A Short Guide to Switzerland

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I have taken two trips to Switzerland to experience the allure and majesty of the Swiss Alps. The trips included different locations and experiences. Both visits took place in late fall/early winter, and the weather could not have been better. If you’re looking for a few places to visit in Switzerland, you’ve come to the right spot!

Basel

We briefly stopped in Basel while en route to Thun. When we visited in early November, there was a festival happening in the city center. I believe it was an art festival, which had a Ferris wheel inside and many other attractions. This city was just a pitstop for us, but it allowed for a McDonald’s break and a place to stock up on some wine for the evening!

Thun

When I took my first trip to Switzerland, I stayed in an Airbnb in Thun. The home we stayed in was waterfront, with an adorable lake nearby. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great, so we could barely see the Alps looming in the background.

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Swiss Alps creepin’ out from the clouds

One of the sights we were able to see was Oberhofen Castle. It is a lakeside castle and museum. We did not tour it on our trip, but if you’d like more information, click here. It is closed during the winter months and reopens mid-Spring for tours! No one is stopping you from taking pictures like these, however!

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The Lake was a beautiful teal color which was visible even on a cloudy day. Plus, the Schloss sits on the Lake, allowing for a perfect shot of the lake, the old castle, and the Alps.

Bern(e)

Bern, the capital city of Switzerland, is probably best known for being one of the cities where Albert Einstein lived, as well as where he eventually developed the Theory of Relativity. The Astronomical Clock (Zytglogge) is an incredible sight to see. I’m not surprised that Einstein felt inspired while looking at it. I love seeing these clocks; the intricate detail and mathematical intelligence throughout them are enormous.

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Zytglogge in Bern
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The Cathedral of Bern

The city, located along the Aare River, has many other architectural sights to see. The city dates back to the 12th century so much of the architecture has Medieval roots, particularly in Old Town (Altstadt). Some other points of interest in Bern are Einsteinhaus (Einstein’s home), the Cathedral of Bern, Parliament, and Zentrum Paul Klee (Paul Klee’s art museum) to name a few.

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Lookout of Bern’s Aare River

Interlaken

If you are traveling to Bern, you might want to take a visit to Interlaken. This resort town offers a traditional look at a Swiss mountain town. The old buildings shadowed by the Swiss Alps offer a truly resort-like feeling. There are many adventures to choose from. During our visit, people were paragliding right above us! They looked like they were having a great time, and I can only imagine the incredible views they were witnesses to.

Aren’t interested in swimming in the Lake or soaring the skies? No worries! There are many options for one to explore on the Interlaken economy. Shops are spread all around the main street, providing many goods to take home with you. The shops range from souvenirs to pharmacies/convenience stores, to high-end shopping experiences. The best place to see is Hohenweg, the main street in Interlaken, which houses many of the best shops, restaurants, and views.

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Traditional buildings in Interlaken

We had our dinner at Bebbi’s, a fondue restaurant. The decor was traditional yet fun. The employees were fun also and made the atmosphere even more enjoyable. Their menu did not only feature fondue. I enjoyed a traditional dish of Raclette, a cheese dish served with potatoes, onions, and pickles. My family dove into dishes of fondue, wurst, and pints of beer. None of us were disappointed! I wouldn’t say “no” to visiting again.

Zürich

Zürich is known as one of the leading financial hubs of the world. There are many places of interest in the city. The Limmat River runs through it, and one can walk along the water. There are several bridges available for crossing from side to side. One of the most beautiful buildings I saw was the Opera House. When I visited, Christmas market huts were being assembled, as it was mid-November. Another place to see is the Rathaus (Townhall), which dates back to the 17th century.

This building’s architecture, as well as its location on the River, was what caught my attention. There are Rathauses in every town, but none are usually as elaborate as that in Zürich. The city was very accessible for walkers, which is how we explored the city, as well as bikers and drivers alike. You can really choose any form of transportation to get around the city. If you decide to drive, be sure to look for a parking garage.

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Colorful street in Zürich

Bahnhofstrasse is one of the main roads in the city. It is lined with many high-end shops to check out if your wallet allows. The garage we parked in was close to this street, and it reminded me of 5th Avenue in New York City. If you like something serene and less capitalistic, there are plenty of sitting areas located along the river. Pack a sandwich or order take-out from a local restaurant and enjoy it while overlooking the Limmat River and Lake Zürich.

Daschen

Daschen is the location of the Rheinfall (Rhine Falls), the largest waterfall in not only Switzerland but all of Europe. The Falls are named after the High Rhine, part of the Rhine River. The Falls are situated on the border between Germany and Switzerland. Germany can be seen from the Falls.

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The Falls are absolutely breathtaking. On a sunny day, like we had during our visit, the falls reflect beautifully, and if you’re lucky, a rainbow will appear in the waterfall mist. Accessibility to the Falls is not an issue. There are steps one may climb to get to various levels of the Falls, but if you are unable to climb, an elevator is available. There is a cave to sit in on the way down, as well as a photo op area with a sign of Rhinefall.

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The Hubs modeling the “Grand Tour” sign

There is a large parking lot on the premises, with plenty of spaces for both cars and buses. There are restaurants and gift shops on site for your enjoyment. Schloss (Castle) Wörth is also located on the premises. It is a sight to see as its construction began in the 11th century and was completed in the 14th century. It is over 400 years older than the United States!

 

 

 

As I visit more places in Switzerland, you can bet that I will adding to my country guide. Switzerland is not a country to miss; one filled with beauty, history, and excitement. Have you ever been there? What was your favorite part?

 

Until my next adventure,

Robyn ♥

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