Switzerland Car Hire
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- Bordered by Italy, Germany, France, Austria and Lichtenstein, Switzerland is a unique and fascinating landlocked country. Its location is a meeting point of the southern, northern and central regions of Europe. It is part of the European Free Trade Association and participates in Schengen but is not a member of the EU, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone.
- Switzerland is an exhilarating and beautiful place to drive. Its James Bond worthy roads offer twists, turns, altitude and of course, breath-taking views. There are so many fantastic routes, we recommend taking Route 17 to the spectacular Klausenpass. Be warned, this road has some very narrow sections and little in the way of protective barriers but take this drive on a nice day and you will be rewarded with excitement, adventure and amazing sights.
- Switzerland is a country of many languages. The majority of the population speak a Swiss form of German, but expect to hear French, Italian and Romansh as you travel around. Due to the international significance of Switzerland as an economic and cultural destination, English is also widely spoken.
- A valid UK or EU drivers’ licence must be carried with you at all times when driving in Switzerland. Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU it’s worth keeping an eye on any changes to requirements for UK license holders from Jan 2021, when the Brexit transition period ends.
Guide to Switzerland
A Brief History
Switzerland has a long history defined by the diversity of its language, culture and peoples. Evidence suggests prehistoric activity in the region as well as farming communities as early as 5300 BCE. However, it was in the Medieval period and the development of the Old Swiss Confederacy where the Switzerland we know today began its formation. This confederacy brought together communities of the central Alps under various charters. This provided safe and effective trade routes for the region. Overtime the confederacy grew in terms of territory and power, until war with France in 1515 significantly reduced its development.
Switzerland is famous for its non-aggressive foreign policy and its ability to maintain neutrality even during the First and Second World Wars. The origins of Swiss neutrality can be traced back to 1515 when the Old Swiss Confederacy abandoned its expansionist approach, though later involvement in the Napoleonic Wars ended this position. It was in November 1815, after the defeat of Napolean when Austria, Great Britain, Russia, France and Prussia acknowledged permanent Swiss neutrality.
Switzerland remained neutral during the World Wars of the 20th century. Although the Nazis had drawn up plans to invade Switzerland during the Second World War, this never happened. In the years since the Second World War Switzerland maintained its position of neutrality and is not involved in foreign warfare, though it does have a military and is involved in various peace-keeping roles throughout the world.
21st Century Switzerland is consistently voted one of the top places to live, work and travel on the planet. It’s unique placement as a small but economically significant nation brings with it a wealth of opportunities for tourists. For the thrill seeker there are the fantastic skiing resorts or for the hiker a wealth of Alpine landscape to explore. For those seeking culture and art Switzerland’s cities offer an amazing range of museums and galleries and for those gastro-tourists out there, in Switzerland the world really is your fondue.
Getting to and from Switzerland
Swiss International Air Lines is Switzerland’s flag carrier. Offering routes to many of the world’s major cities from Zurich and Geneva. Most international carriers operate scheduled flights into Swiss cities, including British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France.
Places to visit in Switzerland
Swiss cities have a relatively small population in comparison to other major European metropolises such as London or Berlin, but there is a serious amount on offer in each of them.
- Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and one of the world’s major financial centres. There is plenty to enjoy here, from fabulous food to galleries, museums and outdoor activities. We recommend checking out the FIFA World Football Museum and then getting away from it all and entering pure relaxation with a visit to the Thermalbad and Spa.
- Genevais another city of world significance thanks to its role as base for many international organisations, including several UN agencies as well as the Red Cross. No visit to the city would be complete without visiting the Palais des Nations the second largest UN headquarters, after New York.
- Baselis an historic town located on the Rhine and has a huge amount of cultural activity available in a relatively small space. From wandering the Old Town to Stand-Up-Paddle Boarding, this city has it all. We highly recommend a visit to the world-class Antiquities Museum, where you will find a wonderful permanent collection alongside regular temporary exhibits.
- Bern is the capital city of Switzerland despite being only fifth most populous. With its beautiful architecture and location on the River Aare it is one of Switzerland’s most beautiful cities to photograph. Get outside here and take snaps of the minster, parliament building and be sure to visit the wonderful Rose Garden, offering unrivalled views across the city.
- Located 1800 metres above sea level, St. Moritzis probably the most famous of all high Alpine resorts. It has been associated with winter sports since the 19th Century and hosted the Winter Olympics in both 1928 and 1948. St. Moritz has sunshine for the majority of the year and is a favourite with tourists. There are numerous opportunities for skiing, snowboarding and hiking. If you fancy something a little different be sure to check out the Cresta Run Toboggan Track, even beginners are welcome, but be sure to book in advance.
- For a truly stunning winter sports location pay a visit to Zermatt. In addition to exceptional skiing and boarding there are some wonderful hikes including this lakeside route offering exceptional views of the Matterhorn mirrored on the water.
Car hire in Swiss airports
Switzerland has several airports serving domestic and international passengers. The busiest international airports are Zurich, Geneva and Basel. Over 25 million passengers are handled annually by Zurich alone. These airports fly to most world cities and it is possible to book car hire from any of them through EnjoyTravel.com.
Booking your car hire in advance is a good idea for several reasons. If you wait until you arrive you will have far less choice over the type of vehicle you hire, it is likely to be more expensive and will take up valuable, unnecessary time. We work with a wide range of local partners, throughout the world, meaning we can bring you the best deals and choice. All our partners adhere to our Fair Fuel Policy to provide you with additional peace of mind. Use our search tool to find and book your vehicle today.
Some rules of the Swiss road
- Drivers must be aged 18 or over
- Drive on the right-hand side of the road.
- Seatbelts must be worn at all times by everyone in the vehicle
- A warning triangle is required for all vehicles in Switzerland
- The motorway speed limit is 120km/h and generally speaking 80km/h outside built-up areas and 50km/h inside. Please note this is only a guide and you should always pay attention to local signage.
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