Last Updated on 24/07/2023
Switzerland has good roads, although the terrain actively creates many problems. Their main feature is a large number of tunnels and excessive workload on weekends, holidays, the beginning and end of school holidays, when neighboring Europeans go on vacation together. Therefore, choose a normal day of the week for your holiday trip in Switzerland by car.
An alternative to busy tunnels can be a car transportation on a train. For example, Autoverlad Lötschberg will transport your car with up to 9 seats to Italy for 91 francs.
A couple of useful links
Expressways are toll roads. The cost of a vignette is 40 francs. It is valid for a calendar year and is glued to the glass. Cars rented in Switzerland already have a vignette, others can buy it at the border.
To travel from Lake Constance to the Rhine Falls or Stein am Rhine, you do not need a vignette, as you do not need to use the expressways. But if you are driving, for example, on the German autobahn through Karlsruhe and then crossing the border near Basel, they will force you to buy a vignette at the checkpoint, since the autobahn continues on.
A toll expressway map can be viewed at www.ezv.admin.ch (link on the side – Karte der abgabepflichtige Nationalstrassen). Some tunnels are also paid (tunnels Great St. Bernard, Munt la Schera).
Speed limits: 50 km/h – in the village, 80 km/h – outside the village, 100 or 120 km/h on the autobahn. Children under 12 years old must be in a child seat, all passengers must be wearing a seat belt.
And the classic set of rules for Europe. You can only speak on the phone using the freehand. Officially, the rule is “right before left” on the circle, but most of the circles have “give way” signs before entering, so in fact the one who is on the circle has the advantage. Do not stop on the side of expressways outside designated parking spots or outside safety pocket.
Since there are many tunnels in Switzerland, it is better to use sunglasses with a shade of no more than 1 grad, as otherwise you risk being in complete darkness in the tunnel.
Depending on which canton you are traveling in, road signs will be in the language spoken in that canton. Therefore, it is better to choose a route in advance and know the names of key cities in local languages.
Some road signs
- exit from the autobahn with indication of the number
Exit in different languages
- settlement on a high-speed road
- settlement on a regular road
- exit with indication of the city
Passes and road conditions
Mountain post road (Bergpoststrasse). Priority is given to buses that warn about themself with horn
- road markings
- one-way traffic with an exception for cyclists
Parking in Switzerland
Parking in Switzerland is not the easiest thing to do, especially in large cities. If the wheels go into the parking line, it can be equated with a violation of the parking rules and fined (one Swiss was forced to pay about 2,000 francs).
Parking spaces can be marked in white, blue or yellow.
You cannot park in the yellow zone.
Parking in Switzerland – blue zones
Blue zone – parking with a parking disc for 1-1,5 hours. If you arrive at 10 am, then you must set the disc at 10.30 and leave at 11.30. If you arrive at 10.29, then you also set the disc at 10.30 and should leave at 11.30.
Unless otherwise stated, if you arrive between 11.30 and 13.30, you can stand until 14.30. After 18:00 until 8:00 the next day, as well as on Sundays and holidays, you can park without a disc. Thus, if you park your car after 18.00, you need to leave the parking lot before 9.00 the next day.
In Zurich, you can order a day card (Tagesbewilligungen Blaue Zonen) online for 15 francs, which allows you to park during the day at any parking lot marked in blue in the city (www.stadt-zuerich.ch).
In Bern, you can buy the same card for 4 or 24 hours (9 and 16 francs), online, in BERNMOBIL machines, as well as at the addresses indicated on the website (www.bern.ch).
Also Tagesbewilligungen are sold in St. Gallen (6.50 francs).
Parking in Switzerland – white zones
White zones. Parking lots marked in white are mostly paid, and only very rarely free with unlimited or limited parking time. White parking zones are regulated by municipalities and have no common rules, therefore you should prove condition of “free” white parking on the local website or by local residents. For example, they might come up with a rule that you can only use free parking on a limited number of days per month.
Parking with parking disc
Parking with the connection to public transport …
… for example train
It is prohibited parking at the specified time and is allowed from 20.00 to 6.00
Parking in the zone is allowed with a parking disc only in marked areas (parking outside the markings is prohibited)
They can be of two types (and the second prevails):
the first is similar to the German one – with a ticket (Parkschein), which must be placed under the glass,
the second – with numbered parking spaces. Let’s look at the second type in more detail.
You need to press the number of the parking space, throw coins to get the right time. In this case, the coupon is not issued. The maximum parking time may be limited (for example, here – 1 hour).
Modern machines require you to enter a car number instead of a parking space.
Some parking machines also accept euros. What, for example, can this parking meter on the photo below tell us? First, here you need to enter the parking number. Secondly, you can throw both francs and euros, and it is equivalent. The indication of the euro is easy to miss, since the euro is not indicated on the white large piece of paper with the rates, they are indicated only in the designations of the coins. This is not uncommon, euro coins indication can be even more invisible.
What other information is new? Papers are not given – remember the time as you know. If you don’t have any euros or francs, you can use the Easypark or ParkingPay apps. I recommend download apps at home in advance on a good Internet.
About public transport in Switzerland – #transport in Switzerland