Tips and Inspiration for your European holiday

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Switzerland travel
is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. I fell in love with Switzerland on my very first visit over 30 years ago and it’s a country I return to at every opportunity.


Everywhere you look in
Switzerland, beauty is all around you.  From towering mountain peaks that are snow-capped even in summer, to crystal clear lakes, well-preserved medieval cities, lush alpine pastures and charming villages, Switzerland has it all.


I adore Switzerland and I really hope you will visit and fall in love with Switzerland too!


To help you get started
planning a trip to Switzerland keep reading to find lots of information on things to do in Switzerland and the best places to visit in Switzerland.  


Need suggestions for your Switzerland travel itinerary? I’ve got that covered, along with
Switzerland travel tips and handy things to know if you plan to visit Switzerland in winter or experience a white Christmas in Switzerland.


Ok, so let’s get your
Switzerland vacation planning underway!

>> Do you have questions about your upcoming trip to Switzerland? Join my Switzerland Travel Planning Facebook Group where you can ask questions about your travels.  Click here to join. <<


Swiss Rail Passes

A really convenient way to travel around Switzerland is by train and there are numerous rail passes that cover transport on trains and buses as well as offering discounts or free travel on mountain excursions, lake cruises and museum entry.  You'll find detailed articles on some of the most popular and best value Switzerland rail passes below.


Where to go in Switzerland

Deciding exactly where to spend your Switzerland holidays can be hard as there are so many beautiful towns and villages to discover.  It will also depend on what style of holiday you are looking for.


The
best places in Switzerland to spend Christmas may be different to those that you head for to go summer hiking when you visit the Swiss Alps, for instance.


To help you determine the
best places to go in Switzerland, you’ll find some suggestions in my blog articles below.


Cities in Switzerland

Which are the best cities to visit in Switzerland? I love:

  • Lucerne - Famous for its medieval covered wooden bridge and the nearby peaks of Mt. Pilatus, Mt. Titlis and Mt. Rigi, Lucerne is a beautiful city which makes a perfect base for exploring further.  

  • Bern - The Swiss capital is a friendly city built in a bend of the River Aare. A definite must-see is the Zytglogge. 

  • Zurich - If you are flying into Switzerland, Zurich will probably be your gateway to the country.  Allow time to explore the Old Town, the twin towered cathedral and wander along the River Limmat which flows into Lake Zurich.  

  • Geneva - This cosmopolitan city on the border with France is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva and within easy reach of some stunning alpine resorts. 

  • Montreux - One of the most beautiful towns on the Swiss Riviera, Montreux enjoys a mild climate and offers plenty for the visitor to see and do.


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Towns and villages in Switzerland

To really appreciate the spectacular scenery the country has to offer you need to leave the cities and head to the countryside.  It’s here you can breathe in the crisp alpine air, walk amongst lush fields and enjoy a look at what life in a smaller Swiss town is really like.


There are so many charming towns to visit it can be hard to choose
where to visit in Switzerland so hopefully I can help!  

  • Lauterbrunnen - One of my favourite places to go in Switzerland, this beautiful village also happens to be the starting point for some of the top things to do in Switzerland  

  • Interlaken - Perfectly located between two sparkling lakes and at the foot of the Swiss Alps   
     
  • Grindelwald - This popular resort town offers a host of fun things to do all year round but particularly during the warmer months

  • Lake Thun - Take a cruise on Lake Thun and stop off at the lovely town of Spiez, Oberhofen Castle and then stroll around Thun

  • Zermatt - Views of the mighty Matterhorn will take your breath away

  • Appenzell - For a look at rural Switzerland at its finest, head to Appenzell

  • Gruyeres - Chocolate, cheese and castles are the theme of any visit to this charming Swiss town

  • Lake Maggiore - the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland offers a Mediterranean climate, stunning natural beauty and pretty, vibrant lakeside towns.


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Switzerland travel itinerary ideas

Your Switzerland itinerary will largely depend on how long you plan to spend in the country and whether you prefer to visit cities or smaller towns and villages (or a combination of both), as well as your mode of transport.


The following itineraries are a good starting point and can be shortened or lengthened to suit your needs.


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Winter holidays and Christmas in Switzerland


Zurich in winter


More Switzerland travel suggestions

 

Read on for links to all my Switzerland travel articles .......

 

 

Sometimes when you go on holidays you share one of those moments with your fellow travellers that forever remain in your memory. For my family, our 2008 holiday to Europe produced one such moment that we talked about for years. In fact, so prolific was this memory that when the opportunity arose to repeat it in 2013, we couldn't grab it quick enough! 

The Swiss Museum of Transport (Verkehrshaus) is located on the shores of lovely Lake Lucerne. The museum is home to a huge array of all forms of transport including trains, planes, cars, ships, cable cars and much more. Also on site are a Planetarium and an IMAX theatre and a display of communications equipment.

Dating back to the mid-17th Century, Lucerne's Jesuit Church was the first large Baroque church built north of the Alps in Switzerland. The first cornerstone for the church was laid in 1666 and the twin-towers with their 'onion' domes are now are prominent feature of Lucerne. The church's position on the River Reuss right near the Chapel Bridge makes it a much-visited place and with good reason - the interior really takes your breath away.

Just an hour from the centre of Zurich, the Rhine Falls (Rheinfall) is the largest waterfall in Europe. At 150 metres wide and 23 metres high, a huge volume of water passes over the falls every minute.  In summer, the average flow of water is an amazing 700,000 litres per second! 

The capital of Switzerland is often overlooked as a destination in its own right by Australians, but as my visit to the city last year proved, there is plenty to see and do.  Evelyn Lafone, Director Australia and New Zealand for Switzerland Tourism, hails from just outside Zurich and she shares her Insider Secrets with us.

As the world headquarters for the Red Cross, the International Olympic Committee, World Health Organisation and the European seat of the United Nations, Geneva is a truly international city. Situated on the border of France and Switzerland, Geneva is a mix of both countries and whilst this it is officially in French-speaking Switzerland, most residents are also fluent in German, and often many other languages as well. In fact, with so many international organisations housed here, there's barely a language you won't hear!

The Glacier Express is probably Switzerland's most scenic train journey. It's a year-round train service between Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn and St Moritz in the Engadine skiing area. On its journey, the Glacier Express crosses 291 bridges and the Oberalp Pass, at 2033 metres, and passes through 91 tunnels. 

Switzerland’s capital, Bern, is often overlooked on a European itinerary, but it is a city with plenty to offer the visitor.  Located in the Swiss Mittelland (middle land) region, Bern is within easy reach of many of Switzerland’s more popular destinations but warrants at least of couple of days to discover this historic city which was added to UNESCO’s world heritage list in 1983.

The tiny principality of Liechtenstein is often a ‘blink or you’ll miss it’ part of a European holiday itinerary, but the country should be considered as more than just another place to tick off on your ‘been there, done that’ list.