About us | Contact | n%2Fa | n%2Fa
Home How to travel Traveling in Switzerland Swiss timetable
MySwissAlps features ads, commercial and non-commercial links.

Swiss train timetable


Print this page

I have to say this website is an amazing fount of information! It is going to help tremendously in planning our trip.

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

Use this Trainline timetable for a quick easy search for train schedules in Switzerland.
https://www.thetrainline.com/en-us

"SwissPass" account not required: advanced timetable

You can be asked to login with a SwissPass account on the advanced SBB timetable website or in the app. You don't need this as a tourist. Simply choose to proceed as a guest without a SwissPass login. Find more information about the SwissPass here.

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. Find more information here, and recommended purchase options here.

  3. Do not buy tickets at all, except for excursions, and travel as much as you like with 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).

Details:

  • You can optionally enter a via location if you prefer a specific route and not necessarily the quickest route.
  • 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.
  • Click the button "Search for connections" to find all travel options. The list of travel options presented by the timetable shows the departure time, the duration of the trip, 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. The timetable often shows the expected occupancy of trains as well.
  • Use these names for airports: "Basel EuroAirport for Basel Airport, "Bern Flughafen" for Bern Airport, "Genève-Aéroport" for Geneva Airport and "Zürich Flughafen" for Zurich Airport.
  • All trains can be found through the timetable, regardless whether they're operated by the SBB or another railway company.

How to find standard ticket prices, option 1: basic timetable (recommended)

The basic Trainline timetable shows prices for most routes in, from and to Switzerland:

https://www.thetrainline.com/en-us

  1. Click the flag button in the top of the page. Set the currency to Swiss francs (CHF).

  2. Enter a connection, tomorrow's date and a time of 10:00. Don't add any railcards. Click the search button.

  3. You'll see an overview of standard (2nd class) and 1st class prices. Click on the highest price for details.

  4. Look at the (Semi-)Flexible prices. These are the standard ticket prices.

Details:

  • If you compare point-to-point tickets with rail passes, you need standard, non-discounted ticket prices. That's why you should ignore "Cheapest" labels and "Lowest Fare" options. They indicate Supersaver tickets or Saver Day Passes. Their prices and availability fluctuate, and they have restrictive conditions. The displayed prices only count if you buy such tickets now.
  • You can fill out your exact travel date, or simply tomorrow's date. Standard prices will be fixed until next December. That's when the Swiss timetable and ticket prices change.

How to find standard ticket prices, option 2: advanced timetable website

The advanced SBB timetable shows prices for nearly all routes in, from and to Switzerland. This is how to find full-fare prices for your journey:

  1. Enter a connection, tomorrow's travel date and a departure time in the middle of the day. Click "Search for connection".

  2. A list of connections appears. You'll already see prices there, but those are not standard prices.

  3. Click on the red tickets/price button next to any connection.

  4. Ignore the header "Enter passengers" and the red button "SwissPass Login / Purchase as a guest". Scroll down to "Travel options" instead.

  5. Under "Travel options", change the pre-selected option "Half Fare Travelcard" into "full price".

  6. Choose a single or return journey, and 2nd or 1st class.

  7. Under "Choice of ticket", pick "Point-to-point Ticket".

Details:

  • The SwissPass is a digital account mostly used by Swiss residents. You don't need it as a tourist.
  • If you compare point-to-point tickets to rail passes, you need standard, non-discounted ticket prices. That's why you should ignore half-fare prices. They're meant for Swiss residents with a discount card. Also avoid special fares such as the Saver Day Pass and Supersaver tickets. Their prices and availability fluctuate and they have restrictive conditions. The displayed prices only count for the specific selected date and/or connection, and they only count if you buy such tickets now.
  • You can fill out your exact travel date, or simply tomorrow's date. Standard prices will be fixed until next December. That's when the Swiss timetable and ticket prices change.
  • You can buy tickets through the timetable website, but there are many more options. Find purchase recommendations for full-fare tickets here, and for discounted tickets here.

How to find standard ticket prices, option 3: advanced timetable app

The SBB Mobile app shows prices for nearly all routes in, from and to Switzerland. You'll have to take several steps to find standard prices, so we don't recommend this unless the basic timetable does not work for you.

  1. Tap the icon "Timetable".

  2. Enter your journey. The app will then automatically show connections. You can change the date and departure time if you want.

  3. Tap on a connection and click the red button "Tickets from CHF...". Ignore any "from-prices".

  4. Tap "Edit passengers".

  5. Enter your first name, surname and date of birth. Do not check any of the boxes under "Travelcards". Also ignore the section "Fare network travelcards". Tap "Save" and then "Accept".

  6. You'll now get to see prices for your connection. Next to your name you should see "(1/1)". This means you're seeing full, standard fares. If it says "(1/2)" instead, you're still seeing half-fare prices. Edit your passenger information in that case (see step 5).

  7. Choose "Point-to point Ticket". Ignore cheaper alternatives.

  8. Use the buttons at the top to choose between a single and return journey, and between 2nd and 1st class.

Details:

  • You don't need to create a SwissPass account in the app. That's mostly for Swiss residents. Find more information here.
  • If you compare point-to-point tickets to rail passes, you need standard, non-discounted ticket prices. That's why you should ignore half-fare prices and you shouldn't see fares displayed as "(1/2)". These 50% discounted rates are for Swiss residents with a discount card. Also avoid special fares such as the Saver Day Pass and Supersaver tickets. Their prices and availability fluctuate and they have restrictive conditions. The displayed prices only count for the specific selected date and/or departure time, and they only count if you buy such tickets now.
  • You can fill out your exact travel date, or simply tomorrow's date. Standard prices will be fixed until next December. That's when the Swiss timetable and ticket prices change.
  • You can buy most tickets through the app, but there are many more options. Find purchase recommendations for full-fare tickets here, and for discounted tickets here.

Further options: advanced timetable

The advanced timetable app and website offer more features with the "Advanced search" option. Here's how to get there while searching for connections:

  • On the timetable website, click "Advanced search" next to the button "Show connections".
  • In the timetable app, tap the settings icon in the bar below the "from" and "to" locations.

Examples of "Advanced search" features are:

  • Enter one or more via locations. The timetable shows the quickest option between A and B by default. When entering via locations, you can force it to show a different route. This is helpful if you prefer a specific scenic route instead of the quickest connection.
  • Select your preferred mode of transport. This can be helpful if you're looking for boat or bus connections and want to exclude train connections.
  • Select the minimum transfer duration to change trains. If you're traveling with lots of luggage or a large group, you may want to have extra transfer time.

Seat reservations

Most trains do not require a seat reservation. Exceptions can be found in the advanced timetable. Such trains are marked in one of two ways:

  • 'Mandatory place reservation' (you have to book a seat). The symbol for this is an R in a rectangular.
  • 'Place reservation possible' (you can book a seat, but it's not required). The symbol for this is an R.

The basic timetable will automatically offer seat reservations, if they are available for the route you selected.

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.

A bit more slack can be useful if you connect to a train you have seat reservations or special tickets for: they're not valid for other trains. Use the "Advanced search" in the advanced timetable to select a minimum amount of time to change trains.

Expected occupancy of trains

It rarely happens that Swiss trains are so full that you can't find a seat. Of course it can be busy on certain lines during rush hour, or on popular touristic routes in high season.

The advanced timetable shows the expected occupancy. Enter your journey and look at the 3-figure for each connection. There's an indication for both 1st and 2nd class. This is how to interpret the icons:

  • 1 black figure means that the expected occupancy is low;
  • 2 black figures means that the expected occupany is medium;
  • 3 red figures means that the expected occupancy is high. But this still doesn't mean it will be overly full and that you can't find a place.

On some routes, seat reservations are possible. This is rarely necessary for routes within Switzerland, even if trains are expected to be crowded.

TRAVELING IN SWITZERLAND

About traveling in Switzerland by train, bus, boat and cable car.

More

TICKETS & PASSES

Learn about the various rail passes for Switzerland. How they work, prices and much more.

More

Swiss Travel Pass promotion: 30% discount
Available until 31 October 2022. Book 6 months ahead.
https://shop.switzerlandtravelcentre.com/swisstravelpass

Information on other websites

© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2022