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Driving from Switzerland to Autria-PLEASE!!!

Driving from Switzerland to Autria-PLEASE!!!

May 21st, 2005, 07:00 AM
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Driving from Switzerland to Autria-PLEASE!!!

My husband and I are planning on renting a car (in September) and taking the day to drive from Lucern,Switzerland to Salzburg, Austria. Michelin states that it is about 4 1/2 hours. Is it a scenic route or mostly just freeways? Any cute towns or villages we could stop for lunch? Thanks for all of your input
RChandler1118 is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 07:46 AM
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The more scenic route from Lucerne to Salzburg would take you around 7 hours driving time (524 kms), not including stops along the way, which means that you should plan on spending the night somewhere. If you drive via Innsbruck it will add a little more time, but it would be a little more interesting place to spend the night.

The most direct route will take you close to 5 hours driving time (486 kms), not including stops. Most of this is on the major motorways, but the scenery is still nice as you wind through Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany and back into Austria.
Robert2533 is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 08:04 AM
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Yes, we also love little towns and villages....however have learned that the scenery is indeed beautiful also from the autobahns/freeways, and you can always pull off and into a quaint town for lunch. Do some research first to see about where you might be at that time, and look up those towns with Google search. We move along and leave early,..but it might be nice to stop for the night between those two cities....OR it is certainly do-able in one day....IF you already have your hotel reservation in Salzburg lined up ahead of time.
mari5 is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 01:45 PM
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As mentioned already, the drive can be donein one day, but 2 days is more reaxing and offers opportunities to gett off the autobahn for very scenic routings.

The fast way: Start travelling from Luzern along the lake to Brunnen, Schwyz, Einsiedeln and then onto the Autobahn heading east to where it intersects with the autobahn coming from Chur, heading north. Get off that autobahn in Buchs (north of Lichtenstein) and head for Feldkirch in Austria. There, pick up the Austrian autobahn heading east for the Vorarlberg and Innsbruck.

If you are in good shape as far as time goes, get off that autobahn at Kloesterle and take the Bundestrasse (national highway) across the Arlbergpass. It is an easy and scenic drive. The alternative is the tunnel, which I hate. It's two lanes, very busy and poorly ventilated. You appreciate the latter problem, if you get stuck behind a diesel 18-wheeler. The tunnel is a toll road.

Get back on the autobahn at St. Anton and continue on it past Innsbruck to the Autobahndreieck Inntal, where it intersects with the Munich - Salzburg Autobahn.

Now, one note of caution, and one question

Question: Are you aware that there is a substantial drop-off charge if you pick up your car in one country (Switzerland) and drop it off in another country (Austria, Germany, etc.)?

Caution: Be sure you have the autobahn user's decal for the Swiss and Austrian autobahns. Since the Swiss decal is good for a whole year. there is a good possibility that your car will come with it. But the Austrian decal can be bought for for short periods. The shortest time costs about $US7. You can get the decal at the border crossing at Buchs, or any gas station before you get on the Austrian autobahn. Do not drive on the autobahn without it. You can be fairly sure you get stopoped, and you have to fork about $120, in Euros, in cash, on the spot.

The German autobahns are (still) free.
treplow is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 03:52 PM
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treplow is mistaken on one little point..the 120 euro fine in Austria can be paid with a credit card!(doesn't have to be cash) It happened to us just 4 weeks ago as we were leaving Austria(into ITaly). The rental company (FRankfurt) KNEW we were going to be in Austria and never said anything to us abut the sticker. And I've heard Switzerland has one also. You many never be stopped in Austria (we never were again), however the sticker is only 7.60 euro for about 10 days, and certainly worth it.
AND IT WAS 120 EURO ,so on our Mastercard it was $157. (we are in the process of talking with the car rental company at this time).
(WE met some other Americans in Austria who rented in Munich Germany who were advised by our same rental company to get the sticker.....!)
mari5 is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 06:31 PM
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I stand corrected; it used to be cash on the barrel. In fact, Canadian friends of ours had to leave their camera with the cops to ensure that they would return, after having withdrawn the money from an ATM machine. They lost several hours.

There are routes that practically parallel the Feldkirch - German border stretch of the autobahn, but they are SLOW.
treplow is offline  
May 27th, 2005, 05:45 PM
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There are signs everywhere (in English also) as you enter Austria telling you about the Vignette. You can buy one that is good for 10 days for around US10. However you don't need it if you are just driving on the secondary roads, only if you are driving on the Autobahn.
bettyk is offline  
May 27th, 2005, 07:45 PM
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There was NO sign upon our entry into Austia or we would have seen it! ...so that theory is shot...
And I've heard this from other people also.!>)
mari5 is offline  
May 27th, 2005, 08:35 PM
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I agree I have not seen blatant signs either and have entered in many areas, though mostly secondary roads and that would explain lack of signs.
Traveler863 is offline  
May 28th, 2005, 11:28 AM
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If you enter Austria on the Autobahn, there will be signs. If you are only on the secondary roads, then there may not be any signs because you don't need the Vignette to travel the secondary roads.
bettyk is offline  
May 28th, 2005, 01:11 PM
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So all this means: be aware if you enter Austria on a secondary road AND then proceed later to an Autobahn within Austria....which one usually does during part of their trip.!
Those who know this should just fork over the 7.60 euro whenEVER in Austria...OR hope the car rental company will alert you to it ,IF you are traveling to Austria from the rental country.(or NOW you know to Ask!!!_
Well, the original question wasn't concerning this at all....and your trip, RChandler1118, will be beautiful in September.(by renting your car in SWitz. I'm sure the car will already have a Swiss sticker on it...and they will Probably ask you if you plan to go to Austria!)
mari5 is offline  
May 28th, 2005, 07:23 PM
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Mari, your attitude is a bit annoying. The car rental company is under no oblibation to alert you to tolls, you as the driver that is your responsibility to understand the rules of the road so to speak. Yes you can arrive by secondary road and not have the blantant signs and feed into an autobahn but its YOUR responsibility to somehow find that vignette and obey the traffic laws. This is not America where people tend to find other at fault, you as the visitor are obligated to LEARN the traffic laws and abide by them and not blame the car rental company.
Traveler863 is offline  
May 28th, 2005, 07:36 PM
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RChandler1118, you posted this question before and had many good replies. If you are new to fodors and want to find your posts, just click on your screen name on the top left of the screen. Here is a link to this question that you asked :


Here are my comments, as previously posted:

We just did this drive about a week ago from Salzburg to Appenzell, Switzerland via Vaduz. There is a lot of road construction and it doesn't look like its ending anytime soon. Several long sections of the road are one-lane and very slow moving. I would definitely add some time to that 4 1/2 hours that viamichelin.com quoted you. There are a ton of tunnels and several are very long, so you miss a lot of scenery. One in particular has a toll of, I believe, 9 Euros per vehicle.

We didn't find much of the drive past Innsbruck to be very scenic and were more than ready to get to our destination. We ended up eating at a rest stop because there really weren't many appealing towns to stop at along the way. I would suggest you stop at a town off the Autobahn somewhere between Salzburg and Innsbruck or wait until you enter Switzerland.

tcreath is offline  
May 29th, 2005, 06:53 PM
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Traveler863: you gave me chuckle for today! In your own words to another poster, "Elaine, LIGHTEN UP!"
Seems pretty appropriate from me to you.
I'm in no way giving the car rental Co. 100% blame for not informing us about the necessary Austria sticker on
the car....just some the the blame!
And , as you said, the purpose of this forum is to inform others and exchange ideas about travel. I am merely alerting others driving in Austria and Switzerland, to be aware of this decal for the car. They may never be stopped, but not worth the risk.
We lived overseas 5 years, (Senegal, and Lisbon) and have driven in Austria and Switz. before....and have never received a fine for this. Of course if the car is RENTED IN Switz. or Austria then the sticker is usually already ON The CAR...put there by the rental CO.
mari5 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 02:41 PM
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I'm light lol But don't understand how you figure they aren't 100% to blame but some of the blame? I was never a whiz at math but that doesn't add up! Again car rental company is in no way responsible to alert you to tolls. Your contract with them is a car in exchange for money for a certain period of time, period. Of course they all help out with directions and give maps as a courtesy, but generally one cannot expect more than that. Certainly if you ask additional questions such as tolls they'd be more than happy to answer them, but they cannot guess your level of knowledge of the roads and countries your visiting and they can only hope you don't wrap their car around a tree

I strongly agree with using this as a source to share information about tolls, yes this is what is designed for. But additionally I think readers can learn just what a car rental company's responsibilities are and they you as the renter bear most of the responsibility, properly operating it, and yes maintaining it....should it be low on oil yep you put it in and not run it down to catastrophe level then claim they gave you a bum car, it happens and same goes for tolls and other road issues, you ask they inform but unless you ask then they just rent you the car.

Happy travels.
Traveler863 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 04:21 PM
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Traveler863: simple math...anything less than 100% is "some".

Another way of saying the same thing is,"some" of the blame, but not "all".
ANd I truly feel this way.
My husband and I, and MANY others I have mentioned this to have agreed completely...

But lets us give this a rest...it's not that important, is trivial, and silly and neither of us is going to changed our thoughts. To each his own!!!THIs is NOT what this thread is about anyway.
And Happy, Safe, Travels to you and I mean this sincerely.
This is not wha
mari5 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 05:39 PM
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This defies all logic, just how and please explain to me in numbers and/or some mearsurable amount how the car rental company is responsible for your tolls?????????????????????
Traveler863 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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Jusy found this thread..besides the drift into who blames who...there is some great advice here on touring the roads..we shall do the reverse from Bad Aussee to Switz. Jude
grebbs is offline  

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