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What to do in Switzerland?

I'm planning a trip to Switzerland. My budget for the whole trip is 5500 USD, including the plane ticket (subtract the $700 plane ticket, then multiply it by 1.2, and I have a bit more money). I'll be flying to Zurich, staying two weeks at the most. This is all I know thus far. My main interests for going are architecture, those beautiful vistas, art, history, and, of course (to satisfy that tourist within me), to purchase a Swiss Army Knife.

Where might I get the aformentioned things?

Where are your favorite places?

What are some great shopping places?

How can I get a taste of their culture?

What's your favorite place to rewind?

Are there any interesting museums I can visit?

And, of course...

Do many people speak English in Switzerland?

I'm willing to learn French, Italian, German, heck, even Romansh if I have to! Just get me to Suisse!


I mean unwind, not rewind.

lol fail

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    To really see Switzerland means traveling to the various regions because it has some very rich and diverse cultures all within a very small milieu. I've created a list of ideas for you and included links for more information. I hope you find them useful.

    Zürich is great. It's a very international city and there can be found all of the usual things one does in a large city: Catherdrals, museums, shopping, etc. English is widely spoken in Zürich as is High German.

    Bern is a wonderfully preserved medieval city. Most of the buildings in the old town, where I live, date back to the 15th century and the Münster is pretty spectacular. Less English is spoken here but you can still get by with only English.

    Gruyeres is an absolute "don't miss". It's a gorgeous little village about 45 minutes south of Bern. There are no cars there. You have to park down the hill and walk up to the village. The Geiger museum and bar are interesting.

    Montreux is a beautful lakeside town. It is on Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). This is a high end tourist spot with a lot of history. It's a cute town with a lot of character. The Deep Purple song Smoke on the Water was written here (discovering why it was written is part of the fun) and Freddie Mercury is sort of the patron siant of Montreux since Queen spent a lot of time and wrote a lot of their music there. Also, the Castle de Chillon is considered the best preserved castle in the world.

    Zermatt is little town high in the Alps that is worth a visit. It's only accessible by train and it's on the REAL Matterhorn.

    For a great day trip, drive to Lauterbrunnen and take the cog train to Wengen. Explore Wengen and then either take a gondola to Mannlichen or countinue up the mountain to the "Top of Europe" on the Jungfrau.

    Neuchatel is lovely and has some nice museums (the clockmaker's museum is interesting) and a lot of nice cafes. It is also famous for Absinthe production and the sites can be toured. French is the predominate language and most people don't (or won't) speak English.

    Ticinno is beautiful any time of year. I love Locarno. It's a small lakeside town with a lot of charm. Italian is the predominate language but English will suffice.

    Some general tips:

    The trains are convenient but quite expensive so you may want to rent a car for parts of your trip. Bring a GPS if you do.

    Everything is expensive here. Be Prepared. In USD, four litres of gas (about a gallon) will cost you about $6, a tall latte at Starbucks is $7, a Whopper Meal at Burger King is $12 and a simple lunch at a cute sidewalk cafe will run you about $25-30 per person just to give you some reference points.

    Dress appropriately. The weather is very changable here year round so dress in layers and always carry a shell with a hood or an umbrella. The most gorgeous, blue-sky and warm sun could easily become a dark gray hailstorm in an hour... and then back again...

    Plan ahead. Switzerland offers a lot in a relatively small pakage but budgeting your time is key. It's easy to waste a lot of time traveling from point A to point B. I really like the DK books and the One for Switzerland has a lot of great locations in it. Have a great journey!

    Source(s): I live in Bern.
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Bern etc.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I would suggest that you ski!

    Source(s): my aunt went skiing last week to swiss mountains!
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