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Full steam ahead! Buying Swiss train tickets
There a number of different types of tickets and railcards you can buy to travel around Switzerland whether you have just moved here, or you're only visiting. We run through the discounts available, where and how to buy tickets and how much you can expect it all to set you back.
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The 'GA' - an annual pass for whole country: worth it if you‘re commuting or travelling a lot. CHF3860 per year / CHF340 in monthly installments.
The 'Halb Tax' - the half-fare card: enables you to buy tickets for half price. A one-off payment of CHF185 / CHF165 if you automatically renew.
You can buy weekly and monthly passes for specific routes, prices vary.
The Swiss Federal Railways, SBB, has an app where you can buy all train tickets. Also available in English.
Local transport companies have their own apps where you can find more options than in the SBB app for cheaper tickets for a specific route.
There are ticket machines at railway stations and most bus or tram stops.
Travel at a specific date and time and book in advance: you can get a cheaper 'saver' ticket for the train. Otherwise, the train ticket costs the same all the time, whether you buy your ticket weeks in advance or five minutes before you leave.
For visitors to Switzerland, it can be good value for money to buy an Interrail pass: CHF326 for 3 days travel in Switzerland within one month.
There are also a few varieties of the Swiss Travel Pass, which although slightly cheaper, has to be used on consecutive days. Costs CHF225 for 3 days, for example. Includes free entry to many museums.
All of the above prices are second class.
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