Switzerland is the land of tennis maestro Roger Federer. Carl Jung, Louis Chevrolet and Ursula Andress, Jean Jacques Rosseau, Jean Luc Goddard, The Matterhorn. The precise Swiss Clocks, Lake Geneva and downhill legend Pirmin Zurbriggen. The iconic Alps, Fondue and actress Renée Zellweger. Violinist Yehudi Menuhin, and the band Yello. The taste of Swiss Chocolate and Kirsch.
These are some of the things you will remember or observe when in Switzerland. Of course your own list will be interesting and we would love to read it.
But on a practical note, we have listed some information below to help you relax and enjoy your tour
Attractions – Switzerland
Interlaken offering spectacular views of three famous Swiss mountains, the Eiger, the Jungfrau and the Monch. Lausanne also is the gateway to some of the world’s best ski slopes, part of the Swiss Riviera, Lausanne has been popular with writers over the centuries, include Lord Byron, the Shelleys and Ernest Hemingway. Geneva sights include the Cathedral of St. Pierre where John Calvin gave famous sermons, and the United Nations headquarters. Zurich were the Swiss National Museum is located in a fairytale castle, it is dedicated to Switzerland’s cultural history.
Zermatt is a small town that is famous for skiing and mountaineering due to its proximity to the Matterhorn. The Jungfrau Region if want to ski or climb through the mountains with picturesque villages. Lugano is home to a large number of Swiss heritage sites, including three cathedrals, two libraries and several museums. Lake Geneva has elegant cities and towns surrounding the lake, the opportunities for skiing and hiking in both mountain ranges, and of course the lake itself. Lucerne is most famous for its 14th century Chapel Bridge and Water Tower, which is said to be the most photographed monument in Switzerland. Bern home to the Zytglogge, an ancient clock tower with moving puppets, the Munster a Gothic cathedral that rises from the old town and its town hall.
Regions (Cantons) – Switzerland
The regions in Switzerland are Aargau, Appenzell and Ausserrhoden. Appenzell Innrrhoden and Basel-Landschaft. Basel Stadt, Bern and Fribourg.
Geneva, Glarus and Graubünde. Jura, Luzern and Neuchâtel. Nidwalden, Obwalden and Schaffhausen. Schwyz Solothurn and St. Gallen. Thurgau, Ticino and Uri. Valais Vaud, Zug and Zürich.
VISA – Switzerland
Coming from the States you do not need a visa to enter Switzerland. As a visitor you can stay up to six months without any restrictions.
Currency – Switzerland
The currency is The Swiss Franc and this is generally the only currency accepted, except in rare circumstances. In most places you can also pay with Visa or MasterCard. American Express is less accepted so check in advance. 1 USD is equivalent to approximately .96 Swiss Franc and there are 100 rappen in one The Swiss Franc.
Weather – Switzerland
Switzerland has a reputation for been very cold in winter and very warm in summer! In Switzerland temperatures are cold with snow with great skiing, usually around -10 to 0 degrees in winter. Some summer months the country experiences is warm and temperatures, particularly around Geneva, and temperatures can reach up to 27- 30 degrees, but as most central European countries thunders storms as well. The wettest months are in Autumn and Winter
Language – Switzerland
In Switzerland the main languages are German, French, Italian and Romansh are spoken.
Food – Switzerland
There is a multicultural society in Switzerland and the restaurants, especially in the large cities, most certainly reflect this. German, French, Italian, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine can be found everywhere.
However, The Swiss still love their traditional Swiss recipes! Älplermagronen, Swiss Cheese, and of course Choclate, feature high on the menus in pubs and restaurants. Swiss breakfast is also a staple part of the diet and is served in most hotels as the standard breakfast. This consists of Zopf, one of the mainstays of Swiss breakfasts, a rich white bread baked in the shape of a braid, and is served with butter, jams, honey, cheeses or cold meats. Buttery croissants, called gipfeli in Swiss German, are also a favourite and müesli, made of oat flakes, grated apple, ground hazelnuts and yoghurt in the classic birchermüesli version. Eggs in different variations, coffee, tea and juices are also standard. (see Dictionary below)
Drink – Switzerland
Once you have reached the legal age for drinking alcohol, that is 16 years, you can wander into one of the many pubs and experiment with one of the beers. Typically you will find that each pub/ restaurant sells larger, Wine, Absinthe and a friendly barman will be happy to inform you of the differences between them all! You are usually never more than five minutes away from a pub or restaurant in Switzerland and often these pubs serve a mixture of traditional and international food dishes. Most pubs close at 11 or 11.30pm.
With regards to non-alcoholic drinks, tea is still the favoured hot cup of the day, although American influences such as Starbucks are now to be found in most large cities and towns.
Electricity and Phone – Switzerland
In Switzerland there are one of the two European standard electrical socket types: The “Type F” German style Schuko and the “Type C” Europlug. Almost all sockets are Schuko, and while the Europlug socket may be found With regards to your cell phone, it may be cheaper to buy a local number and use this for the duration of your stay. Your hotel/guesthouse receptionist can advise you on this. If you are only staying for a short period and planning on using mostly Wi-Fi, then your current sim will suit best.
Dictionary – Switzerland
We have listed a few common differences in language between Swiss and the U.S English
Hüüsli = restroom | Wilkomme = Welcome| En Guete! = Have a nice meal| Saltador = I Understand
| Mobiltelefon = cellphone | Thanks a lot = Merci vilmal | Benziin = Gas | Bis spöter = See you later | Baanhoof =Train Station
Food – Switzerland
Fondue = For centuries, Swiss living in the mountains relied on fondue as a way to use bread and cheese during colder months. Today, it is a must-have for any local or visitor to the country from autumn to spring. Dunk rustic country bread into melted cheeses (opt for a moitie-moitie of gruyere and vacheron), infused with lashings of wine and garlic, bubbly over an open flame
Papet Vaudois = best described as a mash of leeks and potatoes that are stewed for hours. The result is an earthy, onion-tinged mixture that makes the perfect root bed for fat sausage, unique to the canton of Vaud (saucisson Vaudois). With deep roots in the canton, Papet Vaudois is akin to the region’s emblematic dish, and its notorious crimson sausage, loosely stuffed and plump, is not to be missed.
Tartiflette = was conceived near the French-Swiss border in the department of Haute-Savoie, home to the local Reblochon cheese. Today, tartiflette is a staple dish at most ski resorts, particularly those in Swiss-Romande. This rustic plate is a starchy combination of thinly sliced potatoes, smoky bits of bacon, carmelised onions and oozy, nutty, creamy Reblocohon cheese.
Chips = Pomfrit
Courgette = Zucchini