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Saturday, August 13, 2022
HomeSwitzerlandEverything You Need to Know About the Swiss Travel Pass

Everything You Need to Know About the Swiss Travel Pass

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With just one travel ticket, exploring Switzerland becomes a breeze. The Swiss Travel Pass grants travellers unlimited rides across different transportations, and comes with a whole host of other benefits. Want to know if the Swiss Travel Pass will be worth buying for your trip? Read on and we’ll get into it.

What is the Swiss Travel Pass?

swiss travel pass
Photo credit: myswitzerland.com

The Swiss Travel Pass offers foreign visitors unlimited travel by train, bus and boat, as well as many other advantages. It is available in 3, 4, 8 or 15 consecutive days of travel.

Who is eligible for it?

The Swiss Travel Pass is developed for guests from abroad. It is available to people who permanently reside outside Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Should I get the Swiss Travel Pass?

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You should consider getting the travel pass if you plan to travel by train primarily. It can also be worth it if you’re planning to do mountain excursions, cruises, visit museums and travel by public transportation. 

What are the benefits of the Swiss Travel Pass?

  • Unlimited travel by train, bus and boat, including premium panorama trains (seat reservation fees/surcharges apply)
  • Unlimited use of public transport in more than 90 towns & cities
  • Free admission to more than 500 museums
  • Mountain excursions included: Rigi, Stanserhorn and Stoos
  • Up to 50% discount on many other mountain excursions
  • Up to 30% discount on SBB RailAway offers. Available at all ticket counters within Switzerland

Are there different types of travel passes?

There is the standard travel pass, which offers a first or second class option. Both come in validity periods of 3, 4, 8, or 15 consecutive days. First class have more spacious seats and are less crowded, while second class tends to have more people as it’s the tickets locals buy.

swiss travel pass - first class
Photo credit: mystsnet.com
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The second type is the Swiss Travel Pass Flex, which allows you to use your ticket for a number of days over a period of one month. You are not bound to consecutive days. So for example, if you get an 8-day Flex Pass, you can travel as much as you want for 8 days within the one month period. This is great for those who are planning on staying for a few days at different places and don’t want to compromise on flexibility!

swiss travel pass flex
Photo credit: ikeikedondon.com

Travelling as a family? There is also the free Swiss Family Card. You can order this together with any Swiss Travel System ticket. The family card allows children between 6 and 16 years of age to travel free of charge. Children under the age of six do not need a ticket.

How much do the travel passes cost?

swiss travel pass - cost
Photo credit: sbb.ch
swiss travel pass - cost
Photo credit: sbb.ch

Prices are valid until 31 Dec 2021. Travellers who are under 26 years old can also buy a Youth Swiss Travel Pass at a 15% discount!

How can I purchase the Swiss Travel Pass? 

swiss travel pass
Photo credit: mystsnet.com
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If you’re already in Switzerland, you can purchase the travel pass at service desks in train stations. Alternatively, you can purchase it online before your trip.

If you purchase the pass online, you will need to enter your passport number as well as the date you want to start using the pass. This information will reflect on your ticket. After your purchase is done, a PDF ticket will be emailed to you that you can print out and save to your phone. The Flex Pass is only available as a physical ticket.

The pass also comes with a map that shows all the railways, buses, boats, cable cars, and urban areas where you can use your pass. The map also shows mountain lifts where you get a discount, as well as the few lifts where no discount applies.

Do I need to activate the travel pass?

No activation is necessary. The travel pass is automatically valid on your chosen start date, so you can simply start to use it. Super fuss free!

How do I use the travel pass?

You can simply hop on! When the ticket inspector comes by, simply present your pass. You may also be asked for your passport for verification. 

Do I need to make seat reservations? 

scenic train rides in europe - glacier express
Photo credit: departures.com

You do not need to make seat reservations for most trains in Switzerland. The exceptions to this are the premium panorama trains like the Bernina Express, Glacier Express (aka the most scenic train ride in Switzerland!), Gotthard Panorama Express, and Palm Express. The ticket cost for these trains will be covered by your travel pass, but a mandatory seat reservation/supplement fare will be required.

Will the Swiss Travel Pass help me save costs?

Whether or not the travel pass will be worth it for you depends on your itinerary. Will you be travelling by train primarily? Are you going on lake cruises? Do you want to visit museums? A good way to check if the Swiss Travel Pass will help you save costs is to use the SBB Mobile app or website to pull up ticket prices for your route. Once you have the price of all the individual tickets, compare that to the price of the Swiss Travel Pass!

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