Discover the Majesty of Switzerland & Share with Your Switzerland SIM Card

Lauterbrunnen Alps
Lauterbrunnen Valley and Alps

Switzerland is known worldwide as one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is no wonder why with the towering Alps, lush green valleys, sapphire blue lakes, and varied cultures. Switzerland is an international destination for people with varied interests.

Introduction

Switzerland is also (and officially) known as the Swiss Confederation. It is made up of 26 Cantons, with Federal offices located in Bern. The population of Switzerland is ~8.2 million, with ~1/4 of the population being expats from other (mostly European) countries. This makes Switzerland the country with the most foreign population.

The climate of Switzerland is as varied as its population. There are three main geographies of Switzerland. The Alps, the Swiss Plateau, and the Jura mountains. Most of the population reside on the Plateau where all of the major cities are located. The climate is temperate, but ranges wildly depending on the locality. You will find year-round snow and glaciers in the mountains, but also palm trees in the southern plateau.

Regions

The Alps

The Alps are among the highest and most rugged mountains in the world. The highest peak is Dufourspitze. It is the second highest in Western Europe at 4,736m and is a challenge for any climber. They were formed by the collision of the African and European plates, and continue to grow.

Besides climbing, the Alps are home to a myriad of winter sports like skiing (alpine and cross-country), sledding, snowboarding, and summer sports like para-gliding and skydiving.  For the less active, the valleys in the Alps offer absolutely stunning vistas and easy hikes. One of the favorites is the Lauterbrunnen valley. Lauterbrunnen is home to the highest railroad in Europe (Jungfrau Railway), taking you to the peak of Jungfraujoch at 3,454m.

The Plateau

The Plateau is where you will find all of the major cities and beautiful lakes. With Zurich and Basel in the north, Bern centrally located and Geneva in the South, the Plateau is a collection of rolling hills, lakes, rivers and culinary delights like cheese and chocolate. (We recommend a trip to the picturesque town of Gruyere where the cheese is king and the views are stunning. kick back and enjoy some fondue!)

Gruyere
The cobblestone streets of Gruyere

 

Lake Geneva is easily the most famous of the large lakes, but Lakes Zurich, Lucerne, and the twin lakes of Brienz & Thun are all equally beautiful. If you visit the twin lakes, stay in Interlaken and you will have easy access to both lakes! You can enjoy swimming, boating and hikes around the lakes.

The Jura

The Jura mountains aren’t as famous as the Alps, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth visiting. It is the demarcation between France and Switzerland. The Jura aren’t as tall and rugged as the Alps, but there is still lots of great opportunities for hiking, climbing, skiing, and cycling. This region is also known for its watchmaking industry. You can even be an “Apprentice for a day” and build your own watch!

The people of Switzerland are as varied as its geography. The landlocked country boarders France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstien. This mixing of cultures creates a diversity in language as well as food, Local dishes are pulled from all of these countries and tend to align country to which that canton is closest. For example, one of our favorite lasagnas was enjoyed in the south, closer to Italy, while in Zurich we had fantastic bratwurst closer to Germany. This melding of cultures also shows in languages spoken, and traditional dress.

Getting Around

When travelling to Switzerland from international origina you will typically Fly into Geneva or Zurich. You may also find flights into Bern, but this is smaller international airport, and is typically used on a regional basis. Once you are in country, the train system is a fantastic way to get around. The trains run remarkably on schedule and are always clean and modern. You will find that the local trains are also used by schools to transport their students, so don’t be surprised to share the ride with lots of kids.

Speaking of trains, we recommend the GoldenPass Line for sightseeing. The GoldenPass trains are designed with huge windows  so you won’t miss a bit of scenery. There are 3 main lines: 1) Montreaux > Zweissimmen, 2) Zweissimmen > Interlaken Ost, & 3) Interlaken Ost > Lucerne. You can break up the trips stopping for a night or two in certain areas (we highly recommend the Lauterbrunnen Valley) and enjoy what these localities have to offer. You can also join an organized tour who will handle all of the bookings and activities along the way.

Summary

Switzerland is a truly majestic country with varied geography and cultures. There are many, many activities to enjoy year-round for people of all ages and physical abilities. We recommend travelling in June or July for the best weather. So grab your passport, pack your binoculars to make sure to see all of the stunning vistas and don’t forget your OneSimCard eSIM World or standard global roaming SIM card (the Switzerland SIM card we recommend is the Universal card) because you will want to stay connected to share all of your memories!

The Top 5 Cities in the USA for Fourth of July Fireworks

Fourth of July Fireworks

Now that the USA has dropped its requirement for a negative COVID-19 test, travelling to the USA is much easier, and you may have plans to come to the USA over the Fourth of July holiday. If you want to see the “Rocket’s Red Glare,’ here is the list of the top 5 fireworks displays in the country.

1. Washington D.C.

When: July 4, 2022, 9PM

The top choice is a bit of an obvious one. The seat of the federal government puts on an amazing display of fireworks. Fireworks areat the National Mall & launched from both sides of the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial. This location is no mistake. All of the monuments honoring USA’s heroes are an amazing backdrop for the occasion. Access to the National Mall is simple and there is no bad seat.

2. New York City

When: July 4, 2022 8PM

The 46th annual showing of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks is set to take off this year.  It promises to be one of the biggest fireworks shows ever in NYC with thousands of fireworks and synchronized to  both patriotic and popular music.

The best viewing areas are along the East River and you will need to get there early enough to claim the best spots. Some viewing areas will fill up completely and will close to additional viewers.

3. Boston

When: July 4, 2022, 8PM

Boston’s fireworks show is on the Esplanade along the Charles River. The Boston Pops Orchestra along with Pop music stars including Chaka Khan play music under the Hatch Memorial Shell. One of the trademark portions of the concert is the kick off of the fireworks with the Pops playing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture accompanied with cannons firing.

Viewing the display is best anywhere along the Esplanade, or across the River along Memorial drive. The best spots are right in front of the Hatch Shell, but you will need to come very early and be prepared to run to grab the best spots.

4. Denver

When: July 3, 2022, at 9:30PM

Celebrating on the Eve of Independence Day, Denver display is at the downtown’s Civic Center Park. The event starts early at 5PM  and includes music, food trucks and a performance by the Colorado Symphony.

The fireworks take off from the City and County Building across the street from the park. and there is no bad place to view the display.

5. Nashville

When: July 4, 2022, at 9:30PM

Music City’s celebration is amazing if you like live music. Known for its Country and Western music Nashville’s event features load of local (and world renowned) musicians and the Nashville Symphony. This year’s fireworks will be the largest in history for Nashville (a lot of cities are outdoing themselves because of the multi-year COVID-19 hiatus).

Admission is always free, but Nashville does have VIP tickets available for a fee.

Don’t forget to stay connected!

When you travel to the USA for the Fourth of July, there will be many shareable moments, and you will want to make sure to have a reliable data connection while in country. OneSimCard recommends the Universal SIM card or the eSIM World when roaming in the USA. Our international SIM card offers low rates so you can send all of your colorful fireworks pictures to your friends back home.

Oaxaca: Moles & Mezcal The Culinary Capital of Mexico

Oaxaca, Mexico scenic streets

Surely you have heard of Cancun, Acapulco, and Mexico City, but has travel to Oaxaca ever crossed your mind? If you are a foodie, or if you just love Mexican cuisine, you need to make sure that you add Oaxaca to your bucket-list of must-visit places.

About Oaxaca Mexico

Oaxaca de Juarez (the city of Oaxaca) is located in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico. The city center is about 287 miles south (462 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City, and sits at 5,102 feet above sea level (so the air is thin!). The population of Oaxaca de Juarez is just over 300,000 (as of 2014). The valley has been settled for over 13,000 years by the Zapotec and Mixtec people, and is the most diverse State in Mexico because it is inhabited by 18 of the 65 ethnic groups of Mexico.  This diversity adds to it’s culinary greatness!

The weather in Oaxaca is very predictable, and typically on the warmer side. The average highs range from 80 degrees Fahrenheit (~27 Celsius) to 90 F (~32 C) and April is the warmest month. The rainiest months are June and July with an average of 11 days of rain in each month, but many months average 0 days.

Getting There & Around

Travel to Oaxaca is simple. You arrive by air at Xoxocotlán International Airport (OAX). OAX is about 7 miles (11.6 km) south of the city center. In 20 minutes by private taxi (you buy tickets at the window to the left as you leave the terminal for 150 Pesos), or shared van (for 48 Pesos). Once you are in the city, you will find how pedestrian-friendly it is. Look for the  Andador de Macedonia Alcala pedestrian walkway. Walking is the best form of local transportation! If you are looking to leave the center of town, Taxis are a good option for about 100 Pesos/hour. Buses are also an option and can take you all over the State of Oaxaca, or colectivos for local routes around the city.

Cuisine

Traditional Mexican food from Oaxaca Mexico

Oaxaca is truly a food mecca. Travel and Leisure consistently lists this small city as one of the top 10 cities in the world for a bite to eat, and in 2020 it listed Oaxaca as #1. We also mentioned earlier the reason for this reputation is due in part to the cultural diversity of the State. The other factors are the abundance of local ingredients available to the kitchens, and, of course, food stalls of Oaxaca. Food is truly ingrained into the culture of the city; it is difficult to walk a few paces without getting a waft of a mole or hot chocolate. Moles are what really put Oaxaca on the food map. The cooks of Oaxaca cover, spread and stuff their own moles into pretty much everything they cook.

Another delight this area is known for is the production of Mezcal. In fact, people debate if, in order for this libation to be called Mezcal, it must be produced in Oaxaca. Most of the Mezcal is indeed produced in Oaxaca; about 70%. Unlike “Tequila” which is distilled only from the “Blue Agave,” Mezcal can be made from a mixture of over 100 agave varieties. This is the reason why Mezcals are so diverse in their flavor profile. Mezcals are also much smokier than Tequilas. Their smokiness is obtained by the way the piña (core of the agave) is cooked with coal and wood in earthen pits, as opposed to Tequila which, because it is steamed in ovens,  no additional taste is added. Mezcal is a real artisan beverage, and age-old recipes from across the state differ wildly.

Festival Time!

When What Where Theme
Late October/Early November Day of the Dead Oaxaca City, Xoxocotlan, San Augustin Elta, and elsewhere An amalgamation of a Mesoamerican holiday and Christian’s All Saints day.
Last 2 Mondays in July Guelaguetza Oaxaca City, Zaachila, and elsewhere Celebration of the diverse cultures and cuisines of the Oaxaca state.
End of February – beginning of March Feria Anual de Teposcolula Teposcolula Annual Fair featuring music, local cuisine, and traditional sports.
Middle of March San Agustinillo Eco Fest San Agustinillo Conference embracing ecological concerns with fishing tips, whale watching and photography exhibitions.
End of April – May Fiestas de Mayo Istmo de Tehuantepec Just a reason to throw a raucous bash!
2nd to last weekend of July Feria Regional de Hongos Sillvestres Cuajimoloyas Translated as Regional Wild Mushroom Fair, celebrates, well, the mushroom!
October 3rd 3 de Octubre Miahutlan de Porfirio Diaz Celebration of the victory of General Porfirio Diaz over the French in 1866.
October 31st & November 1st Feria Grafica Oaxaca Oaxaca City Showcase of local artists of multiple disciplines.
Mid-November Mazunte Jazz Fest Mazunte The name says it all, but also showcases Reggae, Rock, Trova, Afrobeat and more.
December 23rd Noche de Rabanos Oaxaca City Competition of farmers carving nativity scenes using vegetable, because why not!

Oaxaca Mexico Summary

Oaxaca is a must-visit region for anyone with taste buds! There is no limit to the activities around the region beyond just enjoying moles and sipping on Mezcal because of the diverse topography. The mountains are vast, and the beaches are beautiful. Because of this diverse landscape, a day could bring you from the top of a mountain and into a low valley, then off to the beach.

Don’t forget to bring your OneSimCard International SIM card also because service in the area is great, and Mexico is included in Zone A for our Universal and eSIM World SIM cards. Being in Zone A,  means plenty of data for a very reasonable cost!

Discovering Slovenia: Trekking and Treats

Lake Bled and the Church of the Mother of God on the Lake
Lake Bled & Church of the Mother of God on the Lake

One of our favorite, just beginning-to-be-discovered, countries is Slovenia. Nestled between Italy to the West, Austria to the North, Croatia to the South and Hungry to the West, Slovenia offers many activities for everyone. Many travelers enjoy the great trekking and skiing offered. However, there is also a lot of history, culture and culinary offerings available. We think the best time to enjoy Slovenia is in early fall. This is when tourism is slowing and the crowds have dissipated from the hot spots, but there is still plenty to do.

An average day in Slovenia may include a morning hike in the Julian Alps or along the many beautiful lakes or rivers. Then a visit to a museum for an afternoon. Finally, a fantastic dinner to top off the day. Prices in Slovenia are still very reasonable, especially in the more rural villages. Even the larger cities like the capital, Ljubljana, have lots of shops, restaurants and activities at very reasonable prices

A magical town to spend a day or two is Bled. Its proximity to activities, the restaurants and sheer beauty of its surroundings make it a must see. You can take a walk around the lake (the Lake Bled Loop Trail) which is a 3.7 mile (6 km) easy hike. At the end of the hike, enjoy a walk through Castle Bled and enjoy some local food and drink in the courtyard while overlooking the iconic Church of the Mother of God on the Lake. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can take a short trip to the Triglav National Park. Slovenia’s only National Park is a sight to behold where you can challenge yourself a little more with the moderate to expert hiking and climbing offered in the Julian Alps.

Entrance to Hisa Franko Casa
Hisa Franko Casa in the morning fog

Another must-do if you are a bit of a foodie, is to visit Hisa Franko Casa, located in Kobarid. When the Michelin Guide to Slovenia came out in 2019, Hisa Franko received 2 stars. It known for locally sourced, sustainable food. Hisa Franko is also listed as #21 of the top 50 restaurants in the world. (According to worlds50best.com) Ana Roš, the owner/Executive Chef, along with her husband Valter, operate this impressive restaurant which also has rooms to stay the night (highly recommended). There is also great hiking and a lot of WWI history in the town. We recommend the WWI museum in town and hiking nearby in old WWI bunkers and trenches.

All-in-all, Slovenia is a must visit country, especially for those with a love of nature, and delicious cuisine. But don’t worry…Slovenia is also a very well-connected country for technology as well. This makes sharing your gorgeous pictures of the hikes you take and food you eat easily shared when you use your OneSimCard International SIM. We suggest the Universal or eSIM World. This is because of the data packages available for Solvenia, like the 14 day 10,000MB EU data package for $57.00USD. So pack your bags, insert your roaming SIM card from OneSimCard, and enjoy the beauty of Slovenia!

When in Rome, Roam as Savvy Travelers Do.

Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy

Although there is no real off-season in Rome, fall is known for decreased tourist crowds with plenty of sunshine for walking around. The challenge is to experience all the city has to offer. Here are a few picks of essential attractions to get you started.

Being over 2700 years old, the Eternal City combines ancient, baroque and modern eras, which can be both magnificent and overwhelming. A testament to the architectural skills of the ancient Romans – the Coliseum, Pantheon, and Roman Forum never cease to impress and are a must-see for anyone.

Many other historical, architectural and artistic treasures are scattered around the city. You can find some of them on the street in plain sight, others – in world-renowned museums and galleries like Borghese, MAXXI and Doria Pamphili to name a few.  

To round up your dolce vita experience remember to soak up some of the cultural scene. Eating out is one of Rome’s great pleasures.

Restaurants and open-air cafes line Rome’s numerous charming squares (piazzas). They offer plenty of opportunities to mingle with locals, or simply for people watching while enjoying local cuisine.

In Rome, no square seems to be complete without a fountain, each with its own artistic value and history. Trevi, Triton, La Barcaccia, the Four Rivers – the list of beautiful fountains (as well as squares) goes on and on. Legend has it that you can help your chances of returning to Rome by tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain. 

When it comes to roaming connectivity, there is no need to toss coins at local mobile operator.

OneSimCard makes a convenient Europe sim card choice, as it offers low Data, Voice and SMS rates in Italy as well as many other European countries. You can also add a local phone number in Italy for even more authentic experience.  Multiple Discount data plans are available for your international SIM card.

If you have an eSIM capable device, you can download international eSIM straight from our website. 

Check out all international SIM cards rates and coverage for Italy and other countries. 

Strolling in Nice? Enjoy fast and affordable mobile service.

Nice, France. Photo by Arno Smit

Many consider the city of Nice to be the capital of the French Riviera. From year-round sun and famous blue chairs to Art Deco architecture, museums and evolving restaurant scene, Nice, unlike its glitzier coastal rivals, has something to offer for every budget. The city is a popular destination for vacationers of all ages.

Castle Hill (Colline du Château) lets you enjoy a beautiful panorama of the Bay of Angels with the dramatic backdrop of deep blue waters of the Cote d’Azur. Fringed by the famous Promenade des Anglais it offers miles of the loveliest urban sea-front in Europe. Many events take place there including the annual Carnival and the Battle of Flowers. One can spend an entire vacation hanging out at the Prom (as the locals call it).

Museumgoers will enjoy the choice of over twenty museums and municipal galleries in addition to a large number of private contemporary art galleries and artists’ workshops. The most popular ones include the Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, the Matisse and Chagall Museums.

Nice’s center is easily walkable. Enjoy the architecture of old city quarters, main square Place Massena, food and flower market Cours Saleya and the main shopping street Avenue Jean Medecin all within walking proximity. However, don’t fret if walking is not your thing – the city has a great public transport system or you can explore by bicycle.

Stay Connected

OneSimCard makes an excellent Europe sim card choice, as it offers low Data, Voice and SMS rates in France as well as many other European countries. You can even add a local phone number in France as well as multiple Discount data plans to your international SIM card at any time.

If you have an eSIM capable device, you can download international eSIM straight from our website. 

Check out all international SIM cards rates and coverage for France and other countries. 

Roaming in the Land of Fire and Ice: OneSimCard for Iceland.

The Land of Fire and Ice is anything but ordinary. Technically a volcanic island, Iceland is famous for its unique landscape and stark beauty. Black volcanic rocks, glittering glaciers, erupting lava, bubbling hot springs, explosive geysers and many other natural wonders comprise numerous beautiful vistas.  

You can find something to do there year round, though summer is the most popular time to visit.  Warmer temperatures, less snow, more daylight and seasonal festivals draw the largest crowds. For most people the adventure begins after landing in the capital city of Reykjavík.

Reykjavík has a lot to offer including New Nordic cuisine, various museums and cultural sites.  You can even spot the Northern Lights from the city as well. However, many prefer to go out into more remote areas to enjoy Aurora Borealis without the interference of city lights, as well as explore other natural wonders the island has to offer.

Driving the Golden Circle is a popular day trip, especially for those short on time. The 186-mile route covers many natural landmarks including Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park with its tectonic fissures, Geysir and Strokkur geysers, as well as Gullfoss waterfall.

The Silfra Rift in a crack between the American and the Eurasian continents is one of the greatest dive sites on this planet. It boasts the world’s clearest waters with the visibility of 300+ feet.

For those with more time, the 828-mile Route 1 or the Ring Road around the island connects most of the inhabited parts of the country. Some of the most popular tourist attractions, such as the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon are also on or near the Ring Road.

Stay Connected

No matter how far your adventure takes you, having reliable means of communication is always a good idea. OneSimCard will provide you with all the connectivity you may need including Voice, SMS and Data with multiple Discount data plans in Iceland, throughout Europe and around the world. You can even add a local phone number in Iceland to your SIM card at any time.

See all international SIM cards for Iceland and other countries on our website.

Gleðileg ferðalög! Happy travels!

Roaming in London? Bring OneSimCard.

London, England

Many parts of the U.K. have begun easing lockdown restrictions. Shops, salons, outdoor pubs and restaurants reopened in mid-April across much of the county. More public spaces should open over the next few months.

Country dependent quarantine requirements are still in place, so check government guidelines on what applies in your case. Although discouraged by the officials, traveling to the UK is already possible for many people.

The city of London needs no introduction. The capital city of Great Britain is world famous for its theaters, museums, parks and iconic landmarks including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

If visiting each and every venue is not your thing or not possible for other reasons, here is something to consider. London is a fantastic city for walking and cycling. Neighborhoods such as St. James’s, Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Kensington, Notting Hill and Covent Garden surround the visitor with great sights and sounds at every turn and on each corner.

The London weather in May is also quite comfortable with daytime average temperatures in the 50’s and the City will be a little less crowded then during the peak summer travel months.

Stay Connected

OneSimCard offers great rates in the UK as well as other European countries, and makes an excellent UK sim card choice. OneSimCard comes with an optional free UK phone number that can be extended or added at any time. Local phone numbers  as well as multiple Discount data plans are available in the UK and many other countries.

Check out all international SIM cards rates and coverage for UK and other countries.

Croatia: European travel best kept destination secret?

The Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik, Croatia

As Schengen zone countries are still figuring out their border reopening plans for the 2021 summer season, some European destinations are already welcoming qualified travelers.

Croatia is currently open to US leisure travelers with access requirements in place. More entry details at the US Embassy.

Croatia is located at the crossroads of Central Europe, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. The country is blessed with a beautiful coast, which stretches over 1100 miles on the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea.

Located near the very south of the coast, the city of Dubrovnik is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. For centuries, the city’s prosperity has been attributed to its role as a major seaport in the region. Today Dubrovnik is also one of the most elite destinations in the Mediterranean.

Some 1200 islands are located near the shores of Croatia. In the 19th century dozens of lighthouses were constructed to improve the safety of the waters amid those islands. In recent years, many lighthouses and the apartments that were once home to the lighthouse keepers’ families were converted into inns. Tourists can book those apartments to experience the isolated life of a lighthouse keeper (and enjoy social distancing at an entirely new level).   

Stay Connected

No matter how isolated you are planning to get during your travels, having a reliable means of communication is always a good idea. OneSimCard will provide you with all the connectivity you may need including Voice, SMS and Data with multiple Discount data plans in Croatia, through Europe and around the world. You can even add a local phone number in Croatia to your SIM card at any time.

See all international SIM cards for Croatia and other countries.

Traveling to Sydney, Australia? Check out these attractions.

Circular Quay from the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney, Australia

Visiting Sydney during off-season could be a good way to avoid crowds. Here are some sightseeing ideas for your trip.

Excellent transport system and tailor-made tours make it easy to enjoy Sydney’s natural and man-made assets. Bustling Circular Quay is home to the city’s main ferry terminal and a launching point for popular Harbor cruises.

The Rocks

The nearby Rocks with its cobbled laneways is the place of Australia’s first European settlement. Check out the Rocks Discovery Museum, which traces the area’s transformation from traditional aboriginal lands, to convict slum, to tourist hotspot.

Sydney Opera House

The instantly recognizable Sydney Opera House is one of the city’s busiest music, arts and performance venues. To learn about the inner workings of this icon, you can take a backstage tour which is available in several languages.

Sydney Harbor Bridge

Nicknamed “the coathanger”, the Sydney Harbor Bridge was opened in 1932. It spans across the Sydney Harbor offering some great views. You can walk, cycle, and even climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Royal Botanic Gardens

The beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens is a 30-hectare site located nearby. There are walking paths and scenic train rides for kids, plus special Aboriginal Heritage Tours and sample tasty bush foods.

Beaches and Blue Mountains National Park

When it’s time to cool off, head to any of the world-class beaches just minutes from downtown. If you in the mood for some wildernesses, take a day trip to the Blue Mountains National Park. The UNESCO World Heritage Area of breathtaking beauty is just a few hours away from the city.

Stay Connected

And of course, remember to bring your OneSimCard, which comes with an optional free Australian number that can be extended or added at any time. Multiple Discount data plans are also available in Australia.

See all international SIM cards rates and coverage for Australia and other countries.