Places to Visit in Switzerland

With ravishing scenery and places out of a fairytale, hardly any other country compares to Switzerland's beauty. The country is among the best places to live in the world and caters to a variety of points of interest: sightseeing, adventure sports, historical landmarks, festivals and amazing food. Confused about where to start? Read on to know some of the best places to visit in Switzerland.

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    List of Places to Visit in Switzerland

    This stunning country has a plethora of cities, towns and quaint villages full of natural and historical attractions, thus it won’t be easy to plan your activities. To help you choose, here’s a list of places to visit in Switzerland to cover most of its heritage and beauty:

    • Zurich
    • Geneva
    • Lucerne
    • Chur
    • Winterthur
    • Basel
    • Bern

    Since Switzerland is a part of the Schengen Region, don’t forget to read up on various travel requirements, including how to apply for a Switzerland visa and other important requirements such as Schengen travel insurance.

    Zurich

    The financial capital of the country is a favourite among luxury shoppers and food lovers. The city has more than 50 museums and art galleries including Switzerland's most popular Swiss National Museum. For a unique boutique experience and some high-end shopping, head towards the Bahnhofstrasse.

    There's plenty of outdoor experience especially during summers; you can visit Lake Zurich and rent a canoe or go on a sunset cruise. From April to October, you can opt for the Limmat Cruise where boats depart every 30 mins to give you a beautiful view of Zurich's old town and sights including Fraumunster and Grossmunster.

    Don't forget to visit the Museum of Art, boasting pieces from the 1200s and other works of art from Swiss as well as international artists. The Old Town, Altstadt is the city's historic centre and is also the actual centre of its people's shopping, nightlife, and cultural activities. Other must-visit places include Grossmünster, the Zurich Zoo, Niederdorf and Uetliberg.

    Geneva

    A city well-known for having the headquarters of the United Nations, Geneva is a multicultural city offering some very unique attractions. A melting pot of cultures, Geneva is among the best places to visit in Switzerland. If you love science, don't forget to visit the CERN, Geneva's observatory, the Patek Philippe Museum, famous for manufacturing luxury watches.

    Don't forget to visit the Red Crescent Museum, and to visit the Old Town famous for their cobblestone streets lined with charming cafes and stunning boutique shops.

    Geneva also boasts the largest freshwater lake in Europe, Lake Geneva, with crystal clear waters and a spectacular view of the surroundings on a boat connecting Montreux, Lausanne and other lakeside towns.

    You can also travel through the city on the Mouettes Genevoises, motorised shuttles that have been in place since 1897. Make sure to visit the Temple de Saint-Pierre, a Romanesque church dating back to 1150 famous for its Gothic elements. Geneva's oldest square in the city, the Place du Bourg-de-Four is among the must-see places to visit in Switzerland because of its charming setting and historical importance.

    It still has an 18th-century water fountain, The Palais de Justice from the 1700s and a statue of Clementine by Schwarz. Try taking a day drop to Evian-Les-Bains, popular for its Art Nouveau buildings and the historical Pump House.

    Lucerne

    Most famous for its stunning Lake Lucerne, the city's most loved landmark is Kapellbrücke, the covered wooden bridge and is the oldest in the world. The blue-green waters of this lake are made charming by its old steamers and paddle boats, giving a glimpse into Lucerne's olden days.

    The town has an impressive and well-preserved medieval charm with elegant buildings and several historical landmarks. It is also popular for the annual music festival held every summer.

    In winter, tourists can visit the Ski resorts that are located near the city. Its biggest attraction includes spectacular Alpine rides connecting to Mt. Pilatus, Jungfraujoch, Mt. Titlis, and Mt. Rigi. Christmas time is equally stunning, with decoration, cheer and markets taking over the streets preparing for the Lucerne Carnival in February.

    This compact town can be easily explored, including its main sights. You can also take a guided tour to Mount Pilatus that includes an aerial cableway and gondola ride to the mountain's peak. On the bank of Reuss is the Old Town of Lucerne, with several squares and houses still well-preserved.

    Notable landmarks here include the Altes Rathaus, St. Peter's Chapel dating back to 1178. You can also ride to Mt. Rigi on a cog railway, one of the signature experiences here. This is also the first cog railway in Europe, making it one of the most important places to visit in Switzerland. If you wish to explore more, go for the Lion Monument situated north of Lowenplatz.

    Chur

    The oldest city in Switzerland, Chur dates back more than 5,000 years. The Old Town Center has many historical monuments including the Saint Martin's Church, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, and the clock tower. There's also a local museum here, which has archaeological finds and chronicles of the area's history. Surrounded by mountains, Chur offers some stunning views and weekend markets selling everything, including vintage treasures.

    The city is car-free and offers a large number of cultural activities, atmospheric cafes and food venues. All these attractions should not be missed, making Chur one of the best places to visit in Switzerland. Finally, other than guided city tours, you can also go for culinary tours including cycling and hiking before having a multi-course regional menu!

    Winterthur

    Situated half an hour drive away from Zurich, Winterthur is any art lover's heaven. Otherwise neglected by adventurers, this city boasts 17 museums and a collection of invaluable Impressionist and Romantic art pieces. If travelling with kids, you can head to Technorama: the interactive science museum. The city's biggest attraction is the Oskar Reinhart Collection, an art patron who left an incredible number of important art pieces to the city.

    His collected works include several 19th-century French arts and other European artists, including Sisley, Courbet, van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Renoir, Corot, Manet and many more. Not just Am Römerholz, Oskar's collection was so wide that it had to be divided into different places, namely the Oskar Reinhart Museum.

    Other attractions here include the Fotomuseum Winterthur, a celebrated photography museum exhibiting world-renowned photographers and exhibitions. Kunstmuseum Winterthur is yet another 100-year-old cultural attraction with some of the best Impressionist, Expressionism and Cubism artworks, including Cezanne, Monet, Picasso, Kandinsky and Mondrian. Finally, on the Toss River is the Kyburg Castle, a Swiss heritage site built around the 14th -16th centuries. The castle is now a museum offering tours of the former Hapsburg property including the dungeons, kitchen, chapel and armoury.

    Basel

    Situated near the Rhine River, Basel is among the sunniest places to visit in Switzerland. With sunshine for more than 300 days a year, Basel is perfect for those who want to canoe or go for a swim before their dinner cruise. The riverbank is a popular place during warmer months, perfect for picnics or having great food in any of the water-facing cafes.

    Also known as the most artistic city of Switzerland, Basel has over 40 museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Spielzeug History Museum and the Natural History Museum. It also has the country's only cartoon museum, as well as a Museum of Pharmacy. If going in February, try to attend the Baslar Fascnacht, one of the largest carnivals in Switzerland.

    The Old Town lies between the old city gate of Spalentor and the river, offering beautiful old homes, medieval churches and bright coloured fountains. The Marktplatz and other landmarks can be explored through Basel's Old Town walking tours, usually 2-3 hours long.

    Bern

    The capital of Switzerland is an extremely stunning city and often takes visitors by surprise. Surrounded by the aquamarine waters of the Aare river, Bern is built on a sandstone ridge and is linked to newer parts through high-level bridges.

    The city's charming Old Town is a beautifully well-preserved area and has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city is very rich in culture and sees various events throughout the year, such as Jazz Festivals, the Gurten festival held in July, and the Buskers Festival.

    The city's most famous building, the Bern Cathedral (Berner Munster) is Switzerland's largest church dating back to the late Middle Ages. Also known as the Cathedral of St. Vincent, it was built from 1421 until the late 1800s and boasts of Bern's first Renaissance artwork, Gothic architecture and numerous other parts, including a magnificent Baroque organ with more than 5,000 pipes.

    You will also find many museums and theatres here, as well as many other tourist attractions, making it an important stop in your list of places to visit in Switzerland. Most popular attractions in Bern include the Kunst museum, the oldest art museum in Switzerland. Built in 1879, it has over 50,000 paintings, prints, photographs, films and sculptures and holds an international reputation.

    Other museums include the Einstein Museum, the Historical Museum of Bern, the Einstein Haus, the beautiful Rose Garden Park with more than 400 flower types.

    FAQs

    • Q1. What is the prettiest place in Switzerland?

      Switzerland is among the best places to live in the world and offers pristine natural attractions in addition to its historical and modern landmarks. Some of the must-visit places include the Swiss Alps, Zurich, Montreux, Lucerne, Geneva and Jungfrau Region.

    • Q2. What is the most visited place in Switzerland?

      Though smaller than many countries, you'd be surprised to find the number of places to visit in Switzerland. From turquoise lakes to stunning mountains, the country is littered with ancient and modern wonders. Some of the most visited places in Switzerland include the pyramid-shaped Matterhorn in the Alps, the medieval castle Château de Chillon, Jungfraujoch, Lugano, Rhine Falls, the Swiss National Park near Zernez and Lake Geneva.

    • Q3. Is Switzerland expensive to visit?

      Not only is Switzerland among the most expensive countries in the world for a living, but also the most expensive country for tourists. Geneva and Zurich are among the 10 most expensive cities to live in and food and accommodation there cost a lot. So you need to have a well-planned budget for your trip while finalising what places to visit in Switzerland. Don't forget to carry an international travel insurance plan with sufficient coverage, so that any unexpected situation doesn't affect your finances.

    • Q4. Can you speak English in Switzerland?

      People in Switzerland are usually multilingual and English is widely spoken there. While the country's official languages include German, French, Romansh and Italian, you can easily get by there if you speak English. However, 60% of the population there speaks German.

    • Q5. What is Switzerland's famous food?

      Some of the most popular Swimm food items include the cheese fondue, Raclette served with Gschwellti, Rosti, Swiss cheese and chocolate, Alplermagronen, Croute au fromage, Zibelechueche and more.

    • Q6. What is the prettiest town in Switzerland?

      With dreamy landscapes out of a fairytale, Swiss towns are among the best places to visit in Switzerland. Some of the prettiest towns here are Locarno, Intragna, Interlaken, Lutry, Zermatt, Grindelwald and more.

     
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