Switzerland easy with Swiss Travel System
Switzerland by train, bus and boat.
Enjoy stress-free travel by road, rail and waterway throughout Switzerland – with the Swiss Travel System. Take advantage of our special services for guests from abroad, including exclusive tickets, fare reductions on mountain railways and panorama routes, as well as many attractive extras.
Switzerland is an invitation to discover the the best panoramic routes in Europe. The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland can be started from any city of Switzerland. In fact there is no set direction but instead a list of routes and cities which are suggested. The Grand Train Tour can be undertaken using Switzerland public transport and the Swiss Travel Pass.
What is the Swiss Travel System?
Just imagine. A country where travel by public transport is as exciting as it is relaxing. All you have to do is come aboard!
The Swiss Travel System offers you 27,000 captivating kilometres of public transport. We offer the densest public transport network in the world. And exclusively for visitors to Switzerland a unique choice of travel tickets which cover the entire country. Trains, buses and ships are ready and waiting to take you in comfort to your desired destination. Rail services are regular and reliable, with train departures every half-hour or hour. And the Swiss Travel System also includes a range of attractive extras.
The Swiss Travel System at a glance
- 27,000 kilometres of rail, road and waterway routes nationwide
- Regular, reliable timetables with coordinated connections linking more than 150 public transport services
- World famous panorama routes; including the Glacier Express and Bernina Express
Services in the train
Travel in comfort – arrive relaxed.
Reaching your vacation destination with the Swiss railway system is a holiday highlight in itself. Modern trains and regular, reliable departure and arrival times ensure that you travel quickly and comfortably to any location nationwide. In addition, a wide range of passenger services is available on board and at the stations.
Explore a few of the many fascinating destinations in Switzerland
Zurich is top for leisure and pleasure. Gentle hills, peaceful woods, the unpolluted lakes and rivers, picturesque villages – and all just a stone’s throw from the Alps. Zurich is the ideal starting point for all kinds of varied excursions.
Enjoy the pretty old town, the trendy new Zurich-West district and the glorious lake. With opera, ballet, theater premieres, shows, musicals, art exhibitions in over 50 museums and 100 galleries, time never drags in Zurich. The famous Bahnhofstrasse and the Limmatquai are a shopper’s paradise. Over 1,700 restaurants and bars serve both traditional Zurich and Swiss dishes as well as exotic specialties. The evenings will leave you spoilt for choice: indoors or outdoors, anything is possible as far as the nightlife in Zurich goes.
Winterthur has blossomed from a former industrial town to a lively venue for all ethnic groups and types of culture. Winterthur is an important museum town – it has 17 in all – and also offers a wide range of culture, sports and entertainment. Amongst the numerous night clubs and bars you will also find the only bar in Switzerland that opens 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The Rhine Falls, the biggest waterfall in Europe, is just a 20 minute drive from Winterthur.
Rapperswil & Lake Zürich
Rapperswil, the riviera at the upper end of Lake Zürich, will charm you with its many attractions: the castle, the medieval old town, the historical wooden bridge and Knies Children’s Zoo. Equally, however, the Alpamare water park and Atzmännig slide & trampoline paradise are just as much part of this family-friendly destination. Summer or winter, the Lake Zürich region offers many opportunities for sport.
Baden, a historical city with a very lively present, is worth a visit, not just because of the Grand Casino Baden.
Even the residents of Zug never tire of the sunsets: when the sun goes down over the lake, the horizon goes blood-red, and all eyes turn to the romantic show of colour on the water. Equally charming is the historic centre of the town, best experienced by strolling its narrow and winding alleys, lingering on the pretty lakeshore and sitting at one of the many street cafés to watch the world go by.
Lucerne, the gateway to central Switzerland, sited on Lake Lucerne, is embedded within an impressive mountainous panorama. Thanks to its attractions, its souvenir and watch shops, the beautiful lakeside setting and the nearby excursion mountains of the Rigi, Pilatus and Stanserhorn, the town is a destination for many travel groups and individuals on their journey through central Switzerland.
Complete with gable paintings, the covered, medieval Chapel Bridge forms the centrepiece of Lucerne’s townscape and is considered to be one of the oldest, covered wooden bridges in Europe. A further landmark of the town is the Museggmauer, a wall which, with the exception only of one of its towers, has been preserved in its original, well-fortified state.
Historic houses decorated with frescoes line the picturesque town squares as they do the ‘Weinmarkt’ square in the car-free old town. Lucerne is a city of town squares and churches. The Jesuit church dating from the 17th century is regarded as Switzerland’s first sacral Baroque building and the twin towers of the Hofkirche form an integral part of the townscape. The figure of a dying lion which was hewn from the face of rock in remembrance of the heroic death of Swiss guards killed during an attack on the Tuileries in 1792 is one of the best-known monuments in Switzerland. And with its 112-metre-long Bourbaki panorama, Lucerne possesses one of the world’s few maintained, mammoth circular paintings.
By the beginning of the 19th century Interlaken in the Bernese Oberland had already become renowned for its impressive mountain scenery. Famous contemporaries such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Felix Mendelssohn traveled in these mountains. Interlaken’s success as a tourist destination was further enhanced by the completion of the Bernese Oberland Railway in 1890 and the Jungfrau Railway in 1912.
As a vacation destination and convention location of international importance, Interlaken is an ideal starting point for countless excursions. Over 45 mountain railways, cable cars, chair lifts and ski lifts lead to 200 kilometers of pistes and a dense network of hiking trails. Excursion ships, including historic paddle steamers, ply the waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
Basel is Switzerland’s oldest university city. Historic landmarks of the city include the large market square with its richly decorated red sandstone town hall and the late Romanesque-Gothic cathedral. During a walk through the old town, past small boutiques, antique book shops but also shops of modern designers, a visit to the “Läckerli Huus” to try the traditional Basel honey cake is well worth your while. Basel is tradition-conscious and open-minded at the same time, a fact born out by several modern buildings designed by renowned architects such as Herzog & de Meuron, Mario Botta, Diener & Diener and Richard Meyer.
Almost 40 museums make Basel the city with the highest density of museums in the country. Internationally known museums, such as the Basel Art Museum, the museum devoted to the iron sculptor Jean Tinguely, the Foundation Beyeler and the Museum of Cultures attract a great many visitors, as do several galleries and playhouses. Basel is among other things home to the symphony orchestra and the chamber orchestra as well as the musical theatre featuring international productions. And a wide range of classical and contemporary productions are shown on the stages of the Basel Theatre and the Playhouse.
Basel is a green city. The Botanical Gardens, several parks and the banks of the Rhine are perfect places to relax and linger for a while. And the Etoscha House at the zoo offers spectacular insights into the Namibian Savannah.
Canton Vaud, situated in the Lake Geneva Region, extends from the peaceful Jura Mountains up to the fascinating Vaudoise Alps and along crystal–clear and majestic lakes that blend into the authentic charm of the landscape.
Gently sloping vineyards border the shores of the lake, with the capital city of Lausanne across from the highest Alpine peaks. Lively towns and small wine-growing villages appear scattered at random. The region seems half dream and half reality, but the people in the farm villages who work the wheat fields on the plain above the lake, the inhabitants of the medieval towns and the original inhabitants of the castles have always had both feet planted firmly on the ground. In the quiet Vallé de Joux, nature remains unspoiled. The Jura mountains lie to the north and the Vaud Alps to the east, with lush pastures, chalet villages, mountain peaks and glaciers – as well as sunny ledges ready-made for a relaxed vacation and sporting adventures.
Much of the territory covered by present-day Switzerland is mountainous. For this reason, the Alpine passes have played a significant role in the development of the country, as have the powers that sought to control these important communication and trade routes.
The inaccessible mountains with their particular living conditions provided the area with protection and a great deal of freedom because they made it difficult for foreign powers to enforce their control in the longer term. This enabled the population to develop its own traditions and forms of government. This situation also favoured the neutrality that has been in force since 1515 and which has also served the neighboring countries by forming a safety zone between the European states. The state of Switzerland as we know it today only assumed its current form in 1848. Prior to this time there was no real Swiss history as such; rather, it was the history of the various territories that gradually coalesced up until 1848 in order to form modern-day Switzerland.