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Closest Campings


Atzmännig AG Sport- und Freizeitzentrum 8638 Goldingen +41 55 284 64 34
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Fuhren, 3862 Innertkirchen
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About Switzerland

Switzerland is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It has borders with France to the west, Italy to the south, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east and Germany to the north. The climate is temperate, but varies with altitude. Switzerland has cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters and cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers. Switzerland is known for its mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) but it also has a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes. The highest point is Dufourspitze at 4,634 m while Lake Maggiore is only 195 m above sea level.


  • Lake Geneva - A tourist region surrounding Lac Léman 
  • Jura Mountains and Fribourg - Hiking, lakes, watch-making
  • Bernese Lowlands - The core region of Traditional Bernese influence
  • Bernese Highlands - The Bern alps
  • Central Switzerland - The Swiss homeland, William Tell, etc.
  • Basel - Industrial city, with countryside
  • Zurich - A tourist region in its own right
  • Northeastern Switzerland - not so mountainous, but it's nice
  • Valais - A skiing/hiking oriented tourist region
  • Graubunden - region which is the same as canton Graubunden, very mountainous, lightly populated and home to many of the greatest tourist cities
  • Ticino - region which is the same as canton Ticino


  • Zurich - Switzerland's biggest city and a major center of banking also has a thriving nightlife.
  • Geneva - This center of arts and culture, the second-largest city in Switzerland, is by far the international capital-- home to around 200 governmental and non-governmental organisations. Geneva was the home of Jean Calvin during the Reformation, elevating the city to the rank of "Protestant Rome," the effects of which drive Geneva today.
  • Bern - The Swiss capital features an amazingly well preserved old-town with arcades along almost every street. Great restaurants abound, as do bars and clubs. Check out the Einstein sites as well.
  • Basel - Slightly smaller than Geneva, Switzerland's third city is the traveller's gateway to the Rhineland and Alsace.
  • Lausanne - While Geneva is busy being the international capital, Lausanne fills the role in most of the rest of French-speaking Switzerland. Scenery, dining, dancing, boating and the Swiss wine-country are the draws.
  • Lugano - Italian-speaking Switzerland's top destination, with a gorgeous old-town and a pretty lake. The food is simply amazing.
  • Lucerne - Central Switzerland's main city with direct water links to all of the early Swiss historic sights. It's pretty too, and though it is heavily touristed the views and museums make putting up with the crowds well worthwhile.
  • Zermatt - There are a lot of mountain resorts in Switzerland, but only one of them has the Matterhorn.
  • St. Moritz - One of the most important tourist places in Europe.

By Car

For using the motorways you need to buy a "Vignette", a sticker costing 40.- CHF that allows you to use the motorways as much as you like for the entire year. Avoiding the motorways in order to save there 40.- is generally a false economy. These 40.- are well worth it, even if you are only on transit.

Speed limits: 120 km/h on motorways, 80 km/h on normal roads and 50 km/h inside villages. Whilst driving "a wee bit too fast" is common on motorways people tend to stick pretty closely to the other two limits. Fines are hefty and traffic rules are strictly enforced.

D.U.I.: 0.5 promille is the limit. We suggest not to drink and drive as you will lose your license for several months if you get caught. (And there will be a fine too.) Use public transportation instead.

Driving on small mountain roads can be nerve-tearing if you come from a flat country. But beside this, swiss roads are in general safe and very well maintained.

Five tips for mountain roads:
1. Honk if you're on a small road and you don't see around the bend.
2. The bus always has priority.
3. The car driving uphill has priority over the car driving downhill.
4. Don't even think about driving as fast as the locals, they know every bend, you don't.
5. In general, drive at a speed that you can stop at within the distance you can see to be safe; and drive so that you would be happy to meet yourself coming the other way!

"Swiss-made": Souvenirs and Luxury Goods

Switzerland is famous for a few key goods: watches, chocolate, cheese, and Swiss Army knives.

  • Watches - Switzerland is the watch-making capital of the world, and "Swiss Made" on a watch face has long been a mark of quality. While the French-speaking regions of Switzerland are usually associated with Swiss watchmakers (like Rolex, Omega, and Patek Philippe), some fine watches are made in the Swiss-German-speaking region, such as IWC in Schaffhausen. (Fine watches are also made in the nearby German Glashütte region.) Every large town will have quite a few horologers and jewelers with a vast selection of fancy watches displayed their windows, with huge price tags to go with them. For fun, try to spot the most expensive of these mechanical creations and the ones with the most "bling".
  • Chocolate - Switzerland may always have a rivalry with Belgium for the world's best chocolate, but there's no doubting that the Swiss variety is amazingly good. Switzerland is also home to the huge Nestlé food company. If you have a fine palate (and a fat wallet) - you can find two of the finest Swiss chocolatiers in Zürich: Teuscher (try the champagne truffles) and Sprüngli. For the rest of us, even the generic grocery store brand chocolates in Switzerland still blow away the Hershey bars found elsewhere. For a good value, try the "Frey" brand chocolates sold at Migros. If you want to try some real good and exclusive swiss chocolate, go for the Pamaco chocolates, derived from the noble Criollo beans and accomplished through the original, complex process of refinement that requires 72h (quite expensive though, a bar of 125g costs about CHF 8.-).
  • Cheese - many different regions of Switzerland have their own regional cheese specialty. Of these, the most well-known are Gruyere and Emmentaler (what Americans know as "Swiss cheese"). Be sure to sample the wide variety of cheeses sold in markets, and of course try the cheese fondue! The original mixture consists of half Vacherin cheese and half Gruyère but many different combinations have been developed since.
  • Swiss Army knives - Switzerland is the original home of the Swiss Army Knife, with offerings ranging from the "My First Victorinox" for kids to the monstrous, pants-ripping, 72-function "SwissChamp XXLT" (now discontinued). There are two "official" Swiss Army knife manufacturers, Victorinox and Wenger, although the Wenger business was bought in 2005 by Victorinox. Victorinox Swiss Army Knives are made in their factory in Ibach by a staff of approximately 950 employees. It takes about 15 minutes to make just one Swiss Champ Swiss Army Knife. While sold throughout the country, Interlaken is a particularly good place to buy these souvenirs, with twenty or more shops on Hohweg Street selling them. Sample prices are about 69 francs for the top-of-the-line "Champ" model and 41 francs for a mid-line "Explorer" model. Most shops will engrave a name onto the knife free of charge. When flying home it is important to remember to pack the knife into checked baggage to avoid security issues!

Modified: 2007-02-11 09:30:34+01
Source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Switzerland


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