Fribourg is located approximately halfway between Zurich and Geneva, which means either airport is convenient to reach the city. Both airports are well connected with the rest of the world with most airlines flying in, and they both have a train station from which you can take a train to Fribourg (approx. an hour and a half ride, with at least one direct train every hour).
Land in Geneva and catch a direct train to Fribourg
The great upside of landing in Geneva is the fact that during the first half of your ride you get to enjoy the view over Lake Geneva and the Lavaux (a famous Swiss wine region), located between Geneva main station and Vevey. The video below, shot between Vevey and Lausanne, shows you what you’re in for, but note that it was shot on the way back from Fribourg towards Geneva. So to enjoy the view as you travel from Geneva to Fribourg, make sure that you sit by a window on the right hand side of the train (facing the lead car) to enjoy this breathtaking scenery that the Unesco has classified as World Heritage. The train ride from Geneva airport to Fribourg is direct and takes about an hour and a half. Check the timetables and get tickets on the Swiss Railroad Website [url].
(video credit: Steve Oswald, audio credit: Deep Purple, “Smoke on the water” – trivia for music fans: this song tells the story of how a big fire destroyed the studio where the band was supposed to record their album in Montreux in December 1971, with references to Zappa, the Stones and the organiser of the world famous Montreux Jazz festival, the late Claude Nobs, aka “Funky Claude” in the song. All that happened right there, a few km away from where this video was shot.)
Land in Zürich and catch a direct train to Fribourg
Zürich is very well known for being the biggest city in Switzerland (but it isn’t the capital, and neither is Geneva – it’s Bern, baby, Bern) and one of the most expensive places in the world next to London, Singapore and Hong Kong. The airport has its own train station and a ride to Fribourg will take you a bit more than an hour an a half. Again, check the timetables and get tickets on the Swiss Railroad Website [url].
Here’s what you’d see on that train ride if you were actually driving the train (from Zürich main station, reaching Fribourg at around 01:19:45, sorry no audio track on this one, and no lake, but a nice country side):
Trains in Switzerland are efficient and punctual. And also expensive by non-Swiss standards, of course. However, make sure you check the Swiss Railroad Website for supersaver deals. The downside is that you buy a ticket on one specific train – so you can’t use the ticket to hop on the next one, should your plane be delayed. So make sure you allow enough time when you book it. More information on this website [url].
Make sure you specify Geneva airport or Zurich airport in the form, as each city also has a main station!
Practicalities: electric plugs!
Switzerland is “special” in terms of electric plugs: our plugs are slightly different from European plugs, with smaller round pins and an additional grounding pin (Type J plug). This is what they look like (see right). We will try to have some fixed adapters and a charging station at the conference desk so you can go there to charge your electronic devices, but it would be a good idea to plan ahead and get a universal plug adapter for your trip.