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Driving from Geneva Airport to Montreux

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Abu Dhabi, United...
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Driving from Geneva Airport to Montreux

Hi everybody,

We will be arriving at Geneva Airport. We are considering renting a car and drive to Montreux.

What is the roads condition (highway or narrow lanes -- mountainous or flat ), it is heavy traffic.

Is it safe to drive during the evening.

Thanks for your help and advice.

Martigny...
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1. Re: Driving from Geneva Airport to Montreux

It is actually easier to take the train. Trains leave the airport station roughly every half hour for Montreux and the journey is just over an hour. They are very comfortable and since they start at the airport, there is never a problem of getting a seat. If all you will use the car for is to get to and from Montreux then - don't!

However assuming you want to use it for other places too - here is what you do.

Leave the airport and look for a green and white sign for Lausanne. This will take you to the autoroute. (All cars rented on the Swiss side of the airport have autoroute stickers so no worries there). Drive towards Lausanne. Just after Morges you will come to a large junction. Stay in the right lanes and follow signs to "Simplon Gd. St Bernard". This brings you onto the Lausanne by-pass.

You will take the first Montreux exit which comes immediately after Vevey. total time from the airport is about an hour depending on traffic. If you are driving in rush hour the traffic will be heavy and the section at Morges will be open for 3 lane driving. Be very attentive to speed limits - there are something like 54 cameras between Geneva and Lausanne alone and speeding fines are heavy and will be charged to you via your car rental company.

I have to say that the train is not only more relaxing but a lot more scenic, especially for the driver!

Abu Dhabi, United...
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2. Re: Driving from Geneva Airport to Montreux

Thank you so much Hambagahle

Your answers are always clear and rich of information. I have been enjoying reading very many of your previous posts and I benefited a lot.

As you rightly guessed, we will be using the car for other purposes, mainly to travel between cities.

I will have the GPS, and I hope with your clear description and advices, our first drive to the hotel will be smooth.

Kent, England
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3. Re: Driving from Geneva Airport to Montreux

you are aware that finding parking in many Swiss cities is not easy nor is it cheap, and the cost of fuel may well out weigh the cost of trains , It might be an idea to compare the cost of both and to lookat the advantages of one or other of the Swiss Rail passes.

Martigny...
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4. Re: Driving from Geneva Airport to Montreux

Specifically - parking will cost roughly 25-30frs/24 hours depending on where you are. Petrol is 1.85frs per litre right now. And finding parking takes time and some local knowledge.

If you are driving ask your Montreux hotel if they (a) have a parking garage (b) the cost per night and (c) if they have valet parking (saves time and hassle!)

Abu Dhabi, United...
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5. Re: Driving from Geneva Airport to Montreux

Thank you Swisslover and Hambagahle for the advices,

We are family of 5 travelling in August for 6 days in Switzerland before moving to Strasburg.

Do you recommend buying "Swiss Pass" which will cost us 730 Euro (for 5 People) if we still rent a car.

I am sure it will be more rewording if we don't rent a car. Swiss Pass says it will allow us access to "rail, road and waterway throughout the whole of Switzerland".

Does that mean we will be using all transport system (except taxis) absolutely free (no hidden cost).

Does Swiss Pass allow us access to the boats and tour cruises organized by CGN from Geneva Lake (http://www.cgn.ch). Does it include all lake transports and cruises throughout Switzerland.

Anchorage, Alaska
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6. Re: Driving from Geneva Airport to Montreux

Family of 5 - 3 children? How old are they? Additionally, it's a good idea to figure out which days you may do less travel than the cost of the Swiss Pass for that day. For example, if you pay (I don't know the real cost) a pass for 400 francs for 8 days of travel, the pass is costing you 50 francs per day. If one day you are only riding the local trams, it is unlikely that the pass is a good deal for that day! Use, instead, a flexi pass so that you can choose which day you use the Swiss pass and which day you pay as you go. Also the kids may well travel free with a pass. I'm not sure, for example, if hotels in Montreux give you a local transportation pass but some cities do have this arrangement with hotels so a pass is not very valuable on those days either.

Calculating these things takes a long afternoon and a big sheet of paper along with some patience. You can find all the fares, entrance fees, etc. on the internet (www.myswitzerland.com is really helpful) as well as the fares for transportation. Don't forget to go to the actual booking pages and use the "no reduction" choice on the fares on the Swiss Rail website so that you don't get half fares or special fares - that's what shows up on the first page when it says "fares from" or something like that. It has been a source of confusion since they started doing it.

A couple of other benefits to using public transportation in Switzerland - the kids can move around and, if they are small, some trains actually have play rooms for the kids! It helps with the backseat bickering! Also, everyone can see the scenery and you see a lot more of the small towns becuase the trains go through while the highways go around. There are some places I would never have visited had I only driven past them and I am so glad I went through on a train to see what lovely places they are! I've then added them to later travel plans and been so happy to have found these little gems.

Oh, here are some websites that give good explanations of the benefits of passes etc.

www.ricksteves.com

www.seat61.com

Hope this helps.

Abu Dhabi, United...
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7. Re: Driving from Geneva Airport to Montreux

Thank you kileysmom for the wise and detailed advices

I am considering public transport more seriously.

I have done the "long afternoon" research, but I have not made my mind yet. There are very many options to assess.

Here are some details for all of us to benefit of:

We are 2 adults with 3 grown-up children age: 19, 17 and 15. So for ticketing we are considered: 2 Adults, 2 Youth, and one >16 years old child *who can be free with family card).

• 2nd Class Swiss Pass for an Adult cost: CHF 245 for 4 days, and CHF 354 for 8 days (this is after applying the 10% discount for 2 adults travelling together). The cost is CHF 272 and CHF 393 without 10% discount. Total for our Family is CHF 898 for 4 days and CHF 1298 for 8 days.

• 2nd Class Flexi Pass for an Adult cost: CHF 328 for 5 days. (It is same rate for adults and youth and all get 10 Discount - Child > 16y is free with Family Card). Total for our Family is CHF 1312.

So, for our case (travelling for 6 consecutive days), 8-Day Swiss Pass is more cost effective than 5-Day Flexi Pass. Of course 4-Day Swiss Pass is cheaper than 4-Day Flexi Pass. Anything more than 5-day Flexi Pass will be expensive and irrelevant.

8. Re: Driving from Geneva Airport to Montreux

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