1) GETTING THERE & WHERE TO STAY
Plan on spending around $650 on roundtrip airfare from Chicago. Bring your passport, although don’t expect a hold up at the border–entering Switzerland (like most other Swiss things) is fast, reliable, and efficient. A quick sans-serif passport stamp and you’re ready to head downtown.
The fastest way downtown is to head downstairs and take the SBB train, about $6, to the central downtown Bahnhofplatz train station. If you get confused, look for an info desk–you’ll find an English speaking rep who will be happy to point you in the right direction and sell you the correct ticket. It’s a 15 minute ride. (The local tram, which you can catch outdoors, will take you downtown as well, but it will cost you about the same and take 40 minutes).
There’s a wide range of hotels to choose from, we like the Seegarten (delicious breakfast, quiet street) and Hotel Adler (located in the heart of the cobblestoned Old Town). Plan on spending over $200 a night.