Swiss Half Fare CardSwiss Travel System
- Offers 50% discount to use trains, buses, boats and public transportations in 75 cities.
- Children under 16 travel for free.
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.
Things to know
Who can buy a rail pass?Any person living outside the participating countries can use the Swiss Half Fare Card. Please note that residents of Switzerland and Liechtenstein are not eligible.
A seat reservation is a guaranteed seat on board a train.
Seat reservations are compulsory for high speed, international and night trains. However, as you will be travelling with a rail pass, you will only have to pay for a small reservation fee, as opposed to the usual standard fare.
Seats are generally available for reservation up to 90 days prior to departure and are limited. Book early to secure your seat!
We are not currently offering online seat reservations for high speed, international and night trains covered by the BritRail passes.You can book your seat reservation directly from train stations once you are in the United Kingdom.
Most regional trains do not require a seat reservation. Just hop on board with a valid rail pass, find a seat and relax as the train takes you to one of the many destinations served.
How to use a rail pass?
You must start using your rail pass within 6 months of the date of purchase.
To start using your rail pass, go to a European railway station where a railway official will fill-in your passport number and stamp your rail pass. On each travel day, please remember to write down the date on your rail pass.
Passengers travelling without having written down the above information risk a fine and payment of a full fare ticket.
A travel day lasts 24 hours from midnight to midnight.You can take as many trains as you want during a travel day.
The 7 pm rule allows you to benefit from a free travel day if the following conditions are met:
- Your pass should be activated.
- You must travel on board a night train departing after 7 pm and this should be your first trip of the day.
- You must reach your destination after 4 am on the next day.
- Your arrival date should be within the validity of the pass.
The validity is the number of travel days of a rail pass.
For a rail pass with a validity of 5 days within 1 month. If you activate your rail pass on the 1st of the month, you can travel on the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 12th and 30th of this month.
Rail pass benefits
Most rail passes include discounts and bonuses. Save money and make the most of your trip with your rail pass.
When available you will get hotel discounts, free entrance to museums, discounted boat trips and more.
- 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.
Interactive Rail Map
Use our interactive travel map to plan your trip and view the rail network of each country covered by your rail pass.
Offering unlimited travel in Switzerland, one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe. Discover the snow-capped mountains, green landscape and tidy little towns. Visit Bern, Montreux, Geneva and other major cities of Switzerland.
- A. Each passenger is allowed 2 bags/suitcases plus 1 piece of hand luggage and every piece of luggage must be labelled. Luggage can be stored in the racks above your seat on ICE trains.
- A. No, Eurostar does not transport cars. You can transport your car on Le Shuttle, which carries cars through the Channel Tunnel. For reservations with Le Shuttle, please call 08705 35 35 35 or at www.eurotunnel.com.
- A. Dining cars are available on most long distance trains. Normally, you can just walk into most dining cars, sit down, and eat without a reservation, but you are welcome to make a reservation for a meal when mealtime is busy, or when the train attendant announces the opening of the dining car. If your train does not have a dining car, it is likely to offer passengers a buffet bar car. On local trains, there may be an attendant with a snack cart who travels from car to car, selling snacks and beverages. Train Dining cars are part of the train experience and is unrivaled by any other means of transportation. In some trains the quality of the food and the wine is up to the standard of a gourmet restaurant.
- A. Taking an overnight train is like adding a touch of adventure to your trip! Depending on the type of compartment you reserve, you will either be bunking with new found friends, or sharing a private room with your travel companions. Remember, you are on a train so the amount of space in each overnight compartment is not overwhelming. If you have booked a private sleeper, you will have more room to move around in and store your belongings. Please note that on some overnight trains you can expect to have your passports collected by railway officials on the train. This is primarily for your security. Your passport will be guarded overnight and then returned to you in the morning.
- A. The Eurail Select Pass is valid on trains operated by the national railways of the three to five bordering countries you select. However, some trains require seat reservations. For example, for many high-speed services, international trains, scenic trains and all night trains, an advance reservation is compulsory.
- A. You can print your Lyria ticket directly from your printer at home or, alternatively, you can retrieve it from the self-service machines available at the train stations in France only before boarding your Lyria train.
- A. To validate your German Rail Pass Extension, it needs to be accompanied by a German Rail Pass and your passport. Please note that the use of the extension requires a travel day of the German Rail Pass for each trip used.
- A. Yes all high-speed trains require reservations. Some 1st class trains include meal service in the price of your ticket.
- A. There is no check in or customs procedures for Italo trains. However ticket control or ID checks can occur randomly on board. Make sure to have your travel documents with you at all times.
- A. Italo offers different classes of service. Rail Europe offers 3 classes of service for Italo: the Smart class, the Club class and the Prima class. The Smart class is the equivalent of second class, where passengers have the following services: 2 dedicated stewards/hostesses and comfortable seats. The Prima class is the equivalent of first class, where passengers have the following services: A dedicated steward/hostess, welcome drink and snacks, daily newspapers, complimentary expresso and large reclining seats. A supplement is needed for catering service in Prima class. The Club class has the same services as the Prima class plus video screens and access to business lounge.
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