Wednesday, December 21, 2022


Switzerland Flag

Why visit Switzerland?
Offers something for everyone art, balloon rides, canoeing, churches, climbing, cobblestone streets, culture, cycling, fishing, galleries, gliding, health spas, hiking, horseback riding, lakes, medieval architecture, mountain chalets, museums, quaint villages, rafting, sailing, scenery, shopping, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoe trekking, tobogganing, tennis, and water sports.

Photo Credit: allPhoto Bangkok/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Appenzell dog collar, antiques, army knives, cheese, chocolates, cowbells, clocks, crystal, embroidered goods, fondue sets, herbs, lace, leather goods. liquors, music boxes, pottery, raclette maker, shoes, ski equipment, stainless steel cultery, watches, and wood carvings.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Basler Läckerli (biscuit). Bündner Nusstorte (nut cake). Capuns (meat dish). Carac (tart). Landjäger (dry sausage). Malakoff (fried cheese balls). Fondues. Maluns (potatoes). Rösti (potato dish). Tirggel (Christmas biscuit). Zopf (bread). Zürcher Geschnetzeltes (veal dish). 
  • Local Drink to Try: Absinthe (distilled). Damassine (liqueur). Jean-Francois Neyroud-Fonjallaz (wine). Merlot del Malcantone Montagna Magica (merlot). Ovomaltine (chocolate milk). Riesling Sylvaner (wine). Rivella (soft drink). Raissennaz Grand Cru  (pinot noir). Sassi Grossi (merlot).

Bern, Switzerland. Photo Credit: GPhotography/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • Vineyards have been cultivated since the Roman era
  • Since the 18th Century (1701 - 1800) has been making chocolate.
  • European Headquarters for the United Nations (UN).
  • Oldest Democratic confederation in the world.
  • Has over 1500 lakes.
  • Hosted (St Moritz) the 2nd Winter Olympic Games (1928).
  • Birthplace (St Moritz) of bobsleighing.
  • Headquarters (Bern) for Ovaltine (locally Ovomaltine).
  • Ranks as one of the least corrupt countries in the world.
  • Alps and the Jura mountains are popular for skiing and snowboarding.
  • Engadine Village of Poschiavo and Jura Village of St Cergue are known for snowshoe trekking.
  • Residents are required to buy private health insurance.
  • Birthplace (Basel) of Roger Federer, Former Professional Tennis Player who won 20 Grand Slam Tournaments.
  • Home to 8 of the world's ten best hotel schools.
  • Tobogganing tracks on the Albula Pass Road from Preda to Bergun or Darlux to Bergun.
  • Approximately 1000 museums throughout the country.
  • Berner Oberland, Graubunden, Jura, and Ticino are best for horseback riding.
  • Monte Rosa is the highest (15,203 ft).
  • Has the densest rail network in Europe.
  • Basel, Geneva, and Zürich ranks highly in cost of living and quality of life.

Montreux, Switzerland. Photo Credit: Christel/Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) International Balloon Festival, Neujahrsmarathon Zürich, Ski World Cup Wengen, Vogel Gryff Festival, (February) White Turf St Moritz, (March) Basler Fasnacht, Baselworld Watch & Jewelry Show, Engadine Ski Marathon, Geneva Motor Show, Luzern’s Fasnacht, Shapes Festival Leysin, Zürich Marathon, (April) Caprices Festival, Festichoc, Sechseläuten, (June) Art Basel, Greenfield Festival, William Tell Festival, Zermatt Unplugged, (June) Ironman Zurich, (July) Fête de la Cité, Gurtenfestival, Montreux International Jazz Festival, Openair Frauenfeld Festival, Paléo Festival De Nyon, Shankra Festival, Züri Fäscht, (August) Fêtes de Genève, Locarno Film Festival, Lucerne Festival, Openair Gampel, Zurich Street Parade, (September) Cow Processions, Knabenschiessen, Omega European Masters, Weltklasse Zürich, (October) Aelplerchilbi, Autumn Festival, Chestnut Festivals, Lucerne Cheese Festival, (November) Zibelemärit, (December) Christmas Festivities & Market, and L'Escalade.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Berchtold Day, Epiphany, Republic Day, Saint Joseph's Day, Näfelser Fahrt, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Ascension Day, Pentecost Monday, Corpus Christi, Jura Independence Day, Swiss National Day, Assumption of Mary, Jeune Genevois, Federal Fast Monday, Mauritius Day, St Nicholas of Flüe, All Saints' Day, Immaculate Conception, Christmas Day, St Stephen's Day, and Restoration Day.

Zurich, Switzerland. Photo Credit: Christel/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Has 4 national languages: French, German, Italian, and Romansh.
  • Not for the budget conscious traveler. 
  • Considered one of the most expensive countries in Europe.
  • Bicycles are permitted on the trains.
  • Drivers require a toll sticker (vignette) affixed to the vehicle's windshield for motorways.. 
  • Bikers, pedestrians, and trams have the right away.
  • Bicycle rentals are available at train stations.
  • High altitude may result in altitude sickness: fatigue, headache, nausea, and shortness of breath.
  • Minimum age to operate a motor vehicle is 18.
  • Avoid wearing flashy jewelry.
  • Alpine wildflowers are peaked between June - July.
  • Avoid shouting in public.
  • Maximum blood alcohol level is 0.05%.
  • Alpine hazards include: avalanches, falling rocks, flooding, glacial crevasses, landslides, snowdrifts, sudden weather changes, and sun exposure.
  • Roundabouts are very common.
  • Popular cheeses are:  AppenzellerEmmentalGruyère, and Vacherin. 
  • Talking or texting while driving is not permitted.
  • Vehicles require headlights on at all times.
  • Climbers should purchase Travel Insurance to include mountain search and rescue coverage due to costs.
  • Between April - May non-lake mountain resorts tend to be quiet.
  • Sweater and jacket required year round.
  • Turning right on red is illegal.
  • Many vendors only accept chip and PIN cards.
  • Alps can get snow year round.
  • Wines are produced in Geneva, Ticino, Valais, and Vaud.
  • Avoid wearing sneakers mountain hiking.
  • Most banks do not accept U.S. citizens as Clients.
  • Travelers arriving at Geneva or Zurich airports within the country's final destination, may have their baggage forwarded there directly by an accelerated service.
  • Tick Borne Encephalitis (TBE) is common. 
  • Sidewalks tend to be narrow and uneven.
  • Swiss Pass offers unlimited lake boats and train use.
  • Bus, train, or tram tickets must be validated prior to boarding.

Photo Credit: Julita/Pixabay 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: 10,000CHF.
Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Photo Credit: Christel/Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: April - October
  • Coldest Months: December - February
  • Hottest Months: June - August
  • Peak Season: June - August & December - February

Basel, Switzerland. Photo Credit: Birgit Böllinger/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Abbey of Saint Gall, Aletsch Glacier, Bellinzona, Bern. Bietschhorn, Convent of St John Müstair, and Jungfrau.

Oberhofen Castle, Thunersee, Switzerland. Photo Credit: Enrique/Pixabay 

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"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine

                                        All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.   

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