Suggested Reading

Switzerland History and Culture

Slow Train to Switzerland

Diccon Bewes, Nicholas Brealey  Publishing (2014). Follows the route of Thomas Cook's first international tour to Switzerland in 1863 to discover what's changed and what hasn't. An engaging  and well-researched historical account made all the more enjoyable by the author's entertaining observations.

Switzerland. How an Alpine Pass Became a Country

Joëlle Kuntz. Historiator Editions (2008). A lively and engaging historical primer for English-speaking visitors.

Swiss Watching: Inside Europe's Landlocked Island

Diccon Bewes, Nicholas Brealey Publishing (2010). A fascinating journey around Switzerland. Filled with fun and unusual facts and observations. Full of surprises.

Switzerland - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

Kendall Maycock. (2006). Full of useful, fascinating, and entertaining tips on how to avoid that  embarrassing faux pas.

Why Switzerland?

Jonathan Steinberg. Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition (1994). A scholarly treatise on Switzerland and what makes it both unique and essential in today's world.

Xenophobe's Guide to the Swiss

Paul Bilton. Oval Books (2008). A witty and irreverent introduction to the Swiss people.

La Place de la Concorde Suisse

John McPhee. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1994). A fascinating and lighthearted look into the Swiss Army and how a country that has not fought a war in 500 years plans to keep it that way.


Alps History and Culture

The Alps, A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond 

Stephen O'Shea. W.W. Norton & Co. (2017). An engaging and colorful travel narrative, with plenty of fascinating history and charming stories. 


General Travel Guides

Discover Switzerland

Lonely Planet (2013). The best of the general travel guides to Switzerland. Full of insider tips and off-the-beaten-path finds.



Hiking and Walking Guidebooks

Cicerone Press has produced a wonderful series of pocket-size hiking guidebooks for the Alps, including many written by our favorite guidebook author, Kev Reynolds. The following come highly recommended for use by self-guided hikers:


Chamonix to Zermatt: The Classic Walker's Haute Route

Kev Reynolds. Cicerone Press, 4th edition (2007). The essential guide for hiking the Haute Route.

Walking in the Valais

Kev Reynolds. Cicerone Press, 3rd edition (2003). Selected hikes in Valais.

Walking in Ticino Switzerland

Kev Reynolds. Cicerone Press, (1992). Selected walks in the Lepontines, the alpine region of the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino.  

Walks in the Engadine

Kev Reynolds. Cicerone Press, 2nd edition (2005). A comprehenisive guide to the best hikes in the Engadine and Val Bregaglia. 

Trekking the Swiss Alpine Pass Route – Via Alpina 1

Kev Reynolds. (2017). This guidebook presents the stunning Alpine Pass Route, now fully waymarked as Via Alpina 1. The 360km trail traverses Switzerland from east to west, from Sargans near the Liechtenstein border to Montreux on Lac Léman (Lake Geneva).

The Bernese Alps: A Walking Guide

Kev Reynolds. Cicerone Press, 3rd edition (2008). The essential guide to hiking in the Bernese Alps.


Along with Swiss Topo maps, Alpenwild stocks many of these titles. Call today to place your order. In addition to these favorite books, you'll find articles about Switzerland and hiking in the Alps.

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