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Sunshine and traffic jams: What to expect in Switzerland over Pentecost weekend

Another long weekend is ahead, which means heavier-than-usual traffic on Swiss roads and in the air, although the wether forecast is positive. Here’s what you should know.

Sunshine and traffic jams: What to expect in Switzerland over Pentecost weekend
Road traffic will be heavy this weekend. Photo: Pixabay

As is the case before every public holiday, traffic jams are to be expected on roads leading to the mountains or to other popular tourist destinations, both in Switzerland and abroad.   

The government has issued a list of places where bottlenecks and other disruptions are most likely to happen.

Generally, slow traffic / bottlenecks are most likely on these roads:


A1, Harkingen – Wangen a.A.
A1, Aarau-East – Birrfeld
A1/A6, Bern region
A1, Geneva (Bardonnex border post)
A9, Lausanne region
A2/A3, Basel
A2, Diegten – Harkingen
A2/A14, Lucerne region (from Stans-Nord / in the direction of return)
A2, Erstfeld – Biasca (Gothard road tunnel)
A2, Lugano-Mendrisio
A2, Chiasso (border post towards Italy)
A3, Walenstadt-Reichenburg
A6, Bern – Thun
A8, Brienz – Interlaken – Spiez
A9, Vevey-Martigny
A12 Châtel-St-Denis – La Veyre / Vevey interchange
A13, Sarganserland – Thusis-South
A13, Andeer-Mesocco
A13, Bellinzona-Nord – Reichenau
A15, North Uster – East Uster; between Hinwil and the Reichenburg interchange over several sections

Main roads

Spiez – Kandersteg (in the direction of departures)
Gampel – Goppenstein (in the direction of the returns)
Raron – Brig
Various main roads in the Bernese Oberland, Graubünden and Valais side valleys, and other border crossings
H338, Hirzel – Sihbrugg
H340, Hinwil – Aathal

In the direction of departures, waiting times are to be expected between 8am and 4pm at the transhipment stations Furka in Realp, Lötschberg in Kandersteg and Vereina in Klosters-Selfranga.

In the return direction, waiting times will be possible between 11am and 6pm in Oberwald (Furka), Goppenstein (Lötschberg) and Lavin-Saglians (Vereina).

Authorities are also asking motorists, as they do prior to any public holiday travel period, not to stray off motorways but to stay the course even in traffic jams. That’s because making such detours “overloads the secondary road network to the point of paralysis of traffic, and greatly increases the risk of accidents for all road users.”

What about the airports?

All three of Switzerland’s international airports — Zurich, Geneva, and Basel — typically experience an onslaught on passengers at this time of the year..

Therefore, expect longer-than-usual wait times, arriving early enough to make it through check-in and security lines.

A bit of good news…

The weather forecast for the holiday weekend is great.

It will be mostly sunny, with temperatures in all regions reaching mid-20C.

MeteoSwiss weather service

Which cantons are not off on Monday?

Pentecost (also known as Whit Monday) is a public holiday in most Swiss cantons.

The only ones that don’t celebrate it (and where Monday is a regular work day) are Neuchâtel, Solothurn, Valais, and Zug.

READ ALSO: When are the Swiss public holidays in your canton in 2023?

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Edelweiss airline to run more flights from Switzerland to US and Canada

After SWISS airline announced this week the inauguration of direct flights from Zurich to Washington DC and Toronto in spring of 2024, another airline, Edelweiss Air, also said new flights to North America will take off next year.

Edelweiss airline to run more flights from Switzerland to US and Canada

Edelweiss, which is partly owned by SWISS airline, will increase in 2024 the number and frequency of direct air connections from its base in Zurich to the two Canadian destinations of Vancouver and Calgary. 

Vancouver will be served on an extended basis from May to October and daily during the height of summer. Calgary-bound flights will increase from two to three weekly from May to September.

In the USA, flights to Tampa will be doubled: Edelweiss will now offer four direct flights per week during the summer to the Florida destination, instead of two currently.

Las Vegas will once again benefit from a Saturday flight, while the third weekly frequency will be extended in the fall.

Denver, in Colorado, will be served three times a week starting in June.

Other long-haul destinations 

In all, Edelweiss will expand the frequency of flights to 23 inter-continental destinations during the 2024 summer timetable.

They include, in addition to established locations, the capital of Oman, Muscat; Phuket in Thailand; Cape Town in South Africa; as well as Colombian cities of Bogotá and Cartagena.

The 2024 schedule for short and medium-haul flights will be released in coming weeks.

All the flights leave from Zurich, but if you would like to fly out on Edelweiss from Geneva or Basel’s EuroAirport, you can book these flights on the SWISS website.

READ ALSO: Airline SWISS to open new routes to North American and European destinations