Switzerland is known for its Lush green, colorful meadows, scenic lakes, raging rivers, and its mountainous Alpine surroundings – all equally impressive in their own right. Let me guide you through the picturesque landscapes and stunning cities and Swiss villages to find out the best places to visit in Switzerland.
Switzerland is certainly not a cheap European country, but the country has the perfect ingredients to intoxicate your senses with its endless natural wonders. To give you a taste of the best of it, here’s my list of the top Switzerland tourist attractions.
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Best Places to Visit in Switzerland: INTERLAKEN
Located between two lakes, Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, amidst lush Alpine greenery and picture-postcard vistas, Interlaken is one of the best places to see in Switzerland.
This little Swiss city offers mesmerizing views of three snow-capped Swiss mountains – the Eiger, the Jungfrau, and the Monch. Interlaken is a mecca for adventure enthusiasts as it is home to several outdoor activities such as paragliding, mountain biking, skydiving, and many more.
Things to do in Interlaken
- Explore this beautiful Swiss city on foot. Visit Schynige Platte Botanical Alpine Gardens and the St. Beatus Caves that is famous for its underground waterfalls and stunning chambers.
- Visit Lake Brienz and Lake Thun – both are pretty and charming. On the east side of Interlaken, you can see Lake Brienz that has turquoise blue waters with a stunning mountain view in the background. Lake Thun is on the west side of Interlaken is equally beautiful. The best way to explore the lakes is to ride on a cruise boat and see the popular attractions from a different angle.
- Harder Kulm is Interlaken’s own mountain located at a height of 4337 feet. Enjoy the breathtaking view of both lakes and Interlaken from Harder.
I have another popular article on how to spend 2 days in Interlaken on a budget.
Where to Stay in Interlaken
Hardermannli (Budget: surrounded by a magnificent landscape of mountains and lakes)
Swiss Inn Hotel & Apartments(Mid-range: Quiet, beautiful views with great service)
Jungfrau region is one of the most spectacular places in Interlaken. The splendid scenery during the train journey to Jungfraujoch will surely leave you spellbound. Jungfraujoch is also known as ‘Top of Europe’ where you can see an observation terrace and scientific observatory perched at 3,454 meters.
The great Aletsch Glacier begins from Jungfraujoch which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can see some of the prettiest Swiss villages in the Jungfrau region including Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Murren, and Wengen. Capture the beauty of majestic Eiger. Monch and Jungfrau mountains coated with milky white snow.
Things to do in Jungfrau Region
- The spectacular train journey to Jungfraujoch(the highest railway station in Europe) is the main highlight of this region. The train ticket is expensive but it will be a lifetime experience and fully worth it.
- At the top of Jungfraujoch, explore the snow museum, snow tunnel and see the impressive ice sculptures.
- There is a climate control vantage point known as Sphinx Hall with panoramic 360-degree views of the glacier and the Bernese Alps.
- Jungfrau region is the hiker’s paradise. Check out some of the most beautiful hikes in Switzerland.
Where to Stay in Jungfrau Region
Accommodation in the Jungfrau region is pretty expensive. Finding a cheap hotel can be a painful task. However, if you are looking for an affordable hotel to stay near Jungfrau, you can book Pasta&More Bed&Breakfast.
Beausite Park Hotel: It is a mid-range hotel that offers fantastic views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountain ranges.
Zermatt must be on the list of top 10 places to visit in Switzerland, both in summer and winter. Zermatt is popular for its iconic mountain, The Matterhorn, one of the most photographed mountains in the world. On a sunny day, you can see the pyramid-shaped peak of the Matterhorn which is standing at the height of 4,478 meters. Ideally, summer is the best time to visit Switzerland, but Zermatt is such a place which is equally beautiful in winter.
Zermatt is a small Swiss town that you can explore on foot. Only battery-operated vehicles are allowed in Zermatt to preserve the air quality that makes it more quaint, more charming. The city is accessible by a scenic train route. Winter is also popular in Zermatt as it has plenty of winter outdoor activities including 300 kilometers of long slope for skiing.
Things to do in Zermatt
- Visit other famous mountains of Zermatt such as Klein Matterhorn, Gornergrat, and Sunnegga by taking a funicular or cable car ride.
- There is a scenic mountain trail for cycling from the Winkelmatten to the Furi. Adventure enthusiasts shouldn’t miss this thrilling experience in summer. Hiking and climbing in the surrounding mountains are also popular in the summer season.
- Enjoy skiing in winter. There is a big slope for skiing and the terrain is for all skill levels. Other winter sports activities include natural ice skating rinks, snowshoe trails, and several curling rinks.
Where to Stay in Zermatt
If you are looking for budget-friendly accommodation in Zermatt, I will highly recommend booking Hotel Bahnhof which is comfortable with helpful staff and necessary amenities.
Centrally located Backstage Boutique Spa Hotel is a mid-range hotel in Zermatt with a cool interior, private balcony, and a spa area that offers a hot tub, a steam bath, and a massage room. Most of the rooms have a free-standing bathtub, overlooking the Swiss Alps.
Sitting just north of the Alps by lovely Lake Lucerne, this picturesque city is another beautiful place to go to Switzerland which is known for its preserved medieval architecture, historical sights, and stunning views.
While there are plenty of outdoor activities in surrounding regions, you need to stay at least two days in Lucerne to cover the major tourist attractions. This prettiest city of Switzerland boasts a medieval old town with bubbling fountains, historic buildings, painted facades, traditional town square, waterfront promenades, covered bridges, and so on.
Things to do in Lucerne
- Chapel Bridge in the old town is one of the most iconic tourist attractions of Lucerne. It is the oldest covered wooden bridge in Switzerland that has old paintings from the 17th century lined up under its roof.
- Visit the Lion Monument, a splendid monument carved into a rock cliff on the memory of the Swiss soldiers who lost their lives in the French revolution.
- St. Leodegar Church is another popular Lucerne tourist attraction. Admire the impressive architecture of iconic twin towers.
- Lucerne is one of the most romantic places in Switzerland. What can be more romantic than strolling along the lake promenade with your partner on a sunny day with a beautiful view of glittering Lake Lucerne surrounded by high mountains? Boat cruising options are also available in Lake Lucerne.
Where to Stay in Lucerne
Roesli Guest House is the best option when it comes to comfort and cleanness and located in the heart of Lucerne. It’s a great accommodation in Lucerne for exploring all the attractions of the area plus good at the price as compared to other properties.
Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern is a 5-star hotel located in the old town. They offer an amazing view of Lake Lucerne and the mountains with a spa area, elegant rooms, and modern furniture.
SWITZERLAND TOURIST ATTRACTIONS: ZURICH
Your Switzerland bucket list is incomplete without mentioning Zurich, the biggest city in the country. Zurich is the financial and cultural hub of Switzerland. It is the major tourist place in Switzerland from where maximum tourists start Switzerland trip.
Located on the edge of Lake Zurich, the city boasts a number of historic churches, award-winning museums, and renowned architecture. The Limmat River runs through the city center and flowing into Lake Zurich. The majestic steeples of Grossmünster and Fraumünster dominate the skyline, and the narrow cobblestone streets course through the old town, making this an ideal place for a leisurely stroll.
Things to do in Zurich
- Explore the Zurich Old Town(Altstadt) and medieval cobbled streets on foot. Old Town is filled with a good number of museums, little alleyways, cozy restaurants, and cafés.
- Visit Bahnhofstrasse, the most expensive shopping street in the world. This posh street is lined with most of the luxury designer brand stores and boutiques.
- Grossmunster Church and Fraumunster Church are two iconic landmarks of Zurich. Enjoy the breathtaking of Zurich Old Town from the top of Twin Tower.
- Zurich Lake promenade is a romantic place in Zurich for couples. You can go for a morning walk or an evening stroll along the promenade. You can join 4 hour Zurich City Tour that includes a cruise on Lake Zurich.
Where to Stay in Zurich
Zurich is an expensive city and the prices are slightly higher compared to other major cities in Switzerland. However, if you are looking for cheap accommodation, I will recommend you book Zurich Youth Hostel. The hostel location is perfect with good public transport facilities.
Hotel Adler is a fantastic mid-range hotel located in the heart of the Zurich old town. The location is awesome, the staff is very polite and helpful. They also run a Swiss restaurant. You must try their Cheese Fondue which is prepared with award-winning Swiss cheese.
Located next to the Italian border, this Italian speaking town of Switzerland is an off the beaten path in Switzerland where you can feel different vibe than other parts of the country. Lugano is also known as ‘Monte Carlo of Switzerland’ because of its popularity with celebrities.
You will find a perfect blend of Swiss and Italian culture at every corner of this city. Lugano is filled with plenty of museums and warmed by Mediterranean breezes that make you feel you are in Italy. Outside the city is, impressive villas are standing around the lush hillsides that rise from the Lake Lugano.
Things to do in Lugano
- Lake Lugano which is situated on the border between Italy and Switzerland is the most popular attraction in Lugano. Try morning cruise on the lake or just relax and enjoy the magnificent view.
- Parco Civico is a lovely park situated right by Lake Lugano. If you are with kids, enjoy some time in this park in the lap of nature. There is a long, tree-lined pathway, flower beds, fountains, and play areas for children.
- You might spend the day hiking along the Olive Tree Trail, or you could go for a swim at Lido di Lugano right by the city center.
- Explore the local areas on foot and enjoy the unique architecture of Lugano.
- Taste the Italian influenced local delicacies. Eat pizza and try fresh ‘gelato’(ice cream).
Where to Stay in Lugano
You can stay in Salotto Brè – Bed and Breakfast if you are on a budget or traveling solo. It offers free breakfast and WiFi but located 9 km away from the city center.
LUGANODANTE Swiss Quality Hotel is a mid-range hotel situated inside the city center and offers modern furnished rooms and free breakfast. The staff is very polite and helpful and the rooms are well-maintained and sparkling clean.
St. Moritz is famous as one of the most beautiful ski resorts in Switzerland. If you are a winter sports lover and looking for the best places to visit in Switzerland in winter, St. Moritz is a perfect dream destination for you.
The city offers fantastic skiing and snowboarding opportunities, but beyond the slope St. Moritz itself has a range of attractions that make it a great destination all year round.
In the summer, visitors can enjoy hiking, climbing, mountain biking and even skiing on the glaciers. The main attraction of this mountain city is the splendid alpine scenery with 25 crystal-clear mountain lakes, as well as forests and glaciers.
Things to do in St. Moritz
- Take a cable car and go up to Piz Nair, the highest point in the Corviglia ski area. It offers incredible views as well as access to some great skiing. The 360-degree Alpine views from here are simply incredible.
- St. Moritz Lake is the main highlight of this lovely town, especially in winter when the lake is frozen. Enjoy sports activities or just walk on the frozen lake.
- Switzerland’s most spectacular train journey leads from St. Moritz to Zermatt. The Glacier Express travels through magnificent, stunning mountain landscapes, deep gorges, and lush green valleys, crossing 291 bridges.
- Visit Segantini museum which was built in 1908 on a mountainside overlooking the Schafberg. The design of the building was made by Segantini himself. It is a little museum where some of his famous works are displayed.
Where to Stay in St. Moritz
Hotel Laudinella is situated in St. Moritz-Bad and offers superb views of the lake and the surrounding mountains with free parking and shuttle bus service.
Still wondering what are the best places to visit in Switzerland? The city of Montreux is one of the most charming places in Switzerland. It is located on the shores of Lake Geneva and is surrounded by the snow-capped Alps and vineyard.
The city is famous for its rich culture, charming weather, and music festivals – making it a popular weekend vacation in Switzerland. The unique combination of lakeside palm trees and mountain landscapes gives you the best countryside experience in Switzerland.
Things to do in Montreux
- Looking for what to do in Montreux? Visit Chateau de Chillon– Perhaps the best place to visit in Montreux. Inside this 13th century famous castle you can visit underground rooms with gothic arches, massive courtyards, private bedrooms, and a medieval chapel.
- Go for a Wine Tour to Lavaux vineyards on a panoramic bus and enjoy the views of Lake Geneva and the Alps. Take sample taste of local wines.
- Stroll along the Geneva Lakeside Promenade with your partner and experience some of the best views of countryside landscape and gorgeous florals.
- If you visit in December, you shouldn’t miss the Christmas market in Montreux, one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Switzerland.
Where to Stay in Montreux
Hotel Splendid is an amazing affordable hotel with spacious rooms and offers panoramic views over Lake Geneva.
Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic is situated on the shore of Lake Geneva with a lake view terrace and free WiFi. This hotel is a great choice by travelers with some great reviews and with all the necessary amenities.
Bern, the capital city of Switzerland, consistently ranks in the top cities for the best quality of life. Needless to say, It’s not a cheap place to live in Europe. From UNESCO listed Old Town, magnificent cathedral to beautiful museums, theaters, and impressive galleries, Bern has a plethora of things to do to keep you active.
The best thing about Bern is that all the major tourist attractions are within walking distance from one another. The colorful fountains in the streets of Bern are the trademark of the city which shows the town’s wealth and reminds citizens of local heroes and cultural events.
Things to do in Bern
- Preserving much of its medieval character, the old town of Bern is now becoming a popular attraction in Bern. Stroll along the cobbled street and explore the six kilometers long shopping arcades(Lauben) which are filled with shops, bookstores, cafes, bars, and restaurants.
- Zytglogge – This giant clock tower has a beautiful dial designed in the form of an astrolabe which represents the planets orbiting the sun.
- Visit Bern Cathedral, one of the oldest cathedral in Switzerland built in 1421 in Gothic style. There is a beautiful carving over the doors, depicting the Last Judgement Day. You can have an amazing view of Bern city and the countryside from the top of the tower.
- If you are a history buff and want to know more about Einstein, visit Einstein Haus. You will get a great overview of Einstein. The museum is small but provides a lot of info about Einstein’s life, career, research in an informative way.
Where to Stay in Bern
Budget – Hotel La Pergola(surrounded by a beautiful garden, furnished room, free WiFi and close to city center)
Mid-range – Hotel Allegro Bern(4-star superior hotel features a casino, 3 restaurants, 1 bar, and 3 terraces, offers fantastic views of the old town and the distant Alps
Surrounding by the Alps and Jura mountains, Geneva is another picture-perfect city to visit in Switzerland. You will find here several shops for some of the best Swiss chocolate brands. The city is rich in history and has ample historical buildings dating back to the Roman era. Moreover, Geneva offers stunning lakeside views and quite a few unique attractions.
Being the headquarters of multiple international organizations(including the United Nations), Geneva has a cosmopolitan ambiance and international vibe. From its iconic Jet d’Eau, lush waterside parks to historical buildings, beautiful promenade, Geneva has the perfect ingredients to intoxicate your senses.
Things to do in Geneva
- Jet d’Eau is an iconic symbol of Geneva. It is a powerful water jet that propels water to 140-meter height. You can see it from almost anywhere along the lake.
- Enjoy 1- hour Lake Geneva Cruise and explore Geneva from a different angle. Admire panoramic views over the lake to the stunning range of the Alps.
- Rent a bike and explore the lakeside promenade.
- Discover the Old Town of Geneva. It boasts some incredible architectural gems, museums, modern cafes, and restaurants.
- Visit the headquarter of the United Nations, also known as the Palace of Nations. Take a guided tour to visit the rooms where important international meetings and discussions take place.
Where to Stay in Geneva
Budget Hotel: Résidence Studio Genève Centre(Centrally located, budget-friendly yet comfortable with lovely staff and clean environment)
Mid-range Hotel: Royal Manotel(Offers spacious rooms with period furniture and modern facilities like a sauna and a steam bath.
This is my sorted list of the best places to visit in Switzerland.
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