With an excellent rail network and public transportation, Switzerland is a country which is easy to visit. The Swiss Half Fare Card offers a 50% discount for one month of travel.
Swiss Half Fare Card
- Offers 50% discount to use trains, buses, boats and public transportations in 75 cities.
- Children under 16 travel for free.
Discover Switzerland by trains, buses, boats and scenic mountain trains.
How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes are available in 1, 2, 3 or 4 country combinations for extensive travel on the national rail networks. Going for an extended trip? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering rail travel in 31 different countries.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service, First or Second, selected 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, buses and boats.
- 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. When I compare your schedules with European railroad sites, I notice some differences. Why?
A. Although this is not typical, you may occasionally find some discrepancies between the train schedules shown on our website and the ones listed on a rail carrier’s website. This is generally due to the fact that the rail carrier has not yet made available its complete schedule range in the European train schedule database we use to populate our booking engine.
We continuously work with individual European railroads to establish partnerships that ensure our direct access to all inventories in order to provide you with the fullest range of travel options.
Q. I am taking a cruise while in Europe. How do I connect between the train station and port of call?
A. Traveling between a port and a train station is usually simple. Sometimes, getting between the two is an easy walk. And in other cases, it’s best to take a taxi, bus, or train.
Q. What ways can a train ticket be issued? Paper? e tickets?
A. There are potentially three ways to receive European train tickets.
Paper tickets: the rail pass or train ticket is physically printed at the Rail Europe fulfillment center and shipped to you.
Print at home e-ticket: the train ticket may be issued as a PDF which may either be emailed to you directly, or retrieved via a web link that is communicated to you at the time of purchase, depending on the rail carrier. You must print the PDF from a computer printer on any regular paper prior to boarding the train. Some e-tickets are delivered with a unique e-ticket confirmation code that is printed on your Rail Europe confirmation email. You must provide this e-ticket confirmation code along with your id to the conductor on board the train.
Print at station e-ticket: you will receive an e-ticket confirmation code (also known as PNR or Passenger Name Record) on your confirmation email, as well as a link to detailed instructions for retrieving your ticket. Use this e-ticket code at a self-service kiosk located at the train station in Europe to print out your actual ticket, prior to boarding the train.
Print at home e-ticket and print at station e-ticket are “electronic” delivery methods requiring no physical shipment to you. This means we can issue you an e-ticket whether you’re still at home or already in Europe.
Please note that all three methods are not always offered for a given train ticket. In fact, many tickets only support one of these issuance methods.
Q. What is the 7:00 pm rule?
A. Overnight train journeys departing after 7:00pm and arriving after 4:00am without any change of train will count as one travel day. The date of arrival should be recorded on your rail pass.
Overnight train journeys departing after 7:00pm that arrive or involve a connection between midnight - 4am count as two travel days on your rail pass.
Q. My plans have changed and I won’t be able to use my rail pass. Can I get a refund?
A. You can submit your rail pass for a refund. Please be advised that there is a 15% penalty. Only unused and unvalidated (non-activated) rail passes can be refunded. The pass must be returned to Rail Europe, along with a brief letter mentioning the original reference number of the booking. It’s strongly recommended that you send these documents by some type of traceable mail for proof of delivery.
If you purchased the Rail Protection Plan™ and your rail pass is covered, you’re eligible to receive a credit for its entire value. No fee or penalty will be applied, and you can use this credit towards any future Rail Europe purchase within 2 years. Please read more about the Rail Protection Plan™ and for instructions on how to file a claim.
Please visit our Cancellation and Refunds page for more information.
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. I selected a train ticket, but when I placed my booking the price changed. Why? Can the previously quoted price be honored?
A. For most trains, the price quoted is based on live availability from current seat inventories. However, for some trains, we cannot check fare availability at the time of quote due to technical limitations of the international rail distribution system. Therefore, we use a cached price to build your quote, based on generally available fares for the trip you requested.
While rare, sometimes, we find out that the fare used for quoting your trip is no longer available as we’re trying to confirm your reservation. This is when the system gives us the new price based on that very moment’s availability. This explains why you may receive a message advising you that the price has changed from the original quote.
Q. What should I do if my train ticket is lost or stolen?
A. If your paper ticket is lost or stolen, you’ll need to purchase a new one in order to travel.
If you purchased the Rail Protection Plan™ and your ticket is covered, you may be eligible for reimbursement if you meet the requirements of this plan, this includes filing a police report within 24 hours of the loss or theft and purchasing replacement train ticket.
Q. Does your website display all trains operating for the route searched?
A. We strive to provide the most comprehensive European rail booking engine online. We have specific partnerships with most European railroads. These partnerships determine the extent to which we are able to provide complete and accurate schedules through our booking engine.
For many countries, our schedules match the complete offerings of the European train companies. But occasionally, some train companies do not load schedules for all local trains. Also, schedules for certain private trains may not be available through our booking engine.
Q. Are there lounges at the train station I can access with my Rail Europe tickets?
A. Some of the main train stations in larger European cities offer lounges. Access to lounges depends on the type of train ticket you have; generally a First class ticket is needed.
Trains that offer lounge access are:
SJ High Speed
Trenitalia International Night
Spanish Night Trains
To learn more about lounge access for any of the above trains, we encourage you to visit the product page for the train.