Getting to Switzerland from the UK
One of the easiest ways to get to Switzerland is by train. Despite mountains the Swiss rail network is extremely well developed and notably reliable. There are fast trains into Geneva, Zurich, Basel and Lausanne. From Italy you can travel fast to Lugano. From London (St Pancras) the fastest train route is to Geneva but the journey does take over 7 hours and involves a change in Paris where you need to go from Gare du Nord to either Gare de Lyon or Gare de L’Est. The trains from Paris which go to Lausanne from Gare de Lyon often go on to cities further into Switzerland such as Brig or Berne. The best way to look up times and other details is www.rail.ch.
Driving from the UK is a long way (about 900km) but is made much easier by the French autoroute system with its “peages” (motorways with toll charges). You can pay the toll charges in cash (Euros) or by credit card and the cost is equivalent to about £40 each way. The journey is extremely quick until you get to the Jura mountains where you have a choice of routes - a popular one being through Besancon and crossing the border at Vallorbe.
For the channel crossing you have a choice of Eurotunnel or a ferry. The tunnel costs anything between £39 and about £110. To get the lower rate you have to book a series of 10 tickets and avoid peak times. However, the ten crossings have to be used within 12 months but this is a strict deadline - Eurotunnel is quite inflexible about extensions to this 12 months even on compassionate grounds. Aside from these frequent traveller tickets, it pays to book ahead and you can get a two-way price of £100 even in the summer. Last minute tickets are at least twice as much at peak times. The key to reasonable priced tickets is planning and booking ahead.
The ferry is slower but quite comfortable. It is run by P&O and Sea France.
Flying is of course the quickest way to get to Switzerland from the UK and Ireland. There are over 50 flights each day from the UK from at least 10 different UK airports. The main full service airlines are British Airways and Swiss.com whilst there are the usual cheaper services, notably Easyjet which uses Geneva as its hub. The flight time from London is about one and a half hours but of course you have to add the time for getting to the airport, waiting time and time to clear customs and passport control.ueoa
Switzerland is land-locked but it is still possible to arrive by boat from France or Germany – across the lakes where the border runs along the middle of the lake (notably Lac Leman/Lake Geneva and Bodensee/Lake Constance).