Written by local experts, Fodor’s travel guides have been offering advice and professionally vetted recommendations for all tastes and budgets for 80 years.
Switzerland, Europe’s mountain playground, is a classic tourist draw. Fodor’s Switzerland is the perfect guide for travelers seeking to ascend the slopes of the Alps and feel on top of the world. When they come down from the mountains, they find thriving, cosmopolitan cities steeped in history and culture. This travel guide includes: Dozens of full-color maps, hundreds of hotel and restaurant recommendations, with Fodor’s Choice designating our top picks, multiple itineraries to explore the top attractions and what’s off the beaten path.Community Review
- Frankly, I purchased this book because I thought an ebook version of Rick Steves guide was not available (I was mistaken). I am now in Switzerland trying to use the guide. I find it hard to navigate (might be true of all ebook travel guides) but of more concern to me is the lack of practical information. For example, in Zermatt there are three ways to get to a “Matterhorn view”. The Fodor’s mentioned them but provides no details – how much does it cost? where is the station? how long is the trip? and the guide only suggests a couple of restaurants, one of which is closed for remodeling until Dec 2015. As far as what do you do in this town when the weather is bad and the mountain isn’t out, they are silent on that subject. Unless of course you want to go sit in a bar and drink.
And I don’t think the guide adequately addresses things like train ticket options — such as the purchase of a Swiss rail pass which can be a very good choice for many tourists.
There is always a possibility that some of the information I was seeking is somewhere in this guide and I couldn’t find it, but I don’t think so.
I also purchased the Fodor’s guide to England for this trip and had similar experience with it. Superficial at best and lacking in the practical details so important when you are traveling on your own.
We found this quite useful on our trip to the Jungfrau region, though it would’ve been nice if it had more info about Wengen. The book described many of the things we wanted to do, with a lot of detail about things to visit and the logistics of it all (like the trains and gondolas). It was useful regarding Switzerland in general. It didn’t cover hiking in robust detail, but maybe that’s beyond the scope of such a book. I like Rick Steves books because they give you recommendations and help you prioritize. The only shortcoming for us was the lack of coverage about Wengen, which it seemed to deride as touristy. But we were tourists! Wengen is a great “base camp” for someone wanting to visit the mountains on the east side of the Lauterbrunnen valley, and the views from some of the chalets are breathtaking. There are lots of rentals available in the summer, some restaurants, a well-stocked grocery store, etc. The book seemed enamored with Gimmelwald, which is fine, but it’s a very small village and a less attractive option if you plan to visit the Eiger, Jungfraujoch and other attractions on the east side. But all-in-all, we love Rick Steves books and this was pretty good.
This book helped so much as we planned our trip to Switzerland. The author’s suggestions for priorities in Switzerland were spot on for the various trip lengths. I was shocked though that the book never mentioned the Abby at St Gallen and the gorgeous library there. Thank goodness I discovered it in another guide book! So glad we also went to Appenzell vs Geneva.
- This book is so amazing, I can’t even begin to tell you! But I’ll try. I am leaving a similar review to this one on his book about Germany, I purchased both. They are both similar in their style and I appreciated them both for these reasons…
First of all, small stuff first: I love the size of this book. I love that it’s small, but big at the same time – trust me, I know that makes no sense but you’ll see what I mean when you get yours. Also, I LOVE the colored maps at the beginning of the book. So helpful for a quick overview – “Where is Geneva in reference to Lucerne?”(Don’t judge, I’m terrible with geography) – Easy answer, quick look at the front of the book!
OK, now onto the content of the book. I love the way this book is laid out – by city. I will be traveling to Lucerne only, so it was nice to be able to flip to the tab marked “Luzern” and be able to read everything about the city. I love the way Rick Steves presents his information. He gives you details and occasionally throws in some history about what he’s explaining as well. As someone that loves history and stories, I truly appreciated these details. I’m also going to visit this city with zero prior knowledge, so the education of the city’s history and surrounding towns was excellent to read.
The information that I appreciated the most was the “City Walk” and the “Day Trips”.
The City Walk is where Rick shows a map of the city, with numbers and dots connecting the numbers where you can walk through the city in a way to give yourself a self-guided tour of the city. After the map he includes detailed explanations and history of each numbered spot on the map (ex: ‘The market is a lively world of produce stands and budget eateries. Browse your way through the stalls and pavilions…’), as well as information on how exactly to get from the spot you’re at to the next location on the map (ex: ‘Leave St Peter’s out the door opposite the one you entered and head downhill to…’). I think I will try and do this exact City Walk when I visit, it sounds like it’s not too terribly long.
The Day Trips is where Rick explains sights to go see that are a “day trip away.” This is perfect for my use as I will only be in this city for a short amount of time, so having the option and ideas for things to do outside the city if we’d like to explore is fantastic. I won’t have the luxury to be able to explore far distances from Lucerne, so knowing what is a short distance away will be extremely beneficial. He also explains how to get to each sight and ways to make it as cost-effective as possible. This is something I very much appreciated.
He also gives general advice about all different aspects of travel, as well as specifics in regards to certain tourist destinations. For example, I am hoping to visit one of the mountains near Lucerne and Rick gives detailed explanations of both and why they are advantageous depending on what kind of traveler you are or what kind of experience you are looking for in your vacation. It definitely helped with my decision! It was great information that I truly appreciated.
I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone looking to travel to Switzerland. Fantastic advice, great travel tips, amazing details, thorough explanations, and insider information that I wouldn’t have had access to elsewhere. Rick Steves really knows his stuff and I’m truly thankful for this book.