Travel Tips and Guide:
Travelling to Switzerland? You will find all the information you need here to plan and organize your holiday. In addition you will find travel tips and suggestions for travel preparation.
How to travel within Switzerland
Train, bus and boat are the best way to discover the delights of Switzerland. The Swiss public transportation network is modern, efficient, and safe. Buses, trains, trams, and boats allow you to conveniently explore the whole country.
Connections are guaranteed in all places. Where no train service is available, the journey continues by bus, boat or even mountain railway. Hence, interchange is simple and easy to handle all throughout Switzerland.
Trains always leave at the same minute after each full hour. Main inter-city connections run at half-hour intervals. At major traffic hubs, trains arrive every full and half hour. Bus and boat connections are perfectly coordinated with these regular-interval timetables. The complete timetable is available at sbb.ch or on the corresponding mobile app.
In Switzerland, the majority of trains do not require seat reservation. Trains offering seat reservation are indicated with an “R” in the timetable at sbb.ch. For panoramic trains with mandatory seat reservation, reservations should be made at the earliest convenience.
Travel by Air
A large number of airline companies land in Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern Belp. Swiss Int. Air Lines is the national carrier of Switzerland serving serves more than 100 destinations in 44 countries from its hub in Zurich, as well as from the airports of Geneva and Lugano.
Switzerland has five airports, one in the Swiss-French part, three in the Swiss-German part, and one in the Swiss-Italian part. The biggest and most international ones are Zurich and Geneva, which have connections to all major airports around the world. The other airports are located in Bern, Basel, and Lugano.
How to travel to Switzerland by car:
Switzerland is well connected to other European countries. Drivers must consider the following points:
• Driving licenses are accepted if they are in English. For all other languages, drivers are recommended to apply for an international driving license in advance (only valid if shown with the license of the driver’s home country).
• On Swiss highways, the general speed limit is 120 km/h (75 miles/h). In order to drive on them, it is necessary to buy the so-called “vignette”. It costs 40 CHF and is valid for 14 months, starting from the 1st of December of the year before the one indicated on the vignette and the 31st of January of the year after. Example: the 2020 vignette is valid from the 1st of December 2019 to the 31st of January 2021. It can be purchased at customs offices at the Swiss border as well as at post offices, motorway service stations, petrol stations, and selected retail outlets.
When renting a car in Switzerland, you must show a valid license that has been issued at least one year previously. Europcar is the leading car-rental company in the country: in over 90 stations, up to 5,500 vehicles can be rented, ranging from small cars to family vans, from luxury limousines to utility vehicles, and from convertibles to 4WD cars.
If your customers want to rent a car, our partners Europcar and Hertz are at their disposal.
Travel by Train
Straight from Frankfurt, Milan, Paris or Vienna right to the heart of the Alpine nation – comfortably and several times daily. Thus, your holidays in Switzerland begin in a perfectly relaxed manner.
How to travel to Switzerland by train
Switzerland is connected to Europe’s high-speed rail network. Trains from neighbouring countries such as Italy, France, Germany or Austria, and many other European countries operate to Swiss cities on a daily basis. Most trains include a restaurant and a bar, and offer other services such as quiet or business zones in 1st class or playgrounds for kids. Numerous high-speed trains connect cities in Europe to Switzerland:
Direct connections Approximate travel time
Berlin – Frankfurt – Basel SBB – Interlaken Ost: 10 h
Dortmund / Köln – Mannheim – Basel SBB: 5 h 10 min
Hamburg – Frankfurt – Basel SBB – Zürich – Chur: 9 h
Stuttgart – Singen – Zürich: 3 h
München – Lindau – Zürich: 4 h 45 min
Frankfurt – Basel SBB – Luzern – Lugano: 6 h 25 min
Wien – Zürich 7 h 50 min
Salzburg – Zürich 5 h 25 min
Innsbruck – Zürich 3 h 35 min
Bregenz – Zürich 1 h 50 min
Graz – Zürich 9 h 35 min
Paris – Basel 3 h 05 min
Paris – Genève 3 h 10 min
Paris – Lausanne 3 h 40 min
Paris – Zürich 4 h 05 min
Marseille – Genève 3 h 30 min (Jul-Aug only)
Milano – Basel 4 h 15 min
Milano – Bern 3 h 05 min
Milano – Genève 4 h
Milano – Lausanne 3 h 20 min
Milano – Lugano 1 h 20 min
Milano – Luzern 3 h 30 min
Milano – Zürich 3 h 40 min
Venezia – Zürich 6 h 30 min
Venezia – Genève 7 h
Mobile phone and emergencies:
When calling Switzerland, the country code is +41.
Useful numbers for emergency calls are:
• General emergency calls 112
• Police 117
• Fire service 118
• Ambulance 144
• REGA (helicopter rescue service) 1414
• Vehicle breakdown service 140
Pharmacies in Switzerland have a sign saying "Apotheke” (DE), “pharmacie” (FR), or “farmacia” (IT), and are usually open during regular business opening times (8 am to noon, and 2 pm to 6 pm, and on Saturday to 4 pm/5 pm). Some pharmacies (often at stations and airports) have longer hours and/or are open on Sundays.