City Transportation Switzerland

by Jaclyn

I am planning a trip to Switzerland in September and have read so much about the trains. However, I was wondering for example: my flight will land in Zurich and am planning to go to St Moritz or Schaffhausen for the Rhine fall.

I know there will be trains from Zurich to Schaffhausen. However, I can't seem to find any information on how can I move about once I arrive in Schaffhausen.

Maybe you can help me understand more?

1. Are there train services in the city of Schaffhausen itself too? Or what kind of transport is available for me to move about. Maybe even in other cities like Lucerne or Lugano?

2. Is there a website of the local transport service provider where their network map is indicated with the names of stations etc.?

Thanks a lot!

Answer to

City Transportation Switzerland

Hello Jaclyn,
I know it can be confusing planning city transportation. But don't worry, once you are in Switzerland, it's actually pretty easy. Generally speaking:

- Trains run between cities, towns and villages;
- Postal busses between smaller villages;
- Busses and trams run within cities.

You can get small schedule booklets (kind of a network map) at train stations (or tourist offices that are often located at train stations) to check connections within cities.

Or you can check connections via the official SBB time table, either online (link below) or upload their free app to your smart phone.

If you know the street address you can even check which tram or bus connects you from the train station to your final destination.

For your example:

Rhine Fall Visit with and overnight in Schaffhausen
The train from Zürich Airport will take you directly to Schaffhausen. Next day or same day if time permits, take the bus from the train station in Schaffhausen to "Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall" and return the same way. Or - for a little adventure - take the Tourist Train from Schaffhausen to the falls and back.

Schaffhausen is a very small but quaint city, easy discovered on foot. But there are city busses too. So depending on where you will be staying you can find out the connection on the SBB (Swiss Railways) website. For example enter the street address too: "Zürich Airport" to "Schaffhausen, Schweizersbildstrasse 20" (if that is the street address of your hotel in Schaffhausen) and it will tell you which train/bus you'll have to take and how long it will take from the bus, tram or train stop to the hotel on foot. But do ask at the hotel you are staying at if they have a pickup service or if you'd be better off taking a taxi from the train station, depending on how much luggage you have with you.

Rhine Falls on a day trip from Zürich
Board a train that will take you from "Zürich HB" (main train station) directly to "Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall" (change of trains in Winterthur), then continue from there via Schaffhausen back to Zürich HB.

As for going to St. Moritz
: Board the train at the Airport: Change of trains in Zürich HB (main train station) and Chur. Villages in the Engadin are connected by busses and/or trains.

If you travel with one of the Rail Passes, then city transportation is included on the day of travel. If you purchase a Half Fare or Swiss Card, you could buy so-called city tickets, available for larger cities and city transport is included too. If you purchase regular tickets while staying in cities you can buy tram/bus tickets at ticket machines (see video below).

Hope that helps.

Enjoy your "Tour de Suisse",

Comments for City Transportation Switzerland

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Thank you
by: Jaclyn

Thanks Fida!

Your reply has made me feel more at ease.
I have booked my holiday for September and am looking forward to the adventure. =)

Glad I could help Jaclyn,

Enjoy your Swiss trip!

Golden Pass
by: Jaclyn

Hi Fida,

As I was reading through the travel guides that I can find on the internet, and I was left wondering how things work at the train stations.

I will be having a Swiss Card for my trip and was wondering for all the train trips that I am taking, is there any "gantry" that the passengers will have to "tap" before proceeding to the platform to board the train or do I make my way straight to the platform once I enter the train station?

One more thing, I intend to travel from Interlaken to Luzern on the Luzern-Interlaken Express on a Saturday afternoon (21 Sep). In your opinion, is it recommended to do a seat reservation?

Actually for all the travel on trains (including the above Lucerne-Interlaken Express), will passengers be allowed to stand (in case the seats in the train are all taken)?

Thanks & Best Regards,

Luzern-Interlaken Express
by: Fida

Hello Jaclyn,

Swiss train stations are not too large and finding your way around is easy. Please do check my train travel guide.

After you bought the ticket at the counter or ticketing machine (you receive a 50% discount with your Swiss Card) you proceed to the platform. No ticket or personal control. Check timetables for departure time. The track/platform from where your train will leave is marked right next to the departure time. You will have to show your ticket and Swiss Card to the conductor once the train starts rolling.

If you insist in travelling in the panoramic coaches of the Luzern-Interlaken Express (Golden Pass Line operated by the Zentralbahn) then I recommend making a reservation in advance. If you prefer to gamble a bit and see if there's still a free seat when you arrive you can do that. Should all seats be taken in the panoramic coaches you always can find a free seat in the normal coaches.

Enjoy the scenic view on this trip - and I cross my fingers for nice weather!


Weather in Switzerland
by: jaclyn

Thanks Fida,

However your last statement makes me wonder how is the weather like in September? I hope it is not a rainy season.. (at least for the places I will be going like Zermatt, Interlaken, Lucerne and Zürich).

Apologies Jaclyn when I troubled you with my last remark.
I only meant to wish you well, because weather in Switzerland can be a bit moody. September is right at the end of summer and beginning of autumn and generally offers pleasant weather. It is my preferred month for hiking. Mornings are cool and the temperature during day time not too hot. You will touch different temperature zones though. Whereas Zürich, Luzern and Interlaken will have temperatures somewhere between 9 and 20 degree C (47 – 68 F), Zermatt will be between 4 and 15 C (40 – 60F) and the Jungfraujoch between -5 and 0 C (23 – 33F). On average there are about 13 days of precipitation – and all I wish for you is that you don’t get caught by any of these 13 days :)

All the best,

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