Trains in Switzerland

Swiss trains passing by a river and through a steep, green valley

Climb on board Swiss trains and travel through the snow-capped Alps, alongside beautiful mountain lakes and across rolling green hills.

Visit Switzerland's most famous cities, Bern, Basel, Geneva and Zurich, by rail and enjoy the breathtaking scenery from the train window along the way.

Train types in Switzerland
Reservations for trains in Switzerland
Domestic connections in Switzerland
International connections to and from Switzerland
Switzerland rail passes
Train stations in Switzerland
Pass benefits in Switzerland
Spelling of cities in Switzerland
Example train route in Switzerland

Map with main train connections in Switzerland

Train types in Switzerland


You can enjoy a large choice of Swiss trains, each type ready to transport you across the country as well as to and from other European countries. Switzerland's national railway company is the SBB (Schweizerische BundesBahn). Use the Interrail train timetable or SBB timetable to check times for trains in Switzerland.


Regional trains in Switzerland

The main rail network in Switzerland is made up of the following regional and intercity trains:

  • RegioExpress trains link regional destinations with larger Swiss cities.

  • Regio trains connect local towns. 

  • InterCity trains link major Swiss cities like Basel and Geneva.

  • InterRegio trains connect Zurich and Geneva with cities across the whole of Switzerland. These trains make more stops than InterCity trains.

  • S-Bahn (suburban trains) is a network of trains that operate within most big cities. Your Interrail Pass is valid for the S-bahn.


There's an international regional train connection between Chiasso and Milan (Italy). This connection is a great option if you want to avoid reservation fees.

On the Interrail timetable RegioExpress trains are listed as "RE", and Regio trains as "R". InterCity trains are listed as "IC", and InterRegio trains as "IR". Regional and Intercity trains do not require seat reservations. Reservations are however recommended for Intercity trains during high season (May-September) and public holidays.

High-speed trains in Switzerland High speed train crossing a bridge, Cisalpino, Switzerland

International high-speed trains in Switzerland 

These high-speed trains operate to and from Switzerland:

  • ICE connects Switzerland to Germany and the Netherlands.

  • RailJet connects Zurich with Vienna (Austria).

  • EuroCity connects Zurich, Basel and Geneva to Milan (Italy).

  • TGV connects Zurich, Basel and Geneva to Paris (France).


Domestic high-speed trains in Switzerland

Domestic high-speed Swiss trains are called InterCity Neigezug (ICN). ICN trains transport passengers quickly and in comfort from one side of the country to the other.


On the Interrail timetable ICE trains are shown as 'ICE', Railjet as "RJ", Eurocity as "EC" and TGV as 'TGV'. Reservations are compulsory for EuroCity and TGV. For ICE, RailJet and domestic ICN trains, reservations are optional but we recommend making reservations during weekends and busy periods.

Night trains in and between Switzerland Map with night train routes in Switzerland

International night trains

The following night trains connect Switzerland with Austria, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Serbia.

  • City Night Line:
    Zurich – Amsterdam (the Netherlands)
    Zurich – Berlin (Germany)
    Zurich – Hamburg (Germany)
    Zurich – Prague (Czech Republic)

  • EuroNight:
    Zurich – Graz (Austria)
    Zurich – Vienna (Austria) – Budapest (Hungary)

  • D-train:
    Zurich – Villach (Austria) – Ljubljana (Slovenia) – Zagreb (Croatia) – Belgrade (Serbia)


City Night Line appears as "CNL" on the Interrail timetable. EuroNight appears as "EN", InterCité de Nuit as "NT" and D-trains as "D". You are required to book sleeping accommodation in advance.

Scenic train routes in Switzerland Bernina Express paasing a lake, Switzerland

Switzerland is famous for its beautiful scenic landscapes. The following scenic train routes offer special conditions for Interrail Pass Holders:


Private railway companies in Switzerland

The Swiss railway network is operated not only by the SBB. There are a lot of private railway companies as well. Some of these companies are included in your Interrail Pass while other companies offer discounted travel. 


For more information on private railway companies:

Reservations for trains in Switzerland


Reservations for SBB regional trains are not required. For InterCity and ICN trains reservations are not compulsory but we recommend you make a seat reservation during the busy summer period (May-September) and on public holidays. Reservations are required for night trains and international high-speed trains. Prices for night trains depend on the type of sleeping accommodation you choose.


How to make reservations for Swiss trains

You can make reservations for domestic and international high-speed trains and night trains:

  • At a ticket desk or self-service machine at local train stations.

  • By phone through the SBB call centre.
    Phone number: +41 900 300 300
    Opening hours: 24/7


You will get a direct connection when calling this booking centre. The Swiss SBB booking centre can deliver your reservations to all European countries. Delivery costs are CHF8 (approx. €6.50). This call centre may charge a booking fee. You can also pick up your reservations at main Swiss train stations. Just go to the ticket office with your order number.


For more information about reservations:

Domestic connections in Switzerland

Map with popular connections in Switzerland


Travel time

Basel to Bern 0:55
Basel to Interlaken 2:00
Basel to Lucerne 1:10
Basel to Zurich 0:55
Bern to Geneva 1:45
Bern to Interlaken 0:55
Bern to Zurich 0:55
Geneva to Zurich 2:45
Zurich to Lugano 2:45

International train connections to and from Switzerland

Country Cities Which train? Travel time Reservations
Austria Vienna to Zurich RailJet 7:50 Optional
  Vienna to Zurich
Graz to Zurich
Villach to Zurich
EuroNight 8:55 (overnight)
10:55 (overnight)
10:05 (overnight)
France Paris to Zurich/Basel/Geneva TGV Lyria 4:00/3:00/3:00 Required
Germany Hamburg to Zurich ICE
City Night Line
11:35 (overnight)
Italy Milan to Bern/Geneva/Zurich EuroCity 3:00/4:00/4:00 Required

Switzerland rail passes


With 1 rail pass you can enjoy travelling on Swiss trains without having to buy separate train tickets.


Interrail Switzerland Pass

  • Spend your time discovering all of Switzerland's beauty.

  • Benefits include discounted rates on special scenic train routes.

  • Youth, senior and family discounts available.

  • Prices from € 87


View Switzerland Passes


Interrail Global Pass

  • Offers you rail travel in Switzerland and 29 more European countries.

  • Youth, senior and family discounts available.

  • Prices from € 200


View Global Passes

View out of the window of Swiss trains

Train stations in Switzerland

Zurich train station

Swiss main train stations

Switzerland has several hub stations:

  • Basel SBB

  • Bern

  • Geneva

  • Lausanne

  • Luzern

  • Zürich HB


These stations have excellent facilities:

  • Lockers

  • Cash machines and a foreign exchange desk

  • Restaurants, cafés and shops

  • Tourist information

  • Elevators, escalators and access for disabled passengers

Pass benefits for Switzerland

Boat on Lake Geneva

Boat trips

Interrail Pass Holders experience boat cruises on Swiss lakes and rivers for free or at a discount.


Scenic routes

The following special scenic train routes are also discounted for Interrailers:


See all Pass benefits in Switzerland

Spelling of cities in Switzerland

Switzerland train station scene

There might be some minor differences between the local spelling of city names and what you're used to.

  • Genève = Geneva

  • Luzern = Lucerne

Example train route in Switzerland


Map with example route in Switzerland Route

Geneva > Golden Pass scenic route > Interlaken > Lucerne > Zurich > Glacier Express scenic route > Brig


  1. Geneva: One of Europe's most cosmopolitan cities with French and Swiss influences.

  2. Golden Pass scenic route: Be whisked along the glistening waters of Lake Geneva and through picturesque mountain towns in the heart of Switzerland.

  3. Interlaken: A mountain paradise – visit the underground waterfalls or try outdoor activities like hiking, whitewater rafting or skiing.

  4. Lucerne: Surrounded by breathtaking mountain sights and filled with medieval treasures.

  5. Zurich: Switzerland's trendiest and most vibrant city and home to the hugely popular Street Parade.

  6. Glacier Express scenic route: Weave through beautiful valleys and shiny mountain lakes with stops along the way at luxurious spa towns - experience the best of Switzerland from just one train!

  7. Brig: A wonderful holiday hideout - go to the beautiful Stockalper Palace and the open-air thermal baths.


Pass suggestion


View Interrail Switzerland Passes

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