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Travel Notes: Europe: Switzerland Travel Notes

Switzerland Travel Notes

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Switzerland is also called La Suisse in French; Schweiz in German; and Svizzera in Italian.

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Switzerland Travel and Tourist Information with links to official travel and tourism websites and state resources for visitors to Switzerland.

Around Switzerland, Basel, Bern, Geneva, Languages in Switzerland, Luzern, Map of Switzerland, Swiss Alps, Swiss Tourism, Swiss Tours, Swiss Travel Agents, Switzerland Directories, Switzerland Travel Guides, Travel in Switzerland, Zurich.

Driving From Bern, Driving From Geneva, Driving From Zurich.

La Suisse

Countries neighbouring Switzerland are: Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein.

Map of Switzerland

Weather in Europe:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Europe.

Around Switzerland

Geneva and Zurich are important cities in Switzerland, but Bern is the capital.

Four Days in Switzerland:
How to fit in a Grand Tour of Switzerland in just a few days.

Languages in Switzerland

There are four national languages in Switzerland, and English isn't one of them; although it is widely spoken.

German, or a Swiss dialect of it (Schwyzertdeutsch), is the most widely spoken.

French is the spoken language of the Romand cantons: Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, Jura, and the western part of Valais.

Italian is mainly reserved for the southern canton of Ticino, but is still heard in the major cities.

The fourth national language, Romansh, is spoken by less than 1 per cent of the people: mainly in the mountainous canton of Graubünden (or Grisons, in French).


The capital of Switzerland, also spelt Berne, is on the Aare River towards the west of the country.

A bear is the emblem of Berne, and the bear pit - maintained since 1513 - is a popular tourist attraction.

Bern was founded in 1191 and still has a medieval feel to it.

Bern Info:
Bern is quieter than Zurich or Geneva, but there's still more to the capital than a bear pit and the houses of parliament.


Situated on Lac Leman, or Lake Geneva, the city is in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, right on the border with France.

Ville de Geneve:
Geneva is widely recognised as the city of peace and major international negotiations. The Red Cross was set up here, and Geneva also hosts the UN European headquarters, the World Health Organisation, and the High Commission for Refugees.


Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the financial capital of the country.

A comfortable city to walk around, Zurich has a lakeside location with a view of snow-capped mountains in the not too distant background.

Stadt Zurich:
Also known as the Little Big City, the Swiss stock exchange is located in Zurich and the elegant shops in Bahnhofstrasse still smell of money.

Hotel Alexander, Zurich:
Centrally located, three-star hotel in Zurich's Niederdorfstrasse, 5 minutes from Zurich main station. The best deal in town.

Zuri Cam:
See the Limmatquai from the top of Hotel Central in Zurich.

Swiss Alps

As one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, Switzerland has plenty of Alpine resorts and mountain peaks to choose from.

Tourist Mountains

The Matterhorn is in the Valais, above Zermatt, while the Jungfrau and the Eiger are in the Bernese Oberland, near Interlaken. The Eiger is notorious for its fearsome North Face.

Not to be confused with Grindlewald, Gimmelwald is a tiny, timeless, sleepy village at the far end of the Lauterbrunnen valley; accessible by train and car from Interlaken.
Alex visited Gimmelwald during his four country tour of Europe, fell in love with the place, bought the domain name and created this wonderful tribute. Meet the people through Alex's eyes and find out how to get to this little part of Alpine paradise.

Interlaken Tourism:
Situated between Lakes Brienz and Thun, in the Bernese Oberland, Interlaken is a popular resort all year round. You can even see the Jungfrau peak from the town.


Grindelwald is an Alpine village in the Bernese Oberland. Its world-famous attractions include the Eiger, the Jungfraujoch and the longest glacier in the Alps - protected by the UNESCO Natural World Heritage.

Accommodation in Grindelwald

Hotel Kreuz-Post:
Located in the centre of Grindlewald (near the train station, sport complex and main shopping district) the Hotel Kreuz and Post offers tastefully equipped rooms, junior suites and panorama suites with bath/shower/WC, radio, telephone, minibar, colour TV and hair dryer. All south facing rooms come with a balcony and magnificent view.

Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof:
Located in the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland, the Schweizerhof is a classic chalet hotel on a grand scale; in a quiet but central position within easy walking distance of the ski-lifts and Grindelwald's centre.

Luzern (Lucerne)

The old wooden bridge was destroyed by fire, but has been beautifully restored.

Basel (Bale)

Note the different names for the city: Basel in German; Bale in French and Basilea in Italian.

Basel Tourismus:
Often overlooked by visitors to Switzerland, Basle is on the border with Germany and France and is an important cultural centre.

Travel in Switzerland

By Car

There are no tolls on the motorways in Switzerland, although you will need to buy a vignette to stick in the windscreen if you drive your own car in the country. These are available at service-stations and at the border -- Switzerland is not in the European Union. If you hire a car in Switzerland, there will already be one in the windscreen.

By Train

Travel by rail is very convenient in Switzerland, and the trains - cog-railways - take passengers up some of the steepest, snowiest slopes; even in winter.

If a train doesn't go there, to Saas Fe for example, then yellow PTT busses will. You can catch them from post-offices in the smallest villages and near train station in the larger towns.

By Boat

There are also many lakes in Switzerland and you can travel between the towns on a boat.

On Lake Contstance (Bodensee in German) you can go across the lake; from Romanshorn and Arbon, to Germany or Austria.

If you're in Lausanne, an interesting day trip is across Lake Geneva to Evian, France - but don't lose all your money in the casino.

Swiss Tourism

Swiss Castles:
The castles are sorted by canton. Although the descriptions and further information are written in French. At least you can view the photographs.

Switzerland Tourism:
The tourism portal for Switzerland.

Organised Tours in Switzerland

Bosenberg Motorcycle Excursions:
Scheduled 12-day tours on 3 Alpine routes start at Frankfurt/Main, Germany. Tours are for discriminating motorcyclists where the destination is almost as important as the ride itself.

Switzerland Directories

Swiss Telephone Book:
You can search the whole of Switzerland if you think that someone has moved.

Switzerland Forum:
An online forum for English-speakers who live, have lived, or are thinking about living in Switzerland.

Swiss Travel Agents

If you're in Switzerland and want to get away for a week or two, these are some of the travel options on offer.

Last Minute Travel:
Searches the major Swiss tour operators and seems to power the flight search engine that the others use.

Helvetic Tours:
Part of the Kuoni Group - available in French and German.

Founded in 1935, you'll usually find a Hotelplan office near some of the larger Migros chains.

Founded by Alfred Kuoni in 1906, the holding company is headquartered in Zurich and has subsidiaries around the world. In 2001, Kuoni won the World Travel Award as best Tour Operator for the 4th time in a row.

Known as RBM, before 1st January 2005, they now claim to be the fourth largest travel group in Switzerland.

Book last minute holidays, flying out of Zurich or Geneva, or choose to tour one of Europe's other major cities.

Vogele Reisen:
Founded in 1988 as a sister firm of the Charles Vogele clothing retailer, soon to be swallowed up by TUI along with Imholz - for Kuoni to come along and buy a 49% stake in the group. The Vogele catalogue does have a few more exotic destinations to choose from, than the average sun and sand package holiday company.

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Switzerland Travel Guides

Switzerland without a Car: A guide to exploring the country by public transport (Bradt Travel Guides) Lonely Planet Switzerland (Travel Guide)

Switzerland Travel Guides - Switzerland Maps.

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