There’s public transport, and then there are the Swiss trains. Really, with or without a baby, it’s hard to beat this country’s train system. The system is extensive, trains run on time (and coordinate with buses and ferries, if you’re connecting to do some scenic sightseeing), and the views are often superb. Be warned, like most things in Switzerland, it’s not cheap, so if you’re planning on doing a fair bit of train travel in Switzerland (who wouldn’t want to?), invest in a Swiss rail pass and you’ll save a ton of money. (Bonus: children under 16 travel free when accompanied by a guardian who is on the pass – nice!) If you’re planning to travel by train in other parts of Europe as well, you can use Rail Europe to book your rail pass.

Swiss trains with a baby or kids: don’t miss the family carriage.

Swiss Trains Family Carriage with plenty of room for a pram and bikes
On Swiss trains the family carriage has plenty of room for a pram (and bikes!).

Money aside, there’s one amazing aspect of Swiss rail travel many parents miss: the family carriage.

They’re not on all services, but are usually found on the busier, intercity trains and the express trains. The family carriage is usually depicted with a mural on the outside (but if you can’t find it – just ask a guard on the platform which one it is).  Once inside, there’s plenty of space for prams (also bikes). But don’t be fooled into thinking this is the best bit.
Go up one flight of stairs and you’ll find a playground, perfect for kids under five. There’s a slide, things to climb in and on, and more coloured murals. ON A TRAIN!

Babies, of course, need vigilant supervision anywhere, but this is a really safe playground for babies in terms of gaps to fall through (nothing problematic) or steps with no rails (nope). So you may even find you are able to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee (there’s a person who will come past with a trolley of hot drinks for purchase).   Seriously: this is public transport heaven for family travellers.

Swiss Trains Family Carriage with baby playing in kids area
The Swiss trains’ family carriages are fabulous for babies and older kids.
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Aussie journalist, travel writer and founder of Sue White has always been a traveller. When her son was born, Sue knew her travel itch would still need regular scratching. But how do you travel with a baby under one and still have a good time? Is it even possible? Where do busy new parents discover practical tips to support those first few trips? To find out, Sue and her baby son travelled both Australia and Europe doing house sits and house swaps; cat sitting and car journeys; took on 24 hours flights and short domestic jaunts; travelled with friends, solo and family members; and cycled, drove, flew and train-ed around seven countries, all before his first birthday. Learn more about Sue.


  1. hi, this is great! I didn´t know they have these family carriages – we are flying to Switzerland in 10 days and will be using a few trains 😉

    • Oh excellent timing then! The way I discovered them was a bit of a fluke. I was flagging down the guy on the platform to ask where my booked seat was and he looked at us, my 11mth old and all the gear and pointed ‘this way’, very firmly. When we got in I thought it was because the bottom floor has all this great space for prams (and bike racks too)…but then after a few minutes I ventured upstairs and found the fabulous playground pictured above. After doing a few Swiss trains I learned to ask on the platform if there was one on that train OR to look for the colourful mural painted on the outside of the family carriage – another easy clue! Do report back here and let others know how you found it 🙂 – and happy travels.

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