Sampling the café scene of Zürich

After months and months of only knowing a handful of people as an expat, I’ve suddenly acquired a bunch of new friends, which has given me the chance to sample some of Zürich’s cafes through several coffee dates. It’s fun getting to know Zürich in more depth and discovering my favourite places to hang out and chat. The pictures are all from google as I find it a bit awkward taking photos when I’m actually inside a café or a restaurant. I hope you don’t mind! Here, in no particular order are my favourite cafés in Zürich so far:

Café Spiga, Löwenstrasse 61, 8001 Zürich

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This wins the title of “best located” for me. Just three minutes from Zürich main station, this has become a bit of a regular. I’ve been there three times, and I love the warm atmosphere, the service and the delicious tasting coffee. This café also has plenty of seating, and offers affordable (for Zürich) Italian food, so its also a handy lunch spot, though I’ve not eaten there yet. 8/10

Café ZähringerZähringerpl. 11, 8001 Zürich

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I love the look of café Zähringer. It’s cozy, unpretentious and lively, and I feel certain that if I was a student, I would frequent it often. Zähringer is in Zürich’s old town, easily the most interesting and liveliest part of the city. It is the ideal spot to hole up on a cold winter’s day, though it does get a bit crowded as it is very popular. There is a great selection of hot and cold drinks, as well as some light bites, and I believe it even has a range of board games to keep you entertained with your mates. Great for a low key afternoon, though the staff can seem a bit preoccupied at times.  7/10

Il Caffé, Lagerstrasse 22, 8004 Zürich

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Whilst small, cozy cafés can be charming, I tend to gravitate towards cafés that have a bit more space, and this fits the bill perfectly. Whilst some might argue that it’s a bit lacking in atmosphere or a bit corporate, in its defence, it has excellent service, the strongest coffee I’ve tried so far in Zürich (a big plus!) and it is fantastic for people watching, with its big windows all along one side. It’s also in one of my favourite parts of town, Europallee, which is Züruch’s newest neighbourhood, with parts of it still under construction, so all the cafes and restaurants are recent additions to Zürich’s social scene and they look and feel fresh and modern as a result. Europallee is also located very close to the main station so its perfect if you don’t want to travel too far. 8/10

Beetnut, Lagerstrasse 16B, 8004 Zürich

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This is the most stylish café I’ve seen in Zürich. My friend told me it’s made it’s way onto quite a few instagram pages for Zürich, thanks to its colourful decor and sophisticated feel. Beetnut bills itself as the perfect choice for health food lovers, with its range of smoothies and health bowls. I ordered a delicious smoothie there, which was incredibly rich and sumptuous (though a bit hard to drink as it was so thick!) Beetnut is also in Europallee, so again, it’s very close to the main station. In fact Beetnut is just a few doors down from Il Caffe, so you could check out both in an afternoon if you felt so inclined! 7/10

Do you have any café recommendations for Zürich for me to try out?

The Pretty Towns and Cities of Switzerland

Switzerland is famous for having spectacular scenery, but it also has more than its fair share of beautiful towns. As I’ve visited quite a few, I thought it would be fun to share my favourite picture from some of the towns and cities I’ve visited so far. I hope they inspire you to get out and explore more of Switzerland if you live here, or give you ideas of where to go for day trips or places to stay if you come here on holiday. Enjoy!

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Eglisau, Canton Zürich
Geneva
Geneva, Canton Geneva
Zug
Zug, Canton Zug
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Lucerne, Canton Lucerne
Zurich
Zürich, Canton Zürich
Basel
Basel, Canton Basel-City
ascona
Ascona, Canton Ticino

What I Look For In A Travel Destination

After a few months without much travel (apart from a trip home to London for Christmas and a couple of day trips in Switzerland) I’m starting to get itchy feet again, and as a result, I’ve started planning some trips to take in the summer. The planning process has led me to think about what I personally look for in a travel destination, and what makes me choose one place over another:

It has to be affordable for me

Since I only work part-time, my funds are limited, hence when choosing somewhere new to visit, affordability is definitely a big factor for me. As someone living in one of the most expensive countries in the world though, affordable is a relative term. I used to think London was very expensive until I moved to Zürich. Now, whenever I go back home, I’m amazed at how much cheaper it is to go out for a drink or a meal there, when I compare it with doing the same in Switzerland. Living here has definitely skewed my perception of how expensive the rest of the World is, so my definition of an affordable trip usually means that the country is only a short haul flight away.

If I can get there in under four hours then that means I can probably afford to go there, since I won’t have spent too much on the flights, and the accommodation and food will also certainly be cheaper than they would be in Switzerland. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, for instance, at the moment I don’t think I could afford to visit Iceland, despite it being not that far away without saving up for a long time, since according to this article, it seems to be even more expensive than Switzerland on average. That said, there’s no shortage of places that do fit into my current budget, so I plan on making the most of being so well-located to enjoy the rest of Europe.

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Budapest, Hungary – a great value destination

It has to have good connections/ public transport

Neither my boyfriend and I can drive, so we don’t own a car. Not owing a car has many benefits – it’s greener for one thing and saves us a huge amount of money each year. However, it does mean that when we travel, we need to rely on public transport or tours to get around as we are unable to rent a car due to our lack of licences. Again, this makes Europe a prime destination for me, as it’s so well-connected and easy to get around.

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Shopping bus in Luxembourg

It has to be relatively easy to get to

Since I like travel to be as stress-free as possible, I usually opt for places that I can get to with a direct flight from wherever I live. Multiple stop-overs in multiple airports is off-putting to me, and whenever I’ve done it, I’ve ended up feeling completely exhausted and burnt out. That’s not to say, I won’t ever visit places that are hard to get to (for instance, after watching Disney’s Moana, I really want to visit French Polynesia, which would definitely be a long journey from here) but it is definitely usually a consideration for me when choosing where to go to next, especially when I typically only ever have a few days off at time to travel.

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London is easy for me to get to!

It has to be relatively safe

Some travellers like to go out of their way to see the World’s most dangerous countries and places…but I’m afraid I’m not one of them. Since I primarily travel to relax and to enjoy a change of scenery, the last thing I want to do when I’m away is worry that my life is in danger. Of course, even the safest of countries have their dangers and discomforts, for instance, I remember feeling really scared in Poland when a large dog started growling and snarling at me whilst I was on a walk, but on the whole, wherever I’ve travelled I’ve felt at ease and calm, and truthfully, I enjoy feeling that way. Perhaps as I get older and see more of the World, I’ll feel more confident about venturing outside of my comfort zone (especially as my boyfriend loves adventure) but for now when choosing a destination, safety is of great importance to me.

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Nice and relaxed statue in Ascona, Switzerland

It has to have enough to do and see

Some places fall into the other categories, they are safe, are easy to get to and are affordable, but there isn’t that much to do once you’re there. As I have a low boredom threshold, I prefer places with multiple attractions or things to see, so that I can have a choice of things to do once I’m there. Tripadvisor is great for giving me ideas of things to do in advance, and is a good way of accessing whether a destination is for me. There’s nothing worse than realising you’ve booked to stay somewhere for a week that you can see the entirety of in an hour or two. I’ve felt that way a few times on holiday, for example, in Marseille in France, in Zakopane in Poland and in Wexford in Ireland. These are all smallish towns with not a lot going on, and I would recommend only staying for a couple of night at most if you find yourself heading to these places, otherwise if you’re anything like me, you will be bored.

On the other hand, staying somewhere small and quiet can make for a more relaxing holiday, as long as there are options to go somewhere else for day trips. So, for that reason Settle in Yorkshire actually made for a good base, since whilst there wasn’t a huge amount to see in the town itself, it was perfectly situated for exploring with good railway and bus connections, so I didn’t feel stranded or stuck there. So long as there are things to do in the neighbouring area, I’m happy to stay somewhere a bit more on the quiet side.

Bearing all these factors in mind, where have I decided to go in the summer? Well, as I mentioned in the above blog about Yorkshire I have been enjoying seeing more of the UK these past two years (I think this is mostly due to my not being there anymore and missing it) so I would like to take a short trip in July to Bristol, as it meets all of the above criteria, and its actually somewhere I’ve always been interested in visiting.

What factors do you take into account when planning your next trip?

A Trip To…Bruges, Belgium

Visiting old, beautiful cities is one of my favourite pastimes – as you may have gathered from my other blog posts. After seeing numerous pictures of it online, Bruges has always been high on my list of places to visit, due to its sheer prettiness, and it did not disappoint me. My boyfriend and I took a trip there this past October, and we stayed for five nights.

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Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Hotel Salvators, which was located 10 minutes walk from Bruges’ Market Square, which is the hub of Bruges. The hotel is built in the local Flemish style, with a traditional gabled roof, and prides itself on “not being a Novotel”.

The hotel had a lot going for it, it was in a great location, offered a delicious self-serve breakfast, was surprisingly affordable and was full of charm and quirkiness. The only downside to the hotel was that oddly, the bedsheets smelled overwhelmingly of curry powder. I have no idea why they smelled like that, and it wasn’t only one set of bed sheets either. Each time the sheets were changed, the new ones still smelled of curry powder. Perhaps it was the fault of their laundry detergent? Either way, it was a bit off-putting, and it actually smelled so strong that it was a bit hard to fall asleep…!

Despite the strange smell, I would still recommend the hotel overall due to its positives…just maybe bring some Febreeze with you if you do decide to stay there!

What We Did

What didn’t we do would be the better question. We really packed a lot into our trip – here’s what we got up to:

City Bus Tour

We often start our trips by doing some sort of tour, as it’s a good way to learn how to navigate a new city. The City Bus Tour appealed to me because it featured a small bus instead of the usual double decker (in my case, the fewer crowds and tourists, the more I enjoy the experience) and also because the tour was only 50 minutes long, which is the ideal amount of time to get a feel for a place and find things we want to see or visit. All throughout the tour, my boyfriend kept finding places he was interested in photographing, so for that reason alone, it was well worth doing.

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Legends of Bruges Free Walking Night Tour

In addition to doing the City Bus Tour, we also opted to do a free night walking tour. We love walking tours (it’s actually how we met!) because it’s a terrific way to see parts of a city that are tucked away from the well-trodden path. Our tour guide was very charismatic and told us fascinating stories about Bruges’ history, including chilling ghost legends, which added a fun atmosphere to the experience, and prevented the tour from becoming dry or heavy. The tour finished by offering a free beer in a local youth hostel, which I though was a nice touch, and very generous of the company. This was easily one of the best free walking tours I’ve ever done (and I’ve done quite a few), so if you’re looking for a fun way to spend an evening in Bruges without spending too much, then I would recommend doing this particular free walking tour. If you enjoy the tour, you can show your appreciation to the tour guide by making a small donation at the end.

Visiting The Windmills

If you’ve walked round the main touristy part of Bruges and want to get away from the crowds, I suggest you go and check out Bruges’ windmills. The windmills lie in the old city boundary, in a green park that surrounds the city, next to the canals. The windmills are open to the public from April to September (so we just missed being able to go inside)  and its worth noting that you can still actually occasionally buy flour from some of them. Walking around the Windmills offered a refreshing change of pace from the very crowded Bruges streets.

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Bruges Beer Museum

This museum was one of the most popular attractions in the city, but it was my least favourite outing. Perhaps this goes without saying, but you have to really be interested in the process of how beer is made to truly get something out of the experience. I enjoy drinking beer, and I like trying different varieties of beer, but truthfully I do not really care how it is made. I realise that this is down to personal preference, and this isn’t a reflection on the museum itself. If you like learning about how things work, you will really enjoy it; the museum is informative and well-laid out, with multiple language guides, making it easy to follow the exhibits. If you don’t enjoy learning about technical things, then you could always just visit the museum’s bar instead, and sample some of Belgium’s tastiest brews.

Bruges Volkskundesmusem 

This was my favourite of Bruges museums! The small cozy museum really gave me an insight into how people in Bruges used to live, and it brought history to life. The museum was divided into several rooms, with each room depicting a different theme or place.

For instance, one room was made up to look like an old school classroom, whilst another room was made to look like a working pharmacy. It really caught my imagination, and my boyfriend enjoyed it as well, as some of the objects placed in the rooms were familiar to him from his own past (I promise he’s not that old!). Another thing I liked about the Volkskundemuseum was the fact that it wasn’t crowded at all – we pretty much had the place to ourselves. In my opinion, I think the museum was one of Bruges’ hidden gems. I’m so glad we discovered it!

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A Sign Outside Bruges Volk Museum

Bruges Friet Museum 

On the last morning we still had time to kill so we decided to look around the Bruges Friet Museum. I must admit, it wasn’t a museum that we were particularly interested in, when we first got to Bruges, but we were pleasantly surprised by how fun the museum was! The museum had a range of exhibits, from the history of the humble potato, to how Pommes Frites were invented, to various humorous adverts all featuring fries. It sounds dull, but the museum was actually very interesting, due to its sheer passion and love for all things potato, and that passion swept us along with it. I would definitely add it to a list of niche, eccentric museums that are worth visiting.

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An Art Installation at Bruges Friet Museum

What we ate

I’ve realised that I need to add a “what we ate section” to these sorts of blog posts, since eating out is such a big part of our trips! This time we sampled quite a few local dishes, since it was the kind of food that was right up our street!

On the first night out we ate one of the best stews I’ve ever tasted, a local Flemish stew made with beef and beer. It was so rich, hearty and comforting, I wish I knew how to make it so that I could have it again. I also ate a similar tasting, and equally delicious rabbit stew for another meal, and a month later, I’m still craving both! Both stews came with a large portion of Bruges’ most famous food, pommes frites or French fries. In fact, we did not have one meal that didn’t come with French fries in Bruges, so if you’re on a diet, you may need to do some extra walking whilst you’re there!

We also ate an array of international dishes, from a superb duck l’orange to incredibly fresh burgers. I ate very, very well and only had one mediocre meal during the entire trip. Tip, all the best restaurants are the ones that are hidden away on the side streets – the worst restaurants are the ones directly located on the market square.

In Conclusion 

Bruges is a lovely city and is ideal for an affordable getaway in Europe. Whilst it is small in size, it still has a lot to offer and if you want to visit Belgium, but you aren’t sure where to begin, then I would say that Bruges is a great place to start.

5 ways living in Switzerland has changed me

I believe that to some extent, we are all shaped by the place we live in. Since living in Switzerland I’ve developed new interests, and different parts of my personality have become emphasised. Here’s how living in Switzerland has changed me:

I’ve become more interested in cooking

Switzerland is so expensive, that we hardly ever eat out. So, we eat almost all of our meals at home, and since eating the same thing all the time is boring, I have been trying out new recipes on a weekly basis. I used to find cooking to be a chore, but now I have my own kitchen that I don’t have to share with roommates and more time than I used to, I find it to be fun and relaxing. I’m really glad that I’ve developed this skill, since it means that I can hopefully save money and eat well for life! I’m still learning, but I’m so much more confident in the kitchen than I used to be since living here.

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Carrot, pumpkin and chili soup

I’ve become better at saving money

There’s definitely more of a culture of saving money here than in the UK; there are adverts everywhere for digital piggy banks for children, and my bank sends me a quarterly magazine, which always has a feature in it about how saving is key to a successful future. These messages have finally started to sink in over the last year, and now saving regularly is becoming a habit.

I appreciate how lucky I am to actually be in a position where I can save on a regular basis, due to the higher wages here, so I’m trying to make the most of it. The two years before when I was living in London, I barely saved anything, which meant I had to borrow money from my boyfriend to survive the first few months of living here. I’m still paying him back even now, so by moving, I’ve really learnt just how important saving in advance for things can be. Hopefully I can continue to develop good fiscal habits whilst living here!

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Swiss money is pretty!

I have more time to be creative

I’ve always loved creating, since I was a child, but my productivity has certainly increased since being here. Again, this is partly due to my current working pattern. I simply have more time to create here, and my flat is my perfect working environment. It’s spacious, comfortable, quiet, and calm. Also, since I don’t know many people here, I’ve found I’ve developed my inner life more; With time on my hands I’ve developed my imagination by finding new avenues to explore, such as meditation or ASMR, and these new avenues have in turn lead me to have more ideas than ever before. I plan to write this blog for years come, and I have a long list of things I want to write about. In the past, I always only had one or two ideas for future blog posts, now I have loads!

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Time to create

I actually enjoy learning a new language

Alongside maths, German used to be my least favourite subject at school. Whilst it seems churlish, I do blame the teacher, she managed to make a living, breathing language seem irrelevant and dead. It also didn’t help that we spoke English during the entire lesson.  Now, thanks to Migros klub Schule and my speaking partner, I actually enjoy learning German. I love seeing a sign and understanding what it means, or being able to ask for something I need in a pharmacy, it makes me feel empowered. Whilst I’m still not comfortable speaking German for extended periods of time, and I still think I speak like a three year old, there is something so satisfying about being able to build on my knowledge and get better little by little. It’s so much easier to learn a language when you are surrounded by it every day.

I prefer a quieter pace of life

Whenever I return to London, I’m always struck by how loud and busy it is! The tube is crowded, people are in a rush, there’s no space to walk, and my find myself getting tired and stressed more easily. I used to think that I was made for living in a big city, now I’m not so sure. I love the space to move about here. Even at peak times, Zürich doesn’t feel too crowded. There’s room to breathe here, and I like that.

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It’s oh so quiet…

How have you changed as an expat? Do you think where we live does have an effect on us?

Four travel tips I always try to follow

Sadly I’m not travelling at the moment, but travel is never far from my mind, so I thought I would share four travel tips that I believe always make my trips more enjoyable. Of course, everyone has different travel styles, and these tips may not work for you, but I find they certainly make my life easier when I’m on the road:

Always travel light

I’m always bemused by people who carry ginormous cases. It may be because I have naturally minimalist tendencies, but I don’t really understand people who act as though they are moving house every time they go somewhere. There are no real benefits to travelling with heavy cases, they are difficult to lug around, take up a lot of space on public transport and often result in excess baggage fees. Not to mention the fact that big suitcases always end up in the hold on aeroplanes, which means having to wait for your suitcase to be returned at the other end. Another downside is that your suitcase is more likely to get lost if it’s stored in the hold. I always bring only carry on luggage no matter where I’m going as it’s just so much easier to get around with, and I can keep my eye on it more easily.

Even if you’re travelling to multiple climates, I believe that there are still ways to minamalize suitcase space without having to do without. For example, if you’re going somewhere cold, thin layering pieces such as thermal underwear that you can wear beneath your clothes will keep you warm, and won’t take up too much room in your case. It’s worth noting that if you’re doing an activity that requires specialist equipment like skiing, you can usually rent it at the destination, and save having to carry it with you yourself.

I realise that if you do an activity such as skiing often, owning the equipment yourself may work out cheaper in the long run, in which case you may need a little bit more space, but then I would simply bring less other clothes and make do with what I had.

You might think I’m a bit strange, but I often wear the same clothes year round, so in summer I might wear a dress on its own, then in autumn I might add tights and a thin cardigan, and in winter I will add a scarf and proper boots to make sure I’m warm enough. Some people might not like the idea of wearing the same clothes year round, but I do find it does work especially well for travel; you don’t need to bring as much, and you can wear clothes in multiple different ways – everything in my case is useful and earns its keep!

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Everything has to fit in my little suitcase!

Give yourself time to rest

I’m not someone who tries to cram as much as possible into my trips. I usually aim to see one or two sights per day, and that’s it. Why do I do this? Well, I find I appreciate the sights more if I give myself time to enjoy them slowly, and it also means that I don’t get burnt out or exhausted. For me, one of the best parts if travel is not having to follow a strict schedule or rush around, I can do what I want (within reason) when I want. I also love having time to stop in cafes, enjoy leisurely lunches and dinners and just soak in the atmosphere of wherever I happen to be.

I also often spend some time relaxing in the accommodation I’m staying at, just taking time to read a book or watch a movie. Some people would argue that I could do that at home, and yes, I could (and do) but for me holidays are both a time to relax and explore. I tend to enjoy trips far more when I give myself time to rest, and don’t feel obligated to see everything at once. If I miss out on some sights, it’s not the end of the world; I don’t think travel should be a race to see as much as possible, but rather it should be a time to experience new things, whilst still taking care of yourself.

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A well-earned hot chocolate break

Try to plan a free day at the beginning and end of your trip

Sometimes, it’s not possible to avoid work, and it can be difficult to get time off, but if you can take a day off on either side of your trip, then it can be a great way of eliminating travel stress. A day on either side on a trip can give you time to do laundry, pack or unpack, get over jet lag, deal with any pending emails or life admin, and just generally give you time to get ready for your trip or adjust to being back.

I once took a sleeper train from Penzance to London, and went straight to work the morning after, and needless to say, I felt terrible! Sleeper trains are a bit of a misnomer as I find them impossible to sleep on! In hindsight, I should have come back the day before to give me time to recover from travel before going back to work. With limited time off, some people want to maximise their time and come back at the last possible moment, but I think by doing this, it can make life a lot harder. For me, going to work immediately after travelling is akin to having a bad hangover.

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Travel can be tiring

It’s ok to have alone time

I travel often with my boyfriend, and he is my favourite travel partner, because he understands the importance of alone time (luckily my other friends do as well!) Fights and disagreements are a lot more likely to happen if you don’t have at least some alone time during a trip – being around someone 24/7 can be difficult, even if you love them a great deal and usually get on very well!

I think it’s key to be able to ask for alone time when you need it, or if you’re interested in seeing or doing something that your travel partner isn’t. For example, during my trip to Yorkshire in the summer, I wanted to check out a local outlet centre, but my boyfriend wasn’t interested in going, so I went alone, and I’m glad I did, as I ended up purchasing a very useful raincoat and new hiking boots! Having time alone gives you a chance to replenish your soul, do things that you are interested in, as well as spend time relaxing.

There have been several occasions, where I’ve been grumpy on holiday, but then have felt a lot better after having alone time. Of course, it would be unfair to spend an entire trip alone if you’re travelling with someone, but a few hours here and there can do wonders for everyone’s sanity. This also applies to travelling in groups, a group shouldn’t always have to do everything together when they travel, people should be able to sit things out if they’re not interested in something!

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A solitary, but contented statue

In conclusion, I believe that travel stress can mostly be avoided if you go at your own pace and listen to what your body and spirit needs. Enjoy your next trip!

How to dress for the Swiss Climate

I’ve lived in Switzerland for over a year now, and during that time I’ve experienced a variety of different weather from summer storms to winter snow; with the temperature ranging from blistering heat to well-below freezing, so I thought I would share my tips for how to dress for the Swiss climate, throughout the seasons. Hopefully it will give you a useful idea for what you will need if you’re planning a visit, or even if you want to relocate! I should note that I live near Zürich in the North-East of Switzerland, so I can’t generalise for the whole of Switzerland, and also people from really hot countries might find it far colder than I do, but here’s a rough idea of what to expect:

spring

I personally find Swiss springs to be quite warm, so I would bring a lot of the same stuff I would for summer, and early autumn. That said, it did snow here last March, so if you come in early spring check the forecast beforehand your trip, and if it is going to snow, then follow the advice for Winter instead! From April onwards though, temperatures often reach 20 ° centigrade.

You will need:

  • A raincoat (I pretty much recommend bringing a raincoat, no matter the season, as you don’t want to be caught out)
  • Light cardigans and jumpers (you may not even need them after April!)
  • thin t-shirts to layer
  • Waterproof shoes
  • light pyjamas so you don’t overheat at night
  • jeans and trousers
  • Tights for chilly mornings if you’re planning on wearing a dress or skirt
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Beautiful spring flowers

summer

A lot of people assume that Switzerland doesn’t get hot summers (the climate websites I’ve seen say that Switzerland has a moderate climate), but for me at least, it is lot hotter than the UK, where I grew up, and everyone who has visited me has commented on how hot it is. This summer it was so hot, I felt a bit faint a few times, so do bear that in mind if you’re not a fan of the heat.

You will need:

  • Your swim-suit – once it gets to June, the locals all jump into the lake to cool off!
  • Your sun-glasses (you will be blind without them)
  • Cool breathable clothes – my first summer here, I felt so uncomfortable in my polyester tees and jeans. This summer I actually bought some cooler clothes as I couldn’t bear the heat any longer. If you can, bring linens, and flowy, light outfits  such as dresses and skirts – you will thank me.
  • Strong sun protection – I’m dismayed to say that having got burnt one particularly hot day in Switzerland’s South, I now have a few permanent faint lines across my neck. Avoid the wrinkled old lady look and make sure you have proper sun protection on everyday, even when it’s cloudy.
  • Also bring a very light rain jacket as summer storms are frequent here (usually at night) and you don’t want to get caught out!
  • Inscet-repellant – mosquitoes are everywhere. I believe the risk of malaria is low, but it’s still good to put some on as bites are annoying.
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When it’s hot, head to the lake

autumn

Autumns are disappointingly short here, I personally think it stays quite warm until October, but the mornings and evenings can be chilly, and it can also rain quite often, so if you’re someone who feels the cold easily, bring more layers.

You will need:

  • A light waterproof jacket or coat
  • Hiking boots – autumn is hiking season!
  • a light cardigan or jumper (nothing too heavy, the temperature is often still in the 20s during autumn) for wearing beneath the jacket.
  • Normal jeans or trousers
  • Comfy socks (again, nothing too heavy, otherwise you will be sweating)
  • Waterproof shoes – it does rain quite a bit in Autumn here
  • Thin tops or t-shirts that you can layer with
  • A light scarf if you’re someone who feels the cold
autumn
You might need a few more clothes than this to survive a Swiss autumn!

winter

Swiss winters can be a bit extreme, last winter it got as low as -18, and there was a lot of snow for a week or so. On average though, temperatures don’t usually dip below -5, so it’s not unbearable (at least not for me) the majority of the time:

You will need:

  • Proper winter boots, and by that, I mean boots that are waterproof and can grip onto icy surfaces. Uggs won’t cut it  in the Snow; your feet will probably get wet. Having said that, if it’s a dry winter’s day, then I always wear trainers and my feet stay warm enough.
  • A decent coat – one that is waterproof and well-insulated. Bonus points if it’s long and has a hood!
  • A warm hat and scarf
  • waterproof gloves – I personally don’t mind my gloves getting wet, but if you hate cold, clammy hands then ski gloves are a good option.
  • The Swiss like to dress their kids in waterproof clothing, I don’t think this is necessary for adults, but I think it could be a good idea to bring some along if you have little ones.
  • If you feel the cold a lot, then thermal underwear can be useful, but be warned it can get very hot indoors, so only bring them if you will be outside a lot. I never wear thermal underwear, but then it takes a lot for me to feel really cold.
  • Proper pyjamas (just because there’s nothing cosier!)
  • Proper socks – now you can bring out the wool socks to face the icy temperatures
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Do as I say and not as I do, don’t wear trainers in the snow

In conclusion, Switzerland’s weather might be more extreme than you think. This is just a guideline though, do check the weather report before your visit, as I don’t want to be responsible for anyone bringing the wrong clothing, as the weather can change quite quickly here!