Cool Info for Parents in Lausanne, Switzerland

The Family Coach on Swiss Trains (Updated)

Have you been on the Family Coach of the Swiss (double-decker) trains? We’ve been there a few times now and it has been really great. The whole coach is dedicated to families, with spacious area on lower level to park strollers and a play area above. It can be found either at the beginning of end of the train, with animals painted on it (it would be hard to miss it!). The trains with these coaches are marked with “FA” on the time table.

There is also this nice corner reserved for family, which we have used happily many times now!

Here’s a shot of the play area, with a small slide and a boat.

Not all trains have this special coach yet. At the moment, these tracks have it:

  • St. Gallen–Zurich HB–Bern–Geneva Airport
  • Romanshorn–Zurich HB–Bern–Brig
  • Basel SBB–Bern–Brig
  • Basel SBB–Bern–Interlaken Ost
  • Basel SBB–Zurich HB–Chur

For more info, see CFF website.

Book: The Know-It-All Passport

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I hardly believed that I found out about this guide only after I lived in Lausanne for 3 years. I was looking for information about finding baby-sitters in Lausanne when one of the pages I browsed brought me to their website.

Two weeks ago I finally got my copy at Payot. The guide is very thick and quite heavy, and it costs CHF38. Browsing through, I get the feeling of going through a telephone book that has undergone a careful selection to accommodate the need of English-speaking families in Lausanne. Of course, unlike the telephone book, there are more useful information than just addresses and telephone numbers. However, browsing through their day-care center section, I found that many centers are not listed there. So, even with this book, I think sometimes I will still have to go to directories.ch. Click here for the table of contents.

The guide is published every two years and is constantly updated through the website. To buy one, you can order online, or just go to Payot in Lausanne (they have it in their English book section).

Travel: Family offers from Swiss Train (CFF)

When I got pregnant, I thought that maybe the time had come for us to buy a car. But at the end, we never did. The new metro m2 (which serves exactly our route from home to work/city/Ouchy) started to operate not long after the baby was born and we still enjoy traveling with train, especially since we both have the Half-Fare Cards.

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If you happen to be car-less like us, and like to travel with your child by train, make sure you check the family special offers from Swiss train CFF. There are a number of special tickets that can be purchase for children such as the Junior Card, Grandchild Card, Children Day-Cards, and even a discount for a general abonnement (GA-Plus Familia).

In addition, there are also trains with special coach that has a children play area. See more information about the trains and the routes here.

Bon voyage!

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