Switzerland vacations are different for every traveler, but are sure to be memorable for everyone who spends time in this charming scenic country. All types of travelers, including sweethearts on a whirlwind getaway to Switzerland, college grads spending the summer backpacking through Europe, and families on week-long holidays, will find something that suits their fancy.
Sometimes a vacation to Switzerland begins at one of the airports, while others begin at the rail station or the border of a surrounding country. American visitors and many other nationalities are required to have passports issued by their home countries, and visas are required for stays of three months or longer. No matter how you decide to travel on a getaway to Switzerland, it's quite easy to get around. The Swiss Travel System includes a network of trains, buses, boats, and mountain railways. Vacationers can purchase a pass that offers multiple days of travels, entry to more than 400 museums, and savings for mountain cable car rides, all for one low price. Special discounts are available for two or more adults traveling together, children can ride for free with their parents, and students qualify for a reduced fare.
Switzerland vacations offer variety—while it's a small country, the cultural influences are vast. Founded more than 700 years ago, the country is bordered by France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Liechtenstein. The scenery is also quite varied, from the Swiss Alps in the west, the hilly central region that extends from Lake Constance to Lake Geneva, and the Jura Mountains along the western border with France. You'll find cantons that speak French, German, and Italian in various parts of the country.
On a getaway to Switzerland, you could choose to visit French-speaking cities, others with a distinct German heritage, and cantons that share much in common with Northern Italy. In each of these areas, you'll find interesting cities and places to explore on your Switzerland vacations. The world-class city of Zurich is centrally located, a stone's throw from the Alps and the ski resorts. On the southern side of the Alps, Ticino feels like a Mediterranean city, complete with beaches, palm trees, and sunny days. The capital city of Bern along the River Aare has the feel of a medieval city, while Geneva has the same flair as cities in nearby France.
While you have the chance to explore the cities, a vacation to Switzerland also can take you off the beaten path. Charming country villages, small towns, and mountain top chalets, only accessible by cable car, are a wonderful way to step away from the hustle and bustle.
In the winter, many vacationers flock to the resorts in the mountains with the express purpose of skiing. The season for a ski vacation in Switzerland varies depending on the location. High in the Swiss Alps, the snow falls as early as October and can stretch well into spring. If you choose one of the ski resorts with powerful snow-making equipment, it will be possible to enjoy a ski vacation to Switzerland even after winter has become a chilly memory.
In the summer, there's a wide array of activities to enjoy in Switzerland's great outdoors and enjoy hiking, Nordic walking, and river cruises. Many of the ski resorts are still open in the summer, offering a wide array of things to do. No matter what season you arrive, you'll find a splendid backdrop to your Swiss holidays.