5 Things To Know Before Travelling To Switzerland

If you are planning to embark on a journey to Switzerland, keep these 5 things in mind to ensure a hassle-free vacation

Switzerland is a country that is busy with tourists all year round. A landlocked country in central Europe, it is the best place in the world to be born, according to a recent quality-of-life index. Even though you might not be born in Europe, you can visit this beautiful country and enjoy its quality of life, including its freely available drinking water in every corner of the country. Following the local customs, exploring the local street food and learning a few local phrases will only make it easier for you to get along with the people and follow the nation's laws. Planning on exploring a foreign country for the first time can be stressful, but to make things smooth, here is an essential guide for you.

Prepare A Travel Itinerary

Prepare a list of places you want to visit along with the food and cultural activities you want to take part in the country. Switzerland is full of wonderful places to visit, from the charming medieval town of Lucerne to the Alpine paradise of Zermatt, home of the iconic Matterhorn. Some of the most important cultural events held annually in Switzerland are the Paléo Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Locarno International Film Festival, and Art Basel.

What To Eat And Drink?

Switzerland is famous for its wine and restaurants in the Alps. There's the iconic Fondue, a creamy concoction of melted Gruyère and Emmental cheeses infused with white wine and garlic, best enjoyed at traditional Swiss "fondue Stübli" restaurants in cities like Zurich, Geneva, and Lucerne. Then, the hearty Rösti, crispy pan-fried grated potatoes, that can be relished across the country, with Bern being a prime destination for an authentic taste. Lastly, the indulgent Raclette, where molten cheese is scraped onto potatoes and pickled onions, finds its heart in the Valais region, with many local restaurants, including "Le Géant" in Verbier, serving this savory delight. Grotti, informal restaurants that are found throughout Switzerland, often serve traditional Swiss dishes and local wines.

Learn Essential Phrases

There are four official languages of Switzerland: French, Swiss German, Italian and Romanish. If you learn a few essential phrases in one or two of these languages before your journey, it may help your journey go more smoothly. Likewise, if you call things by their proper names instead of their anglicized names, you'll make friends more quickly. For example, if you call Lake Geneva to a Lausanne resident, you'll get a stern look and a pointed reply about Lac Léman. Likewise, Lake Lucerne is actually Vierwaldstättersee, and Lake Constance is Bodensee.

Ditch The Private Vehicle

Gornergrat train in the Matterhorn mountains
Gornergrat train in the Matterhorn mountainsDepositphotos

Switzerland is an expensive country, and a week-long trip can quickly add up costs, but using public transport can be a good way to save on travel expenses. With some of the best public transport in the world, Switzerland's smooth rail network lets you travel all over the small country. The easiest way to buy train tickets is through the app provided by SBB/CFF/FFS, Switzerland’s rail service. If you plan ahead, you can get a discount by buying supersaver tickets on the website. Multi-day transport passes and day passes can help you save even more money.

Visa Requirements For Indian Nationals

Indian passport holders who wish to visit Switzerland will need to apply for a Schengen visa. Applications can be made at the visa application center in the Swiss embassy in New Delhi. The Switzerland tourist visa is a short-stay visa allowing Indian passport holders to visit Switzerland for tourism purposes and has a travel period of less than 90 days.

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