Vacationing in Switzerland

y2jake215y2jake215 certified Flat Birther theoristthe Last Good Boy onlineRegistered User regular
edited October 2014 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey everyone. I'm currently planning on taking a trip to Switzerland by myself. I've never gone on a trip by myself, let alone to another continent, but I'm really looking forward to it.

A lot is still variable at this time-

The length: 1-2 weeks
The timing: Somewhere between late Feb and probably June or July
The sleeping situation: I may be able to crash with a friend for some amount of nights, this will probably affect the length of the vacation

So what I'm wondering is, what are some great and can't-miss things to do in Switzerland? What's overrated? What's a cool path to follow? I'm trying to figure one out, but there are things I want to see all over the place.

And more generally, any advice on traveling alone. What things to avoid to keep myself safe? How to get through Switzerland alone without speaking hardly any German, French, or Italian? How to meet people/fellow travelers/etc. How to plan successfully. Basically any tips or experiences you guys might have.

Thanks!

edit: in terms of things I want to do, I'm up for anything. Various things I want to do: Take tour of CERN; visit the Einstein Haus; go to the Museé Olympique; go to the Zentum Paul Klee, Barenpark, see the Zytglogge and Kindliferesserbrunnen; see the Matterhorn; take the Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz or vice versa; take in a Swiss league soccer game; see the Lion monument in Lucerne; check out Mt. Pilatus or Mt Titlis; take a hike or two, maybe in the Swiss National Park; go to clubs like K-36 in Geneva etc

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maybe i'm streaming terrible dj right now if i am its here
y2jake215 on

Posts

  • SpongeCakeSpongeCake Registered User regular
    I did Switzerland last year and it was totally lovely. It's probably one of the safest countries in Europe, so honestly just don't do anything stupid and you'll be fine. The vast majority of people in service professions (resturaunts, hotels etc.) all speak good English, or certainly enough to get by, particularly the younger folks, so that's no concern at all.

    If you want to see the Matterhorn and are going in summer/spring then stay over a day in Zermatt (which is a great place), grab a hiking guide and take the Trockener Steg hike. It's an amazing hike with fantastic views of the Matterhorn (and some great photo shots) and the landscape is totally alien, it felt like walking on the moon to me. Also, if you hike up as high as you can (go uphill once you get off the cable-car, following the signs) you'll get an utterly unreal view of the nearby glacier. One of the best hikes I've ever done.

    I'd also check out Lauterbrunnen if you get the time as it's probably the prettiest place I've ever been with an amazing route up from the village into Mürren. Best views in the country in my opinion (and great sausages).

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited October 2014
    a majority of businesses will have english speaking employees, at least in the north and central areas of the country.

    you do kind of need to know a little german to get through the train system. the ticket terminals have an english mode but the ticket still prints in german, I don't think i would have been able to figure it out without someone to help me. but you would be surprised at how much you can noodle out yourself with just basic familiarity. context clues and such.

    I highly enjoyed just walking around Zurich. I hear the train ride from Zurich to Geneva has great scenery.

    Jasconius on
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    My main travel tip: pack less stuff, bring more money.
    Bring one check in suitcase, one day pack for carry on, that's it.
    The day pack should be the exact one you plan to use whilst touring a city on foot.
    That is, you'd never walk around a city with a big hiking backpack - think college backpack or messenger bag.
    Anything more is too cumbersome for one person.

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  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    you do need a lot of money in switzerland FYI. if you plan on eating out, budget $30 per meal. probably $40 or $50 if you plan on drinking

  • Ash of YewAsh of Yew Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    SpongeCake wrote: »
    I'd also check out Lauterbrunnen if you get the time as it's probably the prettiest place I've ever been with an amazing route up from the village into Mürren. Best views in the country in my opinion (and great sausages).

    I've never been to Switzerland and have no actual advice, but Lauterbrunnen has always been a place I would love to go because just look at this:
    Lauterbrunnen_-_Staubbachfall.jpg

    I know Switzerland has a lot of amazing places but it would seem a shame to go to Switzerland and not make it there. It was supposedly Tolkien's inspiration for Rivendell as well.

    Ash of Yew on
    SiskaJaysonFour
  • MorranMorran Registered User regular
    If you are into wierd sf art and great cheese you could visit the giger museum in gruyere http://www.hrgigermuseum.com/index2.php

  • y2jake215y2jake215 certified Flat Birther theorist the Last Good Boy onlineRegistered User regular
    great suggestions so far - i definitely need to make it to lauterbrunnen and the giger museum sounds amazing.

    a separate question: is there a good website and/or app for planning an itinerary? i just want to try to put together a hypothetical trip and see how it looks, see if the planes/trains and stuff make sense, etc

    i found a couple but they both seem to depend heavily on ACTUAL hotel and plane reservations to get the trip planned

    C8Ft8GE.jpg
    maybe i'm streaming terrible dj right now if i am its here
  • MorranMorran Registered User regular
    If you plan to go by train, this should get you started:
    http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html

    Train is probably your best option for domestic travel, unless you want to rent a car. If so, google maps is your friend. I think that google map is pretty up to date on both trains and car, so you can potentially use it instead of the SBB page above.

  • BloodycowBloodycow Registered User regular
    My wife and I drove down to Switzerland this time in 2012. It was gorgeous there. I can only assume it will be just as beautiful in the spring and summer months. We spent a week at Interlaken, it was amazing there. Two huge pristine glacial lakes on either side of the town. My wife and I did hang gliding one day and we also did an electric mountain bike tour up into the mountains. I will post some pictures of that when I get home, but the company is ran by a German lady with an American husband, she speaks perfect english. If you have a day to spend I cannot recommend doing that enough.
    http://www.flyingwheels.ch/
    That's the bike tour's website. They have great reviews on yelp too.

    " I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.”
    ― John Quincy Adams
  • y2jake215y2jake215 certified Flat Birther theorist the Last Good Boy onlineRegistered User regular
    quick update: i'm set for Feb 20th-Mar 1st. going to fly into Zurich and i'll be spending a lot of time in Basel (the Basel Fasnacht is Feb. 23-25). anyone ever been there for the Fasnacht?

    C8Ft8GE.jpg
    maybe i'm streaming terrible dj right now if i am its here
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