Switzerland ~ the beautiful alpine country sandwiched between France, Germany, Italy & Austria is one of the most scenic countries in Europe. For Indians, the beauty of Switzerland has been immortalized in films by iconic director Yash Chopra and served as the reason for innumerable trips to this country. In fact, one of the best-selling travel packages by all Indian tour companies is to Switzerland (coupled with Europe). We wanted to travel to Switzerland by ourselves and as luck would have it, my husband’s work trip brought us the perfect opportunity to plan a Switzerland by ourselves.

A self-planned trip to Switzerland is always a better idea economically as well in terms of experience both quantitively & qualitatively. I have broken down the Trip Planning into 5 major components – (1) Schengen Visa from Switzerland, (2) Booking Flights and Accommodation for Switzerland, (3) Food & Drinks in Switzerland (Eating Out in Switzerland), (4) Transportation in Switzerland and (5) Travel Itinerary in Switzerland (Places to Visit in Switzerland).

Applying for Schengen Visa from Switzerland

We had to apply for Schengen Visa from Switzerland around 4 months in advance, as it was official travel for my husband and I was also not a dependent (since I am working professional), which requires a number of attaching documents and statements. It takes around 15-25 days of visa processing by VFS, however, ours took only around 10 days. I am in process of writing a detailed post on ‘How to apply for Schengen Visa from Switzerland for Indians’ so keep an eye on my blog. In summary, it’s a good idea to apply much in advance if the travel dates are finalized, rather than later.

Booking Flights and Accommodation for Switzerland

Confirmed Return Flights and hotel bookings are a pre-requisite for applying for Schengen Visa from Switzerland. There are many flight options to Switzerland and depending on budget & destination/departure city of Switzerland, one can book the best fit. We were based in Basel city and booked flights till Zurich and took the train to Basel using our Swiss Travel Pass.

For accommodation, one thing has to be kept in mind that the visa application only recognizes bookings done in hotels, therefore, any bookings done on Airbnb are not valid as per visa requirements. The way to get around this is to book double – book on Airbnb as well as via booking.com (where there are no cancellation charges).

Our experience of Airbnb stay in Switzerland was pleasant; we got single room apartment with kitchen and toilet, which gave us the privacy as well as comfort of living on our own & freedom of planning our day to day excursions from Basel. We had opted for an accommodation with kitchen, which not only saved us money on food, it also was quite liberating to buy & cook fresh food on our own from the grocery stores. I would totally recommend to book stay via Airbnb for families & couples visiting Switzerland. There are many options suiting everybody.  We stayed in hotel on our transit from Zurich on last day and we really felt the difference!

Food & Drinks in Switzerland (Eating Out in Switzerland)

Food and drinks are expensive all throughout Europe, particularly in Switzerland and it forms a chunk of the travel budget. We packed a lot of ready to eat meals, snacks and biscuits in our luggage. In addition, we found out during our trip planning research that there are two popular supermarket chains in Switzerland – Coop and Migros, which stocked all the grocery needs. We bought everyday items and cooked on our own (such as eggs, bread, cheese, etc.) in the Airbnb kitchen as per our needs. We also ate out at times during our day excursions and it cost around 60-100 swiss francs on an average per meal.

Drinking water is not an issue in Switzerland, as the public faucet water is of drinking quality and available all over the cities at public fountains in the country. So the only thing to remember is to carry a bottle around to refill and drink. Otherwise, bottled water is highly expensive affair!!

Transportation in Switzerland

To say that Switzerland has one of the best public transport systems in the world would be stating the obvious.  However, it came as a surprise to me when many people asked me how I travelled all through Switzerland using public transport, when I wrote about my self-planned holiday in Switzerland. I realised that many people are unaware about Swiss Travel System and how to make best use of Swiss Travel Pass. We used the Swiss Travel Pass to get around all the attractions and places in Switzerland and I have written a detailed post on ‘How to use Swiss Travel Pass to travel in Switzerland’ here.

Recommended Read: Day Trip UNESCO World Heritage and capital city of Switzerland – Bern.

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Views from Cable Car on the Golden Round Trip on Mount Pilatus ❤️🇨🇭❤️ . . I absolutely loved the Mt. Pilatus #goldenroundtrip which was part of the #swisstravelpass with @swisstravelsystem . . Read my #swisstravelsystem experience on www.myunfinishedlife.com #linkinbio ————————————– #mountpilatus #mtpilatus #cablecar #travellingthroughtheworld #switzerland_vacations #inlovewithswitzerland #travelphotography #swissness #girlslovetravel #womenwhotravel #doyoutravel #living_europe #wanderlust #visitswitzerland #myswitzerland #journey #exploreswitzerland #exploretheglobe #awesometravel #igtravel #Luzern #traveller #travelguide #summerineurope #beautifuldestinations #mountainsofinstagram

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Zähringen Fountain in Bern, Switzerland ~ The Zähringen fountain is the oldest persevered figure fountain in the UNESCO world heritage city of Bern and dates back to 1535. The distinctive Renaissance columns feature 4 shields with inscriptions commemorating founding of the town in 1191 and the figure is of beer with full armor carrying shield & banner emblazoned with Bern's Zähringen coat of arms, symbolizing Bern government's legitimacy. . . Read my #travelogues on www.myunfinishedlife.com (link in profile) —————————————- #myswitzerland #bern #ilovebern #iloveswitzerland #visitswitzerland #switzerlandpictures #UNESCOworldheritagesite #unescoworldheritage #heritage #living_europe #travelawesome #Europe #europetrip #summerineurope #europediaries #lpmi #cntgiveitashot #natgeotravelpic #doyoutravel #journey #explorer #welivetoexplore #womenwhotravel #discoverglobe #Zähringen #fountainsofinstagram #igersbern

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Travel Itinerary in Switzerland (Places to Visit in Switzerland).

We planned to spend 8 days in Switzerland, taking in 1 day extra each into account, flying in and out. Since the husband also had some work to do in Basel, it became our base for travelling & sightseeing through Switzerland. Due to a 14 hour Flight delay from Delhi to Munich and then to Basel, our one whole day went waste in the beginning of our trip itself! Anyways, we still had 7 days and our day wise Itinerary for Switzerland was this:

Day 1: Visit and Sightseeing in Bern and Thun

Day 2: Visit/ Sightseeing Luzern and taking the Golden Round Trip to Mount Pilatus.

Day 3: Sightseeing Basel

Day 4: Sightseeing in Fribourg-Gruyers region: Visit to Maison Cailler (Chocolate Factory) and Cheese Factory.

Day 5: Visit to Interlaken and Jungfrau (Top of Europe).

Day 6: Sightseeing in Zurich

Day 7: Sightseeing in Zurich and taking flight back to Delhi

I have written a detailed day to day itinerary guide on my blog, please see here.


So, if you are thinking of visiting Switzerland this summer from India…ditch the tour operator and take a self-planned trip to this charming country all by yourself!

You may like to read my other articles on Switzerland trip here :

Day visit to Thun in Switzerland 

Places to visit in Basel, Switzerland

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