- The Online Guide to Travel Beyond Cheese and Chocolate - The Magic of Switzerland

Travel Notes Directory

Passwang Pass, Mümliswil-Ramiswil, Switzerland
Passwang Pass, Mümliswil-Ramiswil, Switzerland by Sven Fischer on Unsplash.

Travel Notes: Europe - Switzerland Travel Notes.

Switzerland Travel Notes

Swiss Flag

Short URL:

Switzerland Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Whether you seek adventure, cultural immersion, or simply relaxation in breath-taking scenery, Switzerland has more to offer than chocolate and cheese.

About Switzerland

Whether you like it in French, German, or Italian, Switzerland is a beautiful country known for its Alpine scenery, sparkling lakes, and picturesque villages; great for multi-cultural experiences and outdoor adventures in summer and winter.

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

Driving Distances in Europe

Driving From Bern - Driving From Geneva - Driving From Zurich.

Travel Map Mapping Switzerland

Map of Switzerland

Map of Switzerland

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

Switzerland Overview

Switzerland is a land-locked country situated in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.


Confoederatio Helvetica (CH) is the official Latin name of the Swiss Confederation.

This designation was adopted to avoid favouring any of the four official languages of Switzerland, and it is used as the country's international vehicle registration code.

Cultural Heritage

Switzerland has a rich cultural heritage, with influences from its neighbouring countries as well as its own distinct traditions.

The country is famous for its chocolate (Cailler, Lindt, Sprüngli, Toblerone, and Nestlé), cheese (raclette and fondue), watches, and the Swiss Army Knife.


Switzerland has a highly developed and diverse economy, known for its financial services sector, high-tech manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and precision machinery.

It is home to several multinational corporations and is famous for its banking secrecy and stability.

The Swiss Franc (CHF) is the official currency.


Switzerland is renowned for its stunning alpine scenery, with the Alps covering more than half of the country's total area.

The highest peak in Switzerland is the Dufourspitze, which stands at 4,634 meters above sea level.


Switzerland has four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh.

The linguistic regions roughly correspond to the country's cultural regions: German-speaking in the north and centre, French-speaking in the west, Italian-speaking in the south, and Romansh-speaking in some valleys of the south-eastern region.


Switzerland has a long-standing tradition of neutrality and has not been involved in any military conflict since the early 19th century.

It hosts numerous international organisations, including the International Red Cross and several United Nations agencies.

Political System

Switzerland operates under a federal system with a unique form of direct democracy.

It consists of 26 cantons, each with its own constitution and government.

The Swiss government is a federal directorial republic, meaning it has a collective head of state (the Federal Council) rather than a single president.


Switzerland is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its picturesque landscapes, outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking, historic cities like Zurich, Geneva, and Bern, and cultural events such as the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Lucerne Festival.


Switzerland boasts an efficient and well-developed transportation infrastructure, including an extensive network of trains, buses, and roads.

The Swiss public transportation system is known for its punctuality and reliability.

Visiting Switzerland

Switzerland is a prosperous and peaceful country known for its natural beauty, political stability, and high quality of life.

Visiting Switzerland can be an unforgettable experience, offering a combination of stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage.

Switzerland Tourist Itinerary

This itinerary provides a comprehensive overview of Switzerland's highlights for first-time visitors, including its vibrant cities, breathtaking landscapes, and rich cultural heritage.

However, Switzerland has much more to offer and it's easy to customise your trip based on your interests and preferences;  and of course, the time of year.

Three Days in Zurich

Start your journey in Zurich, Switzerland's largest city and a major financial hub.

Explore the charming Old Town (Altstadt) with its cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and lively cafes.

Visit the Kunsthaus Zurich, one of Switzerland's most important art museums, and the Swiss National Museum to learn about the country's history and culture.

Take a stroll along Lake Zurich and enjoy the picturesque views.

Indulge in Swiss cuisine at local restaurants, trying dishes like fondue, raclette, and Rösti.

Optionally, take a day trip to nearby attractions such as the Rhine Falls or the charming town of Lucerne.

Two Days in Lucerne

Travel to Lucerne, a picturesque city nestled amid the Swiss Alps on the shores of Lake Lucerne.

Explore the iconic Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), Water Tower, and the Old Town.

Take a boat cruise on Lake Lucerne to admire the surrounding mountains and landscapes.

Ride the world's steepest cogwheel railway to the top of Mount Pilatus for breathtaking views.

Visit the Swiss Museum of Transport to learn about the history of transportation in Switzerland.

Explore nearby attractions like the Swiss Knife Valley Visitor Center or the charming village of Engelberg.

Visit Interlaken and the Bernese Oberland

Travel to Interlaken, a gateway to the Bernese Oberland region, known for its stunning scenery and outdoor activities.

Take a scenic train ride to Jungfraujoch, the 'Top of Europe', for panoramic views of the Alps.

Explore the charming villages of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen, surrounded by towering mountains and waterfalls.

Enjoy outdoor adventures such as hiking, paragliding, or skiing, depending on the season.

Visit the Trümmelbach Falls, a series of spectacular waterfalls inside a mountain.

Optionally, take a day trip to the picturesque town of Thun or the scenic Schynige Platte mountain.

West Switzerland

Travel to french-speakng Geneva, Switzerland's second-largest city, situated on the shores of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva).


Explore the international district, home to numerous international organisations, including the United Nations Office and the Red Cross headquarters.

Visit the Jet d'Eau, one of Geneva's most famous landmarks, and stroll along the lake promenade.

Explore the Old Town with its narrow streets, historic buildings, and St. Pierre Cathedral.

Visit cultural attractions such as the Museum of Art and History or the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum.

Enjoy a leisurely boat cruise on Lake Geneva or take a day trip to nearby attractions like Montreux or Chillon Castle.

Lausanne and Montreux

Travel to Lausanne, a vibrant student city located on the northern shore of Lake Geneva.

Explore the Olympic Museum in Ouchy and learn about the history of the Olympic Games.

Visit the Lausanne Cathedral, a stunning Gothic cathedral with panoramic views of the city.

Take a stroll along the Ouchy Promenade and enjoy the lakefront scenery.

Optionally, visit the nearby town of Montreux, famous for its annual jazz festival and its beautiful lakeside location.

Explore the charming Old Town of Montreux and visit attractions like Chillon Castle or the Freddie Mercury Statue.

End your trip with a relaxing evening by the lake, savouring Swiss cuisine and local wines.

You Won't Want to Miss - Ticino

The Italian-speaking part of Switzerland; south of the Gotthard.

If you're looking for a beautiful and relaxing vacation destination, Ticino is a great option. With its stunning scenery, delicious food, and rich culture, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

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.

Map of Bern

Map of Bern

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

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

Bern is quieter than Zurich or Geneva, but there's still more to the capital than the Bear Park and Parliament House (Bundeshaus or Palais fédéral).


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.

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.

Swiss Webcams.

View the Zurich Tourism Webcam for the latest weather conditions in Zurich and a panorama of the rooftops around the Limmat.

Where to Stay in Zurich

Hotel Alexander, Zurich Old Town

Hotel Alexander, Zurich Old Town

Hotel Alexander, Zurich Old Town: Niederdorfstrasse 40, Zurich, Switzerland.

Centrally located, three-star hotel in Zurich's Niederdorfstrasse, just five minutes from Zurich main station (Hauptbahnhof).

The Hotel Alexander is a family-run hotel on the car-free Niederdorfstrasse, in the heart of Zurich Old Town. If you arrive by car, the hotel can reserve a parking space for you in their underground car park.

Hotels 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 Valais (Wallis), 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.


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.

Where to Stay in Grindelwald

Hotel Kreuz & Post

Hotel Kreuz & Post

Hotel Kreuz & Post: Dorfstrasse 85, Grindelwald, Switzerland.

Located in the centre of Grindlewald, close to the famous Jungfraujoch railway station and beautiful shops, hosts Martin and Helena offer a traditional first class service in an establishment oozing Alpine charm.

The four star Hotel Kreuz & Post has been an institution in Grindelwald for many years, enchanting gourmets, hedonists, nature lovers, alpinists and sports lovers from all over the world.

Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald

Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald

Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald: Swiss Alp Resort 1, Grindelwald, Switzerland.

Located in the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland, this 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.

Genuine, uncomplicated and stylish at the same time, the Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof offers a piece of Swiss hotel history; an ideal base to explore of the impressive Grindelwald mountain world.

Hotels in Grindelwald.


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.

Hotels in Interlaken.

Luzern (Lucerne)

Lucerne - Lake Lucerne Region.

The old wooden bridge in Luzern was destroyed by fire, but has been beautifully restored and is attracting throngs of tourists once again.

Hotels in Lucerne.

Basel (Bale)

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

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

Hotels in Basel.

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

The Matterhorn and Switzerland are inseparably linked to each other. The pyramid shaped colossus of a mountain, which is very difficult to climb, is said to be the most-photographed mountain in the world.

Swiss Castles.

There are over a thousand castles dotted around Switzerland. Although the descriptions and further information are written in French, at least you can view the photographs.

Ticino - Tessin

Ticino, also known as Tessin, is a beautiful and diverse canton located in the southern-most part of Switzerland.

Ticino Highlights

Ticino is known for its stunning scenery and warm weather, with palm-lined lakes, rugged Alpine peaks, and charming villages.

The official language of Ticino is Italian, and its culture and cuisine are heavily influenced by neighbouring Italy.

Enjoy the Local Cuisine

Ticino's cuisine is a delicious blend of Swiss and Italian influences.

Be sure to try polenta, risotto, and local cheeses and wines.

Explore the Lakes

Ticino is home to several beautiful lakes, including Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, and Lake Como.

You can swim, boat, hike, or simply relax on the shores and enjoy the views.

Hike in the Swiss Alps

Ticino offers a variety of hiking trails for all levels, from gentle lakeside walks to challenging mountain climbs.

Relax in a Spa

Ticino is home to several world-class spas, where you can enjoy a variety of treatments and soak in the natural beauty of the region.

Visit the Capital of Ticino

Bellinzona is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its three medieval castles: Castelgrande, Castello di Montebello, and Castello di Sasso Corbaro.

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.

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.

Switzerland Travel Guides

DK Eyewitness Switzerland (Travel Guide) Fodor's Essential Switzerland (Travel Guide)

Switzerland Travel Guides - Switzerland Maps.

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

Travel Map More From Travel Notes

Travel Notes Online Guide to Travel

Africa - Asia - Caribbean - Europe - Middle East - North America - Oceania - South America.

Travel Guides

The Travel Notes Online Guide to Travel helps visitors plan their trip with country and city travel guides, local tourist information, reviewed web sites, and regular travel articles.

Travel and Tourism Guides on Travel Notes

Travel Professionals Based in Switzerland.

Add Your Switzerland Listing.

If Travel Notes has helped you, please take a moment to like us on Facebook and share with your friends on social media.

Travel Notes Travel Resources

Meta-Travel Advertise - Airlines - Airports - Business - Car Hire - City Guides - Cruises - Flights - Hostels - Hotels - Locations - Lodging - Meta-Travel - Rail Travel - Tips and Trips - Topsites - Tours - Travel Blogs - Travel Directory - Travel Insurance - Travel SEO - Vacation Rentals.

Travel & Tourism With Industry Professionals.

Travel and Tourism Websites and Blogs

Travel Notes Disclosure - Affiliates, Cookies, User Consent and Privacy Policy.
Besides display advertising, we may also receive a commission if you purchase a product or service that we link to.