Switzerland is a real mix of nature, history, art, great outdoors and urban living. In fact, the only thing Switzerland does not have to offer is the sea; however, the thousands of lakes double up as perfect swimming places in the summer months. Basically, Switzerland has it all, and this list could easily top 100 but to simplify, here`s Typically Swiss Tours best 10 things to see and do in this wonderful, interesting and beautiful country.
Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland
If you are talking about Mountains, it’s probably Everest and then the Matterhorn that you think of first. This swiss icon is the most photographed mountain in the world and attracts thousands of visitors who are pulled like magnets to its charismatic peak.
Its uniqueness and beauty are plain to see, with a million stunning photographs taken at sunset, sunrise and in every season evidence of the power and attraction of this feat of nature. And with Zermatt, there is no finer place to ogle at the Matterhorn. For over 150 years, Europe`s jet-set has been coming to Zermatt to enjoy every single winter and summer sport, and it’s welcoming swiss hospitality.
2) Lakeside Luzern
Luzern is one of, if not the prettiest, town in Switzerland. It’s charming, old, traditional, historic, vibrant and surrounded by god-given nature. You and several others could fall in love with Luzern for its sparkling lake vistas, alfresco café life, candy-coloured architecture and Victorian curiosities.
The wooden bridge dating back to 1333, the City Walls dating back to the 14th Century and the Lion Monument are just 3 of several highlights in this gem of a town.
Venturing further afield on a boat trip on the lake to a village and then up Mt Pilatus, Rigi or Stanserhorn will only add to your enjoyment and appreciation of one of Switzerland’s most beautiful regions.
3) Jungfrau Region
No trio of mountains is more famous than Switzerland`s big three – Eiger (Ogre), Mönch (Monk) and Jungfrau (Virgin) – peaks that soar to the sky above the gorgeous 19th century resorts of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen.
There’s a plethora of activities – canyoning, paragliding, white water rafting – for the adrenalin seeking junkies or simply take a hike on the myriad of hiking trails in the Alps. One thing is certain; you will never be too far from breath-taking views of the Pearly Whites and the best of the Swiss countryside.
4) Rheinfall roars
Try and catch Europe’s largest waterfall in the summer months to see the falls at its best. The increased snowmelt upstream of mountain water crashes over the rocks at a rate of knots, and the thunderous noise when you are up close and personal on one of several viewing platforms is deafening. To appreciate the full force and drama of this enormous cascade of water, take a boat across the river and the new panoramic lift down to the falls from the Schloss Laufen.
The capital city of Switzerland does not fit the traditional image of a “capital city”. It’s fourth in population size and retains a feeling of quaintness; no wonder many do not realise its importance. However, it’s unexpectedness is precisely its charm and the architecture and “feel” of this place gives Bern a must-see quality.
The famous bear enclosure housing the symbol of Bern – Three bears, the 15th Century Cathedral, the 16th Century Zytglogge and the Parliament buildings are just some of the attractions that await curious visitors.
You can see why Zurich is one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Living standards here are very high as are the prices. Over the years, there has been plenty of urban renewal as witnessed by the growth of Zurich West.
Switzerland’s largest city by a mile is a centre for commerce, retail and entertainment. The financial centre is here, and there are 2,000 Google employees as well as all the high end, luxury shops you care to mention along Bahnhofstrasse. Day into night rolls into one with hundreds of bars, restaurants and clubs which will keep you entertained until the sun rises. Don’t forget the crazy Street Parade in August – a must see !!
7) Bernese Oberland
If you want to experience the most beautiful region in Switzerland, spend time in this region. You will not be disappointed and will definitely want to come back for more.
Here you have it all, incredible gorges cutting through limestone rock like the Aare or Rosenlaui, enchanting and impressive waterfalls like at Giessbach or Staubbach. The enclosed waterfall in a mountain at Trummelbach is unique, as snowmelt water from the Alps crashes through several chutes.
The picturesque Lakeside village of Brienz is a reminder of days of old when woodcarving was a major player. For a spot of souvenir shopping with the tourism masses, visit Interlaken, nestled between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. Last head up the cable car at Isenfluh to Sulwald for majestic views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
8) Montreux and Lake Geneva
The vines in the Lavaux region are amazing, and a visit to a local vineyard is recommended, as sampling a glass of Pinot Noir with lunch overlooking Europe’s largest lake (Geneva) is an experience to savour.
There are several interesting places along the lake to visit such as Switzerland’s most cosmopolitan city Geneva, Lausanne with it’s Olympic Museum, and Vevey with it’s Charlie Chaplain. However, my favourite is the host of the iconic Jazz festival every July – Montreux. Thousands flock here not only to listen to world-famous bands but to visit the 13th Century Chillon Castle, perfectly placed on the Lake.
9) Cheese and Chocolate etc
If you want the stereotypical Swiss experience, you can have it in excess. Several cheese factories have interactive tour experiences where you can see the cheese being produced culminating in a tasting session. The three most famous are in Appenzell, Emmental and Gruyere but there are several smaller cheese places dotted around the country.
Likewise, Aeschbach in Luzern, Lindt in Zurich (May 20) and Cailler in Broc have chocolate experiences along the same lines as cheese. Alternatively, if it’s a Swiss army penknife you are after, look no further than the Victorinox in Brunnen, where you can build your own.
Lastly, as you can imagine, there are souvenir and watch shops everywhere selling typical swiss products which I am sure you will be tempted by.
10) Take a train journey in Switzerland
Put simply, Swiss trains are probably the best in the world, and the Swiss are very proud of their system. Over the years, Swiss railways have developed a number of famous train rides which take in the best of the Swiss countryside.
These railways showcase alpine lakes, stunning alpine vistas and other mesmerising natural landscapes all from the comfort of a train, most with super-panoramic windows.
Three of the best routes are the Glacier Express between St Moritz and Zermatt, the Bernina Express between St Moritz and Chur and the Golden Line between Luzern and Montreux. On all these iconic train journeys, passengers will be thrilled by just how close nature is, as the train travels across the beautiful swiss countryside through copious tunnels and bridges.
Book a tour to visit Switzerland in a way you will never forget.