Updated on: April 2, 2024

3 SBB Day Passes you need to know about

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SBB Day Passes are a wonderful invention. They grant you the freedom to hop on any train, bus, boat or tram you like without having to worry about buying separate tickets. Plus, if done right, they can help you save money in the process.

In this post, I'm going to introduce you to my three favourite SBB Day Passes that I think you should be aware of if you plan on visiting Switzerland by public transport.

By the way, depending on your travel plans, a day pass can be a great alternative to the Swiss Travel Pass.

Here are some ideas on how you can put the following day passes to use:

  • Take a ride on one of the famous Swiss scenic train rides like Glacier Express, Bernina Express or the Golden Pass Line. The following day passes are valid on all of them. Please note that some trains require you to make a seat reservation, though, which isn't included in the day pass.
  • Visit Mount Rigi or Stanserhorn. These two mountain railways fully accept the SBB day passes at no extra costs. For other mountain railways in Switzerland, you'll still need to buy a ticket, even if you have a day pass.
  • Plan a cruise across one of our many lakes with your day pass. Lakes Brienz, Thun, Lucerne, Geneva, Constance, Zurich, Neuchâtel and many more accept the SBB day passes. One trip I like a lot is the one where you catch the boat from Lucerne to Vitznau, visit Mount Rigi and ride back to Lucerne by train. All rides on this trip are included. The same goes for the boat ride from Lucerne to Stansstad, the funicular and the gondola to Mount Stanserhorn and the train back to Lucerne. Just to give you an idea.
  • If the weather isn't perfect where you are but you see that the sun is out in another area of Switzerland, which is often the case with our sunny southern Canton of Ticino, nothing is stopping you from hopping on a train, bolting through the Gotthard tunnel and grabbing some ice cream in the sun by Lake Lugano or Locarno.

Now, let's take a closer look at those three day passes and what they're all about.

1. SBB Saver Day Pass

I'm going to start with my absolute favourite with a really good price-performance ratio. You can book this dynamically priced ticket up to 6 months ahead of time. The sooner you book, the higher your chances of getting a good deal.

Prices start as low as 29 CHF in combination with a Swiss Half Fare Card. But you really have to be lucky to get such a good deal as they sell out very quickly. Once they're sold out, the next higher price becomes available, which is usually still very good.

As soon as you know on which date you wish to travel, it makes sense to start looking out for a Saver Day Pass.

  • Price with Swiss Half Fare Card: starting at 29 CHF in 2nd class / starting at 49 CHF in 1st class
  • Price without Swiss Half Fare Card: starting at 52 CHF in 2nd class / starting at 88 CHF in 1st class
  • Time of validity: Valid on the day you bought it for (until 5:00 am the following day)
  • Area of validity: Everywhere according to this map
  • Cancellation policy: not cancellable and non-refundable
  • Conditions: non-transferrable

2. SBB Day Pass in combination with the Swiss Half Fare Card

This day pass differs from the Saver Day Pass in two main ways:

  • It always costs the same, whether you buy it 5 months or 5 minutes ahead of time.
  • You have to have a Swiss Half Fare Card in your pocket to be able to buy it.

Other than that, the advantages are the same as with the Saver Day Pass.

  • Price 2nd class: 79 CHF
  • Price 1st class: 128 CHF
  • Time of validity: Valid on the day you bought it for (until 5:00 am the following day)
  • Area of validity: Everywhere according to this map
  • Cancellation policy: cancellable up to 24 hours in advance if bought here through Swiss Activities
  • Conditions: non-transferrable

3. Friends Day Pass Youth

Ok, I know I said that the Saver Day Pass was my favourite. But that's only because I'm older than 25. If I was younger, the Friends Day Pass Youth would definitely be my go-to pass every time I planned a trip with my friends.

This beauty allows you to travel across all of Switzerland with a total of four people. All at an unbeatable price of 80 CHF. Per group!

It is tied to a few conditions, though, which I'll get to in a minute. But if you plan on visiting Switzerland with your friends, you don't even have to consider buying a Swiss Travel Pass or any of the other travel passes. This one will be the absolute best deal you'll find. So, to all my dear young budget-conscious backpacker friends out there: look no further than the Friends Day Pass Youth!

  • Price 2nd class: 80 CHF
  • Price 1st class: 120 CHF
  • Time of validity: Valid on the day you bought it for (until 5:00 am the following day)
  • Area of validity: Everywhere according to this map
  • Cancellation policy: cancellable up to 24 hours in advance if bought here through Swiss Activities
  • Conditions: valid for a group of up to four people travelling together
  • Age restrictions: All members of the group have to be younger than 25 years old

There are several more SBB Day Passes out there like the day pass for dogs, children or bikes. If you're interested in those, check out this site on Swiss Activities. Otherwise, you're all set with your knowledge to plan your trip to Switzerland by public transport. Enjoy the ride!

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15 spectacular mountain railways in Switzerland
How to activate and use your Swiss Travel Pass
5 budget-friendly alternatives to the Swiss Travel Pass
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