“Swiss cities remind me of the kid at high school who’s great at sports, has perfect hair, the best girlfriend, and the teachers all love him. He’s just too perfect.”
Switzerland is a natural beauty. However, it is very expensive too! It has been rated one of the most expensive countries in the world. With a little planning, you can experience all the main sights this famous European destination has to offer without breaking the bank.
The best way to get there is to fly with budget airlines. However, you always have to remember one thing, the cheaper the flight the more expensive the city/country is likely to be. So if you want to do Switzerland on a budget, try to drive if you can. Hire a car from one of the neighbouring countries like Luxembourg or Germany or even Belgium instead of hiring a car in Switzerland which is again likely to add up to your expenses, plus the drive is very scenic and you can make quick photo stops wherever you want.
You could use the intercity trains as an option but most intercity trains are around 50 CHF. Another option is to use the Rail passes. There is no better way to travel around Switzerland than by train. Travel passes can be a budget-friendly way to avoid expensive intercity ticket prices. Remember, booking online is always cheaper than buying tickets at the kiosk and the more in advance you book, the better deals you are likely to find.
You could also use the ride-sharing website BlaBlaCar to avoid the trains and meet locals. This website lets you rideshare with people. However, be advised that many rides cancel, so the service requires some flexibility. But when it works, it is awesome. Or you may also want to enjoy free public transport in some of their most well-travelled cities including Bern, Basel, Geneva, Lucerne and Lausanne. It is worth noting that Bern, Geneva, Zurich and Neuchâtel offer free bikes too — another great way to save some money on transportation!
Airbnb is a great way to save money on accommodation in big cities as well as in the country. It also gives you the opportunity to meet locals and have a more authentic experience. Or try to find affordable hotels/ accommodations on Booking.com throughout Switzerland.
What to do in 3 days in Switzerland?
Rhine Falls: Europe’s Largest Plains waterfalls. A trip to the rock, a round trip in the river basin or a leisurely cruise to Rheinau are simple unforgettable experiences.
It took us about an hour drive from Zurich to Schaffhausen. The sight of the Falls is amazing! Although it is not very high, you can sense and feel the might of the Rhine River as it plunges 23 meters. You can also get very close to the Falls- there is a kind of walkway that almost touches the falling waters. The sound, the wind, the water, the sight of the roaring waters all add up to an amazing experience. There are boats that will take you close to the Falls along the Rhine River. We did the Kleine Rundfahrt Erwachsen for 15 euros. No long line or wait for tickets or boat. Bring light jacket or rain scarf if you dont want to get splashed or sprinkled with little bit of water.
On our way to Interlaken for the night, we stopped in this picturesque valley for few hours. The entire valley was like a dream! Perfect in every possible way.
Lauterbrunnen is situated in one of the most impressive trough valleys in the Alps, between gigantic rock faces and mountain peaks. With its 72 thundering waterfalls, secluded valleys, colourful alpine meadows and lonely mountain inns, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is one of the biggest nature conservation areas in Switzerland (My Switzerland).
Because we had only 3 days, we could only visit the ten Trümmelbach Falls hidden amongst the rocks . You will get wet so be prepared and take waterproof cameras if you wish to take photos. Tip: Best pictures are from the bottom of the falls not the top! The steps can be slippery and not recommended for people with claustrophobia!
Other attractions you could visit if you have a bit more time are:
Staubbach Falls – on the edge of the village of Lauterbrunnen. The water plunges almost 300 metres from an overhanging cliff face. It was the inspiration for one of Goethe’s famous poems.
Schilthorn – UNESCO world heritage themed trail in the depths of the Lauterbrunnen Valley
Kleine Scheidegg – impressive view of the north face of the Eiger and the four-thousand- metre peaks of the Jungfrau and Mönch. Also the starting point of the rack railway to the Jungfraujoch.
Jungfraujoch – the Jungfrau railway has been plying its way through a 7-km-long tunnel to the ‘Top of Europe’, the ultimate excursion destination in the Bernese Oberland, since 1912.
Interlaken: Interlaken lies in the Bernese Oberland on an alluvial plain, between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The vacation destination, which is presided over by the three mighty mountains, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, is the starting point for numerous activities (My Switzerland).
‘Being brought up watching Indian films, Switzerland has always been on my top list of places to visit. Little did I know that Switzerland acknowledges the fact that a large proportion of it’s tourism depends on Bollywood movies and the Indian born Yash Chopra film fanatics who are eager to visit Switzerland, even if it means taking out a bank loan!
Interlaken is where you will find a Yash Chopra statue, who has been the ambassador of Interlaken
Things to see in Lauterbrunnen:
Schynige Platte near Wilderswil – nostalgic rack-railway, fascinating view of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, Alpine garden with about 500 plant species and a lot of hiking possibilities.Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn – the rides by rack-railway to the highest railway station in Europe and the cableway to the Piz Glora revolving restaurant: two top mountain experiences in the Bernese Oberland.
Harder Kulm – a cableway takes passengers up to Interlaken’s „house mountain“ which affords a view of the health resort and the whole Jungfrau region. The Alpine wild animal park near the valley station is an experience for children.
Heimwehfluh – a nostalgia funicular provides transport to the vantage terrace with a restaurant, all-weather toboggan run, model railway display and large playground.
Jungfrau Tourism Museum in Unterseen – the regional tourism museum shows 200 years of tourism in the Jungfrau region.
St. Beatus Caves – one kilometre of lit limestone caves with stalagmites, impressive halls and waterfalls accessible by boat, car, bus or on foot on the historic pilgrims way.
JungfrauPark – explore the world’s great mysteries.
Magic ice-skating experience – from mid-December to late February the center of Interlaken transforms into a winter wonderland.
Lucerne: the gateway to central Switzerland, sited on Lake Lucerne, is embedded within an impressive mountainous panorama. Thanks to its attractions, its souvenir and watch shops, the beautiful lakeside setting and the nearby excursion mountains of the Rigi, Pilatus and Stanserhorn, the town is a destination for many travel groups and individuals on their journey through central Switzerland (My Switzerland)
Walk around, you also have the option to take an hour cruise or shop around the beautiful little town. A must visit is the Lion monument, built in memory of the soldiers in World War II
Zurich: The cosmopolitan city by the water combines creative urban life with nature in all its glory. Zurich is abuzz with activity day and night with its countless events, diverse museums, own food festival and Switzerland’s most vibrant nightlife. And if you’re after rest and relaxation, you can be in the Swiss mountains in less than an hour (My Switzerland)
Adultery: Paulo Coelho