Despite Switzerland's mountainous geography, the Swiss public transportation system is amazingly efficient in transporting you to just about anywhere you'd like to go. The Swiss National Railroads (SSB), as well as numerous privately owned railroads, lake steamers and postal buses are tightly integrated into the Swiss public transportation system, and a dizzying array of money-saving passes are available to help defray the cost of your vacation in Switzerland.
Swiss Regional Passes
Some regional passes are available at Swiss train stations. One of the most popular is the Bernese Oberland Regional Pass, allowing 7 - 15 days of travel on a variety of means, including rail, boat, bus and cableway.The Bernese Oberland region is the mountainous region just south of Bern. The web site linked above has a map of the area.
Swiss Scenic Trains
Just about any route through Switzerland is a scenic route, but many travelers believe the Glacier Express is the best. The Little Red Train is great if you're coming from Italy. SSB has a page and map of Scenic Routes.
Rail Passes for Switzerland
Europe rail passes are good for the routes of the Swiss National Railroad, but may not be valid for the private railroad companies. Most Swiss rail passes do cover these private railroads.
The variety of Passes is staggering. Here's the list:
Swiss Pass (get prices and information)
You get a choice of 4 days, 8 days, 15 days, 22 days or 1 month unlimited travel.
Swiss Flexipass (get prices and information)
3 days of unlimited travel in a 1 month period.
Swiss Saverpass (get prices and information)
Offers a discount based on groups of 2 or more people traveling together --4 days, 8 days, 15 days, 22 days or 1 month unlimited travel.
Swiss Saver Flexipass (get prices and information)
Offers a discount based on groups of 2 or more people traveling together --3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 days unlimited travel in a 1 month period.
Swiss Youth Pass (get prices and information)
Under 26 years of age? Get 4, 8, 15, 22 days or 1 month unlimited travel at a special discount.
Swiss Card (get prices and information)
If you're staying in one city, but want to take day trips, this pass will get you a round trip from the border of Switzerland to your destination, plus give you 50% off on the Swiss Travel System for the rest of your stay (limited to one month).
Swiss Transfer Ticket (get prices and information)
Easy transfers from any Swiss airport to any destination and back.
Notes: The Swiss Family Card allows children under 16 to travel free with their parents. This card is free when you order a Swiss rail pass, so be sure to check that option.
To see all the Swiss rail pass options on one page, see Switzerland by Rail - Prices and Information. And, if you're really tired of hauling your luggage, check out the Fly Rail Baggage Option. Check your bags in at the airport, then pick them up at your destination train station in Switzerland for only 15 Euros.
A rail map will be provided with your rail pass purchase.
Postal Buses in Switzerland
Trains really don't climb well. If you really want to get to the high, out of the way places in the Alps you may need a postal bus to take you there. Yeah, they don't just do mail anymore. See the options on the Swiss Post site. They run a lot of routes for tourists, but you'll have to reserve.
For a map and information on Swiss Airports see our Swiss Airport Map and Information page.