Switzerland: Europe's Crown Jewel - Sept. 6th anyone?



  • In Germany, we found the best place to get good inexpensive food were the train stations. Never tried it in Switzerland or Norway though.

  • I agree that train stations are a good option to get food. Train stations are also good places to find bathrooms, though you might have to pay for them, as I did in Lucerne.

  • Yes, I don't mind paying because the Loo's are usually very clean.

  • The public toilets in Switzerland are very clean. Any country that treats it's cows like "royalty" must have clean toilets.

  • I know this does not pertain to the thread, but I love that more and more cities have the fully automated and self-cleaning toilets. The first one I ever used was in Kobenhavn, Denmark. I was amazed! And so clean with no antiseptic smell at all. From the outside, they look like the old telephone booths (ok, I'm old.) It was in either Oslo or Amsterdam that I used one that was all glass! You could see out but obviously not in. I remember having to pay for that one, but I never pay in Kobenhavn. I have heard that Manhattan is starting to use them, but I am not sure if that is widespread or experimental. My apologies for the digression.

  • Love all these comments! Leaving Zermatt shortly- had delicious Rosti (like huge round hashbrowns) at Hotel Berlin - 3 people, one with ham & cheese, one tomato, cheese & broccoli the 3rd with veal sausage & gravy, 2 beers & a juice cost 85 CHF for lunch - also went for cheese fondue- runs around 29 CHF, comes with lots of bread, little potatoes and just about every dish has a gherkin & pearl onions - just look at the prices first

  • edited September 2021

    Our biggest meal disappointment in Switzerland was the (Tauck) fondue dinner we had at the InterContinental Hotel in Davos. The hotel, known locally as the big football or the golden egg, was unbelievable, however.

    p.s. I thought something was strange about this picture! It took a second look before I realized it was a split season photo- winter on the left and summer on the right! :D:D

  • Last night we had the included dinner at our hotel here in Zermatt / excellent!! We got to pick any appetizer and any entrée plus amazing desserts. Also we got to make our reservations - not a group dinner.

  • edited September 2021

    I remember Tauck including a traditional cheese fondue lunch in Gruyères, whose main drag is dotted with fondue places. It was a warm summer day, so a bit incongruous.

  • edited September 2021

    On our lunch in Gruyeres we also had raclette. It is a block of cheese under a heater. As it melts you scape it off and eat it on bread. It's like a grilled cheese sandwich in texture. We preferred that to the fondue. If you eat in the same restaurant (in the Hotel Fleur de Lys), go out the back to look at the valley. There is a beautiful little church. The peal of the bells around noon was wonderful. You also should have time to go down to the church and explore it and the churchyard.

  • Kathy M,

    Beautiful picture. I love raciette that is allowed to drip onto a very hot skillet so it forms a slight crust. Delicious!

  • oops...it was way back in 2013 & guess it probably was raclette. I just remember lots of warm cheese on a warm July day!

  • Your recollection may be correct. We had both fondue and raclette but preferred the raclette.

  • I just returned home last night from the August 29th tour and it was a great trip! Our classic group tour had only 22 people and everyone was great to travel with. The scenery was so beautiful. Our tour guide Maggie was great, too! I hope everyone else has a wonderful trip! The weather was awesome, I think we lucked out! Any questions, let me know and I'll do my best to answer! :-)

  • Robin G: Since you are currently still in Switzerland, has your Tour Director mentioned anything about the new directive in Switzerland starting this Monday, September 13. Tauck stated on the Travel Updates page on Sept 9 the following under Europe. Supposedly the US CDC Vaccination Record Card is not being accepted as proof of vaccination. Just curious.

    Switzerland: As of Monday 13 September, Switzerland is requiring proof of vaccination or negative test to enter hotels, restaurants, museums, and many other public spaces. Unfortunately, they are not accepting the US CDC Vaccination Record Card as valid proof of vaccination; they will only accept the EU digital certificate. For the near term, guests should expect to be tested every 3 days until other forms of vaccination proof are accepted. These tests will be organized and the cost covered by Tauck.

  • On our two trips in the last couple months we were tested ten times. Most of the tests only took a few minutes, and we had the results very quickly. I don’t know why the Swiss are different, but Germany, France, Italy, and Malta all recognized the CDC vaccination card as sufficient for entry at museums, restaurants, and hotels. Malta did require VeriFly to enter the country. The VeriFly app was by far the most difficult requirement. Our TD’s worked with us for days to get everyone on board with VeriFly.

  • Looks like Tauck just updated the wording again. It now states their suppliers are telling them they will honor the CDC card. Changes by the minute, I guess.

    Switzerland: As of Monday 13 September, Switzerland is requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter hotels, restaurants, museums, and many other public spaces. Some establishments may not accept the US CDC Vaccination Record Card as valid proof of vaccination and will only accept the EU digital certificate. For the near term, guests might need to be tested should any of our suppliers require a test. Thus far, our suppliers are telling us they will honor the CDC card. However, if a test is required, it will be organized and the cost will be covered by Tauck.

  • We are scheduled on the September 30th trip. Tauck had a blurb about that the Swiss were no longer accepting the US vaccine card, only the EU. It then mentions that as a traveler expect to be tested every 3 days. This is unacceptable. The decision was stated to go into affect tomorrow on 9/13/21. If they are aware why no notification from them other than this blurb. Now it appears they changed their verbiage. It now reads that some of the vendors may not accept the travelers and says that Tauck will cover the cost of testing if necessary. So which is it?? Anyone traveling can you shed some light?

  • __sorry meant September 20th trip

  • The Swiss has literally just announced this and for a change, Tauck put it up on their website almost straight away. I think you will have to call Tauck to ask about how they can address it and decide whether you still want to go. It doesn’t come into effect until tomorrow, so no one on the tour will know how it affected them until tomorrow.

  • We are in Lucerne and it is the 14th. Our small group (15 of us) all had to get tested last minute (Expertly arranged by our tour Director Carrie) so that we could eat in the dining room in this hotel…it’s not Tauck that’s doing this - it is the Swiss government -I am actually flying back Friday as I have the extra night in Lucerne so I have to get tested again tomorrow so that I can come back to the US Friday. We were told the department of tourism is urgently trying to get the US CDC cards proof of vaccination accepted. Don’t forget to bring enough disposable masks as no cloth masks are allowed at all any time and you have to wear masks anytime you’re indoors unless you’re sitting down to eat.

  • The Swiss are just being Swiss. On our recent trip the CDC cards were accepted for everything in Germany, France, Italy, and Malta. We had to use VeriFly to get into Malta, but once there the CDC cards were accepted. Most restaurants did not require anything.

  • Of course the Swiss are not part of the EU, so they can do what they like.

  • They are very particular. They even make their trains run on time. And the last I heard, they are all ‘armed’. But, I’ve not been there in a long time, so that may have changed. In the past they all served compulsory military service.

  • Any questions, happy yo answer. By the way a good idea to get some Swiss francs before you go and also maybe some euro which you use briefly in your stops in Italy if you make small purchases like a soda or souvenirs. We are giving CHF for tips for our Tauck bus driver & tour guide

  • One more note - The testing yesterday was free

  • Our experience as of last night and today is that almost every place you walk into will ask to see both your passport and this new Covid CR code -the tests are widely available near the hotels & You’re a tour guide can make the reservations you really do get your results back with the CR code within half an hour

  • On our way home now from Swiss Crown Jewels tour. Need a Covid test result to enter many public spaces now in Switzerland—started a few days ago. But things are changing daily. Our tour guide Carrie and driver Bruno were on top of it and made arrangements. Olympic museum and some other museums in Lausanne and over across the Lake in France are closed on Mondays.
    The Rosengart Collection in Lucerne was terrific! The Einstein home in Bern was so interesting! The hiking above Zermatt was so special—guide Peter was amazing!
    I would have considered spending additional time in Geneva and Zurich if doing it over again.
    Our weather was perfect! Best wishes to all of you current and future travelers on this trip!

  • Chose to use gift of time day at end of tour in Luzern. Beautiful place. (We are getting ready to pack for our return while gazing out the hotel window at the beautiful lake.) Our weather was not perfect and it did not make a difference. We had rain, snow, cloudy skies and all of it was magnificent. This is a stunning country, and the weather was just part of it. We were tested one hour before our meet and greet dinner, just to make sure. Our wonderful guide Birgit made all the arrangements. She was on top of the daily changing requirements and we were able to get QR codes good for the month. Then, two days before departure she arranged for all of us to get tested again so we were ready for our return. All testing fees were taken care of by Tauck. Trip was smooth and totally enjoyable. Because of the care shown, less fears about catching covid here than at home. I highly recommend it to all.

  • Wtca - All testing fees were taken care of by Tauck.

    That's the way I'd expect it to be, Tauck taking care of the testing fees. That wasn't the case for our Iceland tour earlier in the Summer. Perhaps that's because the testing was done on the ship (Ponant) vs. on land, so we were probably paying Ponant, not Tauck. Perhaps our trip was too early in the re-opening of travel for it to be incorporated into the Tauck price.

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