Switzerland is undoubetdly one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is named as the best country to live in for its economic and political stability, and also enlisted amongst the top 5 healthiest countries of world by Bloomberg. When you are in this paradise, you will most definitely know why is that so. As a parent-tourist, our search generally ends up with looking out for the child-friendly places or child-friendly hotels or comfortable destinations or activities to do with kids etc or simply going at exotic and top rated destinations, but somewhere in between, we often tend to miss getting the real feel of that place. With so many tour planners and guides available online, it is often observed that we end up following that route. In this article, we are not going to share any of that. All we share are the five simple and practical ways to get the real Swiss feel, everyday when you are here. We are quite certain that if you do these, you will know why Switzerland is so highly rated. Ofcourse you can follow for tour planners guide but do not miss the below.
5 simple ways to feel the Swiss magic
Quench your thirst with the water straight from the heart of Swiss Alps.
If we were to travel somewhere in India or Asia, we would have most definitely bought mineral water bottles with us. But since the water quality in Europe is close to perfect (read not contaminated) we have a choice to go bottles-free or ortherwise. So, it is quite often one of the first things to look for when visiting a new place in EU. In Spain, our Hotel staff suggested we buy water rather than drinking straight from the tap because it might taste different but its 'not' contaminated. In Germany we drink straight from the tap. BUT, when in Switzerland, you not just drink straight from the tap inside your house, but you also drink from the taps on the roads. Yes, you read it right. Almost all valleys and towns have fountains where water direct from the Alps flow freely. This water is rich in minerals, pure and perfectly safe to drink. Tap water doesnt get better than in Switzerland. Just carry an empty bottle and drink without second thoughts.
Its also one of their ways of balancing the ecology. This country isn't top rated for no reason!
Say yes to Swiss farm fresh cheese.
Switzerland not just offers a jaw-dropping scenery but also drool-worthy delicacies. Although food and drink is not cheap at all here, but if you are ceratin on getting the real feel of this country, there are other ways too. When you go to the valleys, there will be several houses displaying their fresh farm produce on sale. From Honey to Cheese to Jams, you name they have it. While walking down the Lauterbrunnen valley we came across a pretty little counter where the resident farmers have kept their fresh cheese on display and on sale. Visitors can buy their products, fuel themselves up and get going admiring the beauty of the valley. There wont necesarily be anybody to hand over the products, you choose the item you want and deposit the amount placed in the piggy bank. It is all based on the trust the farmers have on their visitors and the visitors' respect for the farmers' efforts and time.
These products are AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protegée) marked which means they meet the highly quality standards. AOP is reserved for traditional products and represents a guarantee of a high quality product obtained, manufactured and processed in its area of origin.
Ditch the city life.
There are plenty of places in the world to hang out and enjoy the citylife. But we highly recommend when in Switzerland, try ditching the big cities and enjoy the village life. No doubt the cities are beautiful but the alpine valley and villages around lakes are breathatkingly charming, one that most definitely is going to give you the real Swiss feel. If you want to experience the real Switzerland, find a chalet in one of the villages and feel the crisp fresh air, look at the rainbows, listen to the hustling water sounds almost every single day you are here. Through our entire trip we stayed in Iseltwad, a village very near to the valley of Interlaken and at a drive-able distance to Lauterbrunnen and its nearby places. This pretty little village of Iseltwad had its own school, a shop, a phamacy (Apotheke), a few farms, a couple restaurants, a beautiful deck on the lake and lovely villagers/residents. Almost a fairy tale setting! Taking a stroll outside, experiencing the village life was a memorable experience.
These charming Swiss villages are the gateway to the Alps and that makes living here worthwhile. Check the most scenic Swiss towns here.
Travel the 40 foot box on wheels.
There is no doubt that Swiss railways is the one the best mode of transport in Switzerland. It is wide spread, meets the quality standards, is safe and fast. But we do suggest if you are to travel to nearby towns from the place you are staying, do try taking the bus route. Check out the villages, meet people on the buses, look at the children play areas next to the local streets, take pictures of all the beautiful places that you often see on postcards and on the internet.
These bus routes take you deep inside the towns and villages connecting almost everywhere you want to go. Their timings are on point, the bus stops are accessible, and it is a safe and fun way to introduce the place to your little ones. Of course a cheaper mode than railways, but if you are lucky like we were, your Airbnb host might just hand you the free bus pass too making it all the way more cheap. 😉
Your sinful desire is worth the indulgence!
Your sinful desire is worth the indulgence here. If you haven't tasted Swiss chocolates in Switzerland, your trip is incomplete. There are plenty of Swiss chocolate chalets and shops near city centres and bus stops to buy these chocolate from. This perfect blend of taste and quality will surely give you the feel of this place. Make sure to do this sin!
It is really that simple to get the real Swiss feel. Eat, drink, live, wander the Swiss way! If you liked this article, or would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to comment below.