Public transport is comprehensive. Train travel is comfortable, hassle-free and extremely scenic, with many mountain routes attractions in their own right. The national network, run by SBB-CFF-FFS, is seamlessly integrated with the many routes, especially Alpine lines, operated by local companies.

Buses take over where the rails run out – generally yellow postbuses, departing from train station forecourts. InterRail, Eurail and various Swiss Passes give free travel on SBB and most minor lines, plus discounts on boats, cable cars and mountain railways (specified in the text as “IR”, “ER” and “SP” respectively). Bargain Supersaver tickets are available up to two weeks in advance at rail.ch. Postbuses are free with Swiss Passes – although some routes over Alpine passes command a supplement – but not with Eurail or InterRail. There are also regional passes such as the Tell Pass in central Switzerland (tell-pass.ch) or the Léman-Alpes Regional Pass (goldenpass.ch), both giving some days of free travel and others at half-price.

Most lake ferries run only from April to October, and may duplicate routes covered more cheaply and quickly by rail.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

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