Switzerland practically, that is, some tips on what to know and remember before going to Switzerland. What to bring with you? Is it really that expensive? What is a must-see? Welcome to the summary of our trip to Switzerland.
We will summarize everything in this post. You will also find some practical tips here.
Table of contents
Roaming, or phone calls and internet
First of all, you have to remember that Switzerland is not in the European Union, so even though you are in the center of Europe you will pay much more for Internet, text messages and voice calls than you might think. No European tariff applies here, and prices are not the same as in Poland.
It is worth noting that this is an exception, because, for example, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, which are also not members of the European Union, will not expose us to such costs. There, the normal European tariff applies.
In Switzerland, however, you have to expect much higher costs. That’s why it’s a good idea to consider even before you leave whether and how you want to use the network. For example, you can get at least the Internet access service that XOXO WiFi offers. As we already mentioned to you, this was our first country where we used this option and we can safely recommend it to you. With XOXO WiFi, we were able to use the Internet in every corner of Switzerland and were independent of public WiFi networks.
Cosmic prices, everywhere!
There is no denying that Switzerland is not a super option for a short city break on a dime :) Cheap here was not, is not and will not be. Prices are simply cosmic everywhere, although after our trips to Iceland and the Faroe Islands, for example, we also already have a slightly different perception of “high prices.”
The best example is the ascent of Titlis, which costs £350 per person round trip.
Neither can the campsites in Switzerland be counted among the cheap ones, although the standard here, we must admit, was at a very high level. Prices vary, of course, from £80 to even well over £300 per night. Even with these higher amounts and adding in the cost of renting the RV itself, it still comes out cheaper than hotels and dining out.
Because it was precisely thanks to the fact that we traveled by camper van that we were able to take with us a considerable supply of provisions and eat something warm every day, prepared in our mobile kitchen :)
When going to Switzerland, remember to plan your route well, taking into account that not all roads may be passable. Even in the summer. In general, many sections of mountain trails are closed for the winter, and rail connections are prepared as an alternative.
These are known as Autoverlad, or rail car transport. Instead of driving the dangerous mountainous section, all cars enter special platforms and are transported by rail. You can find a handful of practical information on this subject here.
You can find a map with current obstructions and closed routes here.
What to see, or Grand Tour
Our plan was to drive the entire Grand Tour of Switzerland, one of the most beautiful routes in the world. It is more than 1,600 kilometers long and runs throughout Switzerland.
We, unfortunately, did not succeed. Traveling by camper is much slower and more demanding than by car :) However, despite this, we know that we will return to complete our tour someday.
Who knows, maybe you will succeed! You definitely need to plan more time than you plant to cover the entire route, because after all, it’s not just about “passing” the route, but about gloating over the picturesque landscapes and getting to know Switzerland. And this is only possible if you get out of your vehicle, visit cities or follow a walking trail.
>> We also recommend our post on what to see in Switzerland, which is our TOP 5 most beautiful places.
Some practical information
Below you will find some more advice on what to keep in mind before traveling to Switzerland?
- As we wrote above, Switzerland is not part of the European Union, so you’ll pay more for phone, texting or Internet here. We have already written about this above, but it is worth emphasizing again, because a lot of compatriots forget about it when they travel to this beautiful country.
- Switzerland is not part of the European Union, but fortunately it is part of the Schengen area! As a result, an ID card is enough to visit Switzerland. That is, you can leave your passport quietly at home.
- On health issues, fortunately, as in the rest of the European Union, there is an EHIC (issued by the National Health Service for free). It works because Switzerland, as a member of the European Free Trade Association, accepts such certificates. Keep in mind, however, that despite this, even for basic medical services in Switzerland you pay extra. It is all the more worthwhile, as always, to buy additional travel insurance.
- In Switzerland, the currency is the Swiss Franc, or CHF. Virtually everywhere we paid by debit card and there was not the slightest problem with it.
- We were able to communicate in English everywhere without much problem.
- As for security, I think everyone knows that Switzerland is a safe and peaceful country. However, as always, especially in holiday resorts, keep your eyes around your head.
- It is also worth getting a good guidebook. Switzerland doesn’t seem big, but it’s better to have useful tips on hand.
- And most importantly! ;) Electrical outlets are quite different from those in the rest of Europe. These are three-bolt sockets. Very similar to the Polish ones, but they have all the pins arranged almost in a straight line. The adapter will certainly come in handy, although we didn’t need one, as we had ordinary outlets, in the camper :) And the camper itself on the equipment already has all possible plugs to connect it to electricity.
Switzerland is a very interesting option for an active vacation. Seemingly not far away, yet it is an unpopular destination, because by the association of Switzerland with high prices, not too many tourists from Poland get here. Nevertheless, it is worth trying and visiting this beautiful corner of our continent :)
See also our entry: Switzerland – what to see, TOP 5 most beautiful places.
If you have any more questions about Switzerland, feel free to ask in the comments. We will try to answer them all! :)