Accommodation, though admittedly expensive, is nearly always excellent. Tourist offices can often book rooms for free; some have boards (with a courtesy phone) on the street or at the train station, giving hotel details. When you check in, ask for a guest card, giving free local transport and other discounts.

A hostel (Jugendherberge; Auberge de Jeunesse; Albergo/Ostello per la Gioventù) represents great value for money (book ahead June–Sept). HI hostels (youthhostel.ch) are universally excellent, with doubles as well as small dorms. Non-HI members pay Fr.6 extra. A rival group known as Swiss Backpackers (backpacker.ch) has lively hostels that are less institutional, often centrally located and priced to compete; they’re specified “SB” in the text. Typically a dorm bed costs around Fr.35.

Campsites are clean and well equipped, charging about Fr.8–13 per person plus Fr.9–12 per pitch and per vehicle. Many require an international camping carnet. Camping outside official sites is illegal.

Hotels are first-rate, but will stretch your budget; shared-bath doubles start around Fr.90 (average Fr.110), en suites around Fr.135.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

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