Picturesque Switzerland: a vacation to suit all tastes
Switzerland is a country that presents itself to tourists in different guises. In winter it is beautiful with the iridescent shades of white snow, and in summer – the charming bright colors of mountains, forests, lakes and rivers. Small mountain settlements and modern big cities attract holidaymakers from all over the world. If you have decided to go to this mysterious country, you probably wonder where to spend your holidays in Switzerland in 2022. Picturesque Switzerland: holidays for all tastes await you in this beautiful country.
General information about Switzerland
A short historical background
The country of Alpine valleys is now a bastion of stability, comfort, high standard of living and excellent economy. Its history goes back to around the 13th century, when the inhabitants of the three valleys banded together to defend each other against all kinds of attacks. The alliance expanded more and more. Unfortunately, there were also unhappy times in the history of Switzerland – the confrontation between Catholics and Protestants as well as aggression by the French.
But in the mid-19th century the country became a single state, which had already adopted democratic principles. Peace and order have reigned over the territory ever since. Science, industry and trade have developed and continue to develop. Its neutrality during the world wars of the 20th century enabled the country to avoid great losses.
As a result of this clever way of development, Switzerland is now one of the most developed countries in the world. Residents of the state live freely and at ease, the standard of living is high, developed social services, health, education, culture. Well, a lot of tourists come to Switzerland to enjoy its stunning nature and architectural beauty, to rest on the lakes in the summer, and in winter – to drive in the mountains.
Summary of geographical information and climate
The state is located in Western Europe. Interestingly, depending on the part of the country in certain areas of the country one or another language is spoken: Italian, French, German. The magnificent Alps occupy 60% of the country. Switzerland has no access to the sea, but it is rich with lakes – Lake Geneva, Lake Zurich and others.
The climate of the country is continental, depending on the altitude of the settlement. The average summer temperature is about 17 degrees Celsius. In winter, when tourists travel mainly to the mountains, the temperature can reach 10 degrees below zero.
Switzerland on the map
Safety in Switzerland
The level of safety of tourists in the country is at a high level. Of course, there is a certain part of the criminal elements, which should be feared in public places, especially in Geneva. However, for the most part, tourists can feel safe and go to the police if they have problems. Do not break the laws of the country: the penalties for not obeying traffic rules are very severe. And going to the mountains, correctly assess your strength and ride only in a sober state and in good health.
The cost of holidays in Switzerland
To fully relax in Switzerland, the vacationer will have to pay about 500 to 1500 euros per week per person. It all depends on the chosen resort, type of recreation, availability of insurance, food system, and other preferences of the tourist.
The best tourist destinations in Switzerland
Deserve special attention to the mountains of this country, this is probably one of its best attractions, not counting cheese, watches, chocolate and bankers. Holidays in the mountains of Switzerland will diversify your life and give you a lot of positive experiences. Mountain climbing and hiking in the mountains will be popular in summer, and skiing in winter, of course.
This – one of the oldest ski resorts in Switzerland. To get to the resort, you should first fly to Zurich (ticket price starts at 5000 rubles), then take a train through Lucerne to get to Engelberg. Where to stay, there is no problem: the resort has hotels, pensions, apartments and guest houses. The most inexpensive accommodation in the peak season will cost two tourists for about 7 thousand rubles per day.
The resort is designed for athletes of various levels of training. One zone is suitable for beginners in skiing, as well as for those who vacation as a family with children. The other one is situated higher and is characterized by more complex slopes that are suitable even for professional skiers. In addition to skiing you can also go snowboarding, sledging and bobsledding.
If you have free time from sports you can make an excursion to the old Benedictine monastery, walk “Suvorov’s” route through the Alps, explore the panorama from the elevator. Of simpler entertainments – swimming pool, gyms, discos and even a casino.
The resort includes as many as six regions with a single ski pass. It is also best to get to him through Zurich, then – by train to the resort. Accommodation options are mostly four- and five-star, this is not a cheap resort. So, in the peak season, two travelers can stay here for a price starting at 7 thousand rubles per day.
Due to the fact that Gstaad includes as many as six regions, absolutely everyone will find something for themselves here. Wasseringrat and Vispile are for beginners, Glacier is for experienced skiers, the slopes of Eggli are for snowboarders and tobogganers.
In addition to sports, the resort offers entertainment for the mind: art galleries, museums, a zoo, a sports arena, nightclubs … And in January and February you can time your trip and get to one of the festivals: for example, a festival of aviation or snowboarding competition.
When you come to Switzerland, the first thing you should do is visit Zurich. This mysterious city is conveniently located on the banks of the river Limmat. Zurich is known among tourists as the most cultural and intellectual component of the state.
Once here, every tourist can plunge into the history and culture and visit the main attractions of the city:
- Grossmünster Cathedral. It is a sample of severity and monumentality. It was built in the 9th century! In addition to examining the architecture and interior, you can climb the tower or attend an organ concert.
- Church of St. Peter. The oldest temple in the city, which has been rebuilt several times, so it’s a mix of several styles.
- The Emile Buerle Foundation Collection. This museum may seem small, but it contains masterpieces by such classics as Rubens, Goya, El Greco, Matisse, Modigliani and many others. In addition to paintings, there are sculptures from the ancient period and the art of the Middle Ages.
- Swiss National Museum. Do you want to know everything about the country? Straight ahead – here. Here you can learn everything about Switzerland from prehistoric times to the present day.
- Urania Observatory. In addition to cathedrals and museums, it is worth paying attention to nature… and you can do this right in Zurich, because the visit to this institution will bring you closer to the stars.
Where to go in the city with children? Visit the local zoo, one of the best in Europe. It’s organized in a very interesting way: it’s divided into thematic zones on a territorial basis. You can watch a parade of penguins or feed the monkeys. If the weather is not nice, escape the rain with the kids and entertain them in the Toy Museum. It is necessary to tell that many exhibits will please adults as well, because the ancient toys of 18-20 centuries look like real works of art. And if the weather improves – take a ride with the whole family on the cable car Poliban – a famous among tourists means of transport of Zurich.
A very popular city in Switzerland is Geneva. This city, as well as Zurich, is located on the banks of the river Rhône. Each tourist will be able to discover all the uniqueness of the area.
Popular attractions of Geneva are:
- Notre Dame Basilica. Gothic temple built in the 19th century, is located near the train station. It is richly decorated with bas-reliefs and stained-glass windows.
- Geneva Fountain. Located on the lake of the same name and decorates with its image half of the postcards from Geneva. Especially beautiful it is in the evening hours when extra charm it gives backlighting.
- Place du Burg de Four. A historic place which every tourist visits. From it, it is convenient to walk to other attractions – the Town Hall, the Palace of Justice.
- The Botanical Garden. Perhaps one of the best gardens in the world! It occupies a huge territory, including greenhouses and open spaces, a lake, a zoo, and a children’s play area.
- Museum of Art and History. The largest such museum in the whole country – more than 650 thousand exhibits are placed for viewing by art lovers. Archaeological artifacts, paintings, sculptures, arts and crafts – in general, everything that only human genius could create.
Locals recommend a ride on the cable car that leads to the mountain Salev, be sure that you will have a lot of fun, because you will get a lot of scenic views. And if you are resting with the whole family – go and see the Flower Clock (which is absolutely free) or visit a chocolate factory, where you can even get a master class and make yourself a delicious souvenir.
The capital of Switzerland also beckons holidaymakers. Despite the small area, Bern has a lot of interesting sights. Among tourists there is an opinion that after getting in the capital of Switzerland, you can learn a lot of interesting things about the whole country, in fact, it is.
The most important sights and interesting places of Bern are:
- Bern Cathedral. The Gothic cathedral, the largest in the country, towering over the Old Town, can take several hours to explore its carvings, bas-reliefs and stained glass windows for a long time.
- Bear Park. The symbol of the city is the bear, and the city is home to the most real representatives of this species. There is an aviary on the bank of the Aare River, which is sure to please the whole family, including young tourists.
- Clock Tower. One of the most elaborately decorated structures in the city. Famous, in fact, for the clock, as well as a small show that unfolds at a certain time: 4 minutes before the end of each hour.
- Museum of Natural History. Was founded back in the first third of the 19th century. The exposition includes many dioramas, a collection of minerals, meteorites, and animal skeletons.
- Gurten Park. Getting to it is already a pleasure, because the way to the eponymous mountain leads by cable car. In the park itself you can enjoy the nature: singing birds, jumping squirrels, the view of the Alps.
Also in Bern you should visit a set of fountains decorated with sculptures of the 16th century construction, visit the zoo, take a walk near the river Aare.
Other interesting places in Switzerland
One of the most famous natural beauties of the country is the Rhine Falls. Getting there is not easy: from Zurich you have to make several transfers by train. But the sight is worth it: an ancient, rough, huge stream of water 150 meters wide represents all the power of Mother Nature. You can see the waterfall from the observation deck, or you can take a boat ride.
In the east of the country is St. Gallen. It is known for the world-famous Monastery of St. Gall, whose cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Baroque architecture and stunning frescoes will delight anyone who is attracted to man-made beauty.
And these are not all the interesting places in Switzerland. Lausanne, where the streets are challenging to climb, but with plenty of architectural beauties to explore. Lugano, a quiet town by the lake, where you can do all kinds of water sports. Montreux, where you can get medical treatment or improve your appearance. And much, much more…
Cuisine and shopping
Whatever you visit, no matter how hard you try to save money, at least once taste the Swiss cuisine. These include numerous fondues of a variety of cheeses, baked raclette, and stunning chocolate desserts.
Having enjoyed both the spirit and the body, do not forget to take traditional Swiss souvenirs with you. Almost everything that is made in the country is famous for the excellent quality, but the most picturesque souvenirs and memorabilia are:
- cheese and chocolate;
Switzerland is a country for high-end holidays. If you manage to find last minute tickets or lodging from some hospitable private citizen, it still costs a decent amount for food, travel, and sightseeing. However, if you want to see how they live in one of the most peaceful and loving of their citizens, look at the mountain beauty and walk through the old streets – nothing can stop you and you will find the opportunity to visit this beautiful country.
Switzerland travel guide
Switzerland is a place where pristine nature, snow-capped mountain peaks and pristine lakes combine with vibrant, developed European cities in an astonishing way.
Features of vacations in Switzerland
Switzerland is a unique country, which, if possible, should be visited in any case. And not only to see how rich it is, but to enjoy its extraordinary beauty and amazing calmness and serenity. Driving through Swiss cities, walking through the streets of any city, you can only be amazed by the reign of calm and confidence everywhere. Do not be surprised if in the evening, entering even the capital of Switzerland, Bern, you see empty streets. This is quite normal. People are used to working and earning money here, not to waste time on idle pastime. So prepare in advance for the fact that in the evening in the center of any city, even the capital, walking you can see mostly tourists. At the same time, being in the same place in the morning, you will be amazed at the traffic filling the streets: hurrying people, cyclists in business suits and helmets and fine buns at the coffee seller. Although major tourist centers are of course the exception to this rule, showing a vibrant nightlife.
Going on holiday to Switzerland, it is worth remembering that this is probably the most expensive European country. Therefore the prices in the stores can be, to put it mildly, a little scary. Even for a magnet in most cases here will have to pay about 10 – 12 euros, which can’t be compared even with the French or German 4 – 5 in tourist centers. Although some goods are not so different in cost. For example, some clothing brands stick to about the same. read completely
What money to take with you?
The official currency of Switzerland since 1850 is the Swiss franc, which is equal to a hundred sintesimo in the Italian part of the country and a hundred rappen in German and French parts of the state. The official designation of the Swiss Franc is the abbreviation CHF, but in principle, other inscriptions are also used inside the country. You can also note the fact that the Swiss franc is also the currency in the neighboring state of Liechtenstein.
Well, since Switzerland is a European country, then in all stores and restaurants, as well as ticket vending machines and so on can be paid in euros. It should be borne in mind that the rate at these operations is not always the most favorable. At fairs, for example, or in the retail street vending, in small villages, or if you have a large denomination bills in hand, you may well deny the opportunity to pay in euros.
What to bring?
Depending on the time of year when you’re going to visit Switzerland, will depend on your closet. If you like walking on the mountain trails, the boots with high ankle boots are must. Swimsuits are useful for visiting the pool, which can be in your hotel or town where you stay. The number of thermal pools in different cantons of Switzerland just can’t be counted. Lovers of skiing can be limited to the ski suit, because the boots and skis themselves can be rented at the hotel (often – for free).
Of drugs should bring all those drugs that you constantly or periodically use, as to buy them abroad will be quite difficult: the majority of drugs and, above all – antibiotics, you need a doctor’s prescription. A visit to the doctor, for example, because of a cold, regular health insurance tourist does not cover, and the cost is not small – from 40-80 francs and above. Therefore, a first aid kit will never hurt.
If you travel in your own car, you should definitely have it with you, with the obligatory indication of the expiration date. Also, you should have at least one vest of lettuce or orange color in the car, because in case of breakdown on the autobahn without such a vest, you can not get out of the car. Also, it is obligatory to have a warning triangle in the trunk. A windshield washer fluid can be very useful because in the cold there is a gray mist on the windshield that appears very quickly, made obviously by splashes, which… read in full …
Excursions in Switzerland
Switzerland – a unique country, mesmerizing and charming. There really is something to see and admire. Choosing for his vacation in any city of Switzerland, try not to stop in one place, visiting at least a couple more interesting places. So, what can I see in Switzerland and what excursions to go on your vacation?
Naturally, you can begin your acquaintance with Switzerland from its capital, Bern, by making a walking tour of its old town. Founded in the 12th century, it has preserved the traces of different architectural styles, as if proving its rich historical heritage. The real gem of its historical heritage, however, is the Citglogge Tower, built in the 13th century. Having been a fire tower, a prison, a city clock, nowadays the tower is an integral part of the image of old Bern, giving it romance and elegance.
One of the most attractive cities in Switzerland for a sightseeing visit is Lucerne, which boasts many outstanding attractions. After all, this is a city where there is the oldest in Europe wooden Clock Bridge, built in the 14th century and preserved to this day as a place of exhibitions and excursions into the past. And not far from Lucerne you’ll find the towering Pilatus Mountain, one of Europe’s most famous landmarks. There is even a cable car that takes you up to the top of the mountain.
Shopping in Switzerland
Going on vacation, it is impossible to come home without a couple of souvenirs. This is at best. In fact, as a rule, most tourists are trying to stock up, especially considering the nice difference in prices of clothing and cosmetics between European and our stores. Not to mention the quality and the general atmosphere. In addition, it is impossible not to bring and something of traditional products or drinks for the country. When you come to Switzerland and look at the prices you may be hesitant at first, but later decide to buy something suitable for yourself. Moreover, I think people who decide to visit this country, ready to say goodbye to the elite amount of their savings for a closer acquaintance with it.
I can’t say that you can’t afford absolutely everything in Switzerland. Absolutely not. Of course, prices are much higher than in other European countries, even compared to Germany, but not so that you can not buy anything at all.
Among the most popular and accessible to mere mortals souvenirs include magnets (the approximate cost in the tourist center – about 9 – 15 euros) and postcards. Also can not go without the famous Swiss chocolate and cheese . The only thing to note here is that the local supermarkets sell, of course, good, but not at all elite and special chocolate. The real work of gastronomic art can be found in specialized stores, where you will be amazed by the flavor. read completely
Tips for those who are going to travel in Switzerland by car
For those who are going to travel by car in Switzerland, not on the detour roads, but on the Autobahn, we would like to remind you that you must buy in advance (in Austria) the annual vignette (it costs 40 Swiss francs) and gives the right of way on the Swiss motorways. Unlike the Austrian vignettes, the validity of which can range from a few days and months to a year, the Swiss vignette is only annual. However, a vignette for 2014, for example, will be valid until February 1, 2015, and will be on sale from December 1, 2014, from which it will be valid.
The Swiss vignette should be carefully and neatly glued in the middle in the upper part of the windshield (better – under the rearview mirror), and the Austrian vignette should be glued in the lower right corner near the counter.
Don’t even think you can get on the autobahn without it. There are video recorders everywhere. If you are not stopped on the way, then when crossing the EU border, the border guards’ computer will show the fine issued to your car. Its value will be many times greater than the cost of the vignette.
Be sure to take a navigator with you on the trip: without its guidance, you can hardly get to your destination easily and smoothly read completely.