Swiss Travel System: amazing snow trips, great deals!

The Swiss Travel System is simply the best nationwide public transport network in the World. An almost unlimited selection of trains, buses, trolley buses, boats, cable cars and cog-railways can take you to most corners of this spectacularly diverse and scenic country.

As you would expect, it all comes with Swiss precision and efficiency. It is also super easy to research, book and ride using the Swiss Travel Guide App.

Luzern – Interlaken Express passing Lake Lungern © Perret

For skiers and snowboarders it’s a no-brainer for convenience, value and the all round experience. In such a magnificently mountainous country the engineering feats – tunnels through massive ranges, viaducts over deep gorges, rack railways up steep slopes, soaring cable cars – allow people to get around with amazing ease and comfort.

view of Kleine Schedegg and the slope beneath the Eiger
It’s only 33 minutes from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald – from where you can whizz up the brand new Grindelwald-Männlichen (GGM) gondola or train up to Kleine Schedegg and be skiing beside the Eiger © Owain Price

Snow and Rail lift pass deals

Staying in cities and historic towns is a very viable option for some or all of your Swiss ski trip. That opens up more accommodation options, and plenty of other activities, which is perfect for non-skiers, or the less fanatic. For example, Swiss Travel Passes include bonus free entry to some 500 museums around the country.

It’s fun and convenient riding Swiss trains direct to ski runs © Carmen Price

But equally, there is no need to miss out on any ski time if you are fanatics like us thanks to great connections and trains direct to the slopes or the lifts to them as the case may be.

Two great examples:

Interlaken to Grindelwald for the Jungfrau – it takes as little as 33 minutes from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald, or slightly longer to Lauterbrunnen for Schilthorn Piz Gloria, Murren and Wengen.

Luzern to Engelberg for Engelberg-Titlis , which takes from only 43 minutes!

Titlis skywalk one of the many amazing attractions available with a Swiss Travel System Pass
Don’t miss the Titlis skywalk © Enanader

A two day discount lift pass and return train travel from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald goes from CHF 121 / AUD 180, which is very reasonable – that’s less than a day ski pass at major American resorts for example.

A similar Luzern – Engelberg 2 days return trains and lift passes deal costs from around CHF 132.70 / AUD 195.

You can book these deals easily on the website under Leisure Offers here

Sample deals we looked up

Swiss Travel Pass options and costs

Japan has some great regional Rail Passes, some of which include buses, but for complete coverage of a whole country nothing beats the Swiss Travel Pass.

Trains, buses, boats, cable cars – there are a huge variety of options available.

Swiss Travel System includes lots of lake steamers
Paddlesteamer on Lake Lucerne © Christian Perret /

There are also several great deals, so you need to work out which will best suit your planned itinerary. For essentially snow focused holidays point to point travel is easy to book and organise, and is the best option if you are only traveling to and from a couple of resorts and back to the airport.

The Snow and Rail deals as above also combine well with point to point from the airport and/or between a couple of towns.

Some panoramic trains like the incredible Glacier Express from Zermatt to St Moritz require a surcharge and need to be pre-booked.

Swiss Travel Pass lets you ride public transport in 90 cities and towns
Ride public transport in over 90 cities and towns © Ammann

For more diverse itineraries where you plan to get around more – just traveling through the breathtaking scenery is a fun way to spend a day in Switzerland – the freedom of the Swiss Travel Pass to hop on whatever mode of transport takes your fancy is great.

The Swiss Travel Pass Flex is valid on 3, 4, 8, or 15 freely selectable days within one month, thus combining scope and services of the Swiss Travel Pass with the advantage of increased flexibility.

Pass costs CHF Adults

Flex Pass duration2nd Class1st Class
3 days267424
4 days323514
8 days467742
15 days563890
• Youth travelers under the age of 26 (15% discount).
• 2 Children from 6 up to their 16th birthday travel free of charge when accompanied by at least one parent holding a valid Swiss Travel System product.

Swiss Travel Pass Inclusions:

  • Unlimited travel by train, bus and boat. View area of validity
  • Unlimited travel on premium panoramic trains (seat reservation fees and/or surcharges apply)
  • Unlimited use of public transport in more than 90 towns and cities
  • Free admission to more than 500 museums. See full list of participating museums / find museum (only applicable on your travel days on flexi passes)
  • Mountain excursions included: Rigi, Stanserhorn and Stoos.
  • Up to 50% discount on many other mountain excursions
  • Up to 30% discount on SBB RailAway offers. Available at all ticket counters within Switzerland
  • Children from their 6th up to their 16th birthday accompanied by at least one parent (holding a Swiss Travel System ticket) travel free of charge with the complimentary Swiss Family Card
  • Children under 6 years of age who are accompanied by a holder of a valid Swiss Travel System ticket travel free of charge
Super easy to find what you need and a great deal – carrying ski bags the direct to Brig would be my choice

Which deal works for me?

Have a look online at timetables here or the Swiss Travel Guide App for point to point travel options and deals for your target dates.

Sitting in 42° heat in our office as bush fires rage in Australia I thought Zermatt would be kind of nicer than usual right about now, and found a flight deal on SWISS Sydney – Zurich for $AUD 1379 arriving 06:10.

Then I checked for a rail connection to suit – Zurich Airport is great for changing to trains at. The system quickly found me the above, for CHF 49, which is great value. Dragging ski bags I would opt for the least changes via Brig.

You can check baggage through too from your departure point either inbound or outbound – from CHF 22 per bag; an express surcharge will get it to you same evening you arrive. More details on the link here. This is our preferred option leaving Switzerland.

So have a look to see what you need – visiting one or two resorts with a changeover day will cost you less than the 3 day Flexi Pass.

Swiss Travel Passes in your phonw are the easy way to go
The passes are very flexible – and the 24 hours gives you from midnight to 05:00am so that can be handy for getting a late flight etc – you won’t need to waste another day

Get the Swiss Travel Guide app here

Free download it

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Swiss Travel System route map
Where will you go?