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Exploring Switzerland with the Swiss Travel Pass

Exploring Switzerland with the Swiss Travel Pass

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Breathtaking mountain landscapes, charming farm villages, and unique cities – Switzerland has it all. And with the Swiss Travel Pass, you can experience this beautiful country to the fullest. The pass provides unlimited access to the extensive network of trains, buses, and boats, allowing you to explore Switzerland at your own pace without worrying about tickets or extra costs. We have enjoyed using this option during our travels through Switzerland. It was our ticket to boundless adventure. But what is the Swiss Travel Pass exactly? We explain it in this blog.

Train in Switzerland

What is the Swiss Travel Pass?

The Swiss Travel Pass grants you unlimited travel opportunities in Switzerland. It is more than just a train ticket; it opens the door to a wonderland of picturesque routes, enchanting cities, and majestic mountains. With the pass, you can enjoy train journeys, bus rides, boat trips, and access to numerous museums.

There are different variants of the Swiss Travel Pass, offering you the flexibility to choose what best suits your travel plans:

  • Swiss Travel Pass Flex: Flexibility is key. You can travel on 3, 4, 8, or 15 non-consecutive days within a month.
  • Swiss Travel Pass: For uninterrupted adventure. Travel unlimited for 3, 4, 8, or 15 consecutive days.
  • Swiss Travel Pass Half Fare Card: With this card, you can travel at half price on trains, buses, ships, and on some cable cars.

As precise as a Swiss watch

Public transportation in Switzerland is exceptionally well-developed and very efficient. Generally, even the most remote areas and small hamlets are accessible by train or bus, partly due to a legal obligation to make public transport available to all parts of the country, including rural areas.

This gives you the opportunity to visit any area in the country, no matter how remote. Another benefit of traveling by train or bus in the Alpine country is that everything departs and arrives punctually, just like the Swiss watches!

railway crossing Furka

What can you do with the Swiss Travel Pass?

The Swiss Travel Pass is not just a convenient ticket to quickly move from A to B. The pass offers you all the opportunities to discover the imposing Alpine giants, the glistening mountain lakes, and the cultural treasures of the country. Therefore, the Swiss Travel Pass is the ideal ticket for an unforgettable journey through Switzerland. We provide you with some suggestions.

Blue mountain train

Fantastic train journeys

Switzerland is the ideal country to explore by train. From the train, you have a magnificent view of the landscape passing by. The trains are comfortable and sometimes reach places that are inaccessible to cars. We have already made several spectacular train journeys in Switzerland, and each time we enjoyed the ride from start to finish. Here are some special train journeys that are definitely worth it:

Train journey to the Matterhorn at Zermatt

The “King of the Mountains,” as the Matterhorn is called, is not even the highest Alpine giant in the country, at 4,460 meters. However, its striking shape has made it globally famous. The Glacier Express is such a special panoramic train that runs from St. Moritz to Zermatt. Travelers arrive at around 3,000 meters via the Gornergrat Railway. There awaits an unforgettable view of the Matterhorn and many other mountain peaks. You can read more about our train journey to the Matterhorn in our blog that will be published soon.


To the highest train station in Europe

The journey to the Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe, is an unforgettable experience that you should not miss. From Interlaken, the famous mountain train winds its way up through a spectacular landscape of glaciers, rocks, and waterfalls. The modern cable car brings you rapidly to the Eigergletscher, where you transfer to the cogwheel train that takes you to the top. There, you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding Alpine peaks, including the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. A detailed blog about our experiences with this train journey will be published soon.


Golden Pass Express to Montreux

A train journey through Switzerland in the autumn is a true explosion of colors. We experienced this with the Golden Pass Express. This train journey from Interlaken to Montreux offers an unforgettable experience amidst this autumn landscape. The journey takes you past rolling hills, deep valleys, and idyllic mountain villages, while the trees are adorned in all shades of gold, orange, and red. The highlight of the ride is the descent to Montreux along Lake Geneva. A separate blog about this train journey will also be published soon.

Golden pass express

From Interlaken to Lucerne

The journey from Interlaken to Lucerne begins with the Luzern-Interlaken Express, a panoramic train that takes you through breathtaking landscapes. The comfortable train winds along five crystal-clear lakes, idyllic villages, and bustling waterfalls. We made this train journey to Lucerne. There, we boarded the boat to Vitznau for a beautiful trip across Lake Lucerne. In Vitznau, we took the oldest cogwheel train in the world, which brought us to Rigi Kulm. According to the Swiss, it is one of the mountains with the most beautiful Alpine panorama. And that’s no exaggeration. A blog about this train journey to Rigi will also be published soon.


Other unforgettable train journeys

We have only made a few of the many beautiful train journeys in Switzerland. Therefore, there are still plenty on our bucket list. We would like to take the Bernina Express from Chur to the Italian border at Tirano. Another wish is to board the Gotthard Panorama Express to experience the Gotthard panorama. The Mont Blanc is also still on our wish list. The train journey from Swiss Martigny to French Chamonix offers a beautiful view of the highest mountain in Europe.

The biggest wish is to take the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland. During a train journey of almost 1,300 kilometers through all regions of the country, one highlight after another passes by. The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland is more than a journey; it is an adventure. It would be the perfect way for us to fully explore Switzerland.

Glacier Express

Wonderful boat trips

With the Swiss Travel Pass, you can also enjoy relaxing boat trips on the many lakes in the country. Without additional payment, you can board modern or historic ships for an excursion on the water. From the water, you have a fantastic view of the charming towns and villages along the shore. In the background, the snow-capped Alpine giants provide a mighty backdrop. It looks like a postcard!

Cruise on a Swiss lake

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Lake Lucerne: This beautiful lake is located in Central Switzerland and is surrounded by mountains. You can take a boat trip from Luzern or Vitznau and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains, including the Rigi and Pilatus.
  • Lake Thun: This lake is located in the Bernese Oberland region and is a popular destination for hiking, cycling, and boat trips. You can take a boat trip from Thun or Interlaken and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains.
  • Lake Brienz: This lake is also located in the Bernese Oberland region and is smaller than Lake Thun, but equally beautiful. You can take a boat trip from Brienz or Interlaken and enjoy the view of the Jungfrau and the Eiger.
  • Lake Geneva: This large lake is located in western Switzerland and borders France. You can take a boat trip from Geneva, Lausanne, or Montreux and enjoy the view of the Alps and the Jura.
  • Lake Lugano: This lake is located in the south of Switzerland and borders Italy. You can take a boat trip from Lugano or Locarno.

Impressive museums

The special thing is that the Swiss Travel Pass also doubles as a Museum Card. With it, you have access to more than 500 different museums in the country. These museums are interesting and popular with visitors:

  • Swiss National Museum. This museum showcases the history and culture of Switzerland, from prehistory to the present. The museum is located in Zurich.
  • Chillon Castle. Beautifully situated on a rock in Lake Geneva is this water castle. It is popular with many tourists and for good reason. The castle is located near Montreux.
  • Fondation suisse des trains miniatures. This museum in Crans-Montana showcases the impressive train history of Switzerland. The collection includes more than 1,300 models.
  • Episcopal Library. In St. Gallen is one of the largest and most beautiful episcopal libraries in the world. The books are displayed in a stunning baroque hall.
  • Maison Cailler. Switzerland is world-famous for its delicious chocolate. In a real chocolate factory in Croc, you can learn all about Switzerland’s chocolate tradition.

This is just a small selection from the range of more than 500 museums that you can visit for free with the Swiss Travel Pass. You can find a complete overview of participating museums in Switzerland on this website.


Planning trips with the SBB app

During our tours of Switzerland, we always used the app from the Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB). It is a very user-friendly app that provides current travel information. The SBB app not only shows the timetable of all trains on the network, but it is also possible to view the timetable for buses, boats, and cable cars. But that’s not all. With the SBB app, we could save details of our trips and view information about train stations in Switzerland. If you take individual trips with public transport, you can also purchase those tickets directly through the app. For us, the SBB app was an indispensable and practical tool for planning our trips.


How much does the Swiss Travel Pass cost?

The price of the Swiss Travel Pass depends on the choice you make. How many days do you want to travel, do you want to travel on consecutive days or be flexible, and do you prefer first class, or is second class also good? The rate for the cheapest pass is €255 (prices 2024), allowing you to travel for three consecutive days in second class. The rates for the Swiss Travel Pass Flex are slightly higher. We always traveled first class. A bit more luxurious, quieter, and more comfortable. Naturally, this also comes with a higher price tag.

On this website, you can find a complete overview of the rates for the Swiss Travel Pass. You can also order the pass online on the same website. The purchase may not be cheap, but consider that Switzerland has a higher cost of living than our country anyway. The Swiss Travel Pass also offers a lot in return. No more stress of buying tickets at the last minute, just hop on and enjoy. This way, you are ready to discover Switzerland at its best.

Sankt Moritz

Swiss Travel Pass: the small print

Here are the most important options and provisions when using the Swiss Travel Pass:

  • With the pass, you can travel freely by train, bus, and boat in Switzerland.
  • It is possible to travel freely on the so-called Premium Panorama trains. A seat reservation is necessary for this and is available for an additional fee.
  • Some Panorama trains may require a surcharge.
  • The pass provides free use of public transport in over 90 cities.
  • Additionally, the pass grants free entry to more than 500 museums.
  • It includes mountain excursions to Rigi, Stanserhorn, and Stoos, and up to 50% discount is available on many other mountain excursions.
  • The Swiss Travel Pass is only available to those residing outside Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein.

The validity of the pass and information about routes and any required surcharges are indicated on the overview map.

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