Intro to Life in the Swiss Alps

In the six weeks or so that I was able to live here in Verbier, I did a lot of adjusting. Let’s go beyond the fact that when I left Texas it was 26C/78F outside and I was thrown into the start of winter in the Swiss Alps. Granted this is apparently a mild winter so far, but anything that actually resembles a traditional cold weather winter, is far from mild for a girl from south Texas.

But I put on several layers and bundled up every day and got used to the weather. I became all too comfortable having to explain to people that I didn’t speak French (or Italian, or Spanish, or German, sorry no really Just English) and I learned a few things about life in the Alps.

I’m going to miss it. A lot. But I felt this way when I left Texas and Hong Kong and Ireland and Scotland. At the end of the day I just need to remember that things in life are meant to change, we’re meant to move, and who could ask for a better heartbreak recovery than heading off for another big adventure?

Intro to Life in the Swiss Alps

1. It’s Expensive

Food. Drinks. Ski gear. Switzerland is notoriously pricey and it really gets worse when you’re in a resort town in the Alps. I’d say on average a burger and fries is going to set you back $20-$25. A milkshake is apparently about $15. Don’t even get me started on how much a night out at the bars could cost.

An Introduction and Guide to life in the Swiss Alps

Cheapest form of sustenance

An Introduction and Guide to life in the Swiss Alps

Snapchat memories


2. Transportation

In Texas public transportation is pretty limited and generally poor. Everyone drives to everything. While most families and quite a few people have cars here in the Alps, you do have to get used to other modes of transportation. Cable cars aren’t used just for skiing.

An Introduction and Guide to life in the Swiss Alps

And I’ve hitchhiked a few times down the mountain from Verbier to Le Chable. Very common in this part of Switzerland and not at all sketchy (although based on other people’s experiences, I would recommend being careful if you are hitchhiking home after the bars close– make sure the driver picking you up is sober!).

3. Stores Will Be Closed

For the most part, stores, shops, the grocery, and the Post Office are all closed from about 12-2 during the day. On the weekends, many stores have shortened hours or are closed completely on Sunday. I’ve had many unsuccessful grocery store trips because of this fact. How are people who work full time supposed to accomplish errands/buy anything/do anything?

4. Must Love Outdoors

And if you do, you’re in the right place. In the winter the Swiss Alps are a majestic location for skiing, snowboarding, sledding and ice climbing. In the spring and summer you can’t ask for a more beautiful landscape for hiking, biking, swimming lakes and parapenting over. Visiting Switzerland in the warmer months is definitely on my future travel bucket list.

An Introduction and Guide to life in the Swiss Alps

Do you think you’d adjust well to life in the Alps? What aspects of moving to a new place take the most time for you to adjust to?

  • I’ve visited Champerey twice, both times in the summer, and thought it was a stunning landscape. It was still pretty chilly for this Texan so I cannot imagine the popsicle I would be if I was there in the winter. I loved the quaint shops and the fact that there was a town water trough where one could collect water that was melted snow from the Alps. Love your photos.

    • That trough sounds amazing! Champery is very close to Verbier!

  • Sounds beautiful but I don’t know if I could Handle the cold weather.

    • I definitely miss being warm. Jealous of the mild Texas weather

  • Pristine, I am so not a winter person but the Swiss Alps look so beautiful that even I might adjust over time 🙂

    • I’m not a winter person either but the skiing definitely makes it worth the snow and cold weather

  • I visited Switzerland for the first time this summer and it was just as beautiful as I’d imagined! I stayed Huemoz and we used to hitch all the time – I quickly got over my fear since, as you said, it’s totally normal in this part of the world. It was so hard to leave!

    • I would love to visit Switzerland in the summer. Hopefully will get a chance to go back one day!