Switzerland is bordered by France, Germany, Austria and Italy, and has distinctive French, German and Italian sections. The German section is the largest with around 60 percent of the population speaking German and the smallest section is Italian in the southeast corner of Switzerland with about 10 percent of the Swiss population speaking Italian. You can easily travel to Switzerland from the United States
or another European country.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You'll Need:
Train or airplane ticket
- Train or airplane ticket
Decide which method of transportation you want to use. If you are traveling directly from the United States to Switzerland, the easiest way to travel is by plane. Many Swiss Air flights depart daily from Chicago, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Newark-New Jersey and Boston, and fly directly to Switzerland. Other airlines require you to make a stop in another European city then continue on to Switzerland.
If you are on a European vacation and Switzerland is not the first country on your itinerary, consider traveling to Switzerland by train. Trains are convenient ways to travel, because train stations are centrally located in major cities, they are almost always on time and you do not have to go through security or check your luggage.
Decide which city in Switzerland will be your first destination. Most flights arrive in Zurich or Geneva. From these large cities, you can easily take a train to other Swiss cites. It is easier to travel by train once you are in Switzerland than traveling by airplane. Large train stations are at the Zurich and Geneva airports. If you are traveling by train from another European country, you can continue using the train to reach your destination city.
Purchase your airline tickets and/or train tickets. If you will be traveling by train for more than one day in Switzerland, you should purchase a multi-country Eurail pass for travel in more than one country or a Swiss pass for train travel only in Switzerland. The rail passes are easy and convenient to use and less expensive than purchasing individual train tickets. Click on the "Eurail" link under "References" at the bottom of this page to purchase a Eurail pass online, or click on "Swiss Pass" to purchase a Swiss Pass from Rail Europe.
Validate your train pass at a ticket counter at any train station in Switzerland or another European country, depending on where you depart. Your pass must be validated before boarding your first train. Your pass will be stamped on the first train ride of each day you use your rail pass.
Vanessa Padgalskas was born and raised in Spokane, Wash. and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Padgalskas graduated from American University in 2007 with degrees in international studies and economics. She is currently a third-year law student at Lewis and Clark Law School.