Cheap Holidays to Switzerland
Popular Destinations in Switzerland
Switzerland Holidays & Hotels
Hotels in Switzerland
Home to spectacular scenery, picturesque wooden chalets and delicious cheese fondue, Switzerland is a European destination that just keeps on giving. Surrounded by France, Germany, Italy and Austria, Switzerland combines the best features of them all, wowing visitors each year with its ski resorts, mountain peaks and bustling city centres.
Whether you’ve got a quick weekend getaway in mind or something a little longer, Switzerland is guaranteed to deliver. In winter visitors flock to the cities for Christmas markets or to the ski resorts for snow sports; and during the summer the lakes and hiking trails make the entire country a giant outdoor playground. Popular destinations such as Geneva, Zurich, Zermatt and Basel offer a variety of accommodation, ranging from affordable city centre hotels to 4* apartments overlooking the ski slopes. Don’t Swiss out on a holiday to remember!
Where to stay
Geneva sits at the southern tip of Lake Geneva, close to the border with France. Despite its city status, Geneva revels in the surrounding nature, boasting views of the nearby Alps and Jura mountains. The city is popular with those travelling for business and pleasure, with museums, peaceful parks and delicious eateries dotted all around.
From affordable 2 and 3* rooms in the heart of all the action, to luxurious 4* hotels with all the trimmings, there’s accommodation in Geneva for everyone. Families and those short on time may want to base themselves in Eaux-Vives, the city’s bohemian neighbourhood that’s full of open parks and restaurants. The Plainpalais neighbourhood is a good alternative for those on a budget. It sits close to the university, bringing visitors close to affordable nightlife.
Although it’s quickly gathered up a reputation as a centre of finance, Zurich has so much to offer friends, families and couples looking for a chic city getaway. The city is home to a number of historic buildings and buildings, as well as boating and swimming opportunities on Lake Zurich.
The city’s Old Town is one of the best areas to base yourself in; centrally located in the heart of the city, the Old Town is also home to quaint colourful buildings with ornately decorated bay windows. The Enge quarter, close to the shores of Lake Zurich, is another popular district thanks to its green spaces and museums. Zurich hotels are typically highly rated with 4 and 5* ratings, leisure facilities and chic interiors, but there are also several more affordable boutique hotels and B&Bs.
With its towering snow-capped mountains and traditional wooden chalets, Zermatt is one of the most picturesque resorts in Switzerland. It’s nestled into the base of the iconic Matterhorn mountain which dominates the landscape. Snow is most likely between the end of November and the end of April, but artificial snow means the slopes remain open all year round. During summer the adventurous possibilities open up, with hikers and climbers taking to the mountains.
Zermatt is a car-free resort that’s easy to walk around, meaning there’s no bad place to rest your head. Featuring comfortable 3* hotels, large family friendly chalets and luxurious apartments, it won’t be hard to find the perfect accommodation to suit your needs.
What to see
The cities are packed with world-famous sights and attractions, including the wooden Chapel Bridge in Lucerne which extends out into the River Reuss, and the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich. In Geneva, don’t miss the fountain in Lake Geneva which shoots out water 140 metres into the air; it’s lit up at night for a vibrant and colourful spectacle.
You’ll find that much of the action in Switzerland takes place outside of the cities, so be prepared for some short journeys. Take a day trip out to Jungfrau, a 4,158-metre mountain where you can take a striking train journey up to the top. Meanwhile, a 35-minute drive out of Zurich brings you to Europe’s largest waterfall, Rhine Falls. Keen walkers will also love the range of trails available during summer; catch glimpses of local wildlife and enjoy incredible mountain views as you make your way up to famous sights including the five lakes at Pizol, Oeschinensee Lake and the Creux du Van canyon.
Switzerland might be best known for its scenery, but its city nightlife is legendary. From chic cocktail bars to live music and late-night clubs, there’s something for everyone at destinations across the country. Nicknamed Switzerland’s party capital, Zurich’s nightlife boasts karaoke, breweries and trendy clubs open until the early hours of the morning. Langstrasse is the hub of all the nightlife action, and is the best place to head to in search of a party. Away from the cities, there’s still plenty to do after-dark; in Zermatt the après-ski activities are legendary, with restaurants, champagne bars and clubs dotted around the resort.
What to eat
If you’re in Switzerland during the colder months, Swiss fondue is an absolute must. Made with melted cheese, wine and a touch of garlic, fondue is best enjoyed with skewered bread pieces to dip. Keeping with the cheese theme, a raclette involves a semi-firm cheese being melted before the melted part is then scraped off to cover ingredients such as vegetables, potatoes or meat. Other popular snacks include rösti - a flat, savoury cake made with potatoes. For something sweet, make sure you stock up on delicious Swiss chocolate, commonly thought of as the best in the world.
Switzerland is famously a pricey country to visit, and you’ll need deep pockets for a big spending spree. Nevertheless, it’s worthwhile having a spend-up - after all, this is the land of chocolate and cheese! In Geneva the twice-weekly Plainpalais Flea Market is perfect for those looking for a unique souvenir to take home. Expect to find everything from vintage clothes to home accessories and quirky candles. On the outskirts of Lucerne is the Mall of Switzerland, where almost 80 local and international stores can be found under one roof. In Zurich, be sure to head down Bahnhofstrasse for high-end shops and luxury brands galore!
Fast Facts about Switzerland
- Direct flight time: From 1 hour 30 minutes from London
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Currency: Swiss franc
- Language: German, Italian, French and Romansh
- Average price of a domestic beer: 7 Fr.
- Average price of a bottle of wine: 12 Fr.
- Number of Brit tourists per year: Around 700,000