The mystical land of Switzerland harbors the kind of natural beauty that is as addictive as its mouthwateringly delicious chocolates. One taste of this gorgeous land and you will be left craving for more. Switzerland is like a siren call to all adventures and travelers. It tempts them to scour its land by showcasing its beauty through its hiking trails, the iconic Matterhorn, its vast ski trails, as well as gorgeous cities that will leave you gaping in awe.
Also regarded as The Playground of Europe, Switzerland is the kind of destination that every traveler and adventurer must venture into at least once in their life. In order to help you out on your Swiss adventures we came up with a list of the best places to visit in Switzerland that will make your trip all the more memorable.
8 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland
A Few Words for the Land of Milk and Honey
Switzerland, also known as the Land of Milk and Honey is a landlocked central European country that is blessed with tremendous beauty and is home to two iconic mountain ranges, the Jura in the northwest and the Alps in the south. However contrary to popular belief Switzerland’s natural attractions do not stop with glaciers and peaks. The land is also home to turquoise lakes that glimmer like diamonds, emerald valleys, dotted with tingling bell-wearing sheep and cows, flower box-filled villages that look like they just jumped out of a fairytale storybook, and charming chalets.
Surrounded by all this natural beauty are some fantastic urban diversions and places to visit. Four languages French, Italian, German, and Romansch reign supreme in Switzerland, adding to its cities, a multicultural sophistication. Geneva, where French dominates all other languages is home to four major offices of the United Nations and also harbors a large international population. On the other hand, Zurich, where Germany reigns, is the largest city in the land of Switzerland. Zurich is also a financial hub of Switzerland, that is wieldy regarded for its museums, shopping, as well as nightlife.
Switzerland’s capital Bern exudes a timeless charm and boasts a medieval old town that is home to a famous moving puppet clock tower and a beautiful riverfront locale. Apart from harboring some of the world’s most stunning natural attractions and charming cities Switzerland is also a four-season destination.
This means that every season brings with it a new charm and a new set of activities. When visiting the country in winter you can take up winter sports at world-class resorts. If you are visiting in summer then you can opt for hiking, climbing, biking, and paragliding. All in all, Switzerland is a magnificent place to be, the experience of which will stay with you for years to come.
Best Places to Visit in Switzerland – An Overview
1. The Matterhorn – The Most Iconic among the Best Places to Visit in Switzerland
Among the best places to visit in Switzerland, the most iconic and widely famous one is its symbolic mountain the Matterhorn, the beauty of which will leave you speechless. The mountain is gorgeous, to say the least, and different kinds of weather tend to have a different effect on its beauty. On a clear day, as you arrive in the charmingly quaint village of Zermatt, that lies at the mountain’s base, be ready to get awe-struck by the wondrous beauty of the 4,478-meter high, tooth-shaped mountain, rising up to meet the clear blue sky. The feelings that this imposingly beautiful mountain sparks in the hearts of the spectating gawkers, are unexplainable.
Visiting the village in the rainy season, to see the looming 4,478-meter-high beauty surrounded by thick clouds and spitting rain will make you fall head over heels with the Matterhorn. The emblematic peak emerging from the sea of dissipating clouds exudes the kind of beauty that is difficult to put into words. However, there is one thing that we can guarantee, and it is that the image of this stunning mountain will remain seared in your brain for years to come. Yes, it’s that impressive.
The magnificent Matterhorn is one of the highest mountains in the Alps, sitting on the border with Italy. The mountain harbors four steep facings rising to meet its craggy tip. From the first successful summit in 1865 by British climber Edward Whymper and his team, the craggy mountain has intrigued climbers from all over the world with thousands of experienced climbers coming here on a summit bid each summer.
However, you don’t have to be a skilled climber to enjoy the beauty of the Matterhorn. There are numerous ways that you can experience the grandly beautiful mountain. One way is to ride the Gornegrat Bahn cog railway to the summit of the Gornegrat mountain, which is about 1,620 meters tall, to catch stunning views of the Matterhorn. The views of the Matterhorn at the end of the ride aren’t the only thing that will leave you gaping-mouthed and awestruck, in fact, the ride itself is so charming that it will leave you speechless.
The ride takes up 33 minutes, during which it climbs 1,469 meters, crossing dramatic bridges, passing turquoise-hued mountain lakes, and at times clinging to the side of the mountain, offering views into rocky ravines. Once you reach the top of the mountain, you will be met with an Observation deck that offers views in all directions. You will be able to spot Switzerland’s highest mountains as well as the second-biggest glacier in the Alps. Also, when visiting in summer, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the wild ibex near the viewing platform.
2. Zermatt – The Most Charming among the Best Places to Visit in Switzerland
Lying in Switzerland at the foot of the imposing Matterhorn, you will find the quaint village of Zermatt, which is a top international resort and one of the most popular ski destinations in the Land of Milk and Honey. The village is also a paradise in summer for the outdoorsy kind who love hiking, biking, and climbing. Harboring just a few main streets, with a surreal-looking blue river running through it, Zermatt is a village that exudes a peaceful ambiance. The air in the village is extremely clean and fresh, not tainted with smoke and soot. This is because it has banned all motorized vehicles except the official electric taxis from setting a tire on its pristine roads.
Moreover, there are only two ways of getting two Zermatt and none of them involve the smoke-spewing cars. The journey to Zermatt is an experience in its own right. You can get to the village either via a helicopter, which is very expensive, to say the least, or via the Matterhorn Gotthard railway. If you happen to drive to the region, you will have to leave your car behind, in the town of Tasch, and then continue by train.
Popular for its hiking trails, in the winter season, skiers visiting the village can play on more than 300 kilometers of slopes that can either be accessed through the Blauherd and Rothorn gondolas or via a funicular. In the summer season, the slopes take off their snowy coat to don a dress of beautiful green, turning themselves into mountain biking and hiking trails. If slopes and trails aren’t really your thing, you can just stay in the charming village and enjoy its dozens of shops, hotels, and restaurants. You can also pay a visit to the Matterhorn Museum, which depicts the story of the mountain village that turned into a bustling international holiday resort.
Being one of the best places to visit in Switzerland you will find the village of Zermatt swarming with tourists. It’s a busy and crowded town, therefore if you wish to stay there for a while, it is best to book an accommodation way ahead of your arrival.
3. Jungfraujoch – The Most Panoramic among the Best Places to Visit in Switzerland
Since the year 1912, tourists from all around the world have been swarming the very fairytale-like village of Grindelwald in the Land of Milk and Honey for an excursion to Jungfraujoch also known as the Top of Europe. As the name suggests Jungfraujoch, is the highest train station in all of Europe. The Top of Europe offers stunningly panoramic views of the UNESCO-recognised Jungfrau religion that will take your breath away, leaving you open-mouthed.
The Sphinx Observatory that you will find residing above Jungfraujoch, perched 3,454 meters above sea level, is an astronomical observatory and is the best place to feast your eyes on the magnificent Aletsch Glacier as well as the 4,000-meter peaks that flank it. As this region receives snow 365 days per year, it is an ideal place to get away from the scorching heat of Europe during the summer season.
In the last 100 years, this famous tourist attraction has gone through a lot of transformation and is now offering tourists lots of things to do. To get a closer look at the Swiss Alps and the surrounding glacier, step into the 360-degree cinematic experience room or walk through a 250-meter-long corridor filled with exhibits and artefacts depicting the history of the minors who built the railway of Jungfraujoch.
Take a sneak peek inside the giant snow globe that depicts the charming region via moving figures such as gondolas and yodelers. Afterwards, you can glide through the Ice Place which is frozen from floor to ceiling and features smooth icy hallways that you will find filled with ice sculptures of animals such as penguins. In late 2020, the Eiger Express, Jungfraujoch’s highly sustainable cable car opened to the public and helped shorten the journey between Grindelwald and Jungfraujoch from 45 minutes to 15 minutes. Riding the Eiger Express is a unique experience as it takes you through the beautiful landscape, surrounded by towering peaks and blue skies.
4. Interlaken – The Most Picturesque among the Best Places to Visit in Switzerland
Nestled on a strip of land between two glassy lakes lies the most postcard-worthy land among the best places to visit in Switzerland, Interlaken. Interlaken is an enchanting resort town that has been popular among tourists for many centuries, offering visitors a home base to explore the Bernese Oberland.
You can visit the town in spring and summer when the town is at the peak of beauty, with its lush gardens decorated with blooming edelweiss and gentians, set against the backdrop of snow-dusted Eiger, Jungfrau, and the towering Mönch. Interlaken is also known as the Adventure Capital of Europe due to its proximity to Lake Briensz to the east, Lake Thun to the west, and the soaring alpine mountains, offering a variety of thrills to intrepid travelers.
If you wish to go on a hike, you can take a ten-minute ride on the Interlaken Harderbahn which is a funicular railway, almost 100 years old, to Harder Kulm which is Interlaken’s closest mountain. Walk along a brick path surrounded by quirky Swiss statutes to head to the trailhead of the Harder Kulm Circular Path. The forested path is relatively easy and opens up to stunning panoramic views of Interlaken. In the summer, you can glide through the sky on a paragliding adventure, and in the winter, you can strap on a pair of skis and zip down the powdered slopes around Interlaken.
Interlaken is also a great place to have some adventure on the water by renting out kayaks, pedals, and row boats that take you through a serene experience on the lakes. You can also opt for water sports and challenge yourself to windsurfing, wakeboarding, and water skiing. The aspect of Interlaken that many find alluring is that the place is equal parts exciting as it is laid-back. In Interlaken, you can have a fun outdoorsy, adrenaline-pumping adventure, or you can find a moment of peace in Switzerland’s first Japanese garden the Garden of Friendship. As Interlaken is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland, so be ready to face hordes of tourists and crowds.
5. Lucerne – The Most Timeless among the Best Places to Visit in Switzerland
Lucerne is one of the most serene and timeless spots among the best places to visit in Switzerland. You will find this car-free medieval old town covered in bridges, historic buildings, and sun-splashed plazas, surrounded by a sparkling blue lake, set against the backdrop of charming mountains. Due to its enteral and timeless beauty, Lucerne is a top spot for tourists visiting Switzerland.
The quintessential town is widely known for its music concerts and lures renowned soloists, orchestras, and conductors to its Internal Music Festival which is held every year mostly at the Culture and Convention Center that is home to one of the globe’s leading concert halls. One of Lucerne’s most famous and boastful landmarks is the Chapel Bridge which dates back to the 14th century.
In the small city park of Lucerne, you will come across the iconic Lion Monument that was designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and hewn by Lukas Ahorn during 1820-21. The monument is a poignant sculpture of a dying lion. This monument honors the heroic deaths of the Swiss Guards who gave their lives during the attack on the Tuileries in the French Revolution.
Lucerne is also one of the best places to visit in Switzerland for history buffs as it is home to the Swiss Transport Museum which houses extensive exhibits on all kinds of transport including space and air travel, railroad locomotes etc. The Transport Museum is also home to a Planetarium. To bask in the beautiful views of Lucerne, the lake, and the Alps opt for a ride on the funicular to the Dietschiberg that lies on the north side of Lake Lucerne. You can also enjoy the views by cruising up Mt. Pilatus on the cableway or by heading to the Rigi which is a famous lookout point in the city.
6. Lake Geneva – Most Stunningly Beautiful among the Best Places to Visit in Switzerland
Lake Geneva is Europe’s largest Alpine Lake and straddles the border between Switzerland and France, lapping at the shores of Switzerland’s most renowned and popular cities. The city of Geneva, which the lake borders, is also known as the Capital of Peace is the second most populated city in Switzerland and sits between gorgeous snow-covered peaks at the point where the Rhone spills beautifully into Lake Geneva. Geneva is also the European seat of the United Nations and resonates with a glorious blend of French joie de vivre and Swiss structure.
The gorgeous Lake Geneva is surrounded by stunning lakes, gardens, and promenades and the old town offers a lovely spot to stroll among the gorgeous historic buildings. A fountain in Laken Geneva called the Jet d’Eau shoots water 150 meters high in the air, and is a famous landmark, with tourists swarming to the place to see the glorious fountain. Geneva is also home to a couple of cultural attractions like the Opera House and the Grand Theater where intranational acts are staged.
Also, along the shore of Lake Geneva lying 62 kilometres from the city of Geneva resides Lausanne which boasts lovely views of the lake and the surrounding region, with the Alps rising to meet the blue sky in the distance. In this medieval old town, you can take a stroll on its cobblestone pathway and visit its boutiques and cute cafes along the way. Jazz lovers should visit the region in June as during these months Montreux hosts the widely known and coveted Montreux Jazz Festival, at the foot of the Alps on Lake Geneva.
7. Chateau de Chillon, Montreux – Harbors Centuries Old Charm among the Best Places to Visit in Switzerland
In Montreux, on the shores of Lake Geneva, lies in its old-world glory, the Chateau de Chillon also known as the Chillon Castle that has been the source of inspiration for many writers and artists for centuries. This architectural treasure has been used as a muse of many poets and writers, among which the pens of Lord Byron, Victor Hugo, and Jena Jacques Rousseau very beautifully depicted its charm. In the 12th century, the castle was a stronghold of the counts and dukes of Savoy and has now transformed into an architectural wonder, with many from around the world visiting to witness its majestic glory.
The vast complex encompasses about 25 buildings that are clustered around three courtyards. The highlands encapsulate the Great Halls which offer beautiful views of Lake Geneva, the gothic underground rooms, the Chapel that is decked with paintings dating back to the 14 century, and the Camera Domini, a bedroom decorated with medieval murals, occupied by the Duke of Savoy.
8. St. Moritz – A Winter Wonderland among the Best Places to Visit in Switzerland
St. Moritz which is among the best places to visit in Switzerland is widely known as a city of firsts. It was in St. Moritz that the world’s first electric light cast its glow in the gloomy December of 1878. In the year 1889 the Alps’ first golf tournament was hosted in this very city and in 1935, St. Moritz was the first city in Switzerland to start operating the country’s first ski lifts. St. Moritz is also regarded as the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism an accolade given to the city when a hotelier convinced British summer guests to spend the winter here in the year 1864.
Moreover, St. Moritz is also the city that hosted the Winter Olympics twice in the years 1828 and 1948. Nowadays St. Moritz is one of the world’s most ritzy ski resorts that is frequented by billionaires and celebrities. Winter sports here run the gamut, from skating, skiing, snowboarding, and bobsledding to tobogganing. Cresta Run which is 1.2 kilometres long, and is the world’s oldest natural ice run for toboggans is also found here. In winter St. Moritz is a winter Wonderland, while in summer it transforms itself into a paradise for hikers, horseback riders, bikers, and rock climbers. This area of Switzerland is also home to iron-rich mineral hot springs that you can enjoy year-round.
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