Ultimate Guide to Gap Year Travel: Tips,...
Location:Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Currency:Swiss francs (CHF)
Area:41,277 sq km
Population:8,453,550 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:German (or Swiss German) (official) 62.1%, French (official) 22.8%, Italian (official) 8%, English 5.7%, Portuguese 3.5%, Albanian 3.3%, Serbo-Croatian 2.3%, Spanish 2.3%, Romansh (official) 0.5%, other 7.9%; note - German, French, Italian, and Romansh are all national and official languages; shares sum to more than 100% because respondents could indicate more than one main language (2019 est.)
Religion:Roman Catholic 34.4%, Protestant 22.5%, other Christian 5.7%, Muslim 5.5%, other 1.6%, none 29.5%, unspecified 0.8% (2019 est.)
Things to Do
1. Hiking in the Swiss Alps
Explore the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps while hiking on scenic trails. Enjoy stunning views of snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and lush green meadows.
2. Skiing in Zermatt
Experience world-class skiing in Zermatt, one of the most famous ski resorts in the Swiss Alps. Glide down perfectly groomed slopes and enjoy the stunning panorama of the Matterhorn.
3. Exploring Lucerne
Discover the charm of Lucerne, a picturesque city located on the shores of Lake Lucerne. Visit the iconic Chapel Bridge, explore the Old Town, and take a boat cruise on the lake.
4. Chocolate tasting in Zurich
Indulge your taste buds in the world of Swiss chocolate with a chocolate tasting tour in Zurich. Learn about the history and production of chocolate, and sample a variety of delicious Swiss chocolates.
5. Cruise on Lake Geneva
Enjoy a leisurely cruise on Lake Geneva, surrounded by stunning views of the Swiss Alps and the picturesque towns along the shore. Experience the beauty and tranquility of Switzerland's largest lake.
6. Visit the Rhine Falls
Witness the power and beauty of the Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Europe. Take a boat ride to get up close to the cascading waters and feel the mist on your face.
7. Explore the Lauterbrunnen Valley
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, known as the 'Valley of Waterfalls'. Discover picturesque villages, towering waterfalls, and peaceful alpine meadows.
8. Visit Chillon Castle
Step back in time and explore the medieval Chillon Castle, located on the shores of Lake Geneva. Discover the fascinating history of the castle and enjoy panoramic views of the lake.
9. Paragliding in Interlaken
Experience the thrill of paragliding in Interlaken, a popular adventure sports destination. Soar above the Swiss Alps and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lakes.
10. Visit the Aletsch Glacier
Marvel at the magnificence of the Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps. Take a guided hike on the glacier and witness its incredible beauty and changing landscapes.
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Switzerland has a varied climate depending on the region and the season. Here is an overview of the climate and best time to visit Switzerland:
Switzerland has a temperate climate, with four distinct seasons. The country is known for its cold winters and cool summers. The mountain regions have a colder climate than the lowland regions, and the weather can vary greatly depending on the altitude. In general, the lowland areas are milder than the mountain regions.
Spring (March to May)
Spring is a great time to visit Switzerland as the weather is mild and the scenery is beautiful. The flowers are in bloom, and the snow is melting in the mountains. This is the perfect time for hiking and outdoor activities.
Summer (June to August)
Summer is the peak season in Switzerland and the weather is warm and sunny. This is the best time to visit the lakes and mountain regions, as well as for outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming.
Fall (September to November)
Fall is a great time to visit Switzerland, as the weather is mild and the scenery is beautiful. The leaves are changing colors, and the weather is perfect for hiking and outdoor activities. The crowds are smaller than in the summer, making it a great time to visit.
Winter (December to February)
Winter is the coldest season in Switzerland, but it is also the best time to visit for skiing and other winter sports. The mountains are covered in snow, and the ski resorts are open. However, it is important to note that the weather can be unpredictable, and it can be cold and snowy even in the lowland areas.
Keep in mind that Switzerland is a small country with a varied topography, therefore, the weather conditions vary greatly depending on the region. The weather in the mountains is usually colder and more unpredictable than in the lowland regions. It is always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.
Switzerland offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. Here are some of the accommodation options available when visiting Switzerland:
Switzerland has a wide range of hotels, from luxury five-star properties to budget-friendly options. Hotels are available in all the major cities and towns, as well as in the more remote regions of the country. Many hotels offer scenic views of the Swiss Alps and other natural wonders.
Bed and Breakfasts
Bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) are a popular option for those looking for a more personal and intimate experience. They are typically family-run and offer comfortable and cozy accommodations. Many B&Bs are located in picturesque towns and villages and offer great views of the Swiss countryside.
Hostels are another budget-friendly option for those traveling to Switzerland. They offer simple, dormitory-style accommodation and are a great option for backpackers and budget-conscious travelers. Hostels are available in most major cities and towns in Switzerland.
Vacation rentals such as apartments, cottages, and chalets are a great option for those traveling to Switzerland. They offer more space, privacy, and comfort than traditional hotel accommodations. Vacation rentals can be found in most major cities and towns, and in the more remote regions of the country.
Campsites are a popular option for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and skiing. Campsites are available throughout Switzerland, and many are located in beautiful natural settings. They offer a variety of amenities such as showers, toilets, and kitchens, and some even have playgrounds and swimming pools.
Switzerland is known for its luxury accommodations, such as 5-star hotels, luxury resorts, and chalets. These types of accommodation offer high-end amenities such as spas, fine dining, and breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps. They cater to travelers who are looking for the ultimate luxury travel experience.
Switzerland is a country known for its excellent public transportation system, making it easy for visitors to explore the different regions and cities. Here are some of the transportation options available when visiting Switzerland:
Switzerland has an extensive train network that connects the major cities and towns in the country. The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) operates trains throughout the country, and there are also regional trains that connect smaller towns and villages. The trains are efficient, comfortable, and offer stunning views of the Swiss countryside.
Buses are another popular way to explore Switzerland, they are operated by regional and local companies. Buses are a good option for reaching destinations that are not served by trains, and they are often used as a connection to smaller towns and villages.
Cable cars and funiculars
Switzerland is known for its beautiful alpine landscapes, and cable cars and funiculars are a great way to reach the mountain tops and enjoy panoramic views. Many ski resorts and hiking areas are accessible by cable cars and funiculars, and they are also used as a mode of transportation for local residents.
Renting a car is another option to explore Switzerland, it is recommended to have an international driving license. Switzerland has an excellent road network, and it is a good option for those who want to have more flexibility and independence when traveling.
Switzerland has several lakes such as Lake Geneva, Lake Lucerne, and Lake Thun, and boat tours are a popular way to explore these bodies of water and the towns and villages along their shores. Boat trips are also a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Swiss Alps.
Switzerland has an excellent cycling infrastructure, with well-marked paths and trails that take you through the most beautiful regions of the country. Bicycles can be rented in many cities and towns, and cycling is a great way to explore the countryside and small villages at a leisurely pace.
- The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF).
- Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 20 rappen and 1, 2, and 5 francs.
- Banknotes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 1000 francs.
Cash And Cards
- Cash is widely accepted in Switzerland, but cards are more commonly used.
- Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted, while American Express and Diners Club may have limited acceptance.
- It is recommended to have some cash for small transactions and in case of emergencies.
- ATMs are widely available in Switzerland.
- Look for ATMs with the Maestro, Cirrus, or Plus symbols to withdraw cash.
- It is advisable to notify your bank in advance to avoid any issues with your card.
- Service charges are usually included in the bill.
- It is common to round up the bill or leave a small tip if the service was exceptional.
- Tipping is not obligatory, but appreciated.
Cost Of Living
- Switzerland is known for its high cost of living.
- Accommodation, transportation, and dining out can be quite expensive.
- It is advisable to budget accordingly and be prepared for higher prices.
- Switzerland is generally a safe country, but it is always good to be cautious.
- Be aware of pickpockets in crowded tourist areas.
- Avoid any unsolicited offers or deals that seem too good to be true.