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Swiss Travel Pass 2024: What’s Included & What’s Not (& Is It Worth It)

Swiss Travel Pass 2024: What’s Included & What’s Not (& Is It Worth It)

When planning a trip to Switzerland, you’ll likely see the Swiss Travel Pass mentioned everywhere.

But what exactly is the Swiss Travel Pass, what does it include, where can you buy it (hint – here ;)), and is it worth it?

We get so many questions from our readers about the Swiss Pass (and Swiss Pass Flex), which discounts it offers, and whether it covers some of the most popular destinations in the Swiss Alps. Many first-time visitors find it a bit confusing and I keep answering the same questions all over again…

So to save all of us some time, here is our complete guide to the Swiss Travel Pass. It should answer all your questions, give you a good overview of what exactly is included (and what is not), and help you decide whether it’s worth getting it for your trip.

Find out!

READ ALSO: Switzerland Itinerary for First Trip

Red train in Swiss mountains in Jungfrau region Switzerland
Mountain train to Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe.

What is the Swiss Travel Pass

The Swiss Travel Pass is a ticket for international visitors that includes unlimited travel on public transportation in Switzerland for a selected number of days. You can buy this pass for 3, 4, 6, 8, or 15 days of travel.

All the information is available on the official website of the Swiss Railways (SBB), but apparently, it’s still too confusing for many people (thus, this article).

TIP: You can also find the most important information in a nutshell and purchase the pass on GetYourGuide. We recommend this website for all tickets/tours/passes and we personally use it for all our trips, not just in Europe. It’s very simple to use.

Good to know: Traveling by train is the most convenient way to cover bigger distances in Switzerland and explore many of the nicest places in the country (not just cities, but also mountains). Furthermore, public transportation in Switzerland is very efficient and we sometimes joke that you can set your watch by how punctual the trains are. So for the majority of international visitors, it doesn’t even make sense to consider renting a car, and that’s what makes the Swiss Travel Pass so popular.

Below, you can find our explanation of what is and is not included with the Swiss Travel Pass, and how it differs from the Swiss Travel Pass Flex. Read on!

Red tram in Bern old town, Switzerland
Tram in Bern. Public transport in the cities is free with the Swiss Travel Pass.

Swiss Travel Pass vs. Swiss Travel Pass Flex

To make things a bit more confusing, there are two types of Swiss Pass: the regular one and the Flex Pass, which is 15% more expensive.

What’s the difference? Both these passes include exactly the same tickets and offer the same discounts (that differ depending on your age). The main difference is that the flex pass allows you to freely choose on which days you use it within its month-long validity, whereas the regular pass is valid on consecutive days (depending on which validity you choose, 3, 4, 6, 8, or 15 consecutive days).

So, for example, you are visiting Switzerland for 5 days and you plan on traveling by public transport daily during your entire stay. In that case, you can simply get a regular pass for 5 days.

On the other hand, if you are in Switzerland for a longer time, but will be visiting different regions and spending a few days in each before traveling further, then it’s better to get a flexible pass. That way, you can use it only on those days when you will be taking public transportation a lot. Further below, you can find a bit more information about how to use both these passes.

Important to know! This is where it starts to get confusing to foreigners visiting Switzerland for the first time because they think that they will be using public transport every day, also in the mountains. But there is a big difference between let’s say an inter-city train between Zurich and Geneva or a train that brings you to Gornergrat in Zermatt or Jungfraujoch in Berner Oberland.

!!! The majority of gondolas, funiculars, and mountain trains are not part of the Swiss public transport network (and thus not included with the Swiss Travel Pass). However, to make things yet a bit more confusing, there are a couple of exceptions here too. You can find more info below, but first – how much does it cost.

Lake Lucerne ferry boats are free with Swiss Travel Pass
Boat on Lake Lucerne. All the regular lake cruises here are free with the Swiss Travel Pass.

How to use Swiss Travel Pass & Travel Pass Flex

For all passes, you can either print it on a white A4 paper or show an electronic version of the pass on your smartphone or tablet. You can also add it to your Apple Wallet, for example. Since the pass is issued in your name, you might be asked to show your ID as well.

Using the regular Swiss Travel Pass is pretty straightforward since it’s valid for a set number of consecutive days. You’ll simply have to show a printed or electronic version of the pass.

Using the Flex Pass is a bit more complex since you can choose the specific dates on which you will be using it. To avoid misunderstandings, you will have to activate the dates on which you want to use your pass online on this website. It’s important to activate the dates before your first journey, so e.g. you cannot do it when you are already on a train.

You will get all the information and clear instructions when you get the pass, so don’t worry about it too much in advance. Also, you can still adjust your chosen dates as long as you do it before midnight at the start of the day on which you want to use it.

Matterhorn Gotthard Train in Switzerland
Matterhorn Gotthard Train at Teufelsbrücke (Devil’s Bridge) near Andermatt. This railway journey between Zermatt and Disentis is also included with the Swiss Pass.

How much does the Swiss Travel Pass cost in 2024?

The price of the Swiss Travel Pass depends on several factors: your age, the number of days, and whether you opt for a regular pass or flex. In addition, you can choose to travel in the 2nd Class or upgrade to 1st Class.

Additional discounts: Children under 6 are free of charge. Children from 6 to 16 travel free when accompanied by a paying parent (you need to order a ticket for them, but it’s free, and you will get the necessary instructions). Youth from 16 to 25 get almost 30% discount.

Here are the prices of the regular pass in Second Class in 2024 for adults:

3 DAYS: 244 CHF.
4 DAYS: 295 CHF.
6 DAYS: 379 CHF.
8 DAYS: 419 CHF.
15 DAYS: 459 CHF.

Good to know: Flex Pass costs 15% more and you’ll have to pay over 55% extra if you opt for First Class tickets.

As you can see, the longer the duration, the cheaper the price that you pay per day. If you just get it for 3 days, it costs you about 81 CHF per day, whereas if you get it for two weeks, it costs you just around 30 CHF per day – a huge difference!

Further below, you can find our observations on whether it’s worth getting the Swiss Travel Pass. But first, let’s take a look at what exactly is included.

Gornergrat scenic railway and the Matterhorn in Zermatt Switzerland
Gornergrat scenic railway and the Matterhorn in Zermatt. This train is not included with the Swiss Travel Pass, but you get a big discount on the tickets.

What is included with the Swiss Travel Pass

This is what IS INCLUDED with the Swiss Travel Pass:

  • Unlimited travel on trains, buses, and boats that belong to the public transport network. So all the inter-city trains as well as trams and buses in more than 90 towns and cities are included. Passenger ferries (not cruises) on Lake Lucerne or the lakes near Interlaken are included as well.
  • Unlimited travel on premium panorama trains (however, there might be extra fees for advance seat reservations). These include the famous Bernina Express, Glacier Express, Golden Pass Line, and a few other panoramic train routes.
  • Free entry to over 500 museums in Switzerland. You can find a complete list of all the museums here.
  • Free travel on the following mountain excursions: Mt Rigi, Stanserhorn, and Stoos. All of these are located close to Lucerne and are among our top recommendations for the best day trips from Lucerne.
  • Up to 50% discount on mountain excursions all over Switzerland. So you get a big discount on the majority of the cable cars, mountain trains, funiculars, etc. There are also discounts on certain lake cruises and similar.

Below, you can find a bit more info about what is not included with the Swiss Pass (but where you get a discount).

Stoos funicular in Switzerland
Stoos funicular is one of the few exceptions and is included with the Swiss Pass. It’s worth coming here for the ride alone, but also for the jaw-dropping views from the Stoos Ridge Hike.

What is not included (but gives you a discount)

Because I get this question almost daily, here is once again an explanation of what IS NOT INCLUDED with the Swiss Travel Pass.

Mountain excursions are not included with the Swiss Travel Pass (with the exception of Mt Rigi, Stanserhorn, and Stoos as mentioned above), but you do get a discount on most of them. Under ‘mountain excursions’ they mean cable cars, gondolas, funiculars, cogwheel trains, trains to the mountain peaks, etc.

Here are a few examples of the most popular mountain excursions that our readers ask about and where the Swiss Pass does not include free travel, but gives you a discount:

There are many other destinations in the Swiss Alps where you get similar discounts with the Swiss Travel Pass.

Also, most lake sightseeing cruises are not included, whereas regular, scheduled passenger ferries are included with the Swiss Travel Pass. So if you are taking a ferry that stops in various places, your pass will be valid, but if you want to take a scenic cruise on e.g. Lake Geneva or Lake Lucerne, you’ll have to pay for it.

Mt Titlis rotating gondola in Switzerland
Mt Titlis rotating gondola. Mt Titlis tickets are not free with the pass, but you get a 50% discount.

Is the Swiss Travel Pass worth it?

One of the most frequently asked questions by our readers is whether it’s worth getting the Swiss Travel Pass. My answer is always the same – it depends. Here are a few examples:

If you are traveling around Switzerland for a longer time (6-10 days or more) and plan on visiting many different areas all over the country using public transportation, then the Swiss Travel Pass is definitely worth it. The pass gives even better value if you are traveling with children.

If, however, you are only coming for a few days, renting a car, and/or planning on staying in one region in the mountains (where this pass only gives you a discount and not free travel), then it’s usually not worth it. In that case, look for a regional card of the area that you are visiting.

Most likely, your trip includes a mix of destinations that you only visit for a day as well as others where you stay for several days. In that case, you can look up the prices of all the mountain excursions that you are planning to do, see how big the discount is with the Swiss Travel Pass, add the price of the pass itself, and then compare that versus the prices of individual tickets of all the transportation and places you plan to visit. (Good luck with the math! It’s doable, but you’ll need a lot of time and patience).

In most cases, the Swiss Travel Pass is worth it, especially if you are traveling for at least 6-8 days and are visiting multiple destinations in Switzerland. Plus, it saves you lots of time, research, and math. Another advantage is that you can just take the next suitable train, boat, etc. without having to waste time looking for tickets.

Furthermore, you can always opt for a Swiss Pass Flex that you only use on travel-intensive days. And then get a regional card to use on the other days, when you are staying in one area. The longer you stay in one place (typically, 3-4 days or longer), the better value you get with the regional cards.

A goat at Oeschinensee in Switzerland
Oeschinen Lake in central Switzerland.

Where can you buy the Swiss Travel Pass?

You can buy the Swiss Travel Pass online, at every major railway station in Switzerland (including Zurich or Geneva airports), and also at some tourist offices in the main cities.

We recommend getting it online in advance as it will save you time and stress (you’ll have enough to think about upon arrival as it is).

You can get the Swiss Pass on the official SBB website, but also via various online retailers, such as our GetYourGuide as mentioned before (our personal favorite one-stop shop for all tickets). The price is normally exactly the same everywhere and you get the same discounts for kids, etc.

At the moment of writing, GetYourGuide allows you to cancel for free up to 3 days in advance (and it’s really easy to cancel or amend your tickets). You can buy a regular Swiss Travel Pass here and a Swiss Travel Pass Flexhere.

In any case, it’s best to buy your tickets at least a few days before your trip. When you purchase a pass, you will receive detailed instructions on how to use it (or how to activate the individual travel dates if you opt for the Flexi Pass).

Mountain train near Wengen in Switzerland
Mountain train in Jungfrau Region.

So, this is our guide to the Swiss Travel Pass. I hope that it answers all your questions and helps you decide whether it’s worth it for your trip.

TIP: If you are planning your itinerary in Switzerland, check out our Switzerland travel page. It contains an overview of all our travel guides for a wide variety of destinations all over the country. We live in Belgium and Switzerland is just a half-day drive from home. So we visit Switzerland at least a few times a year – in summer as well as in winter. On our blog, you’ll find many detailed guides for all of our favorite places.

READ ALSO: Traveling to Europe: How to Plan a Trip & Useful Tips

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Swiss Travel Pass in Switzerland - what is included and is it worth buying it

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Sunday 28th of April 2024

Hi, what's the difference between second class and first class and which do you recommend?


Monday 29th of April 2024

Hi Lan, there are a few benefits in the 1st class vs. 2nd. You have more space and more comfortable, adjustable seats on the train. First-class passengers can also sit on a higher deck on most boat trips. Some trains also have 'quiet zones' in the 1st class, but that's more interesting for business travelers who want to work during their journey. Hope this helps.


Saturday 30th of March 2024

Hi Jurga My wife and I will be traveling to Swizerland and planning to go thru several places from Zurich to Lucerne - Interlaken -Lauterbrunnen-Murren-Wengen-Gimmewald-Gridelwald and train to Milan.

Is the Swiss Pass a good option getting around for 10 days?

Thank you.


Thursday 4th of April 2024

@Jurga, Jurga, thank you very much for your response.

One more question: I read that the Bernese Oberalnd Pass better to use in my situation. What do you recommend between the two? Thank you.


Thursday 4th of April 2024

Hi Robert, yes, if you are staying for 10 days and plan on using public transportation daily, a Swiss Pass definitely a good idea.


Sunday 24th of March 2024

Thanks. Good information. One question: If I buy a flex pass for, say, 6 days, but will be in Switzerland for 9 days and 8 nights, is the pass good for local busses, say in Bern or Zurich, on days I am not traveling between regions, without it counting as a full day of use?


Monday 25th of March 2024

@Jurga, thanks for the helpful answer. We'll buy two 8 day passes. Only 20 Francs more than the 6 day flex pass. Cheers!


Monday 25th of March 2024

Hi Bruce, I'm afraid that any use will count for that day (also museums, buses, etc.). With the flex pass, you will have to activate the dates on which you are using it online (you'll get the instructions when you get the pass) and if someone checks it on the day you didn't activate it for, you may get a fine. It might be simpler/cheaper to buy a local ticket if you need it for just one or two short rides on those days and keep your Swiss Pass for the days when you embark on the much more expensive journeys.

Jacqi C

Sunday 3rd of March 2024

Thank you Jurga, for your Travel Pass explained, you saved my sanity! The official sites are good but not usually for a first-time visitor. Like how you explained one should board the N1 trolley and not the bus from Lucerne railway station to get to Kriens. Additionally, your guides to Lucerne and the various day trips from the picturesque city are very insightful. I am now confident with my decision to take the acclaim Swiss public transportation from Geneva to Lucerne in the spring for a girls' trip. Fingers crossed ;)


Monday 4th of March 2024

Glad to help, Jacqi. Have a great time in Switzerland!

John Altshuler

Tuesday 27th of February 2024

Most helpful discussion of the various Swiss passes I've seen so far.


Wednesday 28th of February 2024

Glad to help, John. Have a great time in Switzerland!

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