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Swiss railpass to/from Chamonix

I'll be visiting Switzerland in September with a Swiss Pass, which is also said to cover rail travel to & from Chamonix, France. How does one actually accomplish that trip, since I understand that the French trains require seat reservations? When I travel from Switzerland to Chamonix, do I need to have a reservation for the French portion? How about when I return from Chamonix to Switzerland? Do I have to purchase a reservation or some sort of ticket in Chamonix in order to ride back to Switzerland with the Swiss Pass?


Posted by
9058 posts

Only high-speed TGV trains require reservations. Trains that run from Switzerland to Chamonix are local trains. With a Swiss Pass all you gotta do hop on the train; no extra ticket or reservation needed.

Posted by
16890 posts

No reservation either way; just jump on. You'll see the route via Martigny reflected on the map you receive with your Swiss Pass and all the fastest train schedules departing Chamonix-Mont Blanc will also route you that way. The most objective source for seeing which trains require reservations is the DB train schedule.

Posted by
8889 posts

I checked the Swiss pass validity map (see, Chamonix is valid even though it is not in Switzerland.

As the previous posting said, reservations are only needed on high speed and some long distance trains. Local trains (90%+) of trains you just turn up at the station, buy a ticket and get on the next train. There are no reservations on Swiss internal trains.

Posted by
3947 posts

What Michael and Laura said . Just a little further information - You will arrive at Martigny , the rails on the other side of the platform are those of the Mont Blanc express operated by TMRSA - . This segment of the trip is strikingly beautiful as the train leaves Vernayaz and climbs up into the Trient Valley on its way to the border . The views of the gorge and the little villages perched above the valley floor are beautiful . When I took the ride this past fall , there was still a bus substitution on the leg between Vallorcine and Argentiere ongoing due to major improvements on the line , but that is over now and it's rail the whole way . You will also change to a TER ( local ) French train at Chatelard or Vallorcine ( can't remember which ) for the remainder of the ride to Chamonix . Two stops in Chamonix - Chamonix Gare and Chamonix Aiguille du Midi - The location of your hotel will inform which stop is best ( check the map ) . Be sure to have your camera ready and pop open the train window to rid your pictures of reflective glare . This is real eye candy !