What Not to Do in Switzerland

February 15, 2013 by

Local Recommendations, Things To Do, Travel Tips

Summer in Engelberg village, Switzerland.

With world class skiing and some of Europe’s highest observation decks and landscapes that were made to photograph, there are plenty of things you should do in Switzerland, but now you’ve filled up your itinerary, here’s what not to do in Switzerland.

1. Don’t leave more than footprints

Switzerland is renowned as one of the world’s cleanest countries, often topping the list for eco-friendly travel destinations, so take care to keep the country’s green credentials in order. Use the public tram systems to get around the cities, travel long distances by rail and enjoy the great outdoors without polluting the environment – hiking, skiing, cycling and swimming are all popular fuel-free activities. Don’t bother wasting money on bottled water, either – Swiss tap water is said to be a pure as bottled mineral water.

2. Don’t only visit in the winter

Switzerland might be renowned for its frosty landscapes and world-class ski resorts, but the views are even more spectacular when the sun is shining. Head to the adventure sport hub of Interlaken to try your hand at hand-gliding, bungee jumping or windsurfing; explore the idyllic vineyards and lakeside villages around the vast Lake Geneva; or hike through the Swiss Alps for some of the most incredible alpine views.

3. Don’t expect a bargain

Switzerland might be one of Europe’s greenest destinations, but it’s unfortunately not the cheapest, so save your money before embarking on a trip. Despite some pricey (albeit excellent quality) hotels, restaurants and shops, there are still some ways to save money, though – book accommodation and tours in advance for the best deals, purchase discounted family or student tickets for tourist attractions, and look out for the free public transport cards which many city hotels offer to visitors.

4. Don’t eat too much chocolate

Switzerland might be most celebrated for its rich and creamy chocolate, but there’s plenty of other local cuisine to gorge on. Cheese is the country’s other famous export and there are dozens of cheese farms and factories where you can sample varieties like Gruyère, Emmental and Raclette, or get a melting pot of cheese fondue – one of the nation’s most well-known dishes. German sausages, rösti (hash-brown like potatoes) and gugelhupf (cream-filled cakes) are all popular additions to the traveler menu, washed down with some Swiss wine – much of which is produced in the Lavaux region. If you must indulge, get your chocolate fix with a tour of one of the Swiss chocolate factories, where you’ll get to see the world-famous chocolatiers in action too.

- Zoe Smith

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