You may have heard that Switzerland is expensive? And although it is certainly not the cheapest country in Europe, I feel people have given this alpine wonderland a bad rap.
There are so many reasons to visit Switzerland despite the high price tag. And, in this post, I am going to show you exactly why you should rethink your travel priorities this year!
So, without further ado, here are 5 reasons why you should visit Switzerland… 5 Reasons To Visit Switzerland, Despite The Price Tag.
1. The Scenery Will Blow Your Mind
If there is one place in the world to bring a camera, it’s Switzerland. The jaw-dropping scenery, that awaits you at almost every turn, will have you filling up memory cards in no time!
In no particular order, here are some of the places you absolutely have to visit:
The Interlaken Area
Some of Switzerland’s most well-known attractions are scattered around here, so giving yourself some time in this area is a must. You will find such spectacular sights as:
- The Eiger – famous for its sheer face that has killed more mountaineers that it’s polite to mention
- Jungfraujoch – a mountain saddle that features the highest railway station in Europe and provides you with some spectacular views of the Aletsch glacier (longest in Europe)
- Grindelwald – the quaint mountain town at the bottom of these towering peaks
- Thun & Brienzer Lakes – the lakes Interlaken is between, that sparkle with stunning blues you won’t find in many countries
Sitting right on its own gigantic lake, Lucerne is a historic town worth taking a stroll around. Not only are there countless museums, historic painted bridges and clocks you can walk inside, but the scenery surrounding this town is quite frankly, stunning!
Lucerne’s two home mountains, Pilatus and Rigi, provide you with some great opportunities for a day trip. Jump on a boat and enjoy the lake. Stop at the foot of the mountain. Take a train up at an insane gradient (of up to 48 degrees). And then, kick back and enjoy the views.
Zermatt & The Matterhorn
If high mountains are your thing then Zermatt is somewhere to rush down to. There are more 4000m (13,000 ft) peaks here than almost anywhere else in Switzerland, and they are just sitting there surrounding this car-free gem of a town. One of them, the Matterhorn (in the image above) is so iconic that rumor is it influenced the Toblerone chocolate’s shape!
2. History Is Everywhere
Sitting in the center of Europe, it is no surprise that Switzerland has a rather turbulent and interesting history. Lucky for us, a lot of it intact and can be enjoyed just by walking the streets of the cities here. Spend some time in the historic centers of Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Basel and Bern and you will see anything from centuries-old buildings and bridges to some amazing clocks. And if museums are your thing, you will have trouble deciding what to see first.
Here are a few of Switzerland’s more unique, and perhaps best, to tantalize your historic tastebuds:
- Zurich: Swiss National Museum, Kunsthaus Zurich, Fifa World Football Museum
- Geneva: CERN, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum
- Lausanne: Olympic Museum, Fondation de l’Hermitage
- Bern: Einstein House
- Basel: Pharmacy Museum, Toy Museum
And, if you want to really dive into the history of Swiss watchmaking, something you can’t do anywhere else, there are countless opportunities all over the country.
3. It’s Easy To Get Your Next Adrenaline Rush
If you prefer a bit of a rush to stepping back in time, never fear, because Switzerland has more adventure and adrenaline-pumping opportunities than almost any country I have visited.
If you like throwing yourself down the slopes in winter, Switzerland has skiing, snowboarding, tube sledding, normal sledding, fat biking (winter mountain biking) and the slightly less fast, but still amazing, dog sledding.
In summer the possibilities are almost endless.
For the water lovers you have: kayaking on the endless rivers, sailing on the lakes, canyoning down waterfalls and rivers, stand up paddling almost anywhere, or just plain swimming in the countless lakeside baths or rivers.
For people who prefer to keep themselves dry, here are a few other options: hiking or mountain climbing, mountain biking, rollerblading in the cities (many city streets get closed in summer) or rolling downhill on a mountain scooter.
Last but not least, those you like to get airborne can skydive from a plane or helicopter, paraglide from almost any mountain, or try out the new cable flyers on First Mountain that get your zooming downhill at 120 km/hr (75 mph).
4. There Is Chocolate To Die For
Switzerland is not known for its food, apart from cheese, but if you think long and hard about it you may recall a little something called Swiss chocolate!
You probably know Lindt and their infamous chocolate balls, but that my friend, is just the tip of the chocolate iceberg. You can visit the Lindt chocolate outlet store if you are in Zurich, but there are dozens of other ways to satisfy the chocoholic in you.
The simplest is to just head to the local chocolate stores (chocolatiers as they are called) and sample their wares.
There are the drool-worthy Sprungli and Laderach shops in most cities. In Zurich, there is also the infamous hot chocolate in Cafe Shober on Niederdorf. If you are in Geneva there are the Auer & Rhone Chocolatiers, as well as the Max Chocolatier. In Lucerne, there is Chocolate World and the Chocolate Schönenberger factory.
Another way to get your fill is just to head to the supermarket. The standard of chocolate here is so high it doesn’t matter what you buy (Lindy, Callier, Frey etc).
Last but not least, if you are in the French-speaking part of the country, why not try a tour of the Callier Factory near Gruyere (which is also home to some of the best cheese).
5. You Can Pamper Yourself In A Swiss Spa
After all that walking (adrenaline?) and eating, now it’s time to spoil yourself. And you won’t have to look far for a luxurious spa or two in this water-filled country.
Rather than have you trying to figure out where to go, and which one to choose, I have listed some of the best places below. Of course, there are more than those on offer, but it’s a great place to start, right?
- Zurich: Thermal & Spa (in a former brewery)
- Geneva: La Réserve Genève Hotel, Spa and Villas
- Lausanne: Cinq Mondes Beau Rivage
- Arosa: Tschuggen Grand Hotel
- Bad Ragaz: Grand Resort
- Rigi (outside Lucerne): Mineralbad & Spa Rigi Kaltbad
- Vals: 7132 Hotel
You can either pop in for the day or book a night or two and make it a super-relaxed extended
Do You Need More Reasons?
So there you have it. Five very convincing reasons to add Switzerland to your itinerary next time you are in Europe.
With everything from scenery to food, and even a little pampering thrown in, how can you resist?