Swiss Passes: The TMR Guide
Swiss Rail Passes offer flexibility and great value for money on your Switzerland rail holiday. For a set number of days in a row, or a designated amount of days in one month, you can enjoy unlimited travel on trains, buses and boats on the Swiss Travel System network. There are plenty of other advantages too. So, if you’re planning a holiday to Switzerland, or already have a Swiss pass in your hand and want to know more about how you can use it, take a look at our handy tips below:
Passes come in 3, 4, 8 or 15 days ‘straight’ (in a row) or the same number of days ‘flexi’, which means you can use them for unlimited travel on any 3, 4, 8 or 15 days in one month. There is no cap on this. If you want to travel around the country all day every day by train, boat and bus, you can do it!
Passes include local transport in 90 cities – including Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Lugano, Lausanne, Geneva, Montreux, Interlaken and plenty more. Local transport can include buses, trams, cable cars and even funicular railways.
Some mountain railways and excursions such as Mount Rigi are free with the Swiss Pass. Others such as the Jungfrau – Top of Europe, Gornergrat and Mount Pilatus offer a 50% discount to rail pass holders. If in doubt, show the pass to see if you can get a discount. In most cases, you can.
Museums and more
The Swiss Pass also gives you free admission to more than 500 museums! You can check out the full list here. Other attractions such as the Chateau de Chillon near Montreux (below) and the majestic castles at Bellinzona are also free to enter with your Swiss Pass. Again, if you’re not sure whether the pass gives you free access or a discount, just show it when you go to buy tickets. You will often be pleasantly surprised!
Children under 6 years old always travel free on the Swiss rail network, but if you have a Swiss pass, children from 6 to 15 who are travelling with you will also travel free. You’ll just need a Family Card (also free). Just let us know.
For most journeys on the Swiss rail network, you will not need seat reservations. Trains are generally not busy out of rush hour (this is especially the case in first class) and it’s great to have the freedom to decide on the spur of the moment which train to catch. The only notable exceptions to this are scenic train journeys such as the Glacier Express, Bernina Express and Golden Pass, for which you need compulsory seat reservations.
For almost all holidays to Switzerland, we will include a Swiss Pass as a matter of course. If you have any questions about the passes or want us to tailor make a Swiss holiday by rail for you, please get in touch!