On my long list of places to see in the world, Switzerland has always been right at the top. Maybe it’s because I’m a huge sucker for mountain scenery, or the fact that I have grown up going to Swiss festivals (“Swiss Days”) with my family in Utah every year. I have just always had a slight obsession with all things Swiss! The great thing about Switzerland is that it is completely everything you would hope and dream it to be.. and THEN SOME. Switzerland in my opinion, has literally been one of the most outstanding and memorable places that my husband and I have ever been to. And if you don’t believe me, then I’ll just let the pictures do the talking…
We started our Swiss adventure by flying into the country’s largest city, Zürich. A few friends had warned us that Zürich is a really expensive place to visit, but we shrugged it off because it seems like just about every city in Europe is as pricey as can be. After getting off the plane we quickly learned that our friends were spot on, and that Zürich is even more expensive than we could have imagined. So expensive in fact, that Zürich is currently ranked as the #2 most expensive city to visit in the world… Yikes! This was really hard for us to stomach at first, but seeing how nice and beautiful the surroundings were definitely helped. It was so intriguing to see the cleanest, most organized, and efficiently run city I have ever seen. It almost felt as if we had stepped into another world of higher living and aside from our wallets, we actually fell in love with it. Luckily, we also found a somewhat reasonable and delicious place for dinner that night at Sternen Grill. They had a schnitzel sandwich with spicy mayo and cabbage that was downright delectable and totally worth the money!
The airport felt more like a luxury shopping mall!
On day 2 we focused all of our attention on our next stop in Switzerland, which was to visit the lakeside town of Lucerne (Luzern). Starting from Zürich, we took an hour train ride through the lovely green countryside and into Lucerne. We stepped out from the train station to see the most charming Swiss city nestled perfectly alongside Lake Lucerne. It was like seeing something straight from a postcard, and I all wanted to do was take pictures! We quickly checked into our hotel and then went out into the streets eager to spend the rest of the day sightseeing.
Being the middle of November, we had to get pretty bundled up to stand the brisk weather here. It was definitely cold and overcast in Lucerne, but it wasn’t too different from the cold temperatures we’re used to in London, so we were pretty grateful for that! We really loved strolling through Lucerne because it is such a great walking city and we found it to be quite manageable to walk to each section on foot. We started off by wandering down Chapel Bridge which was built in the beginning of the 14th century and now serves as an icon for the city. Be sure to check out the unique Swiss illustrations inside the bridge! As we walked farther into town we found ourselves at the next site which I really wanted to see.. The Lion Monument. Not only is this stone sculpture breathtaking, but I found the meaning behind the monument to be even more amazing. The lion was carved to commemorate the Swiss guards who were massacred during the French Revolution in 1792. The Swiss felt that the guards so nobly fought and died “like a lion” thus having the dying lion sculpted to represent their heroic efforts.
As lunchtime hit, we thought it would be fun to head to the local supermarket in town and grab some freshly made Swiss bread, cheese, salami, and chocolate (a must!) for a picnic. We brought all of our goodies to the top of the Musegg Wall, which is an ancient wall made to protect the city and overlooks all of Lucerne. Not only was it fun to have a picnic, but it also was much more affordable than dealing with a high-priced restaurant! I found Musegg Wall to be one of my favorite landmarks of the day. My husband and I always try to find a good overlook when we travel, and this one was so peaceful and pretty. Another fun part about being by this old wall was to see the Swiss animals behind it! There was a little farm where we stopped by to see some llamas and yaks, which I have never even seen before! Make sure to walk all the way around the wall to get some beautiful views of both sides of the mountain if you go.
We spent the rest of the day checking out the shops and boutiques back in old town. In contrast, lucerne was a little less expensive than Zurich but not by much. We really enjoyed eating all the Swiss chocolate that they were handing out for free. I actually think that I might just like the Swiss chocolate better than Belgian chocolate!! Because we were there over the weekend, they also were having Christmas markets all around the city selling candles, advent calendars, etc. Christmas in Europe is kind of a magical thing to see and I love to learn about how different countries celebrate it!
For our last day in Switzerland we saved the best for last. Our entire day was devoted to exploring the magnificent Swiss Alps, and in particular Mt. Rigi. Mt. Rigi is known as the “Queen of the Mountains” and happens to be one of the most massive peaks in all of Switzerland. The amazing thing about Rigi is that modern transportation makes it possible to go all the way up to the tippy top. My husband and I were sooooo excited about doing this! The only downside was that of course it wasn’t exactly the cheapest attraction to do in Lucerne, but how many times in life do you get to go to the top of the Swiss Alps? Our thoughts exactly. We bit the bullet and bought our tickets yearning to see famous Mt. Rigi for ourselves. The journey to actually get to the summit started by taking a boat from Lucerne and across the lake to a place called Vitznau. From there we took a tram/train all the way up the mountain to Rigi. The crazy part about this was that we started at the bottom with overcast and dreary weather, and then went through the clouds to discover sunshine and blue skies!
Cold and dreary…
To clear skies. I took both photos within just a few seconds!
Nothing could prepare us for the grandeur we were about to see next. I honestly cannot put into words how breathtakingly beautiful the Alps are…
It is so crazy to think that the bottom half of the mountains are under all those white clouds! At the top of the Alps we naturally we took advantage of our spectacular surroundings by taking as many photos as humanly possible (while having the time of our lives).
They had a lot of attractions and things you can do at the top of the mountain. They had everything from ski resorts and hotels, to restaurants and spas! Although we wished that the we could have stayed up there forever, at some point we were finally able to take the gondola (instead of the tram) down the mountain and then to catch the boat back to Lucerne.
Did I post too many pictures again? Oh well… but can you blame me? I think you can tell that my husband and I loved this country. We would go back again and again. It was just so amazing and even though it may have been a little on the pricey side, it is completely worth every single penny. Thank you for the all the incredible memories Switzerland!
The Savvy Suitcase Top 3 Picks:
1. The Swiss Alps. Out of this world!
2. Try the Swiss chocolate. I could not get enough.
3. Lucerne. An absolute must-see!
Thanks for reading!
*We are trying to save our energy for more travels this week!