For members


SBB makes it easier to buy cheap international train tickets

Changes to the website of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) mean it is now easier to find and buy discounted tickets for train tickets to international destinations.

SBB makes it easier to buy cheap international train tickets
Changes to the SBB app won't be made until next year. Photo: SBB

Until recently, buying cheap train tickets from the SBB for travel from Switzerland to neighbouring countries has been a bit of a headache.

With popular “supersaver” tickets unavailable for purchase on the SBB website, anyone wishing to make the most of cheaper fares for destinations like Hamburg or Paris has had to go into an SBB ticket office in person.

Since late last year, anyone doing this has also had to pay a surcharge of 10 Swiss francs (€8.80).

Read also: All holders of Swiss Half Fare travelcard to get 15-franc credit

Alternatively, travellers have been forced to visit the (often) more user-friendly websites of Germany’s Deutsche Bahn or France’s SNCF.

Now, though, the SBB is upgrading its website to include the option of finding and buying discounted fares.

These changes are currently being rolled out in stages, and passengers can already find details of some cheaper fares to Germany and France on the SBB website (but not on the mobile app yet).

If saver tickets are available for a given journey, a grey banner titled “% Search supersaver tickets” will appear above the list of possible connections. The search results show prices for three days – the day of travel selected and a day on either side (see the image below).

For example, a search of the SBB website on Monday morning showed tickets were available for travel from Geneva to Paris for Tuesday for as low as 94 francs (against the full price of 171 francs).

A screen capture of the SBB website showing the default three-day view for a search for supersaver tickets from Geneva to Paris.

Other discount tickets also appeared as available for trips from Zurich to Hamburg (every day this week) and Zurich to Frankfurt (on Wednesday May 1st).

Discount tickets to destinations in other partner countries will become available on the SBB website over the course of this year, while changes to the app will be made in 2020, Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported.

Read also: Seven fun facts about Switzerland's famous train station clocks

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.