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Switzerland is a landlocked country in the Alps. France borders it to the west, Italy to the south, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east, and Germany to the north. The country is subdivided into 26 cantons, further divided into approx. 2929 municipalities.
Switzerland is known for its picturesque mountain scenery and crystal-clear lakes and is a popular tourist destination for outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, and mountaineering. The country is also home to several world-famous cities, such as Geneva, Zurich, and Basel.
In addition to its natural beauty, Switzerland is also known for its political neutrality and stable economy. It is not a member of the European Union but is closely associated with it.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Switzerland:
Top 10 Attractions in Switzerland
Switzerland is a top-rated tourist destination with stunning scenery, rich history, and vibrant culture. Here are 10 of the most popular places to visit in Switzerland:
1. The Matterhorn
The Matterhorn is a very popular spot for climbers, as it is one of the tallest mountains in the Alps. It is located on the border between Switzerland and Italy and has four steep faces facing different directions. It was summited for the first time in 1865, but unfortunately, four climbers died during the descent. Today, thousands of experienced climbers come to attempt it each year.
The village of Zermatt is a charming international resort town located at the foot of a mighty peak. In the winter, skiers can enjoy more than 300 kilometres of slopes. There are plenty of activities to keep visitors busy in the summer, including swimming, tennis, hiking, biking, and climbing. Summer glacier skiing is also available. Motorised vehicles are banned in the village to preserve its air quality and peaceful ambience.
2. The Jungfraujoch
The Bernese Oberland is a stunning mountain range in Switzerland that is home to some of the world's most beautiful and popular hiking trails. One of the most popular things to do in the area is taking the train journey up to Jungfraujoch, known as the "Top of Europe." This terraced observation site sits at an impressive 3,454 meters and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, glaciers, and valleys.
With the longest glacier in Europe (the Great Aletsch Glacier) starting at Jungfraujoch, it's no wonder that this area has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another popular trail in the area is the Eiger Trail, which starts at the Eiger glacier station and leads up to Alpiglen. This trail is known for its stunning views of the Eiger north face.
3. The Old Town of Bern
Bern, the Swiss capital, is perched on a peninsula of the River Aare and is full of old-world charm. The city's medieval old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to beautiful architecture, including the tallest cathedral in Switzerland and 16th-century fountains. The locals call the shopping arcades "Lauben", and the Rose Garden (Rosengarten) offers stunning views of the old town center. Visitors can also take in panoramic views of the city from the Zytglogge medieval clock tower.
Bern is a beautiful city with plenty to offer tourists. Art lovers will appreciate the impressive galleries, including the world's most extensive collection of works by famed artist Paul Klee and the Museum of Fine Arts Bern. The markets are also a must-see, held in the Bundesplatz square with views of the elegant Renaissance-style parliament building.
4. Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva is a large Alpine lake on the Swiss/French border. The cities of Geneva, Switzerland and Lausanne, Switzerland sit on either side of the lake, with dramatic snow-capped peaks in the background. Geneva is a city that balances French joie de vivre with a Swiss structure. The city is home to the European seat of the United Nations and is known for its many promenades, parks, and gardens that surround the lake. TheJet d'Eau, a fountain in Lake Geneva that shoots water 150 meters into the air, is a famous landmark.
The city's Opera House and Grand Théâtre are also popular tourist attractions. The city of Lausanne is a beautiful sight to behold, with its lovely views of the surrounding region and Lake Geneva. The medieval old town is charming, with cute cafés and boutiques, and the Gothic cathedral is simply stunning. Nearby, at the foot of the Alps, Montreux hosts the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival in June/July.
5. The Rhine Falls
The Rhine Falls (Rheinfall) at Schaffhausen are the most significant in Central Europe. They are 150 meters wide and 21 meters high. When the mountain snow melts from June to July, the volume of water increases and the falls become even more impressive.
You can take a boat trip up the Rhine to get an excellent view of the falls or go to one of the viewing platforms on either side of the river. Either way, it's a great experience to see such an impressive natural wonder!
Interlaken is a Swiss town between two lakes, Thun and Brienz. It's a popular destination for tourists who come to enjoy the 35 acres of green space in the centre of town and the stunning mountain views. The Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks loom large over the city, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, and kayaking.
Located in the heart of the Swiss Alps, surrounded by more than 45 mountain railways, cable cars, chairlifts, and ski lifts. These transportation options offer visitors attractive opportunities for sightseeing from high up in the mountains. From the winter resorts to the summertime paragliders launching from Beatenberg-Niederhorn, there is always something to do and see in this beautiful area. Paddle steamers offer cruises around the lakes for those who want to admire the scenery from a lower elevation.
Zurich, Switzerland's largest city and a top travel destination, offers plenty of attractions for visitors to explore. The Old Town's cobbled streets are a great place to start, with charming shops, cafés, and galleries lining the streets. For even more shopping opportunities, head to mile-long Bahnhofstrasse, one of Europe's most famous shopping districts, where designer stores sell fashion, watches, and jewellery. Zurich is also known for its high-end boutiques and shops.
However, if visitors venture away from the main drag, they will find more than 50 museums and 100 art galleries to explore. Some of the top tourist attractions include the Kunsthaus Zürich, a museum of fine arts with an impressive collection of art from the Middle Ages to the present day, and the Rietberg Museum, which focuses on non-European art from China, India, and Africa.
Lucerne is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Switzerland. It is famed for its annual International Music Festival, which draws world-renowned soloists, conductors, and orchestras. The city's Culture and Convention Center is home to one of the world's leading concert halls, and the Chapel Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city.
In addition, Lucerne is home to the Swiss Transport Museum, which houses a wealth of exhibits on all forms of transportation, from air and space travel to railroad locomotives. The museum also features a Planetarium. History buffs will enjoy exploring Lucerne's rich history, from the Chapel Bridge to the Lion Monument, which honors the heroic death of Swiss Guards during the attack on the Tuileries in the French Revolution.
9. St. Moritz
If you're looking for a winter wonderland to explore, St. Moritz is the place to be. This resort town in the Swiss Alps is a popular destination for skiers, snowboarders, and anyone who loves spending time in the great outdoors. St. Moritz is truly a magical place with its icy lakes, towering glaciers, and lush alpine forests. And if you're lucky, you might even see the Northern Lights!
The Swiss town of St. Moritz is a cultural melting pot, with people of all backgrounds living and interacting together. The town is nestled in the mountains, providing stunning views in every direction. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and water sports in the summertime or ski on the glaciers during the winter. In addition to its natural beauty, St. Moritz is also home to various cultural attractions. Romansch, German, Italian, French, and English are all spoken in the surrounding areas, making it a truly international destination.
There's plenty to keep you busy in St. Moritz, whether you're looking to hit the slopes or enjoy the views. For a dose of luxury, check out one of the town's many high-end hotels or restaurants. Or, if you're on a budget, head to St. Moritz Bad for cheaper lodging options.
10. Chateau de Chillon
The Chateau de Chillon is a beautiful castle that sits on the shores of Lake Geneva near Montreux. It has been a popular tourist destination for centuries because of its beauty and historical significance. The castle was once the stronghold of the Counts and Dukes of Savoy, and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The complex consists of about 25 buildings, including the Great Halls, the Chapel, and the Camera Domini. Visitors can also explore the Gothic underground rooms and enjoy stunning views of Lake Geneva from the castle walls.
Top Day Trips From Switzerland
There are many fantastic day trips that you can take from Switzerland. Here are just a few of the most popular destinations.
1. Mount Titlis and Lucerne Day Tour
This full-day tour from Zurich takes you to the dramatic summit of Mount Titlis, one of the most picturesque peaks in the Swiss Alps. After a brief orientation drives through Lucerne's Old Town, you'll be free to explore on your own. You'll then travel to Engelberg, nestled in the mountains, and take a cable car to the top of Mount Titlis.
Here, you'll enjoy breathtaking views of the Alpine landscape and get up close to some of the frozen crevices. You can also walk across Europe's highest suspension bridge for even more sensational views. In winter, you can upgrade to include a skiing option, making this an ideal tour for anyone interested in experiencing the best of the Swiss Alps.
2. Swiss Alps Day Trip including Jungfraujoch and Bernese Oberland
The Jungfrau region is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring areas in Europe. On a full-day trip from Zurich, you will have the opportunity to ascend to one of the highest peaks in the area, the Jungfraujoch. The journey is a fantastic experience in itself, as you will travel by luxury coach through the stunning scenery of the Bernese Oberland region to the picturesque village of Grindelwald.
You will board the newly opened Eiger Express gondola and make your way up to the Jungfraujoch mountain pass. The views from the Sphinx Observatory at the top are breathtaking, and you will also have the chance to explore the depths of an Ice Palace. This is an experience you will never forget and will leave you with some incredible memories and photos.
For this tour, you will board a cogwheel train to the top of Europe at the Jungfraujoch. This is a fantastic feat in and of itself, but the views from the Sphinx Observatory are even more incredible. You will be able to see the Aletsch Glacier and the peaks of the Alps that cover France and Italy. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. With this full-day tour, you will be able to make the most of your time in Switzerland.
The Zurich region and the Liechtenstein Principality are two beautiful countries that offer a variety of exciting attractions and activities. On this full-day tour, you'll have the opportunity to explore both areas and see everything they offer. The tour begins with a drive through the stunning landscapes of Heidiland, where you'll see sweeping valleys, alpine lakes, and plunging waterfalls.
You'll also visit Rapperswil, a medieval town with a beautiful castle. Then, you'll head to Zurich for a guided city tour. You'll see all the city's major sights, including the ancient buildings and monuments. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the history and culture of both countries.
This half-day sightseeing trip from Zurich takes you to two beautiful destinations in Switzerland and Germany. The first stop is Laufen Castle, where you can see the spectacular Rhine Falls. If you're here in summer, you can also take an optional boat ride to get closer to the falls.
Afterward, continue to Stein am Rhein, a picturesque village known for its Old Town with fresco-covered houses and other medieval landmarks. While in Stein am Rhein, you can choose to take an optional boat ride (subject to availability) or enjoy a walking tour of the village.
This full-day tour of Interlaken and Grindelwald from Zurich takes you through the stunning Alpine scenery of Switzerland. You will travel by luxury coach with views of the mountains. Upon arrival in Interlaken, you will have free time to explore the resort before heading to Grindelwald, known as Glacier Village for its many snow-capped mountain peaks.
You may choose to take a cable car ride up Mt. First during the summer months for breathtaking panoramic views. This day trip from Zurich is the perfect way to experience the beauty of the Swiss Alps.
This 9.5-hour round-trip from Zurich to Mt Pilatus is the perfect way to spend the day in the Swiss Alps. The journey includes a 30-minute scenic gondola ride from Kriens to Fräkmüntegg terminus plus an ascent by aerial cableway to the peak of Mt Pilatus.
After some free time to explore the summit, you'll take the world's steepest cogwheel train down to Alpnachstad before boarding a boat for a 1-hour scenic cruise on the tranquil waters of Lake Lucerne. Your guide will provide commentary along the way, and transport is included from Zurich.
The cuisine culture in Switzerland celebrates fresh, seasonal ingredients. Many traditional dishes are made with local produce, and you can find restaurants serving these dishes all over the country. Some of the most famous Swiss dishes include fondue, raclette, and rosti.
Here are some of the best places to eat in Switzerland:
1. Haus Hiltl
The Haus Hiltl is the world's first vegetarian restaurant, and it has been around since 1898. The restaurant's original name was the "Vegetarian Home and Abstinence Café", and it was nicknamed "the root bunker" by locals because of how popular it was among vegetarians. These days, you can find a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options at the buffet, which offers over 100 dishes worldwide. If you're looking for a signature dish, try the Hiltl Tartar, made with okara, eggplant, and spices. And if you have a sweet tooth, you'll want to try one of their vegan-friendly desserts. Prices are reasonable, making this restaurant an excellent option for anyone looking for a delicious and affordable meal.
2. Vieux Chalet
The charming Alpine village of Saas-Fee is a great place to visit, especially if you love cheese. Vieux Chalet is a restaurant located in the town's historic center, and it specializes in fondue and raclette. Raclette is a type of melted cheese served on a plate with bread, potatoes, gherkins, and pearl onions.
It's a trendy dish in Switzerland, and it's worth trying if you're in the area. If you're feeling especially hungry, you can order the all-you-can-eat option – just be warned that you might end up eating more than you bargained for! Either way, it's an experience that you won't soon forget.
3. La Reserve
If you're looking for an unforgettable culinary experience while in Geneva, visit La Reserve hotel. This luxury establishment is home to two Michelin-starred restaurants: Le Loti and Le Tse Fung.
Le Loti is run by chef Virginie Basselot, who was awarded the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France title in 2015. Basselot's inventive dishes are not missed, especially her signature cod fillet in lemon balm butter served with tapioca.
For an authentic Cantonese meal, head to Le Tse Fung. This restaurant is widely considered one of the best of its kind in Switzerland, and the Peking duck is a must-try.
4. Chevel Blanc
The Cheval Blanc is a world-renowned three-star Michelin restaurant in the Hotel Les Trois Rois, located in Basel, Switzerland. The restaurant is famed for its inventive dishes that blend flavors from around the world, with influences from Mediterranean and Asian cuisine.
Chef Peter Knogl's menus are characterized by unique flavor combinations, such as Japanese sushi sauces with French dishes, Indian Garam Masala with Spanish escabeche, and Pata Negra with French gastronomic dishes. In addition to its Michelin rating, the Cheval Blanc has also been awarded 19 points in the prestigious Gault & Millau guide.
Guests can also book the "Royal Gourmet" package, including a dinner at the Cheval Blanc and a stay in luxury accommodations at the Hotel Les Trois Rois.
If you're looking for a hearty meal in a lively setting, Zeughauskeller is the perfect spot. This restaurant in Zurich specializes in meat-centric dishes from German-speaking Switzerland, like Wienerschnitzel, steaks, pork shanks, and meter-long sausages. The portions are sizeable, so come hungry. And be prepared to wait in line – this place is popular! Once you're seated, you'll be surrounded by the sounds of clinking glasses and lively conversation. It's all part of the experience at this 15th-century armory-turned restaurant.
In Meiringen, Switzerland, there is a bakery known for its meringue confections. This bakery has a giant meringue out front, and it serves up plenty of other sweets, including chocolate confections, apple strudels, and creamy pastries. For kids, there are different holiday-themed treats on offer.
With its awe-inspiring landscapes and charming villages, this picturesque country will enchant visitors of all ages. From the snow-capped peaks of the Alps to the crystal-clear lakes in the countryside, there's something unique to see around every corner. And with its delicious food and world-renowned wines, Switzerland is a paradise for foodies and oenophiles alike. We would like to wish you safe travels and have an incredible trip!