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 friendliest countries in Europe, and they have indeed made themselves famous amongst the whole world with their skills and expertise. There are 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 are many things about Switzerland to write about because of the wide 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 with a high tax rate or are just used 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 to be 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 lunch, not to mention having a nice dinner in a fancier place (note that they use Swiss Francs). I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It is just to give you a heads up about what to expect if you are traveling on a budget.
3) Public transport works very well. We never had any problems using 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 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 is that the website will give you a price that is only half of the real price because it automatically adds 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 incredibly 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 loved!
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 traveled 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 make a day trip there from Zurich or 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 I’ll try to have the ultimate food experience everywhere I go. Swiss cuisine is influenced by French, Italian, and German cuisines and has dishes typical to Switzerland. These include Swiss cheese, raclette, and cheese fondue served with bread cubes. You can also find specialties from different regions. For example, other regions have their cheese varieties. In Bern, there is a 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 see some comments below!