Why the Swiss Travel Pass is the best way to travel Switzerland

by Kelly

This blog was written in collaboration with Switzerland Tourism and Swiss Travel System. All opinions are our own, we are excited to show you this incredible country!

The Swiss Travel Pass is the best way to travel Switzerland, it is an absolute must! It is the ultimate in convenience and has so many inclusions the value adds up.

What is the Swiss Travel Pass?

The Swiss Travel Pass is the most convenient way to get around Switzerland! It is one ticket that can do almost everything in Switzerland. It is only available to those who permanently reside outside of Switzerland so is perfect for travellers and tourists.

What does the Swiss Travel Pass include?

The Swiss Travel Pass benefits include: (this is why Swiss Travel Pass is the best way to travel Switzerland!)

  • Unlimited travel by train, bus and boat. View area of validity
  • Unlimited travel on premium panoramic trains (seat reservation fees and/or surcharges apply).
  • Unlimited use of public transport in more than 90 towns and cities.
  • Free admission to more than 500 museums across Switzerland.
  • Mountain excursions included: Rigi, Stanserhorn and Stoos
  • Up to 50% discount on many other mountain excursions.
  • Up to 30% discount on SBB RailAway offers. Available at all ticket counters within Switzerland.
  • Children from their 6th up to their 16th birthday accompanied by at least one parent (holding a Swiss Travel System ticket) travel free of charge with the complimentary Swiss Family Card.
  • Children under 6 years of age who are accompanied by a holder of a valid Swiss Travel System ticket travel free of charge.
  • The Swiss Travel Pass is available as e-ticket.

What is the difference between the Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Travel Pass Flex?

The Swiss Travel Pass is available to purchase a 3, 4, 6, 8 or 15 day ticket. These must be used on consecutive days and will be active for those set days.

The Swiss Travel Pass Flex ticket which is valid on 3, 4, 6, 8 or 15 freely selectable days within a month. This means that you can allocated the days to use the ticket within a month period.

How do you use the Swiss Travel Pass?

How to use the Swiss Travel Pass for public transport?

All you have to do is purchase the ticket and you are good to go! It is super easy to purchase the Swiss Travel Pass online and then use it from your phone. We did this and only had to show our ticket on our phone when the conductors came around. Make sure you are in the correct class and that is it! A seat reservation and/or supplement is required to travel on some trains/buses/boats such as Glacier Express, Bernina Express, Gotthard Panorama Express and Palm Express. This is also very easy to do. We purchased seat reservations for the Glacier Express on the website and once we selected our day of travel and seats it was straight forward in adding our Swiss Travel Pass to complete the booking!

How to use the Swiss Travel Pass for museums and boat cruises?

There are about 500 museums in Switzerland that you get free entry into with the Swiss Travel Pass.

All you have to do is show your Swiss Travel Pass ticket at the ticket booth and they will scan it and give you an entry ticket. Sometimes they will just sight it and let you through. It could not be easier!

Tips to get the most out of the Swiss Travel Pass?

If you are planning to travel long distances and stay in one town for a few days then we really recommend getting the flex tickets where you can allocate which days you travel on. This means you can stay a couple of days in a location without needing to move on straight away to use the travel aspect of the ticket.

If you are able to purchase the Swiss Travel Pass and use it on consecutive days it is cheaper than the flex, find yourself a great base town. We used Interlaken as our main base and travelled around this area each day using the pass for the public transport and entry to museums. Check out our 3 day Interlaken Itinerary for everything we were able to do, we used the Swiss Travel Passes every day as much as possible including our boat cruise on the lakes and castle entries.

We had first class Swiss Travel Passes and the carriages and spaces on the boats and trains were lovely. You can also purchase a second class ticket which is a cheaper option and allows you access to all the same trains, buses, boats and museums.

We used our Swiss Travel Passes for our Glacier Express train journey and they really saved us there! If you plan to do some of the great train journeys such as the Glacier Express, Bernina Express etc then the Swiss Travel Pass is excellent!

If you are in another country (we were in Strassbourg, France when our Swiss Travel Pass began) travel to the border and then begin using it straight away. We even got a discount at Strassbourg train station when we bought our tickets to Basel as we showed our Swiss Travel Pass to the SBB counter and got discounted tickets to the Basel on the Swiss/French border.

What did we do with a 6 day Swiss Travel Pass?

Here is our 6 day Swiss Travel Pass itinerary!

Day 1 – Travelled from Basel on the French border to Bern in the first class carriage. Spent the day exploring Bern. There are 13 museums that are free to enter with the Swiss Travel Pass in Bern! If you have time to visit Basel it looks like a great town, there are about 20 museums included there!

Day 2, 3 and 4 – We left Bern around lunch time and headed to Interlaken. Spending 3 nights here was perfect, it made a great base to explore the area. We used our Swiss Travel Pass for all trains and buses, boat cruises on Lake Brienz, Lake Thun and entry to the castles on Lake Thun. We went to Lauterbrunnen, the return cable cars up to Grimmelwald and Murren and the iconic little yellow train up to Wengen all using our passes.

Day 5 – We jumped on the Glacier Express Panorama train only paying for our seat reservations. Taking this incredible journey up to St Moritz! In St Moritz there are 2 museums included in the passes.

Day 6 – We had planned to take the Bernina Express train to Italy but instead used our passes to get to Lake Como.

Was the Swiss Travel Pass worth it?

Yes! The Swiss Travel Pass was absolutely worth it for us. Not only due to the sheer amount of use we were able to get from them and the convenience they brough to our travels, but the incredible amount of cultural museums and experiences we may have missed out on if we didn’t have the passes!

If you have any questions about the Swiss Travel Passes or your Switzerland trip feel free to leave a comment, we are happy to help!

Where to next:

Why you should visit Lauterbrunnen

How to visit Murren and Grimmelwald

Should I visit Lucerne or Interlaken?

Why Swiss Travel Pass is the best way to travel Switzerland

How to travel Switzerland on a budget

Why you should visit Lucerne

Lake Brienz boat cruise

Is Glacier Express worth it? A Review

Prettiest Lake in Interlaken

What to do in Lake Thun Interlaken

How to spend a morning in Interlaken

3 day itinerary for Interlaken

What to do in Interlaken when it rains

Best things to do in Bern, Switzerland

Best hotel in Bern Switzerland

Why you should visit St Moritz

Best hotel in St Moritz

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