Guest Blog: Plan a Trip to Switzerland

Updated: May 29

Switzerland, country of cheese and chocolate and Roger Federer greets you on the streets. A country running smooth like the famous watch. But how do you end up traveling here? Planning a trip to another country might be difficult. Planning a trip to Switzerland is simple, if not pretty much neutral (pun intended)



Photo by: Jasmine Joy


What you need to know about this tiny country

There is so much more to explore than just the mountains, cheese and chocolate. Switzerland is a country in the middle of Europe and yet not part of the European Union. Culturally influenced by its surrounding neighbors, four languages are spoken in this tiny country. Yes, we’re serious about the punctuality of public transportation. That said, you can easily travel around this country and even spontaneously explore certain areas without ending up lost in a remote area (well you can without preparation). And we love rules. We have rules for everything in Switzerland, even for taking the highway or crossing the streets. Swiss drivers take it seriously; if you approach a crossing, they do stop for you. There is a rule that all drivers need to stop for pedestrians. But do keep in mind: this rule does not apply for trams. Trains and trams won’t stop for you.


Photo by: Jasmine Joy


Staycation as a local

Easy.as.that. Staycations in Switzerland are easy and a lot of people I know do it all year around. In winter you go up the mountains for some skiing adventure, and spring and fall are perfect for hiking. Don’t forget your blanket to sit and breathe in the Swiss air and listen to chirping birds while sitting there and enjoying the view.


Photo by: Jasmine Joy


You can do it yourself

Switzerland is a well-organized and safe country. Take Grindelwald for example, an amazing city in Switzerland to explore! Do you mind if I don’t mention the countless group tours and escorted tours available here? Thank you, because you can absolutely travel here on your own and solo. That way you have bigger chances to get in touch with a local. Wear a smile and you can connect with us.


First and most important step

There are changes for international travelers coming up. By January 2021, all Americans traveling to Europe will need to apply for the ETIAS visa (European travel information and authorization system). This visa allows US travelers to enter 22 countries in the Schengen Zone, which does include Switzerland. When traveling to Switzerland before that be sure to double check if you need a visa and check the validity of your passport. Beside that, you can start traveling right away.


Let’s dive into planning

Do you have a bucket list of places you want to see while you’re in Switzerland? Try to put them together in regions. Select base towns, most of the touristy places are reachable within a short time and travel distances are about 1-2 hours if you’re staying nearby. But if you plan to visit Zermatt and you’re staying in Zurich, you will look forward to a 5-hour ride (one way!). So, when you have planned to see Lucerne and Berne, I recommend staying overnight in either those cities or set your base camp in the middle of it.


Add enough time

Although the country is small and tiny it does take time to travel here. There is no rush whirling through Switzerland like a wind. Be sure you don’t set your itinerary too tight. Focus on cities or landscape, but not both on the same day. Leave time and space for the unplanned


Photo by: Jasmine Joy


Using public transportation

Whether you come here by train or by plane, start your holidays with a travel pass. There are specific passes available for travelers. Not only for your joyride, the travel pass gives you extra discount for museum entries or mountain monorails. SBB (www.sbb.ch), the national train agency, offers super saver tickets where you can get big discount for specific train connections. Check this at least the day before you want to travel a certain route within Switzerland to save up some more money. These super saver tickets are only available online. Yes, this country is expensive, so saving money never hurts.


Accommodation

Just in case you weren’t aware until now: Switzerland is expensive. You have options for your stay from a well-known 5-star hotel to nice and clean youth hostels. Planning is easier when you set your base camp and when traveling by train, make them near a main station. Even for big cities like Zurich or Berne you will find cheaper options for your stay. Be open to alternatives.


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Last but not least

Enjoy your stay and act as a responsible traveler! If you have more questions about your stay in Switzerland, you can find me here:






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