Zurich and Geneva ranked as having the worst traffic in Switzerland

Zurich and Geneva ranked as having the worst traffic in Switzerland

The TomTom Traffic Index for 2021 has revealed the Swiss city with the worst traffic. While drivers can be reassured that no Swiss city is high in the ranking, many still have long delays.

TomTom Traffic Index 2021

The TomTom Traffic Index looks at traffic congestion in 404 cities across 58 countries around the world. Each city is judged by the average amount of time drivers lose due to traffic every year, and how much longer a journey takes in the city because of traffic jams.

Istanbul was found to be the most congested city in 2021, with a congestion rate of 62 percent and locals losing around 142 hours stuck in traffic jams in total. The road design and the number of cars mean that a journey of half an hour takes 62 percent longer than it would have done if the roads were clear.

European cities dominated the list, with Moscow, Kiev, Bucharest and Saint Petersburg all being in the top eight, seeing congestion levels of 50 percent or higher. The most congested city outside of Europe was Bogota in Colombia, where journeys take more than 50 percent longer because of the jams.

Roads in Zurich and Geneva the most congested

Out of cities in Switzerland, Geneva and Zurich were found to be the most congested, coming in 75th and 77th place globally with a congestion rate of 30 percent. Drivers in the two largest cities in Switzerland lost a total of 69 hours a year stuck in gridlock. This means a 30-minute journey in either city takes an extra 9 minutes because of the traffic.

Some of this can be attributed to continual roadworks on Switzerland’s motorways, with the expansion of the infamous Gubristtunnel (the place where most traffic jams occur in Zurich) only set to be completed in 2023. Plans and construction work to expand the road network in Geneva may have also contributed to the rise.

Worst traffic to be found at rush hour and midday on Saturday

All Swiss cities experienced the worst traffic at 8am and 5pm, as workers commuted to and from work. On the weekend, travellers on Saturdays should avoid the peak times between 1pm and 7pm, so be sure to hit the road early! The traffic on Sundays is reported to be low across the board.

The de-facto capital, Bern was the Swiss city with the least amount of traffic out of those that TomTom analysed, with a congestion rate of 20 percent, traffic levels are on par with Dutch cities and most cities in Germany.

The new index showed that traffic increased across the board throughout 2021 due to the reopening of businesses after COVID restrictions. To the residents of Zurich and Geneva, it may be best to use each city's excellent public transport to avoid being bumper to bumper for hours on end.

Best and worst cities for traffic in Switzerland in 2021

According to the 2021 TomTom Traffic Index, this is how Swiss cities compare when it comes to congestion levels: 

  1. Geneva (30 percent)
  2. Zurich (30 percent)
  3. Lugano (29 percent)
  4. Lausanne (24 percent)
  5. Basel (24 percent)
  6. Bern (20 percent)

For more information about the ranking, visit the TomTom website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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