Switzerland has always been tagged as one of the most expensive countries to live in, with two of its cities with the highest costs of living in the world. Home to the United Nations, Red Cross, to Patek Philippe, Rolex and so many international organizations and iconic brands, it is no surprise that the Swiss takes pride in their heritage and the quality of their work.
The high cost of living is the reality we have to face; however as tourists this should not deter us in travelling to this beautiful, scenic country.
Some Tips on Visiting Switzerland:
- Take advantage of Air China’s promo fares. Although I try my best to find the most affordable fares, I am also particular with the airlines as I can get a bit airsick and also for my peace of mind. When I was booking, China Southern Airlines was cheaper however, I found its airline rating to be 2/10. I definitely didn’t want to risk my life taking that flight. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of Skyscanner’s Cheapest Month feature.
- Accommodations in Switzerland can be crazy expensive. I swear. However, you have to remember it borders with France, the small town of Ferney-Voltaire being just one literal step away from Geneva’s border. And so I took advantage of this geography. I stayed in Hotel Stars Geneva just one bus ride from the airport, and with its per night rate 1/4 of the cheapest hotel/apartment/hostel/guesthouse in Geneva. I did not just end up staying across a bus stop with trips both to France and Geneva, I also found myself 5 minutes away by walking from the Carrefour Supermarket (where you can get coffee for 2 euros unlike with the photo above), and 15 minutes from the town center full of amazing insights on Voltaire’s life. It was the perfect area!
- As for travelling around, buses and trains are your main modes. When the weather is perfect though, why bother riding?
- You can visit the United Nations Headquarters as a tourist! Don’t forget to register way in advance as slots can fill up quickly. Also, bring your passport for this is the only ID that is accepted at the entrance. To register, visit UN’s official guided tours site.
- Why I want to go back: with my limited budget, I only got to go around Bern and Geneva. When I get rich I’d probably consider going back so I can explore more areas 😛
- As with any country in the world: do not quickly assume. Make sense of the why behind the what first and while you’re at it, get lost and find yourself. Happy travels! 🙂
- As with any country in the world: eat (then walk), pray and love!
Get lost and find yourself. Happy travels! 🙂
P.S. The keys to sustainable travels are universal: take public transportation | stay in accommodations where cooking is allowed (private or shared, it doesn’t matter) | walk as much as you can | wake up early | stay away from guidebooks | immerse yourself in local language, culture and history | visit local cafés | know that the possibilities are endless | listen to your gut ❤