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. Where can I see the exchange and refund conditions of my train ticket?
A. When browsing fares on our website, you can read a brief description of each fare flexibility level, and then see the full exchange and refund conditions for each fare.
Once you have booked a train ticket with us, its exchange and refund rules will be indicated in your Rail Europe booking confirmation email, as well as printed with your train ticket and/or on the ticket jacket in the case of paper tickets. Please note that train tickets must be received for exchange or refund within the allowed time frame mentioned in the exchange and refund conditions.
Q. What should accompany the train ticket or rail pass I'm sending back for a refund?
A. When you submit your train ticket or rail pass to our customer relations department for a refund, be sure to include a brief letter along with any other supporting documentation, such as letters from local train operators, replacement tickets (if any), etc.
If you are making a claim through our Rail Protection Plan™, please download and fill out the Rail Protection Plan traveller’s Request Form and send, along with the appropriate documents.
We recommend that you send all documents by traceable mail for proof of delivery.
Q. In the event of a strike, is my rail pass covered under the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. In general no – the Rail Protection Plan™ doesn’t provide specific coverage for rail passes, city passes, or tours in the event a strike occurs during your travels.
During a strike, there are usually trains that operate along all routes, as well as substitute buses. While you may not be able to take the exact train you were planning on using, there are usually trains or some other method of transportation that can get you to where you need to go.
In case a severe strike occurs that significantly prevents you from using your pass as intended, you may contact our customer relations team. We will review your particular circumstances and may provide compensation, if appropriate.
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. Can I bring my bike on board?
A. In general, bicycles can be taken with you as carry-on luggage, free of charge on just about any national or international train- if you put it in a bike bag. In the bike bag, the wheels, pedals and handlebars must be removed.
In addition, many European trains allow bikes in a special bike compartment for free or a small fee. If there is a fee, it’s typically about 5-15 Euros per journey. Bikes are typically permitted on local & regional trains in most countries, at least outside peak travel hours.
Many inter-city trains also allow bikes, however not in Spain. And in France only a few French TGVs allow bikes that aren’t in a bike bag. Some TGV-Lyria trains between Paris & Switzerland also allow bikes. Paris-Madrid & Paris-Barcelona night trains only allow bikes if they’re in a bike bag and if you & your fellow travellers occupy the entire sleeper compartment. Overnight Thello sleeper trains & daytime TGV trains between Paris & Italy only allow bikes in a bike bag. Thalys trains between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam & Cologne only allow bikes in bike bags. Long-distance trains into Eastern Europe such as Cologne-Moscow, Bucharest-Istanbul or Budapest-Sofia only allow bikes in bike bags, primarily because these trains don’t have luggage compartments.
Lastly, some trains, primarily in the UK, will require advance reservations for bicycles. These reservations will need to be made locally at the station.
Q. My promo code is not working. What should I do?
A. If for any reason you experience an issue with your promo code, please verify that all criteria are met for the code to be valid (dates, booking minimum, products, etc.). If all of this seems correct, make sure you’re using the correct code. If you received your code in an email, sometimes it’s best to copy and paste the code to avoid typographical errors.
If you continue to have trouble, get in touch with us using our Contact Us page.
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. Do the train stations offer services to help carry my luggage?
A. Many train stations in Europe have self-service luggage carts that you can use to transport your luggage through the train station. These carts are usually coin-operated and when you return your cart, you’ll get your coin back.
It’s always best to pack light and anticipate that you will need to carry your own luggage. Only a few stations in Europe offer porter services. Also keep in mind that while some stations offer elevators and/or escalators, you may need to carry your luggage up or down stairs to reach the correct train platform.
Q. Can I take any train that travels between the two cities for which I bought my train ticket, or do I have to take a specific train?
A. The answer depends on what type of ticket was issued for your journey. In most cases, we issue tickets that include a seat reservation whenever required or possible. If your tickets include a reservation, you will need to board the train for which the reservation was issued.
If you were issued a train ticket without a reservation, then yes - you can board any train traveling between the cities for which your ticket was issued. It is always advisable to inquire at the train station whether or not a reservation is needed for the train you intend to board. There are certain countries that we cannot issue reservations for: Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Romania, and other Balkan nations. Reservations may be required but will need to be purchased locally.
Q. How early should I arrive at the train station?
A. We advise travellers to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure. This allows you time to clear any security checks and locate the platform where your train will be departing. If you are departing from a larger train station (typically a city’s main station) and need to activate your rail pass prior to boarding, you will want to arrive even earlier to make sure you have enough time to get your rail pass activated and avoid doing a luggage-hauling sprint through the station.
Please note: For Eurostar trains, follow the "check-in and Ticket Gate Time Limit" instructions which can be found on your ticket under "Additional Information".