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Help! Driving from Colmar to Interlaken

Hi everyone,

We have 3 people traveling. We will be landing in Zurich. Is it better to take a train from Zurich to Colmar, France? Or is it better to rent a car to drive from Zurich to Colmar and the whole Alsace region?

Also, is it better to drive from Colmar to Interlaken? Or is it better to take a train? If we were to drive, is there anything we should be careful of while driving from Colmar to Interlaken?

Thank you so much!

Hannah

Posted by
31435 posts

Using trains would be far easier (IMO). The Swiss rail system especially is very efficient, and the trip from Zürich airport to Colmar is ~2 - 3 hours, with 1 - 3 changes. If you're planning to tour the Alsace by car, I'd probably rent one in France and return it before going to Interlaken.

For driving in France, note that each driver listed on the rental form should have an International Driver's Permit, which is used in conjunction with your home D.L. IDP's are available at any AAA / CAA office for a small fee, and are valid for one year.

Are you planning to stay in Interlaken, or one of the towns in the Lauterbrunnen Valley?

Posted by
58 posts

Hi Ken,
Thank you for your helpful info. I think I will take your advice on taking the train from Zurich airport to Colmar, and rent a car in Colmar. Then take the train from Colmar to Interlaken.

I am planning spending 1 day and a half in Switzerland. I want to get up Schilthorn mountain and visit Grimmelwald and Lauterbrunnen valley. Do you think I need a card for the 1 day a half in Switzerland? What would be a good town to stay if I want to see all those places in Switzerland. Also, I want to see Brienz, and potential the castle in Thun….

Thank you so much!

Hannah

Posted by
7081 posts

I am planning spending 1 day and a half in Switzerland. I want to get up Schilthorn mountain and visit Grimmelwald and Lauterbrunnen valley. Do you think I need a card for the 1 day a half in Switzerland? What would be a good town to stay if I want to see all those places in Switzerland.

Ken may say a good place to stay is in Murren or Lauterbrunnen and you don't need a pass for such short stay.

Posted by
1046 posts

"For driving in France, note that each driver listed on the rental form should have an International Driver's Permit, which is used in conjunction with your home D.L. IDP's are available at any AAA / CAA office for a small fee, and are valid for one year."

I don't think France requires an IDP.

Posted by
8889 posts

Yes, France does require an IDP for holders of non-EU type licences. Or a certified translation, but an IDP is easier to come by.

Posted by
1046 posts

This from the official French Tourism Website. Also, I have seen this information on several online sites.

"If you are staying in France for less than 90 days, you can drive with your valid US driver's license. It's also generally recommended to get an International Driving Permit, which provides a translation of your license. These are available from the American Automobile Association. If you are staying in France for longer than 90 days, you can drive with your US license for one year."

Read more at: http://us.france.fr/en/about-france/renting-car-and-driving-france