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TRAINS

Travel: This interactive map shows direct trains from every Swiss city

This free interactive tool shows you how far you can travel from every Swiss city via direct train. How far can you get from where you live?

A train weaves its way through Albula, Bergün/Bravuogn, in Switzerland. Photo by Xavier von Erlach on Unsplash
A train weaves its way through Albula, Bergün/Bravuogn, in Switzerland. Photo by Xavier von Erlach on Unsplash

Demand for train travel has experienced a resurgence in recent years – a phenomenon that was accelerated by the pandemic. 

As a result, overnight lines – long cut or stopped due to air travel – have become more popular, for business commuters and holiday makers alike. 

EXPLAINED: How to find cheap train tickets in Switzerland

Standard trips have also bounced back in popularity. 

The following tool, developed by German computer programmer Julius Tens, shows you how far you can get from each Swiss city. 

Travel: What compensation you are entitled to if your train is cancelled in Switzerland?

There are of course more direct connections from larger cities, but the map does illustrate how well connected Switzerland actually is. 

Simply enter the main train station of the city in which you live and you will be presented with a map of your options. 

Unfortunately, anyone wanting to emulate the orient express and head all the way to Istanbul will be unable to do so direct from Switzerland (other than expensive private options). 

You can access the tool here. 

Zurich

Zurich offers by far the most destinations of any Swiss city, which makes sense when you consider its size and its location. 

Connections to the east are particularly prevalent in Zurich, with direct trains to Prague, Budapest, as well as several cities in Austria, Croatia and Slovenia. 

Zurich

Basel

Basel might not be Switzerland’s largest city, but its central location means there are plenty of far away destinations on offer. 

RANKED: Where are Switzerland’s best and worst train stations?

You can travel as far as Amsterdam, while Paris, Berlin and Kiel are also available via a direct trip. In fact, it appears that there are more direct trains to German cities from Basel than from Zurich. 

Basel trains

Geneva

Geneva, with its western location, doesn’t offer as many trips north or east as Basel and Zurich. 

While you can get direct to Paris and Lyon, even getting to Germany direct is impossible from Geneva. 

MAP: Return of night trains across Europe comes a step closer

There are however a number of Italian destinations you can get to from Geneva (but strangely not Italian-speaking Switzerland – for that you’ll have to change). 

Geneva

Lugano

Lugano doesn’t offer as many direct trains as the other Swiss cities. In fact, other than Switzerland, the only other places you can travel to direct area in Italy. 

Venice, Milan, Genoa and Verona are some of your options in Italy, while you can also travel to Zurich, Basel and a handful of other Swiss cities. 

To get to Geneva however, you’ll need to change trains. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

10 francs: Everything you need to know about Flixtrain’s Basel to Berlin line

In early May, German transport provider Flixtrain announced it would begin running services from Basel to Berlin (and back) from June. Here’s what you need to know.

10 francs: Everything you need to know about Flixtrain's Basel to Berlin line

German transport provider Flixtrain has announced it will launch in Switzerland from June 23rd. The low-cost provider is offering 10 franc (10 euro) tickets from Basel to Berlin, among other cheap fares.

The low-cost company, which has been establishing itself Deutsche Bahn’s major competitor Germany over the past few years, runs long distance bus and train services. 

When will the services run?

The lines to and from Basel run from Thursday to Monday, with one connection per day in either direction. 

It will take 8 hours and 45 minutes from Basel Badischer Bahnhof to Berlin Hauptbahnhof. 

A trip with the German ICE will instead take just over 7 hours. 

The new line is part of an expansion of services which is set to include around 70 destinations in Germany. 

OK but will it really cost CHF10?

The price of the ticket grabbed headlines, with Flixtrain saying in its press conference that the almost-nine-hour trip would only cost CHF10 (10 euro). 

Flixtrain spokesperson Sebastian Meyer told Swiss news outlet Watson that tickets would start at CHF10, but more expensive tickets would be available when the CHF10 offerings were sold out. 

“If the cheapest ticket contingent is sold out, the next higher one takes effect. In this way, we can always offer our passengers cheap tickets. Affordable prices are still possible due to the corresponding utilisation of the individual trips.”

In order to get the cheapest possible fare, travellers are advised to book early. 

REVEALED: How to find cheap train tickets in Switzerland

Tickets between Basel and Berlin can cost as high as CHF150 or 160 euros from Switzerland’s SBB or Germany’s Deutsche Bahn respectively, although booking in advance can bring the price down to as low as CHF30. 

Where will the train to (and from) Berlin stop?

In either direction, the train will stop at: Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden, Offenburg, Freiburg, Wiesloch, Bad Hersfeld and Weil am Rhein. 

What else is different about Flixtrain?

Other than being bright lime green, Flixtrains allow you to take your bicycle with you, which is not allowed on most ICE long-distance trains in Germany. 

Are there any other destinations within Switzerland? 

As yet, Basel will be the only Swiss destination. The other two new routes are Stuttgart to Hamburg and Berlin to Weisbaden. 

In addition to the 10 franc (10 euro) ticket from Basel to Berlin, other journeys within Germany will start at 5 francs (5 euros). 

More information is available from Flixtrain at the following link. 

The expanded routes can be seen in the following image. 

A look at Flixtrain’s route network in 2022. Map: Flixtrain

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