Where can one taste the most delicious chocolate and cheese in the world? Where are the best watches made? Where are the biggest and safest banks? The answer is very simple: in Switzerland! Furthermore, Switzerland is worth exploring for its beautiful nature – the severe snow-capped Alps and scenic lakes make it a great destination for hikers, climbers and last but not least, skiers.
Switzerland is divided into three different parts: German-speaking, French-speaking and Italian-speaking, though fortunately almost all of the Swiss speak English, too. Consequently, the three parts of the country are diverse, and it’s a great pleasure to explore all of them and learn about their cultures and traditions. Switzerland is also varied in terms of geographical character – its hilly north-western part is where most of the cities are located, including Bern, Lucerne, Basel, St Gallen, Lausanne and Geneva, whereas the southern half is covered by the Alps and far less populated.
Switzerland is a favourite destination among skiers. Most of them choose the St Moritz and Davos resorts, located in the south-eastern side of the Alps and known for their outstanding forests and picturesque views. Gstaad, Interlaken, Saas Fee and Wengen are other popular skiing resorts, which offer plenty of attractions. Another well-known skiing area is Zermatt, with the Matterhorn rising to 4,478 metres. Being one of best-known landmarks of Switzerland, the Matterhorn looks like an unbelievably tall rock pyramid, which makes climbers feel anxious to try their abilities. Though the Alps seem very high and inaccessible, and climbing requires a very fit condition and experience, the skiing centres are modern and well-equipped with facilities, thus every skier will find a slope that perfectly suits their individual expectations.
Switzerland is dotted with beautiful towns and cities. Zurich, for instance, located in the northern part of the country, is full of historical sights and other attractions. As the cultural and intellectual centre of Switzerland, it’s the major tourist destination. Among the most impressive monuments, there are the Fraumunster Church and the 13th-century St Peter's Church. Other Swiss cities are also worth visiting. Bern, the capital, is proud of its historical sights. Situated in the south of the Alps, Ticino has a unique Italian character different from other parts of the country. Lucerne draws visitors with its amazing Chapel Bridge and annual Cheese Festival. St Gallen, a north-eastern town, should be visited for its UNESCO site, the Abbey of St Gallen, which houses a wonderful library decorated with Rococo ornaments, a real pearl of architecture. The underground lake in St Leonard is a great natural attraction, attracting a number of tourists to the Valais canton.
One of the greatest attractions of Switzerland is the marvellous Lake Geneva (Lac Leman), Central Europe's second-largest lake, situated on the Swiss-French border. On its banks, you can admire magnificent Swiss cities, including Geneva, a centre of diplomacy and art, with great attractions including a huge fountain called Jet d’Eeau and St Pierre’s Cathedral, or Lausanne, known for its Olympic Museum and Switzerland’s best-preserved Gothic Cathedral. You shouldn’t miss Montreux, a fabulous city of music: it not only hosts the famous Montreaux Jazz Festival, but also boasts a monument to Freddie Mercury. Also, Deep Purple’s classic rock song ‘Smoke on the Water’ was born in Montreux, during a fire at the casino where Frank Zappa was having a concert. A must-see in Montreux is the Chillon Castle, a marvellous Medieval chateau picturesquely set on the lake’s bank. There are also plenty of smaller, though extremely attractive towns, such as ancient Coppet, the spa town of Leysin, and the ski resorts of Aigle, Les Diablerets and Villars.
Swiss clocks and Swiss banks are known worldwide for their reliability. Similarly, the public transport system in Switzerland is well-organised, fitting the needs of millions of tourists visiting this country every year. Thanks to the bus and train network, your travel will be easy and comfortable. Switzerland is a country where everyone can find something interesting. So don't hesitate and explore this picturesque and wonderful country by yourself.