Have you ever found yourself standing in front of a ticket machine and decided that flying an airplane would be easier?
I have. And it wasn’t pretty.
I’ve also witnessed my share of confused travellers who’d just arrived at Zurich Airport and tried to buy their ticket. That wasn’t necessarily pretty, either.
To spare you that same dilemma when you’re in Switzerland, I've put together a quick step-by-step guide on how you can buy your Long Distance Ticket without any sweat and tears.
1. Find a ticket machine that looks something like this.
2. Tap anywhere on the screen to wake the system.
3. Pick your preferred language.
4. If your destination isn’t listed on the left, select "Alternative Connections".
5. Enter your destination. Technically, you could change your departure point as well if you’re not leaving from the station you’re buying the ticket from.
6. Start typing your destination until it shows up on the list.
7. I recommend selecting the direct route here.
8. Choose one-way or return.
9. Choose first or second class.
10. If you have a Half Fare Card, which costs 120 CHF and is valid for a month, you can buy a cheaper ticket. Without the Half Fare Card, you’ll pay the full price.
11. Choose the date on which you wish to travel.
12. Double-check if everything was processed correctly. If you’re happy with the result, pay either by card or cash.
As you can see, using a ticket machine takes quite a few steps. Fortunately, it's quite intuitive and if you know what you want, you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.
However, those machines can do so much more than just sell normal tickets. But for more complicated journeys, like a roundtrip via different cities over the course of several days, I recommend you find a counter instead and skip the machines.
Oh. And don't forget to check out this post for more information about Swiss public transport. 🙂