I just came back from 3 weeks in Switzerland, and unfortunately brought this book with me. The good: I think Rick Steve's tv shows are fun and that he has a good travel philosophy. He covers much history, which is great. There is a wealth of practical info in this book. The maps of towns and suggested walks are good. His love for certain areas of the country is plain. However, the info in Switzerland is often obvious once you arrive, as the Swiss want their visitors to be happy and everything to run smoothly. There are maps and Tis at the train stations and in central parts of town. I had just one issue on a train, and I don't think that was covered in this book anyway. What you can't find out in the moment, you can look up online. Many websites, such as sbb.ch, have a version in English. Some info in the book I found to be outdated.
But the worst part of this book is what it skips. My favorite part of the country was not even mentioned. Steves leaves out entire swaths of the country, and many interesting towns. I felt I would have enjoyed travel to different places if I had brought my other guidebook. His obsession with the Berner Oberland, and especially with one town, is a bit much. Sure, it is a wonderful place. However, I would have spent 3 days there rather than 5 had I known better what it is like: lovely, but pricey, touristy and somewhat crowded even in low season. I visited his favorite town which was great, but stayed in a town he dismissed, and I was glad I did. Live and learn.
I ended up using the guidebook very little. It was heavy in my baggage, so I sliced it up, discarding the portions I had no use for as I went.
I did use Steves' backdoor travel bag, and found it very good for a three week trip.
I loved Switzerland and feel privileged to have visited. I went solo, kept my eyes open, and developed a great appreciation for the Swiss.
- Paperback: 440 pages
- Publisher: Rick Steves; 1 edition (10 July 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1631218247
- ISBN-13: 978-1631218248
- Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 386 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)