15 Reasons Why You Must Visit Switzerland

15 Reasons Why You Must Visit Switzerland

Chocolates, lakes, castles, scenic train rides and stunning views are just some of the reasons why you must visit Switzerland.

Switzerland may seem relatively small as compared to other European nations but that certainly does not mean that it has less to offer. Rather, it has set itself apart from the rest of Europe – its unparalleled landscapes, peaceful environments and cosmopolitan cities – and has succeeded in becoming a tourist mecca that is at the same time not over-commercialised.  And all this without forgoing the comforts of my home country Singapore; it is safe, clean, you can get around easily by public transport and there are no language barriers.

As for the question on everyone’s minds, yes it is mighty expensive but hey, you get what you pay for! And here, I’m spelling out 15 reasons to convince you to visit this beautiful European country.

1. Hear four different national languages

Image credit: Marco Zanoli

“What language do the Swiss speak?” is a question I often get from my Singapore friends. The answer: The Swiss speak different languages – either German, French, Italian or Romansh, depending on where they live.  At the same time, most of the people in the country’s major cities are fluent in English. Thus, not only is travelling made easier with no language barrier, you also get to hear its locals speak several languages and experience different cultures when you travel around the country. Now, how often do you get to do that?

2. Taste Swiss cuisine

Image credit: Хрюша

Each of these regions boasts its own specialities too – Saffron Risotto for the Italian-speaking, Raclette (hot cheese dribbled over potatoes) for the French-speaking region and Landjager (semi-dried sausages) for the German-speaking part. But a few dishes, such as rosti and cheese fondue are eaten across the country and are almost always included in restaurants catered to foreign visitors. Having eaten cheese fondue in Switzerland, I must say that the taste is not what one would usually expect of a cheese fondue and it is an “either-you-like-it-or-you-don’t” dish. Nevertheless, it is a must-try and one should taste it for themselves to know if it suits their taste buds!

3. Sample Swiss chocolates

Image credit: Michalis Fontinakis

Quality chocolates that instantly melt in the mouth are my kind of favourite chocolates, and they make perfect souvenirs as well. Choose from a wide variety of brands, each with a long-standing history of producing chocolates, such as Callier, Suchard and Chocolat Villars. Dedicated chocolate lovers can also make a trip to any of the 21 chocolate factories scattered around the country such as the 150-year-old Maestrani Chocolate Factory at St Gallen.

4. Feel safe at “home”

Contrary to a large part of Europe notorious for its hoard of snatch thieves, pickpockets and gypsies, Switzerland ranks 7th globally in terms of safety and security according to the Safe Cities Index 2015.  In fact, Singapore has often been likened to Switzerland, especially in terms of safety and cleanliness. You can walk along its spotless streets even at night without having to worry about getting mugged.

5. Marvel at the Matterhorn

Image credit:  Atibordee Kongprepan

Looks familiar to you? It is because this iconic landmark is featured in the brand logos of Toblerone and Paramount pictures! Located at the border between Switzerland and Italy and overlooking the town of Zermatt, this popular tourist sight is famous for its almost-perfect four-sided pyramidal peak. This year, a series of events and festivities will also be held at Zermatt to mark 150 years since the first ascent of the mountain.

6. Hop onto a scenic train ride

Image credit: Kleberly

Be entertained by Switzerland’s gorgeous sceneries during your long journeys by train. Travelling by rail is faster than travelling by coach, cheaper than flights and easy to use. Plus you get to sit back, relax and enjoy the view. In fact, it has been reported that tour packages which include specific scenic rail routes such as the Glacier Express and Bernina Express are gaining traction here in Singapore for its practicality.

7. Snap postcard-worthy pictures

Image credit: Albert Hasler

“Every picture I took in Switzerland looked like it’s from a postcard,” said every person I know who has visited the country, myself included. Be wowed by nature’s astonishing beauty, where lush green pastures, skies in stunning hues of blue and the magnificent alps come together to form a picture that truly represents the Instagram catchphrase #nofilterneeded.

Also read: 12 Views in Switzerland Too Stunning to be Real

8. Have an alternative farmstay experience

Image credit: chensiyuan

Experience something truly different and memorable by heading to the countryside. Agritourism has become, in recent years, increasingly popular and which better country to experience this at than Switzerland? You can even choose between sleeping in a hut, a campground or on straw.

9. Get active with a variety of sporting activities

Image credit: Chico Boomba

From sports on land, to those in the water and even some up in the air, Switzerland has it all. For those seeking a thrilling, new sport, try canyoning, a water sport that is steadily gaining fans in Europe and around the world. It involves travelling from the start to the end of a canyon using a host of methods such as walking, climbing, jumping, abseiling and swimming. The best places to experience canyoning in Switzerland’s crystalline waters include Interlaken and the canton of Ticino. Just remember to have a hearty breakfast, equip yourself with shoes that have a good grip (I am not joking) and if you have one, bring along a GoPro to capture those beautiful moments.

10. Soak in thermal waters of the best quality

Image credit: Jessica Garner

After all that walking and hiking, soothe your tense muscles and aching joints by visiting one of Switzerland’s many thermal baths. With a 2000-year history of tapping their thermal springs, you can be sure that you are in good hands of the Swiss, the experts in water-based wellness. Opt to have a restorative retreat in a luxurious indoor spa or better still, bathe outdoors among the Alps and indulge in a therapeutic experience for both mind and body.

11. Reward yourself with a luxury watch

Image credit: Kitchener Lord

Be prepared to be spoilt for choice when shopping for a luxury watch. Endless boutiques stocking watches from luxury brands such as Patek Philippe, Cartier and Rolex line the streets of Lucerne much to the delight of watch collectors and fanatics. The best part? These timeless timepieces are quality assured; they are after all “Swiss-made”.

12. Lakes and castles out of fairytales

Image credit: Ingmar Zahorsky

Arguably the most well-known castle of Switzerland, the Chillon Castle is a must-see for travellers, and it is not difficult to see why when you take in the glorious view of the 11th century castle against the backdrop of mountains. Not forgetting Switzerland’s limpid waters, take a trip to Valle Verzasca, a valley near the town of Locarno in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland and be blown away by its emerald-green waters. While you are there, take the chance to go for a dip or sunbathe on one of the many huge rocks scattered along the streams.

Also read: 15 Stunning Castles in Europe You Wish You Could Live In

13. Efficient public transport

Image credit: Flominator

With so many places to see and so many things to do, it is essential that you plan ahead and keep track of time. Luckily, Switzerland’s superb public transport system helps you with this; its buses, trams and trains are extremely punctual (something you don’t get very often in most parts of Europe) and its train stations are well-designed. Just take note that when the Swiss say that Sunday is a rest day, they really mean rest – some, if not most bus services will not be available!

14. Largest waterfall in Europe

Image credit: Kara Melissa Sharp

Be stunned by the Rhine Falls near the town of Schaffhausen in Northern Switzerland. The largest plain waterfall in Europe, it is easily accessible by car, bicycle and train. Take an exciting boat ride through the falls and also keep a lookout for special events such as the spectacular annual fireworks display held on 31 July.

15. Best excuse to visit the rest of Europe

Image credit: Dominik Gubi

Located in the heart of Europe, the landlocked country is bordered by four countries which are popular travel destinations as well: Germany, Italy, France and Austria. Consider taking a day trip to or include in your itinerary nearby cities such as Munich (4h train ride from Zurich), Milan (1h 40min train ride from Lugano), Lyon (2h drive from Lausanne) and Innsbruck (4h train ride from Lucerne).

Also read: Swiss Bucket List: Switzerland Destinations with Best Views

That’s it – time to head off for an adventure in Switzerland!

About Author

Krystal Chia
Krystal Chia

‘Eventful’ is the word that best describes almost all of Krystal’s many travels. While holidaying in China, she was struck with a bout of acute appendicitis and visited six hospitals in six different cities. Then she got her belongings stolen from the tour coach while in Europe. Most recently, during her Germany and Netherlands trip, her travelling companion abruptly decided to leave. But it was a blessing in disguise – she has learnt the joys and perks of travelling alone and is now looking forward to her next solo getaway.

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