One of the richest countries in the world both financially and naturally, Switzerland is a core touristic destination to enjoy the beauty of nature or to indulge in its sweet experiences (who doesn’t love chocolate!). Some of the best places to visit in Switzerland are well known, yet many others are hidden gems for you to explore.
Geneva & its Jet d’Eau: capital of watches and chocolate
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 favorite spots is Parc de l’Observatoire, just outside of the museum of Arts and History. Just relax on the bench and enjoy the view of the city. While in Geneva, the world’s capital of watches, you should indulge in one of a life time 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.
Talking about best experiences, Swiss chocolate making is known for its artistic and refined approach. You can spend few hours learning the skill itself at a workshop and become a chocolate maker at home!
Lavaux & Mont-sur-Rolle: where the wineyards meet the lake
Touring around lake Geneva or « Lac Leman », a smallvillage of Mont-sur-Rolle, up the hill with its wineyards, attracts your attention. Every May or June the caves 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 wineyards 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 best places to visit in Switzerland, and ideal time to visit is 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 flavors it embeds, and mainly satisfies the local consumption.
Gruyère: cheese with a flavor of history
Upward from Vevey, on a small but steep hill sits the medieval village of Gruyère, 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 Château 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 fromagerie and satisfy your taste buds with a cheese tasting tour.
Château-d’Oex: enjoying Switzerland from the top
Half an hour away south from Gruyère lies the village of Château-d’Oex. It is famous for its annual International Hot Air Balloon Festival held in January every year. With little planning you can book yourself a balloon flight over the valley and Alps and enjoy the wonderful nature all around. An experience that’s unmatched and a memory that will stay long with you, definitely one of the best places and experiences in Switzerland! If it sounds a bit too calm, we advise to drive half an hour to the region of Villars-Gryon where we’d recommend a panoramic paragliding flight!
Schilthorn, Mürren & 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. 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. Experiencing all you will find that Interlaken area is one of the best places in Switzerland!
Jungfraujoch & 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 bearly capture. On the hiking track there are several cheese making farmers. The Alpine organic cheese you get there is remarkable and for a fraction of the cost you get in super markets!
Leukerbad: bathing in the nature
A small village up in Valais region but infamous for its thermal baths that are well maintained and serviced! The season really kicks off in December when the bathes are surrounded with a magnificent cover of white snow. Watching the snow covering the steep mountains opposite while you are laying in a bubbly water is an experience unmatched! To make it more exciting dont forget to jump in between the pools and enjoy the temperature difference contrast. In winter also you can enjoy skiing in the surrounding mountains and enjoy an après ski in the village.
Zermatt and its Matterhorn: 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 best places to visit 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!
Zurich: it’s not all about money…or is it?
Better known as the financial capital of Switzerland, you should definitely keep Zurich on your list of best places to visit 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.
Lugano, where Swiss excellence meets Italian charm
If you are looking for the best of the two countries, then there is no better place to visit than Lugano. A trip in the lake passing through the surrounding mountains makes you wonder if you are in heaven or on earth! Add to that the 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.