The Switzerland transportation network is extensive, which makes getting around easy. Whether you want to get to Geneva or are planning some alpine fun in Zermatt, going by train is one of the most popular ways to get to your final destination. Transportation in Switzerland isn't limited to trains, however. Many visitors opt to secure a rental car in Switzerland, which provides the most freedom of mobility. The only downside to having a car is figuring out where to park it. Thankfully, most of the Swiss hotels offer parking, and when finding a spot in the city proves difficult, parking garages are usually available. While applying for an international driver's license is a good idea when considering a rental car in Switzerland, most driver's licenses are accepted as are, including those from the United States and Canada.
For those who get a rental car in Switzerland, the country is full of excellent roads. It also offers superhighways that link all of the major cities. More often than not, the alpine passes are open, though they can close at a moment's notice during snowstorms. A number of American rental car companies operate in Switzerland, so American travelers should find the process of renting vehicles to be a breeze. It's a good idea to make sure that your rental car has an automobile permit. These stickers allow for use of the public roads and superhighways, and they are usually provided.
More than 350 million passengers rely on trains for getting around when it comes to transportation in Switzerland. Adding to the popularity of the trains is the fact that the Swiss Federal Railway keeps them clean and comfortable. Various high-speed trains make their way across the country, so getting from one destination to another can take little time. Some of the faster trains pass through Zurich, which is connected by high-speed rail to Paris. Basel is also a popular stop along the routes of intercity European trains, many of which come from Germany, Holland, and the Scandinavian countries. While hopping on a train on a whim is always a possibility in Switzerland, some visitors purchase their train tickets in advance. This is an especially good idea if you have a specific itinerary that you plan to adhere to.
Some travelers include Switzerland on a multicountry tour through Europe, in which case they often purchase Eurailpasses, which allow them to hop on trains in any number of countries. For those who plan on exploring Switzerland alone, there are various rail passes to choose from. One of them is the Swiss Card, which awards those who purchase it with things like free airport transfers and half-price fares on general Switzerland transportation. This can include discounts on train rides, boat trips, and other things. The Swiss Card, much like most of the other passes that are on offer for transportation in Switzerland, must be purchased in advance. You can get anywhere you need to go in Switzerland when relying on public transportation, whether it be the capital city of Bern or the alpine village of Davos.
Train transportation in Switzerland is as popular as ever, thanks in part to the Glacier Express. This train passes through southeastern Switzerland, and breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps can be enjoyed along the route. The Glacier Express trains originate out of Zermatt and end in St. Moritz, both of which figure among the most attractive mountain villages in all of Europe. On the route between Zermatt and St. Moritz, the Glacier Express trains pass over 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels. The scintillating views can be enjoyed from large windows, and a dining car serves up food for those who get hungry. A trip on the Glacier Express is bound to prove unforgettable, and any and all visitors are encouraged to get on board at some point. Other popular train trips in Switzerland include the Palm Express, which connects the rugged Engadine region with the country's southern reaches, and the Bernina Express, which begins in Zurich and ends in Lugano. Most of the trains in Switzerland offer first- and second-class compartments, so travelers can choose accordingly.
There aren't a lot of airports in Switzerland, so many people turn to trains and cars when looking for ways to get around. That being said, flying from major city to major city is possible. Buses are also available for those who need transportation in Switzerland. The country's dense bus network is especially useful for getting around in the Alps, which can be difficult to drive in. Numerous yellow-colored buses make their way through the Alps, and they are very popular. The remaining option when it comes to Switzerland transportation is going by boat. Switzerland has numerous lakes and rivers, and a fleet of boats operate on them. Some of these boats have accommodations, and most feature dining facilities. Dinner cruises are especially popular, especially with couples who are looking to enjoy a fun night out. Some of the most romantic boats in Switzerland are the paddle-steamers, which operate on a number of lakes, including Lake Geneva and Lake Lucerne.