To check train times & fares within Switzerland, use the Swiss Railways website www.sbb.ch.

This page explains how to buy train tickets from Swiss cities to other European cities at the cheapest prices, buying online direct from the operators, usually with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets.  On the other hand, if you'd rather someone sorted out your whole trip for you, see here.

I want to travel from Switzerland to...

Click here to buy tickets starting in another city

SBB first class lounge at Zurich

Before you buy your tickets...

I recommend taking a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up & buy at the station?", "How far ahead can I book?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just go online & buy a €35 point-to-point ticket?".

Answering your questions about European train travel...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...



Buying train tickets for journeys within Switzerland...

Switzerland to London from €59...

Switzerland to Paris from €29...
TGV from Milan to Paris   TGV-Lyria 2nd class

A TGV in new Lyria colours at the Gare de Lyon.

 

2nd class seats...  See panorama photo.

TGV-Lyria cafe-bar   TGV-Lyria 1st class

Cafe-bar serving drinks, snacks & hot dishes...

 

1st class seats...  See panorama photo.


Switzerland to Lyon, Avignon, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice or anywhere in France from €25...

Switzerland to Brussels & Bruges from €39...

Option 1, by fast ICE high-speed trains via Germany, Switzerland to Brussels in as little as 6h22...

Option 2, by high-speed trains via Paris.  This can be cheap and fast, although it involves crossing Paris.  For example, you can go from Geneva to Brussels in as little as 5h41...

Option 3, by one of two direct Basel-Brussels EuroCity trains in 6h30... 


Switzerland to Luxembourg...

Switzerland to Amsterdam from €39...

Option 1, by time-effective sleeper train:

Sleeping-car room - Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train   4-berth couchette compartment on Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train   6-berth couchette compartment on Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train  

A sleeping-car as used on the Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most civilised option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

 

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car as used on the Zurich-Amsterdam City Night Line sleeper train Pegasus.

More pictures & information about this train...

Option 2, by daytime trains...

High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Cologne & Frankfurt ICE3 second class ICE3 first class

An ICE3 as used between Frankfurt & Amsterdam.  More ICE information.

ICE3 2nd class.  ICEs is one of the most comfortable trains in Europe...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  All seats have power sockets.


Switzerland to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome & Italy from CHF38 (€22)...

Option 1, the fast way:  From Switzerland to Milan by EuroCity train through the Alps, then by high-speed train to Florence, Rome, Naples, Venice...

Pretty church & vineyards seen from a Zurich to Milan train   Pretty church & vineyards seen from a Zurich to Milan train

The regular Zurich to Milan trains take the Gotthard main line through the Swiss Alps, past pretty Swiss villages & vineyards...

Lake Maggiore, seen from a Milan to Basel train   Lunch in the Swiss-run restaurant car of the 11:25 Milan to Basel

Zurich-Milan trains pass the Zugersee, Vierwaldstattersee & Lake Lugano, all in Switzerland.  Geneva-Milan trains skirt Lake Leman, and both Geneva-Milan & Basel-Milan trains pass Lake Maggiore in Italy.  Above left, Lake Maggiore is seen from the restaurant car of the 11:25 Milan to Basel over an excellent lunch of salmon tagliatelle & excellent Swiss red wine...

Pretty church & vineyards seen from a Zurich to Milan train   Restaurant car of a tilting 'Pendolino' train from Geneva to Milan.

The Gotthard Pass!  In the depths of winter it's a winter wonderland with crags and cliffs and snow-capped mountains.  The train passes through the Gotthard Tunnel, 15 km (9 miles) long and opened in 1882.  Passing through the tunnel takes just 7 or 8 minutes, reaching the highest point of the line at 1,151 metres (3,776 feet) above sea level.

Option 2, the ultimate scenic route:  Switzerland to Milan via the slow but amazing Bernina route...


Switzerland to Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne & Germany from €39...

Option 1, by time-effective City Night Line sleeper train... 

Option 2, by daytime train...

ICE2 first class ICE2 second class High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin, at Berlin Hauptbahnhof

ICE2 1st class.

ICE2 2nd class.

ICE2 at Berlin.  More info about ICE


Switzerland to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €29...

Option 1, by time-effective overnight sleeper train...

Option 2, by daytime Railjet trains through the scenic Arlberg Pass...

Tips for using www.oebb.at:

The morning RailJet train has arrived in Vienna.   Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train

RailJet is Austria's smart new fast train, with standard, first, business classes & restaurant car.  More Railjet information

 

Business class costs €15 more than normal 1st class...

 

Economy class on RailJet, comfortable open saloons with large picture windows.  Some seats are around tables, some unidirectional.

Watch the video:  Zurich to Austria through the Arlberg Pass...


Switzerland to Barcelona & Spain from €59...

Switzerland to Barcelona in an afternoon & evening by direct TGV high-speed train!

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An impressive TGV Duplex.

1st class seats on TGV Duplex upper deck.  That's a 'club duo' on the left & a 'club quatre' on the right.

 

A TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants.  Red near the door = 1st class, pale green = 2nd class.

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  Seen from the train and one of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline all the way from Girona to Perpignan

More photos & a video about this journey...


Switzerland to Lisbon & Portugal...

Switzerland to Copenhagen from €59...

Option 1, by direct City Night Line sleeper train from Switzerland to Copenhagen (runs until 1 November 2014, after that use option 2 below)...

Sleeping-car room - Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train   4-berth couchette compartment on Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train   6-berth couchette compartment on Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train  

A sleeping-car as used on the Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most civilised option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

 

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car as used on the Basel-Copenhagen City Night Line sleeper train.

More pictures & information about this train...

Option 2, by daytime trains...


Switzerland to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö & Oslo from €59...

Option 1, by City Night Line sleeper train (runs until 1 November 2014, after that use options 2 or 3 below)

125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station 2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

A 125 mph SJ 2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station....

 

2nd class seating on the SJ 2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the SJ 2000 to Stockholm.

More information about SJ2000

Option 2, Switzerland to Copenhagen by day trains in a single day from €58.  Onwards to Stockholm next day...

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Hamburg.  Switzerland-Copenhagen from €68, Switzerland-Stockholm from €78...


Switzerland to Prague from €59...

Option 1, by direct City Night Line sleeper train from Switzerland to Prague...

Option 2, by daytime trains via Munich...

Option 3, by daytime trains via Dresden...


Switzerland to Bratislava...

Switzerland to Ljubljana & Slovenia, Zagreb & Croatia...

Option 1, by direct sleeper train from Switzerland to Croatia...

Option 2 by daytime trains...


Switzerland to Budapest & Hungary...

Option 1, by direct daytime Railjet train from Zurich to Budapest thought the scenic Arlberg Pass... 

Option 2, by direct sleeper train from Zurich to Budapest... 

Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Munich to Budapest   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   Couchette car on the Kalman Imre to Budapest

Hungarian 2-berth sleeper...

 

Hungarian couchettes...

 

Hungarian couchette car...


Switzerland to Bucharest & Romania...

Switzerland to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland from €49...

Option 1, by daytime trains in a single day...

Option 2, by sleeper to Berlin then daytime train to Warsaw...


Switzerland to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...

Switzerland to Kiev & Ukraine...

Switzerland to Athens, Corfu & Greece...

Switzerland to Istanbul & Turkey...

 


Railbookers tailor-made tours

If you just want to buy train tickets at the cheapest price, book online as shown on this page.  However, if you want someone to sort out your whole trip for you, arranging all your trains, hotels and transfers, and to look after you if anything affects your arrangements, the people to talk to are Railbookers.  Railbookers can tailor-make a train trip around Europe to your own specification.  Just tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels.  They get good reports and a lot of repeat business!  They now have offices in the UK, North America and Australia.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com.

Call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au.

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.


Find hotels in Switzerland & other countries

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Get travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash (up to a limit) and belongings.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year (I have an annual policy myself).  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you're resident in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you're resident in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including the USA, Australia, South Africa and EU.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy £20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.

 


Back to home page