Switzerland Travel Guide
SWITZERLAND TRAVEL GUIDE
Switzerland offers mountains, lakes and some of Europe’s most elegant cities. Tourists embrace its stunning nature, explore medieval towns and shop for the latest fashion. Others head to the ski resorts in the Alps during winter. Regardless of your interests, you can find dozens of luxury homes in Switzerland to make your vacation a dream come true. If this is your first time to the Alpine nation, check out these essentials before booking that perfect vacation.
The Matterhorn, one of the highest summits of the Alps , and the whole of Europe. It borders between Switzerland and Italy. It has a near-symmetrical pyramidal peak in the extended Monte Rosa area of the Pennine Alps.
Why visit Switzerland?
Switzerland is a diverse travel destination with attractive cities, stunning mountains, and countless lakes. From the elegance of Zurich and Geneva to the breath-taking views of the Alps, you’ll find everything a tourist could want here. Add in some of Europe’s best scenic railway routes, Swiss chocolate and its rating among the safest countries in the world. In the summer, tourists descend on the small nation to enjoy nature. Others hit the upscale shops and indulge in the very best of Swiss elegance. When the snow starts to fall, skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes in the Alps’ ski resorts. Switzerland offers nature, class and a holidaying experience unmatched in the rest of Europe.
A vineyard facing Lake Geneva – Switzerland Travel Guide
When is the best time to visit Switzerland?
The best time depends on your interests. The majority of Switzerland’s millions of annual tourists visit in either the summer or winter. Warmer weather prompts hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to embrace the nation’s stunning views and landscapes. Spend the night in a log cabin next to one of the lakes or hit the trails and climb some of the peaks. The skiing resorts burst with guests from early November until February. Switzerland’s towns and cities usually see a steady flow of tourists at all times of the year. Christmas is a magical time when snowfall is practically guaranteed.
The large fountain in Geneva, Switzerland – Jet d’Eau, is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. It is located at the point where Lake Geneva empties into the Rhône, the spectacular fountain can be seen all throughout the city and from the air, even when flying over Geneva at an altitude of 33,000 ft.
The best places to visit in Switzerland
There are dozens of places to visit in Switzerland from quaint alpine villages to vibrant cities. Most travelers will visit Zurich or Geneva. Let’s explore both of these destinations in more depth.
Zurich is among Switzerland’s most beautiful cities which sits next to the tranquil Lake Zurich. Explore the city and hit some of the museums. Check out some of their one hundred or so art galleries. Spend your time dining at five-star restaurants and soaking up the atmosphere in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. You can hike to the summit of the nearby Utliberg Mountain too. Or simply rent a boat and sail around the lake in the warm summer sunshine.
Geneva is known around the globe as being the headquarters of the United Nations and the Large Hadron Collider. The compact city features winding streets and classy boutique shops stocked with the latest Swiss fashion. Explore the dozens of museums and snap photographs of the stylish architecture. Numerous operas and theatre performances take place in Geneva too. Be sure to visit Lake Geneva and watch the centerpiece fountain erupt water several hundreds of feet into the air.
If you want to go skiing, check out Zermatt, St Moritz and Jungfrau. Other famous resorts include Saas-Fee, Crans Montana and Verbier. Some cater to the novice and hobbyist skiers and snowboarders. Others have longer and more grueling backcountry routes. Expect immaculate facilities and perfect skiing and snowboarding conditions. Just remember to book your accommodation at least a few months in advance at some of the more popular spots. If you’re traveling as a family, make sure you research the best places to take your children.
Bern, Switzerland’s capital city, is built around a crook in the Aare River.
Switzerland is a notoriously expensive travel destination. The prices tend to be higher than what you would find in London or New York. But if you don’t mind splashing out, you can have a dream vacation. While the costs might be higher, the price is always matched with the quality. Expect a typical meal to cost more than it would back at home. But you’ll be dining in an attractive restaurant with exceptional service and, more likely than not, incredible views from the table. Getting around from one destination to the next is usually pricey too. Take advantage of public transport including both the bus and train. Journeys are almost always on time and will provide a decent level of comfort. Overall, plan to spend at least a couple of hundred dollars each day when you’re in Switzerland.
River Cruise at Limmat River. This tour will bring you to you to see Zurich’s Town Hall, Historical Guild Houses, the Grossmünster church, and Lindenhof. The motorized boats used for the cruise have glass roofs which will enable passengers to enjoy the amazing views wherever they are sitting.
If you plan to get around the country, consider getting a Swiss Travel Pass. This gives discounts of up to 50% on the bus, train, and trams. Apart from the savings with public transport, the pass also offers free admission to over 500 museums and galleries throughout the country.
A trip to Switzerland is usually incomplete without heading to the Alps. Cables cars lead up to the peaks of some of the mountains in the summer and provide access to the ski resorts in winter. But remember that oxygen levels are lower at the top and you’re likely to feel the effects of altitude sickness. Take plenty of water, bring sunscreen to protect against the stronger UV rays and plan to take things slightly slower than at sea level.
In the not-so-touristy areas, shops tend to close at 5:00 pm. This can catch tourists off-guard, especially when they’re familiar with a 24-hour lifestyle back at home. Many shops also shut between noon and 2:00 pm for lunch and might not open at all on Sunday. Remember to factor this in if you need to buy groceries, souvenirs or to avoid the inconvenience. And as an added point, you don’t need to buy bottled water. Switzerland has some of the highest quality of water in the world. Drinking from the tap is perfectly fine.
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