Switzerland is not only the first ranked country to attract highly skilled workers from across the globe. Indeed it’s diverse landscapes and lustrous alps has made it one of the favorite destinations for the tourists. Being an Indian, I was more curious to explore the place for an obvious reason that my heartthrob and super charismatic Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan(SRK) has filmed many of the Yash Chopra’s blockbuster movies in Switzerland. And I had always fantasized a wonderful long drive through the Swiss alps, enjoying the SRK hit DDLJ movie songs. So, I planned a road trip in the summer of July with my darling friends from the Netherlands to Switzerland(around 9 hours drive). Here, I will share the most loved and top 10 Budget things to do in Switzerland.
The moment we crossed the borders, an unruffled aura of lush green slopes with quaint country cottages looked as beautiful as in a painting. Another point of interest was to hike along the Swiss Alps, nearly the highest peaks in Western Europe. We reached in the evening and relaxed in an apartment in Unteriberg booked via airbnb.
For a well planned trip, a minimally cumbersome itinerary must be ready before the final shot. For your convenience, I hereby propose a list of top 10 things one must do in Switzerland while keeping the budget in mind.
- Lake Lucerne
Since it was close to the place of our first stay, we planned to navigate towards lake Lucerne. Switzerland has more than 1500 lakes among which Lucerne is the fourth largest in the country and is known for it’s intricate form with unusual sharp curves. One of the largest steamship that operates with other five selfsame ships convoys in Europe on Lake Lucerne. Weather was good enough to take a dive and swim close to the shore or sit under a shady tree to chill out.
2. Sleeping Lion Monument
The Lion of Lucerne is a noble sculpture carved on a solid massive rock of a cliff. It pays homage to the swiss guards who were demolished in 1792 during the French Revolution. Mark Twain, a renowned American writer acknowledged the rock relief of wounded lion as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world”.
3. Glacier Garden
Located right next to the Lion Monument, we went to have a look at local history museum. It has ice age glacier exhibition, 19th-century mirror maze, relief models of Switzerland & a leafy garden. In short, it is a blend of park and a garden.
Opening hours: 10:00- 17:00( Mon- Sat), 10:00- 18:00( Sun)
Entrance Fee(paid locally): 15 CHF per adult and 8 CHF per child (6-16 years). FREE with the Swiss Travel Pass( You get unlimited travel with train/ public transport, free entrance to > 500 museums if you have the pass)
4. Chapel Bridge
The Chapel Bridge, named after St. Peter’s Chapel is a wooden footbridge that stretch across the river Reuss diagonally in the Lucerne city(central Switzerland). I was amazed to witness number of interior paintings from 17th century that survived the destruction in 1993 fire. Although reinstated, the Chapel bridge is the oldest woody bridge in Europe. The colorful row of florets bordering the entire bridge looked as enchanting as if adorned with garland jewelry.
5. Staubbach Falls
Next day, we headed towards the Lauterbrunnen Valley to see the Staubbach falls, a cascade of water falling from a height of 297 metres (974 ft). The torrent of waterfall is so high that it ends in light water showers when reaches a certain level in the village through overhanging cliffs. Due to overnight rain and partly cloudy weather, we had to grab our pullovers and jackets.
Interlaken, as the name says this town is located between two lakes: Brienz to the east and Thun to the west. You will see large number of hotels and companies delivering guided tours in skydiving, canyoning, hang gliding, paragliding, and skiing. I was pleased to see the bronze statue of the Yash Chopra standing in Kurssaal Garden in the central Swiss town of Interlaken, canton Bern. The famous Indian film director featured most of his films in Switzerland and is credited to allure many Indian tourists to this alpine nation.
7. Hohematte park, Interlaken
While walking through the town of Interlaken, we eased up on grassy open space in Hohematte park. We enjoyed spectacular view of silvery snow glazed mountains. It remains opened throughout the year. Sitting there for an hour and watching numerous paragliders landing down into the park is worth a sight. While driving, we could catch a glimpse of gorgeous sunset, so we took a halt near the lake.
8. Hiking to Schynige Platte
We left for the 2nd stay in Biglen, Switzerland, rested and slept really well as we knew that we have hiking plan the day after and so our famished tummies grabbed a heavy breakfast. We packed some essentials, food items and water
The hike to Schynige Platte is a long day stroll in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland. We began the cogwheel train ride at Schynige Platte railway from Wilderswil to the scenic Schynige Platte. It was a slow 7.25 km journey.
After reaching the top, we marched towards the Daube point known for breathtaking panoramic views of Lauterbrunnen Valley. In a choice to chase more splendid landscapes, we decided to reach till Oberberghorn. I could never forget that incredible topography. We were stunned to have the ultimate view of both the lakes on each side of the town and snowcapped terrains of Jungfrau region on the other.
The next downhill trail looked easier, took steep staircase and walked 3km to Loucherhorn. We could hear bells ringing far from a distance and in few moments we spotted Swiss cows amidst green alpine zone. Taking a right turn to our way back, we ascended towards Schynige Platte when we actually started feeling little exhausted. Finally we got on time to hop back into the train. Do take breaks around photo stops, mountain huts and follow the directions carefully.
- Helpful Tips: Try booking the tickets online or purchase tickets from the office in Wilderswil and hop onto the first/second train of the day. As it is one amongst the popular hikes, so trains might get fully occupied early.
- Train timings: 40 minutes, from 7:52 am to 4:45 pm. The last train is at 17: 53pm. Do confirm its timings before you begin.
- Cost: 64CHF for Ascent and Descent(32 CHF one side)
- Level of Hike: Easy/ Moderate( 3-4 hours)
- Duration: May- October
9. Grindelwald Village
It was a refreshing drive through swiss designed residential establishment, lakes and Tamar valley. Because the place was full of grand resorts, chalets and vibrant crowd of tourists during the season, so it appealed to us as a good place to roam around during the daytime.
10. Trummelbach Falls
Well, it was my first time to behold such unique falls in Europe, the Trummelbach Falls. Just a little fee(11 CHF for adults, 4 CHF for children) and we were taken up by the tunnel lift. I was literally astonished to see 10 glacial water falls inside the mountain. The loud noise and water showers inside the caves came all the way from the massive glaciers of the Eiger (3970m), Mönch (4099m) and Jungfrau (4158m). The falls drain 20,000 litres of water per second.
Note: Please keep a note that the Trümmelbach Falls are generally open daily from:
- April – November( 9.00- 17.00)
- July- August from (8.30- 18.00).
We had an awesome trip as you can see in the pictures. Similarly, you can plan a visit to Switzerland and these top 10 attractions that I already mentioned for your convenience.
If you are planning to celebrate Christmas eve with full fun and spark in Paris, then take a look at my another article –top most-attractions in Paris during Christmas