Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   General Info on Switzerland (

ileen Jun 8th, 2008 08:48 PM

General Info on Switzerland
Please tell me where to find the weather information about Switzerland.
Also, what are the best items to eat and purchase there. Thanks

violetduck Jun 8th, 2008 09:00 PM

For weather,

bettyk Jun 9th, 2008 01:32 AM

One of our favorite things that we ate on our last trip to Switzerland was Roesti. It's a lovely fried potato dish that you can get with various ingredients like cheese, egg, ham, etc. And of course, cheese fondue is a very famous Swiss dish.

Since Switzerland is very expensive, we didn't buy much in the way of souvenirs but they are famous for their wood carvings, watches and clocks. We bought a beautiful clock there many years ago on our first trip. I think we paid a couple of hundred dollars for it and it is one of my favorite things.

ira Jun 9th, 2008 04:01 AM

Hi i,

Weather at

Best items to eat:
Rosti (hash browns with cheese)
Zander or Sander (Pike-perch)
Local white wines are worth trying


ileen Jun 9th, 2008 09:32 AM

Thanks for your prompt replies. I have noted all the information and now eagerly waiting to try some of the suggestions.

Watches and clocks are famous from Switzerland. But it seems things are less expensive in the US. Thus, no point buying there. Wondering if someone has some input on this topic. Thanks a ton.

quilter Jun 9th, 2008 10:18 AM

They have some lovely table linens that we have bought for souvenirs. Agree with ira on the chocolate! My oldest sons always ask for cheese (we get it vacuum packed). You might find some good information on Enjoy.

gruezi Jun 9th, 2008 10:54 AM

Dear ileen,

I've been living in Zurich for 18 months. Yes, most everything here is a lot less expensive in the US so shopping is a bit tricky. Don't buy Lindt chocolate while here, as it is available in Stop and Shop for less! I can recommend Sprungli as a good, reasonable chocolate that most really enjoy, and if you get to one of their larger shops they have wonderful displays. You cannot buy this in the US and they have wonderfully packaged chocolates for gifts. Check the sell by date as there often are those with a week or two difference on the shelf and you want to carry home the freshest...

If you get to Luzern there are some wonderful clock shops there if that is your desire.

Another big thing is Swarovski crystal which is very popular here but not so much in the US. My teenagers love it now, but it is the influence of living here....Swatch watches are big too. Again, both probably cheaper in the US.

Chocolate and other souvenirs can be purchased at the airport on the way home...don't lug it all around your trip. Besides you don't want to eat your souvenirs!!

I bought some handcrafted cowbells at a bell foundry that I sent home for Christmas gifts, but I think most of what you see in the giftshops is cheapo stuff so I'd probably not buy that unless it intrigues you.

Don't be discouraged by the weather report. I woke up today to hazy clouds, then it was amazingly hot and blue skies and the lake looked like the caribbean, and now an electrical storm is about to start and it's cold! Bring layers, an umbrella, and a sense of humor!

To eat.... Zurich-style veal with Rosti is a classic and wonderful on a cool day or if you've been hiking and want a comforting, yummy, and filling meal. Veal in general is the best meat here. Avoid the beef - expensive and flavorless.

Spaetzle is more to my liking than Rosti, and again you can get it most places. It's a pasta dumpling often cooked with a cheese or spinach or some other ingredients. Rosti can be great or horrible - Spaetzle tends to be more consistent.

In addition to fondue there is the raclette. I prefer fondue, but raclette is very popular amongst the Swiss. Melted cheese you prepare at tableside and eat with potatoes and veggies and such.

Pasta is typically very good expecially "Hausgemacht Ravioli" (house made so very fresh) of any sort just about anywhere. If you like pasta, you'll find plenty of good pasta throughout Switzerland.

The wursts of course are very, very good and not greasy and fatty like you might find in the US. Most are made from veal...They are served separately from the roll here!!

I'm not too keen on most of the fish but I'm from New England so a bit spoiled. I do often have the Crevetten (shrimp) which can be tasty. Usually salmon is well prepared (Lachsfilet) and tasty. So I stick to the shrimp and the salmon.

The salads are a bit different with a German influence, but usually always fresh and appetizing. Wonderful cherry tomatoes and delicious fresh mozzarella can be found most places. Each restaurant offers at least a Gruner (Green) Salat or Gemischter (Mixed) Salat. I also like the Nusslisalat (lambs lettuce) with Egg and French dressing. It is somewhat like a spinach salad. Big here is a Rucola or Rocket salad which I ordered once or twice thinking it was Arugula. It is not, and I don't really care for it - very bitter.

If you like ethnic foods, avoid Chinese and stick with Thai and Japanese which are usually quite good. There are many good sushi restaurants here in Zurich. In fact, I find sushi here a safer bet than in NYC where I sometimes worry a bit if not at a very good place...I'm a microbe phobe;)

If you search here on Fodor's there are specific restaurant recs for Zurich if you get here. I'm sure you can find the same for the other major cities.



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:44 AM.