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 BETS--Putting People on the Right Track Since 1978!
800-441-9413; 800-441-2387; in KS & MO, 877-441-2103

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Switzerland

   

Order Online: Swiss Consecutive-Day Pass or Swiss Flexipass

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Swiss Family Card: FREE Rail Travel for Children

When buying any Swiss railpass, parents get a Swiss Family Card that allows all of their children 15 years and under to travel free with them. Applies to parents and legal guardians, but not grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. (Children still qualify for a 50% discount when traveling with grandparents or other adults who are not parents or who do not have legal guardianship.)

 
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Swiss Railpasses

The Swiss train system is superb with departures every half hour to every major city within Switzerland. Railpasses are a bargain here in light of steep ordinary fares, even for short days trips, and are valid on some outstanding but expensive private mountain railways and on steamers on many of the idyllic Swiss lakes. The Swiss Consecutive-Day Pass and the Swiss Flexipass give unlimited travel on the Swiss national rail network, the public transport systems of 40 cities, rural postal buses, lake steamers and many private railways like the Glacier Express and allow free entry to about 420 museums and exhibitions in Switzerland. In addition, passholders get a 25% discount on the famous Jungfrau Railway and also 50% discounts on many other expensive mountain cable car and cog railway rides, such as the ones up the Schilthorn, Pilatus, Gornergrat or Klein Matterhorn.

If you are not doing much traveling in Switzerland, you should consider the Swiss Transfer Ticket or the Swiss Card, both of which are described below.
 
For all these types of Swiss railpasses, children under 16 traveling with a parent are FREE with the Swiss Family Card.


Questions About Rail Travel in Switzerland ?
Talk to a Real Person !
Before buying your Swiss railpass, talk to one of our rail experts about your Swiss itinerary to make sure you make the most of your precious vacation time and get the right pass for your trip. Our rail consultants have traveled and hiked extensively in Switzerland.

For Info or To Order Your Swiss Railpass
Just call BETS!
Call 800-441-9413 or 800-441-2387
(in KS & MO, call 877-441-2103)
9am-5pm Mon-Fri (Eastern Time)


Swiss Consecutive-Day Pass Prices
This consecutive-day pass offers unlimited rail travel on the Swiss network as described above.

Validity
Adult*
Single Traveler
1st Class
Adult*
Single Traveler 
2nd Class
Saver**
2-5 Adults
1st Class
(Price/Adult)
Saver**
2-5 Adults
2nd Class
 (Price/Adult) 
Youth***
Ages 16-25
2nd Class
4 days
$500
$313
$450
$282
$235
8 days
$722
$451
$650
$407
$339
15 days
$875
$547
$787
$492
$410
 
22 days
$1,014
$634
$913
$571
$476
1 month
$1,115
$697
$1,003
$627
$523

*  Children under 16 traveling alone or with any adult who is not their parent: half adult fare -- all children under 6: free. Children under 16 traveling with a parent are free with the Swiss Family Card.

** Price is per person based on two or more people traveling together regardless of age.

*** Youthpass is also available in 1st class at 25% off corresponding 1st-class single adult traveler rate.

Pass must be validated within 6 months of purchase. Prices are in U.S. dollars, and are subject to change due to fluctuations in the dollar to Swiss franc exchange rate.

Order Online: Swiss Consecutive-Day Pass

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Swiss Flexipass Prices
This flexipass gives 3, 4, 5, or 6 days of unlimited travel over 1 month on the Swiss network as described above.

Validity
Adult*
Single Traveler
1st Class
Adult*
Single Traveler
2nd Class
Saver**
2-5 Adults
1st Class
(Price/Adult)
Saver**
2-5 Adults
2nd Class
(Price/Adult)
Youth
Ages 16-25
2nd Class
3 days
$478
$299
$430
$269
Not Available
4 days
$579
$362
$521
$326
Not Available
5 days
$668
$418
$603
$377
Not Available
6 days
$760
$476
$686
$429
Not Available

*  Children under 16 traveling alone or with any adult who is not their parent: half adult fare -- all children under 6: free. Children under 16 traveling with a parent are free with the Swiss Family Card.

** Price is per person based on two or more people traveling together regardless of age.


Pass must be validated within 6 months of purchase. Prices are in U.S. dollars, and are subject to change due to fluctuations in the dollar to Swiss franc exchange rate.

Order Online: Swiss Flexipass

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Swiss Transfer Ticket
This ticket allows you to go from any Swiss border point or airport to any single destination in Switzerland covered by the Swiss rail system and back again (does not have to be the same border point or airport) within a one-month period. Each transfer must be completed in a single day via the most direct route, but stopovers are permitted. In many cases, the Swiss Transfer Ticket will be less expensive than a round-trip ticket for the same itinerary. If going to a single spot in Switzerland, such as for a hiking or ski trip where you won't need to use the rails, the Swiss Transfer Ticket is a good option. Children under 16 traveling with a parent are FREE with the Swiss Family Card.

Validity
(transfers to be completed within 1 month)
Adult*
Single Traveler
1st Class
Adult*
Single Traveler
2nd Class
Saver**
2-5 Adults
1st Class
(Price/Adult)
Saver**
2-5 Adults
2nd Class
(Price/Adult)
Youth
Ages 16-25
2nd Class
1 Month
$255
$160
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available

*  Children under 16 traveling alone or with any adult who is not their parent: half adult fare -- all children under 6: free. Children under 16 traveling with a parent are free with the Swiss Family Card.

** Price is per person based on two or more people traveling together regardless of age.


Pass must be validated within 6 months of purchase. Prices are in U.S. dollars, and are subject to change due to fluctuations in the dollar to Swiss franc exchange rate.

Order Online: Swiss Transfer Ticket

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Swiss Card
The Swiss Card is the same as the Swiss Transfer Ticket, except that you get, in addition to the round-trip transfer to/from any border point or airport, a 50% discount on rail, postal buses, boats and mountain-top excursions that you buy in Switzerland after you have used your in-bound transfer and before you have used the return transfer. The Swiss Card is best for people basing themselves in a single region in Switzerland, and who plan on taking only short day trips. If taking any longer day trips, the Swiss Flexi or Swiss Consecutive passes will probably be a better option. Children under 16 traveling with a parent are FREE with the Swiss Family Card.

Validity
(within 1 month)
Adult*
Single Traveler
1st Class
Adult*
Single Traveler
2nd Class
Saver**
2-5 Adults
1st Class
(Price/Adult)
Saver**
2-5 Adults
2nd Class
(Price/Adult)
Youth
Ages 16-25
2nd Class
1 Month
$324
$229
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available

*  Children under 16 traveling alone or with any adult who is not their parent: half adult fare -- all children under 6: free. Children under 16 traveling with a parent are free with the Swiss Family Card.

** Price is per person based on two or more people traveling together regardless of age.


Pass must be validated within 6 months of purchase. Prices are in U.S. dollars, and are subject to change due to fluctuations in the dollar to Swiss franc exchange rate.

Order Online: Swiss Card

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First Trip to Switzerland

This two-week trip is designed to show off the dazzling scenery unique to Switzerland. Beginning in Zurich, boats, trains and cable cars convey you from one picturesque place to another; and always the Alps are the backdrop, most dramatic at Zermatt with the Matterhorn and at Grindelwald with the equally famous Jungfrau. Savor each moment as time will pass so quickly that before you know it your homeward-bound plane will be lifting off.
Point-to-point rail tickets for this itinerary would cost considerably more than a Swiss railpass.

Day
Place
Train Travel Time
1
Arrive at Zurich Airport; train to Luzern
1 hr
2
Cross scenic Lake Luzern by steamer to Fluelen;
then train to Lugano; if possible add 1 day in Luzern for Mt. Pilatus or Mt. Rigi or sightseeing
Boat: 3hrs
Train: 2.5 hrs
3
Bus through the Italian Valtellina Valley to Tirano;
then Bernina Express train to St. Moritz
Bus: 3 hrs
Train: 2.5 hrs
4
Glacier Express train to Zermatt
8 hrs
 
5
Sightseeing; hiking; cog railway to Gornergrat; cable car to Klein Matterhorn
 
6
Train to Interlaken
2.75 hrs
7, 8
Sightseeing: mountain villages of Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Gimmelwald; lake boats; Jungfrau Railway excursion
 
 
9
Day trip to Bern; a good trip to do on any bad weather day while in Interlaken
1 hr
10
Take Golden Pass train to Montreux (or if short on time, return to Zurich via Brunig Pass and Luzern)
Montreux: 2.75 hrs
Zurich: 2.75 hrs
11
Sightseeing; boat excursion on Lake Geneva; day trip to Geneva or Gruyeres
Geneva: 1 hr
Gruyeres: 1.25 hrs
12
Return to Zurich
2.5 hrs

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Point-to-Point Rail Tickets


Compare the Cost of a Pass Versus Tickets

Check Schedules


Get Your Tickets
Before You Go

Have questions? Just call BETS!
Our rail experts will gladly help you find the perfect railpass for your itinerary.

Call 800-441-9413 or 800-441-2387
(in KS & MO, call 877-441-2103)

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For Your Information
  • Swiss Railpass Bonuses: Both the Swiss Consecutive Pass and Swiss Flexipass (requires use of a travel day) allow free travel on 40 city transportation systems including all major Swiss cities; steamers on the major lakes: Thun & Brienz (at Interlaken), Geneva, Luzern, Neuchatel, Lugano and Zurich; postal buses that go from train stations to nearly every mountain village in Switzerland; entry to about 440 museums, castles and exhibitions in Switzerland, including the Swiss Open-Air Museum at Ballenberg near Interlaken, Chillon Castle near Montreux, the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Gruyeres Castle in Gruyeres and the new Paul Klee Center in Bern. Click here for complete list: Swiss Museums.

Also a 50% reduction is given on many cable cars and private railways; listed here are a few of the more famous ones. Interlaken area: Jungfrau Railway (25% discount) and Schynige Platte trains; Schilthorn, Mannlichen and First cable cars. Zermatt area: Gornergrat train; Kleine Matterhorn, Unterrothorn and Schwarzsee cable cars. Luzern area: Pilatus cable car and train; Vitznau-Rigi train; Weggis-Rigi cable car.

  • The Swiss Flexipass and the 50% Ticket Discount: For short rail trips where the rail ticket is inexpensive, you may not want to use a travel day on your flexipass; in this case, you can buy the ticket at half-price as long as it is used between the first and last of your free travel days.
  • Swiss Scenic Railways: Nearly all rail lines in Switzerland are scenic, but one or more of the following specialty trains should be included in any trip to Switzerland.
    • Glacier Express: Between St. Moritz and Zermatt (8 hrs); free with any Swiss railpass, but an expensive add-on ticket from Disentis to Zermatt (about $102 1st cl or $62 2nd cl) is required for any other type of railpass valid in Switzerland; seat reservations are mandatory*.
    • Bernina Express: Between Tirano and St. Moritz (2.5 hrs) or Chur (4 hrs); free with all railpasses valid in Switzerland; seat reservations are mandatory*.
    • Centovalli Railway: Between Domodossola, Italy and Locarno, Switzerland (1.75 hrs); free with all railpasses valid in Switzerland, even though it's partially in Italy; seat reservations are not possible.
    • Golden Pass: The first part is over the Brunig Pass between Luzern and Interlaken (2 hrs); the second part is between Interlaken and Montreux on Lake Geneva (3 hrs); free with all railpasses valid in Switzerland; seat reservations are not required, but strongly advised for observation cars*.
    • William Tell Express: The first section is between Luzern and Fluelen by vintage paddle-wheel steamer (3 hrs); the second section is by train between Fluelen and Locarno (2 hrs) or Lugano (2.5 hrs); requires a first-class railpass valid in Switzerland; seat reservations, which include a meal aboard the ship, are mandatory*.

* Seat reservations cost extra and can be made up to 90 days in advance. All trains have glass-domed observation cars with large panoramic windows, except for Centovalli trains, and reservations for these cars should be made as soon as possible, especially during holiday periods and the summer months. 

There are frequent local trains that travel each of these routes conveying first- and second-class seats; but as there are no observation cars, you will have to crane your neck a bit more to see everything passing by your window.

  • Swiss Airports with Train Links to the Main Train Station: Geneva (10 mins; 4 trains/hr); Zurich (15 mins; 4 trains/hr). From Zurich Airport, direct trains also go to Bern (1.25 hrs; hourly); Interlaken (2.5 hrs; every 2 hrs); Luzern (1 hr; hourly); Brig for Zermatt (3 hrs; every 2 hrs; frequent trains on to Zermatt: 1.25 hrs). From Geneva Airport, direct trains go to Montreux (1.25 hrs; 2 trains/hr); Bern (2 hrs; 2 trains/hr; frequent trains from Bern on to Interlaken: 1 hr); Brig for Zermatt (2.5 hrs; hourly; frequent trains on to Zermatt: 1.25 hrs).
  • Switzerland-Paris Rail Connections
    • Geneva-Paris (Lyon Station): 5-6 trains/day; 3.5 hrs
    • Lausanne-Paris (Lyon Station): 3-4 trains/day; 4 hrs
    • Bern-Paris (Lyon Station): 2 trains/day; 4.75 hrs
    • Basel-Paris (Est Station): 4-5 trains/day; 3.5 hrs
    • Zürich-Paris (Est Station): 3 trains/day; 4.5 hrs
There is hourly rail service from any major point in Switzerland to any of these gateway cities. For example, transit times from Interlaken (and the Bernese Oberland): Basel (2 hrs); Bern (1 hr); Lausanne (2.25 hrs); Geneva (2.75 hrs). From Luzern: Zürich (46 mins); Basel (1 hr).

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Country Sketch: Switzerland

Without doubt, Switzerland is the most beautiful country in Europe, with the Alps being the high point of any trip. The breathtaking vistas of sparkling mountain lakes and waterfalls, lush green valleys and picture-perfect chalets with their bright flower boxes are all more impressive than you can imagine. Don't bypass the Swiss cities, they're jewels in themselves. Because it's centrally located, Switzerland can be easily included in any Eurail trip. Consider basing yourself and taking day trips to practically anywhere in the country from your home base.
 
Trains: The Swiss train system is superb with departures every half hour to every major city within Switzerland. Connections to other countries are also excellent; for example, Geneva is less than four hours from Paris. Railpasses are a bargain here in light of steep ordinary fares, even for short day trips, and are valid on some outstanding but expensive private mountain railways and steamers on many of the idyllic Swiss lakes. The Swiss Pass and Swiss Flexipass give unlimited travel on the Swiss national rail network and many private railways, postal buses and lake steamers. Passes are even valid on the trams and buses in most Swiss cities, as well as for free admission to about 450 museums throughout Switzerland (www.museumspass.ch).
 
The Alps are most dramatic at Zermatt with the Matterhorn and at Grindelwald with the equally famous Jungfrau. Each area offers magnificent mountains, but the Jungfrau Region may be your best bet — for it is more easily reached and offers many more gentile hiking trails and attractive mountain villages.
 
Interlaken, set between two pristine lakes, attracts crowds of tourists as it is the gateway to the spectacular Jungfrau Region and the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks. After a quick look at this pleasant but crowded city, head for the hills!
 
Grindelwald is a charming village that allows a closer look at one of the most enthralling mountain regions. From here you can begin your firsthand adventure with one of the many chair lifts, cable cars or hikes on well-marked trails. A fabulous trip is the private Jungfrau Railway that climbs to 11,333 feet, ending at Europe's highest train station, atop a glacier where the views are stunning (a hefty $163 round trip from Interlaken; 25% discount with railpasses).
 
Lausanne, a "French" Swiss university town, is set picturesquely on Lake Geneva. Its famous Cathedral, called one of the finest Swiss Gothic buildings, has an exquisite rose window. The city also has one of Europe's most bizarre art museums, Collection d'Art Brut, devoted to works by the insane.

Glacier Express

A favorite with scenery enthusiasts is this photog-heaven train ride which traverses the heart of the Alps between St. Moritz, a glitzy mountain resort, and Zermatt, a car-less chalet-full village below the princely Matterhorn. From the glass-domed observation cars on Europe's slowest "express" train, enjoy the rugged snowcapped Alps, rushing mountain rivers, thundering waterfalls, and alpine pastures. (8 hrs; $220 1st cl.; $132 2nd cl.; free with Swiss Passes only. Eurailpasses that include Switzerland cover only the portion from Disentis to St. Moritz, but give a 25% discount from Zermatt to Disentis; this add-on ticket costs $102 1st cl.; $62 2nd cl. Seat reservations are mandatory at an extra cost.)

The William Tell Route
Luzern-Lugano
 
This is an enjoyable way to go from central Switzerland to Lugano or on to Italy. From Luzern you board a paddle steamer that churns its way across Lake Luzern to Flüelen (about 3 hrs). The mountain scenery is spectacular especially when viewed from the ship's open-air upper deck. At Flüelen it is only a short walk from the dock to the rail station to catch a connecting train on to Lugano (2.5 hrs), Locarno (2 hrs), Como (2.75 hrs) or Milan (3.5 hrs), gateway to anywhere in Italy. And, as a bonus, most of these trains convey first-class panoramic cars.

Geneva is a uniquely cosmopolitan city with the headquarters of many global organizations, like the Red Cross, located here. The city's attractive setting on Lake Geneva with the Mont Blanc massif rising up from the opposite shore is memorable. The Jet d'Eau or "Peace Fountain" that shoots up from the lake is the world's tallest fountain. Vevey (1 hr from Geneva), a smart resort on Lake Geneva, makes a great base for discovering the lake area if you prefer smaller towns. The hilltop village of Gruyères (1 hr from Montreux and Lake Geneva) is fabled for its 15th-century Castle and its cheese — leave time to visit the factory to see Gruyère cheese being made.
 
Luzern (Lucerne) with its mountain backdrop, elegant lake front and fashionable shops is perhaps the "nicest" of the nice Swiss towns. Don't miss the famous covered wooden bridges with their 16th- through 18th-century paintings and out-of-this-world spider webs. A walk along the lake is a great way to enjoy the ring of towering mountains. You can also stroll atop the town wall and climb the towers.
 
Bern, an unassuming capital city, has a wonderful Baroque-looking old town with an excellent shopping area. Due to its central location, Bern is a great base city with easy day trips to many surrounding Swiss attractions.
 
Zürich is a beautiful, opulent large city that offers a tremendous view of the mountains and Lake Zürich. The stately Bahnhofstrasse, called the world's richest street, is lined with numerous Swiss banks and many of the world's most luxurious shops and boutiques. If on a megabuck budget, Zürich's for you. If not, satiate yourself with a quick look, salivate at the store windows and move on.

A Jungfrau Jaunt

For a rewarding and unforgettable day in the Jungfrau Region, take one of the trails (or the gondola) from Grindelwald (3,392 ft) up to Männlichen (7,687 ft), then a cable car down to Wengen (4,180 ft) in the next valley, where you can catch a train or walk down to Lauterbrunnen (2,612 ft), another lovely valley town. From there you can take a cable car to Grütschalp and another short mountain train to Mürren (5,397 ft). Gimmelwald, a leisurely half-hour walk from Mürren, is a tiny farm village lost in the high mountains. Stay overnight in the mountains or take the cable-car plunge back to the valley floor and then bus back to Lauterbrunnen. All of this route can be done by foot on well-maintained walking paths. The trails are well marked with directional signs so that you can't get lost. No matter how you go — on foot, train or by lift — it will be an uplifting experience!
 
From Mürren you can also take a cable car to the top of the Schilthorn (9,744 ft). Here you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views while you eat in the revolving restaurant, Piz Gloria.

Centovalli Line

Rail or Swiss-scenery buffs will enjoy this private narrow-gauge train chugging through the Centovalli ("100 valleys") between Locarno and Domodossola, Italy. Locarno, on Lake Maggiore, sports an Italian flavor replete with palm trees and makes a good stopover. (This two-hour ride is free with Eurail and Swiss passes.)

Golden Pass Line
 
Not only is this one of Europe's most scenic train rides, but it's also an amazing way to go between Luzern, Interlaken and Lausanne or Geneva. From Luzern the train serpentines up and over the steep Brünig Pass and along a glittering lake to Interlaken. Then it glides along yet another glorious lake and more phenomenal mountain countryside until it reaches its grand finale — its breathtaking descent via a series of hairpin turns to Lake Geneva at Montreux, a fab lake resort noted for its swinging Jazz Festival (in July) and the neighboring Chillon Castle. Though other trains run this route, only the Golden Pass Panoramic trains have glass-domed observation cars, but the mountain panoramas are tremendous from any train. (This five-hour ride is free with railpasses. As this scenic ride is in two sections, Luzern to Interlaken and Interlaken to Montreux, many people break their journey by staying in the Interlaken area for a few days.)

Crossing Borders the Scenic Way

If on your way to France, you can take the spellbinding Martigny–Chamonix narrow-gauge line (free with railpasses). This two-hour thrill ride winds its way up and over a steep mountain pass to Chamonix, a French alpine resort town near Mont Blanc (15,781 ft), the highest peak in the Alps. Just before Chamonix, imposing glaciers seemingly border the tracks. There is good train service from Chamonix to all parts of France, and you can even gondola your way over the mountains to Italy from Chamonix.
 
For a dramatic ride between Switzerland and Italy, take the Bernina Express; see box below.

Order Online: Swiss Consecutive-Day Pass or Swiss Flexipass

Milan to Switzerland via the Bernina Express

This is one of Europe's most scenic train trips. Unlike the main line, this narrow-gauge line climbs over the Alps instead of tunneling through them. The train climbs steeply to 7,405 feet, making it the highest railpass-valid line in Europe. Beginning in Tirano (2.5 hrs by train from Milan via Sondrio), the Bernina Express will take you over a high mountain pass (Bernina Pass), where the immense Morteratsch Glacier seems to reach almost to the tracks, before arriving at St. Moritz in Switzerland (2.5 hrs from Tirano). As trains run hourly in summer, it's easy to get off and hike before catching another train; a popular walk goes between the Alp Grüm and Ospizio Bernina rail stations. St. Moritz makes a pleasant stay or you can continue to Chur, where you re-join the main-line Swiss network for fast connections to anywhere in the country.
 
If you have time — don't miss the Bernina Express. If lucky, you'll find space in one of the open-air cars for a thrill ride through the rugged snowcapped Alps. We know of no other more scenic mountain train trip that is free with Eurail (without a railpass: $112/1st cl.; $76/2nd cl.). Most similar private mountain rail lines are costly and not free with Eurail.

 BETS- The European Rail Experts
800-441-9413 or 800-441-2387
in KS & MO, 877-441-2103

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