With such a strong financial background and a populous driven to excel, it’s no wonder the Swiss are so prideful. And it shows in just about everything – the streets and cities are immaculate, the greenery and nature around the cities are pristine and nationally protected, as is their farming and local foods. The Swiss ensure that the quality of their goods (dairy farms, creams, and cheeses) are protected both economically and for their traditional value within the culture. This translates into the government heavily taxing the imported goods and making the domestic goods more affordable. The quality and traditions create a fun and playful environment for tourists, especially with the amazing local foods available there.
Places to Visit in Switzerland
- St. Moritz
Unique Things to See and Do in Switzerland
- Eat cheese fondue in Gruyere
- Walk on the Aletsch Glacier, the largest alpine glacier
- Ride the Jungfrau Railway
- Take the world’s steepest cogwheel railway: Pilatus Bahnen
- Check out the odd “Child Eater of Bern” statue
- Take a photograph in front of the Lion of Lucerne
- Walk across the 800 year old Medieval Chapel Bridge
- Enjoy the luxurious lifestyle of St. Moritz
- AND visit the Lindt and Toblerone factories!
Fondue, Swiss Chocolate, and Castles; a Perfect Combination!
Switzerland is the country of cheeses. With over 450 varieties, there are so many to choose from that it’s difficult for travellers to pick. So what should be on your top ten list for cheeses to try while you’re there? Hands down, you must try traditional cheese fondue with kirsch. Historically, during the 18th century, cheese fondues were a means for using stale bread (which is hard as a rock) during the winter months when fresh foods were scarce. The addition of wine, spices, garlic, and different combinations of cheeses created a flavourful dish worth every morsel.
Another must is heading up into Gruyere AOP. This region has been producing Gruyere cheese since 1115, and what better way to experience cheese than in a castle town. Constructed in the 13th century, this little town has some fabulous medieval architecture, and in the summer the streets are lined with perfect outdoor cafes, fountains, and cobblestone streets, all against a backdrop of green mountain sides. Picturesque to say the least! A popular lunch spot to stop at is the Chateau du Gruyere for a cheese fondue in a classic canteen style tavern. And what better way to end a meal than with fresh strawberries and cream paired with traditional Swiss chocolate. Fondue’s aren’t cheap, even for lunch, so expect to pay a bit more than your average lunch bill.
Other swiss cheeses that are worth trying are Emmentaler, a classic hard cheese, or the semi-hard cheeses such as Appenzeller, Raclette, and best of all, Tete de Moine. You can even align your travels with the different regions of cheese making as these towns are typically picturesque in location and offer other fantastic activities. In Appenzellerland you can take a dip in the thermal baths, or check out the castles, wooden bridges, or even alphorn markers in Emmental!
Switzerland is a land full of traditions, so whether you plan a cheese tour through the country, a hiking tour, or to just hit all the major towns, you’ll still encounter all the traditions of the region since they are truly a part of everyday Swiss culture.
Getting Around Switzerland
Switzerland’s extensive railway system is one of the best in the world and the easiest way to get around. The Swiss are known for their punctuality and cleanliness and that couldn’t be more apparent than in their rail service.
Did you know…?
The swiss national flag is a square and not a rectangle.
Did you ALSO know…?
William Tell, famous for shooting an arrow through an apple placed on his son’s head, was from the Canton of Uri.
The trains run to most small towns and all major cities, plus they are clean, on time, and fast. In fact, most Swiss people use the trains for their everyday commuting rather than taking a car, but if you prefer to drive that is possible too.
A great way to save while in Switzerland is to pick up a Swiss Travel Pass which gives you unlimited travel by rail, road, and waterway, plus free transportation in 75 towns and cities, and it includes admission into 480 museums. It also qualifies for discounts on the mountain railways too.
Many towns in Switzerland are car-free within the city centres making Switzerland an incredibly walkable country. Even all the mountain-tops have walking paths to the next town. This probably explains why the Swiss are in such great shape!
Best Time of Year to Travel to Switzerland
The most popular time of year is during the summer months, but this also means the crowds are thick with tourists – including locals ones. The summer months are great in terms of weather, with temperatures ranging between 18°C to 28°C from July to August. In the spring and autumn months, the range is between 8°C to 15°C. The winters can get quite a bit cooler if you’re in the mountains and higher altitudes, but within the cities you can expect a range of -2°C to 7°C which is fairly moderate. And if you forget to bring some layers in the winter you can pick up some great outdoor gear!
Ready to plan your visit to Switzerland? Check out these popular guides and trips.