Friday, January 21, 2022

Destinations in Switzerland

EuropeSwitzerlandDestinations in Switzerland

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Regions in Switzerland

Politically, Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons, but the following regions will be more useful for the traveller:

  • Western Switzerland
    From the north shore of Lake Geneva and the Alps to the Jura.
  • Bern Region
    The central region of traditional Bernese influence
  • Bernese Oberland
    The majestic Bernese Alps
  • Central Switzerland
    The birthplace of the Swiss Confederation and the legends of William Tell
  • Northwestern Switzerland
    Culture, art and cradle of the Swiss pharmaceutical industry; neighbouring countries Germany and France
  • Zurich
    The country’s largest city with an extensive metropolitan area
  • Eastern Switzerland
    Between the Alps and Lake Constance lies the Abbey of St. Gallen with numerous picturesque dairy farms on the hills of Appenzell
  • Valais
    Switzerland’s highest peaks and Europe’s largest glaciers
  • Graubünden
    Officially trilingual, the region is very mountainous, sparsely populated and home to many prime tourist destinations. It encompasses the ancient Romansh minority language and culture (in English: The Grisons).
  • Ticino
    Italian-speaking region with famous Alpine lakes
    The Swiss Alps cover the regions of the eastern part of Lake Geneva, the Valais, the Bernese plateau, the southern part of central Switzerland, almost all of Ticino except the southernmost part, the southern part of north-eastern Switzerland and Grisons.

Cities in Switzerland

  • Bern (Berne) – as close as you can get to a capital in this highly decentralised nation, with a surprisingly well-preserved old town, with arcades along almost every street; great restaurants and bars abound
  • Basel – the travel gateway to the German Rhineland and Black Forest and to the French Alsace with an outstanding medieval centre on a bend of the Rhine
  • Geneva – this centre for art and culture is an international city that is home to some 200 governmental and non-governmental organisations, the cradle of the World-Wide-Web at CERN, and the Red Cross (ICRC).
  • Lausanne – Landscape, restaurants, dancing, boats and Swiss wine country are the attractions
  • Lucerne (Luzern) – capital of the central region with direct water links to all the sites of ancient Swiss history
  • Lugano – a beautiful old city, a beautiful lake; a lot of Italianatà paired with Swiss seriousness.
  • St. Gallen – the main town in north-eastern Switzerland, famous for its St. Gallen Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also the gateway to the very special region of Appenzellerland.
  • Zurich (Zürich) – the largest city in Switzerland and an important banking centre with a thriving nightlife

Other destinations in Switzerland

  • Bellinzona – famous for its medieval castles, UNESCO World Heritage Site, pretty centre and capital of Canton Ticino, overlooking one of the few flat rural areas in Switzerland on the way to Lake Maggiore.
  • Davos – large ski resort where the annual meeting of the WEF takes place
  • Chur – capital of the canton of Graubünden; it is the only trilingual Swiss canton and is located in the east and south of the country; gateway to several sunny skiing and hiking resorts.
  • Grindelwald – the classic holiday resort at the foot of the Eiger
  • Interlaken – the Swiss capital of outdoor and action sports; from skydiving, bungee jumping, hiking, white-water rafting to canyoning.
  • St. Moritz – ski resort in the Engadine in south-eastern Switzerland
  • Zermatt – famous mountain resort at the foot of the mighty Matterhorn

How To Travel To Switzerland

By planeThe main international airports are in Zurich IATA: ZRH, Geneva IATA: GVA and Basel (for the Swiss part: IATA: BSL), with smaller airports in LuganoIATA: LUG and Bern IATA: BRN. Some airlines fly to Friedrichshafen, which is on the other side of Lake Constance at Romanshorn, not far...

How To Travel Around Switzerland

By planeAs Switzerland probably has the best developed public transport system in the world and the country's airports are not that far apart, domestic air traffic is very limited. Routes offered by Swiss International Airlines and Etihad Regional include Zurich-Geneva, Zurich-Lugano and Geneva-Lugano. In most cases, the train, sometimes...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Switzerland

Switzerland is a member of the Schengen Agreement.There are normally no border controls between the countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. This includes most countries of the European Union and a few other countries.Before boarding an international flight or ship, there is usually an identity check. Sometimes...

Weather & Climate in Switzerland

The climate is temperate, but varies considerably with altitude (on average around 6.5°C every 1000m). There are four clearly defined seasons, which bring changes in both temperature and precipitation. Switzerland experiences cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters and moderate to hot summers, with weather that can change very quickly; especially on...

Accommodation & Hotels in Switzerland

Most accommodation in Switzerland can now be found and booked through the main internet booking portals, even hotels and accommodation in remote areas. Nevertheless, most tourist regions in Switzerland have a tourist office where you can call to book a hotel for a small fee. Each city usually has...

Things To See in Switzerland

Chillon Castle: Castle near MontreuxThe Lavaux vineyards: on the shores of Lake GenevaThe castles of Bellinzona: in the south of the canton of TicinoSt. Gall AbbeyThe summit of Europe and the Sphinx Observatory: a "village" with a post office on the Jungfraujoch, 3,500 metres above WengenGrande Dixence: a 285-metre-high...

Things To Do in Switzerland

Switzerland is world famous for skiing, but the country is also suitable for many other outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking. Mountaineering, from easy to very difficult, is also practised in Switzerland, and there is hardly a place with a longer tradition of it. Some routes, such...

Food & Drinks in Switzerland

Food in SwitzerlandAlthough Switzerland has a long tradition of culinary exchange with its neighbours' cuisine, it has a number of emblematic dishes of its own.Switzerland is famous for many types of cheese such as Gruyère, Emmentaler (simply called "Swiss cheese" in the USA) and Appenzeller, to name just a...

Money & Shopping in Switzerland

CurrencySwitzerland is not part of the eurozone and the currency is the Swiss franc (or franc, or franco, depending on which language zone you are in), divided into 100 centimes, centimes or centesimi. However, some places - such as supermarkets, restaurants, tourist attraction counters, hotels and railways, or ATMs...

Festivals & Holidays in Switzerland

HolidaysPublic holidays are regulated at cantonal level (except 1 August) and can vary greatly. However, they are those that are observed (almost) everywhere:New Year's Day: 1 January (one of the three public holidays legally recognised by each canton).St. Berchtold: 2 January (in many cantons and municipalities it is a...

Traditions & Customs in Switzerland

English is widely spoken in Switzerland, but any attempt to speak the local language is always appreciated, even if you are answered in English. It is always polite to ask if you speak English before starting a conversation.Make an effort to learn at least the words "hello", "goodbye", "please"...

Internet & Communications in Switzerland

Many of the internet cafés that popped up in the 1990s have now closed, probably because Switzerland has one of the highest rates of high-speed internet connections in the world in households, but there may be a few internet terminals in some major train stations. The tourist office should...

Language & Phrasebook in Switzerland

Switzerland has four official languages at federal level, namely German, French, Italian and Romansh, and the main language spoken depends on which part of the country you are in. The cantons are free to choose which official language they want to adopt, and some cities such as Biel and...

Culture Of Switzerland

Three of the most important European languages are official languages in Switzerland. Swiss culture is characterised by its diversity, which is reflected in a variety of traditional customs. A region may in some ways be strongly culturally linked to the neighbouring country that shares its language, since the country...

History Of Switzerland

Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The forerunners of Switzerland concluded a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century (1291) and formed a loose confederation of states that lasted for centuries.Ancient historyThe oldest...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Switzerland

Stay safe in SwitzerlandSwitzerland is unsurprisingly one of the safest countries in Europe, but any place that attracts Rolex-wearing bankers and throngs of distracted tourists is bound to produce a few pickpockets too. Clearly, you need to keep an eye on your business, especially amid the summer crowds. In...

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