Tickets versus passes
Point to point train tickets can be purchased online, and through the staffed desk or ticketing machines at rail stations in Switzerland.
How to save money on tickets:
- Consider a rail pass. In that case you don't need tickets at all, or you will get a discount;
- If you have a Swiss Half Fare Card, you only pay 50% of the ticket price;
- In some cases, tickets from Germany to Switzerland are cheaper than a ticket for just the Swiss leg of that same journey. You can buy such tickets here. The German town to fill out in most cases is "Freiburg (Breisgau) Hbf". You don't have to board there. You can board at any station en route. For example: with a ticket from Freiburg to Zermatt you can board in Basel too;
- Booking tickets early usually doesn't get you a lower fare. A few exceptions apply, like the above example, and online retailers may sometimes offer promotions.
Domestic tickets for Switzerland do not need to be booked in advance. You can do so to save time at the station, but it's not required. Seat reservations do need to be purchased in advance, but these are mostly not required.
Find ticket prices and points of sale.
Is something not clear yet? Just post your questions to the Swiss rail forum and get a quick answer.