Switzerland is a country of amazing landscapes and outstanding works of art. Many peoples with different cultures are concentrated here, living in harmony and prosperity. According to itypejob.com, Bern is the capital of Switzerland.
“Switzerland is heaven!” – once said Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to Bern. Indeed, Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, which has a unique landscape: most of it is located on the territory of the Alps, which annually attract millions of tourists. Tours to Switzerland by bus are popular, because on such trips it is possible to see most of the sights of the country and see its landscapes of indescribable beauty.
Switzerland is without a doubt one of the most prosperous countries in the world. A high standard of living allows the state to set special prices in their country, and local workers and businessmen receive, accordingly, good salaries. This country is also always associated with high quality. Therefore, tourists who have visited Switzerland often return with branded watches, knives, as well as excellent cheeses and local chocolate.
DESCRIPTION OF SWITZERLAND
Switzerland (German Schweiz, French Suisse, Italian Svizzera), the Swiss Confederation, a state in Central Europe. Area – 41.3 thousand square meters. km. Population – 6.99 million people (1993). Urban population – 60% (1991). Official languages are German, French, Italian. Believers – Catholics, Protestants. Switzerland is a republic, a federation of 23 cantons (3 of them are divided into half-cantons). The capital is Bern (Lausanne is the seat of the federal judiciary). The head of state is the president. The legislature is the bicameral Federal Assembly (National Council and Council of Cantons).
Most of the territory is in the Alps (height up to 4634 m, peak Dufour), in the center of the country – the Swiss plateau, in the northwest – the Jura mountains. The climate is humid, temperate, and varies greatly in altitude. In Geneva, the average January temperatures are about 0 °C, July 19 °C. Precipitation is 800-2500 mm per year. The upper reaches of the mountain rivers Rhine, Rhone, Ticino. Geneva, Constance and other large lakes. In the Alps, glaciers (about 2 thousand km2), thick snow cover, avalanches often come down. Forests (24% of the territory), subalpine and alpine meadows. The mountains are widely used for recreational purposes (tourism, mountaineering, winter sports). Swiss national park, numerous reserves, wildlife sanctuaries.
Switzerland, or the Swiss Confederation, is a small state with a solid economic potential. A country without minerals and yet prosperous, a country that hosts the European headquarters of the UN, but which is not itself a member of it, a state composed of independent cantons and remaining united, a multilingual federation, where there are practically no ethnic problems… Continuous contradictions, isn’t it? Yes, but only at first glance. The Swiss writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt is to a certain extent right when he calls the very existence of Switzerland an accident from a historical point of view.
Of course, Switzerland owes much of its wealth to its main capital – a unique landscape that has attracted a lot of tourists since the 19th century. Switzerland is a country where the beauty of nature and outstanding creations of human hands are concentrated in a small space.
Holidays and non-working days :
New Year (January 1), Good Friday (March 28), Easter (March 30-31), Ascension (May 8), Trinity (May 18-19), Confederation Day (August 1), Christmas (December 25-26). There are also regional and local holidays such as January 2, May 1 (Labor Day), May 29 (Feast of the Body of the Lord), etc.
In Switzerland, everything is always clear and debugged, like clockwork. Including the work of ski resorts. For those tourists who can afford a winter trip to this expensive country, it offers a wide variety of high-mountain trails of various difficulty levels, gives an almost 100% guarantee of good snow and, of course, a 100% guarantee of high prestige, comfort and impeccable quality of rest.
Everyone who has enough money comes here: it is difficult to “classify” the local vacationers according to some other criteria, except for a high level of income. In Switzerland, many famous people traditionally have a rest – they are warmed by the fact that in this country they do not rush for an autograph even to world celebrities.
The main ski resorts are Grindelwald, Gstaad, Engelberg, St. Moritz, Davos, Zermatt, Verbier, Saas-Fee, Crans-Montana, Champery, Leukerbad and Diableret-Villars.
Daily regular direct flights to Geneva and Zurich from Moscow are operated by Aeroflot (from Sheremetyevo-2) and Swiss (from Domodedovo). The duration of the flight to Geneva is about four hours, to Zurich – 3.5 hours. The airports of Geneva and Zurich are combined with railway stations, so any destination can be reached at maximum speed on the day of arrival.
Import and export of currency is free, but subject to mandatory declaration if the amount exceeds 10,000 USD. It is allowed to import duty-free items for personal use – clothes, photo and video cameras, sports equipment, musical instruments and food (within reasonable limits), as well as 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco, a liter of spirits and two liters of alcohol not stronger than 15 °. You can also bring gifts up to 100 CHF.
It is forbidden to import drugs, meat and meat products, skins of wild cats, crocodiles and lizards – and products from them, plants with soil.
Embassy of Switzerland in Moscow: Prechistenskaya nab. 31, tel.: (495) 641-3889, 974-2459.
Embassy of Russia in Bern: Brunnadernstrasse, 37.; tel.: (4131) 352–0566, 352–0567
Roadside assistance: 140
Switzerland has one of the most advanced transport systems in the world – the Swiss Travel System. This is a system of universal travel cards that are valid for all types of regular transport and give a discount on many types of tourist transport. These travel cards will be “rebuffed” if you make at least two long trips around the country. Advise your travelers to purchase a Swiss Transfer Ticket, which provides transfers from the Swiss border or airport to any domestic destination and back to the point of entry. The ticket is valid for one month, the distance from the starting point to the destination must be covered in one day. Ticket price: 164 CHF (first class) and 107 CHF (second class).
If a tourist plans to move around the country a lot, and not sit in one resort, it is most profitable for him to buy a Swiss Pass.
Conditions for renting a car: the age of the driver is at least 21 years old (for some models – 25 years old), the presence of an international driver’s license, driving experience of at least three years, the presence of a valid credit card (and even two for some car brands).
In cities, in addition to public transport, you can ride bicycles. Free bike rentals are offered in Zurich and Geneva. At the rental point, you only need to leave some document and 20 CHF as a deposit for one day (in Zurich) or 50 CHF (in Geneva).
Despite the fact that the crime rate in Switzerland is one of the lowest among developed countries, tourists still should not tempt fate and leave their wallet and luggage unattended in crowded places.
Mains voltage 220 V, frequency 50 Hz. The sockets have a Swiss configuration, which is different from the European one, so an adapter is required. It can be obtained from the receptionist in every hotel.
The climate is temperate continental, alpine. He is not characterized by extreme manifestations of heat, cold or humidity. In January-February, daytime temperatures fluctuate between -1..-5°C. In the north and in the central part of the country, the weather is determined by the influence of the Atlantic; in the south, a mild Mediterranean climate prevails. The average temperature in Geneva in December-February is +2°C.
For more information, see the file “Useful information about Switzerland”.
Most of the hotels in the country are members of the Swiss Hotel Association. They have good and spacious rooms with all the services required for an institution of this category. However, hotels that are not members of the Association are usually also cozy and tidy. In general, Swiss hotels are better than the “middle European” ones. The price of breakfast (buffet) is usually included in the price of the room. For an additional fee, most hotels offer two or three meals a day.
Banks are open from 8:00 to 16:00 (some until 17:00–18:00) on weekdays, a break from 12:00 to 14:00. You can change money at any bank branch, and in the evening – at the exchange offices of large department stores, airports and some travel agencies. Currency exchange offices at airports and railway stations are open daily from 8:00 to 22:00, sometimes around the clock.
VAT in Switzerland is 7.5%. To get this tax refund, you need to: make a purchase for at least 400 CHF, take the Global Refund Check from the store, present it and your passport when leaving the customs office. Purchased goods must be taken out of the country within 30 days.
Shops are open on weekdays from 8:30 to 18:30, some large ones are open on Thursdays until 21:00–22:00. On Saturday, all shops are open from 8:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00. In large cities, some shops are open without a lunch break, but are closed on Monday mornings, and one day a week (usually on Thursdays) shops are open until 20:30.
Watches, chocolates, the famous penknives and music boxes are considered traditional “Swiss shopping”.
Most prices are quoted in both euros and Swiss francs. In some large stores, euros are even accepted for payment, but change is given out in Swiss francs. It is most convenient to use credit cards.
A feature of Swiss cuisine is the abundance of cheese and dairy products, as well as meat with a variety of seasonings. You should definitely try the traditional “cheese fondue” – Gruyère or Emmental cheese melted in boiling white wine, seasoned with spices. In addition, Switzerland is famous for its chocolate, lake and river fish, raclette, jerky and all kinds of pies.
Most restaurants have a “menu of the day” called “Tagesteller” or “Plat du Jour”. This is a full lunch costing 15-25 CHF, rarely more.
Tips are usually included in restaurant and hotel bills, as well as taxi fares. Additional tips are optional but would be greatly appreciated.
DOCUMENTS FOR TRAVEL TO SWITZERLAND, VISA TO SWITZERLAND
The visa is issued through the Embassy of Hungary.
- Passport / international passport for citizens of the Russian Federation, not older than 10 years and valid for 6 months from the end date of the tour. There must be at least 2 free pages with the inscription “Visas”. For citizens of the Russian Federation: a copy of the residence permit and the original.
- Copy of passport:31-33 pages and Schengen visas for the last 3 years. For citizens of the Russian Federation: a copy of the residence permit and the original.
- One photo(3.5*4.5 cm, color, on a light background, not older than 6 months).
- C insuranceaccording to the terms of the tour. The minimum amount of insurance coverage is 30,000 euros.
- Confirmation of employment:
4.1. For employees: a certificate on company letterhead (indicates the date of employment, qualifications, wages with a breakdown for the last 6 months). It is necessary to confirm that during the trip the employee goes on paid leave and his place of work is retained.
4.2. For individual entrepreneurs: certificate of state registration; a certificate from the tax inspectorate on the payment of a single tax and / or other taxes with confirmation of doing business at the moment, as well as an account statement on the availability of funds.
- For pensioners:a copy of the pension certificate; certificate of received pension (decryption for the last 6 months); statement of account; in the absence of an account ─ documents of the sponsoring person (sponsorship letter; copy of the sponsor’s passport; documents confirming kinship; certificate of sponsor’s salary).
- For students (full-time education):a certificate from the dean’s office (in the case of a visa request during the study period ─ permission from the dean’s office for absence from classes); in the absence of own income: documents of the sponsoring person (sponsor’s letter; copy of the sponsor’s passport; documents confirming kinship; salary certificate or an extract from the sponsor’s bank account).
- For students:certificate from the place of study (in case of requesting a visa during the study period ─ permission to be absent from classes); documents of the sponsoring person (sponsor’s letter; copy of the sponsor’s passport; documents confirming kinship; salary certificate or an extract from the sponsor’s bank account).
- For the unemployed:a copy of the first and last pages of the work book or a copy of the diploma (if the applicant graduated from an educational institution no more than 6 months ago); statement of account; in the absence of own income ─ documents of the sponsoring person (sponsorship letter; copy of the sponsor’s passport; documents confirming kinship; certificate of sponsor’s salary).
- For minors:birth certificate (copy and original). If the child is traveling with one of the parents ─ notarized permission from the other parent. If the child is traveling accompanied by a third person, the parents shall notarize the consent to the departure of the child in favor of this person. The original permission and copies of parents’ passports are provided. Important:the application for a visa for a minor must be signed by both parents !
- The cost of a visais 35 euros, for citizens of the Russian Federation – 35 euros. Children under 12 years old are free.
IMPORTANT: in addition to the above documents, travel agencies must provide a questionnaire signed by the tourist (do not fill out, only: the applicant ‘s personal signature in paragraph 37 and below on the next page).
EXCURSIONS IN SWITZERLAND
- Swiss Riviera (Lausanne, Montreux, Vevey, Geneva)
As a rule, such a tour lasts approximately 8 hours. And includes a sightseeing tour of Lausanne: a visit to the Old City, the Cathedral and the only Olympic Museum in the world.
Then transfer to Montreux. Visiting the medieval Chillon Castle, a monument in honor of Freddie Mercury, a monument to Nabokov and a walk along the famous Montreux embankment. Further transfer to Vevey, visiting the monument to Charlie Chaplin, a walk through the streets of the Old Town.
Moving to Geneva. City tour with a visit to: the UN complex, a visit to the flower clock, the English Garden, the old city, the Cathedral of Peter and Paul, the Wall of the Reformers (monuments to people who initiated the transition of Switzerland to the Protestant faith), the clock museum, the Russian church.
- The capital of Switzerland – Bern and the Open Air Historical Museum in the town of Ballenberg
The first part of the tour is carried out by car or minibus, the second part is on foot. The tour begins with a trip to the Rose Garden, from where a magnificent panorama of the Old Town, included in the UNESCO register, opens up. Then we go down to the famous Bearpit – a pit with bears, the symbol of Bern (you can feed them, bears are very fond of apples). On the Niddegbrücke bridge, we enter the old town and drive past the famous Bernese fountains dating back to the 16th century. Stop at Einstein’s house, where the theory of relativity was discovered. Then we visit the Parliament building and the Cathedral. Further, the tour continues on foot to the Clock Tower (one of the oldest clock mechanisms in Europe, a clock with a fight and figures), the famous fountain “Child Eater”, a tour of the Opera House and the Town Hall.
Moving to the village of Ballenberg, where more than 100 old houses from various cities and villages of Switzerland and a traditional farm with more than 250 domestic animals are picturesquely located on a large territory. Every day in the town there is a demonstration of various traditional crafts.
- Excursion to the Alps (Interlaken – Grindelwald – Lake Tun – to the caves of St. Beatus)
On the way to the city of Interlaken along the shores of Lake Thun (one of the most beautiful lakes in central Switzerland) with a stop in the town of Oberhofen, near the ancient castle. Inspection of the castle, where there is a wonderful collection of antique furniture and utensils. Transfer to the Interlaken resort, a walk around the city.
Transfer to the city of Thun (an ancient town on the shores of Lake Thun in central Switzerland), a walk around the city. Moving along the shore of the lake to the caves of St. Beatus (the length of the caves is about 1 km, inside there is a beautiful illumination, stalactites and stalagmites, an underground lake), a tour of the caves. Moving to the village of Beatenberg, climbing into the mountains, from where a breathtaking panorama of the entire Bernese Canton opens.
- Gruyere – the birthplace of Swiss cheese – medieval Friborg
Transfer to the city of Friborg (a small but very beautiful city, located on a rock and divided into two parts – the upper and lower cities). Walk around the city with a visit to the Cathedral, the old town, ancient wooden bridges.
Further transfer to the town of Gruyère. Visit to the Gruyeres Castle, a walk through this charming medieval village.
Visit the famous local cheese factory, cheese tasting, watching a film about the history and rules of cheese making. Possibility of buying young cheese.
In summer, there is the possibility of visiting a real peasant cheese factory on a farm high in the mountains. Making cheese by hand, according to traditional recipes.
- Excursion to Yverdon Le Ban – thermal springs
Transfer to Yverdon (beautiful old town on the shores of Lake Neuchatel, birthplace of the famous teacher and educator Pestalozzi), visiting the ancient Castle located on the central square, the local history museum and the monument to Pestalozzi.
A visit to the thermal center of the resort (one of the best in Switzerland), swimming in a variety of outdoor thermal pools (you must bring a bathing suit with you).
- Excursion to the mountain resort of Gstaad and the village of Chateau – d’Oex
A trip to the village of Chateau-d’Oex, where fans of balloons gather all year round, and the most famous balloon festival in the world takes place every year. Here you can always admire some of them and even ride in a hot air balloon.
Then transfer to Gstaad, one of the most exclusive mountain resorts in the Alps. The resort has great shops and cozy restaurants, the resort is surrounded by alpine mountain meadows.
- Safari – a park in Goldau, Goldau
On a territory of several hectares, deer, roe deer, hares, mountain goats and ground squirrels live freely. Bears, wolves, wild boars and cougars live in special spacious pens. A paradise for children with a variety of scenic hiking trails, observation towers, sandpits and much more.
- Alpamare Water Park, Zurich
One of the largest water parks in Switzerland is located not far from Zurich. Many attractions, restaurants with children’s menus and souvenir shops.
- Kindercity, Zurich
In the suburbs of Zurich, on an area of 6000 m2, there is the largest entertainment and educational center in Switzerland for children under 12 years old. Educational games and attractions for children of all ages.