Talk about convenient. A rail pass that includes a nation's entire long-distance network plus urban transport in more than 75 cities PLUS entry into more than 470 museums? Thank you, Switzerland, for offering visitors the Swiss Pass providing exactly these options plus a whole lot more.
Switzerland has one of the densest and most useful rail networks in the world. Basically, every city, town, and village, has either rail service or bus service connecting to the trains, making Switzerland one of the very few countries where every place within its borders is reachable by public transport, plus a few in neighbouring countries, too. Not only is the service expansive, it is also frequent and famously punctual.
For travellers, this is a joy. It also brings spontaneity back into the fun of travel. Wake up in the morning and ask yourself, "Where should I go today?" and then just find a comfy seat in First Class to take you to Switzerland's many beautiful sights. Being based in a city like Lausanne, a railway crossroads of the country, facilitates this kind of exploration with daytrips possible to dozens of places such as Neuchâtel to see the amazing automatons at the city's Museum of Art and History; Martigny-la-Romaine to visit the latest exhibit of ancient relics in a former outpost of the Roman Empire, the charming town of Murten with its mediaeval fortifications; and of course any number of towns along the beautiful shores of Lake Geneva, including Evian-les-Bains on the other side of the lake. Yes, the Swiss Travel Pass even allows for travel into France with CGN boats from Lausanne to Evian and Swiss Railways trains to Chamonix and Mont Blanc—just in case there are not enough mountains and glaciers in Switzerland to satisfy the avid mountaineer. The same can be done by basing oneself in another city such as Zurich, from where a whole different set of daytrips is possible to places such as Luzern, Basel, Interlaken, and Lake Constance, not to mention little Liechtenstein with its excellent art museum courtesy of the richest royal family in Europe.
Of course, the pass is useful for more than daytrips. Get into the heart of Switzerland and visit famous resort towns such as Gstaad, Zermatt, and St Moritz both in winter and in summer, when the slopes are covered in flowers instead of snow.
Unlike high-speed trains in France, Italy, and Spain, seat reservations are possible but not compulsory on Swiss trains, which means any unreserved seat is available for passholders, who simply flash their passes to the conductor and carry on with their journeys. Adding to the convenience is arriving in a new city and not having to buy tickets for transport from the railway station since urban transport in all major towns and cities is already included in the Swiss Pass. And once settled into the hotel, the exploration can begin by showing the Swiss Pass at museums and tourist attractions that permit free entry with the pass.
Congratulations to Switzerland Tourism for understanding the needs of busy travellers and making their travel experiences easy and stress free.