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. Will I be sharing my sleeping compartment with strangers?
A. If you book a reservation for a bed in a compartment that can accommodate more people than are in your traveling party, yes, additional people may be in the compartment. It’s also important to note that couchette accommodations are usually not gender specific.
Q. A rail strike in Europe prevented me from fully using my rail pass as intended. Can I get a refund on the unused days?
A. Passes that have been activated or partially used are not eligible for a refund. You may wish to have your pass cancelled and noted by a European railroad official that it was “not used due to a strike” and return it to our customer relations department. The claim will be reviewed to see if we are able to provide compensation depending on the European railroads’ policies. Please send us a message using the Contact Us page on our site.
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. I want to refund my train ticket. How do I proceed?
A. If you have a paper ticket that you would like to submit for a refund, please visit our Contact Us page for further information.
Please note that train tickets must be received at least 2 business days prior to the train departure date.
It’s strongly suggested that you send these documents by some type of traceable mail for proof of delivery.
If you have an e-ticket to submit for a refund, this can be initiated on our Cancellation and Refunds page.
Q. What is a Diabolo fee?
A. The Diabolo fee is a supplement for utilizing the trains in and out of the Brussels Airport Station in Belgium. This nominal fee can be paid at the station or on 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. Are there shower facilities on board?
A. Onboard shower facilities vary by car equipment, operating carrier, and the class of service you’re booked in. You can view the details when you search for the train you wish to travel on.
In addition, there may be shower facilities at the rail stations. Typically, you will need to pay a fee to use these showers.
Q. What fees does Rail Europe charge?
A. Rail Europe charges different types of fees for the services we provide. These fees are waived under certain circumstances. Below is a list of the fees we charge.
Delivery Fee: this fee covers the cost of delivering your travel documents to you, allowing you to relax, knowing that you have everything you need prior to your departure.
Customer Care Centre Fee: this fee is charged only when bookings are made over the phone through one of our Customer Care Centres.
Rail Europe Processing Fee: this fee allows us to continue to provide travellers with a wide range of European rail products to choose from, in addition to offering quality customer support before, during, and after your trip.
Administrative Fee: this fee is charged only for refunds and exchanges. It is 7% of the original train ticket or rail pass price.
Q. What is a travel day on a rail pass?
A. A travel day on a rail pass is a 24-hour period, from midnight to midnight, during which you can take as many train journeys as you desire. Since rail passes use calendar days, journeys within 24-hours of each other but on different days will count as two travel days.
Q. Seat Reservations are sold out for the train I want to take. What should I do?
A. If the train you’re planning to take requires a reservation and reservations are sold out, there are only two things you can do. Purchase a regular, full-fare ticket if those are still available, or try to travel on another train (later or earlier) that has reservations available.