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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!

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.

 

Click here to download a more detailed map of the Swiss train network with all trains included (2 MB).

 

Map with main train connections in Switzerland
Map with main train connections 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.
    • Zurich: Your Interrail Pass is valid for the S-bahn of Zurich except lines S4, S10 and S18.
    • See our Timetable for more details about availability.

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

 

Travel tip:

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 with cities in Germany and the Netherlands.
    • Basel – Frankfurt – Cologne – Hamburg
    • Basel – Stuttgart – Munich
    • Basel – Frankfurt – Cologne – Amsterdam
      • Reservations are compulsory during summer season (June 17th till August 18th)
      • Basel - Amsterdam will only run till Düsseldorf between May 27th and September 12th.
    • Interlaken - Basel – Frankfurt – Berlin
    • Zürich - Basel – Frankfurt – Hannover – Hamburg - Kiel
  • Railjet (RJX) connects Zurich with cities in Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. 
    • Zürich – Salzburg – Vienna – Bratislava/Budapest
  • EuroCity (EC) connects Zurich, Basel and Geneva to cities in Italy, Austria, Czechia and Germany. 
    • Zürich – Innsbruck – Graz 
    • Interlaken/Zürich – Basel – Cologne – Hamburg 
    • Zürich – Milan – Genova/Bologna/Verona/Venezia 
    • Geneva – Lausanne – Milan 
    • Basel – Bern/Luzern – Milan 
    • Zürich – Frankfurt – Dresden – Prague (Overnight)
  • InterCity (IC) connects Zurich to cities in Germany and the Netherlands. 
    • Zürich – Stuttgart 
    • Zürich – Frankfurt – Hamburg (overnight) 
    • Zürich – Frankfurt – Amsterdam (overnight) 
    • Zürich – Frankfurt – Berlin (overnight)
  • EuroCityExpress (ECE) connects Zurich to cities in Germany and Italy. 
    • Frankfurt – Basel – Milan 
    • Zürich - Munich
  • TGV connects Zurich, Basel, Geneva and Lausanne to Paris (France). 
    • Zürich – Basel – Paris 
    • Lausanne - Geneva – Paris 
    • Lausanne – Dijon – Paris 
    • Geneva – Lyon – Marseille (Only 01 July till 27 August)

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, Czechia, Slovenia, and the Netherlands:

  • ÖBB Nightjet:
    Zurich – Basel – Hamburg

    Zurich – Basel – Düsseldorf – Amsterdam

    Zurich – Basel – Berlin

    Zurich – Linz – Vienna

  • EuroNight:
    Zurich – Graz

    Zurich – Vienna – Budapest

    Zurich – Innsbruck – Prague

    Zurich – Basel – Dresden – Prague

    Zurich – Villach – Ljubljana – Zagreb

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:

 

 

 

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

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.

 

Click here to download a more detailed map of the Swiss train network with all trains included (2 MB). 

Popular connections

 

Route Travel time
Basel to Bern 55m
Basel to Interlaken 2h
Basel to Lucerne 1h
Basel to Zurich 55m
Bern to Geneva 1h 45m
Bern to Interlaken 55m
Bern to Zurich 55m
Geneva to Zurich 2h 45m
Zurich to Lugano 1h 55m
Bern to Brig 1h 05m
Route Which train? Travel time Reservations
Zurich to Graz / Villach (Austria) EuroNight 10h 55m (overnight) /
10h 05m (overnight)
Required
Zurich to Hamburg (Germany) ICE / ÖBB Nightjet 7h 35m / 11h 35m (overnight) Optional / Required
Zurich to Vienna (Austria) RailJet / EuroNight 7h 50m / 8h 55m (overnight) Optional / Required
Zurich / Basel / Geneva to Paris (France) TGV Lyria 4h / 3h / 3h Required
Zurich / Bern / Geneva to Milan (Italy) EuroCity 4h / 3h / 4h Required
Zürich to Amsterdam (the Netherlands) IC + ICE / ÖBB Nightjet 6h 45m / 12h
(overnight)
Optional / Required
Zürich to Prague (Czechia) EuroNight 13h (overnight) Required
Zürich to Munich (Germany) EuroCity 3h 30m Optional
Zürich to Cologne ICE / EuroCity 5h / 6h Optional

Reservations

How to make reservations for Swiss trains

 

Eurail reservation self-service system

Administration costs when booking through Eurail self-service

  • € 2,- p.p.per train
  • Additional € 9,- per order (for paper tickets)

With railway carriers

Other platforms

  • Rail Europe: TGV (Lyria), Eurocity to Italy, Bernina Express

By calling the SBB (Swiss railways) booking center

  • +41 0848 44 66 88 (open 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. This call center can make reservations for the majority of European high-speed and night trains.

Locally at the train station in Switzerland

 

An explanation of how each booking platform works can be found here: How do I book my reservations

Get your Pass for Switzerland

Global Pass

 

Be free to visit Switzerland along with the other 32 Eurail countries.


Standard prices from $ 211

Tips and tricks

Quick facts

  • Capital: Bern

  • Population: 8 million

  • Language: German, French, Italian

  • Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)

  • Dialing code:+41

Swiss hub stations

Switzerland's main hub stations are Basel SBBBernGenevaLausanneLuzern and Zürich HB. From these train stations it's possible to connect to trains to most of Switzerland's main cities.

Station facilities

Stations in Switzerland usually have excellent facilities, often including:

  • Luggage lockers

  • Foreign exchange desks

  • Restaurants and cafés

  • Tourist information offices

  • ATM cash machines

  • Elevators and escalators

  • Shops

  • 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

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