With its snow-capped Alps, emerald green forests, fairy-tale castles and shimmering lakes, it’s easy to see why Switzerland has been one of the world’s top tourist destinations for the past two centuries. It is an outdoor lover’s paradise with thousands of kilometres of mountain and hiking trails throughout the country.

Small Group Tours

Alpine Discovery

Explore the stunning European Alps across five uniquely beautiful countries.

Airfares included

Days 20
From (Per person / Twin share) $13,495

Switzerland Facts & Tips

Capital
Capital — Bern
Population
Population — 8.4 million
Language
Language — German, French & Italian
Religion
Religion — Predominantly Christian
Time Zone
Time Zone — 8.5 hours behind AEST
Currency
Currency — Swiss Franc
  • The first bar of chocolate was produced in Switzerland by François Cailler in 1819 and on average the Swiss consume approximately 10.5kg of chocolate per person per year!
  • Geneva is the seat of the European headquarters of United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), World Economic Forum (WEF), Airports Council International (ACI), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) & World Wide Web Virtual Library.
  • Most homes have bunkers, a result of Cold War concerns about nuclear war.
  • Albert Einstein was working as a clerk in a Swiss Patent Office when he proved his Theory of Relativity.
  • The Swiss are famous for the Swiss Army knife, Swatch Watches, Victorinox, Nestle and Fondue.

Australian passport holders travelling to Switzerland do not need a visa at this time.

We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you.

Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia. You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information.

Australian Consulate-General in Switzerland:

Chemin des Fins, 2
Case postale 102
1211 Geneva 19 
Ph.  +41 22 799 9100
Fax.  +41 22 799 9178

The official currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc. Notes come in denominations of ChF1,000, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10.

Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it, otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen.

Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card.

If you don’t have Euro’s with you on arrival, we advise you to exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to exchange money.

Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia.

  • The price of a cappuccino in Zurich is approximately ChF3-4.
  • The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately ChF25.
  • The price dinner in a moderate restaurant is approximately ChF50.
  • The price of a beer in a local pub is approximately ChF7-8.

Swiss cuisine is varied. The great specialty is fondue, a delicious concoction of Gruyère and Vacherin cheese, melted and mixed with white wine, flour, Kirsch and a little garlic. Other cheese specialties are Emmental and Tête de Moine. Pork sausages or salami come in a variety of local recipes including beinwurst, engadinerwurst, knackerli, landjäger and leberwurst (liver pâté). A great variety of Swiss wines are available throughout the country. Swiss beer is also popular - both lager and dark beers. Bottled mineral water is an accepted beverage, with local brands including Henniez.

Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast) please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later! If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc.

If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible.

The climate in Switzerland is moderate and a great place to visit any time of year. Average temperatures range between -3°C to 2°C in January, and 13°C to 24°C in July. Summer, from about June to September, is usually warm and this is a great time to enjoy the many outdoor activities on offer. Ski resorts open their doors in late November and remain so until the snow starts to melt, usually in April.

Want to get out and explore on your own?

The public transport system in Switzerland is one of Europe’s best. Trams, buses and trains are inexpensive and generally run on time. Taxis can be expensive and also slower than the trains or trams if you get stuck in traffic and, of course, walking is a must in Europe’s finest cities.

When catching taxis, have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. Also, ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies.

So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Switzerland…

Shopping in Switzerland is a great experience altogether. You can buy amazing items such as chocolates, cheese, the famous Swiss army knives, watches and fashionable clothes. There is a lot to see and shop for. It is possible to spend hours in the boulevards and shopping arcades!

The Swiss always appreciate polite manners and punctuality.

It is common to share tables with strangers in busy restaurants and pubs.

Switzerland has many events and festivals happening throughout the year.

Other national public holidays to be aware of include:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Easter Friday and Easter Monday
  • Labour Day (May 1st)
  • Ascension Day (40 days after Easter)
  • Swiss National Day (1 Aug)
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

Switzerland Highlights

Europe Destinations

Armenia

Walk along Sharambeyan street in Dilijan, marvel at some of the oldest Greek, Persian and Arabic manuscripts in Yerevan, and witness the historic cave monastery of Geghard.

Austria

From the spectacular snow-covered Alps and picture-perfect panoramas, to the quintessential elegance of its larger cities, Austria is a fascinating country to explore

Azerbaijan

A relatively untouched country, there is so much to see in Azerbaijan including the Baku Fire Temple, Burning Mountain and the Palace of Shirvanshahs.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Discover intriguing history at the old city centre of Sarajevo, Baščaršija and the Museum of Sarajevo and experience the world-famous Stari Most bridge.

Croatia

With its magnificent coastline, 1,185 islands, islets and reefs, Roman ruins and picturesque medieval villages, Croatia is alluring for lovers of fun, sun and fascinating history.

Denmark

From its picturesque capital, Copenhagen, to its windswept coastline and everything in between, Denmark will lure you in with its warmth and welcoming hospitality.

Finland

Watch the northern lights dance across the sky, relax and unwind in a Finnish sauna, cruise Lake Inari and visit Suomenlinna, an 18th-century sea fortress steeped in history.

France

A popular destination with all travellers, you can soak up the glamour of the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles or sip on a coffee and watch the world go by.

Georgia

Positioned between Europe and Asia, the country of Georgia has one of the most unique cultures in the world.

Germany

Infused with a rich history, Germany offers a fascinating mix of picture-perfect towns, lively festivals, modern, urban cities and beautiful rolling countryside.

Greece

Discover ancient sites like the Acropolis and the Agora in Athens, Delphi on the Greek mainland and delicious Greek cuisine in the glamorous Greek islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Crete.

Hungary

Hungary’s location in the centre of Europe, along with its hospitable attitude, makes it an inviting destination, proudly upholding its Magyar traditions, culture and arts whilst incorporating a fascinating mix of history and the present-day.

Italy

Land of la dolce vita, it is little wonder that Italy is one of the world’s most-loved destinations with two-thirds of the world’s historical, artistic heritage coming from Italy.

Malta

Otherwise known as the jewel of the Mediterranean, Malta is an island located off the Italian coast packed with stunning scenery and a rich culture.

Monaco

Experience jaw-dropping coastal views of the Mediterranean Sea, try your luck at the Casino Monte-Carlo or explore the botanical world of Jardin Exotique.

Montenegro

Discover surreal views and charming villages across the Bay of Kotor, explore the old town of Kotor surrounded with ancient medieval architecture and enjoy some local Montenegrin cuisine.

Morocco

Morocco’s dazzling mosaic of Arab and Berber cultures, with a dash of African and European influence, is at once strange and romantic, alluring and surprising.

Netherlands

From fields of colourful tulips and beautiful canal-lined cities to historic architecture and iconic windmills, the Netherlands is a wonderland for any kind of traveller.

Norway

Known as ‘The Land of the Midnight Sun’ Norway is ideal for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy stunning scenery, while history buffs can immerse themselves in Norway's rich cultural heritage.

Portugal

Portugal has it all; the sun-drenched beaches of the Algarve, exclusive golf resorts, medieval hilltop towns, colourful fishing villages, a cosmopolitan capital, the vine-filled valley of the Douro and wild remote mountains.

Slovenia

Slovenia is packed with unusual and often unique experiences, from primeval forests, Karst limestone caves and thermal springs to the lively and architecturally beautiful city of Ljubljana.

Spain

Fall in love with Spain’s intriguing history, marvel at the architectural wonders of Barcelona, enjoy a traditional Spanish tapas dinner and people-watch at a terrace café in Madrid.

Sweden

Snowbound winters, meatballs, herring, Vikings and Volvos, IKEA, ABBA and the Hives - whatever your pre-existing notions about Sweden, a visit to this multifaceted country is bound to both confirm and confound them.

Turkey

With its covered bazaars, whirling dervishes, sultans’ treasures and Byzantine mosaics, Turkey is both a cosmopolitan and exotic destination.

Vatican City

Vatican City is the world’s smallest, fully independent city-state and country in the world, surrounded entirely by Rome.

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