The best things to do and places to see in Switzerland
Discover one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring countries with scenic mountain ranges and over 1,500 lakes that project utter tranquility and serenity. Gorge on rich chocolate and fine cheese, and get lost in a land of yodeling, multilingualism and picturesque views.
Swiss Cycling Routes and Roads
Winding mountain roads and invincible mountain peaks, Switzerland offers unlimited scenery for cycling, trekking and road trip holidays. Venture through the Alps on a road cycling tour or cruise the many lakeside routes, the choice is yours. Circle Lake Zürich and stay close to one of Switzerland’s metropolitan hubs or explore countless countryside corners of this jaw-droppingly beautiful country.
Top Experiences: things to do in Switzerland
Europe’s biggest waterfall, the Rhine Falls, lies in the north of Switzerland near the Schaffhausen; a medieval Swiss town that is also worth exploring. It’s also recommendable to explore the beauty of the Swiss National Park. You can visit at any time of year, as there are plenty of activities for tourists all year round. The same can be said for the multiple ski resorts that Switzerland has to offer, such as St. Moritz. This well-known resorts is a ski magnet and has its fair share or luxury hotels and high-end restaurants, too. In the past, St.Moritz has also hosted two Winter Olympics.
Sightseeing in Switzerland
Admire the ancient architecture and historical monuments in the quaint Swiss town centers or venture to the Alps where you can take a step back in time and live Swiss life in Zermatt, a charming village and popular tourist destination with chalets, extraordinary gourmet experiences and horse-drawn carriages in a picturesque mountain range. From Zermatt, you can do lots of different mountain activities and see The Matterhorn; one of Switzerland’s highest and most iconic peaks. If you’re sightseeing in Geneva and fancy visiting a mystical site, travel to Lake Geneva and see the Chateau de Chillon, a castle on the lakeside that has inspired creative works for hundreds of years. Those visiting Lake Constance on the other side of Switzerland may be interested in popping down south to St Gallen, where you can visit one of the oldest libraries in the world and take in the dramatic rococo architecture, as well as the surrounding monastery.
Discover Switzerland by Interest: Swiss Food and Culture
Not only does Swiss gastronomy have its own sweet treats and scrumptious delicacies, but the influencing cultures from all angles make for an even more exciting gastronomic route for those planning to travel through or around Switzerland. Traditional must-tries include Swiss raclette and Rösti, and visitors are recommended to try all cheese and chocolate that they encounter. Although preferably not all at once...
Music Festivals in Switzerland
Enjoy all types of music festivals in Switzerland, from contemporary pop festivals to traditional yodeling festivals. Yes, we said yodeling. The National Yodelling Festival takes place every year in a different location and includes more than just yodeling. Witness flag twirling, one of Switzerland’s oldest sports, and experience plenty of other cultural traditions. Montreux Jazz Festival is an iconic summer festival and Openair Frauenfeld is one of Europe’s biggest hip-hop festivals, but there are also other types of festivals such as Gstaad Menuhin Festival, a classical music festival. And if you thought the Swiss music festival scene didn’t have enough variety, check out Irish Openair Toggenburg for an all-around Irish music atmosphere.
Shopping in Switzerland
Luxury brands, high-quality watches, and sumptuous boutiques are just some of the shopping sensations of Switzerland. You can also find your average high street shops, as well as antique and vintage finds. Swiss watches and jewelry are famous on a world scale for both their prestigious design and quality.
Travel Tips: things to know before visiting Switzerland
Be sure to research the language of the region you plan on visiting, as Switzerland has 4 official languages! French, Italian, German and Romansch are all spoken in Switzerland but you can get around with basic English, too.
It’s a good idea to carry suncream with you whether visiting in summer or winter, as with the high altitude hikers and skiers forget how prone you can be to sunburn, even in the winter. Speaking of altitude, make sure you drink plenty of water and stop for regular breaks if you feel dizzy. Sometimes travelers don’t stop to think about how high up they are due to the easy access to these high peaks!
if you’re looking to save money, then be sure to take a refillable water bottle with you when traveling Switzerland. Buying bottled water is one of the biggest wastes of money, as Switzerland’s water is some of the cleanest water in the world!
Cities to Visit in Switzerland
Depending on the type of tourism that interests you, various locations might take your fancy. For example, famous cities, Zurich and Geneva, are great places to start if you’re just getting to know Switzerland. However, you might prefer to get off the beaten track and visit some time-worn and traditional villages or retreat to the mountains or a tranquil lakeside. Below are our top choices of cities in Switzerland and a brief explanation of each.
This tourist resort is extremely popular with those who enjoy mountain sports, fresh air, and dreamy daytime views. Interlaken is located in the center of Switzerland between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. If you’re partial to some cheese and other naughty nibbles, spend an evening gorging on raclette, a traditional cheese dish. Before gaining popularity among tourists, Interlaken was known mainly for its historical watchmaking industry.
Medieval Old Town marvels and plenty more for architecture and art fans, Basel is an ideal location for a city break. The romantic Rhine rhythm of the city has a particular charm with both locals and visitors, and the dual border with France and Germany blends together to form a multicultural mix of language, cuisine, and culture.
This scenic metropolis is located by Lake Geneva and offers visitors an ideal combination of nature and town life. The main language spoken in this area of Switzerland is French.
Geneva is the international base for Red Cross, as well as the EU. A verdant city carpeted in city parks where you can explore on a bicycle or even hope on a boat on the lake.
The geography of nearby Lake Geneva is vast with mountain ranges, serene lakeside and quaint Swiss villages and towns dotted about which makes for a perfect itinerary route.
The largest city in Switzerland, Zürich is a city of museums and galleries which is always a good option for backup bad weather plans. Plan your vacation to Zürich for any time of the year, knowing that rain or shine you’ll have a good time. The nightlife in Switzerland is rather vibrant with plenty of options for all which is an added plus of this favored Swiss travel destination.
Vehicles are not permitted in this small mountain town, which leaves it untarnished by modern urban life. Enjoy a unique skiing holiday here and venture to nearby locations, such as some of Switzerland’s highest mountains.
This is an Alp region of Switzerland that has grown in popularity thanks to the railway access and footpaths that have opened up endless possibilities for adrenaline adventurers and nature. If you are traveling by train through Switzerland, be sure to pass through this breathtaking region of Switzerland.
The Montecarlo of Switzerland, Lugano, is situated in the south of Switzerland near the Italian border, which gives this charming location a Mediterranean touch with warm summers and typical Swiss lakeside views to a dramatic mountain backdrop. Lugano festival in the summer is the perfect excuse to visit when you can also visit the Lugano beaches and bathe in the lake.
Considered one of the world’s prettiest cities, Lucerne features lots of monuments such as The Dying Lion (The Lion of Lucerne), as well as stunning mountain and lake views. Lucerne is situated in Central Switzerland and is German-speaking.