Switzerland Tour Guide

It may be small, but Switzerland is packed with enough urban pleasures and scenic vistas to last a lifetime.

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2022 Edition

Switzerland is Ready for You

At the end of June 2021, Switzerland re-opened to North American visitors and with great delight we saw a quick return of both group and individual travelers from the United States and Canada. Switzerland, with its authenticity, spectacular mountains, wild gorges, and mystical forests, has lost nothing of its appeal; on the contrary: it’s what we all have been craving.

While intercontinental travel was not possible, our touristic partners remained largely open throughout the pandemic. While catering to a mainly Swiss clientele, they could garner extensive knowledge of incorporating the new realities into their hospitality concepts. With the Swiss being world-champion in being organized, safe and playing it by the book, we are convinced that Switzerland is the natural choice for post-COVID-19 holidays.

The size of our boutique towns is manageable, and even at the best of times, one could easily avoid large gatherings. Yet the old city centers, dating back to medieval times, offer a wealth of cultural activities, shopping, al fresco dining, and historic buildings galore. Our Alpine resorts, with their stunning excursions to mountain peaks, tranquil lake cruises and rustic villages dotted along picturesque valleys, are the best places you will find to step back, take a deep breath and let our nature energize you.

For such a small country, so many of Switzerland’s brands are recognized across the world for their quality, great design and functionality. Now you can learn all about your favorite Lindt chocolates at the new Lindt Home of Chocolate in Kilchberg. Less well-known in North America is Switzerland’s favorite biscuit maker, Kambly. Don’t miss out on a visit to the factory in the beautiful Emmental, get hooked on their delicious cookies and find out about their surprising connection to the United States.

We can’t wait to welcome you to Switzerland.

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Articles & Features

 

Location

Situated in Central Europe, Switzerland borders France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and the principality of Liechtenstein to the east and Italy to the south. Smaller than West Virginia, it measures 137 miles from north to south and 217 miles from east to west

Getting There

With travel coming back and the resulting increase in demand, SWISS International Air Lines will significantly expand its flight schedule over the coming months. On its live route map, you can check the current flight schedule and network. The map can be found on swiss.com. Currently, there are weekly direct flights from all major North American hubs to Switzerland. Airlines flying to Zurich Airport include SWISS, Edelweiss, United, American, Delta and Air Canada. Zurich’s city center is just a 10-minute train ride from the state-of-the-art airport, which offers more than 160 shops, bars and restaurants. Smack in the heart of Europe, Zurich Airport is the gateway to the Alps.

Getting Around

Switzerland’s public transport network—safe, efficient and punctual—is one of the finest in the world. The Swiss Travel Pass provides unlimited travel on trains, buses, boats, urban transit systems and most scenic train routes. In addition, pass holders enjoy free entrance to more than 500 museums in Switzerland and are entitled to a 50 percent discount on most mountain excursions by cable car or cogwheel train.

Languages

Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansch. German, the most dominant, is spoken by 64 percent of the population. English is widely spoken throughout the country.

Religion

The majority of people living in Switzerland are Christian. Approximately 38 percent are Roman Catholic, 27 percent Protestant (2017 figures). The number of people with no religious affiliation is 21 percent.

Money Matters

Switzerland’s unit of currency is the Swiss franc (1:1 with the US dollar). Merchants may accept euros, but change most likely will be given back in Swiss francs. ATMs are commonly found, and credit cards are widely accepted. Banks are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Weather

In July and August the daytime temperature range is 65 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 28 degrees Celsius); in spring and autumn 46° to 59°F (8° to 15°C). In January and February the range is 28° to 45°F (-2° to 7°C). There is no excessive heat and humidity in summer, so the air is always crisp. Summer is the main travel season with a share of 66 percent, but data over the last five years show that Switzerland is becoming increasingly important as a winter destination. Peak ski season is December to March.

Shopping Hours

Shops are generally open from 8.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. daily (Saturday until 4 p.m.); closed Sunday. Shops in small towns may close an hour or two for lunch.

Tipping

Tips for restaurant wait staff are included in the price of the meal, but it’s common to round up to the nearest franc or round figure.

Internet

Most hotels and many bars, cafes and restaurants provide free Wi-Fi service.

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Video Showcase

We’ve included some of the best videos from Switzerland Tourism; we hope you enjoy!

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