When backpackers are traveling throughout Europe, they have an enormous increase in their expenses that they would not otherwise have in Southeast Asia. This is precisely why it is difficult to find economic accommodations that are near historic cities and sites while traveling in Europe. When I was younger, I found myself backpacking through Switzerland, which is surely one of Europe’s more expensive countries to visit. While I greatly enjoyed my time in historic Zurich, I did want to see another aspect of Switzerland that was a little less traveled than Zurich. In researching and speaking with my cousin who had married a Swiss gentleman, I was recommended to take a trip to the Rhine Falls and then find lodging there.
To my utmost surprise, the Rhine Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in Europe that tourists can enjoy as they escape the city of Zurich. This trip was wonderful because around the Rhine Falls, there are a plethora of backpacker’s hostels that are owned by local families. Within these hostels, not only can you obtain affordable lodging that is substantially less expensive than Zurich, but you can also interact with local families and try their cuisine. Granted that this is the German-speaking part of Switzerland, you can also experience a bit of the local language, which is substantially different from the German that is spoken in Germany.
The Rhine Falls is only a short distance from Zurich and can also be done within one day; however, I highly recommend taking the opportunity to stay in one of these hostels and use it as a jumping point to get yourself acquainted with the Swiss countryside. Switzerland, although being a small country, has some of the most spectacular landscapes in Europe due to its proximity to the Alps and the like. By getting out of Zurich, you can go exploring the small local towns that are still very culturally preserved because Switzerland has one of the strictest immigration policies that I have ever witnessed, even stricter than the United States. It is for this reason that the culture has remained very intact and by going to the outskirts, you feel as if you are walking into how the country was generations ago.
In order to get to Switzerland or other smaller European countries, it is highly recommended to invest in a Eurail Pass. By doing this, you can purchase a block of countries in the ticket options and have unlimited train travel. This will help you get to some of the smaller towns without hiring a tour group if you would not like to. Additionally, if you do speak another language other than English, purchase the tickets on that portal of the website and they will be substantially less expensive because they are targeted at Europeans who are trained in multiple languages from infancy. As a backpacker, this will enable you to save a considerable amount of transportation on your trip to Europe and get to places such as the Rhine Falls, which is one of the more hidden locales to enjoy in Europe.
What is important to remember about Europe, and particularly the Rhine Falls, is that there are many undiscovered deals for backpackers to enjoy. This example of investing in a hostel near a more hidden tourist locale is a great way to truly get a glimpse into the local culture without spending all of your tour budget. This will enable you to see double the countries on your next visit to Europe.