Promotions for Swiss rail passes
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Discounts for rail pass holders
Pass holders get free or discounted traveling, either in the whole of Switzerland or in a specific region. If your pass entitles you to a 50% discount, you can buy tickets at half the normal fare. These are the prices indicated by default in the Swiss timetable.
Find your pass to see details about free and discounted traveling.
Discounts on Swiss point-to-point tickets
In most cases, it’s better to buy a rail pass than to get normal full-fare tickets. With a rail pass you either don’t need point-to-point tickets at all, or you can buy discounted ones. If you do need regular tickets, learn how to get them at the best rate:
- Normal Swiss train tickets have one fixed price. This doesn’t change. Prices are updated only once per year: around mid-December, when the timetable for the new year comes into effect.
- There are discounted point-to-point tickets. These are called Supersaver tickets. Their availability and price strongly vary.
- If you’ve planned a long journey for just one or two days, a Saver Day Pass can be cheaper than regular tickets. Price and availability fluctuate. Buying well in advance usually gets you the lowest rates.
Discounts for children: the Swiss Family Card
What is the Swiss Family Card?
In summary, this is what the card is:
- The Swiss Family Card allows your children, stepchildren, and foster children from 6 up to and including 15 years old to travel along for free.
- The parents need to travel with a Swiss Travel System rail pass: a Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Travel Pass Flex, or Swiss Half Fare Card.
- The Swiss Family Card is free.
- Children up to 5 years old travel for free in Switzerland and don’t need a Swiss Family Card.
Can I buy a Swiss Family Card with another rail pass?
No. The Swiss Family Card can only be bought and used with the passes mentioned above.
What does the Swiss Family Card cost?
Where is the Swiss Family Card valid?
The Swiss Family Card offers free traveling for children, wherever the Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Travel Pass Flex, or Swiss Half Fare Card offers free or discounted travel for parents. So even if the parents need a discounted ticket (for example for a mountain excursion such as Jungfraujoch), the children travel for free all the way.
When you check websites for prices, e.g. cableway websites, you may see children’s rates instead of a reference to the Swiss Family Card. Those prices apply to children who travel without a Swiss Family Card. They need to buy discounted a ticket. With the Swiss Family Card, kids don’t need a ticket as they travel for free. So if you’ll be using a Swiss Family Card, you can ignore such children’s prices.
See the network map on our rail pass pages for details.
How to use the Swiss Family Card?
In nearly all cases the Swiss Family Card arrives via e-mail, and there is nothing you need to do other than check if the personal particulars on the card are correct. You can print the Swiss Family Card or store it on your phone as explained for the Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Travel Pass Flex, and Swiss Half Fare Card.
Traveling with the Swiss Family Card
Once you have a valid Swiss Family Card and Swiss Travel System rail pass, you can use both to travel. The Swiss Family Card is valid where and when your rail pass is valid. You don’t need any other tickets for the children. The validity of the Swiss Family Card ends when the validity of the rail pass expires.
On board the train, bus, or boat
Once you’re on board, you will need to present your rail pass and the Swiss Family Card to ticket controllers upon request. The controller may want to check your passport as well, to make sure you’re the owner of the presented pass and the parent of the children.
If the pass for the parents includes free entrance to museums, this applies to the children too. An example is the Swiss Travel Pass.
What if children turn 16 during their stay in Switzerland?
The age on the start date of the pass of the parents counts. If the child is 15 on that start date, the Swiss Family Card remains valid for the duration of the pass of the parents.
Discounts for children: the Junior Travelcard
What is the Junior Travelcard?
In summary, this is what the card is:
- The Junior Travelcard allows your children from 6 to 15 years old to travel along for free.
- The Junior Travelcard is valid for 30 days.
- The parents need to travel with any valid ticket or pass (including Eurail and Interrail). Exceptions apply to some regional passes.
- Children up to 5 years old travel for free in Switzerland and don’t need a Junior Travelcard.
- Children don’t need a Junior Travelcard if the parents own a Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Travel Pass Flex, or Swiss Half Fare Card. In that case, the free Swiss Family Card is a better choice.
What if I want to travel with children who are not my own?
There is a similar Children’s Co-Travelcard if you are not the parent of the children you will be traveling with.
What’s the price of the Junior Travelcard?
A 1-month Junior Travelcard is a paper ticket that costs CHF 30. The Junior Travelcard is free from the third child. It can be bought at ticket desks of Swiss rail stations.
Where is the Junior Travelcard valid?
The Junior Travelcard offers free traveling for children wherever the Swiss Half Fare Card provides discounts to adults. Check the validity map on our Swiss Half Fare Card page for details.
How to use the Junior Travelcard?
You simply need to take it along while traveling with the pass or ticket for yourself and show it if asked for. That’s all you need to enjoy free traveling for your children.
On board the train, bus, or boat
Once you’re on board, you will need to present your rail pass or ticket and the Junior Travelcard to the ticket controllers upon request. The controller may want to check your passport as well, to make sure you’re the owner of the presented pass and/or the parent of the child.
Can I get a 1-year Junior Travelcard?
There’s also a Junior Travelcard that’s valid for 1 year. This is a digital product. It can only be obtained at Swiss rail stations along with passports and high-quality passport photos. Moreover, each child needs to get his or her own SwissPass-account.
This version is primarily meant for Swiss residents. We don’t recommend it to tourists.
Discounts for children: other options
If you don’t have a Swiss Family Card or Junior Travelcard for your children, you can use the standard reduced children fares in Switzerland.
Discounts for children up to 5 years old
Children travel for free if accompanied by an adult. This applies to a maximum of 8 children per adult.
Discounts for children 6 to 15 years old
Children from 6 to 15 without a Swiss Family Card or Junior Travelcard can buy 50% discounted tickets. There’s also a Day Pass Children. For long journeys, this can be cheaper than a 50% discounted ticket.
Discounts for youths & students from 16 to 24
Discounts for groups
Please learn about discount options for groups here.
Discounts for seniors
There are no discounts for seniors. The only exception is a travelcard for unlimited free traveling for a whole year, meant for Swiss residents.
Discounts for early bookers
Booking Swiss rail tickets early can save you money, but restrictions apply. There is the Supersaver ticket for point-to-point trips on a fixed date and time. Saver Day Passes offer cheap unlimited traveling. Both options are not refundable but may save money.
International tickets are usually cheaper if booked well in advance.