Whether you are holidaying in Zurich or simply visiting Geneva, you must definitely take a road trip to Switzerland. Why? There is a long list of answers to that question. The unparalleled natural beauty of the country is on the top of that list. The picturesque views will leave you spellbound. The best options to head for road trips in Switzerland are by taxi or rent cars. Though hiring a taxi is a bit expensive, you have the option to hire a car for the whole trip. You will drive through the Alps, lakes, farmlands and cities. Gear up for the best scenic drives in Switzerland!
- The best road trips in Switzerland
- Other road trips in Switzerland you must take
- FAQ Section
The best road trips in Switzerland
- Zurich to Lake Lucerne
- Lucerne to Interlaken
- Interlaken to Grindelwald
- Grindelwald to Thun
- Thun to Bern
- Bern to Montreux
- Montreux to Geneva
The best and convenient ways from Zurich to Geneva. If you are in Geneva, follow this order in reverse. This covers routes via multiple lakes, villages, cities. Going on a road trip in Switzerland is the best way to unravel the beauty of this country at your pace.
1. Zurich to Lake Lucerne
Start your trip from Zurich, the largest city of Switzerland towards Lake Lucerne. You will get a rental car/taxi quite quickly from here. You must take this trip because this is easily one of the best scenic drives in Switzerland. After passing a few tunnels and driving across multiple farms, you will reach Lucerne within 45 minutes. Once you reach Lucerne, you can go for lunch on a cruise or take a walk around the lake. Some places to visit around Lake Lucerne are Mt Pilatus, Mt Rigi, etc.
- Taxi Fare- CHF 205
Tip: If you don’t want to leave anything out of your list, take a halt to admire the beauty of Lake Zug.
2. Lucerne to Interlaken
Interlaken is an hour away from Lucerne by road. This is one of the most famous road trips in Switzerland. And if you are in Switzerland, you can hardly avoid the majestic beauty of the mountains. After driving amid these mountains and green fields, you will cross the famous Lungern Tunnel. Then you will be greeted with the pretty & mesmerising view of Lake Lungern. After that, you will head towards Brunig Pass. Though located at an altitude of 3307 ft, the road is well maintained. Adding beauty to this road trip of Alps is the Lake Brienz as you will drive alongside. From there, the city of Interlaken is 14 minutes away.
- Taxi Fare- 268.47
Tip: Stop to take a closer look of Lake Lungern and Lake Brienz if you have time.
3. Interlaken to Grindelwald
Be prepared to be awe-struck as you head towards the beautiful little village of Grindelwald. During the hour-long hour drive, you will pass through several charming villages and farmlands. As soon as you reach Grindelwald, take rest and get ready for one of the best experience in your life. And if you don’t want to rest, hop on to a gondola and reach First, a summit of Mt Schwarzhorn.
The view from the First Cliff Walk is simply breathtaking. You can also visit the Bachalpsee Lake from there. Do not forget to catch the train from Grindelwald towards Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe. If you like trekking or skiing, you have plenty of options to enjoy both. Now you have covered a beautiful Bernese Alps road trip.
- Taxi fare- CHF 93.48
Tip: Spend a day here and discover this paradise at your pace.
Also See: Most Beautiful Villages in Switzerland
4. Grindelwald to Thun
After you have enjoyed the of Grindelwald, head towards what people consider as the most beautiful Swiss city, Thun. Even if you drive steadily, you will reach your destination within an hour. Thun is situated at the lap of Bernese Alps. Again, you can hardly avoid the mountains in this scenic drive. For most of the journey, you will move alongside River Aare. Before your arrival, you will be greeted with the view of Lake Thun or Thunersee. Every moment in this trip is frame worthy.
- Taxi fare- CHF 186.97
Tip: You can head towards Bern without halting as it is nearby.
5. Thun to Bern
In the series of best road trips in Switzerland, the next stop is Bern, the Swiss capital. It is just 28 minutes away from Thun. River Aare will join you again in this journey. The scenery will remain suburb more or less, before changing into the vibrant city of Bern. Though this is a short trip, the beauty remains constant. You have numerous places to visit in Bern, like The Parliament House, Cathedral of Bern, etc. Have lunch here if you didn’t stop at Thun.
- Taxi fare- CHF 151.87
Tip: Don’t miss out the iconic mechanical clock tower, Zytglogge and the UNESCO world heritage site Old Town.
6. Bern to Montreux
From the heart of Bern, the next stop is Montreux, a town located on the shores of Lake Geneva. This road trip to the foothills of Swiss Alps covers varieties of scenes. You will start your 1 hour 10 minutes’ journey from the city. You will then head towards suburbs and cross pasturelands and Swiss Alps. You will also pass through two beautiful artificial lakes, Lake Schiffenensee and Lake Lac de la Gruyère before entering Montreux. This is one of the most vibrant road trips in Switzerland.
- Taxi Fare-CHF 347.28
Must Read : 7 Best Mountains In Switzerland
Tip: If you have time, you can stop to visit Lake Murtensee. After reaching Montreux, you must visit Chillon Castle. A first-class train to the chocolate factory is waiting for chocolate lovers!
7. Montreux to Geneva
Though both the cities are situated on the banks of the same lake, the travel time is 1 hour 30 minutes. This is because Lake Geneva or Lac Leman is the largest lake in Switzerland. You will find France situated on the other side of the lake. The sight of the fresh blue water of Lac Leman makes it a refreshing road trip in Switzerland. You will pass through a stretch towards Lausanne, home to some beautiful vineyards. You can also catch a view of the Chablais Alps. The splendid beauty of this trip comes straight to the list of best scenic drives in Switzerland.
- Taxi Fare-CHF 374.83
Tip: Stop to discover the Lavaux region, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Other road trips in Switzerland you must take
The alternative route to Geneva*. Though it doesn’t cover many places, this route offers the best Alps road trip. Definitely not the less travelled by!
1. Interlaken to Kandersteg
It takes just 43 minutes by car to reach Kandersteg from Interlaken. This is popularly referred to as the best cross-country road trip in Switzerland. You will drive by Schiffahrts Kanal, which later merges into Thun Lake. After the scenic drive besides Thunersee, you will head towards an alps road trip. After crossing Blausee Mitholz, you will reach Kandersteg within 10 minutes.
- Taxi Fare- CHF 157.13
Tip: Visit Blausee Nature Park and lake if you have time. Take a day’s stop in Kandersteg.
2. Kandersteg to Zermatt
Since Zermatt is a car-free zone, you have to park the car in Tasch,5 km from Zermatt. In the 1 hour and 30 minutes drive to Tasch, you will cover the best alpine road trip in Switzerland. Zermatt is considered as the winter sports capital of Valais and for good reasons! It offers lovely long ski runs. While heading towards Zermatt, you will catch glimpses of numerous peaks.
After reaching Tasch, you can take the shuttle train, which makes you up to Zermatt. Zermatt is located at the height of 5310 ft above sea level. From here, you can take a closer look to Mount Matterhorn(Switzerland & Italy)- The Jewel of Swiss Alps. You can visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, the highest summer ski region in Europe. There is also a museum- Matterhorn Museum. You can go for an excursion at Gornergrat, located at a height of 10134 ft. You can also stay at Europe’s highest hotel there and enjoy the breathtaking view steadily. Gornergrat also offers Europe’s best panoramic view. Sounds serene, right?
- Taxi fare- CHF 269.83
Tip: Take a day’s halt if you want to get more of Zermatt.
3. Zermatt to Montreux
After taking the shuttle train from Zermatt to Tasch, the 2 hours journey towards the shore of Lake Geneva begins. Though you will find it difficult to bid adieu to the gigantic alps, they don’t really leave you till you reach your destination. Besides mountains, you will get the company of the Rhone river. It is also an exciting journey from the borders of Italy (Mt Matterhorn) to the border of France (Lake Geneva). Following the trails of houses and pastures, you will reach your destination. You can spend your two hours alpine road drive by capturing them in camera. Or you can just admire the beauty. Still, one can’t get enough of enchanting Switzerland!
- Taxi fare- CHF 540.49
1 CHF(Swiss Franc) = 0.88 Euro
The best time for road trips in Switzerland is between June to September. Though Swiss roads are well maintained, driving in snow can be difficult. Also, many roads are closed after heavy snowfall. If you still want to travel in winter, combine your journey with trains.
If hiring taxi becomes too expensive, hire a car for the entire trip. This is best for those who want to go on a short road trip and return to the starting city. Check the driving rules for hilly terrain if you are driving by yourself.
You might relate to Drake Bell’s this quote after your road trip:- “I’ve been to a lot of places while touring, but I’d have to say Switzerland was my favourite.”
Further Read: Exotic Honeymoon destination in Switzerland
1. Is it easy to drive around Switzerland?
Everywhere in the country is beautiful! It’s a small country, so easy to get around. A day out driving, meandering along the mountain passes (if they’re open), is just lovely.
2. What do I need to drive in Switzerland?
Road rules and traffic offences in Switzerland
Always carry your driving licence (and translation/ international driving permit/licence if appropriate), motor insurance certificate, a spare pair of glasses (if you wear glasses or lenses) and a red warning triangle (which you must place behind the car in an accident).
3. How many days are enough in Switzerland?
3 days. Yes, 3 days are enough to visit the important attractions of the beautiful country of Switzerland
4. Is it better to travel by car or train in Switzerland?
There are car free towns (e.g. Zermatt), car free regions (most of the Jungfrau region) and there are no roads to most peaks, so you’ll have to change to a train or cable car at some point anyway. It’s quicker to travel by car. This depends on the route, day and time.
5. How much is car rental in Switzerland?
On average a rental car in Switzerland costs $1721 per month ($57 per day).