Europe Guides Hotels Insider Tips

Insider Guide: Switzerland

Hi y’all, I am an American raised, southern girl at heart, currently living in Prague, Czech Republic teaching English. In September of 2013 I took a trip to Croatia that changed my life. There is always those things you want to do, but you’re scared and fearful, and then something just clicks in your brain and it all seems right in that very distinct moment.

That’s exactly what this trip did to me.

I felt I was already living the dream.  I was happy living in Newport Beach, California with a great job and a great life. But I always wanted MORE, and questioned myself, could I be even MORE happier?

Traveling makes me happy, really, really happy. Whenever I return from a trip I could never explain the feeling to someone who doesn’t travel. So I decided to take a trip where I didn’t have to “return” anywhere. Booked my one way ticket to Europe, and here I am.

So far, I haven’t looked back nor regretted one decision I have made. Well, maybe that one night in ..ahhh…nevermind…thats another story for another time.

31 countries down, countless plane/train/bus rides later…. and plenty more to explore.

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I recently took an incredible trip to Switzerland with a very good friend of mine. I had been once before, but in the spring back in 2008 on my very first trip to Europe, fast forward 7 years later, and this trip was very different experience. This time I went in the middle of winter.

What I found was more than I had ever expected. I will now, and forever refer to the Swiss Alps as “My Narnia.”

Here’s the inside scoop on just how incredible this country is and some insider tips on how I managed to only spend $288 USD on flights, accommodations, and trains for 3 nights .

Yes,yes, and YES. That’s right, you heard correctly. In one of the most expensive countries in the world I managed to only spend $150.00 USD TOTAL for food/spending costs for three days plus the $288 on hotel/transport which totals $438 Total. That my friends, is what I like to call “Ballin on a Budget.”

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What to Do: Paragliding in the Swiss Alps
When I told people I was paragliding in negative 18 degree Celsius weather ( -4 fahrenheit) they looked at me as if I was crazy. I chose Zermatt because I of the wicked view of the Matterhorn. We took off from Rothorn peak at 10,200 ft and landed in the middle of Zermat Village. Surprisingly, there is a peaceful serenity in the sky while you’re up there.

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Interlaken
Take a stroll through Neuhaus Park along Interlaken. There lies a magical place known as Weissenau Nature Reserve. With a crinkled and ripped map, we got wonderfully lost in a winter wonderland.

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Zermatt
It’s the perfect little ski town. Quaint, beautiful. Not into skiing or snowboarding? Don’t fret- there are plenty of other things to do here. Take a stroll through the small village, watch locals play hockey, throw on some snowshoes and trek up the hiking trails. The food in Switzerland is quite pricey, one way around this is to shop the local markets for fresh produce and sandwiches.

Grindelwald
Take a break and grab some Gluwein (hot mulled wine). Explore by foot with cameras and you’ll quickly stumble upon photo-op heaven. Stumbled upon a church with an enormous graveyard covered in snow. Grindelwald is a short 45 min train ride that’ll cost you $26 USD roundtrip. Worth the ride.

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Where to Stay: Alpine Village Best Western in Zermatt
The staff were welcoming and not to mention we had THE MOST INCREDIBLE view, I repeat, THE MOST INCREDIBLE view waking up and stepping out onto our balcony. Note the continental breakfast is not free, its $25 USD

How to Get There:
ROME 2 RIO website. If you have never heard of this you’re doing it wrong. It’s a great tool that will help you map out locations and figure the best route to and from places while comparing price options for various forms of transportation. gives you high and low price options and flight, bus, train, of car routes.

 

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