When: November 2014 – January 2015
Where: Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Bern
Reasons to go:
Chocolate: How could it being the homeland of Lindt not be a good enough reason to visit??
Christmas Markets: Bright lights, glühwein, fondue, pretzels, crafts, candles and carols outside the cathedral, ice-skating, mini train rides – there is something for everyone to get excited about in winter.
Environment: You don’t have to be a skier to appreciate the mountains here. The country seems fresh and forward-thinking when it comes to environmental issues, adopting a particularly strict policy towards recycling.
Mix of cultures: French, German, Italian and Romany. There are different forms of architecture, cuisine and landscape to be discovered in each region, and it’s bizarrely nice hearing a range of languages on the train.
Politics: Switzerland is interesting. It’s a very independent nation, not being a member of the EU and staying neutral in regards to overseas armed conflicts. But it’s far from isolationist, with very comprehensive news coverage, strong engagement with world affairs, and of course, Geneva being HQ of the UN. Male military service is compulsory over 19 and you can often see boys in their uniforms on a train.