When my partner said that he wanted to visit Switzerland on our next trip, I was rather sceptic about it. Did not know much about the country and I thought that we wouldn’t have much to do there. But then I started doing some research and found out that this is a place really worth visiting. Yup, it was a great trip. 🤩
As we went there with our newly 9 months old baby, we did not make long road-trips, aprx 1-2 hours per day was a limit. So we didn’t make it to Geneva, Lausanne nor Zermatt, where I would have loved to go – well, someday… So our route turned out as shown on the map:
We landed in Zurich in the evening, so we picked our rental car from Sixth and drove straight to the hotel to get some sleep. The next day we headed to Bern where we stayed for two days. Bern, the capital, is fifth most populous cities in Switzerland. The city is all walkable and has pretty great views. Calm and greenery. An incident that happened to us there: we were sitting in a park of the Old Town Cathedral when one well-groomed man came to us and asked for a donation so he could buy his family a food. First we just froze as it was a smack that such well-dressed man would need money from others to buy food. BUT then he said that he would expect 100CHF, which is about 90€ – well for us, Eastern Europeans, it is quite an amount to give away, specially to a man who is wearing a massive golden watch. So Sandor said that we don’t have such cash and gave him a coin that he had in his pocket – the man took it but was obviously disturbed about it. We didn’t feel bad because he could sell his watch and not buy hair gel if he would really be in financial difficulties. That’s the difference between beggars in our country and Switzerland.
From Bern we took a direction to Interlaken. When Bern offered great views then Interlaken had breathtaking views! We rode in the top of Interlaken, Harder Kulm, with a funicular. In the top there is a restaurant and a platform to enjoy the view. If not in hurry, I advise to take your time off and spend the whole day there. We stayed in a hotel in Interlaken which is basically surrounded by mountains. Amazing, what a nature!
Next stop was in Lucerne where we stayed for two days. The main attraction there is the Chapel Bridge, built in 14th century. In Lucerne we met a car mechanic who told he has lived in Lucerne for 20 years. Came from Germany and first he just gasped air about the prices, living in Switzerland is much more expensive. But of course when you get a job there, the prices are much more proper too. He was obviously happy to be living in Lucerne. Told that for him the city is so safe compared to living in Berlin. He seemed really genuine and warmhearted guy, I’m happy for him.
And our last stop was in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Here’s one more funny story. We used car GPS to get to the AirBNB apartment we had booked, but something went wrong there, I don’t know whether we selected wrong area code or something. Anyway, the GPS leaded us into the mountains where nobody clearly did not live. I hope we didn’t cross Liechtenstein-Austria border there 😀 – but we drove quite a lot until we decided to use directions via phone. At that point when we wanted to turn around, the road was so steep and narrow that I went outside to give Sandor instructions. I really think I heard some kind of a wild animal making noise.BUT about staying in Vaduz. The weather was rainy those two days that we spent there, so we went to see the city in a bit hurry, drove by the Vaduz Castle and decided not to take a walk there.
RENTAL CAR from Sixt. We had booked Mercedes Benz GLA, but received BMW X1 instead. The car was excellent: all comforts (such as GPS, windshield display, automatic transmission) that in our previous trips have required for extra fee, were included this time. We had to change the car in Luzern, because of some technical problems, but the switch was very polite as they said “You did not pay to drive with a broken car.” Received Jeep Compass, which was a bit rougher but nice as well. What surprised us was that we didn’t have to pay for highway tolls, the rental cars have it included.ACCOMMODATION. In Switzerland we stayed in hotels, in Liechtenstein the hotels were so expensive that we decided to rent an appartment via airBNB. As we didn’t choose the most expensive ones, we were really satisfied with the rooms and service. We stayed in:
- Holiday Inn Express Zürich Airport. Rather fancy choice but used that for only one night, straight after landing. That’s located near Zürich, not in the city. Problems arised with our payments as they charged me via booking.com plus my partner paid for the accommodation as well. Had to prove that double payment for many days, which was exhausting. Breakfast was 5+!
- Sorell Hotel Arabelle in Bern. A lovely small hotel with really good breakfast choice. Near city center.
- Hotel Central Continental in Interlaken, city center. Breakfast was not that good, but the view from our room was magnificent! Lobby and reception area were nice, looked like antique furniture.
- Falken am Rotsee in Lucerne. I even cannot remember how come I booked that!? Away from city center (rather not a walking distance) and not sure even whether it was a hotel or rather a guesthouse. I guess this one suits more for budget travellers.
- AirBNB appartment in Liechtenstein. The biggest surprise, the place was so clean, spacious and cosy.
SOUVENIRS. If not interested in usual souvenir gifts (mugs, post cards, keychains etc) then here are some ideas that we bought: local wine, handmade wooden spoons, local dip-grill sauce, and Switzerland’s trademark, lots of chocolate and cheese.