From A to B in record time

The canton of Vaud is at the heart of an efficient and modern communications network linking it quickly and easily with the major cities of Switzerland and Europe by road and rail, and the rest of the world by air.

What’s more, the Swiss Post maintains the densest and most efficient distribution network in Europe.

Road

There are motorways connecting the canton of Vaud not only with the other major national conurbations but also the motorway networks in France, Germany, Italy and Austria. Lausanne is just forty minutes or so by car from Geneva, one hour from Berne, or two hours from Basel and Zurich.

Rail

The rail network in Europe and Switzerland is both very dense and ultra modern (pdf). Swiss trains are famous for both their punctuality and their frequency. Services to the main national destinations run several times an hour. By train, Lausanne is just thirty minutes or so from Geneva, one hour from Berne, and two hours from Basel and Zurich.

High speed trains connect Lausanne with several major European cities: Paris (TGV, 3 hours 40), Milan (Cisalpino, 3 hours 10), Stuttgart and Frankfurt (ICE, 5 hours).

Air

Geneva International Airport (AIG) is a mere 40 minutes (65 km) from Lausanne, the capital of the canton of Vaud. It has direct flights to 85 destinations and serves the main airline hubs around the world. This puts Vaud’s towns and cities within easy reach of the major European destinations: Paris, Milan, London, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam and Brussels are just an hour away by air; Berlin, Madrid, Moscow, Helsinki and Vienna can be reached in under two hours. Long-haul flights from Geneva airport reach all four corners of the globe (New York: 8 hours, Tokyo and San Francisco: 15 hours).

Low-cost airlines like EasyJet, FlyBaboo and SkyNet Worldwide Express offer extremely low fares on routes to major European cities (starting from CHF 50.-). There are shuttle flights linking Geneva and Zurich international airport.

Vaud also has three regional airports, in Lausanne, Yverdon-les-Bains and Payerne. All three are equipped to handle business jets and cargo planes.

Boat

There is direct access by river from Basel (2 hours by road or rail) to Rotterdam, the biggest port in the world.

Free ports

Recognising the importance of its exports (which make up 20% of its GDP), the canton of Vaud has set up a number of free ports. These are logistics centres where goods can be stored, packaged, itemised, labelled and reshipped without having to pass through customs on entering and exiting the free enterprise zone. The considerably simplified customs formalities are limited to the TEI-90 procedures.

These free ports are located in Lausanne-Chavornay and Vevey.

See also “Infrastructure and transport” in the “Canton of Vaud” section.

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