Switzerland is one of the few locations where I feel like I am back home in Montana again. Between the stunning mountains and the cheese and chocolate (which is pretty much all I really want out of life), this tiny country has a lot to offer tourist—even if you are not planning on hitting the slopes.
Here are some tips that I have come up with after spending a bit of time in Switzerland.
Go on the off-season.
The Swiss Alps are glorious and you absolutely need to see them. However, you might want to weigh how important to you it is to be able to go skiing or to see Switzerland on a budget. For a non-snow bunny like me (and I’m from Montana…I know, I know), it was better to go when there were fewer people and it was less expensive. Think about checking it out in the late summer and early fall before it gets too cool and the skiers and snowboarders start arriving in droves.
Avoid restaurants if you can.
Let’s face it, as travelers of the Generation-Y variety, we often don’t have a ton of money to spend out. Because prices are so expensive in Switzerland, it’s usually a better option to see if you can find a grocery nearby and cook at the hostel. Not only are you charged an extra tax, but the prices themselves are terrible. If you are thinking about doing Swiss cheese and chocolate on a budget, you can find most the foods you want to try at the local supermarket.
One of the best parts about Switzerland is its natural beauty, so not to get out and explore a bit would be missing out on one of the most beautiful parts of Europe. The best way to know which hiking trails are available is to ask someone working at your hotel or hostel who can supply you with the information—he or she will have a good idea of which ones you might want to consider depending on your level and have much time you have. You might also want to think about choosing a B&B or a small hotel in a location a bit away from some of the main cities like Lucerne—they tend to charge you through the nose for a room.
Have you been to Switzerland? What is your favorite city? Have any tips for Gen-Y travelers on a budget?