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Switzerland

Go Swisstainable – a new approach to travel

Switzerland

About Switzerland

Switzerland, nestled in the heart of Europe, dazzles with its stunning landscapes, pristine lakes, and iconic Alps. Renowned for precision engineering, luxury watches, and exquisite chocolates, it seamlessly merges tradition with modernity. Charming cities like Zurich and Geneva showcase medieval architecture and vibrant cultural scenes. From alpine adventures to culinary delights, Switzerland offers an enchanting blend of nature, culture, and innovation.

What makes Switzerland a sustainable place?

Evelyn Lafone - Head of Trade, Switzerland Tourism UK & Ireland

“There are many reasons to explore Switzerland but for me, the only way is by public transport travelling with the Swiss Travel Pass. I have spent many hours travelling by train, boat or cable car throughout Switzerland and I never tire of seeing new sights on every journey. It is the best way to enjoy the unparalleled panorama in a truly relaxed atmosphere whilst also travelling in the most sustainable way.

Also, seamless connections are guaranteed – whether by train, bus, boat or mountain railway. The Swiss Travel Pass offers travellers from abroad the possibility to discover excursion destinations, mountains, lakes and more than 500 museums with this one single ticket. The icing on the cake is that kids under 16 travel for free with holders of a Swiss Travel Pass. This is to encourage the young generation to think about public transport as the best means of exploring a new country. The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland encapsulates the most beautiful panoramic lines into one unique route. There is no prescribed direction or duration. You can hop on and off wherever you please.

Whether at Zermatt or St. Moritz, in the Canton of Ticino or the Lavaux, at the Rhine Falls or Lake Lucerne: The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland is a perfect starting point for excursions as well. There is a great app that can be downloaded for free and lets visitors plan their journey.”

 

One of the most closely-knit rail networks in the world, recycling champions, and impressive air and water quality – Switzerland is leading the way towards a sustainable future.

  • Mobility – More than 11,000 trains travel daily on SBB’s network, which is around 3,000 km long and carries more than 1.1 million passengers per day. With one of the densest rail networks in the world, even the most remote places are accessible by public transport.
  • Water – Switzerland holds about 6% of the continent’s freshwater reserves and is considered the water castle of Europe. Many large rivers such as the Rhone, Rhine, Ticino and Inn have their source here. It is unique in that even in the larger cities it is possible to bathe without hesitation
  • Nature conservation – A total of 20 Swiss parks cover one-seventh of the country’s surface area (5,839 km2). Furthermore, since 1876, the Forest Act has ensured that the area of Swiss forests does not decrease. Today, 31% of Switzerland is forested – and the trend is rising.
  • Air – We have always been known as an air and climate health resort with therapeutic effects and already in 1853, the health-promoting climate of the Davos Mountain air was discovered. Today, we are in a good position with regard to air quality. For example, Switzerland is one of the countries in Europe with the lowest concentrations of particulate matter.
  • Food – Compared to our international counterparts, we consume the most organic products per capita. And Swiss retailers have been leading the international sustainability rankings for years.
  • Recycling – Switzerland is one of the world’s leading countries when it comes to recycling and waste management, with almost 85% of PET bottles being put to new use.
See it for yourself

Switzerland Gallery

Switzerland

Quick Facts

When to Visit Sustainably

Switzerland offers a diverse range of experiences throughout the seasons, making it a year round destination for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and culture enthusiasts alike. During spring, once the snow begins to melt and nature starts to reappear, the weather is generally mild, with temperatures gradually rising.
In summer the weather is warm and sunny, paving the way for plenty of hiking in the mountains, swimming in the lakes, and exploring charming towns and cities.
With Autumn comes cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage, lighting the country’s landscpes wup with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. Quieter than in summer, autumn is the perfect season to visit for a more relaxed and peaceful experience.
In winter, the mountains become a wonderland of winter sports, from skiing, and snowboarding to snowshoeing sledding and ice skating.

Suggested Season

Visit during April and June, and September and October, for the mildest weather, fewest crowds, and most opportunity for enjoyment.

Time Zone

Central European Time (GMT+1)

How to Get There: Fast / Slow

By air: A large number of airline companies land in Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern Belp. Swiss International Air Lines is the national carrier of Switzerland serving more than 100 worldwide destinations.
By car: For travellers arriving by road, Switzerland is linked to Europe's extensive motorway network.
By train: Whether you’re travelling from Frankfurt, Milan, Paris, Prague, Budapest or Vienna, the train will take you right to the heart of the Alpine nation – in total comfort and several times daily.

Currency

Swiss Franc (CHF)

Tipping Etiquette

You are not obliged to tip in Switzerland, however in a restaurant it is customary to tip approximately 10%.

Your Peace of Mind

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Sustainable Highlights

  • Choose the greenest route in Switzerland

    Environmentally friendly travel begins with your journey to Switzerland and it’s never been easier than it is today.
    70 – 80% of the pollutants created through travel arise during arrival and departure. All more important, then, to start your sustainable holiday by choosing the most environmentally friendly mode of transport. The range of comfortable sleeper trains is constantly increasing, meaning that Switzerland will soon be connected to even more European cities.

  • Stay longer

    More encounters with locals, more lasting impressions and lower resource consumption – a win-win-win.
    The longer you stay, the lower the negative impact on the environment per day of your trip. Staying longer also gives you more time to visit less well-known but no less lovely Swiss valleys and towns and take a closer look at the Swiss culture and way of life.

  • Discover Switzerland outside of the high season

    More idyllic locations, new colours and lasting impressions – travelling outside of the high season creates special moments.
    It doesn’t always have to be in summer or the peak ski season. The often-underestimated spring and autumn months have been waiting a long time to be discovered – and at the same time, this results in more balanced tourism that is healthier long term. So why not enjoy the last ski runs in the warming April sun, watch nature waking up from hibernation in the lowlands or be inspired by the blaze of colour in autumn? More space, more interactions and more relaxation are all guaranteed!

  • Travel like the locals

    Whether on rails or a steel cable – public transport is just as popular with locals as it is with tourists.
    Experience the densest railway network in the world! Switzerland is unrivalled when it comes to the ease, comfort and variety of getting around on public transport. If you still prefer to be completely independent, however, then rent a low-emission electric car. The number and capacity of electric charging stations is increasing every day.

  • Choose sustainable and locally run accommodation

    A big impact with little effort – carefully selecting where you stay pays off several times over.
    Overnight stays are the second largest source of CO2 emissions when people travel. So, consider your choice of accommodation carefully. Stay in hotels, B&Bs and youth hostels featuring the Swisstainable emblem, as this means they are committed to environmental protection and social justice. Staying in locally run accommodation also means that the money you spend stays in the region. Finally, consciously choosing environmentally and socially responsible accommodation is more pleasurable on a personal level and enhances your experience.

  • Eat at local and responsible restaurants

    Fresh vegetables from the farm next door – local restaurants are a pure delight.
    Opt for local restaurants that feature products from Swiss vintners and brewers, source organic ingredients from the region and prepare fresh, authentic dishes. Look for the Swisstainable emblem. It affirms a restaurant’s commitment and responsibility towards people and the environment.

  • Respect the environment

    Nature is Switzerland’s capital – if we are to preserve it, we must treat it with awe and respect.
    Switzerland boasts an astounding 65,000 km of hiking trails – enough to satisfy every nature lover. Please keep to these trails. They pass through sensitive areas that are home to many types of wildlife. And please also keep your voice down. Use campsites and check with the local authorities whether wild camping is permitted. Wild animals will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

  • Buy quality gifts made in Switzerland

    Distinctive, sophisticated and meaningful – Swiss quality is worth it.
    Delight your friends and family back home with authentic Swiss souvenirs that embody the Swiss characteristics of precision, care and quality. Visit local workshops and look specifically for products made in Switzerland. Your nearest and dearest will be thrilled, and at the same time you will be supporting local craftspeople

  • Reduce, reuse, recycle

    “Less is more” is the new normal and the key to lower resource consumption and more environmentally friendly practices.
    Always keep the three Rs in mind. Avoid waste – even when travelling in Switzerland. Use reusable items whenever possible and look out for the recycling symbol and recycling stations. Switzerland is very proud of its highly efficient recycling system – play your part in it!

  • Be a role model

    Set a positive example for yourself and future explorers and adventurers.
    Think of the generations to come. They will want to enjoy the natural wonders of Switzerland and its local culture just as you are doing now. Make sure your actions are responsible and thoughtful, leave the smallest possible environmental footprint behind, and treat your hosts and other visitors with respect.

Switzerland

Where in the World?

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Want to see the sorts of Sustainable Stays we offer? From hotels and resorts to lodges, cabins and B&Bs we ensure that the properties we feature have been considered on a range of factors which contribute toward their overall sustainability. Learn more and view our suggested Sustainable Stays.

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See it for yourself

Switzerland Gallery

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