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 Summer offer: use promo code 1SUMMER19 to get AU$130 off bookings of AU$1420 or more. Offer ends 25 June 2019.
Swiss Half Fare Card
This card provides savings up to 50% off for travel on most trains, boats, and buses in Switzerland.
- 50% discount on most trains, buses and boats for one month
- Issued as a paper document
- Discounts off 1st and 2nd class travel
- Free Swiss Family Card: Children under 16 travel for free with a parent or legal guardian
How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes can be booked for travel in one specific country or you can choose one of a few pre-selected country/region combinations. Extensive travel plans? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering train travel in 31 different countries - including Great Britain.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service selected, passenger type, 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. Are the train tickets you send me the actual tickets, or do I need to exchange them at the station?
A. If you selected the paper delivery option, then yes – the travel documents you receive from us in the mail are your actual train tickets. Do not lose them, because we cannot replace them.
Only the original paper ticket will be accepted onboard the train. No other document such as a print out of the email invoice can be used in lieu of the original paper train ticket.
Q. How can I book an itinerary with multiple cities?
A. Our website makes booking multi-city journeys very easy!
Simply enter the cities you plan to depart from, arrive to, and your travel dates. Our system will then search the database to provide the best matching schedules.
Q. How do I find my train?
A. Finding your train is fairly simple. You’ll see large Departure and Arrival boards located in the center of most stations. Some stations also have TV monitors listing upcoming departing trains.
If you have a train ticket or rail pass with a reservation, simply match the train number and departure time on your reservation or ticket to the train number on the departure board. The platform number where you should go will be listed right next to it.
If you’re traveling with open train tickets or a rail pass and no reservation, then you don’t have a specific train and seat assigned to you. If you’ve done your research in advance, you probably already know the time and train number of the train you want to take, so just look for it on the board. If you decided to show up at the station with the intention of taking the first train departing for where you want, make sure to check with a station agent and find out if that train requires a reservation.
Q. Do trains offer facilities for handicapped passengers?
A. The ability to exchange or refund a train ticket while you’re in Europe depends on whether you have a paper or e-ticket, as well as the specific conditions for the fare you booked.
If you have an e-ticket that you bought on our website, you can perform the refund online, according to the conditions of your train ticket. Please visit our Cancellation and Refund page to begin.
If you purchased a paper ticket, you must perform the exchange locally at the train station. Go to the ticket window and a railway representative will be able to assist you with the exchange procedure.
Please keep in mind that exchanges on train tickets are only permitted for the same city pair or route originally booked.
If your ticket is non-exchangeable, a new train ticket must be purchased.
To obtain a refund for a paper ticket/reservation, a railway official at the origin station must cancel your seat and they must stamp the back of your ticket/reservation “Not Used” before the original train departure time. Our partners at the European Railroads will not allow us to process a refund unless this step has been taken.
You must mail us the original unused ticket for the refund to be processed. When you’ve returned from Europe, mail us back your train ticket. Please visit the Contact Us page on this site for further details.
If you didn’t purchase your train ticket online or are unable to initiate the refund online, please contact us using our Contact Us page for assistance. In most cases, for a refund to transpire, the associated reservation must be released before the train departure.
Q. Where can I find my e ticket number or e ticket confirmation code?
A. Your e-ticket number or e-ticket confirmation code is a string of 6 letters (or an 8 character alphanumeric code for British e-tickets) that can be found on your Rail Europe email invoice.
In addition, if you have purchased on our website while signed into your Rail Europe account, you may retrieve this code by looking up your booking in your Dashboard. You can also find it by accessing your itinerary through our mobile site or iPhone app.
Q. Is it possible to have travellers of different genders in the same sleeping compartment?
A. For gender specific compartments, men and women must be in separate sleeping compartments. However, if you reserve all beds within a compartment, you may mix genders.
Gender-specific compartments include private, double, triple, deluxe double, deluxe triple, and quad sleeping compartments. If your traveling party doesn’t fill the compartment, you will be divided by gender.
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. I have a question about my promo code. Who should I contact?
A. Please contact us via our Contact Us page with any questions about promo codes.
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.
Q. I’ve noticed a big difference in the cost of seat reservations for different trains. Why?
A. Fares for reservations may vary greatly from one train to another. Unfortunately, we have no control over these prices as they’re set by each individual railroad.
Trains that have higher priced reservations are typically high speed, international trains such as Thalys or Eurostar, as well as night trains.
Various factors are considered by rail carriers when pricing reservations for rail pass holders. These factors can include: the technology used by the train (high speed or regular speed), the types of tracks the train travels on and their associated maintenance cost, the range of services and amenities offered on board, possible tolls incurred by the carriers depending on the train routing (such as tunnel crossing tolls) and partnerships between rail carriers for the operation of cross border trains.
In addition, there are also specific costs associated with traveling on a night train that may include food for dinner and breakfast, as well as cabin maintenance costs (sheets, etc…). Since these costs are not associated with travel on day trains, day train reservations generally cost less.