How to Book Train Travel From Zurich to Basel


As the third-largest city in Switzerland and a major hub of the European pharmaceutical industry, Basel is a popular destination for both tourists as well as business travelers. Only about an hour away by train from Zurich, the trip between the two cities is quick, comfortable. It's also quite scenic. Follow these steps to start planning your trip.

Things You'll Need

  • A passport
  • An Internet connection

Plan Your Trip from Zurich to Basel

  • Research your route to determine if you'd like to travel directly to Basel or if you'd like to squeeze in a couple of side trips along the way. Because the distance between Zurich and Basel is so small, you should have plenty of time to stop and check another city off your list. If you happen to be traveling on the first of August, stop in Olten for the annual fireworks display on the river.

  • Decide on the time of day you'd like to travel. The first train leaves the Zurich main station at 5:34 a.m. The last train leaves the station at just past midnight. Between these hours, you'll find trains leaving on average every 10 minutes.

  • Consider grabbing a bite to eat on the train if you'd like to maximize your time. The Swiss Railways Web site (see Resources below) informs the traveler as to which amenities each train features. If you'd like to eat or have a drink, make sure you choose a train that has a restaurant car.

Book Your Ticket from Zurich to Basel

  • Access the English-language version of the Swiss Railways Web site (click on the link in Resources below) for the latest timetables for the trip from Zurich to Basel. You'll notice that there is no shortage of possibilities for travel. There are as many as 12 trains per hour during peak travel times.

  • Book your ticket on the Swiss Railways Web site if you have planned far enough ahead to allow it. The Web site allows you to buy the ticket and then print it up on your own printer if you have one. You can also pick the ticket up at the train station.

  • Book your ticket at the train station if you'd prefer. The main ticket window in the Zurich station opens at 5:30 a.m. and remains open until 11:15 p.m. Don't worry if a train is full; there will be another one in a few minutes.

  • Call Rail Europe at 877-257-2887 to book train tickets from Zurich to Basel if you'd prefer not to book online.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ticket reservations are rarely necessary for this trip. There are literally dozens of trains available.
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