Switzerland

No other country does the great outdoors quite like Switzerland. Whether you're walking through scenic alpine meadows, scaling tough mountain passes, taking on the ski slopes or kayaking on crystalline lakes, Switzerland offers stunning scenery, panoramic views and the chance to commune with nature in one of its purest forms. With rich chocolate and fine cheese waiting as reward, Switzerland is the place for the active and the indulgent.

Switzerland Tours & Travel

All our Switzerland trips

italy florence michelangelo david art sculpture museum

Rome to Marrakech

50 days from
USD $9,495.00
CAD $9,625.00
AUD $9,995.00
EUR €6,955.00
GBP £5,980.00
NZD $11,850.00
ZAR R90,975.00
CHF FR8,570.00

Travel from Rome to Marrakech on this comprehensive tour of Europe. Visit some of the world's most famous sights,...

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switzerland_alps_valley

Rome to Paris

21 days from
USD $4,995.00
CAD $5,065.00
AUD $4,690.00
EUR €3,660.00
GBP £3,150.00
NZD $5,560.00
ZAR R47,880.00
CHF FR4,510.00

Take an epic tour through the heart of Italy, Switzerland and France. Visit ancient attractions in Rome, the Cinque...

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Walkers, Lac Blanc

Walking in the French & Swiss Alps

8 days from
USD $2,465.00
CAD $2,495.00
AUD $2,595.00
EUR €1,795.00
GBP £1,555.00
NZD $3,075.00
ZAR R23,620.00
CHF FR2,225.00

Walk the French and Swiss Alps on a hiking tour. See chateaux, glaciers and the mighty Matterhorn mountain on this...

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Italian lakes, Italy

Italian Lakes Discovery

8 days from
USD $2,775.00
CAD $2,820.00
AUD $2,930.00
EUR €1,980.00
GBP £1,745.00
NZD $3,470.00
ZAR R26,675.00
CHF FR2,440.00

A superb sojourn that winds through the splendid lakes of Italy’s lake district and St Moritz’s spectacular mountain...

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Articles on Switzerland

Monte the mountain dog

Monte the mountain dog

Posted on Wed, 12 Dec 2007 by Sue Elliot

Intrepid’s Kate McLean is a massive animal lover. She travelled to Uganda to see the gorillas, trekked in Thailand to reach an elephant camp and even searched Spain to spot [...]

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About Switzerland

At a glance

Trips Available: 4
Capital city: Bern (population 130,000)
Population: 7.6 million
Language: German, French, Italian, Romansh
Currency: CHF
Time zone: (GMT+01:00) Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin) Type J (Swiss 3-pin)
Dialing code: +41

Best time to visit Switzerland

May, June, September and October are wonderful months for seeing Switzerland, as the weather is typically mild, the mountain passes are still open and the country is less crowded than in the peak holiday months of July and August. It tends to rain more in the months of March, April, October and November, and with snow fall usually present from December, this is the perfect time for skiers and snowboarders.

Bern weather chart

Geography and environment

Colourful Waterfront buildings of Lucerne
Landlocked Switzerland shares borders with Austria, Germany, Italy, France and Liechtenstein. A highly mountainous country, Switzerland's best known ranges are the Alps in the south, with the mighty Matterhorn and iconic Eiger being the most well-known peaks. Home to an abundance of rolling hills, lakes, glaciers, rivers, meadows and fields, Switzerland's landscapes are incredibly picturesque, particularly in spring and summer when the wildflowers are in bloom.

Top Picks

Traditional Swedish Fondue

Top 5 Culinary Classics of Switzerland

1. Fondue

While not enjoying the same worldwide popularity that it did in the 1960s and 70s, this Swiss classic is still alive and well in Switzerland. Although not to everyone's taste, travellers should experience sitting around a communal pot of rich, melted cheese at least once.

2. Rosti

Who knew that a plate of grated, fried potato could taste so good? Considered to be Switzerland's national dish, Rosti was once relegated to the breakfast plate but is now served as an accompaniment to dinners too.

3. Bircher Muesli

This Swiss-German classic has taken off worldwide as a breakfast food, although it was originally created for hospital patients by a Swiss physician. Commonly eaten in the evening in southern Switzerland, it's a nutritious mix of oats, fruits and seeds.

4. Zopf

This brioche-like, plaited bread is a traditional Sunday morning treat in Switzerland. Dating back to the 15th century, this delicious bread can be found in bakeries all over Switzerland, especially on Sundays.

5. Cheese

Making hundreds of varieties of cheese, Switzerland is one of the best places in the world to indulge in a dose of calcium. Whether it's a chunk of hard Gruyere, a slice of Emmental or a bit of fruity Appenzeller, Switzerland has enough cheese shops to satisfy everyone.

FAQs on Switzerland

When dining out, service charges and taxes are usually included in the bill. Rounding up the bill or adding 5-10% is customary, although optional.
Internet access is very good in Switzerland, with cyber cafes and Wi-Fi hotspots easily found in most cities and major towns.
Mobile phone coverage is generally very good in most cities of Switzerland. Mountainous regions may have patchy coverage however. Ensure global roaming is activated before you arrive.
Modern, flushable toilets are the standard in Switzerland.
Cup of coffee in a cafe = 3-4 Fr
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 5-7 Fr
Simple lunch in a cafe = 10-15 Fr
Dinner at a restaurant = 30-50 Fr
Tap water is considered safe to drink unless otherwise marked.
Major credit cards are widely accepted by stores and hotels in Switzerland. Smaller cafes and shops may not accept credit cards, so ensure you carry enough cash to cover small purchases.
ATMs are very common in Switzerland so finding one won't be a problem in most towns and cities.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Jan 2 Berchtold's Day
Mar 29 Good Friday
Apr 1 Easter Monday
May 9 Ascension Day
May 20 Whit Monday
Aug 1 National Day
Dec 24 Christmas Eve
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/switzerland/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Switzerland Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Switzerland

1. Be considerate of Switzerland’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
The White SpiderHeinrich Harrer
Swiss Watching: Inside Europe's Landlocked IslandDiccon Bewes
Belle du SeigneurAlbert Cohen
The Swiss and the NazisStephen Halbrook
The Magic MountainThomas Mann