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.
From our travel community
You may also be interested in
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. How do I use a Rail Europe Gift Card?
A. Simply use the Gift Card code that was provided by Rail Europe on your certificate. Enter this code on the delivery page during checkout. Note: the full dollar value of the Gift Card doesn’t need to be used all at once; you will be sent a new Gift Card code for any remaining balance.
Q. What credit cards does Rail Europe accept online?
A. You can use an American Express, Diner’s Club, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa card on our website.
Q. Will there be someone to help me find my reserved seat on the train?
A. Generally speaking, train cars and seats are prominently marked. If you have any trouble finding your reserved seat, one of the conductors on the platform or onboard the train will be able to assist you.
Q. Can I exchange or refund my rail pass while in Europe?
A. Unused and unvalidated rail passes can be exchanged for an alternate rail pass of equal or greater value. A 7% administration fee, any price difference, and additional shipping fees would apply. Some promotional rail passes are non-exchangeable; please read the terms and conditions for these passes for more details. Exchanges and refunds for rail passes cannot be performed locally at the train station.
Please send us a message through the Contact Us page to begin the exchange process. To exchange a rail pass, we must receive your original unused and unvalidated rail pass no later than 3 days prior to your departure to Europe, issue a new rail pass, and ship it to you.
If you bought the Rail Protection Plan™ when you placed your rail pass order, you are eligible to receive the full value of your original pass as a credit and use it towards any future Rail Europe purchase within 2 years, with no fee or penalty incurred.
Q. Do trains offer facilities for handicapped passengers?
A. The ability to exchange or refund a train ticket while you’re in Europe depends on whether you have a paper or e-ticket, as well as the specific conditions for the fare you booked.
If you have an e-ticket that you bought on our website, you can perform the refund online, according to the conditions of your train ticket. Please visit our Cancellation and Refund page to begin.
If you purchased a paper ticket, you must perform the exchange locally at the train station. Go to the ticket window and a railway representative will be able to assist you with the exchange procedure.
Please keep in mind that exchanges on train tickets are only permitted for the same city pair or route originally booked.
If your ticket is non-exchangeable, a new train ticket must be purchased.
To obtain a refund for a paper ticket/reservation, a railway official at the origin station must cancel your seat and they must stamp the back of your ticket/reservation “Not Used” 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.
You must mail us the original unused ticket for the refund to be processed. When you’ve returned from Europe, mail us back your train ticket. Please visit the Contact Us page on this site for further details.
If you didn’t purchase your train ticket online or are unable to initiate the refund online, please contact us using our Contact Us page for assistance. In most cases, for a refund to transpire, the associated reservation must be released before the train departure.
Q. Can I still buy train tickets from you once I’m in Europe?
A. Yes, but only for trains that offer print at home or print at the station e-tickets. In general, we don’t ship paper tickets to Europe unless you will be at the same location (and able to receive tickets) for 3-5 business days. If the train you want only offers a paper ticket option, and you won’t be able to receive those tickets in the main, you will need to buy it locally at the station.
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. If my travel party won’t fill the entire compartment, can we buy it out to travel by ourselves?
A. We’re only able to sell train tickets/reservations for beds that will be filled by travellers. If you purchase “extra” beds in a compartment to occupy the space, the conductor can fill empty beds if space is needed, even if the whole compartment has been purchased. No refund is given if a conductor fills an “extra” bed.
Q. I’m leaving for Europe within 3 days and need to buy train tickets or rail passes. What are my options?
A. Some European train operators now offer electronic ticketing. If the train you’re interested in offers this, you can buy a train ticket up until its day of travel and retrieve it locally at the station using your unique e-ticket confirmation code or by printing it at home before you leave.
Currently, e-tickets are only offered on Eurostar, Thalys, Renfe, Talgo, Italo & Trenitalia along with select German, French (including international TGVs), and British trains. This type of ticketing will be available on other routes in the near future. At this time, the only rail passes available as e-passes are the Renfe Spain Pass and Swiss Travel Pass.
All other trains, certain activity vouchers, and rail passes must be issued as a paper document and mailed to you prior to your departure. If you’re leaving within three days, you should contact us via our Contact Us page and we’ll be able to advise whether there’s enough time for you to get your train ticket or rail pass prior to your leaving for Europe.
Q. How much luggage can I take on the train?
A. Technically, you’re not restricted in terms of luggage. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to carry your bags through the train station and onto the train. Once on board you’ll need to find a place to put your bag(s). Small and medium sized bags typically fit on racks located above the seats. Larger suitcases and such can be stored in luggage racks found near the train door entrance.
Be aware that you are responsible for your luggage. The railways assume no responsibility in case of loss or theft of baggage carried on board.
When traveling on a Eurostar, Thalys, or TGV train, you are limited to two large items per traveller (one large item per child on Eurostar trains), maximum 85cm (33 inches) in any one dimension, plus one small item of hand luggage.
Your bag(s) must be properly labeled with your first and last name. In general, it’s a good idea to keep luggage tags on your baggage for easy identification.