THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF COW BELLS

Two years ago I visited Switzerland for the very first time. I didn’t really know what to expect and the only thing I could go on where photos that I had seen on the internet.

My first stop on my Switzerland road trip was Interlaken. And as soon as I saw the blue color of the Brienzersee I squealed from excitement. It looked absolutely magical! That feeling of amazement never went away actually.

During this first trip I tried to see as much as possible, from the small villages around Interlaken, to the fairytale vibes of Ticino and the impressive mountain peaks of Appenzell. I drove through one of the most famous mountain passes and tasted as much of the local food as possible.

I highly recommend going on a road trip through Switzerland or if you want to make it a bit more budget friendly you can go with a camper van .

Wether you’re visiting Switzerland in the summer or winter, you’ll find that there are plenty of activities to choose from. The towering Alps are covered in snow, the lakes are crystal clear and there are typical Swiss villages around every corner.

Not to mention that the typical sound of cow bells or goat bells will greet you as soon as you get out of your car on the countryside.

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT SWITZERLAND

I always prefer traveling in the shoulder season cause there’s a lot fewer tourists roaming around and prices are a lot lower, like I am talking sometimes even 50% lower! For the shoulder season in Switzerland aim for the months of May-June and September-October. You’ll still have nice weather during these months and most hiking trails will be clear from snow, especially at the lower elevations.

If you’re plan is to really hike on the high altitude trails however your best bet is to still go in July and August.

During the winter months the summer tourists are long gone but then Switzerland knows an influx of winter sport enthusiasts.

Important to know is that when there’s still a lot of snow on the ground some mountain passes may be closed off such as the famous Furkapass.

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN TRAVELING TO SWITZERLAND

Language – There are four national languages in Switzerland, all found in specific regions of the country. The most widely spoken language is Swiss German, spoken by over 60% of the population. In the western part of the country, Swiss-French is spoken, and in the southern part of the country, Swiss Italian is spoken. The smallest national language is Romansh.

Currency – The official currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). But most shops also accept euros. For instance I went to a very local mountain hut in Appenzell and even tere they accepted my euros and also gave my change back in euros :).

Credit Cards & ATM’s – Credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted (yes, also in most mountain huts), so there’s no need to take out a lot of cash when traveling through Switzerland. ATM’s are available in every single town and pretty much on every corner. You’ll usually find them at places like the post office, train station, and shopping centers.

Plugs – The power plugs in Switzerland are type J, the standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. So make sure you bring a universal adaptor if you need one!

Safety – Switzerland is an incredibly safe country and is even in the top 10 of the safest countries in the world.

TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST TIME VISITING SWITZERLAND

Public Transport – Getting around Switzerland is super easy and reliable because Switzerland has an extensive, well-coordinated network of trains, buses, and boats. Even mountaintops are easily accessible because of the numerous funiculars, cable cars, and cog railways.

Swiss Travel Pass – The Swiss Travel Pass is a straightforward, all encompassing pass that can be used for free travel on trains, boats, and buses in Switzerland. You can choose a Swiss Travel Pass that is valid for 3, 4, 8, or 15 consecutive days. GET YOUR SWISS TRAVEL PASS HERE.

Fondue – You haven’t been to Switzerland if you haven’t tried their fondue. Especially when it’s cold outside it’s one of the best things to do in Switzerland.

Hiking etiquette – Hikers greet each other. If you want to greet like the locals do, you would say “grüezi” (Swiss German), “bonjour” (French) or “buongiorno” (Italian), depending on the region you’re hiking in.

Dataroaming – If you’re an EU resident don’t forget to switch or your mobile data when entering Switzerland!

Toll Pass – If you’re traveling through Switzerland by car you’ll need to buy a vignette upon entering the country. It’s 40CHF but it’s valid for the duration of the entire calendar year. So if you buy your sticker in January and 2023 it will be valid for 13 months, if you only buy it in December 2023 it will be valid for just 2 months. Another reason to frequently return to Switzerland once you buy your vignette :p.

🚘 ROAD TRIPPING THROUGH SWITZERLAND

When it comes to choosing a rental car company things can get a little confusing cause there’s a lot of companies out there ready to rip you off.

Horror Story: In South Africa the rental car company that I booked with actually copied my credit card details and 1 day later my card was blocked. So there I was, in the middle of South Africa and without a credit card. Luckily we would switch to a different company the next day for the further duration of our trip but you really don’t want this to happen on your holiday.

You also don’t want any hidden costs added to your bill.

A good rental car company should include the following in your rental price: unlimited mileage and a fair fuel arrangement, third-party insurance of at least €7.5 million, damage insurance, theft insurance, towing cost if your car breaks down and cancel or change your reservation without any hassle.

For my road trips I always prefer booking with SunnyCars. Here you can already rent a car for as little as €27 per day and every single cost is included upon check out. Oh, and all of the things that I mentioned above that should be included are also included with them!

💡 TIP – Sometimes the local rental company will try to make you pay for additional insurance. This is in no way necessary cause SunnyCars offers you full coverage.

CHECK OUT THE RATES AT SUNNY CARS

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