An Ultimate Guide For Planning A Trip To Switzerland
Although it is famous for its chocolate, cuckoo clocks, and yodelling, a trip to Switzerlandhas many things to offer. Today Switzerland is the land of four languages (including German, Romansh, Italian and French), unique unmissable experiences, memorable journeys and Alpine pursuits that you will remember for a very long time.
Switzerland’s incredible landscapes demand immediate attention. That is why adventure sports has to be on top of your list; if your Switzerland trip falls in the winter, head to Graubünden, Bernese Oberland and Central Switzerland for your dose of skiing and snowboarding. During the spring, hiking and biking trails around the glacier-encrusted mountain areas. If you do not like mountains, you can also head to the valleys, glittering lake shores and vineyards. Further, you can sign up for adventure activities like hot air balloon ride and white water rafting.
The perfect antidote to your adventure activity is the urban landscapes of Switzerland. The capital of the country, Bern, is one of the best places to visit during your trip to Switzerland. A medieval old town boasting of world-class modern art, Geneva is closely located to other destinations, including the party capital Lausanne, Uber-cool Zurich with its riverside bars.
Castles and craft beer, ancient markets, folkloric fairs, gigs and new-wave restaurants – you’ll find something for everyone. And never has the urban been so close to the mountains; within minutes, you can reach nearby peaks, chill at waterfront bars with stunning Alpine views, or enjoy a swim in the rivers of Acre, Limmat and Rhine. And then there’s the delicious range of food: a flavoursome gastronomic celebration of gooey cheese dipped in velvety chocolate, autumnal game and air-dried meats. Do not miss this.
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So if you are heading for a Switzerland trip, here are places that you should put on your radar.
1. Swiss National Park
The only national park in Switzerland, the Swiss National Park is spread over 172 square kilometres. A stunning collection of peaks, glaciers, woodlands, pastures and lakes, this park was established in 1914. Located in the Alps, the park has remained true to its conservation, researching, and informing mission.
In the interests of nature conservation, visitors are not allowed to leave the hiking paths. You can see some animals include ibexes, chamois, marmots, bearded vultures, and golden eagles.
2. The Matterhorn
One of the unmissable places to visit in Switzerland is the Matterhorn, the Alps’ iconic pointed peak. Situated on the border with Italy, this is one of the most popular Switzerland beauty spots. With a height of 4,478 metres, this mountain range attracts thousands of experienced climbers who generally visit during the summer. During your visit here, make sure you also stop at the Matterhorn Museum, which explains the historical development of Zermatt from a small mountainous village to an Alpine holiday resort. In the winter season, the Zermatt village is a popular spot for skiing, while in the summer season, hiking and biking take centerstage.
PS – Motorised vehicles are banned in the Zermatt village to preserve the region’s overall air quality and peaceful ambience.
The capital of Switzerland, Bern has to feature one of the top places to visit in Switzerland. Perched on a peninsula off the Rivera Aare, the town promises incredible tourist experiences. Stroll along the cobbled streets, Bern is home to the tallest cathedral in Switzerland. It offers panoramic views of the region from its towers. The Rose garden provides some stunning views of the old town centre.
If you are an art lover, Bern is one of the best destinations in the world. With many impressive galleries, including the Zentrum Paul Klee (it houses the most extensive collection of works by this famous artist) and the Bern Museum of Art, you can easily spend an afternoon exploring various artists’ culture and artworks.
The largest city in the country, Zurich is a true testament to the beauty of Switzerland. A central transportation hub and a popular starting point for discovering the country, a trip to Switzerland is incomplete without a stop here. The city lies at the northwestern end of Lake Zurich, and the town has some unmissable cultural treasures.
The Old Town of Zurich is known for its quaint shops, cafes and galleries. Head to Bahnhofstrasse, one of Europe’s most delicate shopping strands, boasts designer stores that sell watches, apparels and jewellery.
Another unmissable destination is the Kunsthaus Zürich, a fine arts museum with an impressive collection of artworks. Another famous museum is the Rietberg Museum. It focuses on non-European art, with multiple works being sourced from China, India, and Africa. If you plan a Switzerland trip with your family, make sure you also stop at the Zurich Zoo with a Madagascar pavilion, penguin parade, and elephant park.
Another place to visit in Switzerland is the railway lines of Albula/Berning. A part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage listing, this railway lie offers some truly stunning views of Switzerland beauty. Extending throughout Albula and Berning, this railway line covers almost 122 kilometres and passes through close to 200 bridges, tunnels and viaducts on the way. A ride on this train means panoramic seats that allow you to experience stunning mountain landscapes, including the Piz Bernin. It is one of the highest mountains in the Eastern Alps. The train operates throughout the year, and the views that they offer are incurable both in the winter and summer season. Do not miss this one.
Best time to visit Switzerland
The best time to visit Switzerland is generally from June to August. There is no wrong time to visit the country and the best time to visit Switzerland depends on your specific plans. However, if you are looking to escape the crowds, September is an excellent month to visit.
Travel tips while planning the trip
Invest in Swiss Travel Plans – Switzerland has a great network of trains that connect various cities and towns. If you plan to travel between towns or use public transport, a Swiss Travel Pass is a good idea as it allows unlimited travel through rail, bus, and road.
Don’t buy bottled water – Buying a bottle of water from a local market in Switzerland is a waste of money as the country is home to the world’s cleanest and best-tasting tap water. Take a reusable bottle from home and keep filling it as and when required.
Use digital payments – Although EU countries surround it, Switzerland is not part of the European Union and has its currency. The Swiss Franc (CHF) is the country’s currency, and we recommend you only take out minimal cash to use where digital payments are not allowed (like to buy ice cream from a local vendor). Instead, wherever possible, use digital transactions so that you will not have a lot of CHF left over at the end of the trip.
Digibank lets you use your debit card for international transfers. Just switch to the international mode and make hiccup-free spending wherever you go.