Switzerland was high on my list of places to visit this past year and earlier this Spring, I made it all happen. I guess I would call this my first big solo trip and it certainly won’t be my last. I’ve never really been the nervous type or felt unsafe when it comes to traveling, and Switzerland is one of the safest countries in Europe.
The weather didn’t look very promising before leaving, with more rain in the forecast than sun. I had five days to explore, and I knew I wanted to see more than just Zurich, so I researched some options for day trips to keep me busy.
The nice thing about traveling through Switzerland was how easy it was to figure out the trains. I didn’t pre-book any train tickets or order the Swiss Pass prior to arriving because I knew it wouldn’t have saved me much money. I also didn’t want to be on a set schedule in case I decided to change my mind once I got there.
My first full day in Switzerland I crossed the boarder to Vaduz, Liechtenstein. The easiest way to get there is to take the train from Zurich HP to Sargans, a small town just on the boarder of Liechtenstein. From there you’ll need to catch a bus to Vaduz. The views alone on the train ride were worth the train ride.
Vaduz is small, so don’t expect a packed day of sightseeing. The highlight for me was getting a stamp in my passport. I didn’t get one flying into Switzerland and I was a little too excited to get a stamp from Liechtenstein, in exchange for 3€.
My second day in Switzerland, I was back at Zurich HB station once again to catch a train to Lucerne. It took less than an hour for me to get to Lucerne from Zurich. I had looked up a few things before catching my train but didn’t plan anything before arriving. My first stop of the day was the information center for a map. I asked what there was to see and the nice woman suggested a self guided walking tour I could do. It brought me to all the major attractions throughout the city and the route was easy to follow. Sometimes the best way to plan a trip is to not plan at all.
I still had plenty of time so I decided to do a boat tour the tourist office recommended before catching my train back to Zurich. The boat ride lasted about an hour and basically just did a loop of the lake. It was a nice way to see the city and to get off my feet for a bit.
The night before my last full day in Switzerland I decided that I would go to Basel. There was nothing but rain in the forecast so it really didn’t matter where I went because there was a high chance of rain in every city I was considering visiting. It was just a matter of what time the rain would start. Because it was International Worker’s Day all over Europe, a lot of places and restaurants were closed. Once I arrived, I grabbed a map and made my way towards Kunstmuseum Basel, one of the few places that was open.
The city was pretty quiet and there wasn’t much to do. Most of my day was spent walking around and avoiding the rain. I did manage to find where the boarders of Switzerland, Germany and France touch and can now say I’ve been in three different countries at once!
Zurich itself isn’t a very big city, and unless you plan on going to the mountains you really don’t need more than a day or two in the city. My very first day, it was raining and I decided it was a perfect day to visit the Swiss National Museum, where I spent the majority of my afternoon.
My last day, I did a walking tour of Zurich. It was another beautiful day with no rain. I also climbed the tower inside Grossmünster church, something I wanted to do the first day. I’m glad I waited because the views from the top wouldn’t have been the same with the rain.
Traveling in one of the most expensive countries was a real eye opener for me and I had to be really careful with how I spent my money. I have no regrets going, and hope to go back again one day. With more money in my pockets.