Swiss tickets for rail pass holders: ticketless traveling or discounts
Consider a rail pass. You won't need tickets at all or you can buy discounted tickets. In most cases you'll save lots of money.
Swiss tickets for non-rail pass holders
If you don't have a rail pass, you need normal train tickets.
- Regular Swiss train tickets are flexible, meaning you can take any regular train along the indicated route during the date of validity and that you're allowed to get on and off along the route. Exceptions apply to a few panoramic trains and border-crossing trains that require reservations.
- If you only plan to make a few trips, and the date and time of those trips are fixed, you may save money with a Supersaver ticket. This is valid for one specific train and departure time only. So if you miss your train, you cannot use the ticket for another one. You're not allowed to break your journey either. Supersaver tickets are available 60 days ahead of time and for selected routes and times only. Availability is not guaranteed. Unlike regular tickets and passes, Supersaver tickets can sell out. They can't be changed, and are basically not refundable. The tickets can only be purchased online. If they are available for your date, time and route they will show up as you search for tickets. Supersaver tickets are even cheaper if you have a Swiss Half Fare Card.
- If you only need tickets for longer journeys on one or two days, and if your travel dates are fixed, you can consider Saver Day Passes instead of regular tickets or Supersaver tickets. Saver Day Passes allow traveling throughout the country for one day. If you'll be traveling for more than two days, a rail pass is usually cheaper. Saver Day Passes are discounted if you have a Swiss Half Fare Card.
- In some cases, tickets from Germany to Switzerland are cheaper than a ticket for just the Swiss leg of that same journey. You can buy such tickets here. The German town to fill out in most cases is "Freiburg (Breisgau) Hbf". You don't have to board there. You can board at any station along the route. For example: with a ticket from Freiburg to Zermatt you can board in Basel too.
Domestic tickets for Switzerland do not need to be bought in advance. You can do so to save time at the station, but it's not required. Seat reservations do need to be purchased in advance, but these are mostly not required.
Find ticket prices and points of sale.
Is something not clear yet? Just post your questions to the Swiss rail forum and get a quick answer.