To be honest with you, I never had much interest in visiting Switzerland.
I never really thought I would ever visit the country, sure I’d stop by if we happened to pass by, but not more than that really.
Well, life is full of surprises because last year we ended up moving there for a few months to work during the ski season, and Switzerland also turned out to be full of surprises. It’s a fascinating country with a lot of history, culture and natural beauty.
I’ll be honest and say that there were many things we didn’t do and places we never went to, but here are our top 10 favorite things to do in Switzerland:
1. Go Hiking / Tramping
Switzerland has more than 48 300 km marked trails, and the nature is mind blowing. The air is fresh, and you often find yourself alone with nature. Hiking in Switzerland is easy, there are often restaurants and hotels along the way, so you can choose between camping in a hut, or staying over in a hotel.
And even if you’re not the hiking type of person, there are so many different day hikes you can do. Just going for walks in Switzerland is a beautiful experience, at all times of the year. Even in winter time there are beautiful walks you can take up at the ski fields. Enjoying the nature in Switzerland is the number one thing to do, one way or another.
2. Adventure Time in Interlaken
Interlaken is like a big outdoor adventure park. There is a lot to do for the adrenalin seeker: Sky diving over the Swiss glacier, water-ski etc. It’s a beautiful area, and is also really close to the highest train station in Europe which you can find at over 3,400 metres high.
4. A Day In Bern – The Capital
A beautiful city with a lot of history and old buildings. It’s nice to walk around and let the old city take you back a few hundred years. All shops blend in so well in the old buildings, and some shops have been there for decades.
5. Try The Local Delicacies
Switzerland might be a small country in size, but every region has kept their own specialties and cultural traditions close to their hearts. Try out the local food specialties, they’re different everywhere. One thing the regions have in common when it comes to food is that the food is almost always covered by cheese.
Cheese equals Switzerland. But it’s cheese of the best quality you can get. A favorite is to just melt it all down in a pot (fondue) and dip bread in some bread – perfect! Another specialty you can find all over Switzerland is their nut cakes. There are special nut cakes for different areas of Switzerland.
6. Swiss Chocolate
No other chocolate in the world can compare to the one made here, it’s amazing! Maybe because of the great milk they produce here? anyways you will need to by and eat lots of this while in Switzerland!
7. Go Watch Shopping
I’m not sure why watches are such a big and important thing in Switzerland, but everything and everyone is so punctual it’s ridiculous. Nothing or nobody arrive a minute later than planned, nor earlier… Every second shop is a watch shop, and watches seems to have become part of the Swiss lifestyle. The best Swiss watch brands don’t even like to call themselves a watch business anymore, but a luxury business.
8. Visit The Old Villages
If you take the time to visit the Graubunden area you’ll be amazed. There are villages with houses dating back to the 13th century that people still live in! They also speak an ancient language called Romanch, which has died out everywhere else but here, and they try their hardest to keep their old traditions as well.
9. Take a Beautiful Train Route
Traveling by train can look expensive at a first sight, but there are so many deals and offers you can get that you may end up with an amazing route cheaper than a one way ticket. One example is their day passes where you can travel as much as you like, anywhere you want for a whole day. Just ask the staff, read one of their many pamphlets or check out their website for deals!
There is the world famous Glacier Express route, but also countless of other beautiful routes. Traveling by train is more than just a transport from point A to point B here, it’s a destination in itself.
9. Go Alpine Skiing
Yeah I know it’s summertime at the moment, but I just have to mention two of the best things to do in Switzerland. There aren’t many places in the world where you can travel to at any season and have a great time.
In Switzerland, winter is just as much of a high season as summer is, and that for a good reason. Few places in Europe has as good skiing as in Switzerland. Many of the ski-fields are huge and often blend in with each other, meaning you can ski over to another ski resort. Many people who go skiing in Switzerland don’t actually go there for the skiing, but for the experience. Sitting in the sun 2000 meters high up on the mountain overlooking the mountain tops with a nice hot chocolate is just as nice as skiing by itself. In spring time it gets so warm you can ski in bikini!
10) Go Sledging
This is a crazy sport. Yes, sport. They actually compete internationally with sledging. Not bob sleding, but the wooden one! In Bergün you can sledge down a 6 km long sledge run or a shorter but steeper run for the fear less one. Sledge runs are everywhere around the ski areas, and a lot of fun.
Author: Nathan Schacherer
As We Travel
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