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Driving in Switzerland is not much different from driving in any other European country.

 

Switzerland is small and 7.8 mio people move around in limited space, so traffic jams are frequent, especially in agglomerations, cities and also on motorways. Driving too fast is sometimes not even an option, but this does lead to road rage once in a while.

Cities were built before motoring came into the occasion. Therefore, city streets can be pretty narrow and parking is limited. It can get confusing if you are not familiar with the place. Most of my guests from overseas are glad when they don't have to drive. To avoid city driving, use the so-called P&R (Park and Ride) - parking with access to public transportation at the city's periphery.


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Overall, road conditions are excellent, and Switzerland is amongst the countries with the least accidents. But driving in the Alps can be quite challenging. It's pretty much going up and down and around corners all the time. Stretches of roads can be one way and not all roads are paved in an alpine setting. 53% of accidents occur on secondary roads. You might want to think twice before driving in Switzerland, and instead take advantage of the excellent public transport system.

 

On the other hand, driving in the Alps adds a tad of excitement to the occasion. A road trip through the Swiss Alps could be that place to enjoy a ride in a sports car or flick up passes on a motorbike. After all, what good is a Porsche or a Moto Guzzi on flat land?

Getting around in this country is expensive, no matter which mode of transportation you choose. Renting a car could cut travel expenses a little if you travel in a group of friends or as a family.

 

To avoid confusion about road types, I use the following description (E/G/F/I):

  • Motorway (freeway, expressway) for Autobahn/Autoroute/Autostrada
  • Highway (secondary roads) for Hauptstrasse/Rue principale/Strada principale
  • Rural roads (secondary roads) for Nebenstrassen/Routes hors localité/Strade extraurbane principale.
  • Residential streets for Innerorts/Rue localité/Strada località
  • Residential zones for smaller areas within a city, town or village with a high-density population, school zones etc.

 

 

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