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Switzerland Country Guide – European Health Insurance Card

Switzerland on the lakes edge

The home of fondue, yodelling and the Alps, Switzerland has plenty of attractions that have helped make it one of Europe’s most coveted destinations. We’ve collated our guide based on cities to visit, things to do, and even provided you with practical tips to consider when travelling to the mountainous country. Be sure to renew your EHIC once you’ve read our guide.

Cities To Visit

Zermatt

When you first arrive in Zermatt, an après ski mountain resort in the south of Switzerland, you’ll be greeted with the incomparable sight of the pyramid-shaped Matterhorn peak.

While you ski, you’ll be spellbound by the stunning scenery found along the well-kept pistes of the mountainside.

What’s more, when you explore the town you can find a number of quaint boutique shops, swish lounge bars and a number of designer stores for you to spend your time in when you’re all tired out from skiing.

Geneva

The literal definition of a cultural melting pot, Geneva is the diplomatic centre of the world, in addition to being the headquarters of the United Nations. You’ll find it challenging to walk down the street without hearing at least three different languages.

One of the many benefits of such a diverse culture is that there’s a wide variety of activities to partake in, including water sports along the Lac Léman, skiing in the Alps, and a selection of restaurants with cuisine from across the world to enjoy.

Basel

Basel is situated along the banks of the river Rhine and plays host to striking medieval architecture, a thriving art scene and an incredible yearly festival.

It also has around 40 museums, ranging from world-renowned institutions like the Kunstmuseum Basel to quirky finds like the Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel, a toy museum with an enormous collection of dolls.

What’s more, it’s the meeting point of three countries, France, Germany and Switzerland, which you can pay a visit to at the three countries corner.

Zurich

The city of Zurich from the water

The financial capital of the world, Zurich, is Switzerland’s largest city, but there’s plenty more to the global banking centre than just numbers, which you’ll find out when you head to Züri-West, the epicentre of the city’s nightlife and enjoy one of the many open-air bars by the riverside.

You can also enjoy the local delicacy of Zürcher Geschnetzeltes, a dish which includes sliced veal strips, white wine, cream, and demiglace, which is only available in Zurich.

Things To Do

The Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate Factory in Kilchberg

Have you ever wanted to know how one of the most popular chocolate brands in the world is produced? Well at the Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate Factory in Kilchberg, you can do exactly that.

You’ll step behind the doors of a real-life chocolate factory and see the chefs in action, as they pour the much-coveted recipe of Lindt liquid chocolate into praline moulds.

You will also have the opportunity to participate in a chocolate workshop yourself, where a professional instructor will teach you how to create your own pralines.

Jungfraujoch Train Station

Jungfraujoch is Europe’s highest train station standing at 3,454m above sea level and attracts more than two million visitors a year.

To arrive at the station, you’ll have to catch a train from the bottom of the Kleine Scheidegg mountain pass and begin the ascent to the Sphinx meteorological station.

Once you arrive at the summit and have enjoyed the incredible view, you can also explore the Ice Palace and Snow Fun Park.

Basler Fasnacht

Basler Fascnacht, Switzerland’s 3-day long carnival, kicks off at 4.a.m and takes place annually between February and March.

A variety of different floats carry 20,000 masked marchers, dancers and drummers through the streets of Basel’s old town throughout, what locals call, the three best days of the year. Combining unique musical instruments, creativity and first-rate artistic performances, food and beer stalls are found across the parade route.

Chaplin’s World

Chaplin’s world is the newest attraction to feature on our list, opening only two years ago, this interactive museum celebrates the life and work of the iconic, silent film star, Charlie Chaplin.

Located in the Manoir de Ban manor, where Chaplin lived for 25 years before passing away, the museum includes a purpose-built interactive studio.

Other exhibits include multimedia displays, excerpts from Chaplin’s films, recreations of film sets, family photos and other evocative memorabilia, right down to Chaplin’s trademark hat and cane, and a tour of the mansion’s splendid gardens, that rounds off the visit.

Trift Bridge

The Trift Bridge is a pedestrian suspension bridge which stretches across Lake Triftsee, amongst the Swiss Alps.

Vertigo-inducing for even the most seasoned adrenaline junkie, the bridge spans a 560-foot gap, suspended over 300 feet in the air. To visit the bridge, guests have to make an equally daunting ascent in a cable car.

Things To Consider

How Do I Travel Across Switzerland?

Red train travelling through countryside in Switzerland

Thankfully, Switzerland’s public transport system is safe and incredibly efficient with train, tram, bus and boat networks covering the entire country.

What’s more, to make travelling across Switzerland even easier, you can purchase a Swiss Pass, which collates every travel card on to a single chip equipped plastic card. The card was first introduced three years ago and it also allows you to store ski resort tickets, Mobility Car sharing memberships and PubliBike bicycle rentals on there as well, helping to make your travel far more efficient.

Where Can I Stay?

Small village through the window of a hotel room

The options of accommodation in Switzerland are adequately diverse, with most regions having hotels, apartments, campsites and hostels for you to stay in.

However, if you want a more unusual location to sleep, Switzerland also has far more quirky options that you can choose from, such as overnight stays in farmhouses, alpine huts and even monasteries.

We hope this guide has been of use and has helped educate you a bit more about the wonderful country that is Switzerland. Remember before you travel, ensure that you’ve renewed your EHIC (Euro Health Insurance Card), as this will help to make your trip a lot less stressful.

For further information regarding your EHIC, don’t hesitate to contact us, today.

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