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St Gothard Pass

Hampshire, UK
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99 posts
144 reviews
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St Gothard Pass

I realise there have been a number of discussions on here about the St Gothard pass, but I have searched and I cannot find the information I want so but I have to start another discussion (sorry!)...

I will be travelling from Italy into Germany in June by car and I intend to travel along the A2 towards Airolo, then along the St Gothard pass. I decided to use the pass rather than the tunnel to avoid queues and because the route will be more scenic.

(I will be traveling from the south of Lake Garda to Bad Krozingen in the German Black Forest on Saturday 7th June. I will start early but I expect it will be mid-morning before I approach Airolo).

I have a few questions and I would be grateful for any help...

1) I assume I will need to leave the A2 some distance before Airolo to avoid getting caught in the queues for the tunnel. I was planning to leave at exit 43 then travel towards Airolo on Route 2, which should just take me onto the pass. Does this seem reasonable?

2) I understand there are 2 roads through the pass - an older one with cobbles and a new one with tarmac, which is also wider. Do I need to look for any signposts to be sure that I get on the newer, tarmac'ed road?

3) Are there any places to stop on the pass for toilets, coffee, food etc. or should I make sure we get all of that sorted out in Airolo?

4) I realise the pass will take longer to drive than going through the tunnel but I assume I will save more time if I avoid the queues for the tunnel. Does this sound reasonable?

As I say, any help on this will be very welcome!



Edited: 7:19 am, March 26, 2014
Goldau, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Lucerne, Zug, Brunnen
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12,951 posts
277 reviews
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1. Re: St Gothard Pass

Hi Alan

I would recommend you turn your radio on and listen to the traffic news. They are in French, Italian or German depending which Swiss radio station you turn on. There you will here if there are files (Stau) and how long the waiting times are. If it is not at the end of June that you will be on the road there will not be long files normally. Sorry, I am not familiar with the exit numbers as we do not use them like you would do in other countries. If there are long files I would leave the motorway at Faido and follow the road in direction of San Gottardo (blue signs are main roads). If there are short files you can leave one exit before Airolo or even at Airolo.

From Airolo follow the blue signs to the San Gottardo pass. The signs of the old road are white. There are restaurants, museums and toilets on top of the pass.

When you drive the Northern side down you come to the devils bridge after the small tunnel after Andermatt. This is a nice historic place to stop (see Top Questions about Andermatt (TA Andermatt forum) - where you can see the Schoellenen gorge (not sure if the restaurant will be reopened).

I never drive the tunnel when the pass road is open.

Have a safe trip


From there you drive down the Schoellen road to Goeschenen where you can join the motorway again.

Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
99 posts
144 reviews
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2. Re: St Gothard Pass

Hello Pore

Thank-you for this information.

The Faido exit is the "exit 43" that I was thinking of using, so thanks for confirming that my plans are OK. I will try to listen to the radio but I will probably leave the motorway at Faido unless I am sure the queues ahead are short.

Thanks for the tip about stopping at the Devil's Bridge.

3. Re: St Gothard Pass

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