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It’s never too early to start planning for your next family holiday. Our personal recommendation for this coming winter? Switzerland.
Known for its dramatic views and glaciers, Switzerland is a place you definitely have to visit at least once in your life.
Here’s a complete guide to what you need to know before traveling to Switzerland including transportation and delicacies you need to try, ensuring that you will be able to enjoy Switzerland with an ease of mind.
|Languages Spoken in Switzerland||German, Italian, French, Romansh|
|Currency in Switzerland||Swiss Franc|
The languages spoken in Switzerland are German, Italian, French, Romansh. Fret not, get a language translator device to ensure that you can carry out your traveling efficiently and smoothly. Make sure that your passport’s validity length is at least 6 months. You will be fingerprinted upon arrival and departure.
The currency used in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc.
Best Period to Travel?
|Period To Travel||Benefits|
|Jan To Mar||Good for Skiing|
|Jun To Sept||Best Weather|
|Dec to April||Snow|
We recommend you to go during the month of March, where the “winter crowd” has already left and the “spring crowd” has yet arrived. This way, you will get smooth slopes for skiing, great temperature, and you do not have to waste lots of time editing others out of your scenic photos.
Switzerland is good for travel at different time periods depending on what your priority is. Although Switzerland has destinations with “all-year snow” like Jungfraujoch and Mt. Titlis, snow is prevalent during the period of December to April.
There are 3 ways to get around Switzerland, namely by train, plane or car.
Don’t be fooled by the “Swiss Rail Pass” as it not only allows you to travel by train but also buses and boats across Switzerland. The Swiss Rail Pass saves you time and money as well as you do not have to buy single trips every time you decide to move to a new destination. Not to mention, you will be entitled to special fares on TGV Lyria when you travel to or from Switzerland.
For the full list of benefits across 90 Swiss Urban Areas:
- Premium Panorama Train
- Mountain Excursions
- Special fares on TGV Lyria
- Discounts on Mountain Excursions and Museum Passes
There are 3 types of train passes available.
|Type of Swiss Rail Pass||Consideration/Benefits|
|Swiss Travel Pass (Consecutive 3, 4, 8 or 15 Days)||Travel all across Switzerland.
Choose duration of the pass.
Travel for 3,4,8, or 15 days CONSECUTIVELY.
|Swiss Travel Pass (Flexible 3, 4, 8 or 15 Days)||Travel all across Switzerland.
Choose duration of the pass.
Travel for 3,4,8, or 15 days TO YOUR DISCRETION, within a month from first usage.
|Swiss Half Fare Card||Visit Single City in Switzerland|
Our personal recommendation is the Swiss Travel Pass (Flexible 3, 4, 8 or 15 Days). Since the pass is valid for a month from the day of its activation, you will not have to worry about not being able to take your time to enjoy the scenery. With the extra benefits other than the train itself, you can expect to save so much more especially on the mountain excursions and museum passes.
How to Purchase Swiss Rail Pass?
You can purchase all 4 types of Swiss Rail Passes online. Select the first travel date at check out to activate your pass. Be sure to make your booking at least 7 business days before you intend to receive your parcel to ensure you receive in on time.
Additional Tip? Download the SBB App to help you plan for the trip.
It is indeed possible to travel around Switzerland with domestic flights, with the central airport in Zurich. However, since Switzerland is a small country, flights around Switzerland are limited and will be therefore much pricier.
Renting a Car
You will need an international driving license and be above 18 to drive in Switzerland. To rent a car, you will need to be at least 20 years old and might incur extra insurance charges if you are not 25.
Definitely the train. Known for the breathtaking views, take the train so you can relax and enjoy the scenery without any additional worries and extra costs.
Recommended Places to Go
The top of Europe – Jungfraujoch is definitely not for the faint-hearted, still, not to be missed. Take the cogwheel train to the world’s highest train station and visit the UNESCO listed Aletsch Glacier. Experience the Alpine Sensation tour, the Ice Palace, The Plateau and knock yourself out with the view.
Switch it up and take a relaxing day off in the city of Montreux. Visit the Chateau de Chillon, Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, as well as the UNESCO-listed Lavaux. Another thing that might sound familiar to all Malaysians will be the Nestle headquarters at Vevey.
Food You Cannot Miss
Cheese and potatoes. That’s what Switzerland is famous for and you can expect their famous delicacies to center around these 2 ingredients or a combination of both.
Fondue and Raclette
Expect melted cheese (gruyère and emmentaler) in a special ceramic pot also known as a caquelon, heated over a burner. There are also other ingredients, essential to make this a perfect combination: Garlic, White Wine, Cherry Brandy, and Corn Starch.
Swiss Fondue Fritters. This is cheesy as it could possibly get. At first sight, it is as plain and just simply ordinary. But once you cut it open, cheese(gruyère) will literally ooze out. Malakoff Fritters taste perfect with a side of onions.
Considered the National Dish of Switzerland, you can pretty much find Rösti all over Switzerland, It is a potato dish made by frying where it is crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. The dish is served usually with sausage and eaten as breakfast.
You might wonder, due to cultural differences, is tipping required in Switzerland? At times, yes.
|Porters||CHF1-2 Per Bag|
This article originally appeared on Shopback