The Grand Rail Tour of Switzerland



Wedged between Germany, France, Italy, and Austria, this small, efficient country is famous for its chocolate, its watches, and most of all, its remarkably beautiful, natural landscapes. The towering snow-capped Swiss Alps make up sixty percent of the country, providing visitors with limitless outdoor activities while they experience the high life at one of the numerous star-studded, glitzy ski resort towns. A refreshing counterpoint to this winter wonderland is a slew of incredible cities including: the capital Bern, with its quaint medieval old town and cutting-edge art; the chic city of Geneva, a sophisticated shopping haven located alongside Europe’s largest lake; and, of course uber-cool Zurich with its funky rooftop bars and atypical Swiss street grit. Whatever your preference, Switzerland is the ultimate destination for both outdoor adventure and relaxed self-indulgence.

Betalingen en Wisselkoersen


Switzerland's official currency is the Swiss Franc (abbreviations CHF, sFr, Fr.), and is divided into 100 Rappen [Rp] / Centimes [cts], but the smallest coin in use is 5 Rp. 


Banks open Monday -- Friday 8h30 to 16h30 in bigger cities. These hours are extended once per week. In rural areas, banks are open Monday-- Friday 08h30-12h00 and 14h00-17h00

Credit and debit cards are accepted at most places throughout Switzerland, including American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard and Visa. ATMs are widely available throughout Switzerland, especially in the major cities.

In terms of travellers’ cheques, pound Sterling, US Dollar or Euro cheques are accepted at airports, railway stations and banks. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, visitors are advised to take traveller's cheques in Pounds Sterling, Euros or US Dollars. As of 2013, American Express has discontinued traveller’s cheque distribution in Switzerland. 

Reizen en Plaatselijk Transport

Switzerland's public transport system is known to be one of the finest in the world. A dense network of railroad, bus and tramway lines and a systematic timetable allow to reach almost any point in the country once per hour. In most cases one ticket is enough for one journey even if numerous railway, bus and ship operators are involved.

Almost any village in Switzerland can be reached by a regional bus line several times a day, most of them even once per hour. Swiss post operates many of these bus lines with their famous yellow post buses. Schedules and tickets of all cross-country buses are integrated into Switzerland's unique system of integrated public transports.

Eten, Drinken en Culinair Advies

Standards of hygiene in relation tofood health and safety in Switzerland are generally high in hotels, restaurants, pubs and nightspots. Restaurants are subject tofood safety control legislation, which is implemented by local government. Regulations include certification and regular inspections by health inspectors to ensure hygienic standards are maintained.

It is safe to eat fresh fruit, vegetables and salads, and to put ice in your drinks. Switzerland's fish, meat and chicken are of excellent quality, so there is no need to limit yourself when enjoying the local cuisine.

In Switzerland, breakfast typically includes bread, butter or margarine, marmalade or honey, maybe some cheese or cereals, plus milk, cold or hot chocolate, tea or coffee. Lunch may be as simple as a sandwich or a birchermüesli or it could be a complete meal. Depending on what people had for lunch, dinner can be a full main course or just some bread, cheese, maybe some dried meat or any other light meal.

Tap water throughout Switzerland is safe to drink and cook with when taken from taps in urban areas. Not all tap water in rural areas is safe for consumption, so take precautions if necessary.

Klimaat en Weersomstandigheden

Generally speaking, spring is wet and cool, April is well known for fast and often changing weather conditions. Summer is typically warm and dry with maximum temperature up to 35°C (95°F). The temperature depends primarily on the elevation, the zero line (0°C or 32°F) may raise as high as 4000 meters above sea level (13125 feet). Fall is usually dry, but cool. The temperature will drop significantly in September or October, with the zero line around 2000 meter above sea level (6560 feet). Winter is typically cold and dry. The temperature may drop below 0°C everywhere in Switzerland, especially at night. In the alps, they usually get a lot of snow, but even at lower elevations, there is a good chance that they will get a foot of snow every now and then.


Smart casual clothing will be appropriate for sightseeing and for eating out. A light raincoat and travel umbrella are useful all year round. The sun can be deceptively strong even if the temperature feels cool. This is especially so at altitude and on the lakes, so we suggest that you use a good quality sunscreen and sunhat. Make sure you take comfy footwear for daytime.


Most accommodation offer Wifi (free or paid) in their business centres, rooms or restaurants. Internet cafes are found in most business areas and shopping malls. In addition, some restaurants offer WiFi access (free or paid).

Netspanning en Telefonie

Electrical sockets in in the Swiss Confederation are Type J (SEV 1011) and Type C (CEE 7/16 Europlug). If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it's crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all types.

Electrical sockets in Switzerland usually supply electricity at 230 volts AC/ 50 Hz frequency. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 230-volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance isn’t compatible with 230 volts, a voltage converter will be necessary.

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