Switzerland Geneva

Switzerland Lausanne

Switzerland Zurich

Switzerland Lucerne

Switzerland Crans-Montana

Belgium Brussels

Switzerland Montreux

Switzerland Fribourg

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Things to Know Before Going to Switzerland

Switzerland is a super-modern country with fantastic nature, organized public transport, a preference for quality cheese and good wine, and multilingualism. Regardless of which city you choose to visit, you will feel good and comfortable there and leave with a good impression.

Whether you're visiting Switzerland for the first time, or you've traveled before, these are some of the essentials you need to know. Make yourself at home with these tips and easily find comfortable accommodation in one of Switzerland's beautiful, picturesque cities.

Swiss German is not the same

Tourists who speak German or even German nationals may think it will be effortless to communicate in every city in Switzerland. However, remember that the German spoken in Switzerland differs from that in Germany. Also, Swiss German includes different dialects depending on the region.

Be careful when talking to locals, and never mention a "French" or "German" area. Say Francophone instead because Switzerland is a proud and neutral country, and any other suggestion may give the wrong impression to locals. 

Tips are not mandatory

Tipping in restaurants and cafes is not mandatory in Switzerland. Of course, if you enjoyed a meal and wanted to leave some extra cash, that would certainly be appreciated, but in general, it's not mandatory, especially if you've just had a drink at the bar.

You don't have to buy water. Tap water is also good

Tap water, and even some fountains are safe to drink unless otherwise noted. That is why it is advised to carry a reusable water bottle and fill it up wherever possible, especially at springs in villages or during walks in places designated for this purpose.

Note that some cafes may even charge you if you ask for tap water as they are not legally bound to keep it free, especially if you don't order another drink.

Don't expect everyone to speak multiple languages

Communication within Switzerland is not so simple. This country has four official languages: French, German, Italian, and Romansh - so each region has its specificities even though the country has its own unique national identity.

In some rural areas, you can come across a francophone village and, a few kilometers from there, a place where Swiss German is spoken. Although many Swiss are multilingual, don't expect everyone to know each official language used across the country. Some will prefer to speak English among themselves rather than the language used in that part of the country.