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GLACIER EXPRESS TRAIN 2023 GUIDE: IS IT WORTH IT? All you need to know before booking!

1st class on the glacier express in Switzerland, from Zermatt to St Moritz

Hop aboard the Glacier Express, the world’s most beautiful AND slowest express scenic train! Because why rush through the Swiss Alps when you can take a leisurely 8-hour joyride, ogling at snow-capped peaks, quaint villages, and those picture-perfect valleys?

Read on you want to learn more about Glacier Express, its route, prices (AT HUGE DISCOUNTS!), how to buy your tickets, the best season to take the train, dining options onboard, and tips for traveling on the Glacier Express.

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FIVE ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: A Luxurious Weekend Getaway (REVIEW)

When it comes to five-star hotels in Zurich, it can’t get any better than Five Zurich. Newly opened in 2022, FIVE Zurich is a 5-star lifestyle hotel in Switzerland’s largest city, renowned for both entertainment and fine dining.

I was invited recently to spend a weekend at Five Zurich and I can only describe it as a heavenly. If you know anything about me, you know that I seriously struggle to just switch off and relax, but this was the most luxurious place to just unwind. Read more for my full review of our weekend escapade!

Entrance at Five Zurich, Switzerland
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How to Prepare for the DELF B2 Exams: Personal Experience+ Secret Tips!

Bonjour tout le monde! Back in Oct 2020, I had penned my first post on All You Need to Know to Prepare for your DELF B1 Exams! Fast forwards two years later, and now I’m back with a level up, as I have officially passed my DELF B2 last September! **Throws confetti**

Toady’s post will be all about the DELF B2: General information on dates, exam structure and price, as well my personal experience and tips on how to succeed for each section of the exam.

Watch my Youtube video!

What is the DELF?

The DELF is the Diplôme d’Études en Langue Français (DELF), a diploma awarded by the French Ministry of Education. It is intended for people for whom French is not their native language. Passing the DELF B2 is important because it is the minimum level to enter a French university or to find a job especially in France or Switzerland. Moreover, it is a diploma recognised worldwide and valid for life!

Overall, the DELF B2 is well regarded and considered a prestigious language exam even amongst French locals.

My reasons for taking the DELF B2

i passed my DELF B2 exams! tips and how to prepare

I primarily wanted to take the DELF B2, as it seemed like a natural continuation of my language learning journey after passing the DELF B1 in 2020. Initially, the plan was to take it the following year immediately after in 2021. Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 situation back then, I decided to postpone it to September 2022.

There was also a strong personal motivation to take the DELF B2, as I would have lived 3 years in Switzerland, and I wanted to demonstrate that I have a solid level of French. Registering for the exam and preparing for it also allowed me to structure my learning efforts formally. Often times before deciding to register, there will always be the excuse to skip it and say “ok, I can do it later”… but once the registration is set and the dates are fixed, there is an end goal to work towards. That itself helped me a lot in maintaining discipline with my studies and in turn, progressing a lot faster.

How much time did I spend to prepare for the DELF B2?

The gap between my DELF B1 and DELF B2 was a full year. Given that the jump from DELF B1 to B2 is quite significant, this 1 year gap was actually beneficial for me to really absorb more in terms of my vocabulary and grammar, at a comfortable pace without killing the joy of learning.

With this hindsight, I don’t recommend rushing to take the B2 exams, unless you really need the certificate urgently for work or citizenship requirements.

I had regular classes with my private tutor 2 times a week. On a regular week, I put in about 3 hours of studies. About 3 weeks before the DELF B2 exams, I increased the intensity of my preparation and was studying at least 8 hours every week. This included doing DELF practice papers, revising my homework, memorising formal politesse structures, and watching Youtube practice videos. Do read till the end as I will be sharing with you all the free resources I used to prepare for the DELF B2!

DELF B2 Exam Dates

Geneva DELF B2 Examination centre in IFAGE

Planning WHEN to take your DELF B2 exams is crucial, because it can only be taken 4 times a year. Therefore, do your homework and find the test dates in advance. You can check the dates in 2023 for the DELF in Switzerland here.

Regarding the structure of the exams. The listening and writing parts of the DELF are held on the same day, whereas the oral segment is usually held a week before or after. Therefore, it is likely that you will have to go to the test center consecutively for two weeks.

How much does the DELF B2 Cost?

DELF B2 Cost Exam Fees in Switzerland

The cost of the DELF B2 in Switzerland is a WHOOPING 385CHF. (it’s crazy expensive!) You can also choose to take the exam in another country where the exam fees are lower, and there is no change to the format of the DELF B2 exams regardless of your exam venue For instance, if you were to cross the border and take the exam in e.g. Annecy, the cost is 140 euros. Pretty huge price difference, I would say!

In my case, I took the exam in Geneva because it was more convenient, and also I was very lucky that my Swiss company sponsored the exam fee. Thank you eSkills!

Passing Requirement for the DELF B2

Credits: Global Exam.com

The DELF B2 tests candidates on 4 key skill components:

  1. Listening
  2. Reading
  3. Writing
  4. Speaking

Each part of the test has 25 possible points, and you must score at least 5 points in a section to pass. However, to pass the entire DELF B2 exams, you must score a minimum of 50 points.

DELF B2: Listening Comprehension (Comprehension Oral)

The listening comprehension segment is the first part of the DELF B2exams, and lasts for 30 minutes.
You will listen to two different recordings:

  1. Long (up to 8 minutes, listened to twice): usually a speech, radio or television program, documentary, etc., with multiple choice or open-ended questions.
  2. Short (2 to 3 minutes, listened to once): this is an informative document, such as an interview or a news program, with multiple choice questions.

READ THE QUESTIONS FIRST. Use the short time you have to read the questions so you know exactly what to listen and filter your ears for.

The biggest tip I have to succeed in this section…LISTENING is the PRIORITY, not writing.

I know that when we’re feeling anxious, we tend to want to write every single thing down! But the problem with doing that is that you will miss out on important details provided by the audio while busy writing. This is bad especially for the second short section, where the audio is played only ONCE

So give your full attention instead of writing everything down. If you put your attention on the audio, you will answer without any problem. But does this mean that you don’t need to take notes? No, but rather, to do it INTELLIGENTLY.

Develop a method of taking notes. This includes writing abbreviations, symbols and simplified words instead of long, complete words. It can help you save a lot of time.

Finally train yours ears by listening regularly to the news in French, at least a few minutes every day. This could be through listening to the radio, watching TV and movies, or talking to people.

I cannot remember the entirety of this section, but there was a part when it was about a new assisted living for elderly.

DELF B2: Written Comprehension (Production ecrite)

For this section, you are given two documents to read and a series of multiple choice and open-ended questions to answer.

Both documents are the same length and can be either informational or opinion pieces.

Unfortunately, this is the section that I scored the lowest on (19.5/25).

I’m not sure why, as I thought I had a good understanding of the text. But I gussed that I might have answered wrongly for some of the multiple choice questions. They were actually very tricky because the options were very close, and required contextual implicit understanding of the text.

Again, I don’t fully recall the full contents of the text but the first was related to the effects of plastics on the environment, and the second was on parental leave.

To succeed in this section: Read through the questions FIRST (again, I can’t emphasize this enough!!!). The lengthy text may look intimidating at first, but stay calm. Break down the whole passage by paragraph, and highlight key phrases.

When preparing for the exams, focus on building your vocabulary and reading French news articles for the most common DELF topics: politics, economics, business, computers, ecology, and education.

Written Essay (Production Ecrite)

For the written segment of the DELF B2, you will be required to write a formal letter, most commonly
a letter to the mayor of the city or to a director, often to present an argument to demand a change or a solution.

In my case, the context was that a city walkathon was cancelled. The objective is to convince the city mayor to re-instate a walkathon and present its pros and cons for the citizens, in particular the elderly.

Do not rush straight into writing. Instead, start off by drafting a plan. Write an introduction, a development (2-3 arguements) and a conclusion. This will ensure that your essay is well organised and coherent

Knowing the French politesse will be crucial for scoring well. Although these phrases are not used in real life conversations, during the exam your choice of words will be evaluated. For this reason, it is best to memorise a few key polite phrases so you can insert it in right away. These include phrases like “Monsieur le Maire” “Je vous ecrire afin que vous faire part…” “Nous vous prions d’agréer, Monsieur, l’expression de nos sentiments distingués.” Very long-winded, I know… but you get my point!

Examiners also pay attention to the grammar and structure of your essay, so be sure to also include the French’s favourite subjonctifs (il faut que…afin que…) and logical connectors (tout d’abord, puis, ensuite, neannemoins, cependant) etc.

Finally, make sure you keep to the word limit of 250. You can write more, but NOT LESS! Nevertheless, don’t exceed by too much because doing so will only increase the chances of mistakes.

Oral (Production Orale)

Oral production is the only individual test in the DELF B2 exam. There are three stages for the oral section: preparation, presentation and discussion.

You will be ask to draw a piece of paper containing the subject. There will be 15 minutes given for you to prepare your expose. Then, it will be time for you to present your opinion, followed by a debate with the examiner.

I had a mini heart attack for this section and honestly thought that I was not going to do well! The truth was, I actually made a mistake with topic.The title of the article I chose was about “bringing your work home” (Ramener le travail à la maison) but I misunderstood that it was about working from home (le téletravail). Since I did a hell load of preparation for the telecommuting topic, initially I was over the mood since I had all my arguments prepared. That was most probably the reason why I spoke fluently and confidently while presenting my arguments.

It was only during the debate that the examiner nudged and pointed out to me that the topic was slightly different from what I had presented. At that point, I thought oh shit, I’m going to fail….But guess what? n the end I did the best for that section, with a 21 out of 25!!!

The lesson learned is that the content of your argument doesn’t actually matter. The examiner is looking more at your vocabulary, your expressions used, how you structure and present your argument, and whether you can defend yourself well with poise and clarity!


So what was my overall score for the DELF B2?


I was exactly aiming for a score higher than 80 so I am definitely elated with my results. Considering how tough and demanding this exam was I am truly proud of myself for this huge achievement and crossing this important language hurdle.

Resources I used to prepare for DELF B2

French School TV

Aside from my private French online classes, the rest of the resources I used for preparing for the DELF B2 were completely free which I found online.

I highly recommend French School TV, this youtube channel is a god-send when it comes to preparing for the DELF, for every single level starting from A1 to C1! The week before my exams I was practically devouring the entire B2 video playlist and watching nearly every single one of them.

The most helpful videos were the ones with complete examples of DELF B2 oral topics, with the host Vincent breaking down step by step how to present each part of your arguments and debate. I guarantee that if you follow through at least 1 of the practice videos and use the phrases suggested, you will DO WELL for your speaking section!

InnerFrench and PieceofFrench

These two French youtubers Elsa and Hugo are influential within the French-learning community, and they helped me alot with their daily conversational videos and also topical videos respectively. I liked that all their videos have french or english subtitles, they explain new or interesting French vocabulary. More importantly, they also speak at a relatively moderate pace which I could really follow through and listen to. It’s not quite the same when you are listening to regular French news broadcast and you just feel lost and exhausted by the end of 5 minutes!


Pinterest is also your best friend and a virutal gold mine when it comes to searching for DELF B2 learning resources!!! I simply searched “DELF B2” and got tons of useful resource sheets and printable guides. I used them particularly to memorise important vocabulary, French politesse and logical connectors for my writing and speaking section.

Linking a few which I used personally down here:

French News Sites

My teacher was the one that introduced me to 2 French news websites: RFI Savoir and TV 5 Monde. These 2 are the learning arm of the 2 broadcast stations and the content are specifically targeted at French learners. There are bite-sized news articles with audio and transcripts, accompanied with comprehension exercises and quizzes to check your understanding. I used these websites at least once a week just to get accustomed to listening to French news. The free exercises and quizzes also come in really useful as preparation for the DELF B2 written comprehension.

For local Swiss news, I also go to Radio Television Suisse (RTS). I download the app on my phone so its easy to read news and also listen to their podcasts on the go.


Passing the DELF B2 was sort of like my end goal. I have no intentions of taking the next French C1 or C2 levels as the B2 level is more than sufficient for professional and personal requirements. But my language learning journey still doesn’t stop here!

Since October 2022, I have started on German as my fourth language and am currently pursuing THE A1 level. Never has it ever crossed my mind to learn German…but because my current work involves working quite abit in Germany and with German counterparts, there is now a strong motivation to learn this language well.

My goal is to reach the German B1 level by 2024. In the meantime, I will still practice my French through everyday news and conversations with locals!


I really hope this guide to taking the French B1 DELF Exams would motivate you to take the next step in your French language learning journey!

You may also be interested in the following article:

How I passed by DELF B1 exams!

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Guide to Golden Pass Line 2023: All you need to know!

Are you ready for a train journey through some of the most stunning scenery in Switzerland? Then hop aboard the Golden Pass Line! This iconic train route connects the picturesque towns of Montreux, Gstaad, Interlaken and Lucerne, offering breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps along the way.

The Golden Pass Line is a rising hot favourite among tourists and locals alike, and it’s not hard to see why. From the comfort of your seat, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of rolling hills, tranquil lakes, and towering mountains. This is also the train line most recently featured in MySwitzerland’s latest campaign in 2023, starring Swiss ambassadors Roger Federer and Trevor Noah!

Golden Pass Line featuring Roger Federer and Trevor Noah

Whether you’re a first-time visitor to Switzerland or a seasoned traveler, the Golden Pass Line is an experience that’s not to be missed. Read on to find out more about this ride of a lifetime!

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Omega Museum in Biel, Switzerland : A MUST-VISIT for all watch enthusiasts!

Omega Museum in Biel, Switzerland

With the moonswatch by storm with its release last year in 2022, and since then there has been a new craze over Omega timepieces from all over the world. Luckily for us, we live in Switzerland and and decided to give a visit to the Omega Museum in Biel, Switzerland!

This museum is high on the list for all watch-enthusiasts visiting Switzerland! Read on more for a detailed review of the Omega Museum and what you can expect to see for each exhibition.

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5 Must-Do Activities in Davos, Switzerland during Winter 2023

Davos, a Swiss winter destination that will quickly capture your heart. For our first trip in 2023, we spent 3 nights and 4 days in Davos-Klosters region and it was one of the loveliest little getaways I’ve ever had.

I’ve devised the perfect winter holiday in Davos that will make you want to pack your bags and head somewhere cooler for a change.

So step inside the snow globe of happiness and see what you can experience in Davos, Switzerland!

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Festive Holiday Guide: Montreux Christmas Market in Switzerland!

montreux christmas market 2022 ferris wheel

The Montreux Christmas market is arguably one of the best and the prettiest christmas market you can visit in Switzerland!

Every November to December, it takes place right by the city’s lakeside and offers an array of treats and activities for all ages.

With its beautiful twinkling lights, wooden stalls selling the most delicious treat and exquisite ornaments, it’s no wander why people from all over flock here to join the merriment of the season. Not exaggerating here, but a mere visit to the Montreux Christmas market can spark the Christmas spirit even in the most Scrooge-like visitors!!

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How to Pack for Winter in Switzerland (and Europe): 20 ESSENTIAL PACKING TIPS

how to pack for winter

How to pack for winter in Switzerland? Packing for a holiday is already a troublesome chore, but when it comes to packing for a WINTER holiday… Boy, it is even more difficult! Especially if you come from a warm, tropical climate like me (I’m from Singapore!) it can be overwhelming thinking about everything you might need. 

Considering that winter clothing is twice as bulky.. after packing in just one down coat into the luggage… you pretty much have no space for everything else!

This is why in this blogpost, I am going to share with you my best tips to pack for a winter trip to Switzerland (or any other cold weather countries in general)!

Take it from someone who has made plenty of mistakes with bad dressing and insufficient preparation, suffered but LEARNT invaluable experience after surviving 3 years of cold winter season!

Let’s get packing!

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