Self drive vs trains/bus/boats in Switzerland

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4 posts
new member
Jun 16, 2017 - 6:11 AM

Hi, I wish to do switzerland next year in autumn. There will be four of us and am wondering if travelling by car is cheaper than taking the trains/bus/boats?

Please give me an idea. Will be doing Zurich, Lucerne, Engleberg and Bernese Oberland.

Total of about 14 days.



12325 posts
expert &
Jun 16, 2017 - 9:54 AM in reply to violetlam

Hi Violet,

Welcome to MySwissAlps! Assuming the 14 days of sightseeing/hiking/traveling by boats & cableways, traveling by car is not necessarily cheaper. Please read the below page if you haven't already and let us know if any questions remain: carversustrain

712 posts
top member
Jun 18, 2017 - 5:04 AM

Hi Violet,

If you are four people sharing the cost of a car, then the cost per person is one quarter of the rental price, fuel and parking costs. When travelling by public transportation, be it by train, boat, or postal car, then the cost is four times the cost for a single person. So renting a car might appear to be cheaper. But keep in mind that you cannot drive your car on the lakes and up to many places that are inaccessible by car. If this is your first trip to Switzerland, you just might find it easier to let the very efficient Swiss transportation system get you around. Zurich - Lucerne - Engelberg - Bernese Oberland (and then back to Zurich, I assume) does not seem to be a long itinerary and so you should investigate what might be the least expensive option: simply buying tickets for the route you have planned, buying a 14 or fewer day pass, or a half-fare abonnement. Keep in mind that passes also give you discounts on trips to places you will never go to by car, such as the Jungfraujoch in the Bernese Oberland, and also allow you to make extra trips that you might not have originally envisaged (like zipping over to Berne for a day).

Autumn is a wonderful time to visit Switzerland.

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