Don't cross Europe off your travel plans just because the dollar is dismal compared to the Euro and the high cost of international airfare. Instead, heading to Switzerland is worth the trip: the Swiss franc gets you more bang for your buck.
The country, where English is a common language, is easy to travel in for Americans, and a world-class train system makes it easy to tour the picturesque country. Right now, all across Switzerland you can find some terrific travel deals, including a long list of things to do for FREE.
This financial center is the hub of business activity but you'll also find plenty of culture as well. With your Swiss Pass you can visit more than 50 museums for free and also take in more than 100 different art galleries. For some designer fashion window shopping check out Bahnhofstrasse Street. For a step back in time, stroll over to Old Town, where you can zigzag your way through quaint cobblestoned alleys lined with boutique shops and restaurants. The famed Gossmunster church is open to the public and St. Peter's Church boasts the largest clock face in Europe.
•Top Hotel Splurge: The historic Dolder Grand is something to see after it just reopened following a hefty $400 million renovation.
• Don't Miss: A boat trip on the Limmat River or Lake Zurich.
The Chapel Bridge, built in the 14th century, tops the list as the most photographed landmark in the country. It's worth a walk up to one of the the Watch Towers that were built to protect the city of Lucerne against invaders. The view from the top is breathtaking.
While exploring Old Town go into the Jesuit Church, the first Baroque building in Switzerland, and before you leave stop by "The Dying Lion of Lucerne," one of the world's most famous monuments, built to pay tribute to Swiss mercenaries killed defending Louis XVI of France from his own people.
• Top Hotel Splurge: The Palace Luzern is right on Lake Lucerne where you also have a view of the Alps.
• Don't Miss: The new ultra modern Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne with museums and theatres.