The Swiss Alps aren't just one big city where everything is all in one place. It's made up of different towns and communes, each more charming than the next. Within these towns are more incredible spots that prove why the Swiss Alps are such a popular destination. Wouldn't you want to see them all? Then you better get familiar with public transport in the Swiss Alps first. You already know about the ski lifts and such, right? But do you know how to get around when you're already in a Swiss Alps town? Or if it's better to rent a car there or not?
The Swiss Rail Pass
Before anything else, you'd do well to get a Swiss Rail Pass. Just as it says, the Swiss Rail Pass allows unlimited travel via trains throughout the entire country of Switzerland
. Specifically, the Swiss Alps. This part of the country is a lot more vast than you probably realize, hence you'll spend a lot of time riding the train. With a Swiss Rail Pass, you don't have to buy a ticket for every ride. Depending on what you get, you can enjoy unlimited access to the trains within a specific period, usually for 3, 4, 6, 8, or 15 consecutive days.
Riding The Train
As you've probably already surmised, the best way to get around the Swiss Alps is to ride the train. Fortunately, the country of Switzerland is small and it has tons of railway systems. As long as you have a Swiss Rail Pass, you can ride it as many times as you want (but within a specific timeframe). Moreover, you simply can't miss the views during your ride. The trains in Switzerland pass through some of the most immaculate sceneries, not just in the Swiss Alps, but in the entire world. Each and everyone is picture-perfect.
Taking The Bus
Though buses are more common in the bigger Swiss cities like Zürich
, Geneva, Bern, and more, there are still some that can take you to the Swiss Alps. More often than not, you'll find them in the bigger and more expensive alpine towns such as Zermatt, Gstaad, Lucerne, and the like. In some cases, you can even use a Ski Pass to access them. Much like the Swiss Rail Pass, a Ski Pass grants you access to various things within specific ski resort towns. Of course, this would also include the buses that operate within the Swiss Alps.
Are There Taxis in The Swiss Alps?
Simply put, taxis are pretty rare in the Swiss Alps. This isn't to say that they don't operate within these alpine towns, but if you do spot one, then you're very lucky! They mostly travel within the bigger cities in Switzerland. You'll rarely see a lot in the towns that make up the Swiss Alps. In these places, buses and shuttle services are a lot more common. As are bike and car rentals. The most popular transportation apps
, specifically Uber, also operate in the bigger alpine towns. But don't expect there to be as many in the Swiss Alps as there are in the major cities.
Traveling to The Peaks
Once you get to the Swiss Alps, how do you get to the slopes? There's really only one way: the ski lifts. All throughout Switzerland, you'll find various ski lifts, cable cars, gondolas, and more. They're the only way to get to the slopes. Even the rich and famous have to ride them to get to the mountain peaks. And as long as you have a Ski Pass, you won't have to worry about anything! Just like any other public transport system in the Swiss Alps, a Ski Pass gives you unlimited access to the ski lifts.
Renting A Car
The common practice is to rent a car in a major city and use it to travel all the way to the Swiss Alps. At least, you can take full control of your travels within Switzerland. You don't have to follow a timetable and not have any risk of being late for anything. With that said, there's a reason why renting a car isn't exactly common when traveling to the Swiss Alps. It comes with its own set of problems, such as the difficulty of driving in mountainous areas and the risk of the vehicle breaking down in the middle of nowhere.
The Swiss Motorway Vignette
If you do decide to rent a car to get around the Swiss Alps, you should know about the Motorway Vignette too. A motorway vignette is required to drive a vehicle in Switzerland. Fortunately, the process of getting one isn't all that stressful. You can easily purchase one online and simply stick it to your car. And if you rent a car, chances are they already have one stuck to your rental vehicle. With how simple and easy it is to get it, there's no excuse for you not to have one when you drive around the Swiss Alps.
Understand the basics of public transport in the Swiss Alps to ensure that you'll have as much of a problem-free stay here as possible. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to actually get around in the Swiss Alps.