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  • Writer's pictureGregor

5 Must-Haves When Driving in Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the best countries to drive in with scenic and smooth roads. Although this is just like paradise on earth, there are a few must haves when driving in Switzerland so you can enjoy the view like on the highway that runs next to this turquoise lake called Walensee!

Here are 5 essential must haves for your road trip in Switzerland:

Cash (Swiss Francs)

Turnstile to enter a toilet in Switzerland

Preferably 1 Franc pieces because if you need the bathroom, it costs you money. There is often a turnstile that is operated by a coins. It doesn't actually cost money to use the bathroom, you then get a voucher back, which you can use in the shop or in a restaurant for consumption. So, how do you get coins in Switzerland? For 1 Swiss Franc pieces, you can go to a bank. If you have a 50 Franc note, you ask for a roll of 1CHF coins and you get like a paper roll with fifty 1 Franc coins.

Also as you can see in the picture, some of them take Euros as well.

Coins are also very useful for parking. Many parking spaces on the street work with a parking meter that is operated by coins. By experience I can tell you that the 1 Swiss Franc pieces are the most versatile coins in Switzerland.

Highway Toll Sticker (Vignette)

Swiss highway toll sticker (Vignette)

If you want to ride on a highway in Switzerland, you need a sticker which is called vignette. It basically is a toll sticker and costs CHF 40 and is valid for the calendar year. If you're driving a rental car, they usually have it already, if you've rented in Switzerland. You can buy the vignette in a supermarket or at the resting area or at the border as well before you enter Switzerland.

Parking Disc for Blue Zone

Blue parking disc in Switzerland

In Switzerland there are different parking systems. One of which works with coloured lines on the ground. In one case, where the line is blue, you will find yourself in the blue parking zone. This is often the case when you are in a residential area. If you live there you can apply for a resident parking permit. If you don't, you still get the chance to park.

You either park there at night from 19:00 (8pm) to 08:00 (8am) for free or during the day you can place the parking disc. When you arrive you round up the time in the disc to the next half hour mark and from then on you get 1h of free parking time. Then you need to move the car. You can buy these discs in supermarkets or gas stations (rentals usually have one already).


While many travelers want to tick off all the highlights of Switzerland as fast as possible, it is actually worthwhile to take your time and just take in the views and feelings the country has to offer. That's what you came for after all!

A good way to slow down on Swiss roads is if you opt for country roads and skip the highway. Many country roads are close to highways but you get the chance to stop the car and take pictures more often.

View of Walensee from a highway stop

Have Fun Driving in Switzerland!

Last but not least you need to have some fun! Yes, there are driving restrictions in Switzerland, there are speed limits many of you worry about. Don't worry that much. If you just go a little bit over, it's fine. You will not be fined and if you are fined okay, then that's it...

The fines start very moderately (usually CHF 40).

You want to eat dinner? How about you take it away to a beautiful bench by a lake! You want to touch some snow but don't want to afford the cable car? Drive up a mountain pass where there are often some left over snow patches from the previous winter.

After all, you are thinking about driving in Switzerland. This gives you ultimate freedom and accessibility. Plus, it never gets boring, even for us locals!

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