Public Transport in Switzerland

Travel by train, bus or plane

Public Transport in Switzerland

Public transport in Switzerland is of high quality and punctuality. Most places can be reached by train, bus, tramway and ferryboat.

To use the Swiss Travel System you can buy a GA (General Abonnement). GA passes are available for a duration of one month, six months, or a year. There are Half-tax passes, that entitle you to pay half the price of your trips. People under 25 years old can purchase a Half-tax card and upgrade it to a G7 (Gleis 7), which grants them free trips after 7 PM. You can also buy tickets for one trip but it will be more expensive.

There are season tickets for trains, which will also save you a lot of money. These are valid in the entire country. If you are travelling by high-speed trains, keep in mind you may be charged a surcharge even if you have a GA.

The Swiss Travel System connects major cities through InterCity trains which usually run once or twice per hour. Small villages are connected by buses, known as postcars, that are operated by the post office. They run once per hour from early in the morning until early in the evening.

Buses and trains are well connected: bus stations are always in the forecourt of train stations. Bus and train timetables are coordinated to make connections easier.


Trains are the usual choice in Switzerland when it comes to travelling. Trains are operated by the Swiss Federal Railways (Schweizeirische Bundesbahnen/SBB, Chemins de Fer Fédéraux/CFF, Ferrovie Faderali Svizzeri/FFS) and other privately owned railway companies.

Switzerland is famous for having the highest train density in Europe, and for having the slowest fast train in the world: the Glacier Express. The Glacier Express connects St. Moritz with Zermatt in a one day journey. Switzerland has also the Golden Pass, linking Montreux, Interlaken and Lucerne.

Steam locomotives are sometimes used for guided tours in Switzerland. Some companies offer tourists panoramic coaches. These companies also offer services like hiking and day trips.


There are three international airports in Switzerland: Zurich-Kloten, Geneva and Basel-Mulhouse. You can reach the central train stations or tramway hubs by public buses from the airports. The airports of Zurich and Geneva also have train stations that connect to all the major cities.

The Bern-Belpmoos and Lugano-Agno airports offer flights to -and from- European destinations. There are 61 smaller airports and airfields for national flights.

Other public transport

Ferryboats are available on all main lakes, and most train stations offer bikes for rent. Taxis are available in all cities, but they are expensive and the cost often doubles after 10 PM. Underground transport is only available in Lausanne.

Further reading

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