Family vacation Switzerland by road do's & don'ts

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Jim
Jim
1 post
new member
Jul 10, 2018 - 1:59 AM

Hi.. i will be travelling by road through Switzerland on my family vacation. I will land in zurich and stay there for two days. I have rented a car from zuric airport. what inputs can you share about parking rules and tariffs in zurich and interlaken?

please share inputs on do’s and dont’s while driving through switzerland.

thanks,

jim

Arno
Arno
11356 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 10, 2018 - 4:34 AM in reply to Jim

Hi Jim, and welcome to MySwissAlps!

We shared a lot of must knows here: www.myswissalps.com/ca r. Did you go through that already?

Feel free to let us know if anything is missing there and we'll be glad to help you out.

I wouldn't drive in Zurich itself. It's busy with a lot of pedestrian zones and one way streets like in many Swiss towns. Interlaken is rather small. You don't need a car in town but you can use it to explore the region (valleys and lake areas). Note that many areas, particularly the mountains and the Jungfrau region are car free.

Last modified on Jul 10, 2018 - 8:41 AM by Arno
fredch
fredch
56 posts
active member
Jul 10, 2018 - 11:05 AM

Zurich can be a bear with a car. In any city, park in the outer areas and take mass transport into the centers. On the expressways, go the speed limit, and unless passing stay in the right lane. Make sure that you have a Vignette allowing you to use the Autobahns. Rental agencies can give you any local tips and maps.

Arno
Arno
11356 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 16, 2018 - 6:20 PM

How are your preparations going Jim? Were the above links helpful?

Last modified on Jul 16, 2018 - 6:20 PM by Arno
Peterli
Peterli
629 posts
top member
Jul 17, 2018 - 7:58 PM

Hello Jim,

One thing that was not mentioned in the other thread that Arno has referred to is the Blue Disk for parking. These are to be used when you are lucky enough to find an open space, with blue lines on the concrete, and a sign indicating how much time you are allowed to park in that spot, and this is for free. The blue disk has an inside wheel that you rotate to show the time you arrived at that parking spot. In the attached photo, you can see that the disk has been set at 17h00, and the disk is then placed on the dashboard so that your time there can be controlled. If the sign says 2 hours of parking are permitted, you know you have to be back to move your car by 7 PM (19h00). The folks who have rented you the car should give you one of these disks.

Last modified on Jul 17, 2018 - 8:01 PM by Peterli
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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5163 posts
expert
Jul 17, 2018 - 10:49 PM in reply to Jim

Hi Jim -

I routinely fly into Zürich from the USA and stay a couple of days before I get a rental car downtown, saving the approx. 10% surcharge on the whole bill for airport rental, pick up a car after a couple of days and drive out. The drive into downtown from the airport is treacherous...easy to miss turns even with GPS. I don't drive sooner than that, except on rare occasions, because of jet lag. Used to take my luggage to the Avis office by tram when I picked up my car. Now, I have memorized the simple but nerve-wracking route from Avis to my hotel, so I get my car, then my luggage, then leave. If I miss a turn on my way to the hotel, I have a significant panic, because there are not many places to pull over and reconnoiter. The turns come up very quickly, and some are confusing because of the way the streets come together. Just as in the Boston in the USA, they paved the cow paths. No street grid. Everything comes up quickly as you are driving. Do you read German, for the street signs?

Once I had to leave town early in the morning, before the car rental office was open in downtown Zürich.

I rented late the day before and used a public parking place not far from my hotel from late afternoon until about 0730 0r 0800, then walked my luggage to the car and drove out.

Parking bill - 55 US dollars.

Are you detecting a pattern here?

Car rental for a family can be less expensive than train tickets or passes for the individuals. But, until you are familiar with the system, you' d do well to stay out of the cities. And, depending where you are going, you may have to park the car and leave it parked, in car-free villages and towns.

Have you considered travel by train and public transport? It is a lot easier on the driver, who gets to see the scenery that way. The trains are frequent enough that they don't really constrain your travels.

Slowpoke

Peterli
Peterli
629 posts
top member
Jul 18, 2018 - 3:59 AM

Hej Slowpoke,

<< Are you detecting a pattern here? >>

I'm waiting with baited breath to read about the "pattern" !! Or are you expecting Jim to reply ?

Lucas
Lucas
9609 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 18, 2018 - 5:54 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Wow. Even though I've driven in Zurich a fair few times I don't want to anymore after reading your post! :)

I never minded driving in Zurich myself. But. I agree though wholeheartedly that trains and public transit in general is the way to go in Zurich though - much simpler!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5163 posts
expert
Jul 18, 2018 - 8:05 AM in reply to Peterli

Hi Peterli-

<<"I'm waiting with baited breath to read about the "pattern" !! Or are you expecting Jim to reply ?">>

It is a rhetorical question. An answer is not expected. The pattern is that multiple posters have suggested that driving in a city is très difficile.

That is because the city of Zürich actively discourages driving in the city.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 18, 2018 - 8:07 AM by Slowpoke
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5163 posts
expert
Jul 18, 2018 - 8:20 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas-

Once you are used to it and know the traffic patterns it is easier. And, GPS certainly makes a difference, if you choose to pay the daily extra cost when you rent a car.

Also, in some parts of Zürich there is a vestige of a grid pattern, for instance in the Seefeld area, which helps a lot as long as the one way streets let you go in the direction that you wish.

For fun- have you come across the river into this intersection? (Image attached) Looks tolerable on a map, but is very confusing when you are doing it. Once or twice, I have still missed and ended up on Talacker.

Jet lag also makes a difference.

Naturally, there are a lot of one way streets, also.

Slowpoke

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Lucas
Lucas
9609 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 18, 2018 - 3:06 PM in reply to Slowpoke

I've walked that area a lot but not driven there. There are indeed lots of streets zig-zagging around the town.

I always have GPS with rental cars - either on my phone or with the rental. Definitely worth the cost, if any. And if I take a wrong turn nothing bad happens (so far) haha.

My wife gets frustrated easily but I have a very "easy come easy go" attitude. I make a wrong turn and a few minutes later I'm back on the right track.

Arno
Arno
11356 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 26, 2018 - 5:43 PM

Hi Jim,

Did the above replies help you out?

Peterli
Peterli
629 posts
top member
Jul 26, 2018 - 8:00 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Good question you have posed. Perhaps it would be good to refer Jim to the thread about driving dos and don'ts (etiquette) ?

Peter

Lucas
Lucas
9609 posts
expert &
moderator

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