Switzerland rent a car, taxi and getting around

Getting Around Switzerland

By train

The best way to travel to Switzerland is by train. With trains that are perpetually on time, easy-to-follow routes and postcard-perfect views, you can never go wrong when you travel by train. However, we all know that Switzerland can be an incredibly expensive country to visit, and costly prices apply to trains too. Nevertheless, there are countless ways to make off-peak fares and discounts work for the family.

Swiss Travel Pass

An excellent choice for travellers who wish to cover considerable ground, the Swiss Travel Pass gives you bang for the buck. You can plan longer train rides, as well as visits to a few attractions that the pass covers. Good for a predetermined number of consecutive days, either 3, 4, 8, or 15.

Swiss Travel Pass Flex

This is a variation of the Swiss Travel Pass that lets you travel and use discounts within the same month.

Swiss Half Fare Card

This gives travellers a 50% discount on boat, bus, and train travel, as well as most mountain railways. A good option if you’re planning to go on shorter trips, it can also be used on local and regional public transportations in various cities and towns for a whole month.

Swiss Family Card

Free of charge and for children between the ages of 6 and 15 who are accompanied by parents holding a Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Travel Pass.

Swiss Regional Rail Pass

This is excellent for families that want to spend days exploring one particular area. There are passes for Lake Geneva and its Alpine Region. Priced for a fixed number of days, you select how many days you want from the list of options. One of the most popular Rail Pass is the Bernese Oberland Regional Pass which is available from the middle of April until October. You get access to most buses, cable cars, federal SBB trains, ferryboats, and most cog railways for 3, 4, 6, 8, or 20 days.

Eurail Pass

Although Eurail Pass does not provide a single-country pass for Switzerland, you can use the Eurail Global Pass in the country.

By Car

Most people don’t see the need to rent a car when in Switzerland because of the exemplary public transport, but it does present a few advantages. You can save precious time reaching smaller villages and stop for photos for as much and as long as you like. You can take your car and hitch a ride on the SBB to travel through the mountainous regions. The Autoverlad service is available for Lotschberg, Simplon, Furka, and Vereina.

The roads are generally in excellent condition with clear signs. Additionally, they are seldom pockmarked with holes, so you’ll have a pleasant journey, even if it is a long one. However, if there’s any chance of snow, you should only drive into the mountains if your car has chains or proper winter tires. You’ll see a blue road sign in areas where chains are required and the same sign with a red slash across it means that you are about to exit said zone.

By Bus

The iconic yellow Swiss portal buses navigate their way through the mountains and cover most rural places that trains don’t. A few routes, however, require reservations. Tickets can be bought from the driver using cash or at vending machines, service counters at post offices, and the app. Bus routes are available on the SBB app and website.

The Eurobus is the best for long-distance travel. It operates city-to-city routes in cooperation with Flixbus which sells the tickets through their booking systems. Book in advance so you can enjoy reduced fares. Tickets can also be purchased through the SBB, however, doing so won’t make you eligible for discounts. Bus journeys are longer compared to the train but you get to enjoy cheaper fares.

By Bike

Switzerland has magnificent scenery that’s best enjoyed when you travel slow and make necessary stops to take in all the beauty of the surroundings. The country’s terrific roads and miles and miles of bike paths make exploration by bicycle safe, comfortable, and quick.

A variety of companies rent bikes with helmets such as Rent a Bike, and you can take your pick from standard bikes, electric bikes, or mountain bikes. They also offer children’s bike seats, trailers, and tandem bikes to ensure that no one is left out.

Reserve your preferred bicycle online. Take note that there are bikes that have to be returned to the same station from which they were taken. However, other companies allow you to return the bike at a different location for a small fee. Bike rental prices vary, depending on the duration and model.

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