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.
Exclusive limited-time Fall offer: use promo code 1FALL18 to get AU$80 off bookings of AU$1055 or more, or 2FALL18 to get AU$130 off bookings of AU$1440 or more. Book by October 31, 2018. Condtions apply.
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 28 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.
From our travel community
You may also be interested in
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. How can I exchange my Trenitalia ticket?
A. Exchanges can be made in accordance with the conditions of your ticket. If permitted, exchanges can only be processed in Italy at a self-service kiosk at the train station. Simply select the "Print & Change" option and then enter the e-ticket confirmation code (PNR) and the Booking Change Code. Both of these codes can be found on your Print at Home ticket. Changes can also be made at a ticket window at the station.
Q. What if I’ve purchased a Twin/Saver pass and one of the travellers decides not to travel that day?
A. It’s perfectly fine, but the traveller who didn’t travel will still use a travel day on their pass.
If you’re all traveling on the same day, but split up and take different trains, those not carrying the pass will need to buy separate train tickets.
Q. Can I book group fares online?
A. Due to the nature of group inventory, group fares are not available online. To receive a quote from one of our dedicated group consultants, please fill out the quick and easy Group Quote form and an agent from our group department will contact you within 48-72 hours.
Q. Do I need to do anything with my rail pass before boarding the train?
A. Yes. You will need to visit the ticket window at the train station before boarding your first train to activate your rail pass. A railroad official will enter the first and last day of validity on your rail pass and stamp your rail pass. You will have to show your passport, and the name on your rail pass will need to match it. Then, in case of a flexi-pass, for each day you use your rail pass you will need to enter the date in the designated travel calendar box on your rail pass. If you board a train and have not entered the date, when the conductor comes around to check your travel documents you may be subject to a fine and the payment of full fare ticket that will need to be paid in local currency directly to the conductor. Be sure to read all documentation that accompanies your rail pass prior to departure. The more you know about your rail pass, the more likely you are to avoid issues onboard the train.
Q. Do I need to do anything to my train ticket before boarding the train?
A. If you purchased and received a paper train ticket in the mail, there is nothing further you need to do.
If you purchased a print at home e-ticket, be sure to print your ticket before you leave home and keep your train ticket safe and secure. For Italo tickets, just print your Rail Europe email confirmation which includes your unique e-ticket confirmation code(s). This e-ticket confirmation code along with your photo i.d. will be checked when on the Italo train.
If you purchased a print at the station e-ticket, you’ll need to visit a self-service kiosk to print your train ticket (remember, you’ll need the e-ticket confirmation code included on your invoice). When retrieving your e-ticket in France at an SNCF kiosk or in Italy at a Trenitalia kiosk, you will need to “stamp your ticket” (composter votre ticket as French say) prior to boarding the train. Should you have any problems, just ask the conductor of the train to do it for you when you board the train.
Q. What does the “Login with Facebook” button do?
A. The “Login with Facebook” button allows you to log in to the Rail Europe website with your Facebook login credentials, even if you have never registered to the Rail Europe website before.
Q. Should I buy my seat reservations prior to arriving in Europe, or can I just get them at the station locally?
A. We recommend that you purchase your reservations as soon as possible, once you’ve determined which train journeys you’d like to take and what dates you’ll need them.
In most cases, rail carriers set aside a limited number of seats for stand-alone reservations. Once those seats have sold out, only regular full-fare tickets can be bought for the train. Because of the limited reservation-only inventory, these seats do in fact sell out, especially during peak travel seasons such as the holidays or summer. The cost difference between a stand-alone reservation and a full-priced ticket can amount to a hundred dollars or more. There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to use your rail pass and having to buy a full priced ticket at significant cost. Therefore, we highly encourage you to lock down your reservation and make the most of your travel budget as soon as possible.
Also keep in mind that reservations can be purchased online from Rail Europe’s website and iPhone App. Many rail carriers do not sell stand-alone reservations through their website and in most cases, you will have to go in person to the rail station to buy your reservation when in Europe.
Q. I just placed a booking and realized I made a mistake. How can I make changes?
A. If you need to get in touch with us regarding your booking, please visit our Contact Us page for assistance. As long as it hasn’t been invoiced yet, it’s usually not a problem to fix it. However, please note that an exchange fee and price change may be applicable depending on what needs to be changed.
Q. What are the fees associated with getting a train ticket refunded?
A. The first type of fee is carrier penalties. These are charges determined by the rail carrier depending on the exchange and refund conditions associated with your original train ticket. For example, there may be a 15% penalty assessed for exchanges, which means that only 85% of the value of the original ticket will be carried over for the purchase of a new ticket. Or there may be a fixed penalty charged for exchanges, or no fee at all.
When browsing fares on our website, you can read a brief description of each fare flexibility level, and then see the full exchange and refund conditions for each fare.
Once you have booked a train ticket with us, its exchange and refund rules will be indicated in your Rail Europe booking confirmation email, as well as printed with your train ticket and/or on the ticket jacket in the case of paper tickets. Please note that train tickets must be received for exchange or refund within the allowed time frame mentioned in the exchange and refund conditions.
The second type of fee is Rail Europe’s administrative fee. This fee is charged in addition to applicable carrier penalties. The processing fee is 7% of the cost of the original train ticket.
Q. Can a reservation date on an overnight train be changed?
A. This is possible in some cases, but with the limited availability of overnight trains, please do it as soon as you can and at least 24-hours before the train’s departure. New reservations will be required when you reschedule. Make sure to check the fare rules for the reservation you’ve purchased so you’re aware of the exchange policies. If you’re already traveling in Europe and need to make a change, you may be subject to local service fees and/or upgrade charges.