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Switzerland is no stranger to the rest of the world - this beautiful landlocked country in central Europe is renowned for their amazing Swiss chocolate and cheeses, mechanical efficiency and cuckoo clocks. Bordered by Germany, France, Italy and Austria, Switzerland is a land of diverse peoples and tongues - there are a grand total of 4 national languages (German, French, Italian and Romansh) and Swiss citizens come from all over Europe (though they are mostly German, French and Italian). Known also as Confoederatio Helvetica, Switzerland is a country with bountiful natural treasures: it houses some of the most amazing and intimidating mountains and mountain ranges in the world, including about 20% of the Alps, the Jura and famous peaks like the Matterhorn and Jungfrau. The country also boasts numerous huge and scenic water bodies, from the massive Lake Geneva to the long River Reuss.

For adventure and thrill seekers, there is no lack of excitement in Switzerland. Many of the country’s mountain ranges are developed for tourism, with facilities in place for hiking, skiing, biking, snowboarding, and many more. Trains and cable cars also provide the non-adventurous with comfortable means of enjoying the great scenery.

Getting around

Getting to and around Switzerland is a piece of cake, thanks to the Swiss and their unbelievably efficient transport systems.

To get into Switzerland, one can go through major international airports in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Lugano or Berne, or take a train from neighbouring European countries. Some major train routes include a high-speed France-Switzerland line, as well as German-Switzerland and Italy-Switzerland lines. Otherwise, a vast network of highways also connects Switzerland to the rest of Europe, making driving into the country a breeze.

Once in Switzerland, transportation is even easier. Extremely efficient networks of buses, trains and boats blanket the whole country, and multiple types of tickets are available for tourists’ease of use. From half-fare cards to multi-day and multi-use tickets, you’d be able to find an affordable option on public transport no matter how long your stay.

What to see and do

If you’re in Switzerland don’t forget to pay a visit to Zürich, one of the largest cities in the country and the capital of the canton Zürich. The city boasts more than 50 museums and 100 galleries, and also is considered to have the liveliest nightlife in Switzerland with countless bars, restaurants and clubs –it is also the host of Europe’s largest annual street party, the Street Parade (one of the largest techno parties in the world). Zürich is also blessed with natural scenic beauty due to its geographic location. Sitting next to some woody hills and a clear, blue lake which feeds a clear, blue river, expect some gorgeous scenery as well as pensive moments staring into the watery horizon, reflecting on life.

Another must-see in Switzerland is Geneva, centre of the world’s many international organisations - it is perhaps best known for housing the headquarters of the Red Cross, and many agencies of the United Nations (UN). It is also one of the world’s most important financial centres, and sometimes referred to as the ‘Peace Capital’. Drop by the city’s iconic landmark: the Jet d’Eau, one of the largest fountains in the world that shoots dozens of litres of water up to 140 metres into the sky.

After that, mosey over to spellbinding Interlaken, a gorgeous town and sports capital of Switzerland. Located between 2 lakes (Lake Thun and Lake Brienz) and a river (Aare River) there’s no place in the world quite like Interlaken. It is also the main gateway to the Swiss Alps, and daredevils would find all their wildest dreams possible in this town: from bungee jumping to white-water rafting, hang gliding to skydiving, there’s no end to what you can do in Interlaken. 

Images by Flickr\Kecko

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