Jewish Travel: Switzerland
ABOVE: Zürich, Switzerland has a Jewish
population of 7,000. Kosher businesses for tourists include a meat restaurant, a
dairy restaurant, and a hotel that serves kosher breakfasts.
Switzerland is largely
a Protestant and Catholic nation, with a Jewish population estimated at less
than 20,000 or about 0.3% of the country's residents. The largest concentrations
of Swiss Jews are in Zürich (7,000), Geneva (4,500), and (Basel (2,800).
HaGalil's Judische Gemeinden
page reports that some 2/3 of Switzerland's Jewish population lives in
Not surprisingly, kosher facilities for Orthodox and other tradition-minded
Jewish travelers are in short supply. Still, it is possible to find
kosher restaurants and food stores in Switzerland, and synagogues and mikvahs
exist in places where you might not expect to find them--as you'll see when you
click on the links below.
The Swiss Jewish Federation (SIG/FSCI) Web site is a good starting point
for learning about Jewish life and events in Switzerland. (See the
Jews in Switzerland article for an historical overview.)
Kosher Hotels and Restaurants
Shamash Kosher Restaurant Database
In the "Metropolitan Area" window, scroll down to "Switzerland" for listings and reviews
of kosher establishments in Swiss cities.
Kosher breakfasts can be ordered in advance at the Neufeld, which is in the
Zürich suburb of Wiedikon.
Levin's Hotel Metropol, Arosa
This long-established hotel is in a popular skiing and summer resort.
Olive Garden Restaurant, Zürich
Don't confuse this with the American chain restaurants of the same name:
Zürich's Olive Garden is a kosher establishment that opened in 2011. It's
located in the community center of ICZ (see link below).
Switzerland's Jewish weekly magazine is also available as an IPhone app.
Among other things, this English-language Messianic Jewish site has a "Jewish
Tourist Information for Zürich" page.
Jewish Cultural Community of Zürich
The Web site of the Israelitischen Cultusgemeinde Zürich is mostly of
interest to residents, but it does list prayer times and other services in
English on its synagogue page.
Jüdische Schule NOAM, Zürich
The Noam is a "religious-run, government-approved Jewish primary and secondary
school" that combines secular education with Jewish learning. (Jewish subjects
are taught in Hebrew.)
Kesher Kosher Tours
This tour agency in New York City offers tours that combine European travel
with kosher meals and services at local synagogues. Some of the tours
"Best of the Web"
- Forbes and
The Washington Post
Switzerland & Austria
Need a car in Europe?
guarantees the lowest rental
rates for standard cars, sports cars, SUVs, luxury cars,
chauffered sedans, and RVs. Its Web site also has driving information
for 38 countries.
you live outside the EU, a
Peugeot tourist lease can be cheaper than renting.
Minimum driver age is 18, there' s no upper age limit, and rates include
Short-term car leasing.
Traveling by train?
has free schedules, maps, and guides for 50+ European railroads. (Residents
of North and Central America can buy tickets and rail passes