Switzerland flag vs map

Switzerland Shopping, Culinary, and Accommodation




There is excellent shopping in Switzerland, even if the prices are sometimes quite expensive. Popular souvenirs are Swiss watches, traditional handicrafts such as embroidery and lace, linen, Bernese wood carvings, mountain cheese and Swiss army knives. Chocolate comes in all sorts of shapes and many different flavors. In the Schweizer Heimatwerk (Internet: www.heimatwerk.ch) you will find traditional and high-quality Swiss handicrafts, such as cuckoo clocks, cowbells, fondue sets, music boxes and costumes. There are branches in Zurich, Basel and Geneva. In all larger towns there are supermarkets where you can get groceries and things for everyday use. The best-known Swiss supermarket chains include Migros, Coop and Spar. In Zurich, the Bahnhofstrasse with its large department stores and the old town with its luxurious boutiques invite you to go shopping. Those who prefer to stroll through smaller shops are drawn to the Niederdorf. In Lucerne you should visit the flower and vegetable market on the Reuss. In the winter months, a craft market takes place once a month on the wine market. There is also a craft market in Bern. From April to October, flea markets take place in all larger towns on the weekends. A well-known example is the Marché aux puces, which takes place every Saturday on the Plaine de Plainpalais in Geneva.

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Opening hours

Mon-Fri 8am-6.30pm, Sat 8am-5pm. Smaller shops close from 12.00-13.30. Some large supermarkets close around 8pm.



Nightlife in Switzerland is legendary. In almost all cities and holiday resorts there is a wide range of entertainment with cinemas, theatres, nightclubs and/or discos, in which internationally known DJs often play. The clubs are particularly busy at weekends. In most party locations you have to be at least 18 years old, sometimes 21 years old, to be admitted. Local entertainment programs are offered in many restaurants, which are often open until midnight. In most cities, public transport is adapted to the numerous night owls and the buses and trains run all night on weekends. Zurich has the liveliest nightlife to offer; With its trendy bars and a thriving club scene, which can be experienced above all in the former industrial area of ​​Zurich West, the city has developed into a party metropolis. In Lausanne and Geneva you can also turn night into day. In the winter months, many ski resorts, such as Verbier and Zermatt, offer a boozy après-ski atmosphere. In all larger cities there is also an extensive cultural offer with theatres, classical concerts and symphony orchestras. Opera houses can be found in Zurich, Lausanne and Fribourg, among others; In 2009 and 2010, the Stadttheater Basel was voted opera house of the year by the Berlin trade journal Opernwelt for its innovative productions and varied repertoire.



Swiss cuisine is very different depending on the region, you can find elements from German, French and northern Italian cuisine. Since Switzerland has little fertile arable land, traditional Swiss cuisine hardly ever uses fresh fruit and vegetables. Many dishes are based on potatoes, milk, cheese and dairy products. Emmental, Appenzeller, Gruyère and Tête de Moine are just a few of the most famous Swiss cheeses. Dishes made from melted cheese are also very popular, such as raclette (cheese heated over an open fireplace or table grill and shaved on small pans) or cheese fondue (cheese heated in a pot with wine and pieces of white bread dipped in it). On the shores of the great lakes, such as Lake Constance or Lake Geneva, fish is often served, especially whitefish, perch (perch) and trout. There are also countless types of salami and sausages made from pork, including Landjäger, leg sausage, Engadin sausage or Knackerli. Swiss chocolate is world famous. Barry Callebaut now also produces the pink Ruby chocolate.

Regional specialities

One of the many delicious regional specialties is Bündnerfleisch (dried beef). Papet vaudois is a tasty dish made from leeks and potatoes. Rösti (sliced ​​and fried potatoes) and Fondue Bourguignonne (meat fondue served with different sauces) are very tasty. Gugelhopf (bundt cake, often with a cream filling) and Fasnachtsküchli (confectionery made with powdered sugar that is eaten during the carnival season) are particularly delicious sweets. Other sweet delicacies include Engadine nut cake, Zug cherry cake and Aargau carrot cake.


Tipping is always included; with good service, however, the invoice amount is rounded up generously.

Regional drinks

The selection of Swiss wines is large. Fruit brandies such as Kirsch, Marc, Pflümli and Williams are very popular. The Swiss beer is also tasty. Mineral water from local bottlers, such as Henniez, is also often drunk.

Minimum age for consumption of alcoholic beverages

In Switzerland, depending on the canton, you can drink beer and wine from the age of 16 or 18 and spirits from the age of 18.



The hotels all have a high standard and mostly offer a lot of comfort. It is advisable to book in advance, but the tourist offices do not take bookings. The palette ranges from elegant luxury hotels to theme-specific hotels such as active hotels, romantic hotels, wellness hotels to inns and guesthouses with a family atmosphere. There are also numerous accommodations that are adapted for the disabled. The »Hotel Guide for the Disabled in Switzerland« is available from Mobility International Switzerland, address: Frohburgstrasse 4, 4600 Olten, Switzerland. Tel: (062) 206 88 35. Most hotels are members of hotelleriesuisse. Address: Monbijoustrasse 130, PO Box, 3001 Bern, Switzerland. Tel: (031) 370 41 11.


There are about 175 campsites in Switzerland. Do not camp on private property/farmland. Camping guides are published by the Swiss Camping Association (VSC/ASC) (available in bookshops or from the association). The address of the Swiss Camping Association (VSC/ASC) is: Secretariat, Bahnhofstrasse 2, PO Box, 3322 Schönbühl, Switzerland, Tel: (031) 852 06 26.

Other accommodation options

There are 51 youth hostels in Switzerland. An international or national youth hostel card must be presented. You should book as far in advance as possible. Booking confirmation possible if you enclose the International Youth Hostel reply card. A directory of Swiss youth hostels is available from the Swiss Tourist Office or from Swiss Youth Hostels. Numerous youth hostels in Switzerland offer their guests a varied winter sports program and other activities that are very popular in winter.



Roman Catholic and Evangelical Reformed (82%). Jewish and Muslim minorities.

Social Rules of Conduct

Manners: The usual forms of politeness should be observed. The Swiss are very polite, in conversations and discussions you let each other finish and leave a short pause for politeness before answering. You greet each other with a firm handshake. Hello and goodbye, even a ciao together in a familiar atmosphere is much more polite than a simple hello and goodbye. A conversation always begins with a short small talk, in which one inquires about the well-being of the interlocutor. Duz through all hierarchies is common, academic titles are only used in exceptional cases. If you are invited, you show up punctually at the agreed time. As a guest gift are suitable for example high-quality chocolates or a good bottle of wine. It is customary to unwrap bouquets before presenting them to the hostess. Red roses are only given to your partner; Chrysanthemums and white asters are only used for funerals. Clothing: Smart casual clothing is usual. Smarter attire is worn on special occasions and in good restaurants. Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in stations, on trains and other forms of public transport, and in all enclosed public spaces. Since 2010, smoking has been generally prohibited in gastronomic establishments throughout Switzerland; In some cantons, however, the innkeeper can set up smoking rooms (fumoirs) that are completely separate from each other and that are efficiently ventilated. In addition, the individual cantons have the opportunity to enact further laws, e.g whether it is allowed to serve in the fumoirs. Tipping: Although a service charge is included in the restaurant or hotel bill, it is customary to leave a 10% tip. You leave the tip on the table.


Best travel time

North of the Alps predominantly Atlantic climate, south of it in Ticino there is a Mediterranean climate with very warm summers and mild, sunny winters. It is considerably cooler at higher altitudes. Year-round temperate climate in Northern Switzerland. Winter sports enthusiasts usually find the best conditions in the Alps from December to March. For summer vacationers, the best travel time begins in May and ends in September.

Country data

Phone prefix


Area (sq km)



8,654,622 (Source: homosociety)

Population density (per square km)


Population statistics year


Member of the EU


Main emergency number


Switzerland flag vs map