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Switzerland Travel Guide

Unforgettable blues. Greens. Whites. Yellows. A fairy tale.
To call Switzerland beautiful is an understatement. Step into a land of exciting shades of blue, green, white, yellow and nature’s every other colour, peppered with cute, contrasting barns, cottages and lakeside towns. 
Its delicacies are equally exciting - no introduction is needed to Swiss chocolates. And its urbanscapes - of structural precision. The locals, not surprisingly, are known for their heartwarming politeness. You’ll find yourself among people so well-versed in etiquette - they learn table manners at school; and you’ll learn that it is customary to greet passersby on the street with the Swiss-German word 'Grüezi' (greetings).
Perhaps it is the legacy of exceptional watchmaking that instils a deep-rooted need for punctuality in the Swiss. This, in addition to the gorgeous landscapes, makes public transport the best way to go about exploring Switzerland, whether you’re going in a group or prefer solo travel. 
Almost all essential Switzerland tour packages include a 'Swisspass' so that you're ready to make your way through the country without a hitch.

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To call Switzerland beautiful is an understatement. Step into a land of exciting shades of blue, green, white, yellow and nature’s every other colour, peppered with cute, contrasting barns, cottages and lakeside towns. 

Its delicacies are equally exciting - no introduction is needed to Swiss chocolates. And its urbanscapes - of structural precision. The locals, not surprisingly, are known for their heartwarming politeness. You’ll find yourself among people so well-versed in etiquette - they learn table manners at school; and you’ll learn that it is customary to greet passersby on the street with the Swiss-German word 'Grüezi' (greetings).

Perhaps it is the legacy of exceptional watchmaking that instils a deep-rooted need for punctuality in the Swiss. This, in addition to the gorgeous landscapes, makes public transport the best way to go about exploring Switzerland, whether you’re going in a group or prefer solo travel. 

Almost all essential Switzerland tour packages include a 'Swisspass' so that you're ready to make your way through the country without a hitch.


Switzerland is a small landlocked country, made up of 26 cantons. It is bordered by Germany to the North, Austria, and Liechtenstein to the East, Italy to the South and France to the West.

When to go

The best time to visit Switzerland is all through the year. Switzerland is a place where you are sure to find an enormous amount of outdoor activities regardless of the time of year. Summer, however, is the ideal time to head outdoors and enjoy Switzerland’s love affair with the sun! Hiking tours are also best-planned during the warmer months. During winter, however, you can dive into the fun-filled world of snow sports, or wander through local Christmas markets and curl up with hot cocoa in a rented wooden cabin.

Where to go

Switzerland has no scarcity of spectacular scenery. You will be able to experience nature in every nook and cranny of the country. Major cities like Zurich and Lucerne are usually included in every Switzerland trip package. For off-the-wall experiences, head to the canton of Appenzell where you will still find traditionally clothed yodellers, complete with the edelweiss-adorned suspenders. The gorgeous landscape of this country demands as much of your attention as its fair share of chocolates and mugs of steaming hot cocoa do. View the expansive and varied landscape from a hot-air balloon or go snowboarding in Bernese Oberland.
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At a glance


In Switzerland, there are four official languages. While English isn’t one of them, it is, nevertheless, widely spoken in cities across the country. German is spoken in various dialects in the North, East, and central parts. Italian is spoken in the Southern region; French is widespread in the Western region. 


In Switzerland, the weather is generally moderate, with warm summers, perfect for a long swim in a local lake. Although there are always patches of snow on mountain peaks, Swiss cities only see snow during the colder months.


In Switzerland, the average temperature tends to rise to 30ºC between June and August and can get as low as -5ºC between December and February.


Swiss Franc
In Switzerland, the currency is called the Swiss Franc. Airports and major railway stations, however, also accept Euros. The Switzerland currency to INR conversion is 1 CHF = 73.85 INR at this time. 

Expert travel advice

Travel tips and insider advice that have made the most difference to us, sourced from our
community of like-minded travellers and global experts.

Explore the old and contemporary side of Zurich   

Recommended by The Smart Local

“Zurich's metropolitan hotspot for sure, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be missing out on getting an old-school European experience here. Just a 10-minute walk away from the central station (Zürich HB) is Altstadt, or Old Town. If you’re looking to get a taste of the more cultural side of the city, here’s the place to be.”

The Smart Local is an independent media publisher that focuses on travel and lifestyle stories.

Visit Lauterbrunnen Valley   

Recommended by Eternal Arrival

“Lauterbrunnen is an adorable, typically Swiss town nestled in a mountain valley famed for being home to 72 waterfalls — two of which are prominently but casually hanging out in the center of town like it’s no big deal. It’s definitely one of the top must-visit places in Switzerland with super traditional architecture and flower boxes.”

Alison’s travel blog is dedicated to exploring off the beaten path. She believes that travel is more meaningful when we skip the top 10 and look deeper, mixing local hidden gems with culturally and historically important travel experiences.

Eat all the Swiss chocolate.   

Recommended by Make Time To See The World

“I’m a chocoholic, and Switzerland is one of the best places in the world to get a mother of all chocolate fixes. My favorite shop Confiserie Sprüngli AG is at Basel SBB. Although to be honest you can’t really go far wrong with any of the chocolate shops in Basel.”

Vicki tries to inspire others to see more of the world through the stories shared on her blog.

Take a train trip around Switzerland   

Recommended by Journalist On The Run

“I honestly think the ONLY way to visit Switzerland is by train. There’s this thing called the “Grand Train Tour of Switzerland” which we did. You can either buy a 4 day or an 8 day pass and it essentially lets you travel anywhere in Switzerland by boat, bus or train and even some cable cars. If not covered by the pass, there’s almost always a 25% or 50% discount.”

Janet Newenham is the mind behind this adventure travel blog, through which she tries to give readers an insight into what life is like in far flung corners of this beautiful planet. She has been featured in National Geographic Travel, Lonely Planet, Matador Network and The Huffington Post along with various other online publications.

Go to Geneva   

Recommended by Nomadic Matt

“As the third largest city in Switzerland, Geneva offers spectacular views of the city’s lake (Lake Geneva), 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).”

Matt Kepnes, aka Nomadic Matt, has travelled to nearly 100 countries. He shares proven tips and advice on his website which has been featured on major media sites including the New York Times, the BBC, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, The Independent, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, and TIME magazine.

Incredible places to visit in Switzerland


Zurich, the city, most often mistaken as the country’s capital, is best known for its exciting nightlife, annual street parade, and the eccentric crowd on its streets. Marvel at modern high-rise buildings housing world-famous Swiss banks, surrounded by ancient government buildings from the Renaissance era. Book a table at one of the nation’s most famous restaurant, the Blinde Kuh, or head over to the Uetliberg, for sweeping vistas of the city. Zurich is, without a doubt, one of the most stimulating cities in Switzerland, for the young and the young-at-heart.

Explore the Old Town (Altstadt)

The Zurich Old Town is a short tram ride away from the main station and is home to the city’s famous landmark; the Grossmünster towers. It is a hilly web of alleys with boutiques and cafes at every turn. The Old Town atmosphere takes you back several centuries, while still allowing you to choose between an authentic fondue restaurant or a hipster burger place. You will be sure to discover entirely new concept stores and admire local art at small galleries. After a quick shopping tour, stop by at an idyllic cafe overlooking the lake, or take a refreshing metallic sip of water from one of the still functional antiquated fountains.

Glass Biodomes at the Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Garden is a part of the University of Zurich and comprises of two entities. The old garden is smaller and located in the city, whereas the newer part can be found on the other side of the lake, in the ‘Kreis 8’ area. The Botanical gardens are home to around 8000 species of flora from all over the world. The three greenhouses in the form of large glass domes are what attract visitors to this place; locals and travellers alike. The fantastical half globes allow you a quick escape from the city to a tropical, sub-tropical, or savanna environment. Make sure to check out the visiting hours for the outdoor garden, museums, and greenhouses before planning your trip.

See the Chagall Windows

Set in the Fraumünster Church, the Chagall Windows are stunning works of stained-glass art. Visitors interested in architecture, religion or art, in general, should be sure to visit the five windows created by Marc Chagall. Illuminated by daylight, the stained glass creates colourful reflections in the interior of the church, which are a treat to sore eyes.

Eat at the World’s Oldest Vegetarian Restaurant

The restaurant Hiltl in Zurich is the long-standing Guinness world record holder as the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. Having opened its doors in 1898, the Hiltl underwent a long journey to be the popular destination that it is today. In a country in which a meal is structured around meat being the star, vegetarian cuisine usually included little more than potatoes and cheese before Hiltl came along. Since then, it has retained a young vibe and fun atmosphere with its innovative cuisine from across the globe and is worth a visit for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Mount Titlis Day Tour

If your last-minute holidays to Switzerland don’t include Lucerne, make your visit to Mount Titlis a day trip instead. You can take a bus ride over the Albis pass or a simple one-hour journey to Lucerne, after which a cable car will take you up the mountain. Experience the glaciers at 3000 meters above sea level and take in the 360-degree view of the Swiss Alps, Lucerne City, and its beautiful lake. Adventurous travellers may walk across Europe's highest suspension bridge for an even more phenomenal sight.


The ‘city of lights’, Lucerne, is on the top of any Switzerland holiday deal, and for a good reason. For party-goers, the city comes alive during the annual carnival in February, known to be one of the best in the country. Those looking for a steady dose of history and literature may be interested in the Schweizerhof Hotel. Resting on the bank of Lake Lucerne, the historic establishment has hosted notable figures, such as Mark Twain and Leo Tolstoy, since its opening in the 1800s. Lucerne’s incredible location makes sure that you can cross off most of your list of things to do in Switzerland. With Lake Lucerne by its side and the snow-peaked Swiss Alps towering over it, Lucerne is the quintessential Swiss destination.


The most distinctive characteristic of Lucerne is the Kapellbrücke, a covered wooden pedestrian bridge laying quietly over the Reuss, built to connect the old town to the new part. Walking across the bridge, you can discover titbits of the town’s history in the form of paintings under the roof. The warm, earthy Kapellbrücke, built-in 1333, is still marked in some places with the remnants of a fire which nearly destroyed it in 1993.

Lake Lucerne

The liveliest areas of the city surround Lake Lucerne, locally known as the ‘Vierwaldstättersee’. The central railway station is situated right beside the lake, along with several prominent museums. The most popular one in the country is the Swiss museum of transport (Verkehrshaus), where vehicles of all kind across history are displayed. Nearby you will be able to find the culture and convention centre of the city, the KKL, which is famed for its fascinating interior architecture. You can sign up for an ample amount of activities while you’re at the lake- kayaking, short ship cruises or simply choose to take in the breezy air on the promenade with a bottle of local beer in hand.


Originally, the Musegg wall (Museggmauer) was built to act as a fortification of the city and protect it from intruders. The wall is still almost perfectly retained, and part of it is open to the public. It connects the 9 Musegg towers, from which the guards used to keep an eye on the surroundings. Make sure to visit the Zyt Tower which exhibits a fascinating collection of historic clocks, some of which date back to the Middle Ages.

The Lucerne Festival

The Lucerne Festival is a series of music festivals that take place three times a year, the summer festival being the most famous. It involves open-air concerts on the shore of Lake Lucerne, street music around the city and symphony performances at the KKL. If you happen to book a Switzerland tour package from India for your entire family, you could plan it around one of the festivals since there also plenty of venues hosting concerts for children.


The headquarters of the United Nations, Geneva is home to a pristine lake, hillside vineyards, and the Swiss Alps with a dramatic view of the Mont-Blanc. It is also well- known for its exquisite watchmakers, rooted in tradition. Spend your luxury Switzerland holidays discovering the remarkable flower clock in Geneva’s English Garden, strolling through the cobblestoned maze, which is the Old Town, and getting lost in the local vineyards.

Climb the towers of St. Pierre Cathedral

The St. Pierre Cathedral was built in the 12th century as a Roman Catholic Church and underwent major renovations 400 years later. Today, travellers can climb the 157 steps of the North tower and rejoice in an exquisite panorama of the city and lake. For the faint-hearted, the archaeological site below the St. Pierre Cathedral might be a better option.

Paraglide from France to Switzerland

Just a short cable car trip or a moderate hike away from Geneva lays the mountain Salève. The so-called ‘Balcony of Geneva’ allows you a complete overview of the entire city along with Lake Geneva and the famous Mont-Blanc. If this isn’t enough, you can book a paragliding tour with the local club that will let you fly down from the French Salève right onto Swiss grounds. This might be the best part of your Switzerland vacation, something that is sure to make it unforgettable.

Old Town

Geneva’s Old Town is home to many of the city’s landmarks including the St. Pierre Cathedral and the Place du Bourg-de-Four. Unravel stories of Geneva’s history in the Old Town alleys like the Passage de Monetier, which was originally used by the Swiss military as a shortcut through neighbourhoods in case of an attack. It is open for only two days a year, during the Escalade celebrations in December. Head along any road and trace your steps to the town square, Place du Bourg-de-Four. What used to be a marketplace for traders, is now a spot for travellers to rest, grab a coffee with a buttery croissant, and admire the well-preserved ancient buildings.

Eat fondue

Any trip to Switzerland indisputably must include at least one fondue dinner. Geneva has a plethora of incredible restaurants offering authentic Swiss cuisine to suit every budget. For a no-frills night out with friends, head to the Bains des Pâquis at Lake Geneva. A more romantic venue to enjoy a hot pot of molten cheese would be Geneva’s oldest restaurant, Café du Soleil. You may also come across places where you can find non-traditional varieties of Switzerland’s national dish, such as tomato or goat cheese fondue.

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva, also known as Lac Léman, is a crescent-shaped waterbody nestled between France and Switzerland. In the summer you can experience an abundance of outdoor activities such as sailing, swimming or biking in and around the lake. Settled on the banks of Lake Geneva is the medieval Chillon Castle, which is a popular destination for history buffs.


Zermatt is a mountain resort town in the southern canton of Valais, resting at the foot of the illustrious spot of Matterhorn. It is a popular spot for skiing, camping, and hiking for locals and international visitors alike. You might even want to base your entire Switzerland honeymoon package around a visit to the incredibly charming Zermatt, away from the bustle of the city. If you are on the quest for a folksy and luxurious Switzerland travel, you will feel right at home in the harmonious mix of traditional wooden cottages next to opulent chalets.


An energy-efficient cog railway takes you up to the Gornergrat, all year round, overSdramatic bridges past rugged ravines. From the platform at the top, you will be able to see panoramic views worthy of a coffee table book, from the expansive Swiss Alps right over to Italy. If you visit during the summer months, you might be lucky enough to encounter a wild ibex near the sunny terrace. During the winter, the Gornergrat is home to Switzerland’s highest sledging slope and a gorgeous igloo village.


A mountain so grand, it inspired the creation of one of the world’s most beloved chocolates– Toblerone. The Matterhorn is the most famous member of the Swiss alpine range and is best scaled in a gondola. If you are a seasoned mountaineer ready to take on the climb, it is well worth a try. From the 360-degree viewing platform, you will feel like you’re at the top of the world, overlooking the peaks and glaciers of the French, Italian and the Swiss Alps. The Matterhorn towers 3860 m above sea level and sees snow all year round, and is a must-visit, even for the less outdoorsy types of people. This is sure to be the highlight of your Switzerland tour.

Skiing & Snowboarding

With many travellers flocking to Zermatt every year to enjoy its expansive slopes and romantic accommodations, it tends to get quite crowded during the wintertime. From snow hiking to ice skating and sledging, even homebodies are sure to find a fun outdoor activity in Zermatt. Higher up on the mountains, you will be able to find up to 2 m of snow even in the middle of the summer, making skiing and snowboarding possible all year round.


The village of Findeln was originally used by Zermatt residents as a summer abode, where they would bring their cattle to graze, and farm grains. It is an excellent spot for photography, with its utopian timber cottages and barns, unmarred by industrialisation. To this day, Findeln remains an important part of the natural and cultural heritage of the canton Valais.

Hike the Europaweg

The two days long trip between Grächen and Zermatt is said to be a hiker’s dream. With a length of almost 40 km, this challenging trail takes you through spectacular views of the alpine mountain range, including the Matterhorn. It has a high difficulty rating and is recommended only to seasoned mountaineers. The Europaweg includes a walk along the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge- the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge and is no simple feat for the easily frightened.

Saint Moritz

St. Moritz is well-known as a skiing destination for the elite crowd. It has several luxury hotels and Michelin star restaurants and has also played host to the annual Cresta run, the Winter Olympics and even two James Bond movies. It has many unique services to offer, such as bobsleigh taxi rides and ice cricket in the winter.


All-inclusive holidays to Switzerland never fail to incorporate the most beloved Swiss destination, Interlaken. Its ideal location, wedged between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in the heart of the Alps, along with its proximity to Jungfraujoch, makes sure you get the entire Swiss holiday experience at once.


The capital of Switzerland, Bern, is home to perhaps the most beautiful Old Town in the country, which is a well-deserved UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also home to wonderful museums– honouring the likes of Albert Einstein and Paul Klee– and the iconic Bear Park.


Set in the Italian side of Switzerland, Lugano combines Mediterranean vibes and Swiss sophistication. Surrounded by towering mountains and the quaint Lake Lugano, this is one of the most picturesque cities in the country. Be sure to brush up on your verbal and gestural Italian skills before your visit to Lugano.


Birthplace of ‘the’ Roger Federer, Basel is located at the corner of Switzerland, France, and Germany. The bi-lingual city is famous for its historic architecture, lively atmosphere and the traditional spiced biscuit, ‘Basler Leckerli’.

Top things to do & experience in Switzerland

Nobody wants to be a tourist. Here are curated experiences in art, music, food, culture and communities
to help you have an authentic and memorable trip.

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