This is always a big question, and can scare people away. Yes, Switzerland is absurdly expensive – be warned and be careful. But, there are simple strategies to prevent debt from a Swiss holiday. Services are the most expensive thing in Switzerland, so restaurants, hotels, and trams are what you need to be careful of. Grocery stores are key, not only is the quality high, but the prices aren’t much different than anywhere else. The picnic is not only a great meal, but the most affordable. For longer visits in one area, consider a holiday flat instead of a hotel, you’ll have a kitchen and pay significantly less. Or, look into the Naturfreunde Houses and Hostel network.
Most likely, no. Switzerland’s train, bus and tram system is one of the world’s best. The only time you might need a car is if you are on a pure climbing trip and need to move around to some inaccessible areas. Otherwise, look into train passes and/or regional transportation passes. Start with SBB.
There are literally too many things to do in the Alps, and it is overwhelming. This site lists many of the classic to do’s, which truly are worth doing. There is a reason for the classic status. But mix in a few wildcards, see what happens. A bad day out is a rare event. Get to know the area where you’ll be staying by using SwissTopo. Or, don’t think at all and hire a guide service.
It depends. If you are looking to enter the alpine world, and have little experience, then yes. The Alps, while super accessible, are a serious range with many real hazards. Even if you aren’t in the alpine zone, you probably won’t get lost, but you might get overwhelmed due to there being so many trails, huts, and things to do. A guide might help fine tune your holiday to maximize your time.
Just keep going, be it running or trekking. One thing I’ve learned in the Alps is people just keep doing things no matter what the weather is, you may not see as much, but the weather changes quickly and you might find yourself in pretty special conditions. Use the hut system to its full advantage because you know a warm, dry dining room and bed will be waiting.