It may be neutral, but when you book a flight to Switzerland, you’ll see that it’s far from sedentary. Switzerland has played it safe politically, but it’s the safety game that has helped the country become one of the top cultural, financial and safest destinations in the world. Need proof? There’s a reason people put their money in Swiss bank accounts. Cash in some of your wealth and book a flight to Switzerland for amazing sightseeing, chic shopping, authentic food and music and nightlife in the capital city of Berne that rivals some of Europe’s hottest city spots. 

The country’s landscape is one of the main reasons people book flights to Switzerland – alpine mountains and soothing spas excite even the weary traveler. Infused with a variety of cultures and speaking hundreds of different dialects, Switzerland is a melting pot of people. Switzerland has a strong history of arts and literature to be proud of, and of course, there’s the cuisine. A cheap flight to Switzerland lands travelers in a rich country of chocolate and cheeses. Savor the delicacies that make Switzerland one of the most toured countries in the world. If the mood strikes you, it’s not unheard of to engage in a little yodeling with friends.

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Switzerland climate

The highest peaks in the Swiss Alps have snow all year round. It gets colder the higher you travel. When you’re not in mountains, the climate can be temperate and is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

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Best Time to Fly to Switzerland

Peak season:

Switzerland is a year-round destination. Spring, summer and autumn are all good times to fly to Switzerland as temperatures are comfortable. In June and July, the alpine wildflowers are in bloom. Skiers will enjoy the winter months. The downhill ski season runs from mid-December to late March. At higher altitudes, it can last beyond March. At Zermatt (the resort that sits in the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn) and Saas Fee for example, there is year-round skiing on the glaciers.

If you want to travel to Switzerland for its celebrations, particularly Swiss National Day, book Switzerland flights for August 1. This is when people gather around bonfires to listen to speeches about the independence of Switzerland. There are also fireworks, parades, music (especially accordions) and at Neuhausen am Rheinfall in Schaffhouse, the Rhine waterfalls are illuminated.

Off season:

There is no bad time to travel to Switzerland but May is a good month to visit to escape most of the tourists. If you plan your Switzerland trip in advance, it's likely you'll find cheap flights to Switzerland and discounted hotel fares.

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Getting around Switzerland

Public transportation is excellent. Comprehensive and punctual, reasonably priced and clean, getting around by public transport is a tourist’s dream. Swiss Federal Railways operates rail services throughout Switzerland. Two of the largest Alpine lines are BLS, which runs the Bern–Lötschberg–Simplon route between the Swiss capital and Italy; and RhB, the Rhatische Bahn, which operates services within Canton Graubünden. Buses complement the train services and stations are generally found in the forecourts of train stations. Many cities also have trams.

There are ferry services operating on Switzerland’s largest lakes including Luzern's Vierwaldstattersee, Lago di Lugano, Maggiore and Como. Ferry services are generally seasonal, between April and October.

The post bus is a novel way of getting to the remotest parts of Switzerland. The service has been operating for 100 years. One of the most scenic mountain/valley journeys runs from Meiringen over four alpine passes - Grimsel Pass 7,100 feet), Nufenen Pass (8,130 feet), Gotthard Pass (6,800 feet) and Susten Pass (7,047 feet). There are 25 bridges and 23 tunnels along this route.

There are many ways of getting to the top of the mountains. These include funicular, cable-car, gondola, T-bar skilift or draglift.

SWISS, the flag carrier, flies domestically between Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lugano and Zurich.

The following chart gives approximate journey times from

Zurich

(in hours and minutes) to other major cities and towns in Switzerland.

 AirRoadRail
Basle0.301.101.05
Bern-1.151.10
Geneva0.402.452.55
Lugano0.453.003.00

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Switzerland Travel Information

  • The northeast of Switzerland (near Germany) is less well-known than the rest of the country. The city of St. Gallen, an old textile town, has a beautiful baroque cathedral and a well-preserved medieval town center. The city is the gateway to Lake Constance and the mountainous Appenzell region.
  • It’s possible to trace the footsteps of Heidi, the heroine of Johanna Spyri’s classic book in Maienfeld, Eastern Switzerland. In Heidi’s Village there is Heidi’s house, which can be toured, a petting zoo, shop and post office. There is also a Heidi trail from the village to the mountain which takes about 90 minutes.
  • The Glacier Garden in Lucerne is a natural monument with glacial potholes and fossilized shells and palm leaves that date back 20 million years. There are several attractions here, the most famous of which is the Lion monument carved out of rock. It was carved out of the cliff in the 1800s to commemorate the deaths of 700 Swiss guards who were cut down by French revolutionaries storming the Tuilleries in Paris in 1792. There are also botanical gardens and a Hall of Mirrors.
  • While many travelers opt for Zurich hotels or hotels in Geneva, during their Switzerland travels, St. Moritz, Davos and Zermatt are the most famous ski resorts, and Zermatt hotels are packed with snowbirds each season. Other popular resorts include Verbier, Klosters, Gstaad, Wengen, Grindelwald, Arosa and Murren.
  • Rheinfalls is the largest waterfall in Europe. It is a 30-minute drive or hour train journey from Zurich. There is a platform that extends over the water so it’s possible to get very close to the falls. There are a couple of boat trips you can take too. One drops tourists in the middle of the falls and picks them up later, the other motors to the foot of the waterfalls, cuts its engines and the water pushes it away.
  • Free bicycle: leave a small deposit at the Velogate, and a bike is yours for six hours.
  • The Kunsthaus in Zurich boasts treasures of the art world such as Picasso, Munch, Monet and Chagall topping the bill.

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Switzerland airports

Zurich (ZRH) (Kloten) is 7 miles from the city (travel time – 20 minutes).

Geneva (GVA) is 3 miles north of the city.

Bern (BRN) (Belp) is 5.5 miles southeast of the city (travel time – 20-30 minutes).

Basel (BSL) (Basel-Mulhouse) is 17 miles from the city.

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Passport and Visa Information

Visitors need a valid passport to enter the country, but no visa is required for visits of up to 90 days.

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Entry requirements

US citizens need a valid passport to enter the country, but no visa is required for visits of up to 90 days.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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    New York (NYC) to Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH)
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    Approx flight times

    John F. Kennedy International to Geneve-Cointrin:
    7 hr 55 mins
    Newark International to Geneve-Cointrin:
    7 hr 50 mins
    John F. Kennedy International to Zurich-Kloten:
    7 hr 57 mins
    Newark International to Zurich-Kloten:
    7 hr 50 mins

    In-flight reading

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being

    Milan KunderaThis book, set in the Czech Republic and Switzerland following the 1968 Prague Spring tells the stories of Tomas (a surgeon), Tereza (a photographer), Sabina (a painter) and Franz (a university professor).

    The Magic Mountain

    Thomas MannHans Castorp visits his tubercular cousin in a sanatorium in Davos, but his own health fails and he stays there for seven years, encountering a wide variety of characters. A classic.