|The internet in Switzerland|
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There’s a vast quantity of useful information on the Internet. Switzerland Tourism, the national tourist organization, has a vast interactive homepage at www.myswitzerland.com that has virtual tours around every resort, weather and snow forecasts, live pictures, stacks of background information, booking details, special offers and tons more. The Swiss Hotel Association at www.swisshotels.ch has a full listing of their thousands of quality-controlled hotels nationwide, and – more significantly – plenty of last-minute offers for cut-price multi-night deals. Most individual cities and resorts run efficient and informative sites geared towards tourists, which we’ve flagged in the guide text where relevant. Unsurprisingly, there’s stacks of other online information devoted to Switzerland, official and unofficial, from individuals and organizations big and small; what follows is a selection.
Daily stories and weekly digest of Swiss news and comment from the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the country’s best-respected newspaper.
Continuously updated ticker of news and features from Swiss Radio International.
Detailed weather forecasts for the whole country.
Continuously updated year-round avalanche warnings and snow forecasts.
Webcams with live pictures from dozens of locations.
Comprehensive and massively useful English-language homepage of Swiss Federal Railways, with information and booking possibilities for trains, buses, boats and cable-cars nationwide, including fare information and exact connection times.
Lovingly detailed site for buffs devoted to the many Swiss narrow-gauge railways.
Full details of postbus excursions and fares.
Homepage of the Swiss Touring Club, with information for drivers.
Two Swiss search engines in English.
Liechtenstein Online – but in German only.
Two searchable versions of the Swiss phone directory – but not in English.
Official site of the 2002 Swiss Expo.
Fascinating homepage of the Lia Rumantscha, a Chur-based cultural organization devoted to documenting, supporting and promoting Romansh, Switzerland’s fourth language.
Cultural activities and organizations around the country.
Catalogue of Switzerland’s hundreds of museums.
As it says, a look at Switzerland’s many medieval castles.
Umbrella site puffing the merits of Swiss wine and detailing notable regions and vignerons; www.walliswine.ch is a subsidiary site devoted solely to the wines of Valais/Wallis, while www.vins-vaudois.com is for the wines of Vaud.
No surprises, given the name.
Tourist-office rundown of the glitziest and chic-est of Switzerland’s annual festivals and events.
Premier site to book tickets for just about any forthcoming show, gig, club or happening around Switzerland.
Underground club culture.
Dourly titled official site of the Federal Government, with some reasonable information on the organization of government and some other bits and pieces, but (as it points out) you’ll find better and more engaging information in English about the country and its politics at the homepages of the Swiss embassies in London (www.swissembassy.org.uk) and Washington (www.swissemb.org). All 26 cantons maintain local-info homepages, most of them accessed with the two-letter abbreviation (eg the homepage of Vaud is www.vd.ch); exceptions to this rule are noted in the text.
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