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The cheapest way to travel by train in Switzerland

The Swiss railway network (SBB) is one of the best and most efficient in the world. But it is also expensive, especially if you travel with family. However, there are ways to save on the price of tickets.

The cheapest way to travel by train in Switzerland
Hurry if you want to get supersaver tickets for summer travel- Photo by AFP

If you are planning to travel by train this summer and are flexible about the dates, you can do it quite cheaply.

With the so-called ‘supersaver tickets’ (Sparbillette / billets dégriffés / biglietti risparmio), you can save up to 70 percent off the regular price. 

And you can travel all over Switzerland on most public transportation, with the exception of routes within a regional fare network.

READ MORE: Q&A: What impact will Switzerland's mask rule for public transport have?

This is how it works:

Go online here and enter the destination and the date of travel. If supersaver tickets are available for that day and route, they will be automatically be displayed.

• You can then select the preferred connection, pay, and print out the ticket.

• Alternatively, you can purchase the supersaver ticket with your smartphone in the SBB Mobile or SBB Preview app

During peak hours or on weekends cheap tickets may be snapped up quickly, so if you know your travel plans in advance, buy supersavers well ahead of time.

Also keep in mind that supersaver prices are available for the 1st class too. In fact, sometimes they are even cheaper than standard 2nd class tickets.

The trains have now resumed their regular service, both domestically and internationally. 

Member comments

  1. If you’ve got a family, check out the offers from the Canton of Vaud. For 2-night stays you can get a 100 CHF Vaud card, PLUS a Riveria card for travel and activities (including Glacier 3000 and an Aquaparc), PLUS some hotels like Hotel Astra in Vevey have 2-nights-for-the-price-of-1, and you can get it even cheaper by paying using WelQome vouchers, which, again, are a scheme from the local canton. Seriously… you can combine ALL FOUR offers to get an amazing deal, and support the local economy.

  2. I AM ALWAYS TRAVELLING ALONE IN A SMALL CAR WITH MY 10 YEAR OLD FOR LEGS ! EVERYWHERE I GO SHE COMES WITH ME ! I KNOW THE LUGANO AREA QUITE WELL, & LAST YEAR WENT TO POSCHIAVO, WHICH WAS BEAUTIFUL, NOT THE BEST OF WEATHER THOUGH ! I AM TRYING TO THINK OF SOMEWHERE ELSE THIS TIME JUST FOR A SHORT TIME & LOVE THE COOLER AIR OF THE LOW MOUNTAIN AREAS…BUT AM VERY AWARE OF ANY RESTRICTIONS OR ANOTHER LOCKDOWN…ANY IDEAS, I HAVE A LIMITED BUDGET !

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ZURICH

Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

Switzerland’s Federal Railways (SBB) will be removing the ticket counter from nine stations in the cantons of Zurich, Vaud, Bern, Zug and Ticino

Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

The SBB made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the decision was made due to a lack of demand. 

Instead, commuters will need to buy tickets from automated machines. 

In the canton of Zurich, the ticket stations in Dietlikon, Hinwil, Kloten, Männedorf and Oberwinterthur will be closed. 

In neighbouring Zug, Cham’s ticket counter will be closed, while the Herzogenbuchsee station in Bern will also go fully automated. 

MAPS: The best commuter towns when working in Zurich

In Latin Switzerland, Pully in Vaud and Biasca in Ticino will see their ticket counters closed. 

The SBB told Swiss news outlet Watson that approximately 95 percent of ticket sales are now made via self-service machines or online. 

The advent of navigation apps has meant the need for personal advice on directions and travel has fallen, particularly in smaller areas or stations with lower traffic. 

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