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!
Book a seat reservation with Rail Europe.
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. No you can’t. You need to buy your Swiss pass before coming to Europe.
- 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. All passengers with an AVE ticket may carry up to two pieces of hand luggage, for which they will be responsible and which they must store in the designated areas. The total weight limit is 20 kg and the combined dimensions (length + width + height) of each piece of luggage must not be more than 250 cm.
Q. Can I borrow my travel partner’s rail pass if I prefer visiting Prague and that my partner wants to visit Hamburg?A. No, this is not possible as the extension must be accompanied by your nominative rail pass bearing your passport number, name and country of residence.
Q. Is it possible to travel from Cologne to Brussels by ICE and back by Thalys with a German Rail Pass Extension coupon?A. You can only travel from Cologne to Brussels with ICE trains. The extension is not valid on the Thalys train. There are 4 daily ICE trains between Germany and Belgium.
- A. Your payment details will be encoded and sent using a secure connection. You can check the security details by clicking with your right mouse button on the payment page and then selecting ‘Properties’. A window will pop up containing all connection data. The ‘Connection’ field shows that an SSL connection is used. Your credit card information, including the number and expiration date, will not be stored.
- A. On-board Eurostar, you are allowed two medium-sized cases (85cm at their longest length), and one piece of hand luggage per passenger. Any luggage over the allowance will be counted as excess luggage and will incur a fee. This will be arranged at the Eurostar terminal on your arrival.
Q. Do I need more than a German Rail Pass extension to travel to Prague and then to another city if I have a 4 day in a month German Rail Pass?A. No. Only one extension is need. You can travel wherever and as many times as you want during the 4 days within 1 month in relation with your rail pass.
- A. Yes, non-smoking cars are available on all trains. Most high- speed trains are now completely non-smoking and all reservations are requested in non-smoking coaches when both options are available. There is no smoking on all trains in France, Italy, Norway, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, and Switzerland.
- A. Also known as the red train, Thalys trains link Paris to the gems of Northern Europe: Brussels in 1 hour and 22 minutes, Amsterdam in 3 hours and 18 minutes, and Cologne in 3 hours and 14 minutes. On a seasonal basis (from the end of December till mid - April), Thalys Snow travels from Brussels Midi to the ski resorts in Chambéry, Albertville, Moutiers, Aime-la-Plagne, Landry and Bourg-St-Maurice, every Saturday without any stops.
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