Mountains and waterfalls and city views – oh my!
A few years ago I got to dip my feet into Lake Thun in Thun, Switzerland, on which my great, great grandfather was a ferry boat operator. I’ve slowly dabbled in learning more about my ancestry and recently got my ancestry.com DNA test back. The results? Some of it was expected, but some of it was a huge surprise. All of it sparked my wanderlust and I now have several new destinations on my list.
After planning my trip to Switzerland a couple years ago, my dad informed me that my great, great grandfather had been a ferry boat operator on Lake Thun.
Geneva has an airport that’s relatively cheap and easy to fly in and out of. However, it’s also on the Golden Pass panoramic train route. The panoramic trains feel like a destination in and of themselves, offering gigantic windows that extend into the ceiling of the train and stunning views. I highly recommend planning your trip to include this mini-adventure.
I’m going to make a bold claim: Lucern (or Lucerne, or Luzern) is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. I have a co-worker who told me before my trip, “I went to Germany and it was beautiful, but Switzerland is majestic.” Nowhere did I find this more true than in Lucern. It is definitely a straight out of a storybook, literally breathtaking kind of place. Even better, several of the best sights are free!
Basel is in Northern Switzerland, situated near the borders of France and Germany. It’s known for its culture, museums, and annual carnival. Even though it’s the third largest city in Switzerland, I found it to be quaint and with a nice leisurely pace.
For those traveling to Switzerland, Zurich is one of the easier and most affordable locations to fly in and out of. My fellow traveler, Alicia, and I spent three nights in Zurich, making it one of the longer legs of our Switzerland trip. Here were some of the highlights!
Interlaken and its nearby towns may very well be my favorite area that I’ve traveled to thus far. If you have an outdoorsy bone in your body, a few days there will go by very quickly. Here are the highlights of what I managed to do in three remarkable days around Interlaken.
Switzerland’s capital city of Bern is known for its historic downtown and arcades of shops. While it’s not the most bustling town (think more strolling), I could spend an entire day wandering around looking for all 11 medieval fountains, scoping out the clock tower on the hour, and walking along the Aare River.
Switzerland is known for being a particularly expensive travel destination. I met many people making a stop in Switzerland for a few days as they traveled throughout Europe, who would complain about the high costs of food and attractions. This is understandable, as you can easily drop CHF 35 on a casual dinner or CHF 15-20 on a mojito (yes, I actually saw this happening). However, with a combination of the Swiss Travel Pass, shopping for groceries rather than going out to eat, and staying at hostels, suddenly this beautiful and jaw-dropping destination actually feels do-able.