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Old 09.08.2015, 16:24
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Geneva to Amsterdam - via France or Germany?

Hi there,

We plan on driving from Geneva area to Amsterdam on a Wednesday early afternoon. We'll drive for about 6-7 hours, stay a night somewhere along the way, then finish the drive the next morning.

The suggested route seems to be via the A31 in France, bringing us through Luxembourg and Belgium. But would it save time to go through Switzerland into Germany and take advantage of the autobahn, and if so, what route is least likely to be backed up?

Or... any other tips?

TIA
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Old 09.08.2015, 18:35
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Re: Geneva to Amsterdam - via France or Germany?

Since nobody replied, I give you my own experience:

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The suggested route seems to be via the A31 in France, bringing us through Luxembourg and Belgium. But would it save time to go through Switzerland into Germany and take advantage of the autobahn, and if so, what route is least likely to be backed up?

Or... any other tips?
German route hands down.

For the following reasons:

1) Toll/Péages/Maut: via France: 2 x 35 € (one way), via Germany: 2 x 0 €*

* Provided you already have the Swiss vignette autoroutière, which is the case since you live in Pays-de-Gex which should have been part of canton GE in a perfect world.

A40 is one of the most expensive autoroutes in France (cost/km) between Viry toll plaza (gare de péage de Viry) and Bourg-Tossiat.

2) A31 between Toul and F/L border is a freeway and also one of the crappiest autoroutes in France. Whenever a French autoroute is a freeway (autoroute non concédée), expect poor amenities, dirty bathrooms, congestions/pollutions, bad pavement... This is also true for Italy (freeway vs. turnpike).

3) Wallonia has some of the bumpiest autoroutes I have ever seen.
Okay, not like this or this but pretty much like this. Best way to test your shock absorbers or piss off your sleeping kids...

4) German Raststätte are usually cheaper than French aires de service.

5) Beautiful Rhine river scenery


Via France: avoid A6 (Macon-Beaune), use the newer and less congested A39 instead.


Via Germany: avoid A3, A67 and A5 north of Heidelberg.

From Basel Weil, keep driving north on A5, take A6 at Walldorf jct (A5 exit #40) and head towards Mannheim* and immediately after 5 km take A61 (A6 Exit #30) and head towards Koblenz/RP. That way you bypass most German congestions... Keep driving on A61 till you reach the D-NL border and follow signs to Eindhoven / Utrecht / Amsterdam.

* Make sure you don't take A6 towards Heilbronn


ENJOY YOUR TRIP and tell us which route you finally took
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Old 11.08.2015, 12:06
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Re: Geneva to Amsterdam - via France or Germany?

Super informative, thanks Ramtin[e]!

We will likely take your advice.

Will try to remember to post our experience
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Old 11.08.2015, 12:36
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Re: Geneva to Amsterdam - via France or Germany?

Keep an eye on the weather report: Last week I drove from Trier to Zurich and chose the Alsace over Germany for a single reason: Some parts of the Autobahn between Karlsruhe and Basel are so old that they are made of concrete instead of tarmac. As soon as it's over 30C hot is there a speed limit of 80 (!) in order to prevent "blow ups"... (only on the concrete bits, not the tarmac of over 90% of the Autobahn).
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Old 11.08.2015, 13:21
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Re: Geneva to Amsterdam - via France or Germany?

I always find via Michelin to be the most informative planner, (Below is the link for simply Geneva to Amsterdam)

http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/web/Rou...routeConso=5.6

Above there are 3 recommended routes, with times and prices, the prices include the Sfr 40 Vignette which you probably already have.
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Old 11.08.2015, 17:17
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Re: Geneva to Amsterdam - via France or Germany?

We have done the Zurich - Utrecht route a few times, and we always choose DE over FR. We do the ZH-Basel-Karlsruhe-Mannheim-Koblenz-Nijmegen and then up towards Utrecht.

Even with the roadworks around Koblenz, we found that the road 61 is not too busy. However, last time we drove back, the road became a "patinoire" - absolutely awful with rain.

France has too many tolls, absolutely stinky toilets, and too many speed cameras!

Goede reis (Have a safe trip)
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Old 12.08.2015, 16:48
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Re: Geneva to Amsterdam - via France or Germany?

Making a trip my bike to R'dam soon and had planned to go through Germany. Thanks for confirming that it's the right choice and which roads to take!
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Old 25.08.2015, 23:38
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Re: Geneva to Amsterdam - via France or Germany?

Took the German route (traveled on Wed afternoon/Thu morning) and back on Sunday, as suggested by Ramtin[e]. While it's hard to compare having not gone the other route, there were virtually no delays and we kept schedule no problem. The only issue was that the A61 had a long stretch of reduced speed stretches (down to 80 with narrow, merged lanes) so this slowed us down a bit.

We heard from other friends traveling through France (different route) that their 8-hour drive turned into 16 hours due to congestion and traffic, so I'm definitely thankful for the advice!
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Old 26.08.2015, 08:54
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Re: Geneva to Amsterdam - via France or Germany?

I've done Zurich to northern Holland many times and always via Germany in to near Utrecht and then over IIRC.

I've also done Rotterdam ferries many times and I tend to go Basel-Germany-Mulhouse-Metz-Luxembourg-Belgium-Holland. Not a bad route but the Belgians can't drive for shit and the roads are average there. But for Rotterdam it makes sense....Amsterdam maybe not so as you want to come through Utecht in my opinion.

The small bit of toll is countered by the cheap fuel in Luxembourg. But France and Belgium are riddled with speed cameras.
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Old 03.09.2015, 17:57
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Re: Geneva to Amsterdam - via France or Germany?

I've done trips between various places in the Netherlands and Pays de Gex or Valais many times now, both via France and via Germany and there are advantages and disadvantages to both routes.

France has a nice long area of relatively cheap peage (around 20 EUR), which is a nice road to drive on as it's rather quiet (between Dole and Nancy), just set the cruise control to 130 and go. The pass through the Jura mountains near the Pays de Gex is quite beautiful, but might not be nice to drive in the winter with snow. Luxembourg has cheap gas. But the roads outside the peage and the Belgian highway aren't that great.

The German route has the advantage of large swaths of highway with no speed limit. Going up to 160+ can save you quite some time, if you drive outside rush hours. The roadside facilities are a bit nicer in Germany than in France. But there are a lot of "baustellen" (construction works) that cause slowdowns or traffic jams. And the highways around large cities can be very crowded in rush hour.

For us, the decission is now primarily made based upon our destination in NL (or departure point). The more west that is, the more likely we are to choose the French route.
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