Switzerland-is a mountainous Central European country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. Its cities contain medieval quarters, with landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Lucerne’s wooden chapel bridge. The country is also known for its ski resorts and hiking trails. Banking and finance are key industries, and Swiss watches and chocolate are world renowned.
Trip Planning: The planning stage of your trip can be instrumental in its success and an enjoyable part of the experience itself. You have a world of options...and plenty to consider.
Entry and Exit formalities: Visitors must hold a passport valid for at least six months & beyond at the time of entering the country. Some nationalities can obtain visa on arrival and for nationalities who requires visa please refer to the Swiss consulate website: https://www.vfsglobal.ch/switzerland/uae/. Switzerland is part of the 26 Schengen State Countries.
Transportation: Figuring out how to get around is one of your biggest pre-trip decisions. Get our holiday expert best advice on deciding between your options. Based on your trip itinerary, our experts will help you choose wisely. You'll also find a wealth of practical travel tips.
Money: Use your money wisely. Know the best time to use cash or card — and how to avoid unnecessary fees either way — as well as tipping etiquette, and how shoppers can take advantage of VAT refunds.
Phones and Technology: Phones and other smart devices can be huge time-savers...or expensive distractions. Get our tips for making the best use of technology during your trip, and for calling home with or without your own phone.
Packing Light: On your trip you'll meet two kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had.
Sleeping and Eating: Your hotel and restaurant choices can be a matter-of-face chore…or they can provide rich opportunities to connect with locals and their culture.
Health & Hygiene: Take comfort: Doctors, hospitals, launderettes, and bathrooms aren’t that different. Dealing with them can even be part of the fun of travel.
Sightseeing & Activities: Once you're on the ground, the real fun begins…but it pays to have a thoughtful plan. Our experts will help you get oriented to your surroundings, use your sightseeing hours wisely, and find your way off the beaten path.
Things do & see:
Ski the Matterhorn — Switzerland offers the best skiing in the world, and the Matterhorn is the epitome of it all. You’ll have to take a train or bus into the area as cars aren’t allowed. Not only do you need to ski here, but you can come to admire what’s truly a pollutant-free area. And, if you miss ski season, come hike the mountain in the summer. It’s not easy but the views of the surrounding countryside are some of the best I’ve seen in Switzerland.
Join in the Fasnacht Spring Carnival in Basel — This three-day festival is a three day long party that welcomes in the warm weather. Nothing in the town shuts down. It’s something that’s highly anticipated by both tourists and locals. Everyone here is in a good move!
Explore Geneva — As the third largest city in Switzerland, Geneva offers spectacular views of the city’s lake (Lake Geneva), a plethora of museums, the world’s largest fountain, the UN, a historic city center, and a collection of international restaurants to satisfy anyone’s palate (thanks to the UN buildings in town).
Visit the capital, Bern — The capital of Switzerland, Bern has an amazing historic town center that you’ll want to walk around all day long (though it only takes a few hours). It’s filled with ancient clocktowers, cobblestone streets, churches, and buildings. Be sure to walk the river way (and surrounding park), relax with a good book, visit the history museum, and check out the local bear!
Hike Mt. Pilatus — Located right outside the city of Lucerne, this beautiful mountain has breathtaking views of the alps. From the city, you can take a cable car to the top or (better yet) hike its trails to the top to look out over the Swiss Alps.
Picnic at the Rhine Falls — Pack a picnic lunch and look out at your view of Europe’s largest waterfall. Nearby in the town of Schaffhausen, you’ll find a medieval castle which also houses a hostel for cheap but interesting accommodations.
Explore St. Gallen — The seventh largest city in Switzerland, St. Gallen boasts beautiful museums, colorful murals, and one-of-a-kind architecture.
Interlaken — Interlaken is one of the outdoor capitals of the country (though it’s quite touristy during peak season). There is a lot to do here for the adrenaline-seeker: skydiving over the Swiss glacier, water-skiing, skiing, hiking, etc. This is also ground zero for backpackers since there’s so many free outdoor activities.
The old Villages — Visit the Graubunden area of the country, where you’ll find villages with houses dating back to the 13th century. Here they also speak an ancient language called Romanch, which has died out everywhere else in the country and take great pride in keeping the tradition alive.
Swiss Riviera — The “Swiss Riviera” is situated in Lavaux (Cantan of Vaud) and goes along Lake Geneva. You can visit vineyards that overlook the lake, the castle Château de Chillon, and the town of Montreux, which is famous for its annual jazz festival. It’s where you can hob knob with the well heeled jet set of the region!
Montreux — With a picturesque castle (Chateau de Chillo) lying at the edge of a lake, this area makes for a pretty romantic destination. Tour the castle, which dates all the way back to the 11th century and inspired the likes of Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, and more. The town was also the home of Freddie Mercury and there is a statue here in his honor.
Discover rural culture in Appenzell — This small village of 7,000 lies in the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden. There are no cars and the village has upheld much of its local traditions and culture. Its location near the foot of the Alpstein mountains makes it a great gateway for participating in summer and winter outdoor activities.
Lucerne — You can’t get much more of a typical Swiss destination than Lucerne. Located on the beautiful Lucerne Lake, the city offers a wonderful combination of urban life and nature.
Zurich — With a hopping nightlife, filled with endless bars and restaurants, this cosmopolitan city is bustling with activity. Zurich (spelled Zürich) is also set on a beautiful lake, near the mountains, and is close to a lot of other cities. It’s a very international city and you’ll find expats and students from all around the world living and working here. I love the historic center that opens up on the lake, sitting in the parks, and drinking a beer on the lakefront. The city is also very arty and full of street art and exhibitions.