A small, mountainous country, Switzerland is at its best during the winter months covered under a thick blanket of snow. Skiers, snowboarders and mountain climbers all head here to get their fix, navigating the contours of the Alps, but there’s more to this country than winter sports and a series of jagged peaks.
Switzerland looks pretty stunning in summer when the snow has melted, and has a unique culture where French, Italian and German influences combine. The national dishes of Switzerland include rosti and fondue, which is perfect for sharing with your friends in a warm, rustic chalet after an afternoon on the slopes!
Given its landscape, Switzerland is home to many a winding road with sharp corners confronting you at almost every turn. In the cities and towns like Bern, Zurich and Geneva, the road network is pretty well-maintained, and the same can be said of the motorways. Take care when driving in winter, as black ice on the roads is common.
How will I find the drivers in Switzerland?
The transport system in Switzerland is more efficient than that of most other European countries. For that reason, many Swiss motorists are polite and courteous. Strict driving laws along with a serious attitude to safety mean driving here is generally safe.
What are the best times to drive?
Traffic volumes tend to be at their lowest between mid-morning and around 4pm and again in the evenings once the rush hour has passed. It’s recommended to avoid driving at night, especially in winter, as the roads can be hazardous.
What are the driving laws?
A valid UK driving licence, a GB sticker on the back of your car, your motor insurance certificate, a warning triangle, headlamp converters, motorway stickers (if driving on them), snow chains and a spare pair of glasses are all necessary. The use of seatbelts is compulsory in both the front and rear seats. Children under 4ft 11in and under the age of 12 are required to wear appropriate restraints.
In Switzerland, avalanches can happen during mid-winter, so it’s advisable to avoid driving in really mountainous areas, where possible.
If involved in an accident where the police aren’t needed, you must fill in a European Accident Claim Form in order to recoup any costs.
You must beep your horn before heading towards a sharp bend with limited visibility during the daytime. Flashing your headlights is the appropriate thing to do at night.