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The best places to visit in Switzerland
Destinations & Inspiration

The best places to visit in Switzerland

Suzie Dalton
By Suzie Dalton - 11 minute read

As one of the most nat­u­ral­ly pret­ty places you could ever hope to vis­it, Switzer­land is gor­geous all-year round. Many would argue that the best time to vis­it Switzer­land is in the months of Jan­u­ary to March when the ski sea­son is in full flow, while oth­ers would shout about the ben­e­fits of late spring or the sum­mer months when it’s warm enough to shed your ski jack­et! So whether you’re look­ing for adren­a­lin-fuelled sports or a delight­ful­ly lazy hol­i­day, we’ve round­ed up a few sug­ges­tions on the best places to vis­it in Switzerland. 


Best places to go in switzerland geneva

The tube struc­ture of the Hans Wils­dorf Bridge in Geneva.

With cob­bled streets, a delight­ful old town and a beau­ti­ful lake, Gene­va offers some­thing for every­one. And as Gene­va is also home to the Unit­ed Nations’ Palais des Nations, it’s unsur­pris­ing­ly reg­u­lar­ly cit­ed as one of the best things to do in Switzer­land. Whether you’re vis­it­ing for a whistlestop tour, or you can afford a few extra days, try to tick a few of these activ­i­ties off your must do/​see/​taste/​experience’ list…

  • Try wind­surf­ing or pad­dle­board­ing at Trop­i­cal Cor­ner – or sim­ply enjoy a cool­ing drink in the shade!
  • Detour via the Hans Wils­dorf Bridge at night, when it’s illu­mi­nat­ed with ever-chang­ing colours. At 85metres long and with an unusu­al tube struc­ture, it deserves a place on your Insta­gram feed.
  • Grab a cof­fee in Place du Bourg-de-Four, which is Geneva’s old­est square.
  • Climb 157 steps up the North Tow­er in Cathé­drale Saint-Pierre for impres­sive views of the Old Town.
  • Take a guid­ed tour around Palais des Nations.
  • On a hot day, walk the paths by the Jet d’eau to appre­ci­ate the cool­ing mist! The water jet shoots 140m into the air, so it’s an impres­sive sight.
  • If you’re trav­el­ling with kids (or those who are young at heart!) take them to the water­slides at Aqua­parc in Le Bouveret.
  • Take a swim in the lake – Per­le du Lac offers access to a stony beach.
  • Dip over the bor­der into France to take the cable car from Veyri­er up to the Salève – oth­er­wise known as Geneva’s local mountain’!
  • Play chess on one of the giant chess­boards in Parc des Bas­tions, or admire the pret­ty dis­plays in Le Jardin Anglais. 


Best places to go in switzerland lucerne

Lucerne is reg­u­lar­ly tout­ed as being one of the pret­ti­est places to vis­it in Switzerland.

Perched on the edge of Lake Lucerne, and with snow-capped moun­tains form­ing the most dra­mat­ic back­drop, the insane­ly gor­geous medieval city of Lucerne is undoubt­ed­ly one of the best places to vis­it in Switzer­land. If you’re stay­ing in Zurich, then we’d go as far as say­ing that a day trip here is one of the best things to do in Switzer­land (as it’s less than an hour’s dri­ve away) – though you’d be depriv­ing your­self of a tru­ly mag­i­cal expe­ri­ence if you don’t stay for longer to make the most of the area’s charms. 

Described as a city of town squares and church­es’ Lucerne is the ide­al loca­tion for a peace­ful retreat. His­to­ry buffs will adore this com­pact city, as there’s a lot packed into a rel­a­tive­ly dinky space – look for exam­ple to Chapel Bridge, which is rumoured to be Europe’s old­est cov­ered wood­en bridge – while the car-free Old Town is burst­ing with pret­ti­ly-paint­ed build­ings. Make sure you also vis­it the Lion Mon­u­ment, while the 20,000-year-old pot­holes at the Glac­i­er Gar­dens are surreal! 

While you’re in the area, head up Mount Pila­tus – a com­bi­na­tion of the world’s steep­est cog­wheel train, an aer­i­al cable­way and a gon­do­la will whizz you up and down the moun­tain, and offer the most spec­tac­u­lar views over the lake, plus fur­ther afield to the Alps. 


Best places to go in switzerland interlaken

Inter­lak­en is a great base for some of the top things to do in Switzerland.

Like so much of Switzer­land, Inter­lak­en has a num­ber of reas­sur­ing­ly famil­iar fea­tures, which is why it’s such a pop­u­lar hol­i­day resort. Access to two stun­ning lakes, beau­ti­ful scenery and great tourist attrac­tions are in abun­dance. But it’s the fact that it’s a year-round des­ti­na­tion that makes this one of the best places to vis­it in Switzerland. 

  • If you’re vis­it­ing in the win­ter: You’ll have the option of hop­ping on the bus or train to go ski­ing in the near­by resorts of Grindel­wald, Wen­gen, and Mür­ren. The aver­age length of the trails ranges from 6km to a mas­sive 12km, so you’ll nev­er have to ski or board the same piste twice. If you’re not a ski­er, then head to the Funky Choco­late Club where you can make your own Swiss Chocolate!
  • If you’re vis­it­ing in the spring: Love a train jour­ney? Love the moun­tains? Then Jungfrau­joch — the high­est train sta­tion in Europe — is your dream des­ti­na­tion. Sit­ting at 3,454 metres above sea lev­el, it’s also known as the Top of Europe’, so it’s a great one to add to your buck­et list! Take a coach to Grindel­wald, then a cable car will take you to the Eiger Glac­i­er, before the icon­ic train trun­dles to the top.
  • If you’re vis­it­ing in the sum­mer: Make the most of Interlaken’s envi­able posi­tion between the two lakes (Thun and Brienz) for canoe­ing, water ski­ing, wind­surf­ing, pad­dle-board­ing and a host of oth­er water-based activ­i­ties. If you fan­cy a more sedate pace of life, hire a ped­a­lo, take a splash in one of 22 open-air swim­ming pools, or head to one of the lidos for a spot of sunbathing!
  • If you’re vis­it­ing in the autumn: Pull on your com­fi­est walk­ing shoes and explore the amaz­ing nat­ur­al won­ders. Explore the cham­bers and caves at St. Bea­t­us Cave and Water­falls, cross the 330me­tre-long Panoram­abrücke Sigriswil sus­pen­sion bridge, explore Giess­bach Falls or hike the Schynige Plat­te Trails. PlanetWare’s round-up of the top things to do in Inter­lak­en is frankly brilliant.


Best places to go in switzerland lugano

Ital­ian vibes aplen­ty in Lugano!

Anoth­er beau­ti­ful Swiss lake – but this one is a bit dif­fer­ent. As while Lake Lugano is every bit as pret­ty as Lake Gene­va, its loca­tion on the Swiss-Ital­ian bor­der means that the area has a dis­tinct­ly Ital­ian vibe. From the archi­tec­ture and the excep­tion­al food on offer to the fact that the locals speak Ital­ian, you could be mis­tak­en for think­ing that you have indeed dipped over the border! 

We’d argue that there’s no best time to vis­it Switzer­land, but this area real­ly comes into its own in the sum­mer months, when you can make the most of splash­ing in the lake, or tak­ing a pad­dle steam­er across the water. Plus, the cof­fee cul­ture in Lugano’s nar­row streets and hid­den squares is real­ly quite excep­tion­al on a warm day. 

If you fan­cy some respite from the city, you’ll find that hik­ing is huge­ly pop­u­lar in the area. Hap­pi­ly, there’s a well-placed funic­u­lar which will take you from to Monte San Sal­va­tore in just 12 min­utes. If you’re not in the mood for a brac­ing hike, then con­sid­er hav­ing lunch at the moun­tain restau­rant which offers the most incred­i­ble views over the Alps, plus the lake and city below. And because the area is blessed with an abun­dance of out­door pur­suits, you could con­sid­er head­ing east where hikes up and around Switzerland’s sun­ni­est moun­tain (Monte Brè) offer an alter­na­tive per­spec­tive. Ter­raced with olive trees, there are hikes for all abil­i­ties – and once again, a help­ful funic­u­lar is on hand to get you to the top! 


Best places to go in switzerland zurich

Zürich is ide­al for a week­end get-away, or a lengthy break.

Perched on the edge of Lake Zürich, this beau­ti­ful city is home to some of our favourite things to do in Switzer­land. In no par­tic­u­lar order, we’d sug­gest select­ing a hand­ful of these activities: 

  • Go to Zürich Zoo. With habi­tats that are spa­cious and authen­tic, this is a great way to see ani­mals in the most impres­sive settings.
  • Go bar-hop­ping in Dis­trict 5! The Viadukt is a repur­posed rail­way viaduct that is now packed-to-the-rafters with cool bars, restau­rants and shops.
  • Take a stroll on the east shore of the lake. The prom­e­nade is love­ly at every time of the year.
  • Immerse your­self in the beau­ti­ful game with a trip to the FIFA World Foot­ball Museum.
  • Explore both sides of the Old Town. Divid­ed by the Riv­er Lim­mat, there’s a lot to see – a walk­ing tour might be the best way to find the hid­den gems. 
  • Hop on the train to Uetil­berg for scenic views over the city and lake. Sum­mer day-trip­pers can make the most of the hik­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, while win­ter vis­i­tors can go sledding!


Best places to go in switzerland montreux

The 13km Chemin Fleuri (Flower Path) will take you past Chillon Castle.

Anoth­er entry for Lake Gene­va – but this time it’s for a small town called Mon­treux that has earned a rep­u­ta­tion for being a great hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion. Much-loved for its mild cli­mate, this pret­ty town is par­tial­ly famous because Fred­die Mer­cury lived here. Fans of the Queen singer will be delight­ed to know that they can vis­it his icon­ic bronze statute on the shores of the lake, plus the Queen Stu­dio Experience. 

Con­tin­u­ing with the music theme, Mon­treux hosts a well-respect­ed jazz fes­ti­val every sum­mer, while Chillon Cas­tle offers a lit­tle dose of his­to­ry. The Cas­tle is also a focal point for Mon­treux Noël, which is a delight­ful Christ­mas mar­ket that boasts 150 dec­o­rat­ed chalet stalls. 

And while Christ­mas and the warmer sum­mer months are a fun time to vis­it Mon­truex, some would argue that the best time to vis­it Switzer­land is dur­ing spring or autumn, when you can make the most of the walk­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. Hik­ing in Switzer­land con­jures up images of steep hikes in the Alps or the Jura, but we’d argue that the Chemin Fleuri (Flower Path) takes some beat­ing. This lake­side prom­e­nade runs the entire length of Mon­treux, begin­ning in the town of Vevey and fin­ish­ing at Vil­leneuve. At 13km in length, it’s a feast for the eyes (and a work­out for your legs!) 


Best places to go in switzerland bern

Zyt­glogge is a stun­ning medieval tow­er in Bern.

One of the best places to vis­it in Switzer­land sim­ply has to be Bern. Bern’s a UNSECO World Her­itage Site, which is rea­son enough to vis­it Switzerland’s cap­i­tal city. But did you also know that Bern is home to some of the best fon­due in the coun­try?! The locals take this cheesy del­i­ca­cy seri­ous­ly, declar­ing win­ter to be fon­due sea­son’. Bring­ing the moun­tain vibe to the city, many restau­rants have gone the whole hog with rooftop igloos and seat­ing booths in gon­do­las. If you fan­cy imi­tat­ing après ski while on a city break, then this round-up of the best fon­due in Bern is a great start­ing point. 

If you’re not a huge fan of cheese, then don’t wor­ry as the food scene in Bern is pret­ty spe­cial, par­tic­u­lar­ly as choco­late his­to­ry was made here when a cer­tain Rudolf Lindt estab­lished his first fac­to­ry. Toblerone was also devised in Bern, so choc­a­holics will find plen­ty to love here. We’d sug­gest opt­ing for a choco­late tour if you’re inter­est­ed in Bern’s epic his­to­ry, or if you’re keen to just eat lots of it, then take a look at this bril­liant round-up of sweet temp­ta­tions in Bern, with advice on where to find the best choco­late cake, the most delec­table hot choco­late, and even where to try a choco­late foun­tain for breakfast! 

Oth­er top things to do in Bern include:

  • Explor­ing the Old Town’s 6km of arcades that house every­thing from bou­tiques to bijou cafes.
  • Hunt­ing out the 11 Renais­sance foun­tains in the Old Town.
  • Watch­ing the Zyt­glogge (huge clock) when it comes to life on the hour, every hour.
  • Going to the Bären­Park (the Bear Park) where you can see Bern’s much-loved brown bears Björk, Finn and Ursi­na. They hiber­nate dur­ing the win­ter, so this is one for the warmer months.
  • Explor­ing Klee’s art in the futur­is­tic Zen­trum Paul Klee building.
  • Edu­cat­ing your­self with a trip to the Muse­um of Fine Arts, or Bern His­tor­i­cal Museum.

There are so many oth­er des­ti­na­tions that deserve to be includ­ed in our round-up of the best places to vis­it in Switzer­land. Hope­ful­ly this arti­cle has inspired you with plen­ty of ideas on the top things to do in Switzer­land, or even the best time to vis­it Switzer­land – but do feel free to get in touch if you’d like us to add in your per­son­al favourites. Don’t for­get, shar­ing is caring!