There are so many great things to do while on a vacation to Switzerland that you may find a week-long stay in the country not long enough!
If we had to suggest four things you shouldn't miss doing in Switzerland they would be as follows:
1. Shop ‘til you drop
Okay, may be not quite literary! Still, shopping is no doubt, one of the best things you can do in Switzerland especially at Christmas time. Regardless of your budget if you enjoy the mall shopping experience, you’ll find many great department stores in Switzerland such as “Centre Balexert” in Geneva, “Jelmoli” in Zurich, and “Manor" in Basel selling top designer brands such as Rolex, Omega, Hugo Boss and Sergio Rossi.
However, most of the shopping fun is in the outdoor markets and shopping areas of Switzerland such as Rue du Mont-Blanc and Plaine de Plainpalais in Geneva, which offer a nice opportunity to mingle with the locals and a chance for picking up souvenirs like Swiss knives, local arts and crafts, etc.
By the way, if you’re looking to spend more than $350 (300 Swiss Francs) at the department stores you’ll be able to claim the sale-tax back. All you have to do is ask for a “Global Blue Tax-free” cheque at the point of sale. Then, fill it out and get the Swiss custom officials at the airport to stamp it off when leaving home.
2. Hit the Alps
Exploring the Swiss Alps is without a doubt, one of Switzerland’s top tourist attractions and one of the best tourist things to do in Switzerland all year-round.
Whether you visit in the summer or winter, you’ll be able to explore the Swiss Alps on skiing and hiking trips when heading to ski resorts such as Davos and St. Moritz. Both of these ski resorts offer great skiing and hiking opportunities for all levels, particularly Davos ski resort, which is the oldest ski resort in Switzerland offering 2000 meter-verticals.
3. Tour Lake Geneva
Taking a boat trip along Lake Geneva is easily one of the most popular things to do during the summer in Switzerland. Lake Geneva is not only a stunning place to enjoy a relaxing a day out in the water but it's also a fantastic place to soak in amazing scenic views of the Alps.
You can charter your own boat, hop on a ferry, or book scenic tours with tour companies such as “Lake Geneva Cruise Line”, which offers daily tours and sunset cruises between the months of April and October.
Saying this, Mouettes passenger ferry boats are the cheapest way to explore Lake Geneva, though Lake Geneva cruise and boat tour companies do offer the opportunity for on-shore excursions to places such as Chateau (castle) de Chillon where you’ll be able to enjoy a tour of this magnificent castle.
3. Ride a chairlift
Riding a chairlift in the Swiss Alps is one of the coolest tourist things to do in Switzerland with kids even, if you aren’t traveling to Switzerland for a skiing or hiking vacation. A ride on a chairlift to one of the summits of the Swiss Alps is such an exhilarating experience and the views you get along the way are simply priceless.
4. Hop on a train
Taking a scenic train ride in Switzerland is a must when visiting the country since trains offer a fantastic opportunity to take in Switzerland’s pristine mountain scenery from the comfort of a seat.
For a luxury train ride experience, the Glacier Express (GE) is probably one of the most popular railways in Switzerland. The Glacier Express route goes directly between Zermatt and St. Moritz, and you get to travel in luxurious and comfortable cabins.
However, local trains do the exact same route as the Glacier Express and offer other incentives such as being more affordable, an opportunity to mingle with locals (rather than tourists), and the chance to hop-on and hop-off during your journey. The only drawback to local trains perhaps is that you have to do several changes on the way, which can be a bit of an inconvenience.
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