Cross the Alps in a cable car, cruise Lake Geneva, and visit a medieval château: with Rick Steves on your side, Switzerland can be yours!
Inside Rick Steves Switzerland you’ll find:
- Comprehensive coverage for spending a week or more exploring Switzerland
- Rick’s strategic advice on how to get the most out of your time and money, with rankings of his must-see favorites
- Top sights and hidden gems, from bustling Zürich to the cozy small-town atmosphere of Appenzell
- How to connect with culture: Chat with friendly Swiss locals at mountain retreats, swim in the alpine waters of the Aare River, and treat yourself to delicious cheese fondue
- Beat the crowds, skip the lines, and avoid tourist traps with Rick’s candid, humorous insight
- The best places to eat, sleep, and relax over wine and Swiss chocolate
- Self-guided walking tours of lively neighborhoods and mountain towns
- Detailed maps for exploring on the go, including scenic railroad journeys such as the Golden Pass, Gotthard Panorama Express, Bernina Express, Glacier Express, and Chur
- Useful resources including a packing list, German, French, and Italian phrase guides, a historical overview, and recommended reading, as well as tips on visiting Switzerland in the winter
- Over 400 bible-thin pages include everything worth seeing without weighing you down
- Complete, up-to-date information on Zürich, Luzern, Central Switzerland, Bern, Murten, Avenches, Gimmelwald and the Berner Oberland, Zermatt and the Matterhorn, Appenzell, Lausanne, Château de Chillon, Montreux, Gruyères, Lugano, Pontresina, Samedan, St. Moritz, and more
- I just came back from 3 weeks in Switzerland, and unfortunately brought this book with me. The good: I think Rick Steve’s tv shows are fun and that he has a good travel philosophy. He covers much history, which is great. There is a wealth of practical info in this book. The maps of towns and suggested walks are good. His love for certain areas of the country is plain. However, the info in Switzerland is often obvious once you arrive, as the Swiss want their visitors to be happy and everything to run smoothly. There are maps and Tis at the train stations and in central parts of town. I had just one issue on a train, and I don’t think that was covered in this book anyway. What you can’t find out in the moment, you can look up online. Many websites, such as sbb.ch, have a version in English. Some info in the book I found to be outdated.
But the worst part of this book is what it skips. My favorite part of the country was not even mentioned. Steves leaves out entire swaths of the country, and many interesting towns. I felt I would have enjoyed travel to different places if I had brought my other guidebook. His obsession with the Berner Oberland, and especially with one town, is a bit much. Sure, it is a wonderful place. However, I would have spent 3 days there rather than 5 had I known better what it is like: lovely, but pricey, touristy and somewhat crowded even in low season. I visited his favorite town which was great, but stayed in a town he dismissed, and I was glad I did. Live and learn.
I ended up using the guidebook very little. It was heavy in my baggage, so I sliced it up, discarding the portions I had no use for as I went.
I did use Steves’ backdoor travel bag, and found it very good for a three week trip.
I loved Switzerland and feel privileged to have visited. I went solo, kept my eyes open, and developed a great appreciation for the Swiss.
I’ve been a big fan of the Steves guides for a few years now, as they tend to be so chocked full of really practical and helpful information, such as how to purchase rail passes, use public transportation, avoid crowds, etc. After using this guide during a 3-week tour of Switzerland, however, I am very disappointed. Why? Well, despite being a single-country guide, he cherry-picks what you should see and completely ignores everything else. Look in vain for any information whatever about the city of Geneva, the country’s second largest. No mention at all of Rheinfall, the largest waterfall in Europe, located in the charming but unmentioned small city of Schaffhausen. Another charming city in the Italian area of the country, Bellinzona, is also devoid of information in the Steves guide. It’s fine if he wants to highlight his favorite places, but for a guide to a country that is smaller than West Virginia to have not even minimal coverage of its second largest city and other key attractions is absurd.
Before examining this book, I was worried about planning a trip to Switzerland. I had concerns about expenses, rail passes, the Alps and what to include and what to omit. After all, we did not have unlimited time or money. After reading selected chapters of Rick’s Switzerland, I had our trip planned and my mind was at ease. What a relief! For example, I was thinking of going to both the Oberland and Zermatt. Rick convinced me that the Oberland trumped Zermatt. Thank you, Rick. But Rick has his limits. He had nothing about the cool flea market in Zurich which I found in another book. The morale of the story is get Rick, but don’t rely completely on his picks.