What are the top tips for first-time travellers to Switzerland?
Although many countries across Europe have just one or two official languages, Switzerland has four: French, German, Italian and Romansh. German is by far the most widely spoken language, but you should also make the effort to learn a few phrases in French before you arrive on your return flights to Switzerland. If you happen to be visiting some of the country’s more popular tourist destinations, you may be able to find more English speakers, but the locals will certainly appreciate the effort taken to speak in the languages used locally. If you are planning to tour the country, you’ll likely find more French speakers to the west, more Italian used in the south and German used more commonly in the north.
Unlike many of its neighbouring countries, Switzerland is not part of the European Union. As such, the country does not use Euros as its currency, preferring to use Swiss Francs instead. If Switzerland is just one stop on a European adventure for you, try not to convert all your money to Swiss Francs when you book your cheap flights to Switzerland. If you do, you’ll need to convert your Swiss Francs to Euros when you travel elsewhere in Europe.
Public transport is arguably one the best ways to travel within Switzerland. Clean and reliable, the country’s extensive train network makes it easy to get just about anywhere in Switzerland. If you are planning to travel across the country following your flights to Switzerland, consider purchasing a Swiss Rail Pass. The pass includes unlimited travel by train, bus and boat in more than 90 towns and cities, as well as free admission to more than 500 Swiss museums and a selection of other discounts.
When is the best time to visit Switzerland?
If you’re wanting to stretch your holiday budget further and avoid the high season crowds, consider booking your flights to Switzerland from New Zealand to arrive between April and June or September and October. These times of the year fall within the country’s tourist shoulder seasons and the weather is typically quite pleasant.
Unlike most other countries, Switzerland actually has two peak tourist seasons. The first falls during July and August, when the warm summer weather attracts visitors from across Europe and beyond. At this time of the year, flights and hotel rates may be more expensive and in greater demand. If you are considering booking tickets to Switzerland that are due to arrive in July or August, look to book ahead of time. Switzerland’s second peak season falls between January and February. This is the high season for skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports, and sees the country’s ski resorts filled my snowsports fans. Other areas of Switzerland may not be quite as busy at this time, but if you do plan to visit with the intention of skiing or snowboarding, be sure to book your accommodation and flights to Switzerland ahead of time to avoid missing out.
Switzerland’s low seasons fall during March and between November and December. The weather tends to be quite cold during these months, but the much smaller number of tourists visiting at this time helps to make airfares to Switzerland and hotel rates cheaper. If you don’t mind the cold and have your sights set on exploring this spectacular European destination on a budget, you may be able to save some money by travelling at this time.
What are the top experiences for visitors to Switzerland?
Hiking in the Alps
If you’re wanting to head outside and get active following your flights to Switzerland, there’s nothing quite like setting out on a hike in the Alps. You’ll find no shortage of impressive trails to follow, scenic peaks to conquer and beautiful views to take in. Hikes vary from the short walks that can be completed in an hour or two to challenging multi-day expeditions.
Considered to be one of the most photographed mountains in the world, no visit to Switzerland would be complete without seeing the iconic Matterhorn with your own eyes. Situated within the Alps, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a good view of the mountain after arriving on your cheap flights to Switzerland. Spend a day skiing down the slopes at Zermatt, soaking up some spectacular scenery, or, if skiing and snowsports aren’t your thing, take the 30 minute cable car ride to the summit of Rothorn, where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the Matterhorn and the Alps.
If you have an interest in history, a visit to the city of Bern is a great way to discover another side of Switzerland. Positioned along the Aare River, the city’s World Heritage Listed Old Town dates as far back as the 12th century, with an assortment of medieval structures scattered throughout its streets. Spend some time admiring the Old Town’s famous Zytglogge clock tower after your flights to Switzerland arrive or simply take in the sights of this interesting district. Elsewhere in the city, the Kunstmuseum is well worth a visit to see artworks by the likes of Picasso, Kandinsky and Oppenheim on show, while the sprawling grounds of the Rosengarten are perfect for a picnic.
What is the best month to go to Switzerland?
The best month to go to Switzerland depends on the type of holiday you’re seeking. For great weather, visit in July or August, and for skiing and snowboarding, visit in January or February.
How far is Switzerland from New Zealand?
Switzerland is just under 19,000 kilometres from New Zealand. Flights from New Zealand to Switzerland are typically longer than 26 hours in duration, with flight times varying based on your city of departure and your planned destination.
What airlines fly to Switzerland?
A number of leading international airlines fly to Switzerland from New Zealand on a journey that encompasses several legs, including British Airways, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Emirates, Swiss Airlines, Etihad Airways and more. No direct flights from New Zealand to Switzerland are available.