Swiss Pass – how to save money in expensive Switzerland

Public transport in Switzerland is represented by an established network of buses, trams, trolleybuses, trains, trains and ferries. They all adhere to a carefully designed schedule in which one mode of transport is tailored to another. Travel must be paid independently in special machines, on the Internet or at the box office, indicating the start and end point of the trip (printed on the ticket).

Swiss Pass

All Switzerland is divided into zones, within which a single price for all types of transport operates. So, in Zurich, the price reaches 3.8 francs for a one-way ticket, for a short trip – 2.4 CHF, and a full-day ticket costs 7.6 CHF. The fare increases if you need to cross two or more zones.

Useful information! Before you travel to Switzerland, download SBB Mobile. This is the official application of the main carrier of the country, with which you can make a route from anywhere in the country to another in a matter of seconds.

The Swiss transport system is not only perfectly tuned, but also quite confusing, and the price of an error, expressed in fines, starts at 75 francs. That is why several types of tickets were invented for foreigners in Switzerland, the most popular of which is Swiss Pass.

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What is Swiss Pass?

What is Swiss Pass?

Swiss Pass is a unique system thanks to which your trip to Switzerland will become more exciting without any special expenses. This is a single travel card designed exclusively for foreigners, which allows you to use the services of all public transport, including inter-regional trains and ferries, free of charge. Which Swiss Pass is better to choose, how much does a travel card cost, and which tourist can buy it at a 50% discount? Answers in this article

Which Swiss Pass to choose: features, prices and discounts

For 2018, there are four main types of Swiss Pass.

Swiss Travel Pass
Swiss Travel Pass

The basic option that allows you to not pay for travel in all public transport in Switzerland (does not apply to mountain regions) for a certain period of time. It also allows you to purchase tickets for the cable car two times cheaper and opens the door to almost 500 museums in the country.

Swiss Travel Pass Price:

First grade:

  • three days in a row – 358 CHF,
  • four – 429 CHF,
  • 8 – 631 CHF,
  • 15-765 CHF;

Second:

  • three consecutive days – 225 CHF,
  • four – 270 CHF,
  • 8 – 398 CHF,
  • 15 to 485 CHF.

Important! Swiss Pass for children aged 6 to 16 years costs half as much as for adults, and for schoolchildren and students under 25 it is sold with a 15% discount.

Swiss Public Travel System

Swiss Travel Pass is suitable for tourists traveling in two or more cities in Switzerland. Actual prices for reference:

  • One way ticket within the city costs 4 CHF;
  • The cost of a single trip on intercity trains starts from 25 CHF for a half-hour trip, for example, from Zurich to Winterthur. You can get from the capital of Geneva already for 80 CHF;
  • The average entry price to the museum is 10 francs.

Note! The main difference between the first and second class is the greater distance between the seats of passengers. Is it worth paying for such a privilege at least 120 francs – you decide.

Swiss Travel Pass Flex
This is what Swiss Travel Pass Flex looks like

This pass operates on the same principle as the basic Swiss Pass, but provides you with a choice of the period during which it will be valid. After the first use, the system counts the month, 3 days in which it is NOT A CONTRACT (or more, depends on the tariff) you are entitled to free travel.

Important! You do not need to indicate when you will use Swiss Pass directly during registration – the days will be removed during trips automatically.

Swiss Travel Pass Flex Price
In a swiss train

First grade:

  • three days – 412 CHF,
  • four – 493 CHF,
  • 8 – 706 CHF,
  • 15-840 CHF.

Second:

  • three days – 259 CHF,
  • four – 310 CHF,
  • 8 – 445 CHF,
  • 15-532 CHF.

Buying this pass is beneficial only to those who are going to visit Switzerland more than once within 30 days and at the same time visit several cities, or those who travel along a difficult route, staying in each region for several days.

Caution, fines! A ticket in Switzerland is only valid if you have a passport for which it was issued. If during the trip you cannot provide the necessary document to the controller, you will be issued a fine of 100 francs.

Swiss transfer ticket
Swiss Transfer Ticket Example

This is a two-way ticket from the Swiss border (if traveling by car or on foot), all airports in Switzerland and the central stations of major cities to your destination and back on the fastest route. Only 30 days active.

Swiss Transfer Ticket Price
  • First class – 247 francs;
  • The second is 154 CHF.

The cost of a Swiss Transfer Ticket pays off for travelers who come to rest in one city in Switzerland, located quite far from the point of arrival. For example, if upon arrival in Zurich you are going to rest in Lucerne (distance is 52 km), then it will be cheaper to just buy a train ticket, but if you get to remote cities, you can save a large amount of money. For example, with prices:

Zurich Central Station
  1. To get from the airport of the capital of Switzerland to the hotel in Montreux, you must first get to Zurich Central Station. One-way fares are 6.6 francs.
  2. Then the tourist will have to travel by train at least 80 CHF to the largest station closest to Montreux – Lausanne.
  3. After this you need to take the train and for 22 francs drive to your destination.

Total in two directions without Swiss Transfer Ticket you need to spend 217 CHF, with it – 157 CHF. Save 60 francs.

Important! Tourists 16-25 years old do not receive a 15% discount on Swiss Transfer Ticket.

Swiss Half Fare Card
Swiss Half Fare Card Example

A monthly pass for a 50% discount when buying train tickets, for almost all types of public transport. Please note that on buses and trams that run on short routes and have a minimum fare, as well as on promotional tickets for other modes of transportation, Half Fare Card gives a discount in a smaller amount.

Swiss Transfer Ticket Price

A single rate is set for the purchase of this type of ticket – 120 francs. Shopping is beneficial for tourists who come to Switzerland for a long time to travel to several cities.

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Where can I buy Swiss Pass

  1. In specialized travel agencies.
  2. On the seller’s official website – www.swiss-pass.ch (there is no Russian version). Despite the fact that you do not have to pay intermediaries, the price will not come out much lower than in agencies, since the cost of the order will include the delivery of a ticket – plus 15-18 francs to the Swiss Pass price.
  3. At the airport of Zurich or Geneva.
Airport Geneve-Cointrin Airport
Geneve-Cointrin Airport

For registration you only need a passport. Children under 16 years old have the right to travel with one of the parents who issued the Swiss Pass.

Important! Swiss Transfer Ticket is the only type of travel card that cannot be bought directly upon arrival in Switzerland. It must be obtained before arriving in the country.

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Swiss Pass is a convenient system that allows in certain situations to significantly save on travel. Enjoy beautiful views of Switzerland at no extra cost. Have a good rest!



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