Planning to travel to Switzerland from Saudi Arabia?
Then start planning right away to family destinations with the Saudi to Switzerland tour.
“Switzerland, Europe’s Mountain Playground, is a classic tourist draw that remains consistently popular. Visitors from the world over travel here to ascend the slopes of the Alps, breathe the crisp air, and feel on top of the world. When they come down from the mountains, they find thriving, cosmopolitan cities that are steeped in history and culture.” – FODOR’S SWITZERLAND TRAVEL GUIDE.
That’s Switzerland, one of the most popular countries for tourists.
Located in Central Europe, it is a landlocked country that shares its borders with Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Liechtenstein. Popularly called as the ‘Heart of Europe’, Switzerland encompasses the finest of European architecture, food, languages, and people.
ON A FAMILY DESTINATION SAUDI TO SWITZERLAND TOUR, WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW?
On arrival from Saudi to Switzerland, you will be fingerprinted. Likewise, when you depart from Switzerland to Saudi, you will again be fingerprinted.
Here’s what you need to know before you embark on a Saudi to Switzerland tour.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS ON TOURIST VISA
Even though it is a part of Europe, Switzerland is not a part of the European Union. However, it belongs to the Schengen zone of countries which means if you require a VISA to travel from Saudi to Switzerland and Europe, then you must have a Schengen Visa.
Although not a part of the European Union, Switzerland maintains a strong agreement with Europe on most issues.
If you’re travelling from Saudi to Switzerland, you need to use the local currency, that is, Swiss Franc (symbolized by CHF). Aside from Euro, even the USD and CAD are not accepted in Switzerland.
CHF means ‘Confoederatio Helvatica Franc’. It is a legal form of currency in not just Switzerland but also in Liechtenstein as well.
- Credit Cards are accepted in Switzerland. They are a convenient mode of payment at stores, restaurants, railway stations, etc.
- Cash payments are suitable for buying tickets, paying for coffee and laundry bills, etc.
The official languages in Switzerland are French, German, Italian, and Romansh (a Romance Language that’s spoken in the Grisons Canton (State)). Each language is spoken in specific regions of Switzerland.
If you’re facing language barriers, buy a language translator device. It will ensure that you travel around Switzerland safely, smoothly, and efficiently without facing language issues.
Switzerland offers a plethora of accommodation options.
Aside from 5-star heritage hotels, there are Airbnbs, campgrounds, hostels, and mountain resorts
- Cheaper hotels can be best availed during the off-season. The room rates are cheap by and large.
- Hotels in the city center area with 5-star status begin at about 350 CHF for every night inclusive of double occupancy.
- 3-star hotels or lower properties begin at 230 CHF inclusive of double occupancy for every night. Some hotels offer breakfast while parking may or may not be available.
- Standard hotels near the airport or away from the city center, begin at 180 CHF inclusive of double occupancy for every night.
Airbnb style apartments begin at 180 CHF for every night. They come with basic amenities including a kitchen.
A popular mode of accommodation with tourists, they begin at a cost of around 180 CHF, inclusive of a shared room. There are also private rooms in hostel that come with offer of breakfast.
Mountain resorts are often occupied during the winter months. They are pretty expensive; on an average, they cost around 400 CHF and more.
NOTE: Every mode of accommodation will require you to show your passport, and pay city tax. The payment can be done by credit card upon checking in (or check out).
Availing public transportation is the best way to get around Switzerland. They are clean, efficient, safe, and above all, low-priced.
Switzerland has an extensive and well-developed rail network, the fastest and most convenient mode of transportation.
There are two types of train tickets – first class and second class. You need to buy them on the SBB Ticket Machines placed at the rail station, before you get on to the train.
Connected between cities and rural areas, the trains operate every half-an-hour or an hour.
Even though not commonly used as a means of transport, they are used to reach places that cannot be reached by trains.
All buses are highly-sophisticated with air-conditioning, and even Wi-Fi connectivity.
Bus ticket prices vary, depending on the company that provides the bus service. Certain bus service providers provide discounts for certain groups of passengers like children, seniors, students, etc.
In case, you do not have a pass, you need to buy a bus ticket. They will have to be purchased from the ticketing machine at bus ticket offices in bus or rail stations, before boarding the bus.
Hand luggage by and large is free when travelling by bus. However, where you have a luggage that needs to be carried around by you, then you need to contact the specific bus company. Just check their prices and policies.
It is another popular mode of transport in Switzerland for getting around quickly. But it is quite expensive and can be difficult to hire from the streets.
If you intend to take a taxi, then take it from a public taxi stand.
Though not a widely used means of transportation, some major Swiss cities like Geneva, Basel, Bern, and Zurich have well-functioning tramways.
The environment-friendly tramways also offer certain additional services.
TRAVELLING FOR MORE THAN 3 DAYS
If you’re travelling for a longer duration, say like 5 days or more, then Swiss Travel Pass & Half-Fare Card are suitable modes of payment.
Half-Fare Pass allows you to travel with a half-price on the entire Swiss public transport network, including buses, boats, or trams. Additionally, you can also avail discounts with it and other attractive services.
The Swiss Pass, on the other hand, is a plastic card inclusive of two electronic RFID chips. The chips store your personal Swiss Pass Number, to check your name and travel card.
The pass can be purchased at any railway station in Switzerland; and can replace the GA (General Abonnement Pass) OR half-fare pass. It stays valid for 3 to 15 continual days.
With a Swiss Pass, you can also avail free public transport; get free entrance to over 500 museums across Switzerland; avail 50 percent on cable cars and funiculars; and travel from one city to another city without bothering about language barriers.
HOW TO SECURE SWISS PASS?
There are four types of Swiss Passes for rail. You can buy them online.
You need to first select the travel date at checkout. This will activate your pass. To receive it on time, make sure to book the pass at least before 7 business days.
TRAVELLING FOR LESS THAN 3 DAYS FROM SAUDI TO SWITZERLAND
If you’re travelling for less than 3 days, then you can do with a Daily Pass or a City Sightseeing Pass. This will allow you to explore the many attractions that Switzerland has to offer.
There are guided day tours and packaged tours. Those who feel delicate to travel by train networks will find it a good option.
FOOD AND DRINKS
Diversity is the essence of Switzerland even in its food and drinks. While the influence of neighboring nations like France, Germany, & Italy is evident in its food and drinks, Switzerland has also added its own flavors to produce what’s called unique Swiss dishes and drinks.
SWISS CHEESE FONDUE: It is made-up of Emmentaler and natural Gruyere cheese (either mixed or kept separately). This is mixed with other local cheese, and then fused with nutmeg and garlic. Later, it’s combined with white wine and then bread is placed on long-stemmed forks and dipped into the cheese.
RACLETTE: It’s a type of semi-hard cheese called Raclette cheese that’s made from Alpine cow’s milk. The cheese is heated in front of a fire and when it becomes soft is scraped onto the plate to eat along with boiled potato, comichon pickles, cold meat, and pickled onions. Finally, you can add your most favorite Swiss wine to give it a unique taste.
ROSTI: A famous Swiss dish that’s usually found in almost every Swiss menu. It’s made from potatoes. After it’s well-roasted in butter and spices, it’s usually served with bacon, cheese, meat, sausages, or veggies in varied variations in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
ALPLERMAGRONEN: Made with cheese, macaroni, potatoes, and onions, it is a layered pasta dish with a very creamy texture that’s baked until it turns golden in looks. Then it’s topped with caramelized onions and shredded Gruyere, and later served with apple sauce.
PASTETLI: Cooked with meat and mushrooms in a creamy sauce, this Swiss meat pie is traditionally served with peas and rice.
SWISS BEER: Even though there are around 650 registered breweries in Switzerland, it does not have a specific national beer like other European nations. Each region in Switzerland has its own unique beer specialty. Among the most popular ones include Blanche Weiner, LaVerte, Namur Express, & Ueli Laggs.
SPICED RED WINE (GIUGHWEIN): It is a popular Swiss Christmas special drink that’s consumed through the whole of winter in Switzerland. Mainly available in all the Christmas markets, it is a sweet kind of wine that’s richly spiced, making it one-of-a-kind wine.
HOT CHOCOLATE: It is not meant for eating but for drinking. Made from chocolate powder or pure chocolate, it is a go-to-drink in Switzerland in the winter months.
SWISS CHOCOLATES / DESSERTS
SWISS DESSERTS & GELATO: There are many varieties. From the Berliner (doughnut) to Bundner Nusstorte (nut tart), Raspberry Cake, Swiss Yoghurt, Pain Au Chocolate, Zuger Kirschtorte (Swiss Layered Cake), there are several temptations that will keep you spellbound.
Gelato is made from chocolate, coffee, fruits, nuts, and stracciatella (chocolate shavings). It is very popular and a must-have in a Swiss eating itinerary.
SWISS CHOCOLATE: Switzerland is famous the world over for its delightful range of chocolates. There are several popular Swiss chocolate brands like Cailers, Milka, Lindt, Toblerone, all known for their extreme creamy texture and diverse range of varieties.
When you’re on a Saudi to Switzerland tour, you must undertake a ‘Chocolate Tour’. Make it memorable by availing the sizeable discounts offered with Swiss Travel Pass.
Finally, Switzerland is home to an incredible number of Michelin starred restaurants. You can find the best of affordable Swiss food and drinks in these restaurants.
MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS FROM SAUDI TO SWITZERLAND TOUR
Located in the Lake Lucerne region, Mount Pilatus oozes history that speaks of legends. Europeans in the medieval ages believed that a dragon rock fell from the sky to form the mountain.
Rumored to be named after the famous biblical Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, the 2,100 meter (7000 foot) Mount Pilatus offers a breathtaking view of the Swiss and French Alps; and Lake Lucerne that lies below. To reach the mountain, you can avail what’s called the steepest railway in the world that boasts grades over 48%.
In the summer months, you can avail hiking opportunities and in the winter months, you can get a feel of the high-altitude Christmas market.
Another of spectacular nature’s bounties in Switzerland, Mount Titlis is where you can ride the world’s first rotating cable wagon. You can take a ride right up to the Mount Titlis.
When up there on Mount Titlis, you can soak in the beauty of nature by taking a walk on the suspension bridge or just dangling your feet on the ice flyer. The glacier park nearby is kid-friendly which means your kids can have a blast there and enjoy themselves.
CHATEAU DE CHILLON
Also known as Chillon Castle, Chateau De Chillon is located on the shores of Lake Geneva. It reeks of a fabulous history with stunning tales rolled over four centuries.
For centuries, the water castle was the main fortress. It monitored water freight on the lake and also guarded the land route to St Bernhard Pass.
If you’re one of those fond of history, there are plentiful historical delights to savor. Like art pieces dating back to the 14th century; 25 separate buildings with three courtyards; two circular walls; and subterranean vaults.
JET D’ EAU
Known as one of Geneva’s most famous landmarks, Jet D’ Eau is a giant water fountain that shoots 140 meters (460 feet) of water into the air. Nestled at a point where the Lake Geneva empties itself into the River Rhone, Jet D’ Eau is a gigantic sight that should be best seen from several miles away. Especially from a place called Bains De Paguis.
It shoots up 7 tons of water in the air at a given time. Much of the water that is ejected is said to spray people watching it in the pier beneath. The best time to view it is when it is illuminated in pink, or blue color to mark a humanitarian cause. This generally takes place two or three times in a year.
It is the largest ski resort town in the Jungfrau region. Blessed with abundance of nature’s bounties, it buzzes with activities throughout the year.
It can be visited in the summer as well as winter months. In the summer months, you can enjoy the spectacle of breathtaking hiking trails, and some of the finest rock climbing locations. Similarly, in the winter months, you can relish the fun of skiing and also try out the local toboggan run.
Aside from this, the stunning mountain town also boasts of a number of mountain peaks and passes, as well as ice sculptures during the world snow festival. This will delight those who are nature lovers and those fond of photography.
Located near Schaffausen, it is Europe’s largest waterfall. To savor its most spectacular sight, you can take a boat tour. This tour will also let you savor the sights of the riverside castles; boulder perched in the middle of the river at the top of the falls, and the basin.
Viewing platforms are available that will allow you to view some breathtaking sights over the falls. The place also offers adventure trails, children’s playground, and museum region
Hailed as the most scenic Swiss train, this colorful scarlet train crosses the start of the Alps in the town of Chur and ends-up at Tirano, which lies just across the border in Northern Italy.
The entire train journey takes about 4 hours during which the passengers will be transported through 196 bridges and 55 tunnels. One can relish the breathtaking sights of stunning mountain peaks and towns; glaciers; bridges that span across 60 meters (200 foot) drops; and many such delights. Aside from savoring the delights of nature, there are wonderful snacks and drinks offered by porters during the train journey.
Known as the ‘Top of Europe’, it is a col located in the Bernese Alps. To access it you need to take a cogwheel train that will end you up at Europe’s highest mountain station.
When you experience the Alpine sensation tour, you get to soak in some of the finest sights in the world. They include the UNESCO listed Aletsch Glacier; the Ice Palace; and mountain summits like Monch, Elger, & Jungfrau. Aside from this, there is the SPHINX Observatory, one of the world’s highest astronomical sighting stations.
Simply put, Jungfraujoch offers plentiful amazing sights that are pristine. The only hitch here is there is no place for overnight stay; and minimal of amenities including a few restaurants.
It is meant to be a trip for a day and that’s the way you should experience it.
It is one-of-a-kind place that is rich in culture and nature. Blessed with a stunning location in the Alps, it attracts thousands of people from around the world every year. As one of the world’s liveliest cities, it is hip and trendy that is not to be missed when in Switzerland.
The capital of Switzerland, Bern is a magical place blessed with abundance of nature’s spectacular delights. The city boasts of several age-old buildings, cobbled streets, and chocolates and cheese varieties’.
Nestled between Brienz and Thus, it reeks of fairy-tale settings. There are several picture-perfect Alpine Chalets and lush green meadows across the whole of Interlaken. Aside from this, there is Elger, Monch, and Jungfrau, all of which offers delightful visual settings. In the summer months, it becomes a paragliding haven while in the winter months, it becomes a skiing haven. This makes it a place to visit any time of the year.
Built on a confluence of three hills, it is surrounded by vineyard-covered slopes and Lake Geneva. As the typical quintessential old town, it is vehicle-free. There are several small alleyways where you can soak in the delights of colorful cafes and boutiques.
Among the prettiest places in Switzerland, it is flanked by abundance of nature’s bounties. Like lush mountains, and picturesque green settings. There is also a lake by the same name in the place. To maintain its fabled beauty, no cars are allowed in the place. This makes it suitable for those who are fond of walking and love to walk around. It is best visited during the spring and summer months. This will allow you to take back fond memories and also mementoes.
Another of those old-styled towns, it takes you back to the heydays of the past. Motorized vehicles are not allowed. So those wanting to take a tour can do so with a carriage. Filled with beautiful restaurants, original Swiss chalets, pedestrian-friendly cobbled streets, traditional stores, and luxury stay destinations, it is a place that one must not miss when in Switzerland.
When translated, its name indicates ‘Several Fountains’. It is a typical quintessential Swiss village with around 72 waterfalls. Called as an ‘Alpine Gem’, it is flanked by breathtaking peaks and lush meadows where the raw beauty of nature melts with the picture-postcard Swiss settings.
IDEAL TIME TO VISIT
Switzerland has four seasons – Spring: March to May; Summer: June to August; Autumn: September to November; and Winter: December to February. The weather generally varies from region to region and altitude to altitude.
The best time to visit is the crossover months, which means, late spring and autumn/fall. They are great for exploring the beauty of Switzerland without the hustle and bustle of huge crowds. Additionally, they also offer better accommodation rates and options.
In the autumn month, you can
- Soak in the true beauty of Switzerland with its many foliage and different shades of browns and oranges.
- Savor the fun of outdoor activities like festivals, picnics, and swimming.
- Enjoy spring skiing in places like St Moritz, Zermatt, Saas Fee, etc, during the months of March and April.
If you want to experience the real value of skiing, then the winter months would be a suitable time to visit. You can plan your trip in December and January after checking out the Christmas markets.
SAFETY TIPS FOR SAUDI TO SWITZERLAND
One of the safest places on Earth, Switzerland will make you feel at home. You can venture out even late at night, and use trains or just walk around markets, old town centres, etc.
However, you need to be watchful in crowded spaces. You need to ensure that your bag is not left open and need to take extra care of your camera, purses, wallet, cards, etc.
TIPPING TIPS FOR SAUDI TO SWITZERLAND
Tips and service charges in the final bill are generally included in most European nations.
Even though you are under no obligation to tip in Switzerland, you can tip if you feel satisfied with the food and service. This will be taken as a sign of appreciation.
You can tip how much you want. But usually people tipping range varies from 5 percent to 10 percent.
Before deciding to travel to Switzerland from Saudi Arabia, ensure that your passport has a validity period of at least 6 months.
There is quite simply no place on EARTH like Switzerland. It is not just a nature’s paradise but is also a ‘Heaven On Earth’ with endless attractions.
No wonder, a popular former U.S. politician from the Republican Party, Michele Marie Bachmann said, “It’s tough to find a place not to like in Switzerland”.
For more information, visit us at AkbarTravels.