Switzerland is a land divided, which makes traveling to various regions of it essential to truly experience a marvelous country.
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Among the countries that border it are Germany, France and Italy, along with Austria and Liechtenstein. These bordering countries influence the local dialect, with many speaking Italian, French, German and Romansh, which is primarily spoken in the southeast. Swiss German is used as an everyday language in many areas.
Fly the Swiss International Air Lines for special onboard treatment.
Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world. It is a great place to do business and unemployment is very low; however, it's not cheap to visit, so save those coins.
Cut the cost with the Swiss Pass, which gives free travel on the entire network whether it is bus, rail or boat lines once purchased. Perks include free admission to more than 470 museums, and half off most funiculars and cable cars with the pass.
While in Switzerland, there is a handy gadget that you might want to rent called the Swisscom Pocket Connect, where Wi-Fi is offered for a daily fee with a connected box.
Simply throw the device in a mailbox when finished; postage is already covered. Visit www.swisscom.ch/pocketconnect for details.
To meet local gay folk online PlanetRomeo is commonly used in Switzerland, instead of apps like Grindr or Skruff.
Go outdoors with skiing, snowboarding and mountaineering the most popular sports here plus you have the invention of the bobsleigh in St. Moritz.
The municipality of Zermatt is an Alpine mountain world full of glacier ice. It has always been a car-free zone where visitors arrive by train and explore by foot making it a throwback in time. There is snow there 365 days a year creating the number one ski destination in the world.
In the town there are so many accommodations to choose from but the Sunstar Style Hotel and owner Sonja Amstutz treat guests like they are at home. For dinner, trot over to Restaurant Whymper-Stube for fondue; people can smell the cheese down the street.
Hop onto an aerial cable car called the Matterhorn Express up to Furi, which is 1,953 meters above sea level. We climbed inside a glacier and took a slide down the inside. Bundle up because temperatures drop the higher you go. Our guide yodeled across the mountaintops!
The iconic Matterhorn is the world's most photographed mountain. Conquering the Matterhown would be a challenge for anyone and requires good physical fitness. There are up to 300 climbers on a day with ideal conditions being June through September.
The Glacier Express links the two the two most popular Alpine destinations Zermatt and St. Moritz together with a seven-hour stretch. On the trip riders will travel through 91 tunnels and almost 300 bridges.
St. Moritz became legendary when a man named Johannes Badrutt made a bet that four English guests would enjoy themselves in this region. Winter tourism was instantly born as word about the Alps spread and the British flocked there annually for cricket tournaments and bobsleds.
Available by funicular railway, the Romantik Hotel Muotta Muragl feels like it's a world away. Artists from poets to writers have found it as a getaway environment to create their projects over the years.
Nothing beats the breathtaking view through the glass ceiling as the four-hour ride journeys out of St. Moritz to Lugano on the Palm Express. Riders will cross the Maloja Pass through the Bergell Valley and witness the glaciers of Engadine.
Bordering Italy makes Italian the primary language spoken in Lugano and largest one outside of Italy itself.
Hotel International au Lac lies right at the end of the high end shopping district on Via Nassa. This historic hotel has a cozy bar setting and owners that have kept it in the family. It overlooks the bay of Lake Lugano and just people watching from the balcony is worth the price of the stay there.
Step downstairs to Ristorante La Tinera for Italian cuisine and regional wines.
The Wilhelm Tell Express makes the trip from Lugano to Lucerne a breeze. Locals sometimes use this option to travel to their jobs. The Swiss really know how to work and play!
There is even an option to make the complete trip in the reverse direction. The boat operates year round with reservations required.
Built in 1872, the Grand Hotel Europe in Lucerne keeps visitors right on the edge of an easily accessible bus route being only ten minutes away from the centre of the city. There is plenty of sightseeing to do there with the wraparound Mill Bridge, the Lion Monument, and the Jesuit Church to name just a few. The Swiss Museum of Transport demonstrates every possible way to travel, spotlighting the first ever airplanes and even outer space travel is touched upon.
To live the life of the rich and famous, check in to the Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern. I even bumped into a Bravo celebrity while dining at the Restaurant Pavillon downstairs.
One can't-miss opportunity is the journey to Stans. The Stanserhorn railways brings rider to the new CabriO open air double decker cable car. The views are just spectacular and with a revolving restaurant at the top of the mountain diners can eat traditional food while taking it all in.
There are trails to hike and adorable marmots ( they are large ground squirrels but resemble beavers ) to check out so pick a sunny day, if possible.
For dinner, the Restaurant Lapin had tons of comfort food, including venison and wild boar. There were vegetarian options such a nice-sized salad bar and pumpkin soup; they're definitely worth finding.
This area is known for the Lucern Blues Festival, also known as Blue Balls, so plan accordingly because it becomes quite busy.
Zurich is not only the largest city in Switzerland but it has the largest airport and railway station as well. The train cuts right through the city and is convenient for traveling to trendy shops like the ones connected together through a viaduct under 36 arches.
The Hotel Central Plaza is perfectly named, with a central location and luxurious rooms. The in-house gym has a vibrating platform machine to work the kinks out; the breakfast is delicious with bottles of champagne at every turn for mimosas; and live music enlivens the lounge at night.
There are numerous places to dine in the surrounding area. Inside the Hotel Storchen Zurich is the Rotisserie, with tables on the balcony overlooking River Limmat. Swans swim nearby, completing the picture.
In the evening, Restaurant Brasserie Johanniter was enjoyable with top notch service that makes guests feel right at home. While maybe difficult to find, Restaurant Zeughauskeller is also worth that search. This bustling hotspot has tons of gravy covered dishes in the middle of a traditional setting.
As far as gay nightlife, Cranberry has that laid-back atmosphere with a nice mix of people, some of them from surrounding countries or tourists from far way mixing all together. There is currently a lesbian mayor in Zurich ( Corine Mauch ), and word on the street is she extremely popular and personable.
Other attractions to not miss while in town are the Swiss National Museum, which has the country's largest collection of artifacts; St. Peter's Church to see Europe's largest clock; and the zoo with more than 4,000 animals.
The ZurichCARD will not only help travelers on public transport but offers free entry into 40 museums, surprises guests with culinary treats in 21 restaurants, and offers 10 percents off in 17 selected shops, making it a must-have.
For a country known for chocolate, watches and the Alps, there is so much more to see and experience. Scenic Switzerland gives travelers an adventure of a lifetime!
For more information on traveling Switzerland visit www.myswitzerland.com and www.SwissTravelSystem.com .