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.
Train types in 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.
Zurich – Basel - Berlin - Hamburg
Zurich - Linz - Vienna
Zurich – Graz (Austria)
Zurich – Vienna (Austria) – Budapest (Hungary)
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:
Bernina Express: Chur - Lugano via Tirano (Italy)
Chocolate train: Montreux - Broc-Chocolat
Centovalli Railway: Locarno (Switzerland) - Domodossola (Italy)
Golden Pass: Luzern - Interlaken - Montreux
Glacier Express: Davos/St. Moritz - Zermatt
Gotthard Panorama Express: Luzern - Domodossola (Italy)
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.
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
|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|
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
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
Interrail Global Pass
Offers you rail travel in Switzerland and 32 more European countries.
Youth, senior and family discounts available.
Prices from € 185
Train stations in Switzerland
Swiss main train stations
Switzerland has several hub stations:
These stations have excellent facilities:
Cash machines and a foreign exchange desk
Restaurants, cafés and shops
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
Interrail Pass Holders experience boat cruises on Swiss lakes and rivers for free or at a discount.
The following special scenic train routes are also discounted for Interrailers:
Bernina Express: Chur to Lugano via Tirano (Italy)
Centovalli Railway: Locarno to Domodossola (Italy)
Golden Pass: Lucerne to Interlaken then Montreux
Example train route in Switzerland
Geneva > Golden Pass scenic route > Interlaken > Lucerne > Zurich > Glacier Express scenic route > Brig
Geneva: One of Europe's most cosmopolitan cities with French and Swiss influences.
Golden Pass scenic route: Be whisked along the glistening waters of Lake Geneva and through picturesque mountain towns in the heart of Switzerland.
Interlaken: A mountain paradise – visit the underground waterfalls or try outdoor activities like hiking, whitewater rafting or skiing.
Lucerne: Surrounded by breathtaking mountain sights and filled with medieval treasures.
Zurich: Switzerland's trendiest and most vibrant city and home to the hugely popular Street Parade.
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!
Brig: A wonderful holiday hideout - go to the beautiful Stockalper Palace and the open-air thermal baths.
Travel days needed: 6 days within 1 month
Prices from € 189