Getting around in Switzerland
Switzerland is located in the heart of Europe, so from here you can quickly drive from here to Germany, France, Italy, Austria, and other countries. Depending on how you will arrive in Switzerland, or if you travel to other countries in Europe, you can choose if you are going to travel around by car, train or plane.
Around Europe by train
One of the ways to travel in Europe by train is the Eurail Global Pass , from Rail Europe, pass that includes Switzerland and 30 countries. Some examples of travel within one month:
Three days travel for an adult in 2nd class price around Fr.250
Four days travel Fr.320
Seven days travel Fr.380
Link to Eurail Global Pass, click here.
Usually, when you have a Eurail Global Pass, there are the same discounts in Switzerland as when you travel with a Swiss Travel Pass. You have to buy your pass before you arrive in Switzerland or online after arriving, delivery possible at your Hotel. It’s not possible to buy direct at the Train Station.
Switzerland by train
The Swiss transport system is one of the most expensive in the world, considering its fame and efficiency. There are, however, several ways to save on your family train trips in Switzerland. One of the most comfortable options is the Swiss Travel Pass, which includes unlimited access to public transport around the country.
1-Swiss Travel Pass:
- Includes in an unlimited access to the efficient public transport system within Switzerland by boat, train, bus or urban streetcars (Tram).
- Unlimited travel on premium panorama trains
- Free admission in 500 museums.
- Pass for an excursion the choice among the mountains: Rigi, Stanserhorn, Stoos or Schilthorn.
- Up to 50% off on mountain excursions like Titlis, Mount Pilatus or Jungfrau.
- Children travel for free with parents, up to 16 years.
- Travels in consecutive days, 3, 4, 8 or 15 days.
Price for an Adult, 2nd class pass, consecutive days (information from SBB website, valid up to 31.12.2019):
Three days Fr. 232, 4 days Fr. 281, 8 days Fr. 418 and 15-days Fr.513.
The Swiss Travel Pass Flex is the flexible pass option on non-consecutive days at different prices. For adults under 26, you can buy the Swiss Travel Pass Youth. The Swiss Travel Pass is not available for residents of Switzerland and Lichenstein.
2-Half Fare Card:
A half-fare discount card is an excellent option for those who are discovering Switzerland by car and will not only use public transport during the trip. If you want to do some tours/excursions in lakes/mountains and don’t want to pay full price on it, maybe you can consider buying a Half fare card at SBB.
Currently, in August 2019, the price of the half-fare card is Fr.120- per person and is valid for one month.
It can be purchased through the Raileurope website, link here
Directly at the SBB (National Trains Company) counters, link to the SBB website here.
-Remembering that the Mountains/Excursions are by private companies manage and do not necessarily offer a discount of 50% in the tickets/cable cars.
-Another tip that serves both tourists and locals is the “Supersaver tickets,” which are purchased online, usually discounted off-peak hours.
-One-day Child’s travel pass cost Fr.16.-
-The ticket “Saver Day Pass ” which can be used in public transport for one day. These tickets can be found on the SBB website and are usually for online purchases only. Link here.
You can maybe find some international deals as well, like Milan or Paris.
Please note that the Swiss Travel Pass cover more routes that the Day Pass or if you have the Half fare card.
3-Regional Discount cards:
For those who visit the region of Lucerne, I recommend the “Tell pass” (AD) Public transportation (Train, Bus and Boat) and mountain excursions in the Central Switzerland region such as Mount Titlis, Mount Rigi, Mount Pilatus, and others are entirely free. You can also combine to your ticket your arrival/departure day from any train station in Switzerland.
More information on this link, here.
Tell pass prices
Summer (between April and October)
Two days Fr. 180
Tree days Fr.210
Four days Fr.230
Five days Fr.240
Winter (between November and March)
Two days Fr.110
Tree days Fr.140
Four days Fr.160
Some other regional passes are the Jungfrau region, Berner Oberland, and Pass Lake Geneva – Alps. Several cities in Switzerland usually offer a free City card when you book a hotel in towns like Lucerne, Geneva, Zürich. These are valid in the central area and also often include discounts on museums and attractions.
Taxis and Uber
Normally I try to avoid taking cabs in Switzerland; they are so expansive here! Uber is available in four cities in Switzerland: Basel, Genève, Lausanne, and Zurich.
Driving in Switzerland
Driving around Switzerland is easy and very safe. Different from other countries in Europe, Switzerland doesn’t charge specifics toll roads, we have “National Vignette,” valid for one year. Driver’s license in English or any of swiss national languages like German, French or Italian are accepted. For all others, you need an international driver’s license.
Car sharing system Mobility
Besides the options for Rental Car at the airport, like Europcar, Hertz, etc. an interesting car-sharing system, called “Mobility,” can be used by tourists and is very easy. You need to have your pass, download the app, reserve your car, drive around and after bring it back. To calculate your trip costs online, link here to Mobility website.
Switzerland Mobility App
Free app with all cycling and hiking routes around the country. Available on App Store.
Families facilities at Zurich Airport
Since 2019, Swiss has a new family Check-in, on area Check-in 2 at Zurich Airport.
Swiss Airport Playground
When you are traveling with your family through Zurich, take the kids to spend some time on the Swiss Playground. It beside the Observation Deck, and offers lots of surprises for the kids! Free admission with a valid boarding card (on the same day) or adults Fr.5-
Miles and More Swiss Lounge
For Miles and More credit card holders, the access to the Lounge can be purchased online, and vouchers will be at home delivery (Switzerland only). Prices Fr.35-per adult.
Since 2019, Swiss Airlines starts the Swiss program Stopover. You can stay 1 to 4 nights in Switzerland before travel to your final destination. Available for booking with Hotel and Swiss Travel Pass.
If you are traveling in Switzerland with small kids from 0-4 Years old, you can rent a Baby Buggy at Zurich Airport for Fr.5.- to use up to the boarding time, schedule here:
Family Services Gate A Tel.: +41 (0) 43 816 43 31, from 06:30 am to 22:00 pm.
Family Services Gate E Tel.: +41 (0) 43 816 72 73, from 07:00 am to 13:00 pm.
Do you have any specific questions about your family travel to Switzerland? Write to us with a comment!
Thanks for reading!! Discover in our family blog tips about Switzerland’s outdoor adventures, family-friendly destinations, and much more! 🙂