Getting to Switzerland
Major international airports are in Zurich, Geneva and Basel, with smaller airports in Lugano and Berne. Flying into nearby Milan ( Italy), Lyon or even Paris ( France) or Frankfurt ( Germany ) are other options though rather expensive and time-consuming (3h Frankfurt-Basel, 4h Milan-Zurich, 5h Paris- Berne) by train. Some discount airlines fly to Friedrichshafen, Germany which is just across Lake Constance (the Bodensee) from Romanshorn, not too far from Zurich. The Flagcarrier of Switzerland is SWISS which is a member of Star Allianceand successor of the famous Swissair.
Trains arrive from all parts of Europe. Switzerland is together with Germany one of the most central-lying countries in Europe, making it a center of railways and highways to the rest of Europe. Some major routes include:
- The TGV, with several trains daily from Paris , Avignon, Dijon, and Nice.
- Hourly trains to/from Milan with connections to all parts of Italy
- Hourly ICE (German high-speed trains) from Zurich to Karlsruhe, Mannheim , Frankfurt in Germany, many continuing toward Amsterdam, Hamburg or Berlin.
- Regular ICE trains from Zurich to Stuttgart and Munich , Geneva, Zurich and some also to Lausanne. These trains are either "EuroNight" (symbol: EN ) or CityNightLine (symbol: CNL ) services
- Eurolines has incorporated Switzerland in its route network.
- Due to the Bosnian war in the 1990'ies there are several bus companies serving the Bosnian diaspora, which provide a cheap and clean way of getting to the Balkans. Turistik Prosic runs from various destinations in the Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina to Switzerland.
Common tourist destinations within Switzerland are easily reachable by car, e.g. Geneva from central eastern France, and Zurich from southern Germany. Although Switzerland is now part of the Schengen agreement, it is not part of the EU customs/tariff union. Therefore EU/Swiss border posts will focus on smuggling etc. and checks on main roads will remain in place even after 2008. Delays are usually short but cars may be stopped and no reason needs to be named. Some delay may be caused by queuing at busy times and there are often queues lasting hours to use the tunnels under the Alps from Italy such as Mont Blanc, Gotthard etc. Swiss motorway vignettes can and should be purchased at the border if your car does not already have a valid one for the year and you intend to use the Swiss motorways which is almost unavoidable.