Switzerland Tourism and Travel Guide

Switzerland (/ˈswɪtsərlənd/), officially the Swiss Confederation (Latin: Confoederatio Helvetica, hence its abbreviation CH), is a country in Europe. While still named the 'Swiss Confederation' for historical reasons, modern Switzerland is a federal directorial republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities, called Bundesstadt ('federal city'). The country is situated in Western and Central Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8 million people is concentrated mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global and economic centres, Zürich and Geneva.The establishment of the Swiss Confederation is traditionally dated to 1 August 1291, which is celebrated annually as the Swiss National Day. The country has a long history of armed neutrality—it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815—and did not join the United Nations until 2002. Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably it is not part of the European Union, nor the European Economic Area. However the country does participate in the Schengen Area and the EU's single market through a number of bilateral treaties.Straddling the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Therefore, the Swiss, although predominantly German-speaking, do not form a nation in the sense of a common ethnicity or language; rather, Switzerland's strong sense of identity and community is founded on a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, and Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz [ˈʃvaɪts] (German); Suisse [sɥis(ə)] (French); Svizzera [ˈzvittsera] (Italian); and Svizra [ˈʒviːtsrɐ] or [ˈʒviːtsʁːɐ] (Romansh).Switzerland ranks high in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and human development. It has the highest nominal wealth (financial and non-financial assets) per adult in the world according to Credit Suisse and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product on the IMF list. Zürich and Geneva have each been ranked among the top cities with the highest quality of life in the world (the former coming second globally according to Mercer).
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Top Attractions In Switzerland

Itineraries For Switzerland

Best Luxury Hotels In Switzerland

Enjoy relaxing spas, hot spas, beautiful views, delicious dishes and the best of Swiss hospitality at these handpicked luxury hotels in Switzerland.

Best Mid-Range Hotels In Switzerland

Comfortable stays, good food and stunning vistas, Tripoto's list of the best mid-range hotels will let you witness the charms of Switzerland without having to spend a fortune.

Best Budget Hotels In Switzerland

Switzerland has a handful of budget options with incredible facilities with good food in decent locations. Find one from Tripoto's list of the best budget hotels in Switzerland.

Best Hostels And Homestays In Switzerland

Homestays are the perfect way to gain insight into the Swiss culture and lifestyle. Or, you can stay at these happening hostels with happening crowds.

Best Time to Visit Switzerland

Different Switzerland travel guides specify different seasons as the perfect time for a Swiss trip. On the whole, keeping the crowd, budget and exploration opportunities in mind, Switzerland tourism is best enjoyed during spring that lasts from April to June and fall that lasts from September to October. Spring is a pleasant time to explore the best of Switzerland tourism, while also enjoying the remnants of the wintery beauty of the country. The temperature is about 16 to 23 degrees Celsius. Accommodation and flight tickets are much cheaper then too. Similarly, autumn is a good season to opt for Switzerland tourism too and maintains almost the same temperature as spring. July to August, the summer months in the country, makes up the peak season of Switzerland tourism. With the temperature more or less constant at about 27 degrees Celsius, the country is the warmest and attracts flocks of tourists. Therefore, if you are looking for uncrowded touristy places to visit in Switzerland, summer may not be the best time to visit Switzerland. If you do plan to go during summer, keep in mind to make your bookings in advance as Switzerland tourism is expensive then. Winter extends from December to March. The temperature in the southern region is between five and ten degrees Celsius and can even drop to minus four degrees Celsius in the highlands. Although Switzerland tourism takes a dip during this season, it is a great time to travel there for skiing excursions.


Visa Information for Switzerland

For Switzerland tourism, Indian passport holders require a Schengen visa. By obtaining a Schengen visa, a tourist can travel to any of the 26 member countries that constitute the Schengen Area. Your trip can be a maximum of 90 days long if you hold this visa. You should apply at least 15 days before the day you want to leave for your trip. The earliest you can apply for a visa is three months in advance of your scheduled date of departure. Once you put together the necessary documents to obtain a visa, you will have to schedule an appointment for an interview at the Embassy of Switzerland in Delhi or the Consulate General of Switzerland at Mumbai or Bangalore. Some of the prerequisites of getting a Swiss Schengen visa are as follows: a passport valid for three months beyond your intended date of return to your country, a cover letter with a statement of purpose about why you chose Switzerland tourism, proof of flight reservations that specify the start and end dates of your trip, accommodation proof for the whole stay and evidence of sufficient funds for each day during their Swiss trip.


Best Places to Visit In Switzerland

Switzerland tourism offers a variegated experience to travellers. Its undulating snow-capped peaks, clear lakes that mirror a perfectly blue sky and impressive ancient architectural marvels only scratch the surface of Switzerland tourism. This Switzerland travel guide mentions a number of places that showcase the much-discussed aesthetic beauty of the country as well as the cultural quirks of its residents. While planning an itinerary for Switzerland tourism, refer to this Switzerland travel guide. 



The capital city of the country makes for an essential destination within Switzerland tourism. What attracts travellers to this city is how effortlessly it seems to straddle the past and present, offering a setting that seems to bring the best of both worlds. The fact that it is the largest city in the country,evidently well-to-do due to its position as Switzerland’s commercial hub, only invites more and more people. Churches of the Roman Empire, impressive museums and evocative art galleries appease a traveller’s inquisitiveness about its culture. On the other hand, through its lavish restaurants, exuberant nightlife and world-class shopping options, Switzerland tourism ensures that visitors feel pampered. Balancing the busyness of the city lies the serene Lake Zurich. Travellers often take a break from their packed Switzerland tourism itinerary to have a picnic beside the lake. 



Not only is Geneva a place of international eminence as it houses the head offices of several global institutions, but it is also a cultural centre where various exhibitions and festivals are organised. This is the second-largest city thatSwitzerland tourism boasts. It is set apart by its multilingual population that smoothly converses in French, English, Italian and German. One of the landmarks of Switzerland tourism, Jet d’Eau is situated by Lake Geneva. As it is settled in the laps of the Alps, the aesthetic value of the Genevan experience offered by Switzerland tourism is always high. 



For art and history aficionados, Switzerland tourism presents Basel – the city with the highest number of museums in the country. Beside the Rhine River, Basel is set close to where Switzerland’s boundaries meet with those of France and Germany. Therefore, a multicultural vibe permeates the city’s atmosphere, adding to the distinct quality that attracts travellers throughout the year. Strolling along the cobbled streets of the city may not be the most exciting experience of Switzerland tourism, but it will surely be one of your most treasured memories. As you explore the city, you will observe that both of its antique and modern aspects vie with each other for your attention. Basel contributes to Switzerland tourism significantly as it invites people from near and far to attend its festivals and events such as Art Basel, Fasnacht and Basel Fun Fair.   



Similar to other destinations offered by Switzerland tourism, Lucerne seems to be a city straight out of a fairytale. Nestled beside Lake Lucerne with the backdrop of mighty mountains, this place is postcard-perfect. This is one of the most popular places among people while enjoying Switzerland tourism. Home to medieval architecture preserved since centuries, the city is almost personified with the many legends shared about it. 



Situated at the foothills of Matterhorn, the famous pyramidal mountain in the Alps that traverses the border between Switzerland and Italy, is the ideal retreat in the hills. Most tourists find themselves in Zermatt to enjoy the serenity of the Alps as well as to indulge in adventure sports. It is one of the top spots offered by Switzerland tourism for skiing, mountain biking, mountaineering, sledding and other mountainous activities. Although it is a hotspot under Switzerland tourism, it has been well maintained and maintains a fresh and natural atmosphere. This is owing to some beneficial policies such as the restriction of private vehicles and trains. Only electric and solar powered buses are allowed besides bikes to get around the town. Hence, despite being one of the popular cities in Switzerland, it remains clean and fresh. 



In a different corner of Lake Geneva lies the fourth-most populated city in the country. Lausanne’s idyllic landscape features an abundance of verdant vineyards. What makes this place stand out among other destinations under Switzerland tourism is its strong affinity towards sports. It is the base for the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee. Hence, it is not surprising that the city is a centre of several athletic endeavours. People do not only come to Lausanne for Switzerland tourism, but its top-notch universities call students from across the world for higher education. The young population contributes to the lively vibe of the city. 



It may be one of the smallest capitals in Europe in terms of size, but Bern’s contribution to Switzerland tourism is immense. Not only does it have a large number of outstanding museums and galleries that showcase the best art produced in the country, its incredible location beside the Aare River is a visual delight as well as a lovely spot to take a refreshing dip. Besides all the impressive development this city has gone through, the Old City of Berne has been consciously looked after since its foundation in the 12th century and is now also a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can easily head to the Alps from Bern. Even when you gaze at Bern from a distance, you will be unable to escape its charm.


Activities And Things To Do In Switzerland

While Switzerland tourism offers the top visually attractive places in the world, it also gives its visitors once in a lifetime opportunities in regards to some activities that cannot be enjoyed at the same level anywhere else. Our Switzerland travel guide lists the following activities as some of the unmissable things to do in Switzerland.


Ski down the slopes of Switzerland

Situated amidst mountains with snowy peaks, Switzerland tourism is famous for its skiing opportunities. From peaks to glaciers, skiing terrain here is diverse, providing a thrilling experience to visitors. Hefty mountains such as the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc and the Eiger carry the weight of Switzerland tourism’s reputation among travellers – a lot of which comes from the skiing opportunities across its pristine blankets of snow. Some of the popular skiing locations part of Switzerland tourism are Zermatt, St. Moritz, Grindelwald, Laax and Verbier.


Go on a heritage tour

Switzerland tourism is abundant with locations of heritage. Dotted with informative museums, avant-garde galleries and ancient architecture, the country’s story is encapsulated tangibly for visitors to interact with. Any of the major cities on your Switzerland tourism itinerary will have its own share of history for you to learn about. Besides a plethora of museums, the country also has 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Steeped with immense historical and cultural value, these places offer an unforgettable experience. The Old City of Berne, the Castles of Bellinzona, the Convent of St. Gall, the Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, Lavaux (Vineyard Terraces) and the Convent of Müstair are a few examples. Visit the following places to accentuate an average itinerary into a more exquisite experience of Switzerland tourism.


Enjoy a scenic train ride

Travellers can go on a scenic journey while in Switzerland via railway. There are some scenic routes carved out that flaunt the ethereal landscape that is Switzerland tourism’s claim to fame. It is one of the best ways to enjoy Switzerland tourism in a leisurely manner. Crossing hundreds of bridges and tunnels, not once will you want to stop peeking out of the window to admire the scenery. The following are some of the most well-known train rides:

Glacier Express: Amusingly, this is popular as it is the slowest express train in the world. From St. Moritz to Zermatt, you get a glimpse of both these mountains and all the wondrous natural beauty in between. The journey is about eight-hours long.

Bernina Express: Reputed as the best way to see the Alps, this ride takes you from Chur, a medieval town in Eastern Switzerland to Tirano in Italy after crossing St. Moritz and higher glacial points. The Rhaetian Railway Line in the Albula region, that is at the end of the journey through the Bernina Express, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The journey is about 4 hours 15 minutes long.

The Golden Pass Line: This route takes you from central Switzerland to Lake Geneva. On the way, you pass six cantons and eight lakes. Your train will also go through three mountain passes. The approximately five-hour-long journey is every photographer’s dream train ride, owing to the endless picturesque landscapes on the route. Some interesting locations that you will come across are Interlaken, Montreux, Lake Thun, Brunig Pass and Bernese Oberland. 


Appreciate the Swiss landscape on a cable car ride

There are several ways to truly enjoy the breathtaking Swiss landscapes, but doing it from a vantage point from a height is undisputedly one of the best ways to do it. Switzerland tourism has some of the best gondola rides that enable travellers to enjoy a panoramic view of the stunning vistas. Some of the best destinations for an impressive gondola ride are Mount Titlis, Matterhorn, Murren, Grindelwald and Wildkirchli. Going on a cable car ride does not only prove to be a treat for the eyes, but is a thrilling experience as well.


Go hiking and trekking

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced trekker, the Alps will wow you and end up as one of the best terrains you cover in your lifetime. Switzerland tourism consists of splendid hiking trails that allow you to explore the country on foot. Your climb uphill among amid lush greenery,with a view of the snow-capped peaks at a distance, will surely secure its place as a highlight of your trip. If you are someone who has chosen Switzerland tourism for its flawless natural setting, you will find this to be one of the best things to do in Switzerland. An adventure in the Alps is unmatched!


Attend the festivals

One of the most attractive things about Switzerland tourism are the cultural and unique festivals in the country. They are not only celebrated by locals but invite large numbers of visitors from all around the world. While some are held as joyous occasions, others have layers of cultural and historical significance. The following are some of the most popular festivals that you can include in your Singapore tourism itinerary.

Basler Fasnacht: A grand three-day carnival in Basel, held between February and March.

International Balloon Festival: A memorable nine-day festival held at Château-d’Oex in January that invites pilots from several countries. 

Paléo Festival: One of the top music festivals in the around. Around 250 performances occur in this six-day festival, held every July in Nyon.

Fête Nationale Suisse: The National Day is celebrated with pomp and frills by the Swiss citizens every year on 1st August.

Gauklerfest: Among the most unique festivals in the country is this event where street performers from around the world gather. Held every year in July at Interlaken.

Montreux Jazz Festival: The biggest Jazz festival in Switzerland that takes place in Montreux every July.

Where To Stay In Switzerland

Switzerland tourism has consistently ranked high as one of the leading holiday options in the world for decades. Its strategic location in the laps of the Alps make it a beautiful place to visit in Europe, but it also implies a hike in travellers’ budgets while planning for Switzerland tourism. Although this is an expensive destination, tourists can choose accommodation from a varied range according to what suits their budget best. 


Luxury hotels in Switzerland

Switzerland tourism has been a part of the game long enough to offer the most deluxe and lavish accommodation options to tourists. If you want a holiday to pamper yourself and have the budget for it, the following are a few of the best luxury hotels that you can include in your itinerary.

  • Four Seasons, Geneva
  • Hotel Les Trois Rois, Basel
  • Ultima Gstaad
  • Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne 
  • Hotel Villa Honegg, Ennetbürgen
  • The Dolder Grand, Zürich


Mid-range hotels in Switzerland

These hotels are the way to go if you do not want to pour much of your budget into the accommodation but want a comfortable stay. Some of the well-reputed mid-range places to stay in Switzerland are listed below.

  • Hotel Altstadt, Zürich
  • Hotel-Smart, Samnaun
  • Des Alpes, Lucerne
  • H+ Hotel & SPA, Engelberg
  • Hotel Nidwaldnerhof, Beckenried


Budget hotels in Switzerland

Although Switzerland is notoriously expensive, there are some budget hotels that can be booked by those on a tight budget. Listed below are some of the options you can consider if you are among the travellers who would not wish to spend too much on a room.

  • Ibis hotels, multiple cities
  • Hotel Rochat, Basel
  • Hotel Central, Geneva
  • Holiday Inn Express, Zurich
  • Hotel Dell'Angelo, Locarno

Most budget travellers choose to book hostels, B&Bs, homestays or try couchsurfing. Although they are not the traditional accommodation options, you get more than you need during your stay at an affordable rate. Do not be shy to explore the available possibilities!

Cuisine And Best Places To Eat in Switzerland

Another key selling point of Switzerland tourism is its cuisine. The cuisine includes dishes special to the Swiss as well as food with influences from neighbouring countries such as Italy, Germany and France. Therefore, dishes like pizza and pasta are common in the country now. Typically Swiss food heavily rely on cheese and potatoes for ingredients. Fondue, raclette and rosti are examples of that. Some popular cheeses that were made in Switzerland are Emmental cheese, Gruyère, Vacherin, and Appenzeller. Different parts of the country have specific dishes associated to them that appeal to different palates. For example, aside from fondue and raclette, popular items in the French part of Switzerland are malakoff, meringue, carac and papet vaudois. In the Italian part of Switzerland, you can try saffron risotto, polenta and pizzoccheri. Some well-known dishes in the German section of Switzerland are älplermagronen, Emmental apple rösti, kalberwurst, landjäger and zürcher geschnetzeltes. It goes without saying that chocolates are a must-try here. You can have some chocolate made by Auer Chocolatier, Sprüngli, Läderach and other brands. 


Since food is an essential component of Switzerland tourism, make sure you pick out the best places to eat from Switzerland travel guides before you begin your vacation. Dining options in Switzerland are diverse, fulfilling a variety of expectations of different kinds of travellers. Explore the following eateries when in Switzerland. 

  • Haus Hittl, Zurich: The oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world, according to the Guinness World Records.
  • Maison Wenger, Le Noirmont:  A gourmet restaurant, studded with two Michelin stars. 
  • À la Part des Anges, Martigny: An eatery inside a castle called Château de la Bâtiaz that provides a medieval and unique experience to visitors.


Other places to visit to enjoy the best of the food Switzerland tourism has to offer are La Reserve, Le Chat-Botté, Le Namasté, Denis Martin and Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville. There are many more places not included in this Switzerland travel guide that you will chance upon yourself while exploring the destination.

How To Travel In Switzerland

No Switzerland travel guide can dispute how feasible travelling within the country is. Switzerland tourism is made extremely efficient and easy owing to the country’s excellent public transportation. It enables you to go to the farthest corners of the country at an affordable price. Trams and buses facilitate most local journeys and are utmost importance in Switzerland tourism’s transportation network. It is recommended for travellers to purchase a day or month pass. You can also go to the major cities in Switzerland easily, as they are connected by the InterCity trains that run on an hourly basis, every day of the week. High-speed railway of other countries such as France and Germany also go through the country every day. There are some scenic routes offered by Switzerland tourism meant to provide travellers with the best view of the Swiss landscape via railway. It is easy to travel by car to different parts of the country as the roads are well-connected and properly maintained. Even a lot of the mountains can be reached by car with the exception of a few hilly towns that do not allow travel by car. You can choose to travel by taxi as well, but they are more expensive.

Typical Costs In Switzerland

The cost of Switzerland tourism for an Indian traveller is generally on the higher end. It is not a place for a backpacker, unwilling to shell out large amounts of money every day. But good research about Switzerland and planning beforehand can help you reduce your expenses while on a trip to this European wonderland. Round-trip flights to Switzerland can cost between Rs.40,000 and Rs.50,000, if booked in advance. You should book tickets at least a month and a half before you plan to leave for the best deals. Take visa costs into account while budgeting too – it would cost you about Rs.8000. Travelling within the country is fairly easy. You can rent a car if travelling in a group. Otherwise, for visiting the major places in Switzerland as well as for free access to a number of museums, a Swiss Travel Ticket can be bought. A 15-day pass costs about Rs.36,000. Renting a car on the other hand would cost about Rs.35,000 with additional parking costs. If you choose consciously, your cost per day for food can be as low as Rs.800. Otherwise, it can even go up to about Rs.3,500. Other leisurely activities can also cost as less as Rs.1,500 or as much as Rs.5,000 a day. Accommodation costs are what majorly decide if you stay within or cross your budget. By staying at hostels or couchsurfing, you can manage to spend only Rs.2,000 per day. Otherwise for someone staying at a luxurious place, the cost would be above Rs.10,000 per day.


The total cost of a trip totally depends on how much you decide to splurge. A budget traveller will spend about Rs.5,000 per day. Someone with a mid-range budget can spend around Rs.13,000. Lastly, someone opting for fairly luxurious options can spend about Rs. 21,500 in a day.

Written by Shruti Mishra, an in-house Tripoto writer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Switzerland tourism can be enjoyed to the fullest even during winter. It just has a different charm to it because of the snowfall. If you do not like extremely cold weather or snow, plan your trip for summer instead as the temperature plummets to the negative in highlands too. Many people prefer going in winter as it is the best time to indulge in adventure activities such as skiing and sledding. 

You can make the best of Switzerland tourism as a solo traveller too. The only drawback to travelling alone in the country is that it can get very expensive if you do not have anyone else to split the cost with. It is advisable to do your research on Switzerland tourism so you are aware of the costs before you arrive at your destination. 

You need not have any qualms about Switzerland tourism – it is one of the safest destinations in Europe. However, a basic level of caution is required anywhere you go. Although the country is known to not be a site of serious crimes, beware of pickpockets. Other than that, take care of yourself on the road and in high-altitude areas to avoid any mishaps. It is recommended to have good travel insurance. 

Switzerland trip costs vary depending on the kind of accommodation and activities you include in your Switzerland tourism itinerary. Designing a trip all on your own can be pricey, hence we suggest you book pre-planned packages to cut down on costs. You will be able to multiple locations and countries in a few days. The price of Switzerland tourism packages starts at Rs.95,000.

You should take at least a week to explore the country. Otherwise, for a slow, comprehensive experience of Switzerland tourism, travellers like to spend 20 to 30 days. Most visitors hold the belief that you should devote at least four days to each base.