9 days of fall colors, beautiful landscape and… carbs, literally all the carbs. What could be better?
Rewind to earlier this year at the bamboo forest in Japan way too early in the morning o’ clock I started talking to this guy asking him how his shots were turning out. About 20 minutes later we were basically homies and spent the rest of the day together walking around Japan shooting stuff together and hanging out. He turned out to also be a world traveler based in Switzerland.
Fast forward to present day in October we kept in touch over Instagram all these months. I was planning to hit up Switzerland anyway so we planned it out and took an amazing 4 day roadtrip all over Switzerland and parts of Italy, so much epic landscape and hidden gems… and gelato.
Check out his Instagram > here.
The Must See Spots
Switzerland is a decently big country with a ton to see, don’t miss out on the key spots!
- Lauterbrunnen, the most popular spot in all of Switzerland thanks to IG.
- Jungfrau Top Of Europe, I skipped this for some reason, so much regret. The spots no the train ride up are also worth checking out.
- Lavertezzo, a hidden gem for sure!
- San Bernadino Pass, there’s a ton of windy roads but this is one of the coolest drone spots.
- Furka Pass, a hotel in the middle of a windy road on the side of a mountain.
- Zermatt and the Matterhorn. You need to hike for this one, super worth it from what I’ve seen.
- Glacier Express train. If you have time you need to to do this, it goes all over Switzerland and it’s quite the experience.
There are literally too many places to list, it really depends what you want to see and how much you’re willing to hike. The majority of “the shots” in Switzerland aren’t going to be on the side of the road like they are in Iceland. All of the best spots in the country are going to be hidden gems throughout the country and on really long hikes that require some heavy walking.
I do have to note this is the first country I’ve been to where hotels can be up in the mountains that require multiple forms of transportation to get to (cable car/train, etc) while leaving your car behind. Do lots of research before booking a place, I almost had to sleep in the car one of the nights because of this.
Other Countries To Visit
Switzerland is right in the middle of Europe which brings the opportunity of being able to visit other countries. I’d probably skip France and go for Italy and Germany. Only because everything good in France is going to be super far away as opposed to the other two. There’s a ton to see in Northern Italy and Southern Germany. Like Lake Eibsee and Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and the city of Chiavenna in Italy to name a few. Keep a look out for the small non-commercialized cities on the borders, so many cool spots to see! (I went to those spots, highly recommend)
While you can get from city to city and a lot of other cool spots with the train I’d recommend a car if you want to get the most out of your trip. Driving in the country side is totally fine but once you hit the major cities they have the absolute worst roads I’ve ever been on. Imagine typical European driving and cities mixed with LA and nothing is in English, not fun.
If you rent a car and want to go to anther country it’s totally fine, just drive through the border because they can spot the rental car labels and usually won’t give you any problems.
Drones are ok to use at almost every part of the country, 100% bring it if you own one. The usual FAA rules apply here, 400ft max, don’t fly near the airport, etc. I definitely used mine more than my actual camera. There is an unlimited amount of things to shoot in Switzerland from the sky.
Best Season To Visit
Obviously I was there in the fall but from everything I’ve heard and experienced winter seems to be the coolest time to visit along side the fall (for photographers). If you want to get the most out of your trip then spring or fall will be the best options. I can definitely see summer being high season to the max.
Swiss Franks are the official currency there, although if you’re anywhere near the borders expect to pay in Euros. Bring cash for both because a lot of places won’t take credit cards.
Everything in Switzerland is expensive, I did notice if you stay in the smaller village like towns the accommodations are a bit cheaper. Not as expensive as Iceland but maybe California prices and then a little extra.
Depending on the part of the country you’re in you’re going to get a different set of people. If you’re on the border of France expect to only find French people, same goes for Italy and Germany. Although the primary language is Swiss-German in the majority of the country. Also to my surprise not too many speak English any part in the country. Definitely brush up on basic German words and have Google translate with pre-downloaded languages ready, it’ll help a ton.
As per usual I wanted to be prepared for every situation so I brought everything. I honestly could of left the 100-400 at home, I only used it once and the shot was almost not worth the extra weight. 80% of the time I used the 16-35 and the rest I was on the 24-70, although you could probably just bring either one and just be fine. Also bring all your filters, there’s a lot of water to shoot so polarizers and ND’s are necessary. It never got super windy there so you could also get away with a lighter tripod as well, especially for hiking.
Bring your drone, you’re going to get A TON of usage out of it, both photo and video.
And that was Switzerland with a special appearance from Italy and the 5 minutes I was in Germany.
This might or might not be my last international trip of the year. If I travel again before the year is over I think the next spot will be Norway or Thailand, completely opposite of each other.
And finally here’s the finished drone video from the trip.
If you have any questions or comments leave one below. Thanks for reading!
Select photos from this post are available to print here.
- Sony A7RIII
- Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM
- Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM
- Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
- MindShift Gear BackLight 26L Backpack
- Formatt Hitech 100mm Filter Holder
- Formatt Hitech 3 Stop ND Filter
- Formatt Hitech 6 Stop ND Filter
- Formatt Hitech 10 Stop ND Filter
- Formatt Hitech 105mm Polarizer Filter
- Really Right Stuff TVC-34L Tripod & BH-55 Head
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