Switzerland is a country full of attractions that you will never forget, landscapes that you will dream about at night. However, you must remember that holidays in Switzerland are not cheap. You will encounter high prices everywhere: in restaurants, hotels or means of transport.
If you are planning a holiday in this wonderful country, it is worth checking in advance what you can save on. It is not about cutting funds for accommodation or meals, but about hunting discounts. A good solution will be to use the Swiss Travel System. Today we will introduce you to the cards related to this (Swiss Travel Pass). See for yourself how many benefits they bring, including deep discounts for families, children and people up to 25 years of age.
What does the Swiss Travel System cover?
The Swiss Travel System is an advanced Swiss communication system. It not only allows you to use buses running within more than 90 cities. If you decide to buy a Swiss Travel Pass, you can also travel through the scenic regions by train. And not just any, e.g. modern panoramic trains! It is worth downloading a map in PDF format or installing the Swiss Travel Guide application. You can check which boat, train or bus you can ride (or cross) for free, in which cities you have free public transport, and where you have a 50% discount on roller coaster tickets.
By purchasing STS you gain access to Swiss transport and attractive discounts on mountain railways and cable cars. You will pay even half as much for them. Purchasing a Swiss Travel Pass is as simple and intuitive as using it on the go. It is really worth buying it, because it makes traveling easier and also saves money. Let us remember that we are in a country that is not a cheap destination.
For how long can I buy a Swiss Travel Pass?
The ticket entitles the tourist to an unlimited number of journeys during the validity period. Depending on the chosen variant, you can use the train, bus or boat for a period of 3, 4, 6, 8 or 15 days, consecutive or selected within the validity month. With the Swiss Travel Pass you travel within the entire Swiss Travel System. All you need to do is plan your trip, make a list of places you want to visit, and then simply change your means of transport. The only things that will catch your attention are the attractions along the way.
It is not without reason that we mention travel planning. The Swiss transport system is very well thought out, thanks to which each tourist can choose a ticket that suits his needs. It's not just about whether you prefer to travel first or second class, but also about specific times. If you intend to spend an intensive holiday in Switzerland and, for example, spend a weekend or a week mainly sightseeing, consider the Continuous option. As part of it, you can travel as much as you want within the validity period of the purchased ticket.
And what if you want to stay in one place for a longer time, e.g. get off the sightseeing train in Zurich and stay there for a day or two? Or relax in the Alpine thermal baths? Or go to the mountains? In such a situation, it is better to choose the second option, i.e. Flexi. The ticket is valid for one month from the start date. What sets it apart from the Continua version is the ability to choose the days you want to travel. By purchasing a continuous 8-day variant, you get access to the Swiss Travel System for the period from the first to the eighth day of the ticket's validity. However, with Flexi you have 8 days to use within a month from the selected date.
The prices of both options are relatively similar. For example, a 3-day continuous ticket in 2nd class costs CHF 232, while Flexi - CHF 267. So it remains to choose the solution that best suits your preferences.
Who uses the Swiss Travel System?
In short, it can be said that every tourist who intends to explore the attractions of Switzerland will benefit from the purchase of the Swiss Travel Pass. Since individual tickets are terribly expensive, integrated public transport has been introduced, which allows you to travel on a single ticket. In addition to public and intercity transport, the ticket holder has free admission to several hundred museums. You can visit over 500 museums and receive attractive discounts from program partners. We also mentioned a 50% discount on selected routes (cable car, rack railway) leading to the highest peaks of Switzerland. Doesn't that sound great? All on one ticket!
In addition, you can count on a discount at the time of purchase. Depending on whether you are traveling alone, as a couple or with your family, the ticket price may vary. Age also matters. If you have a Swiss Travel System ticket, you can bring a child up to 6 years of age free of charge. If you have children between the ages of 6 and 16, you also cannot pay for their travel, but you need a Swiss Family Card in addition to your ticket. This is done free of charge at the tutor's request. The Swiss Family Card gives children free travel as long as they are accompanied by at least one parent. If you are traveling without your parents, you can take advantage of a 50% discount on STS.
Persons under the age of 25 can purchase the Swiss Travel Pass Youth. Its cost is 30% lower than the standard Swiss Travel Pass price.
The situation is slightly different in the case of older people. Women aged 64 and over and men aged 65 and over can purchase a special GA Travelcard discount. There are two variants: for a month or for a year. Purchasing a GA Travelcard is equivalent to entering into a contract for an indefinite period, which means that the travel card is automatically renewed at the end of its validity period. The minimum duration of the contract is half a year, after which you can resign from it (a month's notice will be required).
Swiss Half Fare Card: travel half price
In addition to free access to the Swiss communication system, you also have the opportunity to use it with a 50% discount. You will receive it after purchasing a monthly Swiss discount card. In 90 cities you can travel by public transport for half the price. You also get up to 50% discount on bus, train, boat or mountain railway tickets.
When it comes to traveling with children, the same rules apply as for the regular Swiss Travel Pass.
Swiss Travel Card and toll surcharge
Compared to other offers (e.g. half-price Travelcard), the Swiss Travel Pass is the best. However, please note that the ticket does not include all services. While carriers honor this, they may require additional fees or seat reservations. You'll come across this when you want to take the scenic train. So if you want to arrange a trip on the Grand Tour and use the Glacier Express (Glacier Express), Bernina Express, Palm Express or Gotthard Panoramic Express, be prepared to pay extra. No seat reservation or additional fee will be required on domestic SBB trains within Switzerland.
It's always worth having a ticket with you, because you don't know where you can find a facility offering discounts on it. In some cases, having an STS will save you the equivalent of several hundred zlotys. If you have the opportunity to pay for a cheaper cable car ride to the glacier in Zermatt, it's a sin not to use it! Sometimes the ticket offices are not clearly marked so ask if there is a discount.
In short, it is worth getting acquainted with the possibilities offered to tourists by the Swiss Travel System. Thanks to it, you can visit beautiful cities, climb mountain peaks or swim in lakes. During subsequent stops on your journey, you can take advantage of discounts on tours or museums. The system gives you the opportunity to take an organized trip (which does not mean boring or not very spontaneous) to one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.