Food and drink highlights of Switzerland 🥕

  • Tipping - Service is always included in a price. If you were pleased with service the tip is much appreciated.
  • Eating hours - The lunch is served between noon and 2 pm, dinner usually from 6 pm to 9.30 pm.
  • Shopping hours - Businesses are open from Monday to Friday between 6 am and 9 pm, and on Saturdays until 6 pm. On Sundays they are closed.
  • Discount shops - Lidl and Aldi are the cheapest places to get your groceries. They're great if you travel on low budget.
  • Cuisine type - It is influenced by German, French and North Italian cuisine.
  • Savoir Vivre - If you want to signalize that you are done eating, you should place the fork and knife parallel to each other, poinitng right on the middle of the plate.
  • Main ingredients - Many traditional Swiss dishes are made from basic ingredients found in Switzerland such as potatoes and Swiss cheese.
  • Important info - Food in Switzerland is expensive, however self service restaurants tend to be much cheaper than fast food or family dining houses.
  • Warning - It is worth to point out that menus across the country may vary from canton to canton.
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Foods to try in Switzerland 🥘

  • Älplermagronen
    Macaroni pasta (usually hörnli, a small, curved pasta) served with cheese, onions, and potatoes.
  • Luzerner Chügelipastete
    Puff pastry forms filled with a creamy sauce, meat or mushroom.
  • Hafenchabis
    Lamb or pork stew with cabbage.
  • Saucissons
    Thick, dry-cured sausage with spices.
  • Cholera
    Savoury dish involving potatoes, vegetables and fruits baked with cheese in a pastry similar to a tart.
  • OLMA bratwurst
    A sausage produced from a mix of pork, veal and milk.
  • Rösti
    Pan-fried or baked grated potatoes with the addition of cheese, oil, butter or other type of fat.
  • Pizzoccheri
    Buckwheat pasta shaped like tagliatelle, baked and served with potatoes, butter, cheese and peas.
  • Polenta
    Boiled cornmeal served as a hot porrige, fried, baked or grilled. Usually comes as a side dish to meat.
  • Marroni
    Baked chestnuts.
  • Zürcher Geschnetzelte
    Sliced veal strips with white wine, cream, demiglace and mushrooms.
  • Zuger Kirschtorte
    Sponge cake with of nut-meringue and butter cream, flavoured with the cherry brandy kirschwasser.
  • Zwiebelwähe
    Cheese and onion tart served on a salty crust.
  • Berner Platte
    Meat (pork, beef, pork belly, sausage, bacon or pork ears) cooked with sauerkraut, served with potatoes and beans.
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Unusual facts about food in Switzerland 🥘

  • Chocolate consumption in Switzerland is the highest in the world. The avarge ranges around 10 kg per one person each year.
  • There is possible to choose bread from more than 400 different types.
  • The Swiss eat a lot of cheese, almost 22kg per person each year!
  • In Switzerland is around 50,000 farms. They produce food and maintain the country’s cultural landscapes.
  • Known today all over the world as a breakfast cereal, muesli was first created around 1900 by a Swiss doctor as an 'apple based diet food'.
  • Swiss hens lay more than a billion of eggs every year.
  • Switzerland cares about tradition and cultural separateness of the country. There are 400 different products officially recognised as part of culinary heritage.
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Place to stay in Switzerland 🛏️

  • Best booking sites - Booking.com, Hotels.com, but propably the cheapest option would be Airbnb.
  • Rating system - In Switzerland the hotel grading criteria is based on stars (from one to five - one being the lowest).
  • Seasonality - Hotel prices in autumn are much lower than in summer or winter, which are considered to be peak seasons.
  • Cost-effective - In the large cities booking your room or apartment via Airbnb would be the best option to save some money.
  • Air conditioning - Air conditioning is not a standard in Switzerland.
  • Parking - Paid parking space is normal in Switzerland, so if your hotel doesn't have a private one you should be aware that parking your car in the city is going to be expensive and also nerve-wrecking.
  • Payments - The official currency is Swiss Franc, however in hotels you can pay in Euros.
  • Unusual accommodation - The Gehren farm in Merlischachen is a place where you can spend your trip in a Mongolian yurt.
  • Camp - TSC is the biggest operator when it comes to camping in Switzerland. It provides 24 locations and over 20 accomodation options.
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Accommodation in Switzerland 💡

  • The Swiss concept of a bed-and-breakfast differs from other countries. In Switzerland, B&Bs are usually small hotels.
  • Either ask or search for recommendations. It is better to book a reliable hotel room rather than lose money.
  • If you have problems with booking your hotel or you need more insights about the place you want to stay in, you can contact Swiss National Tourist Office.
  • Hotels in big cities are very expensive, so think about booking your room on the outskirts of the city. Swiss public transport is great so that you won't have problems with traveling.
  • Plan your departure and stay beforehand. The cheapest options tend to be sold out months before the high season.
  • One of the cheapest accommodation option is youth hostel, a dormitory shared with 6 up to 12 people.
  • Prices are highest in the mountain regions around Christmas and New Year, but also when Swiss and European schools have break in February and mid-July–mid-August.
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Getting around Switzerland 💡

  • Cost-effective - Transportation in Switzerland is expensive, however there are various Swiss Travel Pass (developed for guests from abroad) that allow you to buy tickets half the usual price or even travel without paying additional fees.
  • Time-efficient - Public transport in Switzerland is usually punctual, but trains are especially praised for their punctuality.
  • Traffic safety - The roads are constantly improving as well as safety of the roads. Switzerland is one of the safest countries to drive in.

🚗 Car

  • The speed limit is 80 km/h outside and 50 km/h inside build-up areas. On the motorways the limit is 120 km/h.
  • Blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers is 0,05%.
  • Switzerland is a small country with population of almost 9 milion people, so traffic jams are occuring daily.
  • You need to be at least 20 years old to drive a car and have minimum one year experience of driving.
  • Drivers who are below 25 years old will pay a higher price for car rental.
  • Lights are mandatory to use at all times, even during the day.
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🚕 Taxi

  • Taxis in Switzerland, especially biggest cities, usually accept credit cards.
  • Ubers are cheaper than taxis, which are rather expenisve.

👍 Hitchhiking

  • It's not legal to hitchhike on motorways so you should avoid being dropped at the border.
  • Hitchihiking is very popular, especially in the mountain regions or small country roads.

🚌 Bus

  • There are city buses, long-distance buses and Postauto buses in Switzerland.
  • Buses tend to be the more popular choice of transport when travelling between two smaller towns or cities.
  • Postauto are buses owned by the Swiss Post. They reach the most inaccessible places in Switzerland.

🚆 Train

  • Trains are by far the most convinient way to travel through Switzerland. They are very punctual and train's compartments are usually clean and new. If you want to travel by trains then you should consider getting one of the Travel Passes, which is more cost effective than buying tickets for every trip.
  • S-Bahn systems are suburban railway networks that connect urban centers with their surrounding suburbs and commuter towns, similar to a metro network.

Plane

  • Traveling by plane across Switzerland is very expensive.

Boat

  • There are a lot of scenic boat cruises in Switzerland. The most popular cruises are on the lake Lucerna, Brienz and Thun. Some of travel pass allow to travel by boat without additional fee.
  • Boats run on a regular schedule just as trains and buses do.

🚲 Bicycle

  • You can rent bicycle and tour the city you are visiting. Switzerland is also a paradise for those who love road cycling.
  • Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by a person at least 16 years of age to cycle on the road.

🚇 Metro

  • Lausanne is the only city with a two line metro system.

🏍 Motorcycle

  • You must be at least 18 years old to drive a car and motorbike, and a moped 14 years old.
  • Motorcyclists and their passengers must wear crash helmets.

How to travel in Switzerland 🚗

  • A sign with criss-crossed white tyre on a blue circular background means that snow chains are obligatory.
  • If you get into a car accident, the police must be called if anyone receives more than superficial injuries.
  • People traveling by car must wear a seatbelt at all times and vehicles must carry a breakdown-warning triangle.
  • Rental cars are usually equipped with winter tires, but it is better to check them.
  • In Switzerland are two major hubs, in Zurich and Geneva. Train stations are right at the airports. Between them is less than four hours.
  • SBB Mobile is the official app of the Swiss Federal Railways. You can search for itineraries, book tickets, and add public transportation subscription and discount cards for accurate pricing.
  • Uber is available in four cities in Switzerland (Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, and Zürich).
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Best time to visit Switzerland 💡

⏱️ When to go

  • The best month to visit Switzerland is September. The weather is generally pleasant and allows you to do everything except winter sports.

🌡️ Temperature

  • The average temperatures in Switzerland range from -10°C (winter) to 28°C (summer).

Rainfall

  • Heaviest rainfalls start from late spring (may) and last all summer (june to august).

🍂 Fall

  • Temperatures are progressively starting to drop with the average between 8°C to 15°C. There is a few rain days during the fall, however you can still hike in the mountains.

🌱 Spring

  • The daytime temperature range is 8 to 15 °C, however there still may be one or two snowing days.

☀️ Summer

  • The rainiest and the hottest time of the year, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 28°C.

❄️ Winter

  • Winters are pretty cold - the temperatures often reach below zero, yet it does not necessarily mean that there will be snow in every region.

Switzerland weather Insights ☁️

  • There are two main climatic zones in Switzerland - temperate and highland.
  • The tempereate zone is located in the north and the highland zone is located in the south (Alpine mountains).
  • Regular four seasons are distinguished - spring, summer, fall and winter.
  • The temperatures are higher in the north area of the country.
  • Foehn wind is a type of mountain wind which is dry, warm and occurs throughout the whole year.
  • So called high season lasts from July to August and this means that prices can be even doubled for tourists.
  • A season with more affordable prices (low season) lasts from December to March.
  • North consists of Central Plateau and Jura mountains where the south region consists of Alpine mountains.
  • There are four distinctive seasons in Switzerland. Everyone starts in the mid of the month: Winter in December, spring from March, summer from June, and fall from September.
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Savoir-Vivre in Switzerland 📝

  • Greetings - The Swiss like their greetings formal. If you are meeting someone for the first time it is better to greet them with simple hello. When you are meeting with a friend you kiss them three times on their cheeks.
  • Punctuality - Being late in Switzerland is often considered rude. It is better to be early rather than late so be sure to remember that rule!
  • Bargaining - Bargaining in Switzerland is not popular but it's commonly accepted.
  • Dress code - Switzerland does not have any formal regulations when it comes to dress code. It is good to keep European fashion trends in mind, though.
  • Temple entrance - Many churches require modest attire. A general rule states that the knees should be covered both for women and men.
  • Home invitation - While visiting someone else's household remember to bring small gift, for example a bottle of wine.
  • Etiquette - When traveling via public transport try not to be loud or obnoxious. Swiss do not like loud people. Chewing gum in public is also deemed rude so try your best not to do that.
  • Drones - We recommend using this map to easily check the applicable restrictions. If you are looking for more specific information take a look here.
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Things not to do in Switzerland ⚠️

  • Elderly people in Switzerland are treated with tremendous respect. While traveling via public transport mind older passangers and give them your seat.
  • Be mindful when it comes to litterling. Swiss care about their environment and any form of littering on the streets is an punishable act.
  • Switzerland has four official languages: French, German, Italian and Romanisch. It is important to note that German spoken in Switzerland is a dialect, Swiss German may be hard to understand by foreginers.
  • There is a no noise policy from 10pm to 6am.
  • Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world so prices in resteurants, coffeshops, markets and in souvenir shops are often costly.
  • During visits remember to take off your shoes. Swiss usually have slippers to walk around the house.
  • It's illegal to jaywalk or cross the road on red light. You can get fined by the police on the spot.
  • While talking to people do not put your hands inside the pockets of your trousers. It is considered ill-mannered.
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Interesting facts about Switzerland 🤓

  • Swiss consume a lot of alcohol; wine, beer or pure. As a result there is a lot of deaths caused by alcohol in Switzerland each year.
  • Switzerland has around 1,500 lakes. The largest ones are Lake Geneva, Lake Neuchâtel and Lake Bienne.
  • Geneva is a place where The Red Cross was founded in 1863, its headquaters still remain there till date.
  • Switzerland has the longest and the deepest rail tunnel in the world. Opened in 2016 Gotthard Tunnel is 57,5 km long.
  • Since 1979 Château-d'Oex is a home of International Hot-Air Balloon Festival. The festival takes place every year in January and is attended by over hundred participants from different parts of the world.
  • 23% of Switzerland's population consists of foreigners.
  • To obtain Swiss citizenship you must have lived in the country for at least 12 years.
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Switzerland packing list 💡

  • Travel Adapter - In Switzerland, you will find unusual J-type electrical sockets. Remember to pack the appropriate adapter before leaving.
  • Winter tires and chains - Snowfall can cut off some places from the world for a few hours.
  • Comfortable trekking shoes - It is one of the most mountainous countries in the world. Good shoes will definitely be useful.
  • Camera and camcorder - They will allow you to capture the picturesque landscapes of Switzerland.
  • Adequate equipment - If you are planning skiing, cycling or mountain climbing, take your equipment. In Switzerland, all the equipment can be bought or rented, but such an expense will definitely damage your pocket.
  • Warm clothing - You have to be prepared for very different temperatures, and - especially in mountainous regions - rainfall and wind. So be sure to bring a decent jacket.
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Things to do in Switzerland ⭐

  • Most popular sports: ⛷️ Skiing, 🛶 Canoeing, ️ ⛵ Sailing
  • Most popular activities: 🥾 Hiking (all year), 🪂 Paragliding (all year, depends on weather), 🚣 Rafting (summer and spring)
  • Most popular places: 💧 Interlaken, 🌄Jungfrau, 🏞️ Lauterbrunnen

Top attraction in Switzerland 📸

Tourist information about Switzerland 🤓

🏳 Country Switzerland
🌆 Capital Bern
💸 Currency Swiss franc
💭 Language German, French, Italian, Romansh
Timezone GMT+2
🇬🇧 English speaking Widely spoken (advanced)
🏳️‍🌈 LGBT tolerance Low
👫 Gender ratio (overall) 👩 50% | 👨 50%
👩🏻‍🤝‍👨 Population 8.7 mln
✈️ Visitors per year 11 mln

Useful information about Switzerland 🤖

💳 Card payments Yes, almost everywhere
🏧 ATM Availability Widely available
🏦 Suggested ATM takeout 300 CHF
🍺 Drinking in public Illegal
🚰 Tap water Drinkable
🌐 Internet speed (avg.) 73 Mbps
🔌 Socket type Type C Type J C / J
🚕 Best taxi app PostAUTO
🚾 Public toilets Popular & Paid
📱 Top mobile providers Swisscom, Sunrise, VTX
✈️ Best internal air carrier SWISS Airlines
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Cost of living in Switzerland 💸

🌮 Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant
23.92 EUR
26.92 USD
20.15 GBP
112.46 PLN
25 CHF
🥘 Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant
95.7 EUR
107.67 USD
80.59 GBP
449.83 PLN
100 CHF
🍺 Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)
6.7 EUR
7.54 USD
5.64 GBP
31.49 PLN
7 CHF
Gasoline (1 liter)
1.53 EUR
1.72 USD
1.29 GBP
7.2 PLN
1.6 CHF
🎫 One-way ticket (public transport)
3.45 EUR
3.88 USD
2.9 GBP
16.19 PLN
3.6 CHF

Quality of life in Switzerland 💚

💚 Quality of life Very high
☺️ Safety Index High
👨 Healthcare likability High
☁️ Climate likability Very high
💰 Costs of living Very high
😷 Level of pollution Low

Important numbers ☎️

Fire 118
Police 117
Ambulance 144
Swiss Rescue 1414

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