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Trains in Switzerland

Climb on board Swiss trains and travel through the snow-capped Alps, alongside beautiful mountain lakes and across rolling green hills. Visit Switzerland's most famous cities, Bern, Basel, Geneva and Zurich, by rail and enjoy the breathtaking scenery from the train window along the way.

Map with main train connections in Switzerland
Map with main train connections in Switzerland

Click here to download a more detailed map of the Swiss train network (2 MB)

Train types in Switzerland

High speed train crossing a bridge, Cisalpino, Switzerland

You can enjoy a large choice of Swiss trains, each type ready to transport you across the country as well as to and from other European countries. Switzerland's national railway company is the SBB (Schweizerische BundesBahn). Use the Interrail train timetable or SBB timetable to check times for trains in Switzerland.

 

Regional trains in Switzerland

The main rail network in Switzerland is made up of the following regional and intercity trains:

  • RegioExpress trains link regional destinations with larger Swiss cities.

  • Regio trains connect local towns. 

  • InterCity trains link major Swiss cities like Basel and Geneva.

  • InterRegio trains connect Zurich and Geneva with cities across the whole of Switzerland. These trains make more stops than InterCity trains.

  • S-Bahn (suburban trains) is a network of trains that operate within most big cities. Your Interrail Pass is valid for the S-bahn of Zurich. 

 

High-speed trains in Switzerland

International high-speed trains in Switzerland 

These high-speed trains operate to and from Switzerland:

  • ICE connects Switzerland to Germany and the Netherlands.

  • RailJet connects Zurich with Vienna (Austria).

  • EuroCity connects Zurich, Basel and Geneva to Milan (Italy).

  • TGV connects Zurich, Basel and Geneva to Paris (France).

 

Domestic high-speed trains in Switzerland

Domestic high-speed Swiss trains are called InterCity Neigezug (ICN). ICN trains transport passengers quickly and in comfort from one side of the country to the other.

 

Night trains in and between Switzerland

International night trains

The following night trains connect Switzerland with Austria, Germany, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia.

  • ÖBB Nightjet:
    Zurich – Basel - Berlin - Hamburg
    Zurich - Linz - Vienna

  • EuroNight:
    Zurich – Graz (Austria)
    Zurich – Vienna (Austria) – Budapest (Hungary)

  • D-train:
    Zurich – Villach (Austria) – Ljubljana (Slovenia) – Zagreb (Croatia) – Belgrade (Serbia)

 

Scenic train routes in Switzerland

Switzerland is famous for its beautiful scenic landscapes. The following scenic train routes offer special conditions for Interrail Pass Holders:

Private railway companies in Switzerland

The Swiss railway network is operated not only by the SBB, there are a lot of private railway companies as well. Some of these companies are included in your Interrail Pass while other companies offer discounted travel. 

There's an international regional train connection between Chiasso and Milan (Italy). This connection is a great option if you want to avoid reservation fees.On the Interrail timetable RegioExpress trains are listed as "RE", and Regio trains as "R". InterCity trains are listed as "IC", and InterRegio trains as "IR". Regional and Intercity trains do not require seat reservations. Reservations are however recommended for Intercity trains during high season (May-September) and public holidays.

Reservations for trains in Switzerland

Reservations for SBB regional trains are not required. For InterCity and ICN trains reservations are not compulsory but we recommend you make a seat reservation during the busy summer period (May-September) and on public holidays. Reservations are required for night trains and international high-speed trains. Prices for night trains depend on the type of sleeping accommodation you choose.

 

How to make reservations for Swiss trains

You can make reservations for domestic and international high-speed trains and night trains:

  • At a ticket desk or self-service machine at local train stations.

  • ​​Online via the SBB website.

  • By phone through the SBB Contact Center.
    Phone number: +41 848 44 66 88 (CHF 0.08/min.)
    Opening hours: 24/7

 

You will get a direct connection when calling this booking centre. The Swiss SBB booking centre can deliver your reservations to all European countries. Delivery costs are CHF8 (approx. €6.50). This call centre may charge a booking fee. You can also pick up your reservations at main Swiss train stations. Just go to the ticket office with your order number.

 

For more information about reservations:

Domestic connections in Switzerland

Route Travel time
Basel to Bern 0:55
Basel to Interlaken 2:00
Basel to Lucerne 1:10
Basel to Zurich 0:55
Bern to Geneva 1:45
Bern to Interlaken 0:55
Bern to Zurich 0:55
Geneva to Zurich 2:45
Zurich to Lugano 2:45
switzerland

International train connections to and from Switzerland

Route Which train? Travel time Reservations
Zurich to Graz / Villach (Austria) EuroNight 10:55 (overnight) / 10:05 (overnight) Required
Zurich to Hamburg (Germany) ICE / ÖBB Nightjet 7:35 / 11:35 (overnight) Optional / Required
Zurich to Vienna (Austria) RailJet / EuroNight 7:50 / 8:55 (overnight) Optional / Required
Zurich / Basel / Geneva to Paris (France) TGV Lyria 4:00 / 3:00 / 3:00 Required
Zurich / Bern / Geneva to Milan (Italy) EuroCity 4:00 / 3:00 / 4:00 Required

Switzerland rail passes

View out of the window of Swiss trains

With 1 rail pass you can enjoy travelling on Swiss trains without having to buy separate train tickets.

 

Interrail Switzerland Pass

  • Spend your time discovering all of Switzerland's beauty.

  • Benefits include discounted rates on special scenic train routes.

  • Youth, senior and family discounts available.

  • Prices from € 127

 

View Switzerland Passes

 

Interrail Global Pass

  • Offers you rail travel in Switzerland and 32 more European countries.

  • Youth, senior and family discounts available.

  • Prices from € 185

 

View Global Passes

Train stations in Switzerland

switzerland-glaciers-express-mountain-view

Swiss main train stations

Switzerland has several hub stations:

  • Basel SBB

  • Bern

  • Geneva

  • Lausanne

  • Luzern

  • Zürich HB

 

These stations have excellent facilities:

  • Lockers

  • Cash machines and a foreign exchange desk

  • Restaurants, cafés and shops

  • Tourist information

  • Elevators, escalators and access for disabled passengers

     

Spelling of city names

There might be some minor differences between the local spelling of city names and what you're used to.

  • Genève = Geneva
  • Luzern = Lucerne

 

Pass benefits for Switzerland

switzerland-bernina-express-red-train-through-mountains

Boat trips

Interrail Pass Holders experience boat cruises on Swiss lakes and rivers for free or at a discount.

 

Scenic routes

The following special scenic train routes are also discounted for Interrailers:

 

See all Pass benefits in Switzerland

Example train route in Switzerland

Map with example route in Switzerland

Route

Geneva > Golden Pass scenic route > Interlaken > Lucerne > Zurich > Glacier Express scenic route > Brig

 

  1. Geneva: One of Europe's most cosmopolitan cities with French and Swiss influences.

  2. Golden Pass scenic route: Be whisked along the glistening waters of Lake Geneva and through picturesque mountain towns in the heart of Switzerland.

  3. Interlaken: A mountain paradise – visit the underground waterfalls or try outdoor activities like hiking, whitewater rafting or skiing.

  4. Lucerne: Surrounded by breathtaking mountain sights and filled with medieval treasures.

  5. Zurich: Switzerland's trendiest and most vibrant city and home to the hugely popular Street Parade.

  6. Glacier Express scenic route: Weave through beautiful valleys and shiny mountain lakes with stops along the way at luxurious spa towns - experience the best of Switzerland from just one train!

  7. Brig: A wonderful holiday hideout - go to the beautiful Stockalper Palace and the open-air thermal baths.

 

Pass suggestion

 

View Interrail Switzerland Passes

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