What you should know before hiring a car in Zurich
|Zurich city centre|
|Kloten Airport (ZRH): 8 km from city centre|
Where to rent a car in Zurich?
The Swiss city of Zurich is known as a financial hub, and overlooks Lake Zurich. It is served by Zurich Airport, which is also Switzerland's largest international air hub. It is located 6 miles from Zurich's city center. There are a number of options available for visitors wishing to reach Zurich from the airport, including train, shuttle bus, taxi and rental car. A number of companies offer car rental services at Zurich airport, including Thrifty, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, National Car Rental, King Rent and Avis. A small country, Switzerland offers lots to those who choose to explore by car, with safe roads and plenty of places to stop off. Most trains in Switzerland are operated by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB CFF FFS), with major train stations located Basel, Bern, Lausanne, Geneva and Zurich.
Driving in Zurich: parking and other tips
When driving in Zurich, follow Swiss driving law. That means driving on the right, keeping your headlights switched on, and abiding by the drink drive limit of 25mg/100ml – which means it's best not to drink at all before driving. As a popular hub in Switzerland, Zurich streets can get crowded. Parking on the street in Zurich is difficult, as most spaces are taken by those with permits. Therefore, it is best to look for a dedicated parking lot. For those who do find on-street parking, be sure to pay attention to parking signs, as these will indicate both the cost of parking and the maximum duration for which you can leave your car. Alternatively, Park & Ride schemes are also in place in Zurich and can be found near major train or bus stations.
Road trips from Zurich
Travel through the Swiss Alps, discover beautiful cities, and drive along well maintained roads on a road trip around Switzerland. As one of Switzerland's principle cities, Zurich is a great place to start exploring the country by rental car – here are three of our top picks for an enjoyable Swiss road trip.
Zurich to Lucerne
With a picturesque location on the banks of Lake Zurich, Zurich is a great place to begin a trip around Switzerland. In the city, see the Grossmünster cathedral; the Fraumünster church; and the Swiss National Museum, before heading out to explore by car. Under an hour's drive away, the picturesque city of Lucerne awaits. Overlooking Lake Lucerne, it's home to attractions such as the Kapellbrücke bridge, and is close to popular hiking areas such as the Pilatus and Rigi mountains in the Swiss Alps.
Zurich to Bern
Around 77 miles away by car, the Swiss capital of Bern can be reached by charming country roads. The city's symbol is the Bernese brown bear, and the Bärengraben – a former bear pit – is a good place to go to learn more about this, while the nearby BearPark is now home to a number of bears. Bern is located on the Aare river, which offers plenty of recreational and outdoors activities such as rafting and hiking.
Zurich to Geneva
From Zurich to Geneva, the road takes travelers along scenic mountain passes, through beautiful cities, and past small villages. Several stops are possible along the way, depending on the route selected: Lucerne, Bern and Lausanne can all be visited. Make use of the freedom afforded by traveling by car to stop off in the Swiss Alps and enjoy hiking and stunning mountain views. Upon arrival in Geneva, be sure to see the impressive Jet d'Eau on Lake Geneva; the Palace of Nations; and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum.