Switzerland: the country of watches, cheese, and chocolate
Switzerland is a country that is associated mostly with the best chocolate in the world, exquisite cheese, and watches that are perceived as a symbol of luxury, precision, and prestige. However, are these the only assets of this incredible country? Of course, no! There's a good reason why tourism is one the largest segments of the economy - the country holds a lot in store for visiting tourists, starting with stark mountainous landscapes and finishing with breathtaking vistas and lively cities. You can't forget about its great diversity that is visible in its culture, language and topography.
Discover Road Trips in Switzerland
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Most interesting highlights of Switzerland
What's interesting is the fact that Switzerland doesn’t have a proper capital. Berno has, de facto, such a function and is where the seat of the most important authorities can be found. One of its largest attractions is the medieval Old City and the neo-Gothic cathedral. A must-see attractions are Marktgasse and Kramgasse streets, where you'll find the 16th-century fountains and a clock tower from 1530.
While sightseeing around Switzerland, it's worth visiting its largest city - Zürich. You'll find here more than 50 museums and 100 art galleries. The imposing churches, luxury boutiques, scenic Old Town, and beautiful Lake Zürich are also worth your attention. A cherry on top will be the stunning vistas of the Alpine peaks and laid-back ambiance.
Geneva is one of the most cosmopolitan European cities which is the seat of more than 20 international organisations. Its most popular attraction is Jet d’Eau that is the talles fountain in Europe which ejects water to a height of 140 metres. Your visit in this place won't be complete without a stroll along the atmospheric Old Town and the shore of the well-known Lake Geneva.
Your sightseeing list should also include the Italian speaking canton of Ticino, especially its largest city - Lugano. The place dazzles tourists with its historical centre, numerous parks, and a true Italian ambiance. Nearby, you'll find Mount San Salvatore from which you can experience breathtaking views on Lago di Lugano and the neighbouring summits.
Switzerland: road conditions
Travelling by car around Switzerland is a rather pleasant experience, not only due to breathtaking views, but also due to impeccable infrastructure. You'll come across Alpine passes that are rather easy to cover. Exceptions are winding and narrow sections where you need to stay extra cautious. Mountain passes are usually open from June to October - apart from that period, you can simply use the local bridges.
Swiss roads are well marked and signed; thus, travelling around the less frequented recesses shouldn't be a greater problem. Remember that Switzerland follows right-hand traffic and pedestrians have the right of way. Native motorists are characterised by consideration and meticulous following of the traffic regulations.
Travelling options in Switzerland
Switzerland is famous for a perfectly developed public transport system. At your disposal, you've got buses, trains, and ferries that will guarantee a pleasant and relaxing travel. Despite numerous advantages, public transport system has one drawback - you need to adjust your plans to the timetables. Even though the system is really well-developed, it might be a slight hindrance to some.
If you would like to explore the country thoroughly, it's worth taking car rental into consideration. An ideal option will be renting a car at one of the international airports. You'll find there various car hire companies offering almost all types of vehicles. Most car rental spots offer cars for drivers who are 21 and have been a holder of a driver's licence for at least 2 years. Moreover, individuals who are younger than 25 are often obliged to pay the inexperienced driver fee.
Switzerland: basic road regulations
Both the driver and the passengers have to fasten their seatbelts at all times. Talking on the phone while driving is strictly forbidden, that's why it's wroth equipping yourself with a hands-free set.
Passengers who are younger than 7 should travel only in special seats that are adjusted to their weight and height. Drinking and driving will result in severe consequences - the maximum blood alcohol level is 0.05%.
Each vehicle travelling along Swiss roads should be quipped with a warning triangle. It's advisable to carry such items as a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher. If you are travelling in one of the mountainous regions in winter time, you should carry snow chains along.
Remember that you should make sure that you've got appropriate documents in your vehicle before hitting the road. These include your ID or passport, driver's licence, liability insurance, and registration certificate with vehicle inspection certificate. It's also worth purchasing personal accident insurance, especially if you are planning on skiing.
Switzerland: speed limits
In Switzerland, you need to observe the following speed limits: built-up areas - 50 km/h, national roads - 80 km/h, expressways - 100 km/h, and highways - 120 km/h. If you want to avoid high penalty payments, you should definitely follow the prevailing speed limits - you'll come across multiple speed cameras, and you can get a speeding ticket ever for exceeding the speed limit only slightly. Remember that using speed camera warning devices is illegal in Switzerland. In case of a road check, the device will be confiscated and you'll get a ticket amounting to CHF 1000.
Toll roads in Switzerland
In order to move around toll roads, you need to purchase a special vignette. You can buy it near border crossings, at post offices, and at petrol stations. You need to place it in a visible spot on the windscreen - lack of it may result in a ticket amounting to CHF 200. Interestingly, even after getting a ticket, you are obliged to buy a vignette. Remember that the Swiss police controls that very meticulously. The vignette is valid from the day of purchase until the 31st of January of the following year.