Switzerland is high on everyone’s list of dream destinations. Home to the mighty Alps, it offers the most scenic and beautiful landscapes. However, the struggles to plan a trip are real. It can be stressful with all the information overload and you might end up renting a car right from the airport, like we did, just to simplify matters.
Here are some important things you should know if you’re planning a vacation to one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
#1 Buy a Prepaid SIM Card at the Airport itself
While you can easily use public Wi-Fi at major cafes and restaurants around the city, you may find yourself among nature craving to share the beauty around you on Instagram or just needing directions to get back to your hotel. Do buy a sim at the airport. Avoid Yallo! I found its internet patchy and lost all my call balance through some technical glitch.
#2 Buy a Universal Smartphone/Laptop Charger with Type J
The charging point is different from rest of the Europe. It’s called a Type J power charger. So, make sure you buy a multiple USB point charger from the airport to have enough juice in all your gadgets to let you gleefully click away your wanderlust.
#3 Carry a spare memory card for your smartphone or DSLR
You have been waiting all day for the clouds to clear and reveal the Matterhorn in all its glory. You switch on your camera only to notice that you exhausted all your storage. Carry a spare memory card for your gadgets, just in case.
For details on where to visit on a road trip in and around Zurich, you can check out our road trip blog/vlog on Switzerland.
#4 Switzerland is expensive
Everyone will tell you this. Even McDonald’s is not as inexpensive as you would imagine. It costs upwards € 20 per person for a basic dinner. Tip – Have lots of soups and bread. They are filling and reasonable.
#5 Public Transport is easy – Swiss Pass or Daily Pass
Swiss pass is ideal if you are planning on taking trains, and local transport like trams, buses etc. It works across Switzerland and also attracts discounts on many cable car services.
If you plan to stay in a city, it is advisable to get a daily or hourly ticket for using public transport. It will usually cost around €20 per person for a day.
#6 Be Prepared for evening shopping and dinner
Don’t expect a great nightlife in major Swiss cities. The shops close by 5 in the evening, and dinners are over by 9! You will be lucky to find drinks at a few pubs till midnight. Swiss are early to bed and early to rise. The cafes open around 7 am and most of them close by 5.30 pm. Plan your dinners accordingly.
#7 Weather is quite unpredictable, carry an umbrella
Yeah! The weather in Switzerland can change very quickly. Do not make the mistake of leaving your umbrellas behind on a sunny day. Dress in layers as it can get chilly at night.
#8 Avoid being loud or risk being frowned
We were having one of those quarrels that couples mostly have in the grocery store while picking up breakfast for the next day when the attendant politely asked us to keep our voice down. Don’t end up being embarrassed and keep your voice low at most places including restaurants.
#9 Keep Change for Parking Meters
Ah! The rudimentary Swiss parking meters. They need to be fed with coins and are hungry again after 2 hours. Carry enough change if you wish to park on the road. Avoid this altogether and park in of the garages.
So, I hope these tips will help you plan your perfect trip to Switzerland.
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We also visited Zermatt during our trip to Switzerland, its home to the Toblerone mountain, the Matterhorn peak. You can check out my Zermatt blog over here, which has many useful tips.
Till my next blog! Keep travelling and keep loving Eur0ping.