations vary by train type and by route. Be sure to read the product details for the overnight train you’re interested in to see what that train offers in each class of service.
Q. Do I need to do anything to my train ticket before boarding the train?
A. If you purchased and received a paper train ticket in the mail, there is nothing further you need to do.
If you purchased a print at home e-ticket, be sure to print your ticket before you leave home and keep your train ticket safe and secure. For Italo tickets, just print your Rail Europe email confirmation which includes your unique e-ticket confirmation code(s). This e-ticket confirmation code along with your photo i.d. will be checked when on the Italo train.
If you purchased a print at the station e-ticket, you’ll need to visit a self-service kiosk to print your train ticket (remember, you’ll need the e-ticket confirmation code included on your invoice). When retrieving your e-ticket in France at an SNCF kiosk or in Italy at a Trenitalia kiosk, you will need to “stamp your ticket” (composter votre ticket as French say) prior to boarding the train. Should you have any problems, just ask the conductor of the train to do it for you when you board the train.
Q. How can I find the cheapest train tickets?
A. There are two ways you can ensure you get the best price. The most effective way is to book your train ticket(s) in advance. Many rail carriers operating high speed trains or night trains make a limited number of cheaper seats available for advance purchase. Once those seats have been sold or the purchase window has passed, prices go up. That’s why we recommend booking 60 to 90 days prior to the train departure, especially if you plan on traveling during peak season (summer and holidays).
The other way to ensure you get the best rate is to correctly indicate the composition and number of your traveling party when requesting your fares and schedules. This will allow us to determine eligibility for some reduced fares such as child, youth or senior fares when offered by the rail carrier.
Q. Is it possible to have travellers of different genders in the same sleeping compartment?
A. For gender specific compartments, men and women must be in separate sleeping compartments. However, if you reserve all beds within a compartment, you may mix genders.
Gender-specific compartments include private, double, triple, deluxe double, deluxe triple, and quad sleeping compartments. If your traveling party doesn’t fill the compartment, you will be divided by gender.