Switzerland

Trains - Tickets - Routes

A Travel Guide For Train Travel In Switzerland.

Here you will find information for Switzerland about trains, routes, tours, connections, where to buy train tickets, and more.

Useful Information

Population: 8.57 million

Currency: Swiss Franc

Language: German, French, Italian, Romanch

Capital: Bern

Country Code: +41

Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Train Companies

Most of the country’s trains are operated by SBB; however, there is an abundance of smaller, private train operators around Switzerland. Some other well-known companies are listed below:

  • Appenzeller Bahn
  • Rhaetian Railway (RhB) 
  • Matterhorn Gotthard Railway (MGB) 
  • Montreux–Oberland Bernois Railway (MOB)
Switzerland rail map

Copyright: RAILWAYHERO

Train Tickets

Buy your train tickets for Switzerland online on the SBB official homepage.

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Buy your cheap train tickets for Europe online
at TRAINLINE.

Rail Passes

Interrail / Eurail Pass

Do you want to travel throughout Europe flexibly and comfortably? Then the Interrail Pass is perfect for you. With the Interrail Pass, you can visit 40,000 destinations in 33 countries in Europe. You can travel for up to 3 months by train.

Swiss Travel Pass

With the Swiss Travel Pass, you can use trains, buses, and ships throughout Switzerland. Travel with as many means of transport as you would like up to 15 consecutive days.

TrAIN tYPES

The major rail network in Switzerland is composed of the following trains:

S-Bahn (suburban trains) is a train network operating in larger cities

Regio (R) trains link local towns.

RegioExpress (RE) connect regional cities with bigger Swiss cities

InterRegio (IR) connect Geneva and Zurich with cities across the whole of Switzerland. These trains stop more often than InterCity trains.

  • Offering 1st and 2nd Class
  • Trains are equipped with power sockets and air-conditioning.
  • Bicycles are allowed on trains; however, the bike needs an additional ticket
  • Reservation cost: 5 CHF

InterCity (IC) trains connect big Swiss cities Bern and Geneva.

  • 1st Class: Rows of three seats (2+1), offering more legroom
  • 2nd Class: Rows of four seats (2+2)
  • Trains are equipped with power sockets and air-conditioning. Most trains are equipped with a dining car offering a range of food and drinks.
  • Bicycles are allowed on trains; however, may need an additional ticket.
  • Reservation cost: 5 CHF

High-Speed Trains

Domestic high-speed trains In Switzerland.

InterCity Neigezug (ICN) offers comfortable and timely transport across the country.

  • 1st Class: Rows of three seats (2+1), offering more legroom
  • 2nd Class: Rows of four seats (2+2)
  • Trains are equipped with power sockets, WiFi (on several routes), and air-conditioning. Trains are equipped with a dining car offering a range of food and drinks.
  • Bicycles are allowed on trains; however, the bike needs an additional ticket.
  • Reservation cost: 5 CHF

ICE is operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB) and links Switzerland to Germany and also to the Netherlands.

  • 1st Class: Rows of three seats (2+1), offering more legroom
  • 2nd Class: Rows of four seats (2+2)
  • Reservations are not necessary, but optional:
    • 2nd Class €4,50
    • 1st Class €5,90
    • Trains are equipped with power sockets, free WiFi, and air-conditioning. Trains are equipped with a dining car offering a range of food and drinks.
    • Bicycles are allowed on trains only in a special bike bag and the bike needs an additional ticket.

    Railjet is operated by Österreichische Bundesbahn (ÖBB) and links Zurich to Vienna, Austria.

    • 1st Class: Rows of three seats (2+1), offering more legroom, Business Class is also offered. Purchase of a 1st Class ticket is required to be able to upgrade to the Business Class.
    • 2nd Class: Rows of four seats (2+2)
    • Reservations are not necessary, but optional:
      • 2nd Class €4,50
      • 1st Class €5,90
    • Trains are equipped with power sockets, free WiFi, and air-conditioning. Trains are equipped with a dining car offering a range of food and drinks.
    • Bicycles are allowed on trains; however, reservations for the bicycle are mandatory (online cost €3) and the bike needs an additional ticket.

    Euroocity links Basel, Zurich, and Geneva to Milan, Italy.

    • 1st & 2nd Classes offered
    • Reservations are not necessary*, but optional:
      • 2nd Class €4 or 5 CHF
      • 1st Class €4 or 5 CHF
        *unless traveling to and from Italy then reservations are required at €10.
    • Trains are equipped with the bike needs an additional ticket. Trains are equipped with a dining car offering a range of food and drinks.
    • Bicycles are allowed on trains; however, the bike needs an additional ticket.

    TGV connects Basel, Zurich, and Geneva to Paris, France.

    • 1st and 2nd Classes offered
    • Reservations required:
      • 2nd Class €13
      • 1st Class €30
    • Trains are equipped with the bike needs an additional ticket. Trains are equipped with a dining car offering a range of food and drinks.
    • Bicycles are allowed on trains, but the bike needs an additional ticket (€10)

    ÖBB Nightjet

    • Routes:
      • Zurich – Basel – Berlin – Hamburg
      • Zurich – Basel – Hamburg
    • Carriage:
      • Standard cabin includes your own bed, washbasin, and breakfast in the morning
      • Deluxe cabin includes your own bed, shower, toilet, washbasin, and breakfast in the morning
    • Couchette Carriage:
      • 4 and 6 berth couchettes, as well as private compartments, are offered
      • Bathrooms are located in the coach carriage
      • Breakfast is included in the ticket price
    • Sitting Carriage:
      • 2nd Class offered, no 1st Class
      • Bathrooms are located in the coach carriage
    • Food cart offering a selected variety of drinks and food pass through the carriages.
    • Reservations are included in the ticket price

    Euro-Night

    • See ÖBB Nightjet for carriage and sleeping arrangements
    • Some trains have the possibility for vehicle transportation
    • Routes
      • Zurich – Vienna, Austria – Budapest, Hungary
      • Zurich – Innsbruck, Austria – Ljubljana, Slovenia – Zagreb, Croatia
      • Zurich – Innsbruck, Austria – Salzburg, Austria – Prague, Czech Republic

    Bernina Express: Chur – Lugano via Tirano (Italy)
    Glacier Express: Davos/St. Moritz – Zermatt
    Centovalli Railway: Locarno (Switzerland) – Domodossola (Italy) 
    Gotthard Panorama Express: Luzern – Domodossola (Italy)


    Chocolate Train: Montreux – Broc-Chocolat
    Golden Pass: Luzern – Interlaken – Montreux
    Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn: Visp – Zermatt
    Gornergrat Bahn: Zermatt – Gornergratt
    Jungfrau Express: Kleine Scheidgg – Jungfraujoch
    Schynige Platte Railway

    Routes

    Frequently Travelled Routes In Switzerland

    National

    From > To
    Duration (h) Changes Transport
    Zurich to Basel 0:54 Direct ICE
    Zurich to Bern 0:56 Direct IC
    Zurich to Lausanne 2:16 Direct IC
    Geneva to Zurich 2:43 Direct IC
    Bern to Lausanne 1:16 Direct IC
    Basel to Lucern 1:02 Direct IR
    Interlaken to Zurich 1:56 1 IC

     

    International

    From > To
    Duration (h) Changes Transport
    Zurich to Paris, France 4:04 Direct TGV
    Zurich to Vienna, Austria 7:50 Direct RJ
    Zurich to Munich, Germany 5:04 Direct EC
    Bern to Milan, Italy 3:06 Direct EC
    Basel to Hamburg, Germany 6:30 Direct ICE

     

    Switzerland travel routes

    Switzerland & France: Calling All Cheese And Chocolate Lovers

    Switzerland & France: Calling All Cheese And Chocolate Lovers

    Switzerland: Magnificent Cities, Mountains, and Lakes

    Switzerland: Magnificent Cities, Mountains, and Lakes

    Main Train Stations

    • Zurich
    • Geneva
    • Basel
    • Bern
    • Chur
    • Luzern
    • Fribourg
    • St. Gallen

    Train Tours in Switzerland

    Good to know

    Best Time To Travel To Switzerland

    We recommend traveling anytime between April – June, and September – October because of it being the shoulder seasons, you will see fewer tourists and the weather is still great. During summertime, popular destinations see an increase in tourists as well as prices.

    There is plenty of hiking and skiing to be done, a plethora of cheese and chocolate to be eaten, and countless quaint Swiss villages to visit on your trip to the beautiful country of Switzerland.

    • High Season: July – August
    • Low Season: October – March

     

    Accommodation In Switzerland

    Booking

    The best place to find cheap hotels for is to book by www.booking.com. There you will find a large selection of cheap hotels, hostels, and apartments. > BOOK HERE

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    Hostelworld

    If you are looking for a low budget accommodation, then go on www.hostelworld.com. They have the best choice of cheap hostels for backpackers and low budget travelers. > BOOK HERE

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    Guidebooks For Switzerland

    Travel with a guidebook ease your journey to find best sights and things to do. Buy it on Amazon.

    Travel Insurance

    We highly recommend not to travel without insurance. Don’t fret! World Nomads offers many different travel insurance coverage plans to suit your trip best. > BUY HERE

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