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Transports in Switzerland

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If you are moving to Switzerland, you will probably need to travel to your workplace or visit the country. Here is an overview of the country's transport network.

Switzerland enjoys a very developed transport network. You can choose from various modes of transport, whether you want to travel across the country, or to the neighboring countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein. Buses, airplanes, trains and trams, among others, are easily available. Roads as well as railway networks are modern and in good condition.

 Good to know:

If you are going to travel regularly by train, tram, bus or boat, you are advised to purchase the Swiss Travel card. The card is available in all bus and train stations, post offices, and will allow you to save considerably on travel fees. It also offers attractive travel packages to foreigners and frontier workers.

Aircraft

Switzerland has several regional and international airports, as well as many airline companies which connect the major Swiss cities with domestic flights. You can thus travel through the country by plane for your business or leisure trips. Rates are rather affordable. You can also benefit from flat rates during dry seasons.

 Useful links:

Swiss www.swiss.com
Swiss Air www.swissair.com
Edelweiss Air www.edelweissair.ch
Emirates Switzerland www.emirates.com
Easy Jet www.easyjet.com
Helvetic Airways www.helvetic.com

Train, tramway and subway

Setting out to explore the country by train can be a worthwhile experience. Swiss trains and subways, as well as regional and tourist trains connect the various regions to one another. You can also travel to the neighboring countries, namely France, Italy, etc., by train. Meanwhile, subway can take you to your workplace and shopping.

Tourist and regional trains are comfortable, secure and some are even equipped with bunks. In general, tickets can be purchased at the station. But advance booking is advised for long journeys.

 Good to know:

A trip to France can cost an average of € 29. To travel to England, you may need some € 59. Less than 6 years old children can travel freely while half-price applies to less than 16 years old children.

Tramway is also known to be one of the cheapest and most practical means of transport in Switzerland. In fact, most Swiss cities have a tramway network. Each company has between 3 and 13 urban lines.

 Useful links:

SBB www.sbb.ch
Appenzeller Bahnen www.appenzellerbahnen.ch
BDWM bdwm.ch
Chemins de fer du Jura www.les-cj.ch

Bus

There is nothing better than the bus to travel through the urban and rural regions. Buses are called “postal buses” in Switzerland. These are usually painted yellow and are available in the whole country. You can board these at the bus station or bus stops. Buses are very regular and comfortable and rates are low. You can even take your luggage during long journeys.

 Useful links:

Marti www.gpn.travel
Post Bus www.postbus.ch
Bus Miete www.busmiete.ch
TPG www.tpg.ch

You will need some CHF 50 to travel in the countryside. Urban rates are lower.

 Good to know:

Night buses are also available in major Swiss cities on week days as well as during week-ends. However, rates may be higher.

 Useful links:

Stadt Zurich www.stadt-zuerich.ch
RVWB www.rvbw.ch
ARLSA www.arlsa.ch
AAR www.aar.ch
Site du transport de Vevey-Montreux-Chillon-Villeneuve www.vmcv.ch

Taxi

Taxi is considered as one of the most convenient means of transport. But it is also most expensive. In general, taxis are equipped with a meter which starts soon as you board. However, you may be required to pay additional waiting fees in case of advance booking. You can also wave to them to stop in the street.

Rates are usually fixed in advance. Traveling fees are based on the distance covered. You will also pay additional fees in case you have luggage or a child seat. Note that tips are not required in Switzerland.

 Good to know:

Most taxi drivers speak English. Moreover, every taxi driver clearly shows his identity card in the vehicle for security reasons.

 Useful links:

Taxi Caller www.taxicaller.com
7x7 www.7x7.ch
Taxi Phone www.taxi-phone.ch
Taxi 444 www.taxi444.ch

Boat

You can also travel through Switzerland and to the neighboring countries by boat. In fact, ferries and cruise ships are easily available for sightseeing or other trips. Ferry tickets can be purchased at the port or on board. But advance booking is advised for cruise ships. Rates are rather affordable but additional charges apply for the transportation of vehicles.

 Useful links:

Swiss Navigation Companies Association www.vssu.ch
General Navigation Company www.cgn.ch
Thonon les Bains www.thononlesbains.com
Mouettes Genevoises www.mouettesgenevoises.ch
Lake Lucerne www.lakelucerne.ch

Rent a car

You can also rent a car if you have a valid driver's license. However, you will need to obtain a road access vignette. This vignette has a 14 months validity and is available in post offices, customs offices, oil stations, etc., at CHF 40, that is € 28. The sticker must be placed on the car's windshield, no matter to where you are traveling.

 Warning:

The absence of this vignette is liable to a fine amounting to some CHF 100.

 Useful links:

Sixt www.sixt.co.uk
Avis www.avis.co.uk
Hertz www.hertz.fr
Auto Europe www.autoeurope.co.uk
Swiss Car Hire www.swiss-carhire.com

 Good to know:

The speed limit is fixed at 80 km/h in cities, a maximum of 60 km/h in residential neighborhoods and at 120 km/h on the highway.

Bike

You can as well rent a bike if you want to ride in town or in the countryside. You will find bike rental agencies in almost all Swiss cities

 Useful links:

2em www.2em.ch
SBB www.sbb.ch
Velo Land www.veloland.ch
Pro Velo pro-velo.ch

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Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
2 Comments
taja609
taja609
2 years ago

A great load of useful information, it is rarely that I found such complete transport guide for Switzerland.

Reply
Twan
Twan
2 years ago

If you intend to travel regularly by public transport (bus, post bus, tram, train, boat), consider to buy a half fare card ("Halbtax", "Abo Demi-Tarif") at 175 francs per year. The card allows you to buy tickets at half rate (50%) during one year. Full fare tickets can be expensive (Bern-Zurich one way is CHF 50), with the half fare card, public transport prices are reasonable. The card usually pays off quickly. For instance, after 4 return trips Bern-Zurich, 6 return trips Bern-Lausanne or 8 return trips Geneva-Lausanne. If you travel a lot, consider to buy a all-Switzerland one-year season ticket (Generalabonnement, Abonnement General). You pay about 3,650 francs, so only 10 francs a day.

Reply

See also

Foreign nationals wishing to work in Switzerland have to apply for a work permit or residence permit from the federal government.
Ice hockey is the Swiss national sport. But several other sports including athletics, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, are also very popular.
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