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A Vacation In The Alps
Switzerland is a beautiful country that is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and culture fanatics alike. The Alps create the perfect backdrop to explore a variety of the country's cultures. The atmosphere of each region is unique different. The professional, 8 to 5 workers are concentrated in the northeastern part of the country. The southwest is more relaxed with plenty of wine sipping and a mellow environment, and the southeast, south of the Alps has is noted for its Italian influence. The beautiful Alps connect these regions in a stunning setting.
Like elsewhere in Europe, do not be surprised if your room is smaller than you might find in the United States. The bathrooms can also be small, and if you're on a budget, you might consider sharing a bathroom. Shared bathrooms are often located down the hall and may have several stalls and showers that are split among a handful of rooms.
Accommodation in Switzerland is notoriously expensive. This is particularly true in the popular ski resorts during peak times. Travelers who are on a budget may be surprised to find limited options, although there is a hostel network available to students. These hostels are still more expensive than you might find in neighboring countries.
Types of Hotels
There are a range of accommodation types available to travelers in Switzerland. These include historic and traditional hotels, spas, resorts, bed and breakfasts, and hostels. If you're looking for a unique Swiss experience, it is recommended that you stay at a locally owned hotel as opposed to a chain hotel. These hotels often have more character, friendly staff, and a slightly lower price. There is no shortage of independent hotels throughout the country.
Reservations are highly recommended in touristy areas, particularly during peak times. Early reservations also usually offer the best price as last minute bookings may not offer the same deals, and budget class rooms are likely to fill up.
If you do show up without reservations, you'll find a tourist office in most towns. They can help you arrange a place to stay, although they do often charge a small fee for this service. If you're researching in advance, you'll find a list of hotels on most city websites. You can call the hotels directly or use a booking service.
Hotels in Switzerland have a lot of character. The staff are friendly and helpful and will likely speak at least some English. Although rooms can be small, they have a lot of character. Breakfast is often included in the price of the room, although you should confirm this before making the reservation. If possible, request a view, as Switzerland has some of the best scenery in Europe.
If you stay in a hostel, you'll likely have access to a kitchen where you can prepare your own meal. Many hostels also have private rooms available which are slightly more expensive, but still include the perks of staying in a hostel. The kitchen is generally available to everyone and bathrooms are shared, so prices are lower. Apartment rentals may also be an option. These offer visitors a little more space, a kitchen, and a more home like feel. If you're staying for a week or longer you may be able to negotiate the price.
Located in central Switzerland, Interlaken sits beautifully between two Alpine Lakes. It's one of the most popular travel destinations in Switzerland as it serves as a great base camp for outdoor activities and visits into the Bernese Oberland Alps. There are many valleys, mountains and lakes just a short distance from town.
Although there is a wide diversity of places to stay in Interlaken, reservations are still necessary during the peak summer months. If you arrive without a place to stay, your options will be limited and the price you pay will be higher. Travelers can choose between all types of accommodation including hostels, bed and breakfasts, hotels and apartments. Many hotels are not open year around so if you are visiting doing the off season inquire in advance about your options.
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and also a transportation hub for the country. It's a major junction of the Swiss-wide train network and is home to the country's biggest airport. Because of this, many tourists arrive or depart through Zurich. It's also in close proximity to many tourist resort towns in the Swiss Alps.
Zurich is a very expensive city to visit. Because Zurich serves as a financial center in Switzerland, many visitors have no shortage a cash to spend on accommodation. Business class hotels are plentiful and you'll find plenty of places to stay that are either four or five stars. This hotels are quite impressive and a wonderful place to stay, but if you're on a budget you're best to look elsewhere.
Hostels and bed and breakfasts are an option for budget travelers, but even those can be expensive. Couchsurfing is very popular in Zurich and you'll find a large network of participants. If you're on a tight budget and looking to meet a local, then this can be a wonderful experience. Public transportation is readily available throughout the city, so considering staying outside of the city center to cut down on costs as well.