So, we are are headed for Switzerland, or as the Swiss call their country, Die Schweiz (German), La Suisse (French) or Svizzera (Italian).  Actually, the official name of Switzerland is Confoederatio Helvetica. The abbreviation CH, used for the country indication on cars, in internet addresses of Swiss websites and as part of the currency symbol, comes from this name. The name Helvetica is derived from the Roman province of Helvetia, that was founded in the region in 15 BC.

While many U.S. travelers opt to visit other European countries, I honestly believe Switzerland should be near the top of the places to visit especially for novice travelers and families as well as active individuals and young couples. Why?


  • No Language Barrier- You will be understood in many languages including English, even if your English is not good.
  • Luggage Freedom- Did you know upon check-in at U.S. airports, you can designate all or some of your bags to reach your second, third, fourth…destination in Switzerland for around $17/bag charge? It is any traveler’s dream to carry only a handbag around and it can come true for you in Switzerland. We checked in our large luggage to arrive at Luzern (our 3rd stop) from Newark Airport for only $15 and only took a small carry on with us to the plane. Once we landed in Zurich, we just headed out of the plane and into our train to St. Moritz. We later went down to Lugano and when we made our way up to Luzern a few days later; we just picked up our luggage at the same train station we arrived at and walked to our hotel. After switching dirty clothes with clean ones,  deposited the large luggage again at the train station to go directly to Zurich Airport’s train station and continued traveling with just one small bag for the rest of our trip, picking up our lonely traveling luggage at Zurich Airport’s train station just as we were ready to check into our flight back home. Tell me this is not great, especially if you have kids.

  • Ease of Transportation- I don’t think any other country can beat the precise, comfortable, efficient, wide spread, scenic… Swiss transportation system. They really have it nailed down. No car needed while you are there. Trains, trams, buses, cable cars ans such will take you from the pristine lakes to the top of soaring mountains in no time. Planned right and with the exception of some long distance scenic trains, you will never be in transit for more than a couple of hours. The ride truly is as enjoyable as the destination.

  • Affordable- Currently, Swiss Franc (CHF) is around 94 cents to USD.
    • Transportation- A couple and their children under 16 (valid for up to 7 children) can buy a 4-day non-consecutive unlimited country wide train travel for around $470. Also, the Swiss Card offers free admission to over 400 Swiss Museums, discounts of 20%-50% on City Passes and sightseeing tours as well as on private train systems including Jungfrau (top of Europe),10%-50% saving on hotel reservations and more.

    • Eating is not expensive- You can eat well on a budget.While there are some big chain fast foods in larger cities, there are usually none in villages and mountain towns. A great relief! However, there are plenty of good, quick-bite eateries and family friendly restaurants.
    • The standard of hotels and small guest houses are very high and the prices are extremely reasonable, especially for a European country. Depending on the destination, you can reserve a nice 3-stars accommodation at a central location for around $150/night or less, double occupancy & breakfast included.
  • Breathe fantastic fresh air- Your lungs cannot get enough of the crisp and clean mountain air. Our first activity of the day was to walk 5 feet to our balcony door,  fling it open and take deep satisfying breaths while gazing upon the majestic Jungfrau and listening to the pleasant sound of cow bells.

  • Last minute changes are O.K.- With such a great transportation system at your disposal, you don’t need to plan everything ahead of time and on-the-spot itinerary changes are usually not a  problem. We actually ended up staying longer in Bernese Oberland which fast became our favorite spot.
  • The standard of hotels and small guest houses are very high and the prices are extremely reasonable, especially for a European country. Depending on the destination, you can reserve a nice 3-stars accommodation at a central location for around $150/night or less, double occupancy & breakfast included.
  • Children (& adults) can run free- Many mountain villages are car free and almost all larger towns have pedestrian only zones.

  • Romantic-  Pristine towns with their old stone paved alleys, sharing fondue with someone special while sipping delicious local wines, slow cruises on pristine lakes and enchanting sleepy villages and lush valleys- any one of them can easily awaken your romantic side.
  • Enjoy being active- Lots of outdoor fun for all activity levels from leisurely strolls to light hiking, sledding, biking, canoeing, etc.
  • Switzerland is gorgeous!

I am sure there are other reasons I am forgetting to include here why you should go. However, the above should be plenty to entice you.

Stay tuned as I will give you my travel itinerary and list of fabulous things to see and do in Switzerland.

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