Bus Travel

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TRAVEL TIPS

Bus Travel

Switzerland's famous yellow postbuses (called Postautos, cars postaux, autopostali), with their loud tritone horns, link main cities with villages off the beaten track and even crawl over the highest mountain passes. Both postbuses and city buses follow posted schedules to the minute: you can set your watch by them. You can pick up a free schedule for a particular route in most postbuses; full schedules are included in train schedule books. You can also check the Swiss Post website. Watch for the yellow sign with a picture of the distinctive curly horn. Postbuses are handy for hikers: walking itineraries are available at some postbus stops.

There's also a special scenic postbus route, the Palm Express. This route goes from St. Moritz to Lugano via the Maloja Pass with a stop in Italy, so bring your passport. The buses run daily from mid-June through mid-October and from late December through the first week of January. From the second week of January to the first week of June and from late October to mid-December, the Palm Express scheduled is curtailed and the buses run only from Friday to Sunday. Reservations are obligatory and must be made by 8:30 am on the day of departure. They can be made online, as well as at any train station or tourist office. Passengers with a Swiss Travel Pass must pay an Alpine Ticket surcharge of 15 SF.

The Swiss Travel Pass gives unlimited travel on postbuses; however, you may have to pay a supplement of 5 SF to 20 SF on some Alpine routes. Check the timetables or ask the staff.

Be sure to ask whether reservations are required, as is the case for some Alpine pass routes.

Note that information about prices and schedules on the Swiss Post bus system are at least as readily available on the main Swiss train website, www.sbb.ch(which covers both national train and bus routes), as on the less-comprehensive Swiss Post website.

Bus Information

Swiss Post. 0848/888888; www.postbus.ch.

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