Swiss train tickets bought abroad cheaper than those bought in Switzerland

Swiss train tickets bought abroad cheaper than those bought in Switzerland

A new report from Blick has found that Swiss public transport tickets are more expensive to book in Switzerland than abroad. Passengers can save up to 10 percent on their rail ticket in the alpine nation, if they book it with rail operators in Germany or France.

SBB tickets often cheaper on DB and SNCF websites

Blick discovered that rail travel between Swiss cities is often cheaper if you don't book your tickets on Swiss Federal Railways' (SBB) official website. For example, a second-class train ticket between Lausanne and Geneva costs 2,55 Swiss francs less on the Société nationale des chemins de fer Français (SNCF) website than it does on the SBB site. 

The same is true for Deutsche Bahn (DB), where a trip right across Switzerland from Chur to Geneva costs seven francs less on their website than on SBB. What’s more, people in Switzerland are free to book these tickets from DB, and can buy from SNCF, provided they have a VPN connection to France.

Cheaper tickets phenomenon confirmed by Swiss Federal Railways

Blick explained that the cheaper prices overseas for public transport in Switzerland is because of the Swiss franc’s near parity with the Euro. They found that rail operators abroad have been slow to compensate for the franc's heightened value, meaning that people in Switzerland can take advantage of the cheaper price in euros.

This phenomenon was confirmed by a spokesperson from SBB. In a brief statement, they said that “SBB has no influence on the exchange rate applied," and did not want to discuss the subject further.

While Blick did say that people in Switzerland are able to make use of this trick, they warned that Swiss customers might face additional fees on international websites. To get around this, Blick recommended using alternate payment methods like PayPal.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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