Europe & Britain | Destination Guides

These are the most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland

Girl jumping into the water from a pontoon

These are the most irresistible places to visit in Switzerland, rated by Trafalgar’s travel experts. In winter you can hit the slopes and marvel at snow-covered mountains. Summer promises jazz festivals, scenic train trips and cooling dips in turquoise lakes. 

Best places to visit in Switzerland:

Interlaken

Overview of interlaken

Located between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in the heart of the Bernese Alps, Interlaken is one of the most impressive places to visit in Switzerland. It offers visitors captivating views, traditional Swiss chalets and a picture-perfect setting. And when it comes to unforgettable things to do in Switzerland, Interlaken delivers in spades. 

  1. Enjoy a boat cruise on the emerald waters of Lake Thun, soaking up the scenery with a coffee in hand. If that’s too sedate, consider a kayaking excursion on Lake Brienz, or create some waves on a Jetboat ride to the Giessbach Falls.  
  2. Get your adrenaline pumping on a Swiss sled run, zipping through forests and across meadows as you race down the mountain on a fantastic night sled adventure. 
  3. Strap on some snowshoes or jump into a funicular. Whatever vehicle you choose, the views around Interlaken are spectacular.     
  4. Summer adventurers can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime canyoning adventure in nearby Grimsel. While, a trip to Jungfraujoch (The Top of Europe) and the Aletsch Glacier is an absolute must year-round. 

Zermatt

Man Standing on a summit in Zermatt

Sitting in the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn, Zermatt’s unbeatable location, cobbled streets, winding alleyways and snow-topped chalets make it one of the most beautiful (and yes, exclusive) villages in Switzerland.  Zermatt is a car-free zone, so that makes exploring its nooks and crannies an absolute pleasure. And, with an extended snow season, there is also plenty to do. 

  1. Hit the slopes! The area is world-renowned for skiing and snowboarding. Summer visitors can also enjoy a wide range of hiking and mountain bike trails.    
  2. A culinary hotspot, this city is famous for its oysters (flown in fresh from France), traditional Swiss fare, Swiss cheeses and chocolatiers.  So, find a café, bakery or chalet-style restaurant and enjoy lunch with a view.  
  3. Marvel at the Matterhorn. Switzerland’s most-famous peak and surrounding mountain range will dominate your time in Zermatt. Consider a trip up Klein Matterhorn, ascending over snow-capped mountains to Europe’s highest cable car station. Or, opt for a ride on the Gornergrat train, the world’s first fully-electric cog railway, up to the observation platform at Gornergrat, 3,000 metres above sea level. 
  4. One of the most delightful things to do in Switzerland in the summer is to catch Zermatt’s daily goat parade.  From the beginning of July until around the middle of August, young children drive a herd of shaggy, beloved Valais Blackneck goats (also called glacier goats) through the centre of the village every morning and evening. A tradition loved by young and old alike! 

RELATED CONTENT: 8 Swiss foods you have to try on your next trip

Basel

Rhine River, Basel

The city’s Aldstadt, eclectic mix of architecture and stunning position on the Rhine River make it one of the best places to visit in Switzerland.  

  1. Visit three countries in one day. This city lies at the meeting point of France, Germany and Switzerland, and a visit to Dreiländereck (Three Countries Corner) gives tourists a unique opportunity to stand under the three different flags at the token meeting point (the actual border lies under the Rhine River). 
  2. Cruise along Europe’s longest river. No visit here is complete without a boat trip on the Rhine. So, opt for a sundowner cruise or a romantic dinner cruise – you won’t be disappointed.  
  3. Check out the Christmas Market in December. Sip on mulled wine and nibble on traditional Zimtsternen (cinnamon star cookies). Then, shop for beautiful Christmas decorations and stocking fillers.

Gruyères

view of gruyere

Although most well-known for its famous cheese, 800-year-old Gruyères is definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland. Its pretty flower-lined streets, cobbled square, rustic chalets and spectacular castle transport visitors back to medieval times. And high on any “What to do in Switzerland” list is a visit to a local cheese factory – Gruyères does not disappoint. Cheese lovers can learn about Swiss cheese production and watch true artisans at work, before relaxing in the village around an indulgent fondue. And for non-cheese lovers? 

  1. Wander around Gruyères Castle, admiring its ancient turrets and walls before exploring its medieval treasures.  
  2. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to the Cailler chocolate factory, one of Switzerland’s most celebrated chocolatiers. Or, discover a secret speciality – delectably light meringues. Best enjoyed with a cup of coffee and a side order of double cream.    
  3. Head to the nearby village of Moléson, where a scenic funicular and a cable car trip delivers you to the summit of Le Moléson – and stunning views of the town in the distance.

GET INSPIRED: CONTRASTS OF SWITZERLAND

Zurich

Evening view in Zurich

Although Bern, Lausanne and Geneva are all worthy of a place on this list, Zurich is a spectacular springboard and one of the best places to visit in Switzerland. Its pastel-coloured buildings, narrow streets and charming shop fronts delight visitors. But, don’t resist a dip in the inviting waters of Lake Zurich.

  1. Go hiking or biking on the slopes of Uetliberg and admire the sweeping views of the city below. 
  2. Soak up some art, history and culture by visiting the cities many galleries and museums. 
  3. Wander through the old town, enjoying the cobbled streets, small cafes and peaceful atmosphere of yesteryear.   

Where are your favourite places to visit in Switzerland? Are you fond of mountains or lakes, cities or outdoors activities? We’d love to hear more, so share your views in the comments below.

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