Switzerland

Switzerland

on Tuesday, 04 October 2011. Posted in Switzerland

Switzerland (German: Schweiz, French: Suisse, Italian: Svizzera, Romansch: Svizra) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It has borders with France to the west, Italy to the south, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east and Germany to the north,savings 
The climate is temperate, but varies with altitude. Switzerland has cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters and cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers,travel,
Switzerland is known for its mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) but it also has a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes. The highest point is Dufourspitze at 4,634 m while Lake Maggiore is only 195 m above sea level. 
Switzerland's independence and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers and Switzerland was not involved in either of the two World Wars,flight deals,The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland's role in many UN and international organizations has strengthened Switzerland's ties with its neighbors. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Switzerland remains active in many UN and international organizations, but retains a strong commitment to neutrality,accomodation,
Switzerland showcases three of Europe's most distinct cultures. To the northeast is the beer-drinking, sausage-eating German-speaking Switzerland; to the south-west the wine drinking and shopping spills effortlessly into France; in the south-east the sun warms cappuccino-sippers loitering in Italian-style plazas; and in the center: classic Swiss flugelhorns and mountain landscapes. Binding it all together is a distinct Swiss mentality,cheap rooms,
Switzerland can be a glorious whirlwind trip whether you've packed your hiking boots, snowboard, or just a good book and a pair of sunglasses,top deals,
Switzerland is a peaceful, prosperous, and stable modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP larger than that of the big Western European economies. The Swiss in recent years have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to enhance their international competitiveness. Switzerland remains a safe haven for investors, because it has maintained a degree of bank secrecy and has kept up the franc's long-term external value. Reflecting the anemic economic conditions of Europe, GDP growth dropped in 2001 to about 0.8%, to 0.2% in 2002, and to -0.3% in 2003, with a small rise to 1.8% in 2004-05. Even so, cheap hotel stays,unemployment has remained at less than half the EU average,car hire,

Basel

on Friday, 26 August 2011. Posted in Switzerland

Basel is a city in Switzerland.
One of Switzerland's underrated tourist destinations, Basel has a beautiful medieval old town center, a Carnival that ranks with those of Venice and Rio de Janeiro, and several world class art museums built by architects like Renzo Piano, Mario Botta and Herzog & De Meuron. Basel is also rich in architecture old and new, with a Romanesque Münster (cathedral), a Renaissance Rathaus (town hall), and various examples of high quality contemporary architecture, including more buildings by Herzog & De Meuron, Richard Meier, Diener & Diener, and various others.

Located in the Dreiländerecke (three countries' corner), Basel is a gateway to the Swiss Jura mountains and nearby cities of Zürich and Lucerne, as well as the neighboring French region of Alsace and the German Black Forest. There are a number of things to see and do if you have a few days to spend.

It was one of the eight host cities in the 2008 European Football Championships.
Dreiländereck, borders of Switzerland, Germany, and France meeting at the Rhine harbour of Basel The town of Basel lies in the north-western corner of Switzerland. The town shares borders with France and Germany and is the heart of this tri-national region - the Dreiländereck (three countries' corner). Besides its own attractions it can serve as a good entry point to the Alsace, Black Forest regions or the canton of Basel-Land.

A Basilisk, the mythical dragon holding the coat of arms and protecting the city The Rhine curves through the city and divides the town into two parts. Situated on the south and west bank is Grossbasel (Great Basel) with the medieval old town at its center. Kleinbasel (Little Basel), featuring much of the night-life, is on the north bank.
Visiting Basel can be a holiday for your vocal cords if you plan to absorb the beautiful art in silence exhibited in the many first-rate museums. Once a year it also hosts Art | Basel (see Do) which is the world's premier fair for modern classics and contemporary art.
Basel has one of the most amazing carnivals you're likely to see, called Fasnacht. If you're there during the "three loveliest days" of the year, prepare to be amazed, and don't expect to be able to sleep. (See Do, Festivals).
Basel is a cosmopolitan city because of its university and industry and its proximity to the borders of France and Germany. The official language of the city is German, but the majority of the population speaks Baseldytsch, an Alemannic dialect, as their mother tongue. German is taught in schools and fluently spoken by virtually everyone, so if you speak German and they notice that you are a foreigner, they will most likely answer you in German. Also widely spoken are English and French, both of which many people are able to communicate in comfortably enough to deal with everyday interactions and will gladly work to understand you. Borrowed French words are fairly common in everyday conversation; for example, Baslers often bid each other farewell with the French "adieu". Basically, the average Basler understands and speaks fluent Baseldytsch, German, English, and often French.

Berne

on Friday, 26 August 2011. Posted in Switzerland

Berne (German: Bern), the capital of Switzerland, is a small to medium sized city with a population of about 130,000 in the city proper and roughly 350,000 in the agglomeration area. It sits on a peninsula formed by the meandering turns of the river Aare. The remarkable design coherence of the Berne's old town has earned it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It features 4 miles of arcaded walkways along streets decked out with fountains and clock-towers. Bern was one of the eight host cities in the 2008 European Football Championships.

Berne was founded in 1191 by Duke Berthold V von Zähringen and was part of the Holy Roman Empire. It was made a free imperial city by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1218 after Berthold died without an heir.

In 1353 Berne joined the Swiss confederation. After several successful conquers, Berne became the largest independent city state north of the alps. It was occupied by French troops in 1798 during the French Revolutionary Wars, and was stripped of a large part of its territory. The city became the Swiss capital in 1848.


The main language spoken in Berne is Bernese-German, a Swiss dialect of the Alemannic language, although most people also speak German. Alemannic is mostly a spoken language, but also used in text messages etc. In official publications and announcements, German is used.

English seems to be supplanting French as the favorite second language of the Bernese, even though the canton of Berne is a bilingual German and French speaking canton. However, many people you encounter as a tourist will be able to speak both so it's certainly worth a try.


Geneva

on Friday, 26 August 2011. Posted in Switzerland

Geneva (French: Genève, German: Genf)Switzerland's second-most populous city, is one of the world's major centers of international diplomacy, having served as the site of the initial headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Although the United Nations is now headquartered in New York, the organization still retains a large presence in Geneva at the Palais des Nations and many of its sister/child organizations, such as the World Health Organization and ILO. Geneva itself has only 188'000 citizens but 780'000 people live in the metropolitan region (Jan. 2009).

In 1536, a young man named Jean Calvin, fleeing the persecution of Protestants in France, spent a night in Geneva. As it turned out, he was to do a lot more there than sleeping. After being expelled from Geneva for nearly three years, Calvin returned triumphantly in 1541 to help elevate the city to the rank of a Protestant Rome. The intellectual influence of the Reformation extended to all realms of Genevan life: politics, economy, and administration.

Geneva was an independent republic from at least the 16th century until it became a Swiss Canton on 31 Dec 1813. This is a point of some pride to the Genevois, who still refer to their Canton as the République et Canton de Genève. A favorite festival is the yearly celebration of the Escalade, which commemorates a failed attempt in 1602 by the forces of the Dukes of Savoy to invade the city by climbing and otherwise breaching the city walls. Having turned aside this invasion attempt at the cost of only 16 lives, Geneva had secured its liberty, since the House of Savoy was never again strong enough on this side of the Alps to attempt such an invasion.

Geneva is still a very proud city. Some find it downright stuffy, although there is quite a bit more life to be found if you look under the surface, especially if you speak some French.

Geneva is officially a French-speaking city, and the vast majority of the population speak French. All advertisements, information, and signage are in French. With the large international presence, English takes a close second. Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and Arabic speakers abound, and of course you will also occasionally hear German and Italian.

Lucerne

on Saturday, 27 August 2011. Posted in Switzerland

Lucerne (Luzern in German, Lozärn in Swiss-German) [1] is a beautiful small city in the heartland of Switzerland, across the lake from Altdorf, where legend has it William Tell shot an apple off of his son's head. In addition to being a fine place to visit in and of itself Lucerne is a great base from which to explore famous Swiss sites such as Mount Rigi and the Rütli Meadow.The first city to join the Swiss Confederation, today Lucerne is a lovely small city with a thriving tourism industry, owing mainly to its status as a gateway to Central Switzerland. The city became a center of Swiss history and legend, and is the setting for the most memorable part of the William Tell legend (the bit with the boy and the apple).

Tourism in Lucerne has a distinguished history dating from the mid 19th century, with Mark Twain among them. In "A Tramp Abroad" he recalls the nascent souvenir business, and other budding examples of the tourism trade

Lugano

on Saturday, 27 August 2011. Posted in Switzerland

Lugano is a lakeside city in Ticino, the Italian-speaking part of southern Switzerland. Part of a temperate micro-climate, Lugano offers palm trees, picturesque boulevards, stunning views of the lake and the Alps, and plenty of opportunity for outdoor and indoor activities. Lugano also makes a good base for visiting other cities and sites in the area. The city is a pleasant place to relax in the summertime and is only half an hour away from Lake Como.

Zurich

on Friday, 26 August 2011. Posted in Switzerland

Zurich (German: Zürich, Zürich German: Züri) is the largest city in Switzerland, with a population of some 364,500 in the city proper and close to 1 million in the agglomeration area. Zurich is on Lake Zurich, where the lake meets the Limmat River, in the north of Switzerland.

Zurich is the largest city of the Swiss Confederation (Switzerland) by land area and population. It is the financial centre of Switzerland and houses the stock exchange and the headquarters of a large number of national and international companies. National and international media agencies as well as most of the national TV channel companies are also located here.

View across Zurich from Grossmünster Because Zurich is the central node of the Swiss-wide train network and also runs the biggest and busiest international airport in the country, it generally is the first place where tourists arrive. Because of the city's close distance to tourist resorts in the Swiss Alps and its mountainous scenery, it is often referred to as the "portal to the Alps".
Contrary to what some believe, Zurich is not the capital of Switzerland-- that honor falls to Berne. Zurich has long been known for being clean and efficient. Due to this, it has been continuously ranked as the city with the highest living standard world-wide for many years. However, only for the last ten years has it truly become a fascinating and worthwhile travel destination. This is mostly thanks to the liberalization of the cultural, party and gastronomy sectors. An increasingly cosmopolitan population has helped, as well, though more button-down Geneva remains Switzerland's most culturally heterogeneous city.

The official language is German, used in all official publications and announcements, and practically everyone can speak it, but the native language of the masses is Swiss German. The most common dialect is called Züritüütsch. English and French are also widely spoken and often used in official publications and announcements alongside German. Any of these languages will do easily. Note that it's often wise to speak German rather than attempting to speak Swiss German; some people may think you're trying to make fun of their language.

* Note: Room prices change constantly. You should check the latest availability as in many cases the room price can be even lower than the listed price on the LastBeds website.