We love Switzerland and it does have a lot to offer! Only think about it: 7000 lakes (we are counting even the smallest ones :-), mountain peaks and ranges (Matterhorn, JungFrau, Mönch to name a few), valleys, waterfalls… This country keeps you on your toes and calls to discover its amazing destinations. If you are curious about our personal selection of amazing destinations to travel around in Switzerland, keep on reading!
GENEVA AND ITS JET D’EAU: A CAPITAL OF WATCHES
When you get to Geneva, you won’t miss the famous Jet d’Eau: not only it can be seen while you are still approaching from the plane but from any side of the lake or any rooftop. One of our favourite spots is Parc de l’Observatoire, just outside of the Museum of Arts and History (Musée d’art et d’histoire). Just relax on the bench and enjoy the view of the city.
Geneva is located on the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman), and you can’t but spend a lot of your time strolling, cycling, having a coffee or ice-cream in the very proximity of the lake. Check our selection of 10 best things to do in Geneva.
While in Geneva, the world’s and Switzerland’s capital of watches, you should indulge in one of a lifetime experiences – the art of watchmaking! Not only will you learn about the secrets of the watchmaking but you will make your own watch! Several options are available and you should definitely benefit from one! Check these workshops.
LAVAUX AND MONT-SUR-ROLLE: WHERE THE VINEYARDS MEET THE LAKE
Touring around lake Geneva or « Lac Leman », a small village of Mont-sur-Rolle up the hill with its vineyards, attracts your attention. Every May or June the local cellars (“caves” in French) open their doors to the public for free wine tasting and fantastic scenery.
Just a few km away from Mont-sur-Rolle you can reach the vineyards of Lavaux, a UNESCO heritage, infamous for their well-organized, hundreds years old, hills of grape plants that overlook the lake, creating a panoramic view out of this world! Definitely one of the amazing destinations to travel around in Switzerland. Ideal time to visit is either spring when the green is overwhelming or after harvest in early October. Although not as famous as French wines, yet Swiss wine, especially white, has its lovers for the quality and flavours it embeds, and mainly satisfies the local consumption in Switzerland.
GRUYÈRE: CHEESE WITH A FLAVOUR OF HISTORY
Upward from Vevey, on a small but steep hill sits the medieval village of Gruyères, known for its historic castle and for the name it gives to one of the most famous cheeses in the world. Climbing up the hill is worth to enjoy the wonderful views of the surroundings. Visiting the Castle (“Château” in French) is a great plus, and don’t forget to top your trip with their famous dessert of meringue with crème de Gruyère and seasonal fruits. On the way to the village, you can pass through the Gruyère cheese dairy (“fromagerie”) and satisfy your taste buds with a cheese tasting tour.
SCHILTHORN, MÜRREN AND LAUTERBRUNNEN: A 007 CLASSIC
They say that Agent 007 knows how to choose his girl heroes, but it’s definite that he knows how to choose his film shooting locations – Switzerland! High up & up there in Schilthorn you can recall the famous James Bond classic « On her Majesty’s secret service» of 1969, and its famous action scenes on the slopes. To get there you take the cable car from Lauterbrunnen and you should definitely have a stop at the village of Mürren to enjoy the amazing view of the mountains and the valley and why not have a nice Swiss meal. Not to miss is the “Thrill walk” (cable car stop at Birg between Mürren and Schilthorn), a route hanging from the mountains where you can definitely get an adrenaline boost if you are brave enough!
While in Lauterbrunnen, you should not miss visiting the grotto and taking pictures of the sky high waterfalls all around the mountains.
JUNGFRAUJOCH AND GRINDELWALD: TOP OF EUROPE
One of the best experiences Switzerland offers is its panoramic trains across several valleys and mountains. From the beautiful region of Interlaken you can take the train to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe, being one of the highest locations reached by train in Europe. There you can visit the Glacier and enjoy the snow-covered mountains most of the year. On the way back (or up also) you should pass through Grindelwald. Hiking there in spring time gifts you a thousand colorful images that even the best of cameras can barely capture. On the hiking track there are several cheese making farmers. The Alpine organic cheese of Switzerland (“Alpkäse”) you get there is remarkable and for a fraction of the cost you get in supermarkets!
MATTERHORN ZERMATT: SHAPE DOES MATTER
A ski resort in winter and a hiking destination in summer, Zermatt and its mountain Matterhorn got even more desirable with the famous Swiss “Toblerone” that borrowed the mountain’s look to shape and package its chocolate bars. Across the snow covered hiking tracks you can encounter several small ponds and mini lakes one of which is Stellisee lake where you can even fish! (you should go there with a guide). Taking the helicopter for a short ride over the mountains is an experience that you should definitely go for! Definitely one of the amazing destinations to travel around in Switzerland!
LUCERNE AND ITS CHARM: LOVE OVER THE FAMOUS BRIDGE
On the way to Zurich lies the charming town of Lucerne with its famous wooden bridge decorated by numerous religious themes and paintings. Although unfortunately the bridge caught fire in the 90s of the previous century, the bridge was restored and some painting replicates where made.
The old town is definitely a place to stroll around and you shouldn’t hesitate to walk the old city wall and its towers from which you can have a great view of the town and its lake. Being there you should definitely take the cable car to mountain Pilatus where you can enjoy one of a kind Toboggan in the Swiss mountains with a literarily breathtaking views all around. On the other side, you can also take the panoramic train to mountain Rigi and enjoy the upside trip with windows overlooking the fantastic natural masterpieces!
More ideas on what to do while you are in Lucerne in our separate dedicated post.
ZURICH: IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT MONEY… OR IS IT?
Although better known as the financial capital of Switzerland, you should definitely keep Zurich on your list of amazing destinations in Switzerland. The old town and cathedral have their unique charm, especially location where you can contemplate the view over the lake and the river passing through the city. If you are into luxury shopping, then you should stroll through Bahnhofstrasse – one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues. Window shopping is highly recommended there but you should definitely mind your wallet! Zurich is also known for its zoo up on the other side of the hill, which is worth couple of hours. Need more ideas about what to do in Zurich during a week-end trip? Check out our separate post!
LUGANO: WHERE SWISS EXCELLENCE MEETS ITALIAN CHARM
If you are looking for the best of the two countries: Italy and Switzerland, then there is no better place to visit than Lugano. A trip on the lake passing through the surrounding mountains makes you wonder if you are in heaven or on earth! Add to that food, ice cream, chocolate and a charming Italian spirit refined with Swiss love for excellence. To build up the experience you can go up the Mount Brè and enjoy the stunning view over Lugano mountains and lakes. If you are into shopping you should definitely visit Foxtown mall, 20 min away by car, an outlet center with many luxurious brands but at discounted prices.