If you haven’t visited Switzerland yet, then you’ve got to move this incredible destination to the top of your bucket list. If you have visited Switzerland, but not by motorhome, that needs to change!
The only thing better than visiting this stunning country is doing so behind the wheel of a motorhome. Switzerland is the perfect balance of magnificent nature and amazing cities, allowing you to experience the best of both. Your trip can include shopping, hiking, swimming, cultural pursuits and of course, plenty of Swiss chocolate!
Here’s everything you need to know to visit Switzerland by motorhome.
Getting to Switzerland
Driving to Switzerland from the UK is quite the journey, so make sure you’re aware of exactly what you’re tackling. To drive this route safely, you need a minimum of two days and to be an experienced driver.
Leaving the UK is the easy part, as you can take the Eurotunnel or Ferry from Folkestone to Calais. That does mean that if you’re starting in the north, you’ll need to factor this in to your driving time.
From Calais, we recommend taking the A26, A4, A26, A5, A31 and N19 to Langres. This takes about five hours and allows you to avoid the chaos of Paris - something we always recommend! Langres is a great place to stop for lunch, or if you started pretty far from Folkestone, then this may be where you’d like to stop for the night.
If you’ve still got some driving left in you, then leave Langres on the N19 until you reach Vesoul (another possible resting place), and then onwards to Lure and Belfort. By now, even the most seasoned driver should rest after their first day of travel.
If you’re heading towards Bern, you can start your second day of travel by taking the A36 and N1019 towards Dell. From there, you cross the border and take the 16 through Delemont and then the 6 to Bern.
But if you’re heading to the east of Switzerland, we recommend leaving Belfort and following the A36 to Mulhouse. Then the A35 heading south to Basel, and from there it’s simple to travel further east.
Camping in Switzerland
You’ve reached Switzerland in your motorhome, so now it’s time to choose what campsites you’ll stay at! Wild camping is only allowed in the mountains, and not in national parks or nature reserves. If you’d like to engage in proper camping behaviour, like taking out your awning or cooking outdoors, you need to stay at one of the many great campsites in Switzerland.
Perfectly located outside of the city with easy access to the highway, you’ll find plenty of rest after your busy day. Free WIFI and power, to ensure you’re camping in Switzerland is in ultimate comfort.
Price: starting from CHF 15/ £12
Location: Seefeldstrasse, 6048 Horw, Switzerland
GPS: 47.010845, 8.310692
Located within the city, this Swiss campsite is run by a friendly staff. It is possible to rent bikes, with the first four hours free. Located by a river, it is possible to rinse off after a warm day of exploring!
Price: CHF 26/ £21
Location: Strandweg 49, 3084 Wabern bei Bern, Switzerland
GPS: 46.932831, 7.455341
A spacious campsite featuring plenty of accomodation options and spotless facilities. There’s something for everyone here, from a cosy restaurant to playground equipment.
Price: starting from CHF 12.50 / £10
Location: Seestrasse 201, 3800 Unterseen, Switzerland
GPS: 46.680740, 7.815712
Conveniently located near the E62, this small campsite is a calm oasis after busy days of driving. Fall asleep to the sounds of the nearby river, and watch the sunset over the mountainous view.
Price: starting from 15 CHF / £13
Location: Geschinaweg 41, 3900 Brig, Switzerland
GPS: 46.308835, 7.993351
Wake up to a stunning view of Lake Geneva, and take advantage of the luxurious facilities offered. Camping in Switzerland at it’s finest!
Price: starting from 17 CHF / £14.00
Location: Rue du Quai 11, 1844 Villeneuve, Switzerland
GPS: 46.395284, 6.920940
A mere 10 minutes from the centre, this campsite will have you perfectly situated to explore the area. It is situated in a national park, and you’ll be able to make use of the private beach.
Price: starting from 18 CHF / £15
Location: Via Molinazzo 9, 6982 Agno, Switzerland
GPS: 45.995617, 8.905964
A homely campsite surrounded by peaks and forests, it offers sanitary facilities and more.
Price: starting from 13 CHF / £11
Location: Spissstrasse 17, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland
GPS: 46.025991, 7.750394
Driving in Switzerland
Once you get used to driving on the right, you’ll find that driving in Switzerland isn’t that tricky after all!
Make sure you get the correct motorway vignette for your car. Check everything you need to know about toll roads in Switzerland so you don’t get caught with a nasty fine later!
Switzerland is known for having hefty speeding fines. For example, driving 61 km/h in a 50 km/h zone can cost you CHF 250. Thankfully, apps like Google Maps or Waze will always say what the speed limit is in an area.
When driving in Switzerland, your vehicle must contain:
- A warning triangle
- Insurance and car documentation
- Valid ID and driving license
- A first aid kit, fire extinguisher and safety vests (recommended)
- Parking disc (recommended)
Keep in mind that driving in Switzerland involves a lot of mountain roads, so read up on the best way to drive safely through these. Also, during winter a lot of these roads will be closed, so you may need to find an alternative route.
Best motorhome destinations in Switzerland
There are so many great places to visit in Switzerland that it made it difficult to choose! Ideally, we’d recommend doing a motorhome road trip in Switzerland to see as many as possible. Here are our favourite motorhome destinations in Switzerland.
You simply must visit Zurich during your trip! Head to Lake Zurich to walk the Lake Zurich Promenade. You’ll get to savour the incredible architecture and witness daily life bustling by. You can also take a boat ride on the lake, or to the connecting Limmat River. You can explore the entire city via it’s waterways, and stay cool while doing so!
Be sure to visit the Kunsthaus Zurich during your trip. Seize this opportunity to witness a variety of art pieces from numerous renowned Swiss artists, as well as works from world-wide names such as Gogh, Rembrandt and Picasso. It also features more interactive exhibits, creating an experience unique to other art galleries.
If you’d like to continue your cultural tour, visit one of the numerous historic churches dotted across Zurich. From the Romanesque Grossmunster church, to the 8th century St. Peter church, you’ll find a wide variety of choices! Looking to do a spot of shopping? Head to Bahnhofstrasse, a main street with plenty of shopping options.
This city is the epitome of Swiss culture and nature, so don’t miss it during your motorhome holiday in Switzerland. You can explore the Weissenau Nature Reserve, a stunning wetland ideal for walking. You’ll also find the ruins of Weissenau Castle, built in the 1200s. Also be sure to visit the Jungfraujoch railway, which was built between 1896 and 1912, and takes you to the highest railway station in Europe.
Looking to get your adrenaline rushing? Soar to new heights by paragliding or skydiving, or conquer the waves with speed boating or river rafting. Prefer solid ground beneath you? Enjoy an afternoon spent mountain biking. Beside Lake Thun you’ll find the St Beatus Caves. Local legend claims that the dragon of these caves was kicked out by the Irish monk Beatus in the 500s. The cave system left is phenomenal, featuring a waterfall as well. There is also a restaurant and museum!
No trip to Switzerland is complete without Bern! The capital city of Switzerland, Bern is filled with history, stunning architecture and plenty of things to do. Definitely plan a visit to Bern’s Old Town to enjoy the covered shopping area. It is built on a cliff beside the Aare River and features a variety of activities and delightful cafes. You’ll certainly be recommended while there, but be sure to also visit the famous clock tower of Zytglogge. Located in Bern’s Old Town, it is a tribute to the clock-making history of Switzerland, and features this through the design. Over 800 years old, and you wouldn’t guess it! Be sure to visit in time for the hour change, when moving puppets make an appearance.
Take an hour out of your trip to visit the Cathedral of St. Vincent. Also known as the Berner Munster and the Bern Cathedral, this esteemed historic artefact was built over the course of 470 years. It features art across the centuries, and the terrace is also a view to behold.
Brig is an Alpine town too often forgotten by people visiting Switzerland. It’s located in southern Switzerland, close to the Italian border.
In Brig, we recommend crossing the Simplon Pass, a mountain pass of 2005m that link Brig with Domodossola in Italy. It was used in the 17th century to transport salt by mule, but now you can thankfully cross it by car or train. Explore the Stockalper Palace, you can enter for free and roam around the main court, baroque gardens and more.
While here, you simply must take a soak at Thermal Camping Brigerbad. Release all the driving tension that has built up over this Switzerland road trip in a motorhome. Either enjoy the public pool or rent a private one, and consider a massage to round it all off!
This city stands out for its perfect blend of Swiss and Italian culture. There are plenty of things to do in Lugano and most involve enjoying the great outdoors!
Your motorhome trip to Switzlernad won’t be complete without a hike. For this, we suggest tackling Monte San Salvatore. It’s just classified as a mountain, at just over 900m. Hike to the top within an hour, and if required, take the cable car back down!
Head out onto Lake Lugano. This glacial lake reaches the steep edge of mountains surrounding, and can be crossed by boat or ferry. You could almost consider it to be international waters, as you’ll be able to flit between Italy and Switzerland!
Visit the neighbouring village of Gandria. These quaint cobblestoned streets hold a dark past, as this home to a major smuggling operation only a century ago. You wouldn’t know it now, and the sloping houses and Church of St Viglio will provide a tranquil afternoon stroll.
Now all that’s left to do is pack your bags and hit the road! A motorhome holiday in Switzerland will not disappoint, and you’re likely to be returning many times after. If you don’t have a motorhome for your trip, then hire one to go abroad. This will also give you a chance to see if you like motorhome travel or that specific vehicle, before investing in your own!