Is Swiss Travel Pass Worth It? All Questions Answered
This article about ‘Is Swiss Travel Pass worth it?’ may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.
Swiss Travel Pass is with no doubt the best unlimited train pass in Switzerland and the best way you can travel in the country. I chose it for my Switzerland itinerary, and I could not have done any better. You might already be aware that Switzerland has one of the best railway systems in the entire world. Train travel in Switzerland is not only convenient, but it gives you extra time to see the beauty this country offers. Swiss Travel Pass will enable you to travel through Switzerland for several days economically, with many discounts and benefits. Let’s explore the reasons why you should get this pass to travel Switzerland and whether it’s worth it for your holidays in Switzerland.
Is Swiss Travel Pass Worth It?
It depends on the number of days you want to spend in Switzerland. The more days you’ll travel in Switzerland, the more worth will Swiss Travel Pass bring you.
Travel more than 3 Days in Switzerland: YES
If you want to spend 3 or more days in Switzerland and travel to at least 4 places: YES, Swiss Travel Pass is worth it in this case. Let’s say you’ll travel from Zürich to Interlaken, then spend some time in the Jungfrau Region. After, you want to take a Swiss panoramic train to Montreux, visit Geneva, and explore Zermatt. In this case, you’ll travel a lot in Switzerland, and the Swiss Travel Pass is worth it. It will save you so much money.
Travel less than 3 Days in Switzerland: NO
If you want to spend less than 3 days in Switzerland and will stay only in 1 region: NO, Swiss Travel Pass is not worth it in this case. You better look for other passes and discounts for that specific region. For instance, if you only want to explore the Jungfrau Region and won’t travel to any other places in Switzerland, don’t buy Swiss Travel Pass. Instead, look for the Jungfrau Travel Pass, which is a discounted pass for everything you’ll explore within the region.
Swiss Half Fare Card: For 3 or fewer days in Switzrland
If you only spend 3 or fewer days in Switzerland but want to travel to a few places, get the Swiss Half Fare Card. Let’s say you will only travel from Zürich to Interlaken and after, to Geneva, where your Swiss trip will end. In this case, it is better to buy Swiss Half Fare Care rather than a Swiss Travel Pass.
With a Swiss Half Fare Card, you’ll pay only half the price for all trains, boats, and bus rides in Switzerland. The card itself costs 120 CHF for the entire month. Once you get it, you’ll pay for all train, boat, and bus rides, only half the price.
Again, the longer and more expensive the train rides you take, the more worth it is the Swiss Half Fare Card. If you only spend 2 days in Switzerland and will travel short distances such as Zürich to Basel or Zürich to Lucerne, look for other ways to save up on train travel in Switzerland.
Now that you know whether the Swiss Travel Pass is worth it for you, continue reading. You’ll get more information about what is included in the pass, prices of mountain excursions with the pass, discounts, and individual prices.
What is Swiss Travel Pass?
Swiss Travel Pass is a rail pass for unlimited travel in Switzerland. Depending on how many days you choose to buy it, you will be able to travel on these days by regular trains, Swiss scenic trains, buses, and even all boats. Moreover, some mountain excursions are included in the pass (like Rigi and Stanserhorn mountain). With other cable cars and mountain excursions, you will get more than 50% discount. Swiss Travel Pass gives you unlimited travel in Switzerland to explore as much of this beautiful country as you want. I explored Switzerland with it, and can admit that it is so worth it.
What is included in Swiss Travel Pass?
REGULAR TRAINS & SWISS PANORAMIC TRAINS
With Swiss Travel Pass, you can travel unlimitedly with all regular trains. Just check the timetable of your chosen route, hope on the train, and travel. There is no limit to how many trains you can take in one day. There are only a few trains, the Switzerland panoramic trains, for which you will have to pay an extra fee for a seat reservation (it’s not a high fee). Still, you don’t have to pay for the ticket itself, which is more expensive than a regular train ride. It is already included in your Swiss Travel Pass. You only pay for the seat reservation for these panoramic trains. I break down the prices for you later on in this article, so keep reading.
BUSES & BOATS ON THE SWISS LAKES
Additionally, you can also use your Swiss Travel Pass for buses. Switzerland has an excellent and well-developed railway system, but there are some routes where you need to take a bus. It is usually in small villages, as trains reach the bigger cities. Then you can take a bus and reach your destination.
What I love about the Swiss Travel Pass is the unlimited boat travel. Swiss boats are incredible. You are floating on Swiss lakes, and you have the feeling you are on vacation somewhere in Greece. They add this extra excitement to your Swiss itinerary. And all boat rides are included in the pass.
If it was not enough, the Swiss Travel Pass offers you a few discounts for mountain excursions, too.
The following mountain excursions are included in your Swiss Travel Pass:
STANSERHORN MOUNTAIN EXCURSION – included
RIGI MOUNTAIN EXCURSION – included
Where do I Get Discounts with Swiss Travel Pass?
You will get a discount (almost more than 50%) for the following mountain excursions with the Swiss Travel Pass:
1. Gornergrat (from Zermatt with views of Matterhorn) – the highest sightseeing platform in Europe:
- Full price: 79 CHF (adult)
- Price with Swiss Travel Pass: 40 CHF
2. Jungfraujoh- Top of Europe (excursion from Interlaken):
- Full price: 210.80 CHF (adult)
- Price with Swiss Travel Pass: 139.60 CHF
- Check out the Jungfrau Travel Pass for additional discounts
3. Pilatus Mountain (excursion from Lucerne):
- Full price: 72 CHF (adult)
- Price with Swiss Travel Pass: 36 CHF
4. Titlis Mountain (excursion from Lucerne):
- Full price: 68 CHF (adult), 48 CHF (youth 16 – 19 years old)
- Price with Swiss Travel Pass: 48 CHF (for everybody)
5. Glacier 3000° (excursion from Gstaad/Montreux):
- Full price: 79 CHF (adult)
- Price with Swiss Travel Pass: 40 CHF
6. Rochers-de-Naye (excursion from Monreux):
- Full price: 70 CHF (adult)
- Price with Swiss Travel Pass: 35 CHF
7. Schilthorn mountain excursion (excursion from Interlaken)
- Full price: 108 CHF (adult)
- Price with Swiss Travel Pass: 42.80 CHF
I have written a separate article about the top 8 mountains in Switzerland you have to visit. Check out the best mountain excursion with a detailed description.
Top 8 Mountain Excursions in Switzerland
What Is Not Included In Swiss Travel Pass
As you can see, you have almost everything included in your Swiss Travel Pass. However, there are a few things for which you have to pay a little extra.
Swiss Panoramic Trains: Seat Reservation
As I mentioned above, the ride on Swiss panoramic trains is included in the Swiss Travel Pass. You don’t have to buy an additional ticket for them. But you have to pay extra for the seat reservation. Since these are panoramic trains, there tend to be many people, and they usually operate only a few times a day. I have written a separate article about Switzerland panoramic trains so you can check the routes and more information about each of them. Below, I am going to tell you how much is the seat reservation for each of them.
Glacier Express With Swiss Travel Pass
Glacier Express is one of the most beautiful scenic trains in the world. If you don’t have time to do anything else, you should include Glacier Express in your Swiss itinerary. You will see many highlights, picturesque nature and learn many things about Switzerland and its highlights on the way.
The best part is that the entire ride with Glacier Express is included in your Swiss Travel Pass. You only have to book a seat for 39 CHF at an extra cost— nothing else.
Glacier Express ticket: 152 CHF (adult) for the whole journey from Zermatt to St. Moritz – included in your Swiss Travel Pass
Seat reservation: 39 CHF (for the entire journey from Zermatt to St. Moritz) –
29 CHF (only Zermatt to Brig) – compulsory to buy extra
Bernina Express with Swiss Travel Pass
As with Glacier Express, it is obligatory to book a seat on the Bernina Express. The Bernina Express route is included in your Swiss Travel Pass.
Bernina Express ticket: 63 CHF (adult) for the whole journey from Chur to Tirano – included in your Swiss Travel Pass
Seat reservation: 14 CHF – compulsory to buy extra
GoldenPass Line With Swiss Travel Pass
If you have read my article about Swiss scenic trains, you know that the GoldenPass line consists of 3 parts. Every part is beautiful, but the actual GoldenPass train only runs on the route Zweisimmen – Montreux. What is great about this Swiss panoramic train is that you do NOT have to pay anything extra. All three routes are included in your Swiss Travel Pass. Even the seat reservation is optional, and you don’t have to buy one necessarily.
GoldenPass line routes ticket – all included in your Swiss Travel Pass
Lucerne – Interlaken CHF 33 per adult one way (2nd class)
Interlaken – Zweisimmen CHF 27 per adult one way (2nd class)
Zweisimmen – Montreux CHF 33 per adult one way (2nd class)
Seat reservation: optional
Lucerne to Interlaken: CHF 10 (15 December 2020 to 16 May 2021) or CHF 14 (17 May to 30 October 2021)
Interlaken to Zweisimmen: CHF 9 CHF all year round
Zweisimmen to Montreux: CHF 9 CHF all year round
Gotthard Panorama Express With Swiss Travel Pass
With Gotthard Panorama Express, taking you from Lugano, the Italian part of Switzerland, to the Alps near Lucerne, you will also have to pay extra for a seat reservation. The cost of the seat is 16 CHF. This fee applies only to the train ride. The boat ride from Flüelen to Lucerne is included in your Swiss Travel Pass. You do not have to buy anything extra.
Gotthard Panorama Express ticket: covering route from Lugano to Lucerne including the boat is 129 CHF – already included in your Swiss Travel Pass
Seat reservation: 16 CHF – compulsory to buy extra
Voralpen Express With Swiss Travel Pass
As with GoldenPass Line panoramic train, you don’t have to pay extra for a seat reservation on the Voralpen Express. You can hop on and travel. The ride is included in your Swiss Travel Pass.
How Does Swiss Travel Pass Work?
You can book the Swiss Travel Pass for 3, 4, 8, or 15 days. Then travel within one day through the entire Switzerland using trains, buses, and Swiss boats. Mark the day, on which you are travelling, into your Swiss Travel Pass in the morning before getting on your first train. Write the date and the day when you use the Swiss Travel Pass. The train assistant will stamp it on the first train ride of that day. You can then use it for the rest of the day. You will only show the Swiss Travel Pass to a train assistant once you are on a different train.
Swiss Travel Pass Package
You will get the whole Swiss Travel Package once you book this pass. It includes the actual Swiss Travel Pass ticket to mark each day of travelling. Additionally, you will get a map of Switzerland and its endless railway network with Swiss scenic trains marked in bold and different colours. Also, you will get a small my Travel Stamp Booklet, where you can collect stamps from various stations and special places on your Swiss Grand Tour.
Swiss Travel Pass vs. Swiss Travel Pass Flex
You have two options to choose from. Swiss Travel Pass works on fixed consecutive days. That means that you have to travel on a selected number of days in a row. If you want to be more flexible, then go for the Swiss Travel Pass Flex. The advantage of it is that you can travel on the chosen number of days within a month. It does not have to be consecutive. This gives you extra time to enjoy the mountain excursions and boat rides on Swiss lakes.
The Swiss Travel Pass Flex is slightly more expensive than the regular Swiss Travel Pass, but in the end, it is much worth it. I took the Swiss Travel Pass Flex and spent the entire day hiking in the Swiss mountains or checking out waterfalls and didn’t travel on that day (so I didn’t use my pass that day). Remember, once you make a train ride, it will automatically count as 1 day, no matter if you only did 1 train ride on the day. So plan wisely and travel longer routes, do several rides in one day. Other days don’t use the pass to save the days and stay in one destination. Swiss Travel Pass Flex will enable you to do so.
Prices of the Swiss Travel Pass & Swiss Travel Pass Flex
The price of your Swiss Travel Pass depends on various factors. First of all, you can choose whether you want to travel in the 1st or the 2nd class. Then you can select the number of days (3, 4, 8, 15) on which you want to use the pass. Finally, if you are under 26 years old, you will get the pass discounted. Lastly, the Swiss Travel Pass Flex will be slightly more expensive, as it gives you more flexibility for your Switzerland itinerary. Children travel free of charge with adults. Let’s break the prices down:
If you are under 26 years old, you will get the pass discounted.
Check out the prices of Swiss Travel Pass. If you’re interested in Swiss Travel Pass Flex, check the prices on Viator and book with a discount before you travel to Switzerland.
Which Class To Choose For Your Swiss Travel Pass?
Well, Switzerland is all about high standards. Trains and transportation, in general, are not an exception. I wouldn’t say there is a considerable difference between the first and second class. The second class is clean, has space, and is pretty quiet as well. The first class’s advantage is that you will get extra quietness and will be surrounded by business people. That’s it.
Is The Swiss Travel Pass Worth It?
Yes, it is, if you want to travel more than 3 days in Switzerland. There is no doubt unless you want to travel by car. Train travel is one of the most exciting ways of seeing the country. You don’t have to drive yourself and will have a lot of time to admire the landscape. If you want to explore at least 3 locations in Switzerland, it is already worth getting the Swiss Travel Pass. It is much cheaper than paying for a single journey, as trains in Switzerland are not the most affordable.
Just a one-way ticket from Zürich to Interlaken Ost already costs 70 CHF.
Just a one-way ticket from Zurich to Interlaken Ost already costs 70 CHF. You see how much it is worth it buy one pass, and travel anywhere you want, taking train, bus or boat, with many more advantages.
With the Swiss Travel Pass, everything gets easier. Additionally, you will get all those discounts for mountain excursions and can enjoy the boat rides, too. Some sightseeing sites and museums are also included. These are all advantages of the pass and explain how great and beneficial it is for your Swiss itinerary.
If you’re curious about other Swiss passes like the Jungfrau Travel Pass, read my article comparing these two passes. It will give you detailed information and help you decide between Jungfrau Travel Pass or Swiss Travel Pass if you’re still in doubt.
Recap For Swiss Travel Pass: Advantages
- Swiss Travel Pass available to buy for 3, 4, 8, or 15 days – travelling on consecutive days
- Swiss Travel Pass Flex available to buy for 3, 4, 8, or 15 day travelling on chosen days within a month
- Offers you unlimited travel by train, bus, and boat in Switzerland
- Stanserhorn, and Rigi mountain excursions are included in the pass
- Get more than 50% discount with other mountain excursions
- For Swiss scenic train rides, you only have to pay extra for a seat reservation, the ride itself is always included in the pass
- Free access to museums and public buses in the cities
Get your Swiss Travel Pass now to enjoy unlimited travel in Switzerland this summer.
Get My Switzerland Packing List
You’ll get detailed descriptions of clothes and materials, best backpacks, and necessary things to pack for your Swiss itinerary. Personal photos of what I brought to my Swiss trip so you can pack according to my strategy:
Get my Switzerland Packing List