It is truly sad and depressing as to what is happening around the world currently given the COVID-19 pandemic. People are sick, the virus is spreading and the world seems to be at a stand still. All the borders are closed; in fact, we cannot even get out of our houses in certain countries! Given the lockdown, there has of course been no travel/vacations or work trips for both Sandhya and me. So, we thought why not publish a couple of travel blogs during this time so that we can be positive and at least visit places virtually 🙂
Today, I am going to share about my visit to Switzerland. In this blog, I would like to highlight my Swiss endeavour and take you all through the breathtaking locations. From snow-capped mountain peaks, to crystal clear lakes, well-preserved medieval cities to lush alpine pastures, charming villages to the best chocolates in the world – Switzerland has it all. While it is not an inexpensive destination for travel or living, Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places on this Earth. It is best to come in the summer season, from May to September, although in the mountains temperatures don’t really start warming up until June. July and August have the warmest temperatures, with snow-free hiking trails and longer days. Winters are equally good if you want to experience snow adventures. Sandhya went in winter and she loved it! She is truly a lover of winters and heavy snow 🙂
Tips for Swiss Travel
- Local currency is Swiss Franc (CHF). Make sure you carry enough Francs; Euros are accepted in few places.
- Hotels are super expensive. A much better alternative to hotels is Airbnb, hostels etc.
- Eating out is very pricey; you can keep your spending in check by going to the local supermarkets and buying your own groceries and cooking at your Airbnb.
- Meat is expensive in Switzerland. Stick to veggies and avoid buying meat for your meals.
- Bring a refillable water bottle and you can fill it up at the water fountains in public locations – At 2-4 CHF a bottle, that’s a lot of money spent on water.
- Swiss rail pass is an economical way to travel; you can get even cheaper rates by booking your train tickets early.
- Cities and towns in Switzerland are incredibly well connected with trams, buses, funiculars, trains, etc. Each mode of transportation is safe, clean, and reliable.
Top Places to visit in Swiss
Lucerne: Located on the beautiful Lucerne Lake, the city offers a wonderful combination of urban life and nature. I spent most of my time in the old town, visited the famous Chapel Bridge – the world’s oldest surviving bridge, and ended the day with a great feast and desserts, of course. With its’ picture perfect scenery and century-old traditions, I had the best time in Lucerne capturing postcard views.
Interlaken: A picture-perfect destination nestled between the emerald-colored lakes and snowcapped mountains, Interlaken has long been admired as a dream getaway. Staying close to Interlaken it has such heavenly views to offer. While Interlaken meets the definition of touristy, it was quiet at night, there are good restaurants with regional food. One of the best things to do in Interlaken is to take the cable car up Interlaken’s mountain and take in the breathtaking views.
Mount Titlis & Jungfrau: Both Titlis and Jungfrau are Switzerland’s famous mountain peaks, close to 14,000 feet and are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It takes multiple cable cars to reach the top and totally worth the experience. And of course, who could forget the famous DDLJ scene at Titlis!
Jungfraujoch, also known as the Top of Europe and has highest-altitude railway station. Trip up to Jungfraujoch offers spectacular views of Swiss Alps. There was 360 degree panorama experience on top and the Snow Fun Park allows visitors to play in the snow, including skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snow tubing.
Rhine Falls: Europe’s largest waterfalls is the Rhine Falls. Looks like a mini Niagara Falls! There is a boat dock as well as stairway that go right to the top of the rocky island where a Swiss flag is perched at the very top. It has crystal clear blue-green waters and rushing waterfall and you can spend half day in the beauty of nature here.
Geneva: Geneva offers spectacular views of the city’s lake (Lake Geneva), the world’s largest fountain, the UN headquarters, a historic city center and pretty Flower clock of Geneva. Take a moment to bask in the lakeside’s beauty and get acquainted with Lake Geneva’s resident swans and seagulls. Continue on to Jet d’Eau, a 140-m fountain that symbolizes the city’s ambition and vitality. I enjoyed tasting truffles and fondue here. Geneva is compact, and you can pretty much cover most of the city sights in just a day.
Zurich: On my second visit to Swiss, I had a day to spend in Zurich and then I went to visit Liechtenstein. I visited Lake Zurich, filled with the most gorgeous shade of turquise fresh water which is clear enough to see through and runs through whole city. Then strolled by the old town – a pretty maze of cobbled streets, coloured shutter windows, shops and ice-cream stalls. It effortlessly combines rolling mountains, crystal blue lakes and busy city streets with stunning architecture. Got the train to the Lindt chocolate factory, where you can get some incredible deals on Lindt chocolate as well as sample some of their most popular products.
Must-try in Switzerland (Nom-Nom)
- Cheese fondue – Melted cheese with bread cubes served in a traditional ceramic fondue pot
- Rosti – This famous potato dish is served with cheese, apple and onion.
- Nusstorte – Prepared with potatoes, flour and butter is a perfect companion for Alpine cheese, coffee.
- Tiramisu – Vanilla creme with cocoa and with a touch of wine or brandy, tastes yummy.
- Lindt chocolates – Taste the best of Swiss chocolate visiting the Lindt factory
Signing off with some beautiful pictures from Sandhya’s Swiss trip!