20 years of travel and photography in Europe but somehow I had never made it to Switzerland for a proper holiday or photography trip.Somehow visiting Switzerland for a holiday felt like a cliche from all those Bollywood movies I watched while growing up. Finally during this spring of 2019 we decided to visit Switzerland for a family vacation enroute to the US.
We decided to restrict ourselves to the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland as my research said it was one of the most photogenic areas and also great for a family holiday. We also decided to spend 2 days in Zurich to explore the city and take a break before continuing our Journey to the USA.
Zurich Airport is the main International gateway into Switzerland . Zurich is served by a host of Airlines. You can check out the list of airlines flying to Zurich here.
The best options from India are Swissair, British Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates, and Qatar Airlines.
From Singapore , Swissair and Singapore offer direct flights to Zurich.
From Zurich to Interlaken if you are traveling light you can take the train from Zurich airport to Interlaken.
Here I must mention that getting a Swiss Travel Pass for your holiday in Switzerland is a great option which allows you to travel by Train, Bus and Boat on Swiss public transportation.
if you have a lot of luggage like we did the best option would be to hire a car or van to drop your your Interlaken hotel.
Some useful Info
Switzerland Time is in the Central European Time Zone . Central European Standard Time ( CET ) is 1 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time ( GMT+1 ) and GMT +2 in Summer
The local currency is the Swiss Franc
As of this writing the exchange rate is as follows
1 Swiss Franc = 70.8 INR = 1.38 SGD
Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region
Interlaken is a traditional resort town in the mountainous Bernese Oberland region of central Switzerland. Built on a narrow stretch of valley, between the emerald-colored waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, it has old timber houses and parkland on either side of the Aare River. Its surrounding mountains, with dense forests, alpine meadows and glaciers, has numerous hiking and skiing trails.
The Jungfrau region begins in Interlaken, the largest town in the region. Interlaken is easy to reach by train and car. The Jungfrau region stretches out to the Jungfrau mountain range in the south, which is a Unesco World Heritage. There's a lot of beautiful alpine nature and several little villages.
We decided to use Interlaken as a base while we explored the region via day trips. interlaken is a great option as a base of your first trip to the region because it has the most number of hotel and stay options and a wide variety of food options as well including Indian and Asian food options. Don’t miss the famous Swiss Fondues when you are in Switzerland.
Where to Stay in Interlaken
Interlaken has a a variety of Hotel and Stay options to choose from. These range from some incredibly expensive hotels , some mid range hotels and inexpensive (by Swiss Standards) hostels and homesteads.
Lindner Grand Beau Rivage
Hotel Royal St Georges Interlaken Mgallery by Sofitel
Budget Waldhotel Unspunnen
Swiss Rail Pass
As I mentioned earlier the Swiss Travel pass is your best travel companion which allows you to explore on all the public transport options.
Taxis are an expensive option but if you need to take a break from walking or if you have young kids or seniors in your group this is a quick way to get around Interlaken from point to point.
Interlaken and Harder Kulm
Lauterbrunnen is a municipality in the Swiss Alps. It encompasses the village of Lauterbrunnen, set in a valley featuring rocky cliffs and the roaring, 300m-high Staubbach Falls. Nearby, the glacial waters of Trümmelbach Falls gush through mountain crevices past viewing platforms. A cable car runs from Stechelberg village to Schilthorn mountain, for views over the Bernese Alps.
The Giessbachfälle is a beautiful and popular waterfall which runs into Lake Brienz. The Grand Hotel Giessbach is located such that you access the waterfall through the hotels car park.
Where to Stay in Zurich
Hotel Schweizerhof Zürich
Le Bijou LQ82 Spectacular Limmatview Penthouse
Park Hyatt Zurich
Crowne Plaza Zürich
Suggested City Tours of Zurich
What was in my Camera Bag
As this was a holiday primarily I was traveling with just the minimum of cameras gear. I had with my trusted Canon 5DS-R and a couple of zoom lenses which I can’t live without. The Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II and a wide angle zoom the Canon 17-40mm F4 L which has served me well over the last several years but will be upgrading soon. I also carried with me the superb Zeiss Otus 55mm f1.4 which I like to shoot detailed street and sharp portraits with.