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From what I've found out, in big cities of Switzerland, there are a planty of Parkhouses, but the prices vary often considerably. For example, I've checked a few options on the site https://parkingzuerich.ch/parkhaeuser/tarife/ and I've found out, the difference can be as much as 4 times or even bigger. And I suppose, not all parkhouses are listed there.

Is there any service which helps to find the cheapest parking options, or the only option is to google for parkhouses, and check the prices of all of them on their web site (if they have one)?

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You can use Parkopedia. They show the prices (default is 2 hours stay) and locations of car parks overlaid on a map like this (for Zürich):

Screenshot Parkopedia Zürich 2house

Parking in the centre is expensive, and if you're staying for more than a couple of hours it may be better to park and ride from further out.

The Website is, by its own admission, incomplete, so there may be some other car parks not listed, and some smaller towns with no information at all.

Verwaltet Parkopedia alle Parkplätze? Nein, wir verwalten nicht alle Parkplätze. Wir helfen Fahrern lediglich, Geschäfts-, Straßen- und Privatparkplätze auf ihrem Computer oder Handy zu finden.

Does Parkopedia show all parking spaces? No, we don't show all parking spaces. We only help drivers to find business, street or private parking spaces using their computer or phone.

  • (+1) I didn't know about this website, it's great! However looking at the map it doesn't seem very complete even for Zurich and then I tried to look up some smaller cities in Switzerland and I couldn't get any results. So probably this works well for the biggest cities, but not for the rest of Switzerland? – drat Dec 1 '16 at 9:31
  • @drat, that seems like a fair summary. I added a bit to the post about the lack of completeness. It looks like a commercial website, and I guess they aimed for the biggest car parks in the biggest locations first, and will try to fill in the gaps as they go. – Fillet Dec 1 '16 at 10:08
  • PARKOPEDIA - Best website in Europe for parking. I love it! Some even show you realtime how many places are open. Others allow you to prebook, say if you going to an event in the area and want the closest parking. – Piotr Kula Dec 1 '16 at 10:14
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I don't think there is any centralised database of parking fees for the whole of Switzerland, so you'd effectively have to look up each place. Parking fees are often required even for roadside parking and the rules and fees vary by town. However it may pay off to have a closer look at the fine print on the parking meter, often times overnight parking or weekends might be free.

However, there is one possibility: If you are looking to park just for a short while you can look out for blue parking lots which can be used with a blue parking disc. The disc can be bought at any petrol station or post office. The rules are not exactly the same as in neighbouring countries:

  • It allows for 1 hour free parking Monday to Saturday from 08:00-11:30 and from 13:30-18:00. However you are allowed to put the mark on the next half hour (you arrive at 09:00, you can put it on 09:30) so this can effectively give you 1.5 hours.
  • If you arrive during lunch, you can stay until 14:30, if you arrive at or after 18:00 you can stay until 09:00 the next morning.

Note that it will be hard to find those lots in big cities such a Zurich, which are also the places where parking will be very expensive. In those cases it may be cheaper and more convenient to park outside the city and take the train/tram/bus into the centre.

Just to add: There are also often white parking fields which are free as long as there is no sign indicating that they are private or payable. However, as mentioned above, you are unlikely to encounter these in bigger cities.

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