Switzerland By Train
Switzerland is high on the wish list of many Eurail travelers. You can explore Switzerland by rail with a Eurail Pass and travel through the snow-capped Alps, alongside beautiful mountain lakes and across rolling green hills. Switzerland's stunning nature and charming cities make this a country you don't want to miss!
Domestic connections in Switzerland
Click here to download a more detailed map of the Swiss train network (2 MB)
View approximate train travel times between Switzerland's most popular cities using regional and high-speed trains:
To / From
|High-speed train||Regional train|
Basel - Bern
Basel - Geneva
Basel - Interlaken
Basel - Zurich
Basel - Lucerne
Bern - Geneva
Bern - Interlaken
Geneva - Interlaken
Geneva - Zurich
Zurich - Lugano
International connections to and from Switzerland
We suggest the following routes to travel between Switzerland and other European countries:
France – Switzerland
Travel to Paris on the TGV train from Zurich (4hr), Basel (3hr) or Geneva (3hr).
Italy – Switzerland
Travel by EuroCity (EC) train directly to Milan from the Swiss cities of Bern (3hr), Geneva (4hr) and Zurich (3hr 30min).
Austria – Switzerland
Take a RailJet train from Zurich to Vienna (7hr) or travel by night to Graz on EuroNight trains.
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:
Through our Reservation Service.
Online through the SBB website.
At a ticket desk or self-service machine at local train stations.
By phone through the SBB Contact Center.
Phone number: +41 848 44 66 88
Opening hours: 24/7
You will get a direct connection when calling this booking center. The Swiss SBB booking center can deliver your reservations to all European countries. Delivery costs are CHF8 (approx. €6.50). This call center 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.
rail pass options for Switzerland
Be free to visit Switzerland along with the other 32 Eurail countries.
Standard prices from € 185
Train types in Switzerland
There are a number of train types in Switzerland ready to transport you across the country, and to and from other European countries by day and night. Switzerland's national railway company is the SBB (Schweizerische BundesBahn). Use the Eurail 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 Eurail pass is valid for the S-bahn.
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 Eurail 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.
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
Swiss domestic high-speed 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, Croatia, Hungary 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 Eurail 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
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 Eurail pass while other companies offer discounted travel.
For more information on private railway companies:
Benefits in Switzerland
With a Eurail pass valid in Switzerland, you'll get free and discounted boat travel on several Swiss lakes and rivers as an extra benefit.
Eurail pass holders also pay reduced prices on the following scenic train routes:
More about Switzerland
Population: 8 million
Language: German, French, Italian
Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)
Swiss hub stations
Switzerland's main hub stations are Basel SBB, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Luzern and Zürich HB. From these train stations it's possible to connect to trains to most of Switzerland's main cities.
Stations in Switzerland usually have excellent facilities, often including:
Foreign exchange desks
Restaurants and cafés
Tourist information offices
ATM cash machines
Elevators and escalators
Access for disabled passengers
Spelling of city names
On Swiss train timetables and at train stations in Switzerland, you'll usually find the local spelling of Swiss cities and stations.
Here is the local spelling of some popular Swiss cities:
Geneva = Genève
Lucerne = Luzern
example route in Switzerland
Example route in Switzerland
Experience the best of Switzerland on a single trip with a Eurail Pass.
Geneva is one of Europe's most cosmopolitan cities with a mix of French and Swiss influences.
2. Golden Pass scenic route
The Golden Pass train whisks you along the glistening waters of Lake Geneva and through picturesque mountain towns like Gstaad and Interlaken in the heart of Switzerland.
Interlaken is a mountain paradise – pay a visit to the underground waterfalls or try one of the many outdoor activities like hiking, white-water rafting or skiing.
Lucerne is surrounded by breathtaking mountain sights and filled with medieval treasures.
Zurich is probably Switzerland's trendiest and most vibrant city and home to the hugely popular Street Parade.
6. Glacier Express scenic route
The Glacier Express weaves 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 is a wonderful holiday hideout - make sure to visit the beautiful Stockalper Palace and the open-air thermal baths.
Places to visit in Switzerland
Beauty and history in Bern
Switzerland’s capital is filled with centuries-old tradition, and modern-day flair. From the Gothic, 15th century cathedral Münster of Bern (Berner Münster), which took more than 460 years to complete, to the high street shopping and current fashion, Bern is a traveler’s best-kept secret. Be sure to visit Historic Old Town, with the Zytglogge clock tower. The old town, built in the 15th century, is now a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Home to the International Olympic Committee since 1914, it’s easy to see why the Committee chose Lausanne, with its rolling, vineyard-covered hills and place on the edge of Lake Geneva. Don’t miss the old town and the Lausanne Cathedral – Switzerland’s finest example of Gothic architecture. There’s a wide selection of museums, including the Musée de L’Art Brut (art created by psychiatric patients & convicted criminals).
Natural wonders in Interlaken
Nestled deep in the Alps, Interlaken may be known for its skiing, but there’s something to do all year round in this mountain paradise. Interlaken lies at the foot of three mountains – the Eiger, the Mönch and the Jungfrau – and between two lakes. Do not miss the Trümmelbachschlucht subterranean waterfalls (yes, underground). Ride a glass-ceilinged cable car into a 500-meter gorge and see the glacial waterfalls up close.
Real and retail paradise in Geneva
Geneva has something to offer every visitor. Boating, biking, hiking, and water recreation are just the top of the list. Geneva also offers phenomenal skiing and unforgettable shopping. The Rue de Reve and Rue de Rhone are very high-end shopping streets. The Salève is Geneva’s backyard mountain, and you can take a gondola ride to an observation point where all of Geneva is visible, surrounded by the Swiss Alps. Don’t miss it.
Zurich’s energetic excellence
Switzerland’s largest city offers excellent food, endless shopping, and a busy downtown feel. The Bahnhofstrasse has the best shopping in town. Beautiful churches, like the Fraumünster (built in 852) and the Grossmünster (built in 1100) help tell the story of Zürich’s past. After an afternoon on the Lakeside Promenade, visit the Niederdorf – unique shops and busy craftsmen by day, excellent food and exciting clubs by night.
Events in Switzerland
Famous orchestras, legendary conductors, and virtuoso soloists join together three times a year on the idyllic location of Lake Lucerne to celebrate the joy of music. In the concert hall designed by Jean Nouvel, which is renowned for its phenomenal acoustics and its exquisite architecture alike, they encounter an audience that is no less international and sophisticated. Some 110,000 visitors annually make the trip to Lucerne to experience one of the most exquisite and storied music festivals and to hear the international stars of classical music right in the heart of Switzerland.
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