The Swiss Travel Pass is the perfect way to travel around Switzerland. With this single transport pass you have complete freedom to go anywhere in the country, and make up your plans as you go.
The Swiss Travel Pass is flexible, easy to use, and covers all public transport within the country – and much more.
In this article I cover everything you need to know about the Swiss Travel Pass and the Swiss Travel Pass Flex, including the Swiss Travel Pass price, so that you can choose the best option for you.
We love the convenience and flexibility that holding a Swiss Travel Pass allows.
Here are just 9 of the many reasons we recommend you consider buying a Swiss Travel Pass for your travels around Switzerland.
What's in this Article
9 top reasons to buy the Swiss Travel Pass in 2023
- Flexibility – Enjoy ultimate flexibility – hop on and off trains, trams, buses and boats as you wish.
- Free city transport – Enjoy unlimited use of public transport in more than 90 towns and cities.
- Unlimited travel – Enjoy unlimited travel by train, bus and boat across the entire Swiss transport network.
- Panoramic trains – Enjoy unlimited travel on premium panoramic trains (seat reservation fees and/or surcharges may apply).
- Free mountain excursions – Enjoy 3 mountain excursions for free – Rigi, Stanserhorn and Stoos.
- Discounted mountain excursions – Get up to 50% discount on many other mountain excursions.
- Free museum entry – Get free admission to more than 500 museums including Chillon Castle, FIFA Museum and Maison Cailler.
- Travel year round – The Swiss Travel Pass is available 365 days per year and for durations of 3,4, 6, 8 and 15 days.
- Kids travel free – Accompanying children aged from 6 to 15 years inclusive travel free with the free Swiss Family Card which can be ordered at the time of purchasing the Swiss Travel Pass. Kids under 6 travel free on Swiss public transport.
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Quick comparison of the different Swiss Travel Passes
What is the Swiss Travel Pass?
The Swiss Travel Pass is an all-in-one ticket to travel the whole of Switzerland.
The Swiss Travel Pass is often referred to as the Swiss Pass, Swisspass or Swiss Train Pass, although the Swiss Pass is actually an entirely different product. We explain the difference in this article.
The pass gives you access to the famously efficient public transport system with a single ticket. You can use the pass to travel by boat, rail, or road.
With this single pass, you don’t have to spend any time buying Swiss rail tickets for individual journeys or dealing with language barriers. Whether you’re in a tiny alpine village or the big cities, you can move about without any concerns.
The Swiss Travel Pass comes in a few different options for different durations and budgets, which we’ll get into below.
Swiss Pass Cost
The Swiss Travel Pass cost varies depending on the duration and option you choose. You can expect to pay between 240 and 706 francs for between 3 and 15 days. This is without the 30% youth reduction for travellers under 25.
If you’ve asked yourself “Is the Swiss Travel Pass worth it?”, we think you’ll find the answer is a definite yes. We’ll explore the costs of the different passes below.
Swiss Travel Pass discounts
There are currently no special offers for the Swiss Travel Pass. See below for Youth and Child discounts.
Should I buy a Swiss Travel Pass?
If you’re planning on staying in just one or two cities and doing most of your travel by foot, you may not benefit by buying a Swiss Pass. An exception to this is if you plan on taking at least two mountain excursions in Switzerland.
The best way to decide whether or not you will benefit from purchasing a Swiss rail pass is to write down the rail journeys you plan to take and check the price of the individual fares for each sector on the SBB app (read more about it here) or website.
Then, add the cost of the mountain excursions you’d like to do, remembering the Swiss Pass entitles you to 50% off most cable cars, funiculars and cog railways – you can find the prices on each mountain’s website – and tally up the costs.
To make things a little easier for you, you can access a copy of our Switzerland Rail Pass Comparison Calculator. Get your copy by clicking on the image below.
What are the Swiss Travel Pass inclusions?
There are a great deal of benefits to traveling with a Switzerland train pass. You can pay once and travel without any concerns for the whole of your time in Switzerland. But there’s much more to it.
What does the Swiss Travel Pass cover and what are the biggest benefits of the Swiss Travel Pass?
- Choose the duration of your pass. You’ll have unlimited travel for either 3, 4, 6, 8 or 15 consecutive days with the regular Swiss Travel Pass or 3, 4, 6, 8 or 15 days of travel within a one-month period with the Swiss Travel Pass Flex.
- All public transport is free with the Swiss Travel Pass. You’ll be able to travel within and between cities without any concerns and without putting your hand in your pocket.
- Passholders receive free entry to more than 500 museums in Switzerland, offering a great saving.
- Passes are available in digital format (paperless) so they are environmentally friendly.
- It’s also so much more convenient having just one ticket for all your transport needs.
- Plus, you’ll also get 50% off most cable cars and funiculars!
Some cable cars and funiculars close over winter. In this article we list the closure dates for the upcoming season.
Where to buy Swiss Rail Passes
Ready to make your purchase but wondering where to buy the Swiss Travel Pass? The best place to buy the Swiss Travel Pass is right here! (Read on for our step-by-step instructions on how to purchase.)
Buying online ahead of your travels means you’ll be able to start using your pass the minute you arrive in Switzerland.
You can also purchase the Swiss Travel Pass at any railway station in Switzerland and at Zurich Airport.
Switzerland Travel Pass – The Different Options
There are a variety of options for your Swiss Travel Pass. Compare the different inclusions, prices and benefits below to choose the best option for your trip.
All are available for a range of days, and you can choose to travel 2nd or 1st class. So, whether you’re touring Switzerland on your honeymoon, or backpacking Europe on a shoestring budget, there are options for every kind of traveller.
First class carriages (coaches) are generally more spacious and private, and you’re often positioned on the upper level of the train, providing a better view of the countryside passing by.
All sections of the Switzerland trains are smoke-free.
Swiss Travel Pass Prices 
The regular Swiss Travel Pass is what most tourists use when visiting Switzerland. This pass provides unlimited access to the Swiss Travel System for 3, 4, 6, 8 or 15 consecutive days.
With all the benefits previously mentioned, you can buy this pass as a first-class pass or a second-class pass. Hop onto any train, bus or boat. Get 50% off most mountain trips and funiculars and visit world-renowned museums for free.
You can choose to buy one of these passes for your whole vacation, or just for the part of it when you’ll be exploring the cities and moving between them.
See the table below for the Swiss Pass price for your chosen duration:
Swiss Travel Pass Flex Prices 
What is the Swiss Travel Pass Flex? This flexible travel pass is perfect for those travelling between Switzerland and other countries, or folks who don’t plan to use the transit system every day.
You can make use of the same benefits for the same amount of days. The only difference is that your travel days don’t need to be consecutive.
As long as all your travel takes place within one month, you can choose any day to travel and make use of your pass.
As the name suggests, this Switzerland pass provides greater flexibility in your itinerary.
Swiss Family Card
The Swiss Family Card makes traveling with your children so much easier and cheaper. Related children, including foster and stepchildren, between 6 and 15 years old travel free. (All accompanied children under 6 years of age travel free in Switzerland.)
The family card is complimentary – you just have to specify that you’d like one when booking!
Whether one parent has the card or two, up to five children travel free. On the funiculars and cable cars where adults only receive discounts, the Swiss Family Card still provides free travel to accompanying children.
If you are travelling with children and will need a Swiss Family Card, we suggest your purchase your Swiss Travel Pass and request the complimentary Swiss Family Card > here.
Swiss Half Fare Card
For those intending to do a little less travelling, you may prefer the Swiss Half Fare Card. Very simply, once you have purchased the card you can travel throughout the country with half-price tickets.
Tickets for each sector of travel can be purchased online, via the SBB app or at any train station in Switzerland.
The pass is valid for a month, which makes it a great option for those spending a longer holiday in the country.
The half fare card is substantially cheaper, and is often a great choice for those travelling for the most part by car. You can still access many mountain railways at half price.
The Family Card is available on request with the Swiss Half Fare Card, so accompanying children travel for free.
The Swiss Half-Fare Card costs CHF 120 and is valid for one month. BUY YOURS HERE.
For further information about the Swiss Half Fare Card > read this article.
Youth Discount on Swiss Transport Passes
If you’re under 25 years old you can take advantage of the substantial 30% youth discount available to all travellers under 25.
NOTE: Previously, a Youth Discount of approximately 15% applied to travellers under the age of 26 years for both the Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Travel Pass Flex.
Unfortunately, no senior discount is provided. However, you can get a group discount for anyone traveling in a group of 10 or more.
Highlights of the Swiss Travel Pass
Switzerland has one of the world’s densest railway networks in the world. That’s why the pass is often referred to as the Swiss Train Pass or the Switzerland Travel Pass.
There are even specific scenic routes like the breathtaking Glacier Express and the GoldenPass Line that you can take you to see more of Switzerland. We’ll cover these in further detail below.
Convenient, fast, and comfortable, the Swiss trains go almost everywhere. Where they don’t go, you’ll usually find a PostBus operating on that route. Of course, transport on these buses is included with your pass. Travel on public buses in Liechtenstein is also covered.
As well as the buses and the Intercity trains that operate on the Swiss Travel System’s network, your Swiss Pass also covers boat trips across the beautiful Swiss lakes.
Click here to download a Swiss Travel Pass Map which shows where the pass is valid.
Free Public Transport in Swiss Cities and Towns
Transport within Switzerland’s cities is easy with the Swiss Travel Pass. Simply hop aboard a train and bus and off you go.
There’s no need to queue to buy a ticket for your journey – simply show your pass to the conductor on request.
With many of Switzerland’s cities located beside a lake, a boat ride – included with your pass – might be the most convenient way to get from A to B in 75 Swiss towns and cities.
Panoramic and Scenic trains covered by the Swiss Travel Pass
Unlike many transport passes which have a surcharge for the most scenic routes, Switzerland’s panoramic trains are all included with the Swiss Travel Pass.
The Swiss panoramic trains listed below offer a wonderful way to see the spectacular landscapes of the country – and all these panoramic trains are free with the Swiss Travel Pass!
Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover the Bernina Express? Yes!
- Operates between – Chur and Tirano
- Highlights – 55 tunnels and 196 bridges
- Journey time – 4h:13
- Year round – Yes
- Seat reservations required – Yes (additional fee applies)
Read more about the Bernina Express > here.
Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover the GoldenPass Line? Yes!
- Operates between – Lucerne and Interlaken; and Interlaken and Montreux
- Highlights – 3 mountain passes – 8 lakes – 6 cantons
- Journey time – 2h; 1h:35; 2h:08
- Year round – Yes
- Seat reservations required – Optional (additional fee applies)
Read more about the GoldenPass Line > here.
Is the Swiss Travel Pass valid on the Glacier Express? Yes!
- Operates between – St Moritz and Zermatt
- Highlights – 291 bridges and 91 tunnels
- Journey time – 8h:03
- Year round – Except around 25 October to mid-December
- Seat reservations required – Yes (additional fee applies)
Read more about the Glacier Express > here.
Gotthard Panorama Express
Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover the Gotthard Panorama Express? Yes!
- Operates between – Lugano and Lucerne
- Highlights – Steamboat ride on Lake Lucerne, many loop tunnels, the church of Wassen can be seen from 3 angles
- Journey time – 5h
- Year round – Only Operates 1 May – mid-October, Tuesday to Sunday
- Seat reservations required – Yes (additional fee applies)
Note: Passengers travel exclusively in 1st class panoramic coaches. No 2nd class is available on the train therefore passengers with a 2nd class ticket need to buy a class upgrade for the train ride. The boat cruise continues to be available in 1st and 2nd class.
Read more about the Gotthard Panorama Express > here.
Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover the Voralpen Express? Yes!
- Operates between – St Gallen and Lucerne
- Highlights – lovely hills and charming villages
- Journey time – 2h:15
- Year round – Yes
- Seat reservations required – Not available
Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover the Centovalli Railway? Yes!
- Operates between – Locarno and Domodossola
- Highlights – 83 bridges and viaducts
- Journey time – 1h:50
- Year round – Yes
- Seat reservations required – Optional
Swiss Travel Pass discount on Cable Cars, Funiculars and Cog Railways
No visit to Switzerland would be complete without at least one cable car or funicular ride.
Being a country blessed with towering snow-capped peaks, there are plenty of mountain excursions to choose from and many of them are available to Swiss Pass holders at discounted rates.
There are many world famous mountain excursions to enjoy in Switzerland including trips to Mt. Rigi, Mt. Schilthorn, Gornergrat and Jungfraujoch, to name just a few. Is Jungfraujoch free with the Swiss Travel Pass? This is a question commonly asked by visitors to Switzerland.
The answer is no, the entire journey to the Jungfraujoch is not covered by the Swiss Travel Pass. Passholders can travel for free as far as either Wengen or Grindelwald.
A 25% discount applies for the remainder of the trip to Jungfraujoch.
The table below lists just some of Switzerland’s most popular mountain excursions and the discounts available to Swiss Travel Pass holders.
If you are wondering which mountain excursions are 100% included in the Swiss Travel Pass, the answer is: Stanserhorn, Rigi, Stoos, Brunni and Klewenalp.
|Stechelberg to Murren||50%|
|Murren to Schilthorn||50%|
|Wengen to Jungfraujoch||25%|
|Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch||25%|
|Grindelwald to Mannlichen||50%|
|Kandersteg to Oeschinensee||50%|
|Engleberg to Mt Titlis||50%|
|Matterhorn Glacier Paradise||50%|
|Locarno to Orselina||25%|
|Orselina to Cimetta||50%|
To obtain tickets for any cable car, funicular or cog railway, you should present your Swiss Travel Pass at the ticket office.
On payment of the discounted fare, you will then be issued with a ticket for the ride which you will need to present before boarding.
Museums Included with the Swiss Rail Pass
There are around 500 museums and monuments included in the Swiss Travel Pass. If you’re a museum hopper, or adore Switzerland for its many cultural and historical offerings, there are many museums you won’t be able to resist.
Some of our favorites are the imposing Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva, and the Swiss National Museum in Zurich. You’ll find multiple museums, including historic castles and monuments, in just about every town and city you visit.
With the Swiss Travel Pass you also receive 50% off admission to the popular Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne.
Below are just a few of the museums, castles and monuments in Switzerland that offer free entry to Swiss Pass holders.
- Castles of Bellinzona
- Swiss Open-Air Museum, Ballenberg
- Chillon Castle, Veytaux
- Swiss National Museum, Zurich
- Maison Cailler, Broc
- La Maison du Gruyère
- Einstein Museum, Bern
- Olympic Museum, Lausanne
- Alimentarium, Vevey
- FIFA World Football Museum, Zurich
- Thun Castle
- Thun Panorama
- Klostermuseum St. Georgen, Stein am Rhein
- Sherlock Holmes Museum, Meiringen
- Matterhorn Museum, Zermatt
- St. Gallen Abbey Library
Switzerland has a rich history, and you’ll learn much about the country and greater Europe in the many varied museums.
Purchasing the Swiss Travel Pass
Purchasing your Swiss Pass online is simple and easy. I recommend you purchase your pass through GetYourGuide. (They are an official reseller of the Swiss Travel System).
First, select the number of adults, youths and children (aged 6 to 15) that you are purchasing a pass for.
Then select the date that you will start using your Swiss Travel Pass. (You can change months by clicking the arrow in the top right corner.)
Click ‘Check availability’.
Now select the pass you wish to purchase by clicking on it. Make sure you choose the correct duration and the correct class of travel.
Click ‘Add to cart’.
Check that the all the pass information (number of passengers, duration, class, start date) are correct.
Now, enter your billing details.
Finally, enter the additional information required for each passenger (first name, last name, date of birth) – making sure it matches the details on your passport exactly.
Select your payment method and enter the details to complete your order.
Immediately after placing your order, you will receive a confirmation email from GetYourGuide. If you don’t receive an email, check your Junk folder before contacting GetYourGuide via email.
Delivery of the Swiss Travel Pass
If you have ordered your Swiss Travel Pass using our link, you’ll receive your pass as follows.
Passes will be sent via email as a PDF attachment. PDFs can be saved to your mobile device and/or printed to present to ticket conductors onboard the trains.
If you choose to download the pass to your mobile device, it is recommended that you print a copy of your passes on A4 paper and carry these as a backup.
Like to know more about using the Swiss Rail System? Read my full guide here.
How to Use the Swiss Travel Pass
Once you receive your Swiss Pass, it is ready to use from the commencement date you specified during purchase.
There is no need* to validate your Swiss Travel Pass or present it to a ticket office at a Swiss railway station prior to travel.
Simply board the train you wish to travel on, sit in any unreserved seat in the correct Class (ie. First Class or Second Class) and present your pass to the conductor on request.
The conductor may wish to view your passport to confirm you are the passenger nominated on the pass.
🇨🇭 *NOTE: If you are travelling with a Swiss Travel Flex, you DO need to activate your Pass. You’ll find detailed instructions on how to do this > in this article.
Swiss Travel Pass FAQs
What is a travel day?
For example, whether you begin using your pass at 9am on May 1 or 4pm on May 1, this is still counted as one day or travel.
Each calendar day represents a ‘travel day’ when using the Swiss Travel Pass. Travel days are not calculated on a 24-hour basis.
Therefore, if you will arrive in Switzerland later in the day, you may wish to nominate May 2 as the start date for your pass.
The exception to the calendar day rule is on the final day of validity of the pass. In this instance, the Swiss Travel Pass will end at 5am on the day following the final day of validity.
If your pass commenced on May 1, a 3-day pass would then expire at 5am on May 4.
When to buy Swiss Travel Pass
The Swiss Travel Pass can be purchased up to 11 months prior to the commencement of travel. We recommend purchasing your Pass before you arrive in Switzerland so that it is ready to start using as soon as you arrive.
Another advantage of buying your Pass ahead of time is that you then have a large expense already taken care of.
How to activate the Swiss Travel Pass
There is no need to activate the consecutive-days Swiss Travel Pass. When you are ready to start using your Pass, simply board the train and present your Swiss Travel Pass along with your Passport/Identity document to the conductor on board the train.
If you are travelling with a Swiss Travel Pass Flex, you DO need to activate the pass prior to each day of travel. Read our step-by-step instructions in > this article.
Is the Swiss Travel Pass refundable?
Yes, the Swiss Travel Pass can be refunded in full up to 24 hours prior to the nominated start date of the Pass (if purchased via the links in this article).
How to cancel the Swiss Travel Pass
To cancel your Swiss Travel Pass, contact the supplier from whom you purchased the Pass to request a refund.
Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover cable cars?
As mentioned above, the Swiss Travel Pass provides free travel on five cable cars/funiculars and discounted travel on most other cable cars, funiculars and mountain railways.
Fully included rides are Rigi, Stanserhorn, Stoos, Brunni and Klewenalp.
Tickets for most other mountain railways can be purchased by Swiss Travel Pass holders at 50% off, the exception to this is the Jungfrau railway (see below).
Does the Swiss Travel Pass include Jungfraujoch?
No, however holders of the Swiss Travel Pass can travel for free to either Wengen or Grindelwald and then receive a discount of 25% for the journey onwards to Jungfraujoch.
Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover Schilthorn?
Travel to the summit of the Schilthorn is not fully covered by the Swiss Travel Pass however a generous discount applies.
Passholders travelling from Stechelberg receive a 50% discount and Passholders travelling from Lauterbrunnen via Grutschalp receive slightly more than 50% off.
Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover Mt. Titlis?
Swiss Travel Pass holders receive a 50% discount on the fare from Engelberg to Mt. Title.
Does the Swiss Travel Pass cover Zermatt?
Yes, the Swiss Travel Pass covers transportation all the way to Zermatt. Mountain excursions from Zermatt (ie. Gornergrat and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise) are offered at a 50% discount.
You can view a map of the entire area of validity for the Swiss Travel Pass > here.
Swiss Half Fare Card FAQs
I have a Half Fare Card – how do I make seat reservations online?
On the SBB.ch website or SBB app, enter the sector and date you wish to travel then click ‘Search for connection’.
Choose the train service you would like to travel on, then complete the passenger information (names and date of birth).
In the dropdown box titled ‘Discount cards’, tick the box next to Half Fare Travelcard. All your fares will now be calculated at the half fare rate.
Refer to the image below to locate the check box for the Half Fare Travelcard.
Swiss Travel Pass live Q&A session
Watch a recording of our live Q&A session about the Swiss Travel Pass with Andy Nef from Swiss Travel System below.
Swiss Travel Pass Summary
Switzerland is the mountainous hub of Europe, with so much to explore throughout the country.
Travel through the famously beautiful mountain ranges with scenic rail lines and cable cars. Visit charming alpine villages and medieval cities. Hop on buses in the inner cities and stop at museums – all with a single ticket.
Switzerland has revolutionised easy travel with the Swiss Travel Pass offering visitors an economical and convenient way to see the country.
With this comprehensive guide to the Swiss Travel Pass, including our 9 top reasons to buy the Swiss Travel Pass, we hope you’ve found the best pass for you and your travel plans.
🇨🇭 Have you decided which Swiss Travel Pass to buy? GET YOUR SWISS TRAVEL PASS NOW!
Listen to our Swiss Travel Pass Podcast Episode
Click here or click on the green button below to listen.
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