Transport and infrastructure in Switzerland

Our listing of the primary kinds of transport compares the infrastructure of Switzerland with the average of all countries in Europe. Overall, the traffic routes are above average and in good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, Switzerland ranks 44th in the world with 0.37 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 3,236 kilometers long. Freight traffic on the rails most recently totaled 11.67 billion tons and kilometers traveled. Passenger traffic reached 20.86 billion passenger-kilometers in 2017.

The waterways and ports listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals, as there is no direct access to the sea in Switzerland. In 2019, about 103,411 freight containers were transported.

Airports in Switzerland

Back to overview: Switzerland

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 71,557 km. For each of the country's 8.64 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 8.29 meters. This puts Switzerland in 63rd place in the global ranking. However, the country's size and population density of around 209 inhabitants per km² must also be taken into account. Countries with fewer inhabitants on the same or even larger area naturally achieve quite different values here and have to connect remote areas to the transport network despite a smaller population.

With an average of 256 traffic fatalities per year (2012 - 2019), road traffic in Switzerland is considered very safe. This corresponds to around 4.3 accident fatalities per 3.1 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 5.9 in the European Union as a whole and 17.1 worldwide.

In Switzerland, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, i.e. people drive in the right-hand lane and overtake on the left. Oncoming traffic comes toward you on the left side. This rule was introduced at the end of the 18th century during the Napoleonic Wars. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.



 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways71,600 km8,285.04 km1,733.02 m
Railroads3,200 km374.67 km78.37 m
Waterways1,292 km149.59 km31.29 m
Commercial harbors283.240.001


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways6,708,300 km11,136.37 km1,111.61 m
Railroads258,600 km429.31 km42.85 m
Waterways53,100 km88.21 km8.81 m
Commercial harbors15,29125.380.003

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Switzerland: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in SwitzerlandThe 5 biggest airports and 8 airlines in Switzerland with further information and data
Switzerland: ClimateClimate and temperature development in SwitzerlandA climate analysis for Switzerland incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, Water temperature, Rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing