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Old 31.05.2011, 14:25
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Most traditional part of Switzerland?

Dear Forum. Can anyone help me? I've just been wondering which part of Switzerland can be called the most traditional area. I mean in terms of the Swiss people's way of life comprising their food and what they aspire to be among the rest of the Swiss inhabitants. In the future, when my fellow countrymen visit me, I wish to take them to such a place so that they can experience the 'real' Swiss life.

My little knowledge tells me that in every country, like mine, there is always a certain part which can be called the most traditional among the rest.

My apologies if such question has already been asked in the previous posts. It never reflected in my search results.

Thanks, Copfum
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Old 31.05.2011, 14:28
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

Easy. Appenzell Innerrhoden. At least for the Swiss German part of Switzerland.
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Old 31.05.2011, 14:28
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

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Dear Forum. Can anyone help me? I've just been wondering which part of Switzerland can be called the most traditional area. I mean in terms of the Swiss people's way of life comprising their food and what they aspire to be among the rest of the Swiss inhabitants. In the future, when my fellow countrymen visit me, I wish to take them to such a place so that they can experience the 'real' Swiss life.

My little knowledge tells me that in every country, like mine, there is always a certain part which can be called the most traditional among the rest.

My apologies if such question has already been asked in the previous posts. It never reflected in my search results.

Thanks, Copfum
Anywhere outside the larger cities basically, but areas that come to mind especially are rural parts of Valais, Appenzell and even some parts of Innerschweiz.
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Old 31.05.2011, 14:37
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

Agree with Appenzell and Guarda in GR:

http://www.guarda.ch/index.php?lang=3&idcatside=86

Absolutely Heidi-like picture postcard Bit difficult to reach but well worth it
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Old 31.05.2011, 14:46
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

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Dear Forum. Can anyone help me? I've just been wondering which part of Switzerland can be called the most traditional area. I mean in terms of the Swiss people's way of life comprising their food and what they aspire to be among the rest of the Swiss inhabitants.
Zurich, Paradeplatz.
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Old 31.05.2011, 14:51
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

Probably any touristy spots and villages.

Or: http://ballenberg.ch/en/Welcome

* * *

In real life I guess the farther you move from big cities.

PS: Guarda is soooo beautiful - a well worth visit ! Try to start at Lavin, hike up to Guarda and go till Ardez One of the nicest hikes I did.
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Old 31.05.2011, 14:59
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

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PS: Guarda is soooo beautiful - a well worth visit ! Try to start at Lavin, hike up to Guarda and go till Ardez One of the nicest hikes I did.
Gurada is more beautiful to look at, but many of the houses are holiday homes these days. Ardez is maybe a little bit less pretty but is still largely inhabited by locals and there is a lot of traditional craftsmanship going on (not for tourists but by locals for locals) which maybe makes it more interesting if you want to experience the atmosphere first hand.
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Old 31.05.2011, 15:01
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

Kloten....
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Old 31.05.2011, 15:02
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

The most traditional part is obviously a judgement call. I would nominate the Wikipedia reference-linkEvolène region (upper Val d'Hérerns) as a strong contender in the francophone part of the country. There are still women who dress in traditional clothing, and it is one of the very few regions where the old patois is still the first language. From Wikipedia:
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The official language is French, but the locals, both young and old, still use a variety of Franco-Provençal for oral communication. Evolène is one of the last strongholds of the Franco-Provençal patois across its historical domain. However, as children are schooled in French only, only about a third of all children regularly use patois among themselves. All the same, Franco-Provençal is still spoken spontaneously by people of all ages, which means that the language is alive and well, something which is quite unique in Swiss Romandie.
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Old 31.05.2011, 15:10
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

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The most traditional part is obviously a judgement call. I would nominate the Wikipedia reference-linkEvolène region (upper Val d'Hérerns) as a strong contender in the francophone part of the country. There are still women who dress in traditional clothing, and it is one of the very few regions where the old patois is still the first language. From Wikipedia:
Different aspects different answers. A less touristy but very traditional part of Switzerland is Emmental and Entlebuch in central Switzerland. Even young people do Schwingen (Swiss wrestling) and participate in Jodel- and church choirs or other local clubs, there isn't much (or hardly anything) in terms of nightlife and farming is still big there. Lovely region to drive through, Unesco world heritage natural site too:
http://www.biosphaere.ch/en.cfm/home...ion_entlebuch/
There are many regions in Switzerland that are still quite traditional, but I am quite sure this is a part of Switzerland that very few foreigners (everyone not born in Entlebuch ) visit.
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Old 31.05.2011, 15:20
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

I can personally confirm that Guarda is quite inhabited by locals

There are not many holiday homes up there.

If you go to say Leukerbad or Nendaz the ratio of locals - non locals is quite striking.

The Unterengadin makes all the effort to avoid this fate.


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Gurada is more beautiful to look at, but many of the houses are holiday homes these days. A
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Old 31.05.2011, 15:24
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

I would also ad the old villages of Ticino to the list of traditional areas.
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Old 31.05.2011, 15:30
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

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Different aspects different answers. A less touristy but very traditional part of Switzerland is Emmental and Entlebuch in central Switzerland. Even young people do Schwingen (Swiss wrestling) and participate in Jodel- and church choirs or other local clubs, there isn't much (or hardly anything) in terms of nightlife and farming is still big there. Lovely region to drive through, Unesco world heritage natural site too:
http://www.biosphaere.ch/en.cfm/home...ion_entlebuch/
There are many regions in Switzerland that are still quite traditional, but I am quite sure this is a part of Switzerland that very few foreigners (everyone not born in Entlebuch ) visit.
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I can personally confirm that Guarda is quite inhabited by locals

There are not many holiday homes up there.

If you go to say Leukerbad or Nendaz the ratio of locals - non locals is quite striking.

The Unterengadin makes all the effort to avoid this fate.
Thanks a lot Armandair, Simon,... as well all the other people who have sent their replies to my post. Sounds great. Seems now I have a big selection of the places which I can try out and feel the 'real' Swiss tradition.

Cheers, Copfum
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Old 31.05.2011, 15:42
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

Day trips are all well and good, but 'real Swiss life' does not actually consist of a three hour train ride from the big city, an overnight stay in a delightfully rustic B&B, then a day of gentle sightseeing accompanied by the tinkle of distant cowbells, lunch in the Café Edelweiss at the top of a mountain somewhere before the three hour train ride back.

For most people, what 'real Swiss life' - even 'traditional Swiss life' - actually means is a full day's work and a quiet evening in with the family. Weekends will probably involve some combination of (a) Birchermüesli, (b) more work of one kind or another, (c) church, and (d) a nice walk. If you do go out it'll be down the local cafe/pub/Wiistübli where your face and family are known (and don't underestimate the importance of this to the Swiss psyche.)

If you've been sitting in a thoroughly local place when tourists walked in, you'll know what I mean. Nobody is unfriendly, exactly, but somehow the cozy atmosphere of the place doesn't reach out and engulf them either. Locals nod, turn away, and go back to their own conversations, leaving the out-of-towners to gawk and twitter among themselves like exotic birds.

So you have to make up your mind: do your guests want scenery or real life? If the latter, better stay home and go to the local stube in your village/quartier, where the view may not be as nice but the atmosphere will make up for it.
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Old 31.05.2011, 17:03
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

What Mathnut said is very true, but it's next to impossible to get a glimpse into that "real" traditional life, even for other Swiss not born in that region. For what it's worth it's always better to visit regions where tourists are still scarce because the locals may be a bit more interested in you. In a local Beiz it shouldn't be very hard to take up a bit of jovial banter with some of the elderly locals, even if their English is very limited. And for that I can still fully recommend visiting Entlebuch/Emmental, as the Central Swiss are easier to talk to than the people in more remote, mountainous regions, or so they say, but the uniqueness of their local traditions and character is very difficult to access and appreciate, even for "city-people" like myself, who grew up nearby.
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Old 31.05.2011, 17:18
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

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What Mathnut said is very true, but it's next to impossible to get a glimpse into that "real" traditional life, even for other Swiss not born in that region. For what it's worth it's always better to visit regions where tourists are still scarce because the locals may be a bit more interested in you. In a local Beiz it shouldn't be very hard to take up a bit of jovial banter with some of the elderly locals, even if their English is very limited. And for that I can still fully recommend visiting Entlebuch/Emmental, as the Central Swiss are easier to talk to than the people in more remote, mountainous regions, or so they say, but the uniqueness of their local traditions and character is very difficult to access and appreciate, even for "city-people" like myself, who grew up nearby.
I also think it depends where you are. Our Swiss life here is a lot more laxed, not the exactly entire day of work, some more work on the weekend, and then some more later. I think that would be just us, really, actually, mad race...Everybody else is hanging out at the lake, or at the garden, pikniking, eating fondue, outing out doing sports together, having some kind of family reunion or another, and certainly not quiet. Or, alternatively, hopping over to one of the spas, or taking the boat to France or boating on the lake, fishing. You could expose your guests to this, as well...

The most traditional so far, was Valais, beautiful and remote. While hiking up to Dents de Midi, we ran into an 85yr old local man, who just went for a 5hr steep climb, at 4am, so he could get down another 5km before dawn, to get his dog run around a bit. Cabane Sex Caro is fab, local cow shepards stay there for a few months, then return back to the civilisation. I love it there. Nice hike...
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Old 31.05.2011, 18:03
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Re: Most traditional part of Switzerland?

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I also think it depends where you are. Our Swiss life here is a lot more laxed, not the exactly entire day of work, some more work on the weekend, and then some more later. I think that would be just us, really, actually, mad race...Everybody else is hanging out at the lake, or at the garden, pikniking, eating fondue, outing out doing sports together, having some kind of family reunion or another, and certainly not quiet. Or, alternatively, hopping over to one of the spas, or taking the boat to France or boating on the lake, fishing. You could expose your guests to this, as well...

The most traditional so far, was Valais, beautiful and remote. While hiking up to Dents de Midi, we ran into an 85yr old local man, who just went for a 5hr steep climb, at 4am, so he could get down another 5km before dawn, to get his dog run around a bit. Cabane Sex Caro is fab, local cow shepards stay there for a few months, then return back to the civilisation. I love it there. Nice hike...
Sounds really superb....!!! Its amazing how much info one can get from this forum. I could not get this much from talking to my guys I interact with on day to day life in Basel. Who ever started this forum deserves recognition.

We will start this year our exploration of the 'real' Swiss traditional areas. Sure, I'll feed you back after the trips.

Cheers, Copfum
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