Best of Switzerland!
This is the most photographed mountain in the world and should be on your bucket list when visiting Switzerland. Zermatt is a small town deep in the valley which allows you access to one of the highest mountains in Switzerland, the Matterhorn. Whether you like hiking in summer or skiing in winter you can do it all In Zermatt. Zermatt is a car free zone, the town is accessible via train routes that connect it with the outside world or if you have enough spare cash, you can take a chopper! It only takes around 30 minutes to walk along the river, from one end of town to the other and the town is packed with restaurants, shops and bars that you can pop into along the way!
The Jungfrau Region is one of Switzerland’s best locations, to see the beautiful Alp's and get involved in some adventure activities for those seeking an adrenaline rush. Interlaken is a rustic town that has become a popular base point for exploring the surrounding areas such as Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen or the 'Top of Europe'. They all can be easily accessed by train with some of the most panoramic views of mountains and lakes on the continent. Lauterbrunnen is a typical Swiss village with lots of traditional architecture located along a river at the base of a valley, with an iconic waterfall that falls over the side of the gigantic cliffs which surround the town, it is truely spectacular! Both Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen are a hikers paradise between Spring and Autumn, so be sure you pack your hiking boots over these months or your skis and snowboard for winter!! If your seeking something more blood pumping, why not try skydiving out of a helicopter surrounded by stunning mountains, abseiling or canyoning?!
Lucerne lies in the heart of Switzerland and is a postcard perfect lakeside city surrounded by mountains. The town is most famous for its its beautiful lake, the lion monument, and of course its 14th Century Chapel Bridge and Water Tower. You can head up to the peak of neighbouring Mt. Pilatus for breathtaking views of the area by taking an old steamer boat across the lake to Alpnachstad, then the cogwheel railway (steepest in the world) up to the top of Mount Pilatus, at 2073 meters. From the top you can get stunning views of the Lake Lucerne area and then to go back down take the Cable Car for a different prospective!
Knowns as Europes largest waterfall, the Rhine Fall shouldn’t be missed. Located in Schaffhausen on the Swiss-German border. You can watch the falls roar from several viewing decks or you can take a ride on one of the boats and watch it all happening from the bottom.
Zurich is the cultural hub of Switzerland, explore the car free shopping district, Bahnhofstrasse which runs from the Central Station to Lake Zurich. The city is a mixture of old and modern architecture with the winding river that meets the lake and offers stunning photo opportunities. If you fancy a beautiful view of the city head to the Felsenegg look out just 15min out of the city (take the S4 from Zurich main station and get off at Adliswil (15min) and follow the sings to the cable card).
FESTIVALS AND PARTIES
SWISS NATIONAL DAY
The Swiss National Day is the day of Fireworks, BBQ´s and bonfires. Celebrated on the first of August every year, all over Switzerland with speeches, singing of the national anthem and lots of other local traditions. If you’re in a city by a lake, try to get out on a boat and get the best view of what will be the most spectacular fireworks.
BASEL FASNACHT - SWISS CARNIVAL
To witness the start of the Swiss Carnival you'll need to get up bright and early – it starts at 4am on the Monday after Ash Wednesday. Street Bands made of Pipers and drummers march through the streets, carrying huge wooden and canvas lanterns with silhouettes symbolising events from the past year, while masked revellers, musicians, singers and actors wander through the alleyways. Festivities continue until 4am on the Thursday. During this time locals pack the streets dress as anything from traditional Swiss patriots to cartoon characters!
ZURICH STREET PARADE
If you are a techno & electronic music fan then this festival is a MUST! Hundreds of thousands of raver’s and party goers dance around the streets in Zurich, some reports even estimate that up to one million attend the event! The Street Parade sparks an incredible party atmosphere with 30 love mobiles, hundreds of DJs and seven stages around Lake Zurich. The festival is generally held, every year on the 2nd Saturday of August and is absolutely free!
How to get around Switzerland?
The best way to get around in Switzerland is by train and then by bus, but either way it is all connected. Your best bet in terms of value, is the Swiss Travel Pass, which entitles you to unlimited travel on consecutive days throughout the rail, bus and boat Swiss Travel System network. The Swiss Travel Pass is available for 3, 4, 8 or 15 days. This pass also covers scenic routes and local trams and buses in 75 towns and cities and offers 50% reduction on most mountain railways and cable cars. The Swiss Travel Pass also includes the Swiss Museum Pass, allowing you free entrance to 500 museums and exhibitions.
This pass is only available to non-residents of Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein. No photograph is required: simply present your passport or identity card.