As you might have noticed in my previous posts, I usually travel around in Switzerland by train. However, this time, two friends came to visit me and we decided to rent a car and travel around nearby by car. There are of course advantages and disadvantages. Anymore, having one more way of traveling in Switzerland is definitely not a bad thing. I’ll list the advantages and disadvantages according to my experience and opinion, but the choice is absolutely yours.
- Traveling in Switzerland is in general much cheaper by car than by train. For example, we had four people and renting a car + insurance + gas is 110 CHF in totally, so it means each of us spent around 22.5 CHF for transport. However, by train a day pass (Tageskarte for Switzerland) costs around 73 CHF per person with half-price card.
- We could drive anytime we wanted and didn’t have to follow specific timetables so the trip is really flexible.
- We could go up to the mountains which are not or at least not conveniently accessible by public transport.
- We could stop anywhere we wanted to take pictures, have snacks, coffee or meals.
- We could leave luggages or other stuff behind in the car when we decided to go hiking. Otherwise we would have to take our belongings with us all the time.
- Driving to some non-touristy mountains gives you some quality, private time with nature instead of with other tourist groups.
- It’s more troublesome as you need to book a car, get the car (possibly from the airport), and return it on time.
- It’s not very easy to find parking spots all the time and normally parking in Switzerland is not free.
- As we were driving through certain sceneric routes, it was not very easy to find restaurants or supermarkets.
- Driving through certain routes up to the mountains is not very easy and it requires the driver to have really good driving skills. The serpent roads might also make the passengers feel nauseated or uncomfortable.
- If you wanna go to some touristy places such as Rigi or Zermatt, driving is usually not convenient (huge crowds) or even impossible (for example, Zermatt doesn’t allow cars in).
Our route was from Zürich -> Cham (city) -> Zug (city) -> Zugerberg (mountain) -> Schwyz (city) -> Rigi Hochflue (mountain) -> Rooterberg (mountain). We left at 9:00 from Zürich and came back at 18:30, and during the whole trip, we drove around 210 km (6 h 40 mins) and walked around 2 km (50 mins). We stopped on the way for means, bought some sandwiches and salad for a picnic on the mountains. What I would like to suggest is not to miss the big cities such as Zug or Schwyz otherwise it takes quite some efforts to find a shipping mall to supermarket on the countryside. In other words, eat or buy the things that you need for a picnic when you see there’s a supermarket. Do not always tell yourself there’s a bigger or better one on your way ahead. Another thing you should remember is that, if you can always find a parking spot, it would be great, but there might be no public parking place on certain mountains, only private houses. Always ask the people who live there in a friendly manner, whether you can park your car there for half an hour etc. or not and I’m positive that 99% of the people would say yes. Just don’t block the road for other people.
If you are interested in what we saw or experienced during this trip please keep reading. I’m gonna attach the pictures of this trip according to different cities and mountains so either you want to take the whole route like ours or part of it you can have an idea of what to expect. (All the pictures are original without photoshopping.)
1. Cham (city)
2. Zug (city)
We didn’t actually stop here because we could not find a parking spot in the city so unfortunately no photo was takes.
3. Zugerberg (mountain)
4. Schwyz (city)
Actually these pictures were not taken from Schwyz, the city because on our way from Zug to Schwyz we saw a beautiful spot, in front of which is the Rigi mountain (queen of all the mountains).
5. Rigi Hochflue (mountain)
6. Rooterberg (mountain)
What I like about this driving route is that you can actually visit quite some cities and mountains because usually when I take a train, I go to at most 2 mountains or two cities. These mountains that I visited in this trip were also much more quiet than those touristy mountains. However, It’s really hard to say traveling by train VS traveling by car, which one I would recommend because it largely depends on where you wanna visit and what you wanna experience. Anyway, the choice is yours. However you choose to travel, the swiss beauty won’t disappoint you.