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The low tax rates of the picturesque capital of Switzerland's smallest canton have long attracted several multinational corporations. However, Zug is also worth visiting because of its three fascinating museums, late 15th century St Oswald parish church and scenic lakeshore promenade facing the Bernese Oberland's magnificent mountain peaks. The larger cities of Lucerne and Zurich are both no more than a 30-minute journey away by rail, bus or car rental. Zurich Airport, Switzerland's largest airport, is less than an hour's drive away from Zug.
Who to Book With
The main car hire companies in Zug are a Sixt office close to the city centre and an independent company called Heaven Hound which is located further outside of the city. Both companies accept online reservations. Many visitors also decide to rent vehicles in Zurich or at its airport and then make the leisurely drive to Zug.
Best Time to Go
Zug, like nearby Zurich, rarely experiences extreme weather conditions. Summer weather is seldom uncomfortably hot. Instead it is typically pleasantly warm, while winter temperatures do not usually fall far below freezing during the day. September and October may be the best months to visit for tourists wishing to avoid the heavy crowds of summer and the winter skiing season.
Need to Know Essentials
These are the necessary documents for picking up a rental car:
- An International Driving Permit or a European Union driver’s licence
- Additional photo identification, such as a passport
- The credit card used during the online booking process
- Printed reservation confirmation
All vehicles driven in Zug, like those driven elsewhere in Switzerland, must possess a prominently displayed vignette sticker or the driver may face a heavy fine. Most public parking places in Zug are divided into blue and white zones. Motorists must purchase parking discs at police stations or post offices before parking in blue zones, while they must deposit money into one of the on-street parking meters before parking in white zones. Otherwise, driving in Zug is generally a trouble free experience.
Our Guide to Switzerland features even further driving information.
A Swiss vehicle sharing website called Mobility has become a popular alternative to standard car hire companies in the country. Rail is Zug's most prevalent form of public transit thanks to the city's new rail station. Around 70 daily direct trains make the 45-minute journey to Zurich Airport each day. Zug also offers 10 regional bus routes, taxis and even scenic ferry rides across the lakes of Aegeri and Zug. Night trains and buses are also available.
Zug's rail station may be barely a decade old, but 25,000 people still pass through its modern terminal every day. Some use the local commuter train service called Stadtbahn, while others board Swiss railway network trains bound for Zurich, Lucerne and other large cities. One Stadtbahn train travels between Baar and Cham, while another travels to Oberwil, Walchwil, Arth-Goldau and Erstfeld. The Nightbird train makes regular overnight journeys between Zurich and Lucerne. More detailed ticket and schedule information is posted in four different languages on the official Swiss Federal Railways website.
Rail lines may have replaced buses in many parts of Zug, but 10 regional bus routes remain available throughout the region. One of these routes is the Zuger Nachtexpress night bus, which stops at all 11 Zug communities during the night. All other buses operate from 06:00 until midnight. The Zug Public Transport Organisation Office website includes detailed bus schedules and ticket information.
Taxis are expensive, but readily available in Zug. Taxi Keiser AG has transported passengers throughout Zug, Baar and Cham since 1928. All taxis in Zug, like those in other parts of Switzerland, are metered, but late evening passengers should watch for fares which are higher than meter indicates. Taxis can be hailed in streets, reserved in advance by telephone or boarded directly from posted taxi stands.
The small community of Zug is situated roughly halfway between Zurich, located directly north, and Lucerne to the southwest. Both large neighbouring cities can be reached in less than 30 minutes from Zug with car rental. An even closer daytrip option is Cham, which boasts a large number of heritage sites of national significance for its relatively small size.
Cham – The Castle of St Andreas, a Neolithic lakeshore settlement, and a Cistercian convent are just a few of the Swiss national heritage sites situated in the small community of Cham, just 3.5 miles west of Zug. A 15th century Gothic tower tops Cham's 18th century Church of St James. Summer visitors can take scenic boat rides between Zug and Cham.
Lucerne – The first municipality to become part of the Swiss Confederation remains one of the country's most beautiful cities to this day. Lucerne's Old Town may be tiny, but visitors can nonetheless easily get lost in its maze of murals, squares and well-preserved buildings. The city's 14th century Chapel Bridge, rebuilt after a 1993 fire, is considered Europe's oldest bridge constructed entirely from wood.
Zurich – Switzerland's most populous city may have a somewhat dull reputation, but visitors can see the city's crazier side during its annual August Streetparade, Europe's largest open-air techno rave. Zurich and its surrounding mountains can be admired by hiking up the Uetliberg hill overlooking the city or by boarding the 19th century Polybahn cable railway.