As most of you may already know, Paulo and I went to Switzerland not long ago. In addition to the research we did before embarking, we learned several tips about the country and the cities we visited during our tour. We were delighted with each of the places we visited. It is the type of travel that can be done at any time of the year!
Some of the things that surprised us most were the impeccable cleanliness of the city and the punctuality of public transport. It’s amazing to see how well everything works there. We couldn’t expect less from one of the richest countries in the world, right? Therefore, I will share here all our indications and also some essential information for your trip to be as perfect as ours was.
The visa is always one of the main concerns of people when planning trips. However, Brazilians do not need a visa for Switzerland. This rule is only valid if you are going to spend up to 90 days in the country. If your trip lasts longer than this, it is important that you take a look at the types of visas available, such as work and student visas.
Travel insurance is also super important for international travel, and in Switzerland it is mandatory. The coverage must have a minimum value of € 30,000, guaranteeing a good treatment in case of unforeseen circumstances. Ah, also don’t forget to take your passport ?
As I already told you at the beginning of the post, public transport in Switzerland is surreal. Punctuality and comfort were two of the things that surprised me the most. The three forms of transport there are trains, buses and trams, a kind of modernized electric cable car. Depending on the place, you can choose which transport to take.
The trains are perfect for those who want to visit several cities in the country, just like Paulo and I did. If you plan to tour a lot, don’t think twice before buying the Swiss Travel Pass. It is valid for all transport and guarantees a discount at some attractions, such as Mount Rigi.
Few people know that Switzerland has 4 official languages. Within the country the main language spoken is German, but a large part of the residents also speak French and Italian. The last language, called Romansh, is spoken by few people because it is an older and different language.
Even if you only speak English, they will understand you or do as much as they can to help you. Ultimately, you can communicate through mimes when the situation is very complicated. In addition, some restaurants only have a menu in German, making it a bit difficult when choosing a dish. So always have Google translator on your phone – it helps a lot in those moments!
Zurich was the first city we visited. One of the things I loved most about the place was the restaurants. Everyone had delicious foods, including vegetarians. I mainly recommend the Hiltl Restaurant, a kind of vegetarian self service, and also Lles Halles, super charming and cozy.
We took a tour of the city, getting to know some of the main points, such as Cabaret Voltaire street, Münsterplatz square and St. Peter’s Church. The streets are cute and even look like movie sets, because they are super clean and well maintained.
I found Geneva looking very Parisian, you know? We were in an area very close to the border with France, so this French style is not just a coincidence. Unlike Zurich, Geneva is more colorful and flowery. Parque dos Bastiões, for example, was one of the places I liked the most. It is full of trees and great for those who want to take good pictures!
We took advantage of the fact that we were in the region and took a cable car that took us to Salève, a wonderful mountain with a beautiful view of the city. For those who want to buy good Swiss chocolate, Auer Chocolatier is one of the best stores there. We also stopped by MAMCO, the city’s modern art museum. It is located in Quartier Des Bains, a trendy and trendy area in the city.
The third city in our itinerary was Gruyères, a place with a more medieval and ancient style. The region is completely walled, as these walls were built to keep the region well protected. We went to Mürith’s Chalet, on the Moléson mountain, to see how Swiss cheese is produced. It was super interesting to understand all the production processes and how animals are treated. If you are interested in this style of tour, I highly recommend this part of the city.
Another thing we discovered was Restaurant des Remparts, where we had a super different drink. It is called Rivella and is made with the mixture of whey, sugar and herbs. Ah, the HR Giger Museum, also known as “Museum of the Alien”, is quite different from the museums we are used to going to, so it deserves a visit.
Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen
Those who love nature and smaller cities must visit the Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen. Both are incredible and have stunning landscapes. In the case of Lauterbrunnen, we took a cable car through Trummelbach Falls, a wonderful waterfall and with a strength I had never seen in my life.
The cable car takes you to several other cities on the mountain, so it is important to choose your stops when making the itinerary. Ah, if you want to go to the top, be sure to go warm. The higher the point you are, the colder it gets!
Jungfraujoch was one of the most fun parts of our trip. We reached it from the highest train station in Europe. They are more than 3400 meters of altitude, can you imagine? The train ticket is a little cheaper if you have the Swiss Pass, around 146 francs (2017 price). It’s a little expensive, but I promise you it’s worth it.
Because of the pressure, the ear hurts a little when you reach the top, but nothing that is unbearable. One of the best times for you to get there is 12:00, because it is still sunny and the snow is more fluffy. We arrived a little later and the weather was a little cloudy, but we still managed to enjoy the tour a lot.
Are you curious to know more about Switzerland? If you want to know other details of these places, just watch vlogs that are already on the channel ?