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7 Reasons Why This Stunning European Country Is Surging In Popularity With American Travelers

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Europe remains one of the most popular regions in the world for travel, but where are the best spots to escape the obvious?

One country that may not have crossed your mind but is certainly gaining in popularity is Switzerland

Recent data from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office shows that the country experienced an unprecedented high of overnight stays in its hotels during 2023.

a beautiful early sunrise landscape view of the matterhorn mountain and reflection in a lake near zermatt in switzerland

And it appears that American travelers are leading the charge, accounting for four million overnight stays, which is a 33% year-on-year increase and the highest it has been since 1985.

So, what is it about Switzerland that has been attracting such huge numbers of visitors from the United States?

Let’s explore…

Great At Any Time Of the Year

beautifl mountain town of lauterbrunnen in the swiss alps near bern

Switzerland has a pretty moderate climate, and in its mountainous regions, there are only two seasons: winter and summer.

In the winter, things do get pretty cold, but that’s why it is regarded as one of Europe’s best skiing destinations with awesome mountain towns such as Zermatt, which is close to the famous Matterhorn mountain.

In summer, these mountain towns make amazing basecamps for hiking, trail running, kayaking, fishing, and great many other outdoor activities – average summer temperatures range between 65F and 75F.

Haven For Art And Culture

fine art museum in basel switzerland with a green tram in the foreground

Known for its excellence in art and design, Switzerland is a great place to absorb some of the best culture Europe has to offer.

From works by the masters, including Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, and Rembrandt in the Basel Art Museum to the merging of modern art and contemporary design at Plateforme 10 in Lausanne, Switzerland has something for all tastes.

Up in the mountain towns, you will experience a more traditional way of Swiss life with roaring fires, wood cabins, and some of the best cheeses you will ever taste. 

Direct Flights 

view of the city skyline in zurich switzerland with fraumunster church

Switzerland is easier to get to from the United States than you might expect with many major airlines offering direct flights into cities such as Zurich and Geneva. 

You can fly nonstop to Switzerland from New York, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, just to name a few, on airlines such as United and Swiss Air. 

Return flights start from around $450 in spring according to the latest info on SkyScanner.

Terrific By Train

a red train runs through the green countryside in switzerland with snowy mountains in the background

One of the best ways to explore everything that Switzerland has to offer is by train.

The country has an extensive and well-developed train network that can take you to some of its most beautiful scenery with minimal effort and, in some cases, in extreme comfort. 

Not only does this mean less stressful driving for you in a foreign country, but it’s also better for the environment for the green-minded among us.

For around $300 you can get a Swiss travel pass that gives you unlimited travel by train, boat, public transport, and even entry into more than 500 museums. 

Visa-Free Entry For Americans

us passport airport

While it does not use the Euro, nor is it part of the European Union, Switzerland is still part of the Schengen Area, which means Americans can travel there without the need for a visa and stay for up to three months.

All you need to pack is your passport and some Swiss Francs, which is the currency Switzerland uses instead of the Euro – one Swiss Franc is worth about $1.15 at the time of writing.

Perfect For A Luxury Break

luxury hotel and promenade on the shores of lake geneva inswitzerland

It’s well-known that Switzerland is not the cheapest place in Europe, but for those seeking luxury, it may be hard to beat.

Switzerland is home to more than 130 Michelin-starred restaurants and a host of luxury hotels and resorts covering everything from city breaks to mountain getaways.

Switzerland is also one of the world’s epicenters of watchmaking, another reason it’s somewhere perfect for those who appreciate the finer things in life. 

Safe Choice For Solo Travelers

solo female traveler with arms outstretched enjoying the view at lake geneva switzerland

One great thing about Switzerland is that it is regarded as a very safe and very welcoming country.

It ranks in 10th position in the latest Global Peace Index study and many of its major cities such as Bern are rated among the safest cities to visit in Europe for 2024.

The U.S. Department of State also rates Switzerland as its lowest travel advisory level.

While it’s not the official language, English is fairly widely spoken, and most Swiss people are happy to help if you get lost or find yourself having difficulty.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.