Separate one-country rail pass vs. Austria/Switzerland pass???

Hello! My mother and I will be traveling through Austria and Switzerland for two weeks starting in mid June. We will need 6 travel days. Our itinerary is:

Vienna - Hallstatt - Salzburg - Lucerne - Gimmelwald - Zurich.

Does it make more sense to buy the one country pass for Switzerland and Austria separately? Are the discounts on high mountain trams better with the Swiss pass than the combo?

Can we buy a 2nd class pass for Austria/Switzerland? We are trying to travel as economically as possible.

If we buy separate country passes, how does it work with border crossing? Is one day used from each pass while crossing the border?

Are there senior discounts on the combined Austria/Switzerland pass?

Thanks so much!!!!!!!!

Official Answer
photo Travel Expert
Rail Europe Posted 5 years ago

Hello Liz,

Thank you for the question

Switzerland features 2 main networks – the ‘ basic’ network and the ‘ Swiss Travel System’ network. The basic network includes all major railway connections and boat companies to major cities and tourism areas, plus different bonuses in Switzerland.

The Swiss Travel System network includes the basic railroads, urban transportation systems, postal buses and all major mountain railways/cable cars. The Eurail Pass covers only the basic network.

The Switzerland and Austria Pass covers the ‘basic’ network and provides special prices for the famous Glacier-Express, the Gornergrat and the Bus connection between the Engadine (Switzerland) and Austria.

The Swiss Pass covers the 'Swiss Travel System’ network

In Austria, coverage is exactly the same as with an Austrian Rail pass.

If you purchase a Swiss pass & Austria Pass separately while crossing the border one day would be utilized from each pass. If you purchase a combined Swiss & Austria pass only 1 day would be utilised from the pass

Hope this helps!!


Cijie, Rail Europe Travel Expert

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Comments (2)


Thanks, I REALLY appreciate your reply!

photo Travel Expert

Hello Liz,

Thank you for your comment.

Happy to help you always!!


Cijie, Rail Europe Travel Expert

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