Ever wonder what it would be like to visit a Swiss ski town and experience the magical allure of the Swiss Alps? Ever wonder why they call it Aprs-ski instead of just after skiing? Clue: Its because the Swiss invented it and they do it a helluva lot better than we do. Ever wonder the best place to score a date with James Blunt?
Then pack your bags, save a little money (youre going to need it) and head to Verbier, Switzerland. Because its everything you’ve heard and unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
A few things you need to know before you go:
Theyre neutral. Remember the one country you learned about in high school Social Studies, the one that was geographically smack in the middle of both World Wars but doesnt seem to get sucked into any of the wars since. Thats Switzerland! Switzerland is peaceful, prosperous and has a stable modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force and a per capita GDP larger than that of the big Western European economies, according to WikiTravel. So what does this mean to you? Well, theres no scientific proof that we know of for this next theory but it appears this enables the Swiss to focus a lot more on enjoying life Which means they are great at skiing, great at eating and top contenders for best in the world at partying.
On that note its expensive, so actually save for this vacation and dont be surprised when you get there. I’m talking $4 bucks for a bottle of water expensive, so dont say we didn’t warn you. The Swiss Franc (CHF) is pretty close to the US Dollar right now, but thats not the issue. For one, youre in a ski town and they are always expensive. Two, Switzerland is sometimes considered a tax haven due to its general low rate of taxation, its political stability, as well as the various tax exemptions or reductions available (Wikipedia). Lastly, the high level of Swiss salaries reflect the high costs of living, so keep in mind that you must spend a lot for accommodations and food. Switzerland has no legal minimum salary. The salary depends on the industry you work in, with most companies paying at least 3500 CHF per month, for example as a cashier in a supermarket (WikiTravel).
They have nice watches. Actually the nicest in the world, but dont buy them there. You can get a better deal on 47th Street, but that shouldnt stop you from looking.
There are a lot of ways to communicate in Switzerland, unfortunately English is not one of the primary ways. There is no Swiss language. Depending on where you are in the country, the locals might speak Swiss-German (Schwyzerdtsch), French, Italian, or in the hidden valleys of Graubnden Romansch, an ancient language related to Latin (WikiTravel). That said, most people can and will speak English with you, but its a pretty good giveaway that youre a foreigner. Not that your accent really matters being a tourist seemed neither here nor there with the Swiss. Learning the mother tongue of the area you will be staying in is a great sign of respect. English is widely spoken in Switzerland, but any attempt to speak the local language is always appreciated, even if you’re replied to in English. Its always polite to ask if they speak English before starting a conversation (WikiTravel).
Buy chocolate. Lots of it. And buy Callier. Its the best chocolate in the world. Dont ask questions. Just do it. Trust us. Smuggle as much of it back as you can, like we did. You will thank us six months after your trip and youre still munching on the most perfect chocolate you have ever tasted.
Ok, now sign onto Swiss Air (they have a direct flight from JFK to Geneva) and book your trip. Go eat, ski and party. Seriously, youre going to be in Europe. Enjoy life a little the people surrounding you have perfected it.
Ski Verbier, Switzerland: Some of the coolest skiing you will ever do and arguably the best views you might ever see!
Ski Off-Piste in Verbier: Known for some of the best Off-Piste skiing, Verbier has some unbelievable out of bounds trails. For experts only. Seriously.
Experts Only: You can try it, but be ready. There are very few trail signs and without warning you can end up on something like this. We watched a girl go down half the mountain on her back, so make sure you stick to runs you can handle!
Enjoy the Verbier Mountain: The Europeans know how to enjoy their skiing. Ski and then post up at an awesome outdoor bar/restaurant on the mountain and soak up some rays from the comfort of a lounge chair.
Paragliding in Verbier: There aren't many ski resorts where you see people gliding through the sky as you are skiing down the mountain, but you do in Verbier so get in on the action and go paragliding!
View of Verbier: Enjoy the views. This is seriously one of the prettiest places you will ever see.
Seeing it in person is even more amazing.
Hit the town in Verbier: When the sun goes down, the real party starts.
Hotel Farinet: Get used to seeing this place, you will be there often. When you finish skiing, head over here for après-ski and you will see firsthand what that word really means!
Casbah at Hotel Farinet: The night can easily start here and end here (by "end the night" we mean when the sun comes up the next morning in most cases).
Sneak peek at Casbah: Just to give you an idea of what you might be in for
Keep it classy at Kings Bar: A sleek lounge to have drinks in between the club hopping.
Club Coco: This is the spot. Its a serious party every night.
Limited Edition Andy Warhol Dom Perignon anyone? For 10 Gs you can have this magnum too. Dont be surprised if the table next to you at Club Coco gets one
Go to Verbier for New Years Eve: This is how youre suppose to celebrate the New Year
with 20,000 of your new friends singing, spraying champagne and celebrating outside!
Ever partied with 20,000 people on New Years? In Verbier, you will.
Late night in Verbier: There is a secret croissant shop a block down from the main square. Its the back window of a bakery. Have a chocolate croissant
or 5. But dont tell anyone, shhh
Eat at La Grange: If you think this looks good, you should see it in person!
Go to Vieux Verbier for dinner: Right near the base of the mountain, this rustic gem has one of the best entrées in the entire town.
At Vieux Verbier have the filet mignon they set it on fire: Every table will be eating this when you walk in, so just ask for what they are having.
Get a sandwich at H.S Sandwicherie: One of the most affordable meals in town and one of the best!
At H.S Sandwicherie look for this guy: Hes awesome and will make you a sandwich you will not soon forget.
The Perfect Swiss Snack: Go to the grocery store and customize your own perfect snack with amazing bread, cheese, wine and chocolate!
The best cheese you will ever have: We found this brie cheese laced with truffle. It might just be the best cheese you will ever have!
Callier Chocolate: Switzerland has the best chocolate in the world and Callier is the best of the best. Buy as much as you can. Seriously, you will thank us later.
Stay at the Hotel Farinet: Its centrally located in the middle of town and you are going to be there partying anyways.
Hotel Bristol: A true European ski-town hotel and the most affordable, quality hotel in town too!
Go crazy and stay at the Hotel Nevai: Maybe the coolest hotel in town It will cost you, but it's worth it!