The home of cheese and clocks… You have probably heard of this before, right? But there’s more than that to it.
Switzerland is one of the nicests countries in Europe and they have surely made themselves famous amongst the whole world with their skills and expertise. There’s so many great places and lovely cities to visit – I am sure to see more of the different sides the country has to offer. If you’ve never been there this upcoming summer is your opportunity to have a peek! In addition, there is so many things about Switzerland to write about because of the vast variety of things and its diversity.
Useful Tips and Fun facts:
1) Swiss people are always on time. And so are the trains and other public transports. So make sure you be there well before the scheduled time. Even if you are just casually grabbing a coffee with someone or having a proper business meeting for example, it’s polite and respectable to be on time.
2) Prepare to pay a bit extra. Even if you come from a country that has a high tax rate or are just use to paying more on travel and services, Switzerland is most likely to be even more than that. I am currently living in a country that I consider being moderately expensive compared to some other countries in Europe. Yet I found Switzerland more expensive than I am accustomed to. You can easily pay 25€ for a lunch not to mention having a nice dinner in a fancier place (note that they use Swiss Franc). I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it is just to give you a heads up for what to expect if you are travelling on a budget.
3) Public transport works very well. We never had any problems using the public transports. If you are taking the train you can purchase the ticket online from this website before the journey https://www.sbb.ch/ .
You can also check the fares and timetables there. Or you can also just buy the ticket at the station on the day. Easy and convenient! Swiss Federal Railways (=SBB, also known as CFF and FSS) runs most mainline trains. There are also smaller companies that provide train tickets. Also one important thing worth noting for is that the website will give you a price that is only half of the real price because it automatically adds there a Swiss Half Fare card by default, as the majority of Swiss citizens have one. So when you change select discount to no discount the price will double.
4) People are extremely polite and lovely. And smart! Most of them speak many languages – German, French, Italian and Romansh, depending on what part of Switzerland you are visiting. Also you can manage with English everywhere. You will get good customer service in restaurants and shops. They seem to be very genuine and joyful towards tourists and people in general. This is one thing I really loved about!
5) Places worth going to. It depends on what you are looking for on your holiday whether it is a skiing trip to the Alps or just a casual weekend getaway. I travelled there with a friend of mine and we wanted to have a little bit calmer environment rather than spending the whole holiday in a city. So we flew to Zurich and from there took a train to a city called Lucerne. And oh how lovely it was! It is quite a small town but has many great places worth seeing. You can also do a day trip there from Zurich or from Bern if you wish. It takes about 1 hour for the train journey. Also from Bern to Lucerne it takes approximately from 1 hour to 1,5 hours. Bern is also a lovely city to visit and it is the capital of Switzerland.
6) The food is just delicious. I am a foodie and everywhere I go, I’ll try to have the ultimate food experience. Swiss cuisine is influenced by French, Italian and German cuisines but also has dishes typical to Switzerland. These includes Swiss cheese, raclette and cheese fondue served with bread cubes. You can also find specialities from different regions for example different regions have their own cheese varieties. In Bern there is dish called Berner Platte which contains a variety of meats. I can assure you that you will find the ultimate food experience in Switzerland! The best restaurants are usually located a bit further from the main streets and tourist areas. There are also great Italian restaurants with a twist, for example a place in Lucerne called Punto Giusto. They offer a set menu and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Did this get you excited? I’d love to hear some comments below!