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Motorhoming in Switzerland

Motorhoming in Switzerland

Important points to consider when touring Switzerland

Currency, Swiss Franc, about the same exchange rate as Euros.
Not in the EU. Border searches and passport checks possible.
In Schengen zone and counts towards 90 days in Europe.
Digital motorways.

Driving, Roads and Swiss Motorway Vignette

Switzerland has a wonderful road network in good condition.
Swiss motorways are monitored by APNR cameras and it is essential to register your vehicle.
Vehicles under 3.5t. Either, purchase a vignette sticker at the border or, buy an electronic version. We purchased our vignette at www.ch.ch and carried a paper receipt. Our 3.5t vignette cost 40CH (Swiss Francs) and is valid from 1 December 2023 until 31 January 2025. Motorhomes over 3.5t. See www.bazg.admin.ch for details.

Switzerland can be crossed in 3 hours north to south, eastern France to the lakes in Italy. East to west, Geneva to Konstanz in Germany, takes 3 hours 45 minutes. Typically 3 hours driving on French Peage costs €40 in a 3.5t motorhome.

Switzerland is a mountainous country with peaks over 4,600m, but its motorway road system follows the level valley bottoms at lower altitude. The A2 runs North to South past Luzern passing underneath the St Gotthardpass through Switzerlands longest tunnel 16.9km.

Switzerland's main roads wind through the mountains with options to drive up and over, or to pass through on tunnels, either on roads or aboard road trains.

Is the pass passable? Simonspass to Italy is kept open all year. The famous  Gotthardpass is open June-Oct annually. Road signs indicate which passes are open or closed. All pass information and status is available at alpen-paesse.ch

Swiss Road trains

Taking a road train is a right of passage when touring Switzerland. Road trains are so normal that everything is calm and straightforward. You can pay online or at a booth, then join the queue. Proceed once instructed then drive through the train until you are told to stop. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

It is worth noting that rush hour traffic exits from Switzerland into France and Italy at the end of the working day and it is worth avoiding this traffic. Traffic can also be bad on bank holidays, which queues for hours. Avoid travelling at peak times if you can.

Speeds on Swiss motorways vary greatly. The top speed is 120km, but is reduced to 90/70km at junctions, tunnels and for other unfathomable reasons.

The best thing about the Swiss road network is the fantastic public toilets. These are exceptionally clean, have toilet paper and are free. They vary greatly in design and one we visited on the A2 had a fantastic stainless steel hole with a drop down toilet seat. The flush was like a whirlpool. You wash you hands over the toilet, using automated soap and water. It was a fantastic toilet, but be warned things could easily be lost in the flush!

LEZ Low Emission Zones Switzerland

Geneva has Low Emission Zone, but the French LEZ sticker is valid in Geneva. See more about Low Emission Zones.

Best motorhome Aires in Switzerland

The Aires network in Switzerland is nothing like the neighboring countries of France, Italy or Germany. Offsite parking is not allowed, and may be fined. The few Swiss Aires are expensive at around 20CF (£20). Have a plan of where to stay and considering campsites. ACSI Camping Card lists 20 campsites for Switzerland, most are €25 with 2 adults, use of showers, and 6amp hook up.

Motorway services identify how many hours you can stay, and we visited one which had a service point and a 15 hour stay limit, and one which was free but had no service point.

See our blog Three Useful Motorhome Stopovers In Switzerland.

Why we went to Switzerland

We chose to drive through Switzerland in May 2024, en-route to visit Fiamma in Milan. We chose to use a variety of roads including the motorway network, a road train and a mountain pass. Read about this trip here.

Important points to consider when touring Switzerland

Currency, Swiss Franc, about the same exchange rate as Euros.
Not in the EU. Border searches and passport checks possible.
In Schengen zone and counts towards 90 days in Europe.
Digital motorways.

Driving, Roads and Swiss Motorway Vignette

Switzerland has a wonderful road network in good condition.
Swiss motorways are monitored by APNR cameras and it is essential to register your vehicle.
Vehicles under 3.5t. Either, purchase a vignette sticker at the border or, buy an electronic version. We purchased our vignette at www.ch.ch and carried a paper receipt. Our 3.5t vignette cost 40CH (Swiss Francs) and is valid from 1 December 2023 until 31 January 2025. Motorhomes over 3.5t. See www.bazg.admin.ch for details.

Switzerland can be crossed in 3 hours north to south, eastern France to the lakes in Italy. East to west, Geneva to Konstanz in Germany, takes 3 hours 45 minutes. Typically 3 hours driving on French Peage costs €40 in a 3.5t motorhome.

Switzerland is a mountainous country with peaks over 4,600m, but its motorway road system follows the level valley bottoms at lower altitude. The A2 runs North to South past Luzern passing underneath the St Gotthardpass through Switzerlands longest tunnel 16.9km.

Switzerland's main roads wind through the mountains with options to drive up and over, or to pass through on tunnels, either on roads or aboard road trains.

Is the pass passable? Simonspass to Italy is kept open all year. The famous  Gotthardpass is open June-Oct annually. Road signs indicate which passes are open or closed. All pass information and status is available at alpen-paesse.ch

Swiss Road trains

Taking a road train is a right of passage when touring Switzerland. Road trains are so normal that everything is calm and straightforward. You can pay online or at a booth, then join the queue. Proceed once instructed then drive through the train until you are told to stop. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

It is worth noting that rush hour traffic exits from Switzerland into France and Italy at the end of the working day and it is worth avoiding this traffic. Traffic can also be bad on bank holidays, which queues for hours. Avoid travelling at peak times if you can.

Speeds on Swiss motorways vary greatly. The top speed is 120km, but is reduced to 90/70km at junctions, tunnels and for other unfathomable reasons.

The best thing about the Swiss road network is the fantastic public toilets. These are exceptionally clean, have toilet paper and are free. They vary greatly in design and one we visited on the A2 had a fantastic stainless steel hole with a drop down toilet seat. The flush was like a whirlpool. You wash you hands over the toilet, using automated soap and water. It was a fantastic toilet, but be warned things could easily be lost in the flush!

LEZ Low Emission Zones Switzerland

Geneva has Low Emission Zone, but the French LEZ sticker is valid in Geneva. See more about Low Emission Zones.

Best motorhome Aires in Switzerland

The Aires network in Switzerland is nothing like the neighboring countries of France, Italy or Germany. Offsite parking is not allowed, and may be fined. The few Swiss Aires are expensive at around 20CF (£20). Have a plan of where to stay and considering campsites. ACSI Camping Card lists 20 campsites for Switzerland, most are €25 with 2 adults, use of showers, and 6amp hook up.

Motorway services identify how many hours you can stay, and we visited one which had a service point and a 15 hour stay limit, and one which was free but had no service point.

See our blog Three Useful Motorhome Stopovers In Switzerland.

Why we went to Switzerland

We chose to drive through Switzerland in May 2024, en-route to visit Fiamma in Milan. We chose to use a variety of roads including the motorway network, a road train and a mountain pass. Read about this trip here.

Christopher Doree

Christopher Doree

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