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How is it to drive in the Interlaken/Jungfrau region?

Colorado Springs
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How is it to drive in the Interlaken/Jungfrau region?

HI. I am probably going to rent a car and drive to the Interlaken/ Jungfrau region. I want to hear

from any one out there that has driven in that part of the world. Are the roads very curvy and dangerous? Is it easy to drive into these mountainous parts or is it challenging and would I be better off coming by train? I am mostly concerned about the steepness of going up mountains and would there be switchbacks and lots of curves to navigate.

I am an American. I have driven in Kenya, Africa but I have never driven in Europe except once very briefly a long time ago.

Please advise on driving within this region and on the highways also from Italy to Switzerland.

thanks very much for your help.

W. Palm Beach, FL
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for Murren, Interlaken, Bernese Oberland
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1. Re: How is it to drive in the Interlaken/Jungfrau region?

Most of the time I would recommend you not getting the car and instead using the excellent public transportation system in Switzerland. The recommendation has nothing to do with it being difficult to drive on the roads. It has mostly to do with convenience and accessability. Many of the mountain villages and attractions cannot be reached by car so you end up paying for both your rental car (and parking) and the train or lift to get where you want to go.

There are lots of mountain roads that have switchbacks to get up the mountain but they are easy to navigate and should present no difficulty. One of the the considerations is also that you, as the driver, have to pay attention to where you are going all the time so you miss a lot of the scenery you could be enjoying if you were on the train.

Zuerich
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for Zurich
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2. Re: How is it to drive in the Interlaken/Jungfrau region?

Hello marilynjanis, I wholeheartedly concur with moutaintopper.

The roads in this area are very well built, maintained and controlled - but yes they are also very (very) twisty, turny, up and down, and demand a lot of driving attention. Additionally you cannot reach everywhere you might like to go by car - there are many "vehicle inaccessible" villages and touristic destinations that are only served by cog-railway or cable car. Save yourself some stress, enjoy your vacation, SEE the sights of the landscape (rather than asphalt and a constantly twisting center-line), and take public transportation.

Hope this helps.

Colorado Springs
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3. Re: How is it to drive in the Interlaken/Jungfrau region?

yes it does help. My main reason for wanting to rent a car is because I will be coming from Italy ( Como)

and there are so many trains I have to take to get to this region. I thought having a car would make it much simpler and not have to carry luggage off an on trains. Another question is whether or not I would need a car to go out to dinner in the evening. I am still trying to decide what is the right thing to do here.

Would it really be worth taking the train having to take about 5 different trains just to get there?

Thanks for your help and any furrther thoughts.

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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for Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
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4. Re: How is it to drive in the Interlaken/Jungfrau region?

Hi marilynjanis,

Are you flying out of Switzerland or are you returning to Italy to fly out?

If you are flying out of Switzerland, be aware that most car rental agencies charge a hefty (in the hundreds of euros) one-way rental fee that may not be disclosed when they give you the estimated cost -- it is listed as "additional fees" in your contract. Ask the rental agency point-blank what the one-way rental fees will be between Italy and Switzerland.

I think it would be pretty easy to just drop your car off in Milan and take the train from there to Interlaken (either 1 or 2 changes) or to Wengen (3 or 4 changes). I don't think changing trains is all that difficult. I am a 58-year-old short woman, and I don't find it tough. Just make sure you can move with all your pieces at one time and don't have to run back and forth to pick up pieces.

I do think that the few minutes of mild discomfort with each change isn't bad, compared to the delightful hours of relaxing, stretching out, and scenery-watching you get while on the train.

I also think that you may really enjoy discovering a new way of travel -- travelling by train might add a layer of "European adventure" to your European adventure!!

Have fun as you plan!

s

Zurich, Switzerland
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5. Re: How is it to drive in the Interlaken/Jungfrau region?

I absolutely agree with the others - take the train and you will enjoy your holidays much better! In addition: You don't need a car to go out for dinner. Swiss towns are compact - especially in Bernese Oberland where Interlaken is the largest town with only about 5500 inhabitants! As long as you don't choose a really remote accommodation, you should be able to walk to at least a handful of restaurants.

Personally I would take the train all the way from Como. I can see that there are connections to Interlaken with only 2 changes of trains (Milan and Spiez). I don't recommend to drive to Milan as traffic in this city is a nightmare! Check www.rail.ch for the schedule.

Colorado Springs
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6. Re: How is it to drive in the Interlaken/Jungfrau region?

thanks so much for all your h elpful replies. I might just cancel my car reservation.

Basingstoke, United...
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7. Re: How is it to drive in the Interlaken/Jungfrau region?

The best parts of the Jungfrau region are not accessible by car so don't waste your money. The train rides will be a highlight of your holiday!

Martigny...
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for Switzerland
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8. Re: How is it to drive in the Interlaken/Jungfrau region?

There is another thing to consider... You rent a car. When you go to one or more of the car free villages in the Jungfrau region, what do you do? You park it! And parking costs money, on top of a rental per day... And drop charges.

Plus, you are not used to our traffic laws which are strictly enforced. Fines on the spot etc. speeds given in km. not to. Mention roundabouts. And priority.

In sum - don't drive either here or in Italy.

Fremont, California
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9. Re: How is it to drive in the Interlaken/Jungfrau region?

Hi Marilynjanis,

I'm from California.

I have also considered car, however after all feedbacks from this forum, I'm planning to travel by train for my first visit of Switzerland in July, 2013. As a photographer, I initially though car would be better option, then realized most photogenic locations where I want to put my tripod is not accesible by car. All I need to do is little extra home work.

Switzerland is forward thinking country, and what I read is they have developed an excellent public transport system.

Subrata

Colorado Springs
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10. Re: How is it to drive in the Interlaken/Jungfrau region?

Thanks for all your feedback! Now since all of you are recommending that I take the trains I have a question.Since I will be in Italy more than in Switzerland I would buy a rail pass for Italy. than what do I do when I travel from train that starts in Italy and ends in Switzerlannd? Can I purchase the Switzerland portion of my ticket from Como,Italy? Do they sell combination kind of tickets, half eurorail pass and half non pass?

I really do appreciate all the advice you people have given me.!