Swiss timetable

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Must knows about the Swiss timetable

  • The advanced timetable includes all modes of transportation, not just trains;
  • The timetable shows the fastest route unless you specify a via-location;
  • It shows ticket prices too. A rail pass often saves you money;
  • Apart from rail stations, you can also enter addresses in the "from" and "to" fields;
  • It shows schedules until early December. It will be updated around mid-October to include schedules until early December of the next year;
  • Use the basic timetable for a quick search for trains between major towns.
Zurich HB departure board

The departure board of the main train station in Zurich.

Basic timetable - the quickest routes between major towns

Use this timetable for the quickest train routes between popular destinations. Some routes may not be available.

From
To
Departure date
Departure time

Depending on the route, train schedules will be displayed by either happyrail.com or trainline.eu.

Advanced timetable - all public transport, all routes

How to pay for your trips

The main options are:

  1. Buy normal tickets for all your trips. This is usually not the cheapest way to travel.

  2. Buy discounted tickets for all your trips, by getting a Swiss Half Fare Card.

  3. Do not buy tickets at all, except for excursions, and travel as much as you like, by getting a Swiss Travel Pass.

More passes and tickets can be found here.

How to find traveling times (advanced timetable)

Enter your departure location, the arrival location, the travel date (day.month.year) and travel time (24 hour format, so 5 PM is 17:00). You can optionally enter a via location if you prefer a specific route and not necessarily the quickest route. Click the button to find all travel options. The location name can be a train station, but also the name of a bus stop, boat dock or cable car station. You can also enter an address.

The list of travel options presented by the timetable shows the departure time, how long the trip takes, and the number of changes. Click on any connection to see more details, such as changes of trains and further information on each section of the journey. In many cases the timetable also shows the expected occupancy of trains.

Use these names for airports:

All trains can be found through the timetable, regardless whether they're operated by the SBB or another railway company.

How to find ticket prices (advanced timetable)

You can use the timetable to find the regular prices of tickets. That allows you to compare point to point tickets to pass prices. To see the price for a trip, click the red ticket button for your preferred travel option. Note that the timetable displays 50% discounted fares by default, as many Swiss residents travel with a discount pass. In order to find full regular fares, fill out passenger details and select "no discount". Do mind the selection for single versus return journeys. You may see "from" prices being displayed along with the travel options. These are not the regular prices, so be sure to find the real price as explained.

Fill out tomorrow's date when looking for prices. Prices will be the same even if your trip is much later. Prices only change once per year.

For most visits to Switzerland buying a pass is cheaper than buying separate tickets for each trip. You can calculate whether that's true for your plans as well.

Sometimes prices will not be displayed, or for part of the route only. That mostly happens in case of mountain trips with cable cars, funiculars, etc. In such cases you can best visit the website of the transport company for that route to find prices there. Links can be found on each of our attraction pages. Prices for (parts of) routes that are operated by small companies in neighbouring countries may not be available either.

Further options (advanced timetable)

The timetable will show you the quickest way to get from point A to B, unless you force it to display a specific route by entering a via-location. Click "Change" and "Advanced search" link to refine your search. It allows you to find connections with a preferred mode of transport (e.g. just boats, no trains). It also allows you to enter more via-locations. This comes in handy if you prefer a specific scenic route instead of the quickest route.

Seat reservations

Most trains do not require a seat reservation. Exceptions can be found in the advanced timetable. Such trains are marked as 'Reservation compulsory' (you have to book a seat) or 'Reservation possible' (you can book a seat, but it's not required). Reservations will be offered to you automatically if you use the basic timetable.

Tight connection times

The timetable shows where you need to connect from one train to the other. Some connection times are as short as a few minutes. There is no need to worry about that. The Swiss train system is designed for optimal travel times, which sometimes includes a quick connection. Trains will often arrive and depart from the same platform, and you will rarely be the only passenger switching trains.

The timetable only suggests connections that are doable. The connecting train may even wait for delayed arriving trains. Should you miss your train anyway, then there's always a next train.

If you connect to a train you have seat reservations for, a bit more slack can be useful. Reservations are not valid for other trains.

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