Swiss Travel Pass: Is It Worth It?
31 May 2019
The Swiss Rail Pass allows you to travel on trains, buses and even boats across Switzerland as long as they fall under the Swiss Travel System. Say goodbye to the hassle of buying single-fare tickets, saving you both time and money.
You’ll also be entitled to special fares on TGV Lyria (railway lines connecting France and Switzerland) on the route to or from Switzerland. On top of transport, the Swiss Travel Pass also allows you free entrance to up to 500 museums and exhibits around Switzerland.
To suit different travelling needs and preferences, there are several types of tickets under the Swiss Travel System available on Klook:
|Type of Swiss Travel Pass||Pass details||Buy this if:|
|Swiss Travel Consecutive Pass (3, 4, 8 or 15 Days)||Unlimited rides on trains, boats, buses, and premium panorama trains throughout Switzerland for a selected number of consecutive days||- You’re planning a trip with Switzerland as your only destination|
|- You’ll be spending several days travelling around the different cities in Switzerland|
|E-TICKET Swiss Travel Consecutive Pass (3, 4, 8 or 15 Days)||- Same as the physical pass, with an extra bonus of getting 5% of your purchase back in Klook credits when you buy your e-ticket||- You’re planning a trip with Switzerland as your only destination|
|- Skip the delivery time with a Swiss Travel Pass E-ticket, which you can print by yourself at home||- You’ll be spending several days travelling around the different cities in Switzerland|
|Swiss Travel FlexiPass (3, 4, 8 or 15 Days)||The FlexiPass is good for one month, valid on any 3, 4, 8, or 15 non-consecutive days of your choice||- You prefer to have more flexibility with your itineraries|
|- Your travel dates and plans are unfixed at the moment|
|Swiss Half Fare Card||Up to 50% off on tickets for Switzerland’s public transportation systems for one calendar month||- Your travel dates and plans are unfixed at the moment|
|- You only plan to travel a couple of times within that one month|
The Swiss Travel Pass covers a wide range of different modes of transportation within Switzerland. Besides that, a few train and bus routes crossing the border allow free travelling too.
Examples are EuroAirport (France) to Basel, Martigny to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (France), Brig to Domodossola (Italy), Domodossola to Locarno (Centovalli line) and buses in Liechtenstein.
For the full area of validity of your pass, check out the detailed Swiss Travel Pass network map.
The main highlight of the Swiss Travel Pass is the function of unlimited rides on trains, buses, city transit networks, and even boats across Switzerland, which can add up to quite a bit. Aside from that, passholders are entitled to over 500 museums around the country. That’s a lot of museums!
For mountain excursions like cable cars and funiculars, you can get free rides on selected ones. For the ones that aren’t free, you can still put your travel pass to good use and get discounts of up to 50% off.
For those travelling as a family, children between the ages of 0 to 15 can travel for free with at least 1 parent holding a Swiss Travel System pass/ticket. Meanwhile, youth aged between 16 and 25 can enjoy a 15% discount.
The Swiss Travel Pass also allows for flexibility in terms of the validity period. Depending on your itinerary and travelling needs, it’s easy to find one that suits your needs. You can opt for E-Ticket (especially great for the last minute planners) or the physical pass.
The E-Ticket comes in Consecutive 3, 4, 8 or 15 Days. Meanwhile, the physical comes in Consecutive 3, 4, 8 or 15 Days, as well as, Flexible 3, 4, 8 or 15 Days. So, this means that whether you’re planning for a short trip or an extended period of time, there’s a pass perfect for you.
Aside from the Swiss Travel Pass, there are several other transport passes and tickets available for purchase. The other popular ones amongst visitors are the Swiss Half Fare Card and Saver Day Pass ('Spartageskarte' in German). There are also Super Saver Tickets and single-fare tickets which are simply one-way train tickets.
Swiss Travel Pass vs. Swiss Half Fare Card vs. Saver Day Pass
Refer to the table below for the differences between Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Half Fare Card and Saver Day Pass:
|Swiss Travel Pass||Swiss Half Fare Card||Saver Day Pass|
|Coverage||The whole of Switzerland within the Swiss Travel System||The whole of Switzerland within the Swiss Travel System||The whole of Switzerland within the Swiss Travel System|
|Pass collection||E-Ticket: Printed or mobile voucher will act as your pass||Mail to your home address (free of charge)||Mail to your home address|
|Physical pass: Mail to your home address (free of charge)|
|Purchase how early in advance||Up to 1 day before departure for E-Ticket. Up to 7 working days before departure for the physical passes.||Up to 7 working days before departure||Between 60 days and 1 day before travel date (the earlier, the cheaper)|
|Usage||Unlimited rides on train, boat, bus, and premium panorama train rides within the validity period (3, 4, 8 or 15 days)||Unlimited 50% off purchase on selected tickets to trains, buses, boats, and premium panorama trains||Unlimited rides on trains, buses, boats and city transport within one day. Cable cars, cogwheel trains and funiculars are not included.|
|Flexibility||Has different validity periods and usage for different needs. An 85% refund is applicable to unused passes.||Valid for one month with unlimited use. An 85% refund is applicable to unused passes.||Needs to be booked in advance for the best price. No cancellations.|
|Ideal for which type of traveller||Those who want to visit the best of Switzerland and/or travel around extensively||Those who will only be taking public transport a small handful of times||Those who plan in advance and need an additional travel day on top of a rail pass like Swiss Travel Pass or have the bulk of their travelling reserved in a day or two.|
Reservations are required on most high speed, international, scenic and night trains. However, local and regional trains do not require reservations. Do note that seat reservations will incur additional fees. You may refer to this table for a list of trains with mandatory reservations.
You can check the timetable and/or make a reservation on Klook's Europe train ticket booking page up to 3 months before departure or you can reserve seats at any local train stations.
To really determine if the Swiss Travel Pass if worth it, you’ll have to do some calculations. Determine what trains and public transportation you’ll be taking and from there, you can figure out how much the cost is then compared it to the price of the Swiss Travel Pass.
More likely than not, it’s more worth it to get the Swiss Travel Pass. It’s especially true if you’re taking Switzerland’s famous scenic trains which are usually the most expensive. The pass easily pays for itself if you plan well and maximises the use of the Swiss Travel Pass.
If you’re not planning on taking much public transportation, it’s also worth looking into the Swiss Half Fare Card which allows you to enjoy some great savings.
Common FAQs for Swiss Travel Pass
Q: Is the Swiss Travel Pass refundable?
A: Unused Swiss Travel Pass purchased from Klook is entitled to 85% refund.
Q: How long is the Swiss Travel Pass valid for?
A: The validity period depends on the package you purchased - 3, 4, 8, or 15 days (flexible or consecutive)
Q: How do I activate my Swiss Travel Pass?
A: You can select the first travel date when checking out on Klook to activate your pass.
Q: Who is eligible to purchase the Swiss Travel Pass?
A: Swiss Travel System passes and tickets are available to anyone who is resident outside Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein.
Q: Do I need to print out my E-Ticket Swiss Travel Pass?
A: Yes, you must print your PDF ticket before travelling to Switzerland
Q: Who can I reach out to if I have more questions or if I have problems with my Swiss Travel Pass?
A: If you need more information on the Swiss Travel System passes, you can refer to the official website. If you have problems with your Swiss Travel Pass purchased from Klook, you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill up this Klook ask form.