After keeping it a secret for 4 months, I finally got to tell Danni where we were going for her surprise birthday trip! I’m pretty proud of keeping it hush for so long, and she had absolutely no clue. Switzerland had always been on my peripheral, but I’d never really considered it until I came across a great wee deal on Lucky Trip, and I’m so glad I did!
If you’ve never considered Switzerland, or perhaps you have an upcoming trip to the country, hopefully the below ideas and recommendations will inspire you to explore stunning Switzerland.
I had originally booked flights to Basel from Edinburgh with
shitey Easy Jet. However, the airline so considerately cancelled our flight 12 hours before it was due to take off. THANKS Easy Jet! This left us with the decision to either cancel the trip altogether (losing all the internal train and accommodation costs), or re-book another flight. Not wanting to forfeit the trip altogether, we opted to book flights to Geneva instead, a 3 hour train journey from Basel.
Although an inconvenience, it was great to spend a few hours in Geneva before catching our train to Basel. It was a bit of Switzerland we had never originally planned on exploring, and although we didn’t get to see Zurich, I’m thankful we got to explore Geneva as it was a lovely city. The old town especially had a lot of character, with cobbled streets and cute boutiques and cafes leading up to St Pierre Cathedral. The old town was surprisingly quiet when we were there, which was nice and you felt like you had left the mad tourist buzz down by the lake.
One of the most iconic monuments of Geneva is the Jet D’Eau. The fountain in Lake Geneva pumps 500 litres of water a second which shoots up 140m into the air. It’s become a symbol of Geneva since it was installed in 1951 and is a must-see in the city. After all, it’s a bit hard to miss – we spotted it from pretty far away!
Wow. Where do I even start? I don’t think even J.K Rowling could write words that could justify the beauty of Interlaken, so I’ll try to keep it short and let my photos do the talking.
The town, known as Switzerland’s ‘entrance to the alps’, sits between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and is surrounded by mountains and forests including the famous Jungfrau mountain, giving breathtaking views all round. We took a day trip from Basel by train (around 2 hours direct), and spent the day exploring the traditional Swiss resort town. Although I would have loved to of gone up the Jungfrau mountain (4158m high) by train (3 hour trip), time didn’t allow us so we opted for a slightly smaller, but equally as incredible trip up to Harder Kulm (1322m high) by a 10 minute funicular train ride. I would highly recommend this for anyone visiting Interlaken. A return trip on the funicular costs 32CHF and transports you up the mountain above the clouds to a fascinating spot with majestic views of Interlaken, the two lakes and the stunning Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau snow-covered mountains. We enjoyed a drink at the panoramic Harder Kulm restaurant, with views unlike any bar I’ve ever been in!
The streets of Interlaken are typically Swiss, lined with chalets and wooden buildings – exactly how I imagined Switzerland to be! It’s a resort town with plenty of things to do and see, and if you are feeling adventurous there are numerous thrill-inducing activities such as paragliding, jet boating, river rafting and even skydiving!
What was that about keeping it short again? I’ll stop and let the photos show you how amazing Interlaken is…
We stayed in Basel, a popular tourist city in the Northwest of Switzerland which sits just on the borders of France and Germany. The town of Basel is just 4km from Saint Louis in France, and 6km from Weil am Rhein in Germany, making it a town like no other! As it is in such close proximity to these countries, their cultural and architectural influences are very apparent. Basel is known for its big art and museum culture, and is host to 40 museums with numerous special collections and exhibits. From the Vitra Design Museum to the Natural History Museum and a number of quirky, lesser-known buildings of interest, Basel has a museum for everyone.
Although our accommodation was in Basel, we actually spent most of our trip exploring other places in Switzerland, partially due to our initial flight cancellation. However, from what we saw in Basel it was a lovely town with a lot of character and there’s much more I would like to explore on another trip in the future. We stayed at the Adiago Aparthotel Basel, which gave us the freedom of cooking our own food as we had a small kitchen – allowing us to save £££ compared to the pricey Swiss restaurants!
One place we did visit for a few drinks was Klara. The bar/kitchen has a range of locally sourced cocktails and beers on offer, as well as having a unique food offering bringing together 9 different cuisines in a street-food style format, including Asian, Mexican, Arabian and other international tastes all under one roof. Worth checking out, and who says you can’t try more than one cuisine?!
Switzerland may be my favourite European city I’ve visited so far, alongside a close favourite, Iceland. Although we weren’t in the country for long, from what we saw it was one of the friendliest, cleanest and most naturally stunning countries I have visited. In our short weekend trip, we saw a glimpse of what the country has to offer – breathtaking natural scenery of majestic mountains and the most blue lakes you will ever see, alongside buzzing cities and towns. I would recommend it to everyone and will definitely be heading back in the future!
Have you been to Switzerland? Leave your recommendations in the comments below
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