Considering a trip to Switzerland? Good, you should go! It’s a gorgeous country with a lot of wonderful things to explore. But before you do, here are eight of my tips/hints/tricks to help you enjoy your time there. I mean – this…
1 – Drinking Water
Most cities in Switzerland have fountains that you can freely and safely drink from. Bring a water bottle or be sure to save the first bottle you buy so you can refill it throughout your day! Check out this collapsible bottle from Vapur, available in .7L and 1L.
2 – Die Toiletten
Don’t worry about peeing! Since you’ll be staying so hydrated you’ll need to pee a lot, and Switzerland has many free, clean public toilets so don’t worry about having to find one, you’ll likely come across one sooner than later on your wanderings in the city.
3 – SBB Trains, Trams, Busses & Boats
The unified travel network of trains, buses, trams, and boats in Switzerland means you can use one app to buy your tickets, plan your trips and set reminders. Thank you Swiss efficiency! Download the App and make sure you check out the Swiss Travel Pass for optimal easiness. SBB.CH
4 – Order & Timing
All those wonderful options for getting around work like clockwork, really. There’s a reason some of the greatest watchmakers on the planet are from Switzerland. If your train departs at 14:41, it departs at 14:41, don’t show up at 14:42 and expect it to be waiting for you, you’ll just see it slowly pulling away. Be punctual and you’ll be just fine.
5 – Function over Style
Switzerland is known for its incredible outdoors, with rolling mountains, lakes, and rivers to explore and thousands of kilometers of trails to hike, walk, ski, or snowshoe, you’ll be spoiled for options. Don’t be surprised to see people wearing practical footwear and clothing on a day to day basis. In most cities you’ll find a sense of practicality over style, this doesn’t mean people dress poorly, it just means they’re prepared.
6 – Eating is Expensive
Well, everything is expensive, and unless you hold a degree in the Economics of Magic, you’ll be left wondering why, so don’t bother. Just become familiar with the Coop and Migros locations in the place your visiting. Unlike North America ready-to-eat meals are easy to come by in Switzerland (and the rest of Europe). Simply go into a Coop or Migros and find your way to the ready-to-eat section. There you’ll find sandwiches, soups, whole chickens and anything else you want.
But don’t be afraid to get your own bread, cheese and met, this can be even more cost effective.
7 – Getting Connected with Salt
On my trip I used Salt. They offer a prepaid plan that you pay 10 CHF upfront which includes the SIM card and 20 CHF of credit (how that adds up I don’t know). But you pay 10 CHF upfront, then 2 CHF/day for unlimited 4G/LTE data. So the initial credit you get will last you 10 days, at which point you can simply create an online account to use a credit card to charge it again, go to any store and load it up, or go get a new SIM and 20 CHF of credit if you’re going to bee there long enough o take advantage of a whole 20 days of data.
8 – Don’t Bother Shopping
Unless you live in Switzerland and earn in CHF you’ll find it difficult to stomach the prices on just about everything. For the same reason food is expensive (???) so is everything else too. Want ot buy a pair of ON Running shoes? Try them on in the store and order them online, there’rs a good chance it’ll be a lot cheaper. Save your shopping for France or Germany. You have to spend 300 CHF in Switzerland to get your tax back, and even then you only get 15 CHF on that 300 back, check out my article on Tax-Free Shopping.