Discovering Switzerland: a journey through the heart of the Alps
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Switzerland is a country that captivates the imagination with its snow-capped peaks, shimmering lakes and lush valleys. The south of the country is nestled in the heart of the Alps, while the northwest is home to the Jura mountains. The central plateau boasts verdant hills, plains and glistening lakes. The highest point in Switzerland is the Dufourspitze, which soars to an impressive 4,634 metres, while the country's lowest point is Lago Maggiore at 195 metres.
Affordable Swiss vacations
The country is known for being an expensive European country, but you can still have a fantastic holiday even if you're on a tight budget. Of course, it's best to avoid luxury shopping streets in cities like Zurich, Geneva, St. Moritz or Montreux. But did you know that eating out in Switzerland is not as expensive as you might think? In fact, you can find affordable dining options in medium-sized and smaller villages that are not located in tourist areas. Additionally, there are many free or low-cost activities to enjoy, such as hiking or cycling through the Swiss countryside.
Discovering the federal city of Bern
While Bern is often referred to as the capital of Switzerland, the country actually has no official capital. However, Bern is home to the Federal Assembly, which is Switzerland's parliament. As such, it's often called the "Federal City" and is the de facto capital of Switzerland. The city is a stunning example of medieval architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While in Bern, you can visit the Zytglogge, a medieval clock tower that chimes every hour, or explore the historic old town.
Zurich: a cultural hub
Zurich is Switzerland's largest city and has been inhabited for over two thousand years. This vibrant city is home to many world-class museums and art galleries, such as the Kunsthaus Zurich, which houses an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art. Other cultural highlights include the Zurich Opera House, which is one of the world's leading opera companies, and the Grossmünster, a Romanesque-style church that dominates the city skyline. And for nature lovers, Zurich has many parks and gardens to explore, such as the Zurich Botanical Garden.
A lake for all seasons
Lake Geneva is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe and straddles the border between Switzerland and France. The lake is a popular tourist destination and offers a range of activities throughout the year, such as sailing, swimming and windsurfing in the summer. The lake is also surrounded by charming towns and cities, such as Lausanne, Montreux and Geneva, which are well worth exploring. And for the ultimate Swiss experience, take a cruise on one of the historic Belle Époque paddle steamers that ply the lake.
Alpine adventures in Zermatt
Zermatt is a picturesque mountain village located in the canton of Valais at the foot of the Matterhorn, one of the most iconic mountains in the world. This car-free village is a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts, but it's also a great place to visit in the summer. You can take a cable car up to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, the highest cable car station in Europe, or hike through the stunning Alpine landscape.
- by Hanan, updated 19 February 2023