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Independent travel to Switzerland


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Independent travel to Switzerland


Switzerland is a mecca for tourists with a wide variety of interests: someone wants to be in the very heart of Europe, to see a sedate life, shrouded in traditions, someone - to admire alpine landscapes, castles, waterfalls, others go straight to skiing, the fourth - to expensive shops Zurich, and someone is looking for opportunities for ecotourism. What is the secret of this country's popularity? The Swiss preserve traditions, cherish nature, preserve ancient architecture, while remaining one of the most advanced countries in the field of high technologies, pedagogy, and social structure. A beautiful country with picturesque lakes, delicious food, lovely villages makes almost every guest want to spend their old age here.

 

 

Popular cities to visit in Switzerland

  • Zurich is the largest business center, a city of contemporary art and shopping. In the Kunsthaus, the Rietberg Museum, art works of our time are presented, in Bahnhofstrasse, Niederdorf, art markets are held, the famous FIFA Museum works. Visitors are attracted by Lake Zurich, the Rhine Falls, the Chagall stained glass windows in the Fraumünster, Zurich's 500 clubs and bars, open until the morning. The city on Lake Zurich is distinguished by a developed system of public transport, free bike rental.
  • Geneva is the most popular city in the country. Visit the embankment, the famous fountain, the Flower Clock in the English Garden, St. Peter's Cathedral, UN agencies.
  • Lausanne is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. An unforgettable experience will be made by exploring the surroundings, going up to the observation deck opposite the Cathedral. Once the intellectual capital of Europe, Lausanne was the capital of the Olympic movement: the International Olympic Committee is located here. And today it attracts lovers of water skiing, swimming, sailing.
  • Bern is the unspoken capital: from here they begin their journey to the Alps. The old town is protected by UNESCO: stunning natural attractions are concentrated around Bern. Albert Einstein's house-museum, a museum dedicated to the Swiss Alps, a Historical Museum, the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property provide access to many patents here are open here - this is interesting for those who dream of starting a business, looking for an idea for a startup. Many streets have survived from the 16th century and are decorated with sculptures; the best observation deck is the bridge located at the Lower Gate.
  • Basel meets tourists with a variety of attractions and reasonable prices. The best time to visit is spring or autumn. Basel is a culturally oriented city with a high concentration of museums: the most influential art market in the world operates here every June, there is a beautiful red sandstone Munster Cathedral with a multi-colored tiled roof. Cultural festivals are held in the spring.
  • Lugano is the Italian region of Switzerland, where you can taste excellent wines, eat in inexpensive restaurants and enjoy the natural beauty. Lugano offers interesting excursions: take a cable car to Monte San Salvatore or Monte Bre, admire the sunny panoramas, see the lake, rivers, mountains, buildings with red roofs. Explore the city's churches, cathedrals, the expressive Piazza della Riforma. The city is suitable for unhurried walks - an excellent holiday option for those who need peace and tranquility.
  • St. Moritz is a world famous ski resort in the west of Switzerland, it is called Top of the World - "Top of the World". The main attraction is the Glacier Express: a ride on it will allow you to see the whole country through a panoramic window in one day.
  • Zermatt is a small village in the Valais canton on the border with Italy. 5 thousand local residents, a narrow river, a large church in the very center - a small town where travel by car is prohibited. Here they walk, ride horse carts or electric cars.

Housing

Schweizer Hotelier Verein, SHV - The Swiss hotel association classifies hotels by tier, awarding the best with stars. Some hotels are not included in SHV, however, providing quality service, private pensions, mountain hotels, chalets, apart-hotels, and private accommodation options are common. Detailed information about mountain hotels is available on the website of the Swiss Alpine Club.

  • Double room in a 2 * / 3 * hotel - from 130-160CHF / day, the price varies from season to season. Accommodation in the mountains costs 25% more.
  • Hostels offer discounts if you have a ticket of a national student organization or an international card ISIC, IYTC, ITIC. Accommodation cost - 8-30CHF / day.
  • There are more than 390 car campings in the country. It is impossible to settle with a tent outside the camp: almost all the land here is private, the fines for accommodation in private territory are high. More information about campsites is available on the website of the Swiss Camping Association.
  • Renting an apartment / room / old barn - there are many offers around the country, many residents want to earn money. Small villages offer the best private rental deals. Plus to renting from locals: getting to know the local culture, the ability to cook at home, the main thing is the availability of convenient transport links.

Nutrition

TOP-10 Swiss dishes:

  • Fondue is the oldest way to use bread and cheese in winter. Today, fondue is part of a must-have menu for any local or visitor to the country from fall to spring. A piece of country bread is dipped in melted cheese, bubbling over an open fire and flavored with garlic and spices. Top off your snack with a glass of white wine, tea or schnapps to recreate a traditional winter meal.
  • Rosti Valaisanne - finely grated potatoes fried until golden brown, one of the iconic national dishes. The first Rosti was eaten by farmers in the canton of Bern for breakfast. The steaming casserole is served in a ceramic platter with salted bacon, fried egg, melted raclette cheese along with spicy gherkins and pickled onions.
  • Basel Floury Soup - Originally it was just flour, butter, onions and beef broth topped with a gruyere crust. Legend has it that the soup was created by an inattentive cook who browned the flour too much. Soup is an essential part of the Basel Carnival.
  • Raclette, originally from the canton of Valais, is a local cheese: served fried over low heat and melted inside. Cut cheese is added to boiled potatoes, pickles, and onions. Today raclette is no longer roasted over the fire, but it remains a favorite party treat. The best companion to the cheese is the local Fendant wine.
  • Polenta + Beef Stew - The Italian-speaking canton of Ticino has eaten polenta, a dish made from cornmeal, for centuries. Traditionally, it was cooked slowly in a copper pot until it became thick and dense. The savory beef stew with polenta is the perfect blend of rustic flavors.
  • Zurich Veal and Mushroom Stew (Zurcher geschnetzeltes) - diced veal, kidney, sweet bread fried in a sauce of onions, butter, white wine, cream and mushrooms. A favorite Swiss dish, it hails from the most dynamic German-speaking city.
  • Tartiflette originated near the French-Swiss border, home to the local Reblochon cheese. Cheese appeared in the 16th century and tartiflette in the 1980s: thinly sliced potatoes, bacon slices, caramelized onions, juicy, nutty flavor of Reblochon cream cheese.
  • Lekerli are spicy, gingerbread-like biscuits with a delicate nutty flavor.
  • Vacherin Mont D'Or is a soft, spicy cow's milk cheese topped with white wine and garlic, cooked in a round wooden container. Glutinous cream cheese is served warm with boiled potatoes as part of a traditional winter ritual.

Prices in cafes and restaurants in Switzerland are high, so food from the supermarket will help you save a lot of money. Pay attention to Swiss white wine, which is much more interesting than local beer. Swiss products are labeled with two storage periods: the first period is “recommended for consumption”, the second period is to be eaten urgently, after its expiration the food must be thrown away. Second freshest products are sold at a deep discount but are considered safe. Popular chain supermarkets - Migros, Coop.

Moving around the country and cities

The public transport network is well developed and includes buses, railways, steamships and lifts. The best way to travel between cities is by train: Swiss trains run exactly on schedule, move slowly, allowing you to see the surrounding landscapes. Trams and buses run in the cities. Tickets are purchased from vending machines located at bus stops that accept coins, and newsstands sell tickets to pay for tickets. Swiss Pass, Swiss Flexi Pass are valid for all types of public transport in 35 cities of the country.

The best way to get around cities is on foot! Local historic centers can be explored on foot or by bike; there are free or extremely cheap bike rentals.

The extensive network of Swiss railways operates from early morning until midnight, trains run every hour. Tickets are sold at the stations, for tourists there are travel passes, which are more profitable to buy outside the country.

Approximate cost of the trip, expenses

Contrary to stereotypes, travel in Switzerland will not cost more than in Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and the quality of service is higher than in many other areas of Europe. The national motto Value for money is justifying itself.

  • The most budgetary option is hitchhiking or cycling around the country, accommodation in hostels or campgrounds, self-catering and planning excursions - 40-50 CHF per day (+ 5-10 francs for a couple of bottles of beer with dinner or a ride on the funicular).
  • Inexpensive hotel, boarding house in a rural area, walking tours, outdoor recreation - 100 CHF / day. Plus a trip to Jungfraujoch from Zurich - 120-170 CHF.
  • Accommodation in a 3 * hotel - 80-200 CHF / night per person. Most hotels issue invoices for 300-400 CHF per day.
  • Pay attention to the hotels of the Swiss Budget Hotels group - you can book a room for under 80 CHF.
  • Camping sites use - 30-40 CHF / day.
  • Overnight stay Übernachten im Stroh is good value for money and allows you to touch the real life of local inhabitants. Prices range from 10 to 30 CHF per night.
  • Services Bed and Breakfast, Airbnb, Couchsurfing will help you find accommodation options from 20 CHF / day.
  • Naturfreunde service offers hostels on the edge of the forest, on the banks of the river, on the picturesque hills, on the territory of the ski resort. Cost - 10-30 CHF per person.

Tourists are offered several profitable discount travel programs:

  • Swiss Travel Pass is a tourist bonus program of the federal railways: travelers can buy an All-in-One card for 216 CHF, getting the opportunity to use public transport without restrictions throughout the country for 3 days.
  • Swiss Half Fare Card allows you to get a 50% discount on bus, train, steamer, lifts. Price - 120 CHF / month.
  • Children up to 6 years old use public transport for free. The Swiss Family Card allows children under 16 to travel without a ticket.
  • Travel on cable cars and mountain passes is paid separately.
  • Taxi fares start from 3 € / km.

Prices in a cafe or restaurant in Switzerland:

  • McDonalds - 10-15 CHF
  • Supermarket food court - 25-35 CHF
  • COOP restaurants (hot dish meat / fish + side dish) - 14-16 CHF
  • Cafe (chicken + salad, water) - 24 CHF.

Examples of prices for an average restaurant (Zurich):

  • Hot dish - 20-25 CHF
  • Salad - 8-10 CHF
  • Pizza - 20-25 CHF
  • Soup - 6-10 CHF
  • Beer - 6,5 CHF per 0.5 liter.
  • Coffee - 3-3,5 CHF
  • Croissant - 2-3 CHF.

Street food:

  • Barbecue - 10 CHF
  • Sausage - 6 CHF
  • A slice of pizza - 8-10 CHF
  • Hamburger - 15 CHF.

Products in stores:

  • Cheese - 10-15 CHF
  • Milk - 1,7 CHF
  • Eggs - 3,2 CHF
  • Bread 1,6-2 CHF
  • Pasta 0.5 kg - 3-3,5 CHF
  • Rice - 2,2-3 CHF.

Car expenses:

  • A liter of the 95th - 1.4 CHF
  • Parking - 6-20 CHF / day
  • The cost of renting a car per day (high season) - 90 CHF / day.

Tip

Payment for services (15%) is included in all bills of restaurants, cafes, bars. No additional payments are required according to local law, but they will be gratefully accepted.

Major attractions

  • The old town of Zurich is a cozy place near the Limmat River, notable for ancient buildings of the 9th century with painted walls, where the remains of ancient Roman baths have been preserved. In the old town there are the most famous churches - Fraumünster, St. Peter's Cathedral. The cathedral's clock dial is considered the largest in Europe. The park area near the lake offers picnic areas and the beach, and the center offers luxury shops of world famous brands.
  • The historical part of Bern has been a UNESCO site since 1983, where many medieval buildings are located. Bernese Cathedral amazes tourists with its 100-meter high bell tower. Bern Bridge was built in the 13th century and is over 50 meters long. Notable sites in the Old Town: Zytglogge Clock Tower, Virgin Mary Chapel, Nidegg Church.
  • Lake Geneva - clear cold water warms up only in July, there are many beaches on the shores of the lake, boat and yacht rental. Tourists come to admire the wonderful views of the snow-capped Alps, dense vegetation, vineyards, breathe in the clean mountain air. Resorts built on the shore are deservedly popular.
  • Chapelbrücke - a wooden covered bridge in Lucerne is considered the oldest bridge of its kind in Europe (built in 1365). The length of the structure is more than 200 meters; earlier the bridge was part of fortifications. Under the roof of the bridge there are paintings depicting fragments of the country's history. In the middle of the bridge is the Wasserturm Tower, built a few years before the bridge - in 1300. Now it is occupied by a souvenir shop.
  • Chillon Castle is located on the rocks of the lake, a bridge leads to the coast from the castle. Visitors note the luxury of Chillon: the ceilings are decorated with paintings, the upper part of the Festive Hall is made in the form of the underwater part of the ship, the walls are decorated with the coats of arms of Berne officials, there is a museum of weapons. The castle exhibits a collection of pewter dishes and elegant antique furniture.
  • Palais des Nations (Geneva) - an architectural complex in the Ariana park. Construction began in 1929 and lasted almost 10 years; several famous architects worked on the building project, who erected a magnificent neoclassical structure. The size of the Palais des Nations is second only to the famous Versailles, and is the seat of many international organizations - UN, UNESCO, UNCTAD. More than 100,000 tourists visit the palace annually.
  • Bear Pit (Bern). The heraldic symbol of Bern is the bear; a special place for keeping them was founded in the 15th century. It is a long moat adjacent to Bear Park. There are viewing terraces for visitors, and it is safe to observe animals from the Niedegbrücke Bridge. For several years, animal rights activists have been trying to improve the conditions for keeping bears - now they are close to their natural habitat.
  • The Zurich Zoo was founded in 1929 and has undergone several major renovations. The inhabitants of the zoo live in an area that mimics the natural habitat. The collection of the park is growing: more than 2000 animals are represented, some of them are from the Red Book (king penguins, giant turtles).
  • The Gothic cathedral was built in the 13th century and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary - sometimes it is called "Swiss Notre Dame". The cathedral is decorated with colored stained-glass windows, skillful stucco molding, and bas-reliefs. Especially noteworthy is the Rose Window - a unique stained glass window from the 13th century. During the Reformation, the cathedral was partially destroyed, many valuables were stolen. The restoration of the unique architectural appearance of the cathedral is still ongoing.

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