Swiss Half Fare CardSwiss Travel System
Europe Summer Sales: Great deals to tour Europe!
Save up to € 60 on your booking and enjoy a wonderful summertime in Europe!
- 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. 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.
- 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. 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. You can buy all your AVE tickets trains quickly and easily online, with no booking fee, and print them in the convenience of your home.
- A. Train stations in Europe are very traveler friendly. Once arriving to the station there are large Departure and Arrival Boards located in the center of the most stations. Match the train number and departure time on your reservation / ticket to the train number listed on the departure board. Once you have found your train on the Departure Board, you will find a platform number where your train will be departing from. Upon arriving to your platform and you will notice that each car (also known as a coach) number on the train is clearly indicated on the side of each coach. Check your reservation / ticket for your car/coach number. You notice the class of service will also be listed in addition to the car/coach number on the side of the train. Once onboard the train, you will find that similar to an airplane each seat is clearly labeled with a number. Match the seat number on your reservation / ticket number to seat number in the train car / coach. Train stations in Europe have international pictograms that are easy to understand and are used in international airports. These pictograms will assist you once you arrive to the station. If you still have difficulty in finding your train, the stations staff can always help point you in the right direction.
- A. Yes, there is a catering service on board Italo trains. While there are 2 Area break with self-service vending machines, there are no bar/restaurant coaches. From the vending machines which are in coach 3 and 7, you can but hot and cold drinks as well as snacks. Passengers in Club and Prima class will be offered a catering service at an extra cost, which you must pay once on board. You can order the Italo breakfast, if you are travelling in the early morning between Milan and Rome.
- A. Generally, dogs are permitted on trains. Sometimes they may need to be contained in a pet carrier, or they may have to wear a muzzle or leash. Dogs normally travel at half the fare of a 2nd class ticket; this charge is payable directly to the conductor. Pets are not allowed on trains in Great Britain, Spain, Ireland, Norway, and Finland. Currently the only animals that will be permitted to travel on the Eurostar are guide dogs for the visually impaired.
- 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. 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. Yes. If you have a twin pass to travel in Germany, you need two German Rail Pass Extensions.
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