Looking to give a little piece of Switzerland? We’ve researched over 200 ideas and identified 8 top picks your Swiss-lover is sure to appreciate.
1. Fondue pot – The Swiss are famous for their cheese fondue. Bring this sumptuous Swiss specialty into your home with a fondue maker. Dinner parties and special occasions will be truly memorable. Make it a tradition, every year for Christmas eve — or for a special someone’s birthday. While you can buy the required cheeses separately, consider including a packaged cheese mix to get the measurements varieties just right. We recommend the Cuisinart pot, which gets rave reviews from users.
2. Book: Everything Fondue – Want to explore more than the traditional cheese fondue? This book is packed with recipes that are both traditional Swiss and with a twist. There are chapters dedicated to romantic dinners, family meals and desserts to name a few.
3. Raclette grill – Take your dinner parties to another level with a Swiss raclette grill. Named for raclette cheese, this table-top grill is designed to cook the cheese along with meats and vegetables. Great for social gatherings where the meal can continue as long as required while remaining fresh and warm.
4. Switzerland – Culture Smart – Learn about Swizerland’s unique customs and cultural quarks in this helpful book detailing the both unifying themes and rich diversity across the provenances. Confidently navigate social interactions — and save yourself possible embarrassment.
5. Heidi – This famous book tells the story of Heidi, who lives with her grandfather in the Swiss alps following the death of her parents. A tale of overcoming adversity, it is so popular that about 20 film productions have been made and there is even a “Heidiland” in Switzerland.
6. Swiss German lessons – The Swiss have their own spin on German. Learning this will give you a special in with the Swiss that most visitors don’t have. With the Pimsler CD, knowing German is not essential.
7. Muesli – Healthy yet addictive, there is no breakfast more quintessentially Swiss than a bowl of muesli. Buy a bulk pack of Swiss muesli as a gift and you’ll be thanked every morning. But you might also want to save a box for yourself.
8. Cuckoo Clock – A cuckoo clock helps liven a living space and adds great character. To best capture the essence of Switzerland, we recommend a clock with a Swiss chalet. Leafy oak cuckoo clocks are typically more associated Germany.
9. Swiss watch – Now world famous, these expertly made time pieces will make a lasting impression — perhaps even more so in this age of tech gadgets and electronics. A few specific recommendations are linked below.
10. Swiss army knife – Great for teenagers and young adults, this practical gift is cost effective and likely to be met with some enthusiasm especially if it is a first knife. Giving this to a younger person shows a level of trust and faith in his or her maturity.
What gifts should you avoid giving to a lover of Switzerland?
1. Anything too German. The Swiss work hard to maintain their cultural identity and nothing reminds them of the threat of its dissolution more than Germany. So be careful about buying gifts from Germany.
2. Knives. Viewed as bad luck and a symbol of broken relationships.