Good to know: carefree travelling.

The following basic information will help with understanding how public transport in Switzerland works in order to take the right decisions during the planning process for a journey.

The Swiss public transport network includes over 29,000 kilometres (18,000 miles) of rail, road and waterway. Hence, it is the densest network in the world.

For international arrival or onward journey, trains and buses are available at border stations and airports. Connections are guaranteed in all places. Where no train service is available, the journey continues by bus, boat or even mountain railway. Hence, interchange is simple and easy to handle all throughout Switzerland.

Trains always leave at the same minute after each full hour. Main intercity connections run at halfhour intervals. At major traffic hubs, trains arrive every full and half hour. Bus and boat connections are perfectly coordinated with these regularinterval time tables. The complete timetable is available at

  • InterCity (IC) trains connect larger cities without intermediate stops
  • InterRegio (IR) and RegioExpress (RE) trains connect medium sized centres within Switzerland. Regional trains serve all intermediate stations and also provide access to the smaller branches of the network
  • Major urban centres have their own suburban railway (“S-Bahn”) network. These trains, specially marked with an “S”, optimally serve the urban and suburban areas with a highfrequency timetable

Those who appreciate a bit of luxury travel 1st class. 1st class coaches provide additional amenities such as wider seats, more legroom and electrical power outlets. Further- more, 1st class passengers benefit from quiet and business zones. Swiss boats also offer the choice between 1st and 2nd class. The 1st class is usually located on the upper deck, which offers a magnificent view of the scenery.

No surcharge applies on national, InterCity or InterRegio trains within Switzerland. Panoramic trains such as the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express as well as some PostBus lines (Palm Express) are usually subject to surcharge and/or require seat reservation.

  • In Switzerland, the majority of trains do not require seat reservation. Trains offering seat reservation are indicated with an “R” in the timetable at
  • For panoramic trains with mandatory seat reservation, reservations should be made at the earliest convenience
  • Groups: Reservations for groups of 10 or more persons can be made free of charge at [email protected]. Information signs and loudspeaker announcements on the train notify travellers of seat reservations

nformation about the current traffic situation and possible disruptions on the railway network is available around the clock via

Public transportation in Switzerland is generally very safe. Security personnel routinely tours public transportation to guarantee the safety of the passenger. Criminal offences happen very rarely on public transport. By far the most common offence is travelling with out a valid ticket. However, travellers are advised to follow the usual precautions against petty offences.

SBB offers special services for persons with limited mobility or a visual impairment.

SBB Call Centre Handicap provides information on accessibility of stations and trains. It also gives recommendations on the selection of suitable trains and offers boarding and disembarking services at larger stations.

Requests for boarding or disembarking services should be made no later than one hour prior to travel start. Most express trains offer a wheelchair-accessible compartment.

Further information

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While the road commands the parents’ full attention when travelling by car, a journey by public transport lets them focus on their children completely.

Telling stories, playing or just relaxing and enjoying the scenery pass by. All long distance trains of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) include specially designed family coaches catering to families’ specific needs. Each InterCity double-deck train sports a playground in a fancy jungle-design on the mid-upper deck. Here, the little ones can skip about to their hearts’ content during long train rides. Even in single-level InterCity train compositions special family areas with extra generous space conditions are available.

Further information

Travelling is a wonderful thing, and there should not be anything in the way of enjoyment – least of all luggage theft. Here are a few tips and reminders how to stay safe when travelling through Switzerland with luggage and where to get help in case of need.

Prior to travelling

  • Have copies of important documents (passport, ID, etc.) made
  • Never carry a lot of cash
  • Print travel documents and take the prints with you
  • Write down the IMEI number of your mobile phone

In case of theft

Contact the nearest police station immediately. In case of theft, a report can be filed.

Emergency number: 117

More information