Getting Around

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Getting Around

There's a reason the Swiss travel more miles by train each year than any other people in the world—the public transit network will whisk you away where you want, when you want, for a reasonable sum. Switzerland's excellent public transit network means you can even get to Corippo, Ticino (pop. 17), at least once an hour.

In general, trains are your best bet for all travel; even the direct intercity connections cut through the lush countryside, while the scenic mountain railways offer incomparable views.

The Swiss Federal Railways offers several discount cards to visitors, but the best deals must be purchased before entering Switzerland. The Swiss Pass allows unlimited travel on a specific number of days; the Swiss Card provides free round-trip transport between the airport and any location in Switzerland as well as a 50% reduction in fare; and the Swiss Half-Fare Card is valid for a 50% reduction in fare only. Often, the Half-Fare Card will give you the most for your money in the long run, but it all depends on the frequency and distance of your travel. Remember that most mountain railways are privately owned and operated, and as a result some discount cards are not accepted.

While cars are more convenient for visiting out-of-the-way villages, many Alpine roads wind precariously, with no barriers between you and the sheer drops. Novices or drivers without nerves of steel may want to avoid them altogether. As tempting as it is—having your own vehicle, taking off whenever you want, listening to Radiohead (or Wagner) full blast—driving in Switzerland is usually more work than enjoyment.

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