Switzerland Travel Guide Boasting snow-capped mountain ranges, glamorous ski villages and shimmering lakes dotted with lavish spa resorts, Switzerland's fame as a top European holiday destination is long-established and well deserved. The majority of visitors head to Switzerland over the ski season. The country's southern Alpine region offers some of the best skiing in the Europe with reliable snow, staggeringly beautiful scenery and world-class resorts like Davos, Gstaad, St Moritz, Zermatt and Verbier. Those that travel to Switzerland over the summer will be overwhelmed by the beauty of the Bernese Oberland region. A popular hiking destination, this a land of distant mountains and lush edelweiss-strewn meadows dotted with quaint wooden chalets. The sophisticated cities of Zurich, Geneva and Bern are also a draw for visitors, with their rich histories, upmarket dining, and exclusive boutiques. Best time to visit Switzerland Switzerland is a year-round destination. The ski season lasts from late November to mid-April, and the slopes are busiest over Christmas and New Year, and during the Easter school holidays. Walkers, cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts head to the Alps over the summer months (June to September). What to pack Ski kit or hiking boots, depending on the reason for visiting. If travelers are heading over in spring or summer, they should take a lightweight rain jacket in case of light showers. Switzerland is unbelievably expensive, so it's best to pack well! What to buy Watches and clocks (Switzerland is the watch-making capital of the world), chocolate, cheese, cow bells, clothing embroidered with edelweiss flowers and - of course - Swiss army knives. Eat Zurcher eintopf (a hot-pot dish famous in Zurich), rippli (pork ribs), fondue, rosti and sauerkraut; also try desserts like apfelküchlein (deep-fried apple cookies) and nusstorte (nut cake). A final word A land of cosmopolitan cities that function with the precision of clockwork, and of extraordinarily beautiful natural surrounds, Switzerland is quite simply one of Europe's finest tourist destinations.

TIME ZONE: Summer: GMT +2 hours, Winter +1 hour | CURRENCY: Swiss Franc (CHF). credit cards widely accepted and ATMs regularly available. | LANGUAGES: There are four official languages - German in central and eastern areas, French in the west and Italian in the south and Romansh mainly in the southeast (especially the canton of Graubunden). English is widely spoken. |