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Switzerland: A Quick and Handy Travel Guide

Maryann Taylor

Last updated: Sep 24, 2018

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Shop

Swiss watches at Bucherer
Wood-carved children's toys, army knives, cow bells, and cuckoo clocks in Hoheweg, near the west side of Interlaken's railway station

Filmy

The famous Zara Sa Jhoom Loon Main song from the multi-starrer Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was shot in Jungfraujoch

Events

The Montreux Jazz Festival (held in July annually)
Ski World Cup (held in January)

Safety

Fire: 118
General Emergency: 112
Police: 117
Ambulance: 144

Greetings

Hello: Guten Tag
I don't understand: Ich verstehe nicht
Is this vegetarian? Ist das vegetarische

Want To Go ? 
   

Quaint villages and resorts with a backdrop of the majestic Alps and sparkling glaciers nearby. Get ready for the most tranquil, scenic and adventurous vacation of your life in Switzerland!

Don’t leave Switzerland before you:

See

switzerland quick travel guide

Mt. Jungfraujoch (Interlaken)

Undoubtedly, Interlaken’s top traveller experience is a journey to Jungfraujoch. At 11,000 feet, a train ride up the mountain offers a thrill of a lifetime. Along the way, don’t be surprised if you see signboards in Hindi! 

Chapel Bridge (Lucerne)

This 700-year-old bridge situated on river Reuss is the most photographed subject in Lucerne. This bridge is not only a means of crossing the river but is also an interesting art gallery. The 14th century Chapel Bridge is famous for the painted roof panels that depict the most important events from Swiss history. 

Jet d'Eau (Geneva)

One of the most iconic structures of Geneva, the Jet d'Eau is a beautiful fountain that pumps water 140 metres into the air.  The fountain is beautifully illuminated at night and is a great place to click photographs.

Do

switzerland quick travel guide

Gondola Ride (Interlaken)

Take a gondola ride to Gimmelwald, a quaint little village near Interlaken. Relish some homemade snacks at one of the tiny shops here. Feel the pace of life slow down. 

Tandem Paragliding (Lucerene)

All you need to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Lucerne is the spirit of adventure. Tandem paragliding from Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Rigi is a popular sport in Lucerne. In the company of trained professionals, this is one experience you shouldn’t miss out on. Truly thrilling!

Parc des Bastions (Geneva)

This beautiful park houses the liberal arts campus of the University of Geneva. The highlight of this park is a giant chessboard and statues of the Geneva’s Calvinist founding father. A great place for a picnic, or a relaxed stroll.

Eat

switzerland quick travel guide

Alpine Macaroni

The Swiss Alpine Macaroni served with apple sauce is a typical Swiss specialty. This mouthwatering dish found its way from the mountains to the valley over many years. The dish is made up of potatoes, macaroni, cheese and onions. The classic recipe with different variations is a favourite with the locals.

Fondue

A traditional Swiss delicacy, Fondue is rich, melted cheese flavoured with garlic. Dip chunks of bread into the melted cheese and you’ll realize why this remains of the country’s most popular dishes.

Swiss Chocolate

With hundreds of varieties of delicious chocolate, Switzerland is a chocolate lovers’ paradise. Take a chocolate tour, board the Swiss Chocolate Train, or even bathe in luxury chocolate, the choice is yours.

When to Go

switzerland travel guide

June to August:

The best time to visit Interlaken is during the summer, from June to September. The temperature lingers around a pleasant 18°C to 20°C. It is the perfect time for aimless walks, trekking, mountaineering and adventure activities. The famous William Tell festival is held throughout July and August when around 250 folks dress up in medieval attire to stage Schiller’s famous play. It has been performed here every year since 1912! 

September to November:

September is when the crowd starts thinning and the days start shortening. But the weather is still pleasant and you can enjoy the tourist sights conveniently. This is also the time when you can catch the grape harvest. 

December to March:

Winters are freezing in Interlaken and many tourists tend to avoid visits from December to March for this reason. The minimum temperatures can plummet to -2°C. That said, skiing enthusiasts throng the region to indulge in adventure activities near the Jungfraujoch region. Also with such few tourists, it’s a great time to find deals on hotels and flights. You have to carry enough woolens to bear the cold and it’s advisable to wear layered clothing. 

April to May:

 This is when the weather starts improving, the flowers start blooming and hiking trails and cableways start opening up. The temperature ranges anywhere between 7° C and 17° C. It might rain off and on so you should go prepared with an umbrella and good walking shoes.

Getting There

switzerland travel guide

By Air:

The closest airport to Interlaken is Bern Airport, 45 minutes away by road and about an hour and a half by train. You can also take a flight to the Zurich Airport and then a train from the airport to Interlaken. Zurich is connected to all international flights and is a little over two hours away from Interlaken by train.

By Bus:

There are direct private buses from Rome, Paris, Florence and Munich to Interlaken. Some bus services offer sightseeing around Interlaken as well.

By Train:

Interlaken has two stations - Interlaken OST (East) and West stations. The West station is closer to town. It is well connected to the rest of Switzerland and even some parts of Europe including Paris, Berlin, Milan and Salzburg. A train journey into Interlaken is very scenic and memorable.

Road/Self Drive:

The interstate highway from Zurich to Interlaken is approximately 117 kilometres and excellent to drive on. The overnight parking charges in Interlaken are, however, high. We suggest you take the train for travelling to Interlaken. You can bank upon the most efficient rail system in the world, the Swiss Rail, to travel from and within the city.

Getting Around

cycling switzerland travel guide

Bus:

There are local buses available and hotel guests generally get a visitors’ travel card which allows free rides on buses and trains.

Taxi:

Car rental companies and taxi services are freely available.

Rail:

The Swiss Metro system is the cheapest and most reliable transport system. Don’t forget to get the Swiss pass to avail travel discounts.

Bicycle:

One of the best ways to experience Switzerland’s charm is riding around the town on bicycles. They are easily available on rent with a pick-up and drop-off conveniently located near train stations.

On Foot:

Most of Switzerland is best discovered on foot. Most attractions are fairly close to each other. In fact, a lot of streets here are for pedestrians only.

What to Pack:

  1. Heavy woolens, like coats, scarves, boots and gloves if you’re visiting in winters.
  2. Travel adapters and convertors (electricity in Europe is 230 V/50 HZ)
  3. Comfortable hiking shoes if you’re planning on going trekking
  4. Basic medication
  5. Sunglasses, lip balm and sunscreen

Inspired? Then what are you waiting for? Book your holiday to Switzerland today! 

 

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