Being home to numerous lakes, beautiful villages and high peaks of the Alps – how can one choose only 15 out of the must-see places in Switzerland? If you have decided to move in there or you are only visiting, you must have heard about the Alps, the medieval quarters, landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower or Lucerne’s wooden chapel bridge. But let us take you on a more detailed journey to the best places to see in Switzerland.
What to see in Switzerland: 15 choices out of many
Matterhorn is the most famous of all the mountains that make up the Alps. Seeing the picture that we have attached, you’ll quickly understand why. With a 15,000-foot-tall mountain straddles the Swiss-Italian border makes one of the most famous destinations to visit on the bucket list of climbers.
The town of Zermatt offers its tourists a pleasant stay at the world’s largest snow igloo, right at the base of the Matterhorn, with an interior diameter of 42 feet and a height of 34 feet. The igloo resort includes more than a half-dozen individual igloos or hotel rooms interconnected by a series of tunnels, as well as a bar and restaurant. Whether a guest or a local, you’ll be captivated by the mountain’s mystical and majestic view.
2. Chateau de Chillon, Montreux
Source: © SnapShotsofthePast/WikiCommons
The Lake of Geneva, in Montreux, hosts one of the most visited historical landmarks in Switzerland – Chillon Castle. Located on a rock on the banks of the lake, this water castle was the residence and profitable toll station of the Counts of Savoy for nearly four centuries. More than 400,000 guests visit Chillon per year. They enjoy the wall paintings of the 14th century, the subterranean vaults, parade halls all dating to the time of Bernese rule. The entire castle consists of 25 buildings and three courtyards and is protected by two circular walls.
If you’re in Montreux already, your next side trip should be the nearby city – Lausanne. Lausanne is home to a good deal of historical landmarks of Switzerland. Those involve the Olympic museum, the historic Old Town centered around Place de la Palud, and its gorgeous traditional architecture. You can choose to take a fast and inexpensive (always speaking in terms of the Swiss standards) train to Lausanne in just a few minutes from Montreux.
4. The Jungfrau region
Jungfraujoch – or also referred to as Top of Europe, is a unique mountain destination in Switzerland. This alpine wonderland with all of the petite towns underneath its umbrella is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site called Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch. Jungfrau consists of the big three glacial monoliths Jungfrau, Eiger and Monch offering mesmerizing views for tourists who love winding mountain paths and green meadows. During your time there, through all the skiing and sledding, don’t forget to visit the surrounding towns of Grindelwald, Murren, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen. A won’t regret-er!
Yeah, we know that this town also belongs to the Jungfrau region – but considering its tourist reputation and beauty, we decided to give it a spotlight of its own. This traditional resort town is built on a narrow stretch of valley, between the beautiful turquoise waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. It is filled with old timber houses and parkland on either side of the Aare River, surrounded with mountains, dense forests, alpine meadows and glaciers, and with countless skiing trails. No wonder Interlaken is called the ‘Mecca’ of adventure lovers!
6. Lake Geneva
Also known as Lac Léman, Lake Geneva makes Switzerland’s largest lake, curving along the borders of France. This famous touristic attraction brings down the natural splendor of the Alps right to the center of the city. The easiest way to cruise through the lake is catching a boat from the quay at Genève-Mt-Blanc. The lake’s mesmerizing beauty has inspired the design of the city itself. Hence, a promenade was built around its shore in the mid-19th century. You can also choose to dive into the serenity of parks like Eaux-Vives, Jardin Anglais, Perle du Lac or Mon Repos.
7. Lavaux Vineyards
If you’ve ever had a taste of Switzerland’s winery, then you must be thankful to Lavaux’s vineyards for your unique experience. Except for producing the best of Swiss wine, the vines are the most spectacular spots to see, right north of Lake Geneva. You will be able to feel the history, as the vineyards have been there ever since the Roman times. That is why they earned recognition from the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The picturesque lakeside city with its lovely scenery, known as the “Monte Carlo of Switzerland,” attracts numerous people to its shores. What makes this city so unique, is the Italian Influence, specifically in the Ticino region. It reflects in various aspects such as the romantic villas, city cuisine, and the local language. Except for its quasi-Mediterranean scenery, Lugano is also famous for its Film Festival, the number of heritage sites and museums. The city stands north of Lake Lugano, a very frequented area by celebrities.
We haven’t finished with lakeside cities just yet. Lucerne is just another panoramic city, added on the list of the most beautiful places to see in Switzerland. For colorful autumn colors, it is especially recommended to visit this city in the fall. But it’s beauty is no less captivating at any season. Once there, you’ll have views filled with fortified towers, wooden bridges and timeworn churches festooned with antique frescoes. Yoga on the lake, traditional townscape, and petite views are the main characteristics of the city of Lucerne.
Since wintertime is considered the best time of the year to fully enjoy this city, we included Lucerne as one of the best places to visit in winter.
10. The Rhine Falls
Approximately 15’000 years old, The Rhine Falls make Europe’s largest waterfall and a gravity point of Swiss tourism. With a width of 150 meters and a height of 23 meters, the view is fantastic from any angle. The falls are located on the High Rhine on the border between the cantons of Schaffhausen and Zürich, between the municipalities of Neuhausen am Rheinfall and Laufen-Uhwiesen/Dachsen, in northern Switzerland. Tourists can easily access the falls or the views to the Wörth Castle.
11. Swiss National Park, Zernez
Covering an area of over 170 square kilometers, the Swiss National Park is the only Swiss park. Its landscape is compiled of hiking paths, nature trails and excursion destinations, accessible for both children and families. It provides 21 hiking routes crawl through the park for visitors, allowing them to witness its diverse flora, golden eagles, chamois, and ibexes. Founded in 1914, the park is the oldest of the Alps.
12. Saint Moritz
St.Moritz is a place of diversity, also known as the melting pot of languages. That’s because people living here speak French, German or English. If you ever decide to go visit, you will be impressed with numerous glaciers, jagged peaks, lush forests, and calm lakes. Although it is one of the highest mountain destinations in the world, tourists visit St.Moritz to soak in the fresh air, along with the lakeside views and picturesque hamlets.
13. Saint Gallen
Another city filled with plenty of traditional features. City of Abbey Library that houses around 1,70,000 ancient hand-written documents, therefore, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its architectural site is very different from what you typically encounter in Switzerland, representing the Rococo style. The seventh-largest city of Switzerland will leave footprints in your memory with its colorful murals, beautiful buildings, and antique surroundings.
Known also as the ‘City of Art,’ Basel offers its visitors a vibrant cultural scene. It has a generous offering of art galleries, museums, opera houses, and theatres. In fact, the whole city of Basel resembles an artsy like architecture. You will find pleasant views walking through the buildings around the Town Square, sculpted with red sandstone that adds to the charm. Or, you can Sink in the beauty of the City Hall.
You have probably heard about several surveys that point out Zurich as a city with the highest quality of life as compared to anywhere else in the world. So visiting it or actually moving there will tell you why. Zurich is a global center for banking and finance, lying at the north end of Lake Zurich in northern Switzerland. The visitors can enjoy picturesque lanes of the central Altstadt (Old Town), on either side of the Limmat River, which reflect its pre-medieval history.