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This is how to use the Swiss Travel Pass: practical insider tips

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How does the Swiss Travel Pass work?

A Swiss Travel Pass is the most convenient option for traveling in Switzerland. You can travel as much as you like and you do not need tickets. Just board with your pass and enjoy the ride. In case of cable cars and most other mountain transport you need to buy a discounted ticket.

SwissPass account not required

You don't have to add your Swiss Travel Pass to a SwissPass account. Find more information here.

How to start using your electronic pass

In nearly all cases the Swiss Travel Pass is ready for traveling once you've received it.

  • You will receive a PDF file. This file has a code that train staff can scan from your smartphone. Set your screen brightness to the maximum.
  • You may also receive a link to add the pass to a wallet app on your smartphone. You can use this instead of, or in addition to, the PDF file.
  • Optionally you can print back-up copies of the pass on A4 or letter-sized paper.
  • The pass is ready to use if it includes all information like start date, passenger name and birth date. Your passport number won't be displayed on the pass. Your name may be truncated if it's too long to fit on the pass, but that's no problem.

How Swiss Travel Pass travel days work

Once your Swiss Travel Pass is valid, you can use it for the number of days you purchased it for. Specifics:

  • The Swiss Travel Pass travel days are consecutive. If you don't travel on such a day, it still counts as a travel day.
  • The time of validation is not relevant. There's no difference between validating it on July 15 at 08:00 or July 15 at 19:00 PM. July 15 still counts as your first full day of traveling, and the pass is basically valid from 0:00 AM that day. In this example, an 8-day Swiss Travel Pass can be used for traveling on July 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22.
  • Validity ends on 5:00 AM of the day following the last day, so that allows you to complete late night trips, even after midnight. In the above example, validity ends on July 23, 5:00 AM.

Additional tickets

There are two types of trips:

  • Trips on routes that allow free traveling. You can just board any train, bus, boat, etc. on such routes. You do not need a ticket.
  • Trips on routes that allow discounted traveling. This mostly applies to transportation into the mountains. You need to arrange for a discounted ticket. You can do so online or at the ticket office of the cable car. Present your pass to make sure you'll get the discount.

There are a few cable cars that also allow free traveling. In such cases you may still need to get a ticket as access gates require a specific ticket type. You can get a free ticket upon presenting your Swiss Travel Pass.

Seat reservations

You don't need seat reservations for 99% of all trains and buses in Switzerland. You can simply board with your Swiss Travel Pass. Exceptions are some international trains and some panoramic trains like the Glacier Express and Bernina Express. If you need or want seat reservations, you need to arrange for them separately. Seat reservations are not included in the pass.

About train seat reservations
About bus seat reservations

What to present on board the train, bus or boat

Once you're on board, you will need to present your Swiss Travel Pass to ticket controllers upon request. The controller may want to check your passport as well, to make sure you're the owner of the presented pass.

How to travel beyond the area covered by the pass

You may have planned a trip not completely covered by the pass. You can check the map to find which part of your trip is covered. You will have to buy a ticket for the part of the trip that is not covered.

Example: you intend to travel from Milan to Interlaken. As you can see on the map, Domodossola - Interlaken is covered by the Swiss Travel Pass. So you need to buy a ticket Milan - Domodossola. You don't need to get off the train in Domodossola. You have paid for the entire trip by the ticket and pass, so you can stay seated.

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