Switzerland - Hiking: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

Switzerland: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About Switzerland


Nestled in the Alps, it's not hard to see why Switzerland is definitely one of the world's most beautiful countries in the world. The stunning lakes, quaint villages, modern cities and towering castles – that's just some of what Switzerland has to offer. Add to it some shopping, wine tasting, chocolates and cheeses and it gets even better. 


Disclaimer: Space is a precious commodity in Europe, especially in its most dense cities, be prepared for smaller hotel rooms. The same goes for bathrooms and elevators, don’t be surprised if they feel cozier than those in the US.


Capital City: Bern

Population: 8.6 Million (2022 est.)

Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)

Time Zone: Central European Summer Time - CEST (GMT+1)

Emergency Number: 112

Outlet: Type C/J

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Packing List

Speak the Language

Language: The four national languages of Switzerland are German, French, Italian, and Romansh, with over 60% of the population speaking German at home. 

German: German is the most widely spoken language in Switzerland. The Swiss German dialects differ from standard German, but standard German is also understood and used in formal settings. 

  • Good morning - Guten Morgen
  • Good afternoon - Guten Tag
  • Good night - Guten Nacht
  • Goodbye - Auf Wiedersehen
  • See you soon - She dich später
  • Thank you - Danke
  • How are you? - Wie get es dir?
  • I’m fine - Es geht mir gut
  • I’m sorry - Es tut mir Leid
  • Where is... - Wo ist...
    • The bathroom - die toilette?
    • An ATM - ein geldautomat?

Italian: Italian is spoken in the southern part of Switzerland, particularly in the canton of Ticino. Approximately 8% of the population speaks Italian.

  • Hello - Ciao/Buongiorno
  • Good morning - Buongiorno
  • Good evening - Buonasera
  • Goodbye - Arrivederci
  • Thank you - Grazie

Google Translate: Google Translate: Download the Google Translate app or click here 

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Fun Facts

  • Switzerland hasn’t fought in an international war since 1815.
  • The most famous Swiss mountain is the Matterhorn near Zermatt. Matterhorn is 4,478 m/ 14,692 ft. high and is located near the village of Zermatt.
  • Almost one-quarter of the population are foreign residents. People from different places live in Switzerland, from the Germans to the Serbians. More than 80% of the foreigners in Switzerland are from European countries, half being from France, Italy, Germany, and Portugal. 
  • Sundays in Switzerland are a big deal, and there are so many things you can’t do on that day. You can not mow the yard, hang laundry outside, hammer, or do anything that may disturb the neighborhood’s peace. 


Tipping Suggestions: Tips for Guides, drivers and restaurants are not included. Tips provide supplemental income, and, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them.

Guides USD $5-10 per person/per day
Drivers USD $3-4 per person/per day
Restaurants  10% of total bill



Where can I find information on travel safety? Check out the US Department of State's website for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling.


Is the water safe to drink? Switzerland has some of the best and cleanest tap water in the world. 80% of drinking water is sourced from groundwater, and the other 20% is from lakes.


Do I need a Visa? For Visa information, visit click here. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you return home and has two or more blank pages. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.


What about vaccines? For vaccination information, click here.


Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! Check out travel insurance options from our partner, worldnomads.com or from a provider of your choice.


What does public transportation look like? Switzerland has one of the best-developed public transport networks in the world. Almost any part of the country can be reached by bus or by train - even in remote mountain areas. 


How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please review our luggage restrictions below.


Is Uber or Lyft available? Uber is available in Zurich.


What about Wifi? Internet access through WiFi is widely available and most hotels will offer free WiFi access. Local sim cards with data are available from various retailers. Network coverage might be limited in the more rural parts of the country.

Luggage Restrictions

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