The 10 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland

You are probably familiar with Swiss chocolate, Swiss cheese, and clocks. However, this landlocked country is a haven for those seeking truly picturesque and dramatically scenic landscapes. Situated in the heart of the Alps, it boasts a picture-perfect look.

You may find yourself riding a cogwheel railway up a mountain one moment and exploring slices of medieval heritage nestled along lakes the next. Prepare for breathtaking views of craggy peaks from Swiss mountain towns, the exploration of historic districts against a crisp backdrop of glittering water, and marveling at majestic alpine meadows surrounded by snowy mountains. Here's a glimpse of the best places to visit in Switzerland:

1. Interlaken


Interlaken, once renowned as a watchmaking center, has transformed into a popular tourist resort today. Tourists began flocking to Interlaken in the early 1800s to enjoy the mountain air and spa treatments, and its popularity has only grown since then. Nestled between two major Alpine lakes, Thun and Brienz, this Swiss city offers abundant opportunities for swimming, boating, or biking around the lakes.

With breathtaking views of three iconic Swiss mountains – the Eiger, Jungfrau, and Monch – Interlaken serves as a favored base camp for outdoor activities in the surrounding Bernese Oberland Alps. For a unique experience, travelers can enroll in classes at a woodcarving school. Those with an appetite for Swiss cuisine should try raclette, a classic dish made from cheese.

2. Lausanne


Situated right on the shores of Lake Geneva, with breathtaking views of both the Swiss Alps and the French Alps, is the city of Lausanne. Serving as a gateway to a major ski area and home to two major universities, Lausanne's universal appeal is evident.

The city is divided into districts, with the Cité district being the most significant for travelers. In Cité, explore the Old Town, featuring a range of architecture from cathedrals to castles. A must-visit attraction in Lausanne is the Palais de Rumine, an Italian Renaissance-style building housing five different museums, providing an ideal opportunity to spend an entire day immersed in local art, culture, and history.

As part of the Swiss Riviera, Lausanne has attracted writers over the centuries, including Lord Byron, the Shelleys, and Ernest Hemingway. Located in the French-speaking sector of Switzerland, Lausanne boasts an impressive cathedral and delightful outdoor markets.

3. Geneva


Geneva is a city where international influences hold sway, being home to the International Red Cross Committee, the European headquarters of the United Nations, and 20 other international organizations. With 20 percent of its land dedicated to parks, Geneva is recognized as the 'city of parks,' making it particularly appealing to environmentally conscious travelers.

A visit to Geneva offers the chance to witness the iconic Jet d’Eau, a colossal fountain along the Lac Léman waterfront that shoots water high into the air. In the Old Town, the towers of Cathédrale St-Pierre dominate the skyline, making for excellent photo opportunities of both the exterior and the interior during a guided tour. Geneva is also a fantastic city to explore by bike or to relax by taking a boat ride on Lake Geneva.

4. Zurich


The city of Zurich, Switzerland's largest, is renowned as a major financial hub in Europe. Beyond its business prominence, Zurich offers a wealth of attractions for visitors. Situated on the edge of Lake Zurich, the city invites exploration through activities like hiking or cycling along the lake's perimeter, renting a boat for a water excursion, or enjoying man-made beaches for a refreshing lake swim.

Zurich boasts historic churches, world-class museums, and iconic architecture. The Swiss National Museum, housed in a fairytale castle, is a must-visit, dedicated to Switzerland's cultural history. For panoramic views and a unique dining experience, take a ride on the Polybahn, a 19th-century funicular, offering breathtaking vistas and a charming café terrace at the top.

5. Zermatt


Zermatt, a small town famed for skiing and mountaineering, owes its popularity to its proximity to the Matterhorn, one of Switzerland's highest peaks. Cable cars efficiently transport skiers in winter and hikers in summer to surrounding mountains. Zermatt is pedestrian-friendly as gasoline-driven vehicles are prohibited within the city limits; only battery-operated vehicles are allowed. Fortunately, the town's compact size makes it easy for visitors to walk between various sites in 30 minutes or less. Additionally, Zermatt is accessible via scenic train routes connecting it with the outside world.

6. Jungfrau Region

Jungfrau Region

The Jungfrau Region stands out as one of the premier destinations in Switzerland, captivating visitors in both summer and winter. Once the domain of intrepid adventurers seeking to ski or climb its mountains, the Alps region has become easily accessible to a wide range of travelers, thanks to an extensive network of railways and well-maintained foot and bike paths.

Comprising four picturesque towns – Grindelwald, Murren, Lauterbrunnen, and Wengen – and three majestic mountains – Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau – the Jungfrau Region offers a diverse and breathtaking landscape. A highlight is the Jungfraubahn, one of Switzerland's most scenic rail trips, carrying passengers from Kleine Scheidegg mountain through the Eiger and Mönch to the Jungfraujoch.

7. Lugano


Lugano, often referred to as the 'Monte Carlo of Switzerland' due to its rising popularity among celebrities, is situated on Lake Lugano in the Italian-speaking region of this alpine country. Dating back to the 9th century, Lugano enjoys warm summers.

A major attraction of Lugano is its emphasis on outdoor recreation, offering various ways to stay active in and around the area. Explore the clearly signposted Olive Tree Trail for a day of hiking or take a refreshing swim at the easily accessible Lido di Lugano near the city center. After a stroll through the Old Town to appreciate the architecture, gain a unique perspective by visiting the charming and fascinating Swiss Miniature Village.

8. Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva, one of the largest lakes in Europe, traverses the course of the Rhone River, marking the border between France and Switzerland. Beyond the city of Geneva, most destinations in the Lake Geneva region are situated in either the Swiss canton of Vaud or the French department of Haute Savoie. The geography is diverse, featuring the Jura mountains in the north, a hilly plain in the center, and the Alps in the southwest. The main attractions in this region include the elegant cities and towns surrounding the lake, opportunities for skiing and hiking in both mountain ranges, and, of course, the lake itself.

9. Lucerne


Situated in the German-speaking region of Switzerland, Lucerne is a city that offers a blend of city life, a picturesque lake, and stunning mountains. Recognized as one of the world's most beautiful cities, Lucerne is renowned for its 14th-century Chapel Bridge and Water Tower, considered the most photographed monument in Switzerland. Another notable landmark is the Dying Lion, a rock carving honoring Swiss mercenaries who perished in France in 1792. For a taste of local cuisine, hungry visitors may indulge in Luzerner Chügelipastete, a specialty featuring puff pastry, veal, and mushrooms bathed in a cream sauce.

10. Bern

1 of Best Places To Visit In Switzerland

Bern, a picturesque medieval city with roots dating back to the 12th century, became part of the Swiss Confederacy in the 16th century. Despite not being the largest city in Switzerland, Bern holds the distinction of being the capital. The iconic Zytglogge, an ancient clock tower featuring moving puppets, stands as its most famous attraction. Other notable sites include the Munster, a Gothic cathedral rising from the old town, and the town hall.

The bear serves as the symbol of Bern, with several residing in an open-air pit. Shoppers can explore the old town, boasting four miles of arcades, making it one of the longest covered shopping areas in Europe.

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