Switzerland — Overview
The home of the towering snowy peaks of the Alps and chocolate remain an extremely popular vacation spot in Europe. Switzerland offers a diverse range of sights and activities for visitors to enjoy, which includes exploring the history, nature, and scenery in the summer or the beauty of the snowy landscapes in the winter. Made up of 26 Cantons, each area of Switzerland has its own culture and attractions.
Land-locked by Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, and Austria, Switzerland’s past and culture are intertwined and influenced by all of these neighbors. Throughout Europe’s tumultuous history, the relatively small country has always taken a neutral stance, which continues to play an important role in the politics Switzerland of today. The country remains the banking capital of Europe, a testimate which can be seen in the wealthy city of Zurich.
Switzerland is known for its natural beauty, and exploring the many mountain villages is a must for travelers. The Swiss Alps make up 60 percent of the land and are some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. There are plenty of outdoor activities to be enjoyed and some of the best hiking trails in the world. The cities are just as beautiful as the countryside and Berne, the capital's old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, Geneva is known for its arts and culture, Lugano is a popular lake-side getaway, and Zermatt is the perfect spot at the foothills of the famous Matterhorn.
Switzerland has two distinct high-seasons when airfare and accomodations are at their peak: spring/summer and winter. June through September is when the Swiss countryside is considered to be at its most beautiful. It can be quite difficult to secure hotels or resorts during ski season, which generally runs from December to April. Booking early is a must, especially for Christmas time.
There are three international airports in Switzerland, as well as numerous smaller regional hubs. Most visitors fly in via Basel, Geneva or Zurich. It is possible to drive from any of the four bordering countries. Exploring the picturesque countryside and the Alps is easily done by car and a very appealing road trip. Switzerland is also well-connected to the European rail network, making the train travel a good option for those in the EU or to get around domestically.
- View or hike the iconic Matterhorn peak
- Ski down some of the best slopes in the world at St Moritz, Zermatt, Verbier, and Gstaad
- Boat on the world’s biggest subterranean lake in St Leonard, an adventure that must be experienced first-hand
- Cruise Lake Geneva and enjoying the wonderful Alpine views
- Shout with the crowds in the crazy Fastnacht parade in Basel
- Enjoy the superb mountain setting driving through the famous Great St Bernard Pass
- Induge on amazing French cuisine
- Soak in history and fabulous views at the beautiful Chateau de Chillon