Travel to Switzerland – Preparations and tips
Traveling to Switzerland offers a unique experience with its stunning landscapes, charming cities, and a rich cultural heritage. Here are some tips to help you plan your trip to Switzerland:
- Best Time to Visit:
- Switzerland can be visited year-round, but the best time depends on your interests. Summer (June to August) is ideal for outdoor activities, while winter (December to February) is perfect for skiing and enjoying winter sports.
- Visa Requirements:
- Check the visa requirements for your nationality before traveling to Switzerland. European Union (EU) citizens generally do not need a visa for short stays, but requirements may vary for other nationalities.
- Switzerland has an excellent public transportation system, including trains, buses, and boats. Consider purchasing a Swiss Travel Pass for unlimited travel on the public transportation network.
- Switzerland has four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas, but learning a few basic phrases in the local languages can be appreciated.
- The official currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s advisable to have some cash on hand, especially in smaller towns.
- Local Cuisine:
- Swiss cuisine reflects the country’s diverse cultural influences. Try traditional dishes like fondue, raclette, and rosti. Don’t forget to sample Swiss chocolate and cheese.
- Must-Visit Places:
- Explore the charming cities of Zurich, Geneva, and Lucerne. Visit Interlaken for its stunning mountain views and outdoor activities. Head to Zermatt to see the iconic Matterhorn mountain, and take a scenic train ride on the Glacier Express.
- Outdoor Activities:
- Switzerland is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Enjoy hiking in the Swiss Alps, skiing in the winter, and exploring the many lakes and valleys.
- Switzerland is generally considered a safe destination for travelers. Exercise normal precautions, take care of your belongings, and be aware of your surroundings.
- Cultural Etiquette:
- Swiss people are known for their politeness and punctuality. Respect local customs, and be mindful of noise levels, especially in residential areas.
- Swiss Pass and Discount Cards:
- Consider purchasing a Swiss Pass for unlimited travel on trains, buses, and boats, as well as free admission to many museums. Additionally, look for regional discount cards for specific areas.
- Weather and Clothing:
- Switzerland’s weather can vary, so pack accordingly. Layers are advisable, and don’t forget essentials like comfortable shoes and waterproof gear, especially if you plan on exploring the outdoors.
Remember to check for any travel advisories or restrictions before your trip. Switzerland’s efficient public transportation and well-maintained infrastructure make it a delightful destination for travelers seeking a mix of natural beauty and cultural experiences.
Travel to Switzerland – Preparations and tips
We will tell you about our trip preparations to Switzerland, where we speak you everything you need to know to organize your trip to Switzerland on your own. We will focus on the section of the Great Swiss Route that we travelled, but all the tips can use for any trip to Switzerland.
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 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.
- Dialling code: +41
- Population: 8.637 million (2020) World Bank
- Currency: Swiss franc
- Official languages: German, French, Romansh, Italian
- Government: Direct democracy, Confederation, Federal republic, Directorial system
ravel preparations to Switzerland
We tell you about our travel preparations to Switzerland with everything you need to know about the route, flights, hotels, car rental and many more tips to prepare your trip to Switzerland on your own.
Switzerland is one of those trips, where each place you visit far exceeds the previous one, where when you think that you can’t hallucinate anymore with what your eyes are seeing, another landscape appears that leaves you speechless.
We had high expectations for this trip, but it has certainly been much more impressive than we thought. We never stopped hallucinating with those beautiful landscapes, with those mountains that take your breath away, those towns that seem to be from a story, the smell and sound of nature in its purest and wildest state.
Grand Tour of Switzerland
Although in the particular post of the Great Route of Switzerland, we expand all the information about this trip, we would like to summarise what our adventure has been.
We travelled for a week a section of the Great Swiss Route, a road route that crosses the country for 1,600 km, through which five mountain passes, 19 lakes, 12 World Heritage Sites by UNESCO and 45 places of maximum interest.
Sounds good, right? Well, I tell you that living it is much better, so get ready because we will notify you of all the steps and tips to organize the same trip that we did.
This summer 2022, we have travelled another section of the Great Swiss Route, an impressive and more unknown area. We invite you to read the post of the route through Switzerland in 10 days.
As we already told you in the Instagram Stories at the beginning of the trip, this adventure collaborates with Switzerland Tourism. They trusted us to become Swiss ambassadors, and it was a great honour to have the opportunity to do this job.
Not only because Switzerland is a trip that I have always wanted to do, but because at all times the Switzerland Tourism team has counted on me to plan the trip, to make it my own and so that I live it and feel it my way, as I do in the rest of my travels.
In addition, as it is a trip in which we have gone on our own by rental car and been involved in the organization, we can tell you first-hand and advise you to plan your trip to Switzerland on your own.
We recommend you complete the information to organize your trip on the Switzerland Tourism page, where you will find a lot of information about the country to plan everything. Your page, one of the most complete we have discovered, was not of great help.
Geography: Where is Switzerland located?
The first point of our travel preparations to Switzerland is to locate Switzerland on the map. Switzerland is located in central Europe, bordering Germany to the north, Italy to the south, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east, and France to the west.
It is a Federal-State that has 26 states, called cantons. The capital and seat of the federal authorities are in the city of Bern, although the private sector is more developed in cities such as Geneva, Zurich and Basel. As data, we can highlight that Switzerland is the fourth most prosperous country in the world according to GDP per capita.
Weather in Switzerland
The next point of our travel preparations to Switzerland is the weather. The climate in Switzerland is continental, and we find cold winters in the mountainous areas and hot summers in the flatter areas. However, the environment depends on each location and its level above the sea. We must consider that more than 62% of its territory is mountainous.
It is also a country where it rains a lot, hence the green of its landscapes. The southern part of the country usually finds the highest rainfall. The average temperature in winter is -1ºC below zero and in summer 25ºC, but at night it can drop to 10ºC. That is to say, in summer it is usually hot, but at night it cools down.
Winter in mountainous areas is cold and with a lot of snow; it usually lasts more than six months in some places. It means that they have highly developed tourism based on skiing. In flat areas, winter is milder than in mountainous areas.
Spring in Switzerland is usually cold, but in April, the vegetation begins to bloom, and we can enjoy the beautiful postcard landscapes with their infinite shades of green. The average temperature in spring is 16ºC, and at the end of April, the rainy season usually begins.
Summer in Switzerland is characterized by contrasts,
As it is hot during the day and cool at night. We also find summer storms and the temperature ranges between 20 and 25ºC during the day, but at night it can drop to 9ºC. The truth is that this climate is much appreciated coming from such hot summers in the Mediterranean.
We were at the end of July in 2021, and the weather was spectacular. We had a lot of sun and temperatures up to 30ºC. In addition, we were fortunate because it hardly rained on us. But you never know this, because the temperature may be lower and will rain.
This summer 2022, we have been in August, and it has rained more than last year. In the end, it’s a matter of luck 😉
Best time to travel to Switzerland
We continue our Travel Guide to Switzerland with the eternal question about when to plan the trip.
As I always say, you have to travel when you can or have vacations. It will depend a lot on the type of trip we want to make to Switzerland.
Countless tourists visit Switzerland attracted by its alpine nature and extraordinary lifestyle. In winter, we find very exclusive tourism, with the height of the ski season during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays. But we have to bear in mind that quality tourism and prices are usually very high.
But Switzerland is not only a good option in winter because of the snow, but another good time to visit Switzerland is also summer, where its landscapes become postcards of infinite shades of green. The weather is excellent because it is hot during the day and cool in the evening. Night, which allows us to escape a bit from the hot Spanish summer, has countless natural activities that we can do on our trips, such as hiking, climbing, activities with the bike, in the river, and the lakes.
And we cannot forget the beautiful autumn in Switzerland, with its explosion of reddish colours in its incredible landscapes. We went in July, and it was an excellent time to visit Switzerland. However, I admit that I would love to return in winter to see everything covered in snow. It must be an absolute blast.
If you are going to do the Great Swiss Route, as we did, it is advisable to do it from April to October, mainly due to the weather and the state of the roads.
How many days of travel are in Switzerland?
The next step in our travel preparations to Switzerland will be to decide on the travel time. We make a route of 8 days in total, counting the day of arrival and departure. We made a section of the Great Swiss Route, from Basel to Lucerne, circularly.
The truth is that in a week we had time to do a complete route, in which we visited the best of each area. If you have one more day, it will be much better because in some sections we would have dedicated more time to see it more relaxed.
In the post of our Great Route of Switzerland, we expand information and tell you all the places we visit. In addition, we will comment on the areas where we would have been longer.
Documentation to travel to Switzerland
Spanish citizens can enter Switzerland with a DNI or Passport, but with the DNI, it would be enough.
You can consult this topic on the My Switzerland Page, where you are informed of the rest of the nationalities.
flight to Switzerland
After reviewing the weather and other details that we have to take into account when starting the preparations for a trip to Switzerland, we continue with the topic of booking a flight to Switzerland. When organising the trip, the first thing we do is to look for the flights. For this, we always use the SKYSCANNER flight search engine.
We have several low-cost flight options from Spain to different cities in Switzerland, for example, with Easyjet and Vueling. In addition to various combinations with airlines such as Air Europa, Swiss and Iberia. Now we will make a summary of companies, routes and prices. We flew from Valencia to Zurich directly with Swiss, and the experience with the company was incredible.
Friends, we leave you several flight options to Switzerland so that you can better plan your route. We have carried out searches on Skyscanner for direct flights from September 14 to 21 and thus make a day of routes and prices. As we always say, it is essential to look at it with time and even have flexibility.
Low-Cost Flights to Switzerland
If we thought that flying to Switzerland was very expensive, we are lucky because we have Low-Cost several options to go to Switzerland by plane. With Vueling, we combine Barcelona with Geneva and Basel, with very competitive prices around 50 Euros.
And the best option is undoubtedly EasyJet. With Easyjet, we have connections to Geneva and Basel, from many Spanish cities such as Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, the Canary Islands, Madrid, the Balearic Islands, Santiago, Seville and Valencia. If we look at it with time, the prices are excellent, about 50 Euros. When we went to Alsace for Christmas, we flew to Basel, and the flight was very cheap.
Flight to Zurich
From Madrid to Zurich we have direct flights with AirEuropa, Iberia and Swiss, with over 90 Euros round trip. We can also fly from Barcelona to Zurich with Swiss or Iberia, with over 100 Euros. Or even with Vueling, with minimum prices of 50 Euros. From Valencia to Zurich, we can also fly directly at Swiss prices of over 130 Euros.
Flight to Basel
From Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, and other cities that we have already mentioned, we have a perfect combination of Basel, with prices of 50 Euros.
Flight to Geneva
From Madrid, we find flights to Geneva with Iberia and Vueling, with over 100 Euros. In addition, from Barcelona, we have flights to Geneva with Iberia and Low Cost with Vueling and Easyjet for 50 Euros. From Valencia, we find flights to Geneva with Swiss for 120 Euros.
Accommodation in Switzerland
To book our accommodation, we use two essential pages, and we have always used them with an excellent experience for many years.
We have always travelled with BOOKING, and our experience has been unbeatable.
Why do we like Booking?
- We like the ‘Pay Later’ and ‘Free Cancellation’ option.
- And we usually book accommodations with a score higher than 7 or 8.
- We check the location with Google Maps.
- Customer service is excellent, and the mobile app is perfect, and we use it a lot.
- We read the comments of other travellers on the same website and even on TripAdvisor.
Another of the websites that we use the most to reserve our accommodation is AIRBNB.
Why do we like Airbnb?
- We like to stay in fabulous places at a great price.
- It is a closer and more personal way of staying because you can talk to its owners and follow their advice.
- Nobody better than a local person to advise us where to eat, what to visit and what to do in their city.
- We always reserve apartments for shopping and cooking; and we can save on breakfast and dinner. We are going to do the shopping with two more locals.
- It gives us more independence and freedom.
If we add to this that they give us a discount of 25 Euros, we already have the perfect combination.
Airbnb in Switzerland
As accommodation in Switzerland is usually expensive and sometimes difficult to find a cheap hotel, a good option would be to look at apartments on Airbnb.
Where to stay in Switzerland
The next point in our travel preparations to Switzerland is the issue of accommodation. As we already know, accommodation in Switzerland is usually expensive. Still, it is true that by searching hard and especially looking ahead, we can find exciting accommodation with reasonable prices, considering how expensive Switzerland can be.
For this reason, we advise you to expand the information in the individual accommodation posts in each city, where we will tell you more accommodation options and some offers to save a little on the trip. For now, we will leave you some details of all the hotels where we stayed in Switzerland.
Where to stay in Basel
We recommend this hotel for value for money. The location is perfect, as it is in the centre, on a street parallel to the Basel Town Hall and is ideal for exploring the city on foot.
Delicious breakfast and average price
We recommend you expand the information in the post about where to stay in Basel, where we talk about the best areas to stay, and we recommend several hotels according to your budget.
Where to stay in Neuchâtel
We also recommend this hotel in Neuchâtel for value for money. It was located next to the lake, with many atmospheres and less than 10 minutes walking to the city centre. The breakfast was delicious, and it is also located next to a public parking lot that is very cheap to store the car—the average price.
Where to stay in Gruyères
In Gruyères we recommend this hotel 100% because the price is excellent and the location is perfect. It is in the same town, and we have public parking to leave the car. The hotel is excellent, the breakfast is delicious, and the landscape views are heart-stopping.
Where to stay in Interlaken and Thun
Congress Hotel Seepark: The first night in the Interlaken region, we stayed in the town of Thun, at the Congress Seepark hotel, a grand hotel on the shores of Lake Thun.
The hotel was incredible with a spa, areas for congresses and weddings, lounge terrace, restaurant and best of all, its location on the shores of Lake Thun. This accommodation is a natural wonder, but the price is not suitable for all pockets.
Seepark Hotel in Thun
For this reason, we recommend cheaper hotels, if this is not within your budget.
- Campsite Ranch
- Waldhotel Unspunnen
The second night was spent in the beautiful town of Iseltwald and the experience of sleeping in a barn-like Heidi’s.
The rural accommodation is called Schlittenhof. It is a different experience, and I liked it a lot, but it is still a barn, and you sleep in sacks. There may be people who do not like this type of experience. What I do know is that we had a lollipop the night we arrived at the barn, as you could see in the Instagram Stories.
Our Heidi barn in Interlaken
There are many options and towns in the Interlaken region where we can stay. For this reason, we recommend you expand the information in the post about where to stay in Interlaken, where we talk about the best areas to stay, and we recommend several hotels according to the budget in each room.
Where to stay in Bern
On this route, we do not stay in Bern, as we visit the city for the day and follow the path to the Entlebuch Biosphere, where we stay in a rural hotel near the town of Hasle.
The hotel was Kurhaus Heiligkreuz, it was great, and the setting is lovely. But suppose you want to spend the night in the beautiful city of Bern. In that case, we recommend you expand the information in the post about where to stay in Bern, where we talk about the best areas to stay, and we recommend several hotels according to the budget in each room.
Where to stay in Lucerne
Hotel des Balances: The hotel in Lucerne put the finishing touch to our route through Switzerland and, as soon as we arrived, we were already amazed by the beautiful views of the hotel and how beautiful the city of Lucerne was.
It is ideally located, the rooms are super cool, and the terrace and restaurant views are excellent. The price is medium, but it is highly recommended to treat yourself to the final whim in this hotel if you can. We loved it.
Hotel des Balances – Lucerne
We leave you some more economical hotel recommendations in Lucerne.
- Restaurant Stern Hotel Luzern
- Altstad Hotel Magic Luzern
We recommend you expand the information in the post about where to stay in Lucerne, where we talk about the best areas and towns to stay, and we recommend several hotels according to budget in each room.
Where to stay in Zurich
We didn’t stay in Zurich, because we arrived in the afternoon and had time to pick up the car and go directly to Basel. But we have made a study of recommended accommodation if you have to spend the night in Zurich and take the opportunity to visit the city.
Where to stay in Geneva
We did not stay in Geneva either because our route did not reach this city due to lack of time. But we have also done a study of recommended accommodation if you have to get to Geneva and take the opportunity to visit the city.
Switzerland travel insurance
The next step in the post of Travel preparations to Switzerland is hiring travel insurance. We always contract it with Iati Seguros, even if they are getaways in Europe because you never know what can happen away from home. Without a doubt, we recommend this 100% insurance. With the issue of Covid, they have released Iati Escapadas Insurance, perfect for the situation we are experiencing.
Iati Getaways Insurance
To all the usual coverage that your insurance already had, they are added for trips through Spain and the rest of Europe:
- €50,000 medical expenses with comprehensive coverage for COVID-19, and healing in the hotel for 14 days to cover the complete quarantine.
- Telecare, to serve you remotely and avoid unnecessary travel
- Everything you need for your road trips: theft coverage even in motorhomes and campers or in the trunk of your car, replacement vehicle or a professional driver
- Coverage for the most common adventure sports and cycling tourism
- All the care in the world is also for your pet.
- Optional cancellation insurance with coverage for dismissals due to ERE
- Unbeatable price: From 0.50 Euros per day.
Here you can hire the Iati Getaways Insurance with a 5% discount and thus travel with peace of mind this summer. We hired this insurance for the 8-day trip to Switzerland, and it cost us 17.50 Euros. You can read the post about Annual Insurance and our experience with Iati Seguros.
Zurich airport shuttle
We did not make the trip from the airport to the city of Zurich because we picked up the rental car and went straight to Basel, where we spent the night and the next day, we started the route.
But if your flight arrives in Zurich and you spend the night in the city, you can reach either by public transport or by private transfer, from the airport.
Zurich Airport by public transport
Zurich Airport has its train station. The S-Bahn is the one that goes to the Zürich HB station, in approximately 11 minutes you can be in the city centre. It is straightforward, and they happen with a frequency of 10 minutes.
You can buy tickets online or at airport counters and machines. A single ticket costs CHF 6.80 for adults and CHF 3.40 for children from 6 to 16.
Zurich Airport Private Transfer
If you don’t want to get complicated, you can hire a private transfer service from Zurich airport to your hotel.
They will be waiting for you at the airport exit and leave you at the hotel door. It is more expensive than public transport but more comfortable, and if several people go, it is not so expensive. Or, in case you arrive outside the train schedule, you also have this option.
Zurich Airport Private Transfer
You can consult all the information of the rest of the airports on the Switzerland Tourism page if you fly to Zurich and thus plan your arrival in Switzerland.
How to get around in Switzerland
To make your route through Switzerland, you will have to decide how you will move around the country. The fastest and most comfortable way is by car because you don’t depend on schedules, and you can set the route at your own pace. But you also have the option of moving by public transport.
Travel to Switzerland – Preparations and tips
Switzerland in Public Transport
Switzerland’s public transport is ubiquitous and has excellent efficiency and frequency in schedules. It also reaches most corners, towns and tourist attractions. The country’s rail network is one of the densest in the world.
If you make your route around the country by public transport, we recommend the Swiss Travel Pass, which includes unlimited transport for 3, 4, 8 or 15 days. You can take all the trains, buses and boats in the country at a fixed price. The only thing not included are funiculars and mountain cable cars, but some are free or have a 50% discount.
We ruled out the option of public transport because our trip consisted of living the experience of travelling the Great Swiss Road by car, touring its lakes, mountains and small towns driving along its secondary roads. A road trip, a road trip that we like so much. If you are going to do the Great Swiss Route, travel is by car. A truly unique experience, which we recommend 100%.
Car rental in Switzerland
We love touring a country by car on our own and without schedules. The website that we always use to rent the car is RENTALCARS. As I have mentioned, the most comfortable way to make our route through Switzerland with greater freedom is by car.
You can do it in your car from Spain or rent a car in Switzerland. Car rental is usually around 200 Euros a week, but you will have to look at the comprehensive insurance separately. We went with the Europcar company, delighted with the service and attention.
We took a convertible Audi A3, and the truth is that the experience was incredible because touring those landscapes in a convertible was a difficult feeling to express. The sun and the wind brushed our faces; we had the sound of the birds in the background and front of us the postcard landscapes. I promise you it was a harrowing experience.
Renting a convertible is more expensive, and you cannot take large suitcases because they do not fit in the trunk. Let’s say it’s less comfortable than an average car, but it was terrific.
Here each one already has to decide if it compensates him or not.
Convertible in Switzerland
Driving a car in Switzerland
Touring Switzerland by car is a great experience. You drive on the right, and the roads are in perfect condition, both motorways and secondary roads. The International License is unnecessary; we can drive with the same Spanish driving license.
The only thing to keep in mind is speed limits, as speed cameras and fines are expensive. The speed limit is 120 km/h on motorways, 80 km/h on secondary roads and 50 km/h in towns. Gasoline was around CHF 1.20 and 1.40 per litre. We refuelled twice on the trip with a total expense of 85 Euros, and we made a route of 955 km.
Gasoline in Switzerland
Tolls in Switzerland
In Switzerland, there are no tolls since you drive with the vignette, a vignette that you carry in your car to go on all the highways. The price is 40 CHF (35 Euros) and is valid for one year. It is bought at the borders, at gas stations and post offices.
If you come by car from Spain and enter France to Geneva, you can buy it at the booth, paying both by card and cash. But if you have a rental car, you should not worry because the rental cars already have the vignette. It is not necessary for the Great Swiss Route since you do not go through tolls as they are secondary roads, but if you come from Spain by car, it is essential because you will pass through a motorway.
- Essential for the trip to carry GPS.
- We usually use Google Maps and Maps.
We prepared maps of each section of the route, and that’s how we moved every day. In the Great Swiss Route post, you can consult our maps and thus use them on your trip.
Currency in Switzerland
The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc.
The change is right now – 1franc = 0.93 Euros
We always look at the difference in App Currency.
Currency exchange in Switzerland
You can exchange money at exchange houses, banks or post offices. We change 50 Euros in a bank to have some cash. We were told that they charge a commission of CHF 5 and at the post offices CHF 2.
Card payment in Switzerland
Card payment in Switzerland is quite widespread, but we always recommend carrying cash for small purchases, especially in public car parks where you pay with small coins. But in general, we pay for everything by card. You can also pay Euros in many places. But you have to keep in mind that they give you back in Francs, and they make the change by rounding up, so they always win.
But if we run out of cash at any point, it’s OK to muddy through. One day, it happened to us that we had to take a taxi at night, a total of 50 CHF, we did not have cash, and the boy did not have to pay by card. We paid him 50 Euros, which in the end we lost, but there was no ATM in the town where we slept, and it was the only solution.
Conventional banks charge us a commission when withdrawing from an ATM. When we travel, we take other cards to avoid these commissions. We have been using the Bnext card for a long time, and the truth is that we are delighted.
Language in Switzerland
In Switzerland, we have four official languages, German, French, Italian and Romansh. Each of these languages is spoken predominantly in some cantons of Switzerland. In addition, they also speak English, so you will have no problem communicating. It would have been great to have been born in Switzerland and know all those languages. It’s all advantages😉
I have to say that from time to time, we would meet someone who also spoke some broken Spanish and when they heard us, they would dedicate a few words to us. The truth is that the experience with the people in Switzerland has been excellent and they have treated us with luxury.
Visits in Switzerland
As always in our travels, when we have to make an excursion, we trust Civitatis. Although we already had everything organized for this trip by Switzerland Tourism, we leave you all the excursion options with Civitatis if it helps you.
Activities and excursions in Zurich:
- Mount Titlis Excursion
- Complete tour of Zurich
- Excursion to Mount Pilatus
- Panoramic tour of Zurich
- Excursion to Jungfraujoch
- Private tour of Zurich with a guide in Spanish
- Excursion to Lucerne and Burgenstock
- Interlaken and Grindelwald – Excursion
- Visit Lucerne
- Excursion to the Rhine Falls
Activities and excursions in Geneva:
- Excursion to Chamonix
- Geneva Private Tour in Spanish
- Excursion to Interlaken
- Transfers in Geneva
- Excursion to Annecy
- Panoramic tour of Geneva
- Excursion to Les Diablerets and Montreux
- Tour of Annecy and Geneva
- Excursion to Jungfrau
Activities and excursions in Lausanne:
- Excursion to Interlaken
- Interlaken and Schilthorn Tour
- Excursion to Jungfrau
Activities and excursions in Interlaken:
- Excursion to Jungfraujoch
Activities and excursions in Lucerne:
- Excursion to Mount Titlis
- Lucerne Free Tour – Free
- Excursion to Jungfraujoch
- Electric bike tour of Lucerne
- Excursion to Grindelwald and Interlaken
- Visit Mount Pilatus
- Excursion to Kleine Scheidegg
- Visit Mount Rigi
Planning days in Switzerland
In the route post, you can check the complete itinerary in Switzerland and what we visit every day.
Travel route to Switzerland in 7 days
But for now, we leave you a minor scheme of the travel route to Switzerland:
07.22.2021- Day 0 – Arrival in Zurich, pick up the car and transfer to Basel.
07.23.2021 – Day 1 – St-Ursanne- La Chaux de Fonds- Creux du Van- Neuchâtel
07.24.2021 – Day 2 – Murten- Freiburg – Gruyères
07.25.2021 – Day 3 – Gstaad- Oeschinensee- Thun
07.26.2021 – Day 4 – Lauterbrunen – First Grindelwald – Interlaken – Iseltwald
07.27.2021 – Day 5 – Bern- Emmental- Entlebuch
07.28.2021 – Day 6 – Sursee – Halwyl – Lucerne
07.29.2021 – Day 7 – Return to Zurich and flight to Valencia.
Adapter plugs in Switzerland
In Switzerland, Type J plugs are used, but usually, our plugs serve us without an adapter if they have a thin head. If the appliance has a thick or round head, it will not fit the plug.
Most hotels have adapters, so you will not have a problem. We were able to plug in all of our devices without an adapter, except for a hairdryer with a fat head, and they left us an adapter at the hotel.
Internet in Switzerland
We have Wi-Fi in all hotels and most restaurants. But since we have Vodafone Roaming, we could be connected as if we were in Spain. Vodafone is the company that allows Roaming in Switzerland. If you have other companies with no such option in Switzerland, you will have to look at a wireless router to have internet during the trip.
This year we did not have Vodafone, and we have used Holafly cards to have internet during the trip. You have the option of a physical card or an Esim card, which is activated with a QR code, and you do not have to change the card. Our experience was excellent.
We leave you a 5% discount if you need an Internet card with Holafly.
Another question you always ask us is the camera we use to take our photos. In 2018 we bought a new camera because the Reflex was very uncomfortable, and we opted for the Olympus PL9. The truth is that we could not be happier with the change. Because the photos are spectacular and much more comfortable than the other, it has Remote Control from the mobile and Wifi so that we can transfer the images to the mobile at the moment.
We have also upgraded the GoPro that we had since 2014 to the GoPro 6, and we are delighted because the quality is fantastic. We took the opportunity to buy the GoPro pack with the stabilizer and the Karma drone, and the truth is that we are delighted. Recording with the stabilizer is fantastic. We will prepare a full post with all our photographic equipment, but we leave you with the travel photons post for now.
Gastronomy in Switzerland
Gastronomy in Switzerland has strong influences from neighbouring cuisines, such as German, French and Italian, and varies depending on the region or canton.
It is closely associated with cheeses, especially Gruyere and Emmental. One of the dishes you cannot miss is the famous Cheese Fondue, which is truly spectacular. Another dish you have to try is the Raclette, also made with cheese.
We recommend trying these dishes in mountain towns such as Gruyères or any other city in the Fribourg region because in many different places they are very touristy and quality has nothing to do with them.
Fondue in Gruyères
We cannot forget chocolate, which is truly spectacular in Switzerland.
You can feed on cheese and chocolate and roll back home. That’s what we did.
Jokes aside, gastronomy in Switzerland is not one of its main dishes, never better said, and also, lunch and dinner are usually quite expensive. Now we will give you some tips to save at this point.
You have to keep in mind that in Switzerland, they usually have lunch and dinner 2 hours earlier than in Spain. We comment on it so that you don’t run out of lunch or dinner if you go very late. It is usually eaten at noon and dinner at 20:00.
How to travel cheap in Switzerland
One of the things that you have asked me the most on Instagram is if Switzerland is as expensive as they say.
Let’s not fool ourselves; Switzerland is an expensive country and has a very high standard of living. But this does not impede visiting Switzerland, much less missing out on such impressive landscapes, which are probably difficult to see anywhere else in the world.
We tell you several tips that will allow you to save on your trip to Switzerland:
Travel group in Switzerland
One way I can think of economising on the trip is to travel in a group. We often make a trip as a couple, but other times we make trips with friends.
Well, a trip to Switzerland with several friends is an excellent option to save.
In this way, car rental and gasoline expenses are shared. In addition, being more people, we can stay in apartments, which is always cheaper and we can save money by having breakfast and dinner at home.
It is a perfect way to save on this trip.
Food in Switzerland
As we have mentioned, eating in Switzerland is expensive. A typical meal with drinks, beer or derivatives for two people can easily cost you between 50 and 70 CHF.
It is accurate that eating dishes that we can eat in Spain is much cheaper, in the end, it hurts a bit, but you have to combine eating out with other options such as supermarkets and the Snack box. Or, if we stay in an apartment, take advantage of the kitchen to have breakfast and dinner at home. So we will only spend one meal a day in restaurants.
Supermarkets in Switzerland
Given that in Switzerland we will spend many days out in the middle of nature, an option to save on food is to buy in the supermarket and have a picnic in nature like Heidi. A plan that you cannot miss in Switzerland for anything globally.
There are several supermarket options. We made purchases at Coop and Migros. The latter is a kind of Mercadona, with well-priced white brands. At the airport, we took the opportunity to buy cheese and chocolate to take home.
Another option to save on food, if you are doing the Great Swiss Route, is to buy the official Snack Box. They are boxes with local products that kill the bug and complement the food. It can be collected and recharged at all official points along the route. The price is CHF 25, and it is refilled for CHF 20.
We leave you all the information on the Switzerland Tourism page, where you can consult the map of official points.
Drink in Switzerland
What is expensive is drinks such as beer, wine and coffee.
I’m lucky because I don’t drink beer or coffee, and it’s cheaper, but it’s costly. Although this also happens in more European countries. Drinks are cheap in Spain, that’s why everyone comes here to party 😉
A coffee usually costs CHF 4, a beer CHF 6 and a glass of wine CHF 7. One day I had the grace to order an Aperol and was charged CHF 11.
The question is the following if you want to take a cheap trip, forget about drinking as we do at home. Yes, that’s right, you’ll have a party in Spain 😉
Water in Switzerland
We can save a little by drinking water and not so much beer and refilling it in their fountains. The water in Switzerland is perfect, and it comes out very fresh. We took the bottle, refilling in all the sources that we saw. And by the way, we reduce the consumption of plastic.
Public transport in Switzerland
Another point to keep in mind if you have a low travel budget is to look at the issue of getting around by public transport, instead of by rental car. We have already told you that public transport in Switzerland is excellent. Although if you are going to do the Great Swiss Route as we did, you will have to do it by car.
Another option would be to go in our car from Spain. In this way, we save on car rental and comprehensive insurance. Although it will take a little longer to get there, you can always take the opportunity to see other areas on the way.
Public car parks in Switzerland
Another issue to keep in mind in Switzerland is that parking is quite tricky. To park for free, you have to move away from the centre and if not the car parks are pretty expensive. Although in most towns we have public parking where you pay by the hour, such as our “Blue Zone”, we have saved a lot on parking.
In many towns for 2 CHF, we would leave the car for several hours, and the parking lot was next to the centre. At night, if the hotel has free parking much better. Because if you can’t find public parking, private parking is expensive, around CHF 30 per night. I would ask the hotels about the parking options before booking and thus decide the one that best suits you.
These are some of the tips that occur to me to save a little on the trip. But I can only tell you that although it is a more expensive country than usual, it is worth every Euro invested in contemplating the wonders of nature that await us.
Coronavirus in Switzerland
In this time of global pandemic in which we find ourselves, we cannot stop talking about this topic.
Also, you have asked me a lot about this while following the journey through Instagram Stories.
We tell you how we live it, but you have to keep in mind that we were at the end of July 2020, and this topic of the Coronavirus can change in a matter of days. That is why it is always advisable to keep the information updated.
If you have any questions, you can leave us a comment at the end of the post, and we can consult the information with Tourism of Switzerland and give you an answer as quickly as possible.
These are the most critical data as we can comment on the Coronavirus in Switzerland:
- When we went at the end of July, no quarantine was required for Spanish citizens, and we could enter without any problem. But currently, they have announced a mandatory 10-day quarantine for Spanish citizens who want to enter Switzerland, except the Balearic and Canary Islands, which comes into force on August 8, 2020. In approximately 15 days, they will review the list and hope that the situation in Spain has improved.
- The mask in Switzerland is only mandatory in public transport, such as trains, funiculars, boats. On the street, shops and restaurants it is not compulsory.
- We were very calm the whole trip. It is a trip full of nature, lots of fresh air, and hardly any crowds of people. We rarely saw more people somewhere, and if we entered a supermarket, we put it on, and that’s it. You always have to carry it in your bag.
- Clean & Safe: This seal has been created to certify and guarantee customers’ safety, following official protocols, and we can see it in various establishments such as hotels, shops and restaurants.
In short, I think it is a tranquil and safe destination, where outdoor activities and nature predominate, which is why it is an exciting and favourable option for this time we are living.
I don’t know what you are waiting for 😉
We advise you to follow the information about Coronavirus and its restrictions on this official page. If you have any questions, you can leave us a comment at the end of the post, and we will make the query to help you.
Curiosities and tips for travelling to Switzerland
I liked the most about our adventure along the Great Swiss Route was touring those secondary roads, crossing lakes, charming villages, farms, hills, plains, postcards with infinite shades of green and mountains that take your breath away.
I am a big fan of this type of road trip and more when we leave the highways aside and travel through a country on its secondary roads, where the true beauty is found.
It is a relatively small country, and we can cover a large part or quite a few critical places quickly. We have been a week, and we have made a complete route. And this is another of the things I like most about Switzerland, which combines what I like most in a trip: nature, mountains, lakes, adventures, outdoor activities, beautiful, charming villages and modern yet traditional cities. And everything at your fingertips and on the same day.
As we have mentioned, although it is a more expensive country than we are used to, I promise you that it is entirely worth it. We have enjoyed the most beautiful landscapes of our lives. There is no price to pay for that.
So I encourage you to visit Switzerland and save everything that this incredible country has to offer us in your retina. I assure you that after these landscapes, your life will not be the same.
I want to thank my friend Pili for having accompanied me on this adventure, for being a photographer and videographer, for sleeping in a barn, for losing many of her fears and for following the super rhythm of the trip and at the same time enjoying it like never before. We have many adventures together.
Once again, I also want to thank the entire Switzerland Tourism team because they are great professionals I have connected with ideally from the first moment. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you, and we hope to repeat it soon.
Thank you for letting me live the trip in my way and transmit it in the best way I know how, enjoying it to the fullest. Without a doubt, I can say, for many reasons, that it has been one of the best jobs of my life.
Thank you from the heart 😉