train ride from Munich to Switzerland

Hello all,

We plan to spend 15 days in Switzerland, and plan to get the swiss saver pass. However, we will fly in to Munich, and therefore need a train ride from Munich to Switzerland (our first stop will be in Lucerne). Does any one know if the swiss pass gives us any discount on this train ride? Last year for our ride from Zurich to Munich, the train station person only charged us 20CHF for the reservation, but the conductor on the train asked us to pay the full price for the ride.


Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12953 posts

I know of no discount with a Swiss pass for the German part of that route. Walk up price in Munich would be €38-45 per person, depending on the class of train you take. That would be for a German Rail ticket to the first station in Switzerland (St. Margrethen); your Swiss pass would be valid from there, although you might have to get off the train in St. Margrethen to have your pass validated by Switzerland.

There are discount tickets available from the Bahn, but they are advance purchase, train specific, non-refundable, so you would risk losing them if your flight were late. If you were willing to spend your first night in or around Munich, you could pick up advance purchase Europa-Spezial Österreich tickets, online, for as low as €19 per person to St. Margrethen and use the Swiss Pass from there. If you didn't want to use your Swiss Pass that day, you could get a discount fare from the Bahn as low as €39 pP all the way to Luzern.

Lastly, if you wouldn't mind a slightly (~1 hr) longer trip on regional trains, you could buy a €27 Bayern-Ticket in Munich and P-P tickets from Lindau to St. Margrethen (€6,80 pP) either in Munich or in Lindau, and then use you Swiss Pass once you get to St. Margrethen.

Posted by Steven
Ottawa, Ontario,, Canada
521 posts

Hi Lauren,

It is possible to purchase a ticket from Munich to the border, instead of all the way to your stop. Just go to the ticket window in Munich, let them know you have a Swiss pass, and they will sell you a ticket to the border. That way, your ticket will cover you in Germany, and then your Swiss pass will take over after that. Just make sure you show both to the conductor. I had to do this when crossing from Austria into the Czech Republic and it was no trouble.

As well, make sure you get your Swiss pass validated at the Munich train station before you leave. If you do not, the conductor might charge you a fee to validate your pass on the train.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12953 posts

There are a lot of ways to get from Germany to that part of Switzerland.

You can go to Mannheim or Karlsruhe, then up the Rhein to Basel, or

you can go south from Stuttgart to Schaffhausen, or

you can go to Friedrichshafen and cross the Bodensee by ferry into Switzerland.

Probably the most direct way is via Lindau and around the east end of Bodensee. That route takes you through a little bit of Austria (Bregenz), so a ticket to just the German border will not work, you need a ticket to the Austrian-Swiss border. St. Margrethen is right on the border, in Switzerland.

Stephen, do you know for sure that German Rail can validate a "Swiss Railpass"? They can a Eurailpass, but a Swissrail pass?

Posted by Martine
Ottawa, Canada
581 posts

i got my swiss pass validated in Lindau Germany, last september.