Switzerland is situated in Western-Central Europe right next to Italy, France, Germany and Austria. With two huge economical centres, Zurich and Geneva, at the heart of the country Switzerland is a hugely diverse country well worth a visit.
The quality of life in this country and its stunning views make it a popular tourist destination. It is known for its mountains and skiing facilities, but also boasts many large alpine lakes and icy glaciers.
Switzerland is not a part of the EU and has its own band of regulations and laws. There are three variants of culture here; everyday working communities, relaxed and social environments and the coffee drinking communities of the Alps. There is something for everyone here.
What to do/see in Switzerland
As this country is known for its mountains you simply must take a train ride to view The Matterhorn, which is one of the highest mountains in the Alps. Afterwards descent into Zermatt village, where you can take a horse drawn carriage ride around the charming chalet world. St. Moritz is also another icy wonderland which has more of a fairy tale charm and offers glacier skiing available all year round.
For more of a cultural scene go over to Lucerne which is home to the International Music Festival and also the Swiss Transport Museum where you can learn about all forms of transport.
For the arty types you have to go to Gruyeres where the H.R. Giger Museum is based to see his intensely bizarre creations, or go to Baar to see the Hell Grottoes which are made from stone formations in indoor caves.
Sherlock Holmes is also an infamous novel character who is a part of Swiss history as his character was written off in Schattenhalb in the alpine falls of Reichenbach, which is a stunning hidden waterfall. Conan Doyle’s story has drawn in masses of tourists to see where this fictitious battle-to-the-death took place.
Lastly, technological advances have been a big part of the Swiss history. CERN in Meyrin is home to the Large Hadron Collider and also the place where the World Wide Web was created.
Where to stay in Switzerland
Switzerland is a very active country and when you need to rest, you will want somewhere relaxing to stay. If you like the idea of a luxury winter rental, Endeus has a wide selection of vacation rentals like cottages, chalets and holiday homes to choose from.
In western Zurich there is the 25hours Hotel, which is part of a chain. They are bed and breakfast hotels which all have their own unique style. For the best hotel pricing, check the offers at Endeus webpage.
The Hotel Falken in Wengen has rooms in the eaves of the hotel which give the feel of a loft for rent which you can specifically request in advance.
- Switzerland is stunning but it is also a very expensive country to visit so maybe don’t eat out every meal. For a weeks’ worth of groceries you can spend on average around 130 CHF’s and a meal out with a starter, main and drink can cost around 40 CHF’s (just so you have a comparison in mind).
- When you are out to dinner tipping is set at 15% and is often included in the price of the meal, so please don’t expect to just pay 10% here. However, service is often impeccable and the waiting staff work hard to earn this tip.
- The Swiss don’t use the Euro they use CHF – a Swiss Franc, so please remember to change your money before entering the country.
- Transport varies in price, often buses are cheap with fares lasting up to an hour per ticket so most people use the bus. Taxis are very expensive and Blabla car is very popular in the country to get from A to B in order to cut down on costs. Please note that cancellations can occur when sharing transport so it is not 100% reliable.
- If you are skiing remember to get a travel pass for a certain amount of days rather than paying for each day at a time. You will save a significant amount of money doing this.
The pride here is undoubtedly charming. This is clear when you visit the Palais des Nations and walk in the landscaped gardens or see the grand Assembly Hall. Take the Telepherique du Saleve’s cable car for breath-taking views of the alpine ridge and Lake Geneva, where you can select a walking trail to explore the natural habitat. The lake is crystal clear and the mountains which frame it are like something out of a fable. Step into modern life again with a walk up the pathway leading to the Jet d’Eau which is a plume of water 140 metres into the skyline and is beautifully lit as the sun goes down.
Resting on the winding river Aare, Berne has a reputation for its love of bears. Visit the Bear Park to learn more about why this is the case and watch these beautiful animals swim in the river. You can also swim too, in the river but please check the safe areas before diving in. While you are at the Bear Park, please take a few minutes to walk into the Rosengarten for an excellent view over the old town. With Ice Hockey a big part of the city, go to the SC Bern stadium to watch the SCB team win once again. For a hilarious evening join in one of the Bern Pub Crawls, nightlife here is fantastic and full of character.
Literally on Lake Zurich, Zurich city resides in the north of Switzerland. It is known as a ‘portal to the Alps’ due to its close proximity to the Swiss Alps so a day skiing may be in order. In the city you’re blessed with churches galore so maybe visit the Fraumunster Gothic church and listen to a free organ concert. The Chinese Garden is petite but beautiful and was given to the city as a sign of gratitude by Kunming City so take a look and also view Le Corbusier House; a modern architectural villa in the grounds. To conclude the day take the Polybahn up to have a drink at the stunning terrace at the top.