10 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Switzerland
Switzerland is known for its storybook landscape - the emerald forests, rolling meadows covered with wildflowers, pristine lakes, imposing glaciers, and majestic mountains with snow-covered peaks. A multi-cultural country, each of its German, French, Italian, and Romansch-speaking regions has a distinct character. The beautiful cities of Zürich, Bern, Geneva, and Lucerne have their charms, but no visit to Switzerland is complete without escaping to its pastoral countryside.
Whether you are seeking to learn about the history of their medieval churches and towers, looking to hike on their high-altitude trails, or to just relax and take in the spectacular views, Savvy & Fine has compiled a list of 10 most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland.
JUNGFRAU, THE ALPINE VILLAGES AND LAUTERBRUNNEN VALLEY
One of the most beautiful areas of Switzerland is the Interlaken-Jungfrau region with its famous mountain trio Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, each rising over 3,658 meters (12,000 feet).
The Bernese Oberland Railway takes 800,000 visitors a year to the highest train station "Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe" offering one of Switzerland's most impressive train rides and stunning views of the Bernese Oberland in Central Switzerland. From Jungfraujoch, one can enjoy the view of the largest glacier, the Aletsch, that looks like an icy road between the mountains and stretches as far as the Rhone valley.
Read more about Jungfrau here: Destination: The Top of Europe-Jungfraujoch
But its is not just the majestic mountains that attract visitors. The storybook alpine villages with flower-box windows of Mürren and Lauterbrunnen, and the Lauterbrunnen Valley with 72 waterfalls streaming down, are absolutely stunning, and a well-developed rail network makes the vistas easily accessible.
MATTERHORN: THE JEWEL OF THE SWISS ALPS
The iconic Swiss national monument, the Matterhorn on the Italian border, is one of the most striking and beautiful mountains in Switzerland. It is not the highest, but it is the most memorable, standing alone on the horizon.
LUCERNE, THE MOST CHARMING CITY IN SWITZERLAND
The medieval Chapel Bridge forms the centerpiece of Lucerne’s panorama and is considered to be one of the oldest, covered wooden bridges in Europe. Lucerne's old town has dozens of charming old buildings from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance eras, when the city flourished as a trading and transit post.
ZURICH, THE SOPHISTICATED METROPOLIS
A bustling financial center, Zürich is a city of bankers has a sophisticated flair. It is one of the most expensive cities in Europe, but also the one with the highest standard of living.
Stroll down the narrow gobble-stone streets of the Old Town (Altstadt); step into the Fraumünster to see Chagall's stained-glass windows; take a leisurely boat ride along the River Limmat; visit one of Europe's top art museums, the Kunsthaus; or try some macarons at the Sprüngli House on Paradeplatz - you will not be bored in Zürich.
BERN, THE QUAINT CAPITAL OF SWITZERLAND
Bern is a quaint, small city with a jewel of an old town and its stately patrician houses, narrow streets and alleys, historic towers, fountains, arcades, and statutes. The city has a unique medieval air. The Rose Garden above the Bear Park and the platform of the 101-meter-high Gothic cathedral, Bern Münster, have the best views of the old town.
GENEVA, CHIC AND COSMOPOLITAN
Geneva enjoys a big-city flair, French lifestyle, and a beautiful location on the Rhone River and Lake Geneva with views of Mont Blanc and the Jura Mountains. It is home to international culture because of the 200 international organizations located in the city, including the European headquarters of the United Nations.
Walk along the tree-lined promenade around the lake, admire the Jet d'Eau, check out the famous Flower Clock and the English Garden, wander around Plainpalais market, or visit the vintage boutiques and antique stores of Carouge - there is plenty to do in Geneva.
LAC LEMAN AND THE SWISS VINEYARDS
Besides Geneva, the towns and villages on the shores of Lac Léman or Lake Geneva - Lausanne, Montreux, Nyon, Vevey - and the stunningly beautiful wine growing region of Lavaux, are absolutely spectacular. Visit Montreux' famous Chateau de Chillon, wander around the streets of Lausanne, and don't miss a lunch at Le-Deck, overlooking the Lavaux vineyards, the lake, and the Alps.
THE GLAMOROUS GSTAAD
The upscale ski resort, Gstaad, is a small village that boasts a high-end and sophisticated aura with top hotels, gourmet restaurants and designer boutiques, and attracts celebrities and travelers from all over the world. Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Peter Sellers and Roger Moore have been some of the glitzy Gstaad residents. The picture-postcard pretty mountain resort is surrounded by small chalet villages against the backdrop of green pastures, flower-dotted fields and snow-clad mountains. Read more about Gstaad here: Luxurious Swiss Weekend in Gstaad and Montreux
THE IDYLLIC VILLAGE OF GRUYERES
The idyllic Swiss mountain village, Gruyères is serene and peaceful, and known for its cobbled streets and architectural charm. Nestled between a hilly landscape and rolling pastures filled with cows wearing bells, the medieval, traffic-free Gruyères with its castle, is also home of the Gruyère cheese. Restaurants serve local specialities: fondue, raclette and desserts made with the excellent Gruyère double cream. Try the local moitié-moitié fondue; a "half and half" mix of Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois.
MEDITERRANEAN VIBE IN MORCOTE ON LAKE LUGANO
The Italian speaking area of Switzerland, the canton of Ticino, has a truly Mediterranean feel with its Italian architecture and cuisine, palm-studded promenades, citrus trees, and laid-back lifestyle. The beautiful Lake Lugano is Ticino's star attraction, surrounded by picturesque lake-front villages.
The old village of Morcote, with only 700 inhabitants, is famous for the medieval arcade buildings, elegant lakefront residences with porches and loggias, and for its natural beauty. Climb the monumental stairway’s 404 steps for a panoramic view, get a closer look at the old churches, or explore the wonderful Scherrer gardens.