Daily Mail

Country guide Switzerland

You would certainly be hard-pressed to find a country that offers more in the way of natural beauty than Switzerland does. This thoroughly modern nation that is bang smack in the centre of Europe boasts jagged, foreboding mountains, rolling hills of emerald green and thousands of glassy, crisp lakes. If a picture perfect setting is what you're after when it comes to relocating, Switzerland ticks all the right boxes.

Things to do

Those with a love of the great outdoors will find a myriad of adventures awaiting them all year round. World class skiing can be found in winter courtesy of the multiple ski resorts that are dotted throughout the extensive Swiss Alps. In summer, these vast mountain ranges double as the perfect place for a challenging hike.

Complementing the natural wonders of Switzerland is a host of man-made castles, fortresses, and chateaux. These historic structures that appear to have been lifted straight out of a fairy tale offer a glimpse into a gory medieval past, as well as postcard-perfect views from their lofty ramparts.

Places to eat

Owing to the mixed heritage of the Swiss people, food in Switzerland is an interesting blend of French, German and Italian influences. The cuisine here can range from everything from hearty, warming stews, to bread and soft, rich cheeses.

Switzerland is credited with being the creator of a number of fascinating foods. Fondue, the cheesy sharing dish that was all the rage at 1970s dinner parties, was invented here and is a must-try for anyone looking to call Switzerland home. At the more infamous end of the Swiss food scale, we find absinthe - the highly potent alcoholic spirit that has been outlawed in numerous countries. It is once again legal in Switzerland, but be warned, anyone looking to chase the green fairy should proceed with caution...

Shopping

Dotted throughout the romantic landscapes of Switzerland are a bevy of modern cities where all the trappings of life in this digital age can be found.

Zurich is a hub for high fashion, with dozens of sleek department stores scattered all over the city. All the big names of European fashion have a presence here, as well as the Swiss equivalents of the more affordable high street fashion brands that we are accustomed to in the UK.

Multiple vintage stores and flea markets await those seeking something a bit more unique and one-of-a-kind. Notable Swiss flea markets include the Plainpalais Flea Market in Geneva, which is one of the largest in the country, and the Flohmarkt Petersplatz. Here you will be able to find everything from old-fashioned wind-up cameras, to clothes and books. You may even find yourself haggling with a schoolboy, as even children are allowed to set up shop and sell their toys in the middle of the square.

Getting around

Like any modern European country, there is a reliable and convenient travel infrastructure in place in Switzerland. An extensive network of roads and railways make it easy for commuters to get from place to place, all while taking in the exquisite natural beauty of the Swiss Alps and the surrounding countryside.

All major cities operate a bus network, and the majority of these cities also have an intra-city tram system in place as well. Metros are not common in Switzerland, with the city of Lausanne being the only city to have a metro system.

Those looking to travel abroad will find no shortage of means through which their international destination can be reached. Being located in the centre of Europe means that Switzerland is connected to the rest of the continent by road and rail, and the neighbouring countries, France, Germany, Italy and Austria are only a few hours' drive away. For those slightly longer journeys, daily flights can also be scheduled for relatively little money.

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