Are you planning a trip to Switzerland and putting together your Switzerland bucket list? In this article, you will find 24 of the best places to visit in Switzerland to include in your itinerary!
Wondering about the best places to visit in Switzerland and the must-add destinations for your Switzerland bucket list? You have come to the right place.
Switzerland – home to jaw-dropping mountain scenery, beautiful lakes, cosmopolitan cities, pretty towns and villages as well as some of the world’s most iconic rail journeys offers so much choice for visitors it can be overwhelming actually planning a Swiss travel itinerary and deciding what to see and do.
I have lived in Switzerland as well as visited numerous times over the last 30 years) and this article combines my top Swiss destinations and experiences with those of fellow travel bloggers to provide you with 24 of the most beautiful places in Switzerland.
Also do check out my Switzerland Travel Guide for more articles, tips, itineraries and inspiration to help you plan your perfect trip.
- 24 beautiful places to visit in Switzerland
- Montreux and Chillon Castle
- Gotthard Panorama Express train from Lucerne to Lugano
- Skydiving in Interlaken
- The Glacier Express
- Gelmerbahn Funicular
- Hiking the Maderanertal Valley
- Leukerbad Therme
- St Gallen
- Hiking in Swiss National Park
- Emmentaler Schaukäserei
- Mt Titlis
- Mt Pilatus
- Bernina Express
- Sample Swiss cuisine (& the chocolate!)
- The Rhine Falls
- Plan your trip to Swizerland
SAVE MONEY and enjoy unlimited travel in Switzerland by train bus, boat and public transport with the Swiss All-in-One Travel Pass.
- Travel all over Switzerland with a Swiss Rail pass, valid all over the country.
- Choose between a 3, 4, 6, 8, or 15 consecutive day pass.
- Make your trip to Switzerland as easy as possible with a rail pass that gives you unlimited access to the Swiss train network
- Explore the Glacier Express, Golden Pass Line, Bernina Express, and other panoramic train routes
24 beautiful places to visit in Switzerland
Montreux and Chillon Castle
Montreux is an adorable town on the edge of Lake Geneva. It’s claim to fame is being the hometown to Freddy Mercury where a number of Queen albums were recorded. The town itself has plenty to offer, not least the beautiful view across the lakeside and a museum of Queen memorabilia.
But it’s the activities in the surrounding countryside that really make Montreux a great place to base yourself. There are the age-old wine cellars and hiking trails at UNESCO heritage Lavaux Vineyards, you can go deep in to the Earth at Sel de Bex salt mines and you can take a cog railway up Rochers-de-Naye for panoramic views.
My personal favourite attraction is Chillon Castle, a medieval fortress perched on the edge of the lake. There’s a direct walking path from Montreux to Chillon Castle which takes around 40 minutes and wanders right alongside the lake with sculptures and flower gardens too, or you can hop on the bus which takes around 15 minutes each way.
If you visit Chillon Castle during the day, there’s an audio tour through the castle and its incredibly well-preserved rooms. However, I personally prefer an evening visit to watch the sun as it sets behind the mountains with the castle in full view.
I’d recommend spending at least 3 days in Montreux to get a good overview, plus you can easily visit nearby Lausanne and Vevey for more activities.
Chosen by Kieren of Got My Backpack
Gotthard Panorama Express train from Lucerne to Lugano
A connection from northern Switzerland to southern Lugano and Italy was long a European desire back in 1882. Can you imagine the costs and work it would take to dig a tunnel under the mighty Alps and link the heart of Switzerland with the south?
You can experience this impressive feat of engineering, while enjoying the lovely route from Lucerne, by steamboat to Flüelen, where you’ll board the glass-domed Gotthard Panorama Express train.
Seated in luxurious leather chairs, you have nearly 180-degrees views of the lakes and mountains of Switzerland. You’ll enter the Gotthard tunnel and after a few minutes of darkness, you’ll emerge on the other side and stop at Unesco World Heritage-listed Bellinzona or disembark at Lugano.
The diversity makes the whole journey a bucket list experience. During the journey from Lucerne, you’ll learn all kinds of historic facts about Wilhelm Tell, the nation of Switzerland and the Gotthard Tunnel.
Once on the train, you’ll glide through the landscape, cross tunnels and see the picturesque village of Wassen from all different angles. Once you emerge from the Gotthard tunnel, you’ll find yourself almost in a different country as the Lugano area is quite different from the north.
This journey on the Gotthard Panorama Express and boat will take more or less the whole day. Operated from April until October, you’ll roughly start around 11am and arrive in Lugano at 5pm. Of course, you can do part of the route and also vice versa.
Tickets for the train and boat must be reserved ahead of time. Especially in the high season, this is a very popular route and the boat has a first come first serve policy. You can find more information about my journey on the Gotthard Panorama Express train here.
Chosen by Naomi of Probe Around the Globe
The Swiss Alps is on most people’s bucket lists! One of the most incredible places to visit in the Swiss Alps is Jungfraujoch or, the top of Europe. The train station at Jungfraujoch is the highest train station in Europe.
You can visit all year round but most of the outdoor activities on the mountain stop early November. So, if you prefer winter destinations in Europe, and you would like to do more than just walk on the snow and explore the visitors centre you will want to visit Jungfraujoch the beginning of winter.
One of the best ways to visit Jungfraujoch is from Interlaken. Trains depart from Interlaken West and East regularly and make a few stops along the way including Grindlewald and Lauterbrunnen, make sure you get off at these stops to explore!! You will stop at one station on the way and the other on the way back depending on the train you take.
Return tickets to Jungraufoch via Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen are $120 USD per person. If you are travelling as group you are able to get reduced tickets. Also, keep in mind, if you are travelling on the Eurail Pass or the Interrail pass you will receive a significant discount on your ticket as well.
The only other cost you will have is food and drinks – if you are travelling on a budget, I suggest you take your own and have a picnic as you look out at the view.
When you first walk out of the discovery centre into the mountains be prepared to have your breathe taken away, the views are unbelievable. Make sure you visit the Ice Palace, the observation deck, the snow fun park and the Lindt café.
Chosen by Travelling Thirties Travel Blog
Skydiving in Interlaken
What could be better than witnessing Switzerland’s stunning Alps from above? For the ultimate Switzerland Bucket List experience, why not try tandem helicopter skydiving in Interlaken?
Fully qualified and experienced instructors will run you through a safety briefing before you board a helicopter for a scenic flight over the magnificent Alps of the Jungfrau region in the Bernese Oberland. Huge windows mean you’ll enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view as you rise to 4,000 metres.
Then, it’s time for the doors to open and you and your instructor – who is strapped to you – to jump from the helicopter. You’ll free-fall for about 45 seconds before the parachute opens and you float to the ground, taking in the amazing vistas of Interlaken and its neighbouring lakes as you do.
Combining three amazing activities in one – visiting the Swiss Alps, a helicopter flight and skydiving – it’s bound to be an experience you’ll never forget.
The whole experience – including pick up from your accommodation in Interlaken – takes around three hours. You’ll probably need to allow a few hours more for your heart rate to return to normal, though!
Costs start from CHF 450 per person which may seem a lot but this is one activity on your trip to Switzerland that is guaranteed to create lasting memories.
Chosen by Carolyn of Holidays to Switzerland
The Glacier Express
Connecting between the alpine resort town of Zermatt, and the glitzy ski resort of St Moritz, the Glacier Express is an essential bucket list experience for every train lover.
Dubbed ‘The Slowest Fast Train in the World’ due to the fact that it is a high-speed train traversing some of the most treacherous terrain in Europe, the Glacier Express route takes almost 8-hours to travel the 291km between the 2 points with only one quick stop around the midway point at Chur.
There are also many attractions along the way including the UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Landwasser Viaduct, and other highlights include the source of the River Rhine at the Rhine Gorge and the highest peak of the journey at the Oberalp Pass.
The Glacier Express is also included on various rail passes such as the Interail/Eurail Pass, and while they do serve food and drinks on board the train, it is also okay to bring your own drinks, snacks and lunch.
It is a good half-day of travel so it is also recommended to stay overnight at one of the connecting destinations, and Zermatt, found beneath the backdrop of the Matterhorn, is the popular choice for accommodation.
Chosen by Allan of It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor
Zermatt sits high in the Swiss Alps and in the shadow of the Matterhorn, one of the tallest peaks within the Alps. It’s also famous for being the inspiration for the shape of Toblerone chocolate. A mountain stream runs through the middle of the village and it has stunning views of the mountains that surround it.
During the winter months, Zermatt is a famous ski resort with access to some of the purest slopes in the Alps. Ski season carries on through spring, though it is quieter for non-skiing visitors. And in summer it’s a famous mountaineering location with many hiking opportunities and beautiful scenery.
It’s a quaint town and densely packed around the train station, one of the only ways to reach the town as there is no parking. Small golf buggy style taxis are available to help cart you and your belongings to any of the stunning hotels in the town.
A trip to Zermatt could last anywhere from a day to a week, depending on what types of activities take your fancy. The must-visit sites include:
- Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, including several gondolas to ascend the mountains
- 5 Lakes Walk, a 10 km hike with incredible views
- Skiing & Snowboarding, with some beautiful slopes
- Wandering the village and taking in the views
- Matterhorn Museums
- Gornergratbahn Railway
Chosen by Jamie of Travel Addict
If you’re looking for fun and unique experiences in Switzerland, you need to add the Gelmerbahn funicular and Gelmersee lake to your itinerary.
The Gelmerbahn funicular is located in the Swiss Alps and is one of the steepest funiculars in the world. The gradient at some points is at 106%!!! It’s often referred to as a mountain railway, as it literally goes up the side of a (very steep!) mountain.
Originally built to take workers up the mountain, you can ride the funicular up to visit the breathtaking Gelmersee lake. The colour of the water is as turquoise as it looks and it’s a beautiful place for a picnic or a hike.
If you ride the funicular up, you could spend the rest of the day hiking back down the mountain or walk around the lake. There are several route options and the paths are fairly well marked.
NOTE: There are no facilities, toilets or cafes up at Gelmersee Lake, so remember to take food and water with you.
Alternatively, take the funicular back down again. A one-way ride takes about 20 minutes and you need to buy tickets at the bottom to get back down again, so be sure to plan in advance and work out how much time you need.
Chosen by Kat of Wandering Bird
Lugano is one of those small towns nobody adds to their travel bucket lists but can’t forget once they get to visit them. Located by the shores of the homonymous lake, Lugano is at two hours’ train ride from Milan, Italy. The Milan-Lugano route counts more than 20 trains per day, with tickets starting from $15.
One day in Lugano is enough to cover some of the best sightseeing objectives such as The Old Town, San Lorenzo Cathedral, and the church of Santa Maria Degli Angeli with its the Last Supper fresco, one of the most outstanding artworks by Bernardo Luini, the Italian artists who brought the Renaissance current in Switzerland.
Should you choose to spend one week in Lugano, book a nice accommodation in the Old Town area and take day trips to the three mountains in the area, Monte Bre, Monte San Salvatore, and Monte Generoso. You can also take a day trip from Lugano to Lake Como in Italy.
There are direct trains from Lugano to Como, but the Swiss Pass is valid only until the border with Italy, so you’ll have to pay a few dollars more for your journey. Make sure you research hotel prices in Lugano before your travel, as Switzerland is an expensive country.
Chosen by Violeta of Violeta Matei
Interlaken is a small town in central Switzerland located right between two beautiful lakes: Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. It is only about a 50-minute train ride away from Bern or about a two-hour train ride away from Basel or Zurich.
You can travel on a budget by spending your time going on hikes or hanging out by the lakes. But you can definitely also spend a lot more money as Interlaken is known for offering a lot of outdoor activities such as skydiving, paragliding or kayaking in the summer. During the winter months you can enjoy outdoor activities such as snowboarding or skiing.
When visiting Interlaken, one place that you have to visit is Harder Kulm. From this viewing platform about 1322 metres above sea level you can get the most amazing views of the two lakes and the mountains. To get to the viewing platform you can take a funicular, which is called the Harderbahn, for a 10-minute ride.
Depending on the time of the year a one-way ticket will cost you between 13 CHF and 20 CHF. But if you want to save some money and have some more time, you can also hike all the way up which takes around 2.5 hours. Both the funicular and the beginning of the hiking trail are located near the Interlaken Ost (East) train station.
I would recommend spending around 2-3 days in Interlaken. The city itself is pretty small but there are a lot of great outdoor activities that you can do in the area. So it also really depends on what you want to do while you are there.
Chosen by Becky of Becksplore-travel
If you’re looking to visit the perfect village in Switzerland, you absolutely need to go to Lauterbrunnen, a small village near Interlaken. When you arrive, it feels like you’re stepping into a fairytale. Lauterbrunnen is located in a lush green valley and is surrounded by steep granite cliffs. And you will definitely see some waterfalls thundering down those cliffs, there are 72 of them!
Make sure to explore the town on foot, since there are many typical Swiss houses to be seen. Also, don’t forget to take the famous Staubbach Waterfalls. Lauterbrunnen is a great place to use as a base and explore more beautiful towns in the Swiss Jungfrau Region, like Wengen and Mürren. You can reach them easily by cable car.
Also, don’t forget to put on your hiking shoes because there are so many great trails! If you don’t like to climb, just follow the paved pathway along the Weisse Lütschine River until you reach Stechelberg. If you’re in for a challenge, I would highly recommend hiking up to either Grütschalp or Mürren. From up there, you’ll have a fantastic view of Lauterbrunnen, the valley, and the enormous snowcapped mountains of the Jungfrau Region.
Chosen by Jacoba of Op reis met Co
Hiking the Maderanertal Valley
If you are visiting Switzerland with children and you would like a family-friendly multi-day hike, there is a brilliant route in southern Switzerland in the Maderanertal Valley.
Suitable for children as young as five, this hike takes in lakes, rivers and incredible mountain views. The hike can be done over two or three days. The trail starts at the Bristen cable car which is located around 20km south of Lake Lucerne.
The cable car takes visitors to the village of Golzern and the beautiful lake of the same name. This is a popular day-trip destination for families and it’s perfect for swimming. There are a couple of guesthouses in the village which are ideal for an overnight stay.
From the lake, the trail takes you downhill through the forest past waterfalls and rivers. There is a further overnight stop at a brilliant hotel that has epic views over the Maderanertal Valley. The final day is a gentle walk along the river with an excellent café towards the end of the hike which is perfect for lunch.
Hiking with kids in Switzerland does not have to be arduous – most of this hike is downhill and the distances are not huge but you are rewarded with incredible mountain views. Highlights for children include lake swimming and foraging for berries in the woodlands.
Chosen by Annabel of Smudged Postcard
Leukerbad is one of the prettiest little Swiss towns, home to the cable car up to the Gemmi Pass and to the amazing Leukerbad Therme which is Europe’s largest Alpine thermal spa. These swimming baths are set in the most majestic location, surrounded by snow-topped mountains.
This is somewhere to come and really relax in, stay for a couple of hours as a minimum but enjoy the area for the day if you have the time. If you’re looking for great Switzerland family holidays then you can stay here too and really revel in the beautiful waters.
There are ten pools in total and the water flows in from 65 different springs. There’s also a variety of temperatures with pools ranging from 28 through to 51° C. This is somewhere you can visit all year round, no matter what the temperature of the air as the waters in the pools remain constant so you can sink back and really relax, with one of the most unique and breathtaking vistas imaginable around you.
There are loungers around the water as well so don’t forget to bring your book if you do intend to make a day of it. With restaurants, massages and spa treatments on offer, this is a little slice of Switzerland you will fall in love with.
Chosen by Nichola of Globalmouse travels
With over 80,000 inhabitants, St. Gallen is the name-gibing city for the Swiss canton and the cultural and economic center of Eastern Switzerland.
The city is 700 meters high and beautifully situated on the river Steinach, right at the foot of imposing mountain peaks.
Particularly worth seeing in St. Gallen are the large cathedral, the prince abbey and the abbey library, the oldest library in Switzerland. With more than 170,000 books from different centuries, this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city center of St. Gallen can be easily explored on foot.
Beautifully situated above the city you get to the Drei Weieren, a local recreation area on the slopes of the Freudenberg. In summer, the Weier is used as a free public outdoor pool, in winter, when the conditions are favorable, for ice skating. From up here you have a great view of the city.
From St. Gallen you can take great day trips to Lake Constance and the easily accessible cities of Konstanz (Germany) and Bregenz (Austria). Nearby is the Säntis, at 2501 meters, wonderfully suitable for hiking tours with a magnificent view of the entire Lake Constance region.
St. Gallen and the surrounding area are also very popular with winter sports tourists, many ski areas and downhill hills are within easy driving distance.
Chosen by Phil from JOURNICATION Travel Blog
Geneva is located at Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) in the westernmost tip of Switzerland and right at the border to France. As the home of many international organizations such as the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Geneva played a large role in forging the world as we know it. Therefore, a tour of at least one of the institutions is a must for everyone that visits Switzerland and that is interested in history and politics.
In addition to that, Geneva has incredibly picturesque surroundings. The lake and the French and Swiss Alps as a backdrop create a stunning scenery that only highlights the charming Old Town of Geneva. Enjoy it while eating a cheese fondue at Buvette des Bains on the lake or climb the tower of Cathedrale St Pierre for a stunning view over the city and the famous Jet d’Eau fountain.
If you want to visit at least one institution or museum, you should spend two days in Geneva, which makes the city a great weekend getaway in Europe. With an approximate daily budget of between 100 and 150 CHF, it might not be the cheapest place to visit in Switzerland, but you should not skip it.
Recommended by Steph from A Nomad’s Passport
Hiking in Swiss National Park
Swiss National Park is the oldest park in the Alps and has 100 km of hiking trails through the rugged and stunning landscape. The park is located in the Engadin region, an alpine valley in the eastern part of Switzerland. Since it’s a national park, it is carefully protected so that the wildlife can flourish. This combined with its off-the-beaten-path location, make for an untapped nature experience.
One of the best hikes is a two-day excursion along a panoramic trail that leads you through alpine valleys, over a ridge with incredible views and to a cosy mountain hut where you can stay overnight. The Nationalpark-Panoramaweg hike starts at the Vallun Chafuol bus station and ends in the village of Zernez. The total distance is 15km with a 1300m ascent.
From Vallun Chafuol, you take a trail down to the Spol-Bach stream before you start your ascent up to Fuorcla Murter, a ridge at 2,525m. At the top you will see stunning views of both valleys. From there you descend through the gorgeous Cluozza-Tals valley to Chamanna Cluozza, a log cabin built in 1910 offering basic accommodation and homestyle cooking.
Staying at the authentic Swiss mountain hut is a bucket list experience in itself. After a long day of hiking, it feels great taking off your hiking boots, playing a game of cards and eating a hearty meal right in the heart of the park. It’s free to hike in the park but costs 66 CHF per person for a half-board stay at the lodge. It’s an extra 8 CHF to rent sleeping bags.
Chosen by Cecily of Groovy Mashed Potatoes
The Emmentaler Schaukäserei is a must on your Switzerland bucket list and should be on any itinerary for 4 Days in Switzerland. For anyone interested in the cheese-making process, in tasting the world-famous cheese or in the history of an area this is a not to be missed activity.
The Emmentaler Schaukäserei is in Affoltern im Emmental, a town in the Emmental valley, in the south of Switzerland. Not that far from the French border. Surrounded by rolling green hills are a museum and several farmhouses. They showcase the current cheese-making process and how the process has changed through the years.
You can take a guided tour and watch several demonstrations. There’s a restaurant on site where you can sample the Emmentaler cheese. There’s also an audiovisual tour “King’s Way” which is part of the guided tour.
Take out approximately the whole afternoon, since it’s wise to make a reservation for the tours or possibly wait some time. The demonstrations about the old farmhouses are separate from the tour and also take up some time. Besides that, you don’t want to rush sampling the cheese. If you’re with kids, definitely take the whole afternoon, since there’s a petting zoo and an excellent playground on the farm.
Entrance is CHF 15.00 for adults and CHF 8.00 for 12-17 years old. Tours are CHF 8.00 for adults and CHF 5.00 for 12 till 17. Below 12 get in for free.
Chosen by Cosette, from KarsTravels
If any city needs to make it on your Switzerland bucket list it’s the historical city of Basel. The city is only one hour by train from Zurich and 90 minutes from Lucerne.
Located at the three corners where France, Switzerland and Germany meet, Basel is filled with amazing architecture, beautiful scenery and an incredible museum network that boasts the highest number of museums in Switzerland.
Beyond the incredible museums, there are tons of fun things to do in Basel! You’ll want to spend at least three days in this amazing city, but more would be even better.
Your days will be filled with walking the Rhine, visiting the Basel Zoo, and climbing the Basel Münster which sits high above the Rhine River. Make sure to seek out the basilisks that hide throughout the city and grab a taste of läckerli, a yummy treat created in Basel over a hundred years ago.
If looking for a unique Swiss adventure, take a dip in the Rhine for a summer swim with the locals or attend Basel’s world-renowned Basel Tattoo featuring military bands from around the world. If visiting in winter, try to arrive during Fasnacht, the largest winter carnival in Switzerland and on UNESCO’s cultural heritage list.
Chosen by Joanne of Sunsets and Roller Coasters
If you are a book lover and visiting Switzerland, add Heidiland to your Swiss bucket list. Heidiland is named after the Heidi books. These books were written by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. The books were originally published as Heidi: Her Years of Wandering and Learning and Heidi: How She Used What She Learned.
In the book Heidi spends three years living with her grandfather in a humble chalet high in the Swiss Alps, that is the Heidiland – a popular tourist attraction, many stop here while travelling from Zurich to Liechtenstein.
Maienfeld is the centre of Heidiland; there is more to explore than Heidi’s chalet. There are the beautiful Alps, stunning countryside, and museums and stories from storybooks to delight you.
You can easily spend half to a full day at Heidiland visiting the Heidi Village (originally a home, and now filled with replicas of Alpöhi, her grandfather, and herself), Heidi Adventure Trail, and a monumental fountain.
The Heidi adventure trail is a great way to explore the hamlet. The trail begins in Heidi village with 12 stations and shows the history of Heidi in a unique, nature-related environment. On the Heidi Alp is the hut in which Heidi lived very happily with her grandfather, the Alpöhi.
To reach Heidiland you can take the train from Zurich to Maienfeld. There’s a bus from the train station to the Restaurant Heidihof (weekends) and from there reach Heidi Village within 10 minutes on foot.
Chosen by Mayuri from ToSomePlaceNew
It is almost impossible to miss out on Mt.Titlis from your Switzerland itinerary. This beautiful mountain on Uri Alps is straddled between the cantons of Bern and Obwalden.
Popularly known for being the world’s first rotating cable car and Europe’s highest suspension bridge, a visit to Mt.Titlis is a must. The mountain can be accessed from Engelberg, a postcard-perfect village resort, which is also worth exploring. At the top of Mt.Titlis, you can explore the Glacier cave, cliff walk and ice chairlift.
For some reason or the other, Switzerland is long associated with Bollywood movies. Mt.Titlis has been the most favourite shooting spot for many Bollywood movies. It is evident from life-size cutouts of actors Kajol and Shahrukh Khan from the famous 1995 movie Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), which is still kept at the entrance of Mt.Titlis. Ever since then, Mt.Titlis has been featured in many Indian movies. For this very reason, Mt.Titlis has been the most visited attraction in Switzerland by Indian nationals.
Bollywood or Hollywood, Mt.Titlis is a great choice if you like mountains. And if you don’t have time to visit Jungfrau or Matterhorn, Mt.Titlis is a perfect budget-friendly alternative.
With only a 3-hour train ride from Zurich, Mt.Titlis is a perfect choice for a day trip, or a weekend break. In summer, one can enjoy hiking the endless alpine passes and lakes. Come winter, you can indulge in skiing, sledging and snowboarding activities.
Chosen by Anuradha from Country Hopping Couple
There are many Switzerland attractions to choose from and one of my favourites is taking a day trip from Lucerne to Mt Pilatus. I recommend visiting this beautiful mountain via the Golden Round trip option.
This trip involves 5 different forms of transportation from Lucerne and back including a boat trip across the lake, a cog railway (one of the steepest in the world) a cable car, a gondola and finally a bus.
Mt Pilatus is definitely one of the must-visit places in Switzerland for many visitors. Legend has it that there is a dragon’s lair on the mountain and that giant’s once roamed the area.
At 2132 meters high the panoramic views from the top are breathtaking. On a clear day, a total of 73 Alpine peaks including Jungfrau and Titlis can be seen. This really is one of my favourite things to see in Switzerland – don’t forget your camera for those beautiful mountain and lake views!
Lucerne is one of the most popular Swiss cities and a must-visit on any Switzerland sightseeing tour. It is definitely one of the top places to visit in Switzerland with over 9 million tourists arriving every year.
If you are wondering when is the best time to visit Switzerland I can say hand on heart that any time of the year is fabulous in Lucerne! Whatever the season it is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. In winter the mountains surrounding the city glisten with snow and the atmosphere is magical. And in summer enjoy a stroll around the city before taking a boat trip across the lake.
Lucerne is an easy day trip from Zurich or perhaps plan a few days in the city and use it as a base to explore some of the beautiful mountains in the area such as Mt Pilatus.
Learn more – Complete guide to visiting Lucerne Switzerland
There are many scenic train routes to take in Switzerland. Of the many to choose from my favourite is taking the Bernina Express from Tirano in Italy to Chur in Switzerland.
The journey passes through some of the most picturesque scenery in Switzerland and takes 4 hours to cover 144 kms. There are 55 tunnels and 196 bridges along the way and the train also crosses the famous Landwasser Viaduct. The viaduct can be seen from the train as you cross so have your camera at the ready for that iconic shot of train and viaduct.
Part of the route taken by the Bernina Express is shared with the equally famous Swiss scenic train the Glacier Express.
Interail, Eurail and the Swiss Travel Pass entitle holders to this train journey though you will have to pay a reservation fee and can only reserve in the class corresponding to your pass.
Not sure when is the best time of year to go to Switzerland to catch one of these iconic train services? To be honest you will have a wonderful time whatever season you choose. Beautiful snow-covered mountains feature in winter whilst spring and summer deliver flower-covered Alpine meadows! A win-win every time!
Sample Swiss cuisine (& the chocolate!)
Sampling Swiss cuisine is one of the absolute must-do experiences when you visit Switzerland. With so many tasty regional dishes to choose from plus an abundance of chocolate shops watching your waistline is really the only issue you may have!
Swiss foods are heavily influenced by German, French and Italian cuisines and are traditionally carb and dairy heavy with lots of potatoes, cream and cheese to tempt your tastebuds!
I recommend trying a fondue, raclette or my personal favourite Zurcher Geschnetzeltes but you as you travel you will discover that the menu choices will reflect the regions of Switzerland you visit.
An abundance of both chocolate and cheese is pretty much guaranteed all over Switzerland. Pop into the Sprungli chocolate shop and buy some of the famous ladybug chocolates during your trip. They symbolise good luck and are a popular gift in Switzerland.
The Rhine Falls
The Rhine Falls are Europe’s most powerful waterfall and a must-see natural attraction for any visitor to Switzerland. They are located at the border between the cantons of Schaffhausen and Zurich near the town of Schaffhausen. The Falls drop 23 meters at the highest point and stretch about 150 meters wide.
From Zurich, you can reach the falls in about 40 minutes by train. From the station, it’s a short walk to the observation decks around the falls. Visitors can book boat rides around the falls and brave the mighty currents of the Rhine.
There are several options that vary by route and duration, but all offer a tremendous view of the powerful waterfall. Without a doubt, the scenic waterfall riverboat experience cannot be missed when visiting Rhine Falls.
The south side of the falls is located near the community of Neuhausen am Rheinfall, home of the Wörth Castle. It’s a fortification that can also be viewed by tourists along with the mill site on the north side of the falls. It contains the remains of a 17th-century blast furnace.
Despite decades of attempts and sustained interest, the citizens of the region have resisted calls to build a hydroelectric power station on the Rhine Falls.
Numerous proposals have been defeated over the years and the natural beauty and power of the waterfall remain unharnessed, only to be enjoyed by tourists and local onlookers.
Chosen by Derek and Mike of Everything Copenhagen
Plan your trip to Swizerland
With all these unique places to visit in Switzerland (as well as some of the top things to do in Switzerland) you will have loads of ideas for your itinerary.
Pop over to my Swiss Travel Guide which contains lots of practical tips, resources and even more travel inspiration to help you plan your visit to this beautiful European destination.
If you enjoy reading my guide to the best books about Switzerland which includes both fiction and nonfiction titles is a great source of inspiration.
If you are visiting Switzerland you may also be interested in some of its neighbouring countries including Germany, France and Italy!
Why not prepare for your visit by watching some of the great travel shows available on Netflix including