This land of Milka cows, banks, clocks, wooden chalets, mountains and lakes is a veritable paradise for out-door enthusiasts. Switzerland’s Alps have not only ensured its independence and neutrality ever since Wilhelm Tell shot an apple off his son’s head, but also provide a pleasing backdrop to its inhabitants. The Swiss are divided into four language groups, German, French, Italian and a pocket of Romansch.
Thanks to its long neutrality the country holds a large number of international institutes and research centres, many of which are focussed around hip Geneva. And thanks to its secretive banking laws it also holds a vast amount of cash from the worlds wealthy, including some less savoury figures. Times are a changing though and Swiss banking laws are not what they used to be, causing shivers down the spines of some of the clients holding accounts in this little mountain nation.
From the super-rich to the not so rich, there is something for everybody. See and be seen in chic Davos, sail on Lake Geneva, stroll around Luzern, climb the Matterhorn, ski the Alps, brush up your Italian in Lugano, hide your cash in one of Zurich’s many banks and do some shopping in Bern.
With four nationalities within its borders it has an equally diverse cuisine, from Italian pizza’s and pasta’s in Ticino, to fondue in Bern to schnitzel in Basel. A huge expat and immigrant population ensure a range of exotic options to choose from. While the hoi-polloi of celebrities and nouveaux-riche that live here part-time or full-time, demand high class restaurants, top-end hotels, and fashionable shopping districts.
So dust of your ski’s, and hop on down to Switzerland.
Highlights from Switzerland
- Visit Geneva (aka Genève, Genf, Ginevra , and Genevra )and the lake that bears its name
- Ski in the Swiss Alps, rubbing shoulders with Royalty in Zermatt and Davos (aka Tavau, Tavate), or with the commoners anywhere else
- Shop till you drop in Zürich (aka Zurich, Zurigo, and Turitg) and in the evening go to one of its many clubs
- Walk around Luzern (aka Lucerne, and Lucerna) and take a boat ride on its lake
- Go to the Monte Carlo of Switzerland, Lugano, in Swiss Italian Ticino for a slice of the Mediterranean in an Alpine décor
- Stroll through Bern’s (aka Berne, and Berna) old town before shopping in one of Europe’s longest covered shopping arcades
- Gape at celebrities on the Swiss Riviera around Lake Geneva, starting in Olympic Lausanne (aka Losanna), and taking in the Jazz festival in Montreux
- Hike or ski in the Jungfrau region or for the lazy take the scenic Jungfraubahn, one of Switzerland’s most scenic rail-trips
- Explore the region around Sankt Moritz (aka Saint-Moritz, San Maurizio, and San Murezzan) where the main language is Romansch, the city folk speak German and Italian is heard in the nearby valleys
- Experience fasnacht (carnival) in Basel (aka Basle, Bâle, and Basilea)
Hints and Tips for Switzerland
- Switzerland charges a toll to drive on its roads, you will need to buy a so called ‘autobahn vignette’ which you stick to your car window, they are available at all border crossings.
- The Swiss Franc is a very strong currency and ever since it was un-pegged from the Euro it has become stronger yet, as such the country has become more expensive than it already was.
- The Swiss are sticklers for rules, if you don’t keep to them you will be reported and fined.