1. The crystal clear water that you can drink right out of the tap!
You will notice the beautiful turquoise waters in Switzerland. The water is so clear that you can see how smooth the rock bed is.
80% of Swiss drinking water stems from natural springs and groundwater, and the rest from lakes. It may be a foreign idea for Malaysians to get drinking water straight out of the tap, unfiltered. However, when in a country like Switzerland, many locals and tourists alike consume water straight out of the tap without second thoughts.
In fact, if you're feeling thirsty in Zurich, you can just head to any of the water fountains (unless there's a sign advising against consuming the water) and get free drinking water there. There are approximately 1,200 drinking water fountains in Zurich alone - the most in any city in the world!
2. The. fresh. air. No haze, no humidity. Just cool, fresh air.
Not only is Switzerland so beautiful, the country is also famed for the clean and fresh air to the point that some companies have decided to sell canned air collected from various locations around the Swiss Alps to residents of heavily polluted cities elsewhere in the world.
You know the Swiss are serious about keeping air clean and fresh when there are quite a number of car-free villages in the country, such as the alpine villages Zermatt and Wengen.
3. There are plenty of freebies for tourists
Travelling around Switzerland can be a fun adventure. What’s even better is that some of the best things in Switzerland are free!
You can easily borrow a bike in Zurich to explore the city. There's even an app to check on the bicycle availability information or the nearest bicycle station.
Elsewhere in Geneva, you are entitled to a transport pass which grants you access to use the public transportation system of Geneva - including buses, trams, trains, and yellow taxi-boats - for free! This transport pass can usually be obtained for free from your hotel, hostel or even the campsite you're staying at.
In some places like Interlaken, you can book a local guide for a walking tour without any cost at all.
4. Everything is always on time
If you're the kind of person who values punctuality and dislike being a victim of "Malaysian timing", you're going to enjoy being in Switzerland because the Swiss timing makes everything so efficient in the country, particularly its transportation system.
The Swiss have developed a reputation for their timeliness, so rest assured that your travel plans in Switzerland should run rather smoothly if you're an 'on-time' type of person.
If the train is scheduled to depart at 7.13am, it will depart exactly at 7.13am - not a minute later or earlier. So really, don't be tardy!
5. The awe-inspiring sights from train rides
In Switzerland, trains are not just a mode of transportation that get people from point A to point B. Passengers are treated to stunning panoramic views of the famous Swiss Alps through oversized windows as they can easily relax comfortably and admire sceneries.
There are several panoramic trains and routes, and tickets or passes can be easily obtained online.
The thought of falling asleep on long rail journeys might not even cross your mind - you wouldn’t want to miss witnessing the million-dollar sights of Switzerland’s Alpine views.
So remember to sit back, relax, and enjoy.
6. It's a chocolate heaven
Swiss chocolates need no introduction. Ironically, in a country that has one of the highest chocolate consumption in the world, Switzerland doesn't have the climate to grow cocoa.
So, how did the country become a top producer of chocolates even when they don't naturally have cocoa? What makes Swiss chocolates so special and desirable is - you may have guessed it - the rich creamy milk produced by Swiss pastureland.
You’ll want to make sure you have enough space in your luggage bag to stuff your favourite chocolates and bring them back as precious souvenirs - or better yet, go join a chocolate-making workshop and bring them home! There's one in Interlaken called 'Funky Chocolate Club' where you can taste, create and decorate your chocolates.
We know that nothing can come between Malaysians and good food. Rest assured that Swiss food will definitely leave you wanting for more.
Switzerland’s 26 cantons (the administrative divisions of the country) boast of their own specialties so take time to explore the top Swiss food in each region, which usually have strong French, Italian, and/or German influences.
Various options are available from traditional cuisines for the meat-happy bunch to vegetarian meals. It's no coincidence that Zurich is home to Hiltl, a Guinness World Records holder for being the oldest continuously open vegetarian restaurant in the world.
What are the must-have at least once during your visit? The cheese fondue and raclette.
8. Experience the unique European culture all in one country
Switzerland is home to people from virtually every country in the world so it's no wonder why it has been highly regarded as a melting pot of cultures.
Switzerland is considered to be a relatively small country but it has four national languages: French, German, Italian and Romansh. The Swiss are mostly multilingual and are proud speakers of the unique Swiss-German dialects. What's interesting is that each canton in Switzerland has its own distinct variety when it comes to the Swiss-German.
The rich European cultures are observed and reflected in the local Swiss traditions and customs, art, and architecture, to name a few.
Time to plan for a trip to Switzerland if you haven't already because you are sure to have an experience of a lifetime!
Be sure to check out Sedunia Travel's Switzerland tour itineraries as there are several tour itineraries available - whether you're interested in visiting the country for a skiing holiday or a rail adventure to travel across the picturesque alpine region, there's a package for you.
Sedunia Travel currently offers Switzerland tour packages from RM2,850 per pax.
You could even contact a specialist from Sedunia Travel to customise the tour to suit your interests and budget for a truly memorable experience.
Sedunia Travel was founded in 1976 and is an award-winning travel specialist based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They are members of IATA, PATA and MATTA and works closely with operators and tourism organisations from around the world. Sedunia Travel offers a full-range of travel services including flights, independent tours, group travel and incentive travel to destinations around the world. See their travel packages and find out more here.