*Pentru varianta în limba română, apasati AICI!
First of all, I want to wish you a Happy New Year and many adventures around the world! I hope I will manage to steal some of your time in 2018 as well since I have so many surprises for you, guys!
As promised in my previous post about our adventure in the Swiss Alps, I am now going to tell you our itinerary in this gorgeous country that was on my bucketlist for years. (PS: If you have not read my previous blog post „I found my winter wonderland in Switzerland”, you can find it HERE).
We did not have too much time at our disposal to explore as much as we would have wanted, but I think we managed to check all the things planned for this holiday. In Switzerland we visited Basel, Bern, Luzern and Zurich.
HOW TO ARRIVE AND ACCOMMODATION
I have told you all about this in my previous post „One day in my Christmassy Alsace – Colmar”. We landed at Euroairport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg that is located at the border between France, Germany and Switzerland. The airport is situated just 6 km away from Basel, the place where we chose to stay for our Switzerland trip. In fact, we chose this city because my high school friend lives there and she was kind enough to keep us in her cute and cozy home for a few days.
But the truth is Basel was perfect for our itinerary due to its location. We started with Alsace and moved on to Switzerland.
Basel is located 100 km from Bern and Luzern and 90 km from Zurich which was perfect for day trips and helped us save a whole lot of money on accommodation (which is not cheap at all in Switzerland).
As I have already said, if you decide to visit this part of the country, I recommend choosing a hotel or a guest house close to the border, in France or Germany, because prices are way lower than in Switzerland.
Funny fact: since Basel is just on the border with France, we parked the car there every night to avoid paying huge amounts of money for parking tickets. So that is why I say you won’t even feel the difference if you get accommodation in France, but you will save some money to spend on food, gas or souvenirs.
PARKING AND VIGNIETTE
Firstly, I want to give you some information about parking. When we visited Bern, we chose a public spot, on the side of the road, just 5 minutes away from the Parliament which is also close to the Old Town. The parking places are marked with white traces and they all have a number painted on the street. You park, check the number of the parking spot and go to the paying machine. You press your number and insert coins for how many hours you want to stay. You do not have to enter any license plate of the car. When you come back to the car, you check how much time you have left by pressing the parking spot again.
Since we took the car from the French part of the airport, we did not have the Switzerland vignette. I must admit I have not read so much about this before arriving there so we drove like 100 km without buying the vignette which could result in a fine of 100CHF plus the actual price of the vignette of 40 CHF.
Just stop at the first gas station, take it and put it on the front window. The problem is that you can only buy a vignette for a whole year for 40 CHF no matter how many days you will use it which could be quite pricey, but then again it is better that the fine.
WHAT TO SEE
Wew are finally getting to the exciting part. Bern was our first Switzerland adventure and it was just the way I’ve pictured it. The moment we parked the car, it started snowing like in a fairytale. Big snowflakes covered everything in a second and when we got to the Parliament everything was white and fluffy.
The city was almost empty due to the snowy weather which was perfect for us to explore. It was our first snow on 2017 and we enjoyed it to the fullest.
Do not miss:
- Old City
- Berner Munster – Bern Cathedral
- Bundesplatz – Parliament Building
- Christmas market (of course, if you choose to visit the city in wintertime as we did)
Unfortunately, I would not know which places to recommend you for eating in Bern since we wanted to explore as much as we could and we did not stop at any restaurants. The truth is we started to taste street food and we could not eat a proper meal anymore. Apparently in this trip I had a thing with bratwursts and hot dogs that I could not explain, but everything I ate on the street was delicious (waffles included).
That was our adventure in Bern and we were ready for our second destination.
It is time to explore the beautiful city of Lucerne that managed to steal my heart right away. We chose Kappelbrucke-Old Town on Google Maps and we were lucky to find a parking spot just two minutes away. We started our adventure with the most beautiful place in town.
We wandered the streets of the Old Town and took a walk by the charming lake. The view is even better when the night comes because you get to see the city lights. I mean look at this amazing sunset we caught there.
Christmas vibes already all over Lucerne, plus mulled wine in the Christmas market. Not to mention all those Switzerland goodies, especially chocolate. We enjoyed some waffles and some gingerbread.
Do not miss:
- Kappelbrucke (Chapel Bridge)
- Old Town
- Lake Lucerne
- Christmas market
I must admit we did not explore Basel so much even though it was the place where we came back every night. The city was already dressed for Christmas and one evening we enjoyed a lovely Spanish dinner with our friends, Emma and Ioannis. If you decide you want something different, I recommend going to Don Pincho where you can find tasty tapas with Rhine view.
Emma told me a funny fact: in summer they often go to work on the actual river. They have a floatie, just like a pillow, hop on it and off to work. This sounds pretty strange to me, especially because I saw how big and powerful the Rhin is, but Emma says it is quite an adventure.
Do not miss:
- Olt Town
- Rhin river
And we finally got to our last Switzerland destination and probably the most wanted. The biggest city of the country is just stunning, starting with Zurich Lake and continuing with the Christmas market and the tasty cheese fondue.
Before I left to Switzerland, my boss told me not to come back without tasting the traditional cheese fondue, so our first stop was Fondue Chalet Klosters to check out this delicious dish. Emma and Ioannis accompanied us which made everything perfect. The restaurant is situated in the Christmas Market and it makes you feel like you are in the middle of the mountains.
We were now ready to explore this amazing city.
Do not miss:
- Old Town
- Limmatquai and the Rathaus
- Lake Zurich
- Burkiplatz – Christmas market in wintertime
PS: Besides being quite pricey, finding a parking spot in Zurich might be quite difficult because the city is packed with tourists so be sure to be armed with patience. Parking on the streets is not such a good idea close to the city center because it is limited at 1-2 hours so you will have to be back to the car too soon.
That being said, I hope our Switzerland adventure will inspire you to visit this amazing country. I would also love to be back in summertime and explore a little more, especially the South of the country which also has beautiful places to discover such as Geneve, Laussane, Montreux.
I wish you all a magical 2018,
Blonde around the World ❤