Update: The Swiss Transfer Ticket is no longer sold. Travelers in the Lake Geneva region are unlikely to miss it much. Visitors planning extensive travel in Switzerland should consider buying the Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Flexi Pass or the Half-Fare Card.
The Swiss Transfer Ticket is a cheap savings deals for travelers on long journeys to destinations in Switzerland. A half-fare card may be added for savings on local public transportation travel. The Swiss Transfer Tickets are aimed at international visitors making a long return journey – most likely by train – from the Swiss border or an airport to a destination in Switzerland. The transfer ticket covers the fare for this journey upon arrival and departure in Switzerland while a half-fare card may optionally be added for the period between the arrival and departure journeys, which may be up to a month apart. Travel may be on most trains, buses, boats, trams, and cable cars in Switzerland.
Families traveling with children aged 6 to 16 may add for free the Swiss Family Card to any of these deals at time of purchase to allow children to travel gratis with their parents. Children traveling without parents can buy these tickets for half the adult fare.
Visitors planning extensive travel in Switzerland should consider buying the Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Flexi Pass.
Save with the Swiss Transfer Ticket on Train Journeys in Switzerland The Swiss Transfer Ticket is another savings option for international tourists in Switzerland. It covers the journey from the point arrival to the final destination in Switzerland and the return to the departure point from Switzerland. The journey must be on the most direct route, be completed within a day and include unlimited transfers and almost all modes of public transportation in Switzerland. Panoramic trains may be used but seat reservations and surcharges are not included in the price. The Swiss Transfer Ticket does not give any further discounts and is mainly aimed at visitors staying in Switzerland for a brief period or those who will not travel much once at their destination. It is fairly popular amongst skiers who need to use ski lifts and local transportation not discounted by other passes. The Swiss Transfer Ticket is CHF154 for second class and CHF247 for first class travel. Children 6 to 16 not using the Swiss Family Card or a Junior Card may buy the Swiss Transfer Ticket at half the adult fare. The Swiss Transfer Ticket may offer savings for travelers to the Lake Geneva region entering Switzerland in Basel or Zurich Airport but it does not always save for arrivals at Geneva Airport. A half-fare card may be bought separately to give 50% discount on almost all public transportation in Switzerland for a month (non-residents only) or a year (available to all travelers). (The previous Swiss Card is no longer sold.) The arrival and departure station need not be the same, e.g. it is possible to arrive in Geneva and leave through Zürich or Basel.
Buying the Swiss Transfer Ticket
The Swiss Transfer Ticket must be purchased outside Switzerland, e.g. Rail Europe or Voyages SNCF (UK) or directly online from Swiss Railways. The Swiss transfer ticket is NOT available from SBB ticket counters and machines inside Switzerland. The Swiss Transfer Ticket cannot be bought in Switzerland at all, except online as a self-print ticket For Swiss Transfer Ticket to be of value, the point of entry into Switzerland must be relatively far from the final destination. Travelers heading to the Lake Geneva region may find the Swiss Transfer Ticket useful if arriving at Zurich Airport or entering Switzerland in Basel but not always if arriving at Geneva Airport or Lausanne. From Geneva Airport travelers will have to go further than for example Brig before the transfer ticket offers savings. The Swiss Transfer Ticket is available from the various Rail Europe representatives e.g. RailEurope or directly from Swiss Railways. (The prices should be the same but sometimes exchange rates can briefly work to the advantage of different outlets.)
More Tips for Saving on Swiss Transportation:
- Swiss Transportation Savings Deals (include information on dogs and bicycles too!)
- Omio and Trainline sell train and bus tickets for Switzerland and most of Europe. Both are easy to use and often have very good deals for specific trains.
- How to Get and Use the Swiss Pass Card
- Swiss Railways English website for timetables and online tickets — note half-fare tickets are the default choice.
- Switzerland Transportation Map (PDF File showing where the discount deals are valid)
- Save with the Swiss Half-Fare Card on Public Transportation
- International Savings Passes on Swiss Transportation (including information on the Swiss Family Card and international Half-Fare Card)
- Families Save with the Cheap Junior Card on Swiss Public Transportation
- Using the Swiss Travel Pass and Flexi Swiss Travel Pass.
- Buying Swiss Travel Passes from Get Your Guide.
- Book holidays by train from Great Rail Journeys (UK).