Travel to Switzerland

View from Harder Kulm, Interlaken

I have had many opportunities to travel to Switzerland for work, mostly to Basel, which is a good landing spot. However, I much prefer to visit the mountains and nature areas. Luckily, trains are very reliable and reach many places throughout the country. Interlaken is a beautiful destination and very popular with tourists. Interestingly, more recently there has been an influx of South Korean tourists due to a popular show being filmed there. I only learned about this when I was there and saw labels on the map for CLOY (Crash Landing on You) locations around the city.

Although there is no official capital, Bern is the administrative centre. I’ve never been there, but I have spent some time in Zurich, which is the largest city. In general, Switzerland is safe, organised, and clean. Therefore travel to Switzerland is easy, although it can also be expensive. I suggest to book hotels and trains as early as possible for better prices.

In my opinion, the best time to visit is summertime, or just either side of summer. In Basel, a popular warm weather activity is to get a fish bag (inflatable) and float down the river. Some people do this to get to or from work with their clothes inside the bag. I am not sure I would float with anything valuable in the bag! Another water activity that is popular is tubing from Thun, near Interlaken, to Bern on the river. I’ve seen some people on the tubes and you can have a picnic in the tube, so it’s like a floating party. One other fun activity I would like to try is summer mountain tobogganing.

Blue water in Interlaken
Kunstmuseum Basel
Limmat and St. Peter Church


  • Zurich, the largest city with a large lake
  • Schaffhausen waterfalls
  • Swiss Alps including the Matterhorn for skiing and hiking
  • Interlaken for its beautiful lakes, mountains, and river floating
  • Bern, the federal city and home to the Presidential palace
  • Lugano
  • Lausanne
  • Basel, city with a lot of businesses bordering France and Germany. Also arts, culture and river floating in the summer
  • Geneva
  • Zermat
  • Summer mountain tobogganing

Before you go

  • Switzerland is not an EU or EEA member, but is part of the single market and Schengen area
  • In general, it is considered a neutral country that will not choose sides in any war
  • One thing that sticks in my mind from many visits to Switzerland is that there are lots of rules and most people follow them. So pay attention – these can be about noise, cleanliness and other social expectations
  • Prices are high in Switzerland for accommodation, travel, food, drinks, etc
  • Most people speak multiple languages including English. However, the three official languages are Swiss German, Italian and French
  • There is no official capital, but Bern is the administrative centre
Lake Zurich swans
Markthalle Basel
Schaffhausen Waterfalls


  • Major international airports in Switzerland include Zurich, Geneva, and EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse (half in France)
  • Trains are excellent and usually on time. However, they can be expensive so I suggest booking in advance if possible on the official SBB site or app
  • Most cities have regular schedules for public transport, taxis, and Uber
  • It is also possible to hire a car to drive around, especially to reach places in the countryside


  • I’ll recommend specific hotels for each city in other posts. However, for better prices book in advance. Accommodation can be very expensive especially during tourist season.
  • Cost does not always correlate with quality. I’ve paid a lot for very basic and dated rooms. However, in the big cities and tourist destinations this is difficult to avoid.
  • As usual I recommend checking reviews on or using AirBnB
loss Festival in Basel
Swiss Chalet in Interlaken
Outdoor art in Basel


The official currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc. As of March 2024, one British pound is equal to 1.13 Swiss Francs.

I recommend to check the currency conversion just before you leave as this fluctuates

Sprungli bakery and chocolates
Pizzeria Vito
Dinner at Au Violon
Pork at Restaurant Atelier (im Teufelhof)
Raclette cheeses


When I think of Swiss food, German foods come to mind so a lot of meat and potatoes. However, because of it’s neighbouring countries there are also influences from France and Italy. The pizzas are particularly good!

Cheesy foods eaten in the mountains are typically Swiss. These include fondue (melted for dipping) and raclette (grilled and scraped onto potatoes).

A grated, fried potato patty called rösti is a typical side dish. They are even available premade in foil packaging.

For breakfast, you can enjoy müesli or Birchermüesli. Most people are familiar with müesli, which contains mixes of oats, nuts and dried fruits. Birchermüesli contains apples, oats, milk, nuts, and lemon juice. It usually sits overnight and is served soft, almost like a yoghurt. I’ve had it at my work canteen when I worked for a Swiss company. In fact, I prefer fresh müesli which is more crispy.

Finally, Swiss chocolate is very famous and delicious. Again, this can be in different formats including bars/tablets, pieces, or hot chocolate.

I couldn’t think of any specifically Swiss beverages. However, I have been to a Swiss wine fair. There was a surprising variety of white and light red wines.

In future, city posts, I will recommend specific restaurants, cafes and bars.


Q: Do I need a tour guide?

A: No, Switzerland is very organised and has good transport, so it is easy to get around to places of interest.

Q: Do people speak English?

A: Yes, most people speak some English.

Q: Can I travel solo?

A: Yes, it is generally safe and easy to travel solo

Q: How easy is it to send postcards?

A: It is easy to find postcards and post offices in the major cities and towns. See Sending Postcards from Abroad for details on cost and the time it took to reach the USA.

Go to Country Map

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *