This is a truly incredible offer on some of the most scenic railways in all of Europe. The Swiss Half Fare Card isn’t just a Swiss train discount of 50% that lasts a month! It’s a Swiss train discount, and a Swiss bus discount, and a Swiss boat discount, and a Swiss mountain railway discount, at 50% off, all lasting for a full month! That’s a Swiss half fare that’s ideal for longer stays in Switzerland, especially since there’s public transportation in 75 towns and cities to use it in! How about that! A country that’s already famous for chocolate found a way to be even more tempting!
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
For many trains in Switzerland, seat reservations are not required. Simply board the train with your rail pass and choose 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.
Rail pass benefits
More than just trains
And the Swiss Half Fare Card is packed with bonuses to make your trip even more enjoyable. You'll get discounts on buses and trains or hotels or cruises or ferries or museums or activities, and more.
With the Swiss Half Fare Card, the benefits like the connections it provides - are everywhere. Whether you are an adventurous traveler or avid planner, the Swiss Half Fare Card is your pass to freedom and an unforgettable journey of discovery.
Main discounts and bonuses in Swiss Half Fare Card
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. Can I take any train that travels between the two cities for which I bought my train ticket, or do I have to take a specific train?
A. The answer depends on what type of ticket was issued for your journey. In most cases, we issue tickets that include a seat reservation whenever required or possible. If your tickets include a reservation, you will need to board the train for which the reservation was issued.
If you were issued a train ticket without a reservation, then yes - you can board any train traveling between the cities for which your ticket was issued. It is always advisable to inquire at the train station whether or not a reservation is needed for the train you intend to board. There are certain countries that we cannot issue reservations for: Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Romania, and other Balkan nations. Reservations may be required but will need to be purchased locally.
Q. Can I bring my pet on board?
A. Generally, cats and dogs are allowed on trains, though they may need to be contained in a pet carrier or wear a muzzle or leash. Pets are not allowed on some trains in Great Britain, Spain, Ireland, Norway, and Finland. Currently the only animals that are permitted to travel on Eurostar are guide dogs for the visually impaired.
Some trains require advance reservations for pets. Unfortunately, Rail Europe cannot make reservations for your pet. This will need to be done locally. In general, dogs normally travel at half the fare of a second class ticket, payable directly to the conductor.
Q. What is the "validity period" of a rail pass?
A. The validity period of a rail pass is the time period in which you must complete your travels with your rail pass. This period is calculated from the date stamped on the rail pass by the railway official.
With a flexi pass this period is defined as a certain number of calendar months – typically one or two.
With a continuous day pass the validity period equals the number of travel days.
Q. If my travel party won’t fill the entire compartment, can we buy it out to travel by ourselves?
A. We’re only able to sell train tickets/reservations for beds that will be filled by travellers. If you purchase “extra” beds in a compartment to occupy the space, the conductor can fill empty beds if space is needed, even if the whole compartment has been purchased. No refund is given if a conductor fills an “extra” bed.
Q. What happens if I board a train with my rail pass but forgot to purchase a reservation?
A. We suggest advising the conductor as soon as possible of the situation and purchase the required reservation. If you’re traveling on a train that requires a reservation you could be fined.
Q. Can I open the train windows?
A. If you’re traveling on a slower train you may have the option to open a window, depending on the age and configuration of the car. However, most modern rail cars are air-conditioned and you won’t have the option of opening the windows.
For safety reasons, high speed trains don’t offer the option of opening windows.
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.
Q. Will my luggage be safe, accessible, and in my line of sight throughout the duration of my trip?
A. Your luggage will either be safely above you in a luggage rack, or at the end of your train car. These are the designated locations for luggage storage. You will be able to access your bags as needed.
You are responsible for your luggage. The railways will assume no responsibility in case of loss or theft of baggage carried on board.
Be sure to have luggage tags with your name and contact information securely attached in case you leave anything behind.
Q. What constitutes a group?
A. Ten or more people traveling together constitutes a group.
Q. How do I know the right rail pass and how many days I should purchase?
A. We provide simple tools on our site to help make finding the best products for your journey - easy! Our tools help you find both the most cost effective and logical travel solution for your travel needs.
Use our Interactive Rail Map to help you plan your journey, our site will then display available options to bring that journey to life with rail passes, train tickets, and even great add-on products that can truly enhance your experience. Enter the number of days you wish to stay in a particular city, and where you wish to travel next, and our system will provide you with the best options for your itinerary.
The more you know about the train rides you plan on taking, the better you’ll be able to research which trains are running, how long each of those rides take, whether or not you’ll be traveling on night trains, etc… All these factors determine how many travel days you’ll need on a pass.