a VirtualTourist member asked on Jul 21, 2016
Is renting car for 6-7 days more economical than public transpo, taking into account we are a family of 5, and will start our trip from Zurich airport and go straight to Bern, followed by Interlaken, Lucerne and back in Zurich (to catch the flight out)?
If renting car is advisable, what is a good choice (value for money)?
A car will give you more flexibility, especially with a large family, but will not get you to the high mountain areas such as Muerren.
Personally, I've always used public transport, which is very good in Switzerland. One option might be to purchase a Berner Oberland Pass, which would cover most transit and lifts, except for the trip to/from Zurich Airport.
Switzerland has the world's best public transport system and is generally easy to use. Fares can be expensive but there is good value among the various "rover" tickets particularly those that cover local areas. Mountain roads could be difficult as could be parking in downtown areas.
You will need to use public transport for many of the best places to visit, although I have to say I've never really thought of the mountain trains and cable cars a public transport - but of course they are. I tend to think of them as one of the best reasons to visit; funfair rides spread across mountain ranges.
The travel country and regional travel passes you get often include heavy discounts for the mountain transport so whilst they look expensive to start with it works out cheaper. Also if you are travelling with children, check the child rates carefully - they are often just a nominal amount of money so having a big family isn't punitive.
As the family driver when abroad, I love Switzerland because I don't have to drive.
Thank you all for valuable inputs.