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Free rail travel for kids under 6 in Switzerland/Germany/Austria?

Free rail travel for kids under 6 in Switzerland/Germany/Austria?

Feb 15th, 2006, 03:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 35
Free rail travel for kids under 6 in Switzerland/Germany/Austria?

I'm trying to find out whether our 5-year-old twins can travel free by train across the borders between Switzerland into Germany, from Germany into Austria, and then back into Germany as long as they're accompanied by me and my husband on our paid tickets. The information on the Eurail/Rail Europe site seems to suggest, in conjunction with pass sales, that children 4+ have to have (paid) passes, although for individual country passes, e.g., Germany, kids under 6 are free. I've checked the individual websites for Swiss, German, and Austrian rail and each states that kids under 6 travel free when accompanied by their parents (in Germany, the child(ren) need to be named on the parents' tickets when the tickets are purchased, and in Switz. a free "Swiss Family Card" must be requested at the departure station).

So if we don't opt for passes for the adults and we just buy point-to-point tickets (e.g., Zurich airport to Lindau or Konstanz Germany, Garmisch to Salzburg, Salzburg to Munich airport), can the kids ride free with us?

One alternative I'm aware of for the Germany/Austria portions would be for all of us to travel on one "Bayern Ticket" since I gather this covers all of Bavaria as well as Salzburg, since it's right on the border.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!
germantour is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 03:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 65
In Switzerland children under the age of 16 travel for half price. When purchasing tickets you must ask specifically ask for a half price ticket.
elmothehobo is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 06:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Children under 6 travel for free in Switzerland as long as they are traveling with an adult. See http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/reisemarkt/...es-billett.htm

Also, in Switzerland children between 6 and 16 travelling with you travel for FREE if they have a Junior Card (Junior Karte) and are traveling with an adult with a ticket. The card costs about US$16. This includes all ferries, trams and buses as well. Take a look at rail.ch, in particular http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/reisemarkt/...uniorkarte.htm

I beieve this works even if the ticket the parent is holding is a Eurail pass, but you would have to confirm this.
Cicerone is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 11:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
years ago we had to have a family card, and with that our children never paid anything on normal trains in switzerland.

i don't rmember payng for it.. maybe things have changed.
lincasanova is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 05:38 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 35
Thanks to everyone for their feedback. We've decided to rent a car for most of the trip but will take the train from Zurich aiport to Konstanz (German side) where we'll pick up the car. I've been told the kids will be free, but will report back after my trip!
germantour is offline  

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