Travelling by train in Switzerland

This cheese and chocolate country is best savoured by train. Whether you plan to visit the big cities of Geneva and Zurich, or the idyllic lake town of Interlaken – your Interrail pass makes it easy for you to experience it all. Enjoy this European paradise at your own pace.

Gallery
Quick facts
Trains in Switzerland
Places to visit
Events
Interrail passes for Switzerland
Pass benefits in Switzerland

Gallery

Night View of Bern and Aare River

Night View of Bern and Aare River

View on mountains, Lake Geneva

View on mountains, Lake Geneva

Zurich

Zurich

Wooden bridge in Lucerne

Wooden bridge in Lucerne

View of Lugano

View of Lugano

Switzerland quick facts

 
  • Population: 8 million

  • Language: German, French, Italian

  • Currency: Swiss franc (CHF)

  • Dialing code: +41

Trains in Switzerland

 
Logo of Swiss railway SBB

Find out all you need to know about Switzerland’s rail network, different train types and reservation requirements.
More about trains in Switzerland

Places to visit

 
Swiss Alps
Swiss Alps

Adrenaline overload

Not only is Switzerland a top ski and snowboard destination – think St. Moritz, Verbier and Zermatt – but it’s also a great place to enjoy many other outdoor activities within stunning surroundings. If you’re seeking adrenaline-fuelled madness go zorbing in Interlaken – climb the hill, step inside a man-made beach ball and roll on down! Or, try Switzerland’s longest Flying Fox at Monte Tamaro in the south. You’ll be tied to a harness and pulley and then sent careering at 60km/h along a 440-metre wire – only for the daring!

Interlaken has 2 main train stations: Interlaken Ost (nearest to the city centre) and Interlaken West. A number of companies offer zorbing around Interlaken. To reach Monte Tamaro take an aerial cable car from Alpe Foppa.

Clock Tower, Bern
Clock Tower, Bern

Bern: Charming little capital

Bern, not a typical capital city in terms of size and decibel levels, instead oozes provincial charm and calm. Pass by Einstein House (Einsteinhaus), once home to the father of modern physics, Albert Einstein, between 1903 and 1905. There’s also an interesting biography of the German-born mastermind and a presentation of his life’s work. Take some time to wander around the medieval centre of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and marvel at the 15th century architecture. The Clock Tower (Zytglogge) with its quirky puppet show popping out each hour, stands proudly among medieval terraced-buildings.

The Einstein House is a 15-minute walk from Bern’s main train station and the Clock Tower is just 10 minutes from there.

Augusta Raurica, Basel
Augusta Raurica, Basel

For the culturally curious

Visit Switzerland’s culture capital: Basel, with its wealth of cultural, historical and art attractions, plus a pleasant vibe. The city lies in the heart of Europe on both banks of the Rhine and is an important transport hub with good connections to the whole of Europe from its 3 train stations. Just 20 kilometres east of Basel in Augst, is Augusta Raurica – an ancient Roman archaeological site, containing an impressive Roman theatre and house, as well as a museum explaining the history of this Swiss gem.

Augusta Raurica is a 15-minute walk from the Kaiseraugst train station.

Old town of Zurich
Old town of Zurich

Paint the town red

Zurich has some of the most lively night spots in the country, with a great selection in the Old Town. Check out Kaufleuten – a buzzing bar and club – and choose from four bars, each with an individual style, and during warmer months the terrace is a great hang out. Also make sure you pass by Langstrasse – Zurich’s very own red light district, though keep your wits about you as crime levels are higher in this area. Lausanne is another city with a vibrant night scene and a varied selection of bars and clubs to keep you going into the early hours.

Kaufleuten is a 5-minute walk from Sihlstrasse tram stop (tram 2,5, 9 or 13).

Lake Geneva, Montreux
Lake Geneva, Montreux

Spoilt for choice

Majestically sparkling in the west, is Lake Geneva – Europe’s largest alpine lake. Wonderful places to experience Switzerland’s largest lake are from the cosmopolitan city of Geneva and on the opposite side of the lake in Montreux. Visit the spectacular Château de Chillon in Montreux, a well-preserved medieval castle elegantly perched on the edge of Lake Geneva. Another picture-perfect lake can be discovered in Lucerne. Take a boat trip around the crystal waters and admire the surrounding wooded slopes and soak up the Swiss serenity.

Château de Chillon is a 10-minute walk from Veytaux-Chillon train station. From Lucerne’s main train station it is a 10-minute walk to the quay where you can pick up a boat.

Events

 
Fasnacht, Lucerne
Fasnacht, Lucerne

Fasnacht

February 4 - February 9, 2016

This carnival attracts over 15,000 costumed and masked participants, infiltrating the streets of Lucerne. Expect music, mayhem and partying on the streets.

Lucerne is a 1-hr train ride from Bern and Zurich. The festival takes place across the whole city, which can be reached via the main train station.

Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux
Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux

Montreux Jazz Festival

July 1 - July 16, 2016

This festival is known around the world as one of the best places to hear the masters of rock and jazz. Just 1 hour outside of Geneva, the festival is a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Free shuttle buses operate between the festival site and Montreux's train station.

Caliente Latin Festival, Zurich
Caliente Latin Festival, Zurich

Caliente Latin Festival

July 1 - July 3, 2016

Each year at Zurich’s Latin festival the whole city bursts into song and dance, with a mix of salsa and samba by day and pumping beats by night.

The festival is held in venues across the city.

Street Parade, Zurich
Street Parade, Zurich

Street Parade Zurich

August 6, 2016

This is one of the world’s largest techno street parties. The parade route follows along the side of Lake Zurich.

From Zurich’s main train station it is possible to walk to the parade or use public transport.

Interrail passes for Switzerland

 

Most popular passes with Switzerland

Interrail Global Pass from € 200

The Interrail Global Pass is the flexible and budget-friendly way to get around up to 30 countries in Europe. Travel by train from one cool destination to the next. One day you're on a pub crawl through Amsterdam and the next you're white-water rafting in Interlaken, Switzerland.

View Interrail Global Pass

Interrail Switzerland Pass from € 87

The Interrail Switzerland Pass is the best way to visit Switzwerland's highlights like Bern, Geneva or Basel.

View Interrail Switzerland Pass

All Interrail passes with Switzerland

Here's a list of all Interrail passes for your travels through this country:

Interrail passes Prices from
€ 87
€ 200

Pass benefits in Switzerland

 

Make sure you enjoy discounted boat trips, a reduction on the private railways and much more.

All extra pass benefits in Switzerland

Related pages

 
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