While it’s true that no country has absolutely everything, the Swiss have reason to be proud of their status in life. Almost every drive, rail travel, boat tour, or a cable car ride in Switzerland has an epic aspect, leading you to thunderous falls, gorges, valleys buried deep in the Alps, and World Heritage vineyards.
Cities with ancient old towns, big-name galleries, and exceptional cultural cachet are often just a whisper away from vibrant blue lakes and the glacier-capped Alps. The transfer from the city to the countryside is seamless.
Spend time exploring museums and the culinary scene in trendy cities, then go to colorful villages to learn about Swiss life and enjoy the beauty. These are our favorite spots and activities in Switzerland!
13 Best Things To Do In Switzerland:
1. Swimming in The Rhine In Basel:
Basel is located in the northwestern corner of Switzerland. it is a creative hotspot for avant-garde art and architecture, with a slew of galleries that rival Europe’s finest. But this city also enjoys daydreaming.
On weekends, office employees abandon their suits, and families meet for a city swim on the Rhine. A unique way to view Basel is to take a Wickelfisch (a fish-shaped waterproof bag to keep your belongings dry), go to the river banks at Kleinbasel, strip to your bathing suit, and float past city icons as the river current gently sweeps you downstream.
Just hire a stand-up paddleboard if you’d rather keep your feet on dry land. On hot summer days, locals prefer to conclude their plunge socially, with drinks and a sunbathe at a buvette (riverside pub).
2. Ride The Bernina Express Through The Swiss Alps:
The Bernina Express, one of the most remarkable things you’ll ever do in Switzerland, takes you on tour across the Swiss Alps. This train route will take you through alpine beauty, historical buildings, and stunning vistas at every turn.
The way travels from Chur in Switzerland to Tirano in Italy via the canton of Graubünden in roughly four hours. Alternatively, you may take a route from Davos that takes approximately 15 minutes or a path from St. Moritz that takes around two hours. However, the complete way is the finest option if you have the time.
First, you’ll travel along a route that overlaps with the Glacier Express. You’ll see some of the tallest peaks in the area. Finally, you’ll take a bus to Lugano and see the southern landscape along Lakes Lugano and Como.
3. See Lake Geneva By Boat:
Lake Geneva is the most beautiful of Switzerland’s numerous lakes. It is not only the biggest but also has some of the cleanest, clearest water in the world. Lake Geneva, which crosses the French and Swiss borders, is a swimmer’s paradise in the summer, with 116 public beaches from which to take a (chilly) dip.
A boat tour on the lake is the best way to see the Alpine panoramas, medieval towns, vineyards, and castles that line the lakeshore. Most tourist cruises leave Geneva, Lausanne, and Montreux from May to October.
The lake isn’t the only feature; numerous trips take place on vintage Belle Époque paddle steamers and majestic boats that inspire nostalgia from a past period.
4. Summit The Matterhorn Mountain, Zermatt:
The Matterhorn is one of Switzerland’s tallest mountains. Still, it is notable for its particular lifestyle and significance in climbing history. This extensively photographed peak, standing at 4,478 meters (14,692 feet), attracts alpinists from all over the globe to the summit.
It is close to Zermatt, one of Europe’s most picturesque alpine villages and a popular year-round destination for skiers and hikers. The best and most attractive way to arrive is by train, and once there, all cars in the city must be battery-powered.
It’s also pleasant to take a cable car journey from Zermatt to neighboring mountains for skiing, snowboarding, and hiking.
5. Sleep Under A Million Stars:
It’s the kind of night when you can hear your heart beating. Darkness descends in the Alps, and the only sound is the calm ringing of cowbells. Constellations and faraway planets strew the night sky like glitter.
Doesn’t that sound lovely? It is. Million Stars Hotel is a massive collection of open-air, one-of-a-kind beds around the nation that harness the wild, where you can escape back into nature and enjoy a little pre-bedtime stargazing.
But we’re not just talking about the canvas. From elegantly made-up mattresses perched on lonely mountain peaks to a fashionably converted gondola on the edge of a cliff, a bed beneath an apple tree, and a ‘beehive’ pod with views of Eiger’s mile-high North Face, these innovative overnighters will have you talking for years to come. And, being in Switzerland, they are brilliant and comfortable.
6. Tackle A Challenging Via Ferrata Hike:
Adventure seekers who aren’t afraid of heights might choose a Via Ferrata (Iron Way) walk, which includes a harness, helmet, and an expert guide.
The 2.2-kilometer trip from Mürren to Gimmelwald is one of the shortest and most popular. A mountain train will take you to Mürren, at the foot of the Schilthorn summit. Hikers must next negotiate a daunting set of iron rungs, cables, ladders, and a swinging bridge over a steep canyon.
You may return to Mürren via ski gondola from Gimmelwald. It’s a tough challenge, but you’ll be rewarded with some of the best Alpine vistas in the country.
7. Discover Swiss Wines Of The Vaud:
The magnificent hills of Vaud, on the north coast of Lake Geneva, are well worth a few days’ visit, particularly if you like wine. The Vaud area is well-known for its winemaking, notably the Chasselas grape, which produces crisp, fruity white wines. Wine has been grown in the area since the Middle Ages2, first planted by Cistercian monks.
While there is never enough time to see them all, Luc Massy, Cave Castle Glérolles, and Domaine Blaise Duboux are a few winemaking favorites. Vaud isn’t only about wine; it also has many good eating options and tourist opportunities, including a visit to the old Chillon Castle near Montreux.
8. Ride The Glacier Express:
No nation does rail travel better than Switzerland, where small red trains quickly chug from valley to peak, allowing you to drool over the Alpine landscape from the luxury of your panoramic carriage. Switzerland’s rail trips are unquestionably some of the best in the world, evoking a past era of travel.
The Glacier Express, which covers the Furka, Oberalp, and Bernina mountains on the eight-hour trip between Zermatt and St Moritz in Graubünden’s Upper Engadin, is the main one that everyone wants to do once (and for a good reason). Views of meadows, woodlands, fast-flowing blue rivers, canyons, castles, big-shouldered mountains, and glaciers fascinate you.
The drive is a spectacular achievement of 1930s architecture, but the Landwasser viaduct – the gravity-defying six-arched bridge that jumps between Tiefencastel and Filisur – and the Oberalp Pass (2033m), which harnesses the genuine wildness of the Swiss Alps, deserve particular notice.
9. Drive The Furka Pass:
You won’t know whether the stomach-flipping hairpin turns or the jaw-dropping vistas make your pulse beat so fast on this steep, winding, up-and-over-the-Alps trip from the remote valley of the Goms in Valais to mountain-encrusted Andermatt in Uri – the entrance to southeast Switzerland.
For maximum drama, traverse the 31 km (19 mi) Furka Pass from west to east as you leave behind your dark, rugged peaks and glaciers.
It’s no coincidence if you get a James Bond moment while driving; this route was included in the famous automobile chase scene from the 1964 film Goldfinger. The route peaks at the 2429m (7969ft) Furka Pass, where you can see the badly crevassed Rhône Glacier and its ice grotto.
10. Delight In A Festive Christmas Market:
Switzerland’s lovely, snow-covered Alpine villages are a great destination to spend the holidays, particularly if you like skiing. However, anyone visiting Switzerland during the winter should also visit the country’s Christmas markets. Münsterplatz in Basel and Montreux Noel are two of Switzerland’s most spectacular Christmas celebrations.
These enchanting outdoor events illuminate the gloomy winter evenings with carnival rides, ice skating rinks, seasonal shopping, exquisite cuisine, and baked sweets. If you’re feeling cold, get a cup of gluhwein, a spicy mulled wine that will keep you warm. Christmas markets are typically open from late November through Christmas Eve.
11. Cross The Chapel Bridge In Lucerne:
If you find yourself in Lucerne, make sure to check out the Kapellbrücke, also known as the Chapel Bridge. From every perspective, it’s attractive and gorgeous and still functional—it was erected in the 14th century to help secure the city. However, people still use it to cross the River Reuss.
Take your time crossing and examining the artwork on the bridge’s inside roof. Along with the bridge, you’ll notice a magnificent tower. The Wasserturm (water tower) was never utilized to store water but has served as a jail and municipal storage facility.
12. Find Folk Culture In Appenzell:
Appenzell and the large canton that surrounds it are among the best sites in Switzerland to learn about traditional folklore and culture. The region’s economy has historically been based on farming and dairy.
A visit to Appenzell may find you witnessing an Alpine cow march, participating in traditional dance, or shopping for local goods. Locals still dress traditionally, with males often wearing an oversized, hanging earring in one ear.
Its location at the base of the Alpstein Mountains makes it an ideal home base for a summertime backpacking trip. It’s a non-glitzy mountain retreat amid a lovely, snow-covered scene in the winter.
13. Toast The Après-Ski Scene In St. Moritz:
Switzerland is one of the world’s most challenging skiing resorts. Even if you prefer to stay on solid ground, you may participate in the enjoyment of Swiss skiing culture. St. Moritz is a wealthy and famous’s ski resort with excellent cuisine, five-star chalets, and lots of après-ski partying.
Around 3 or 4 p.m., when skiers finish up for the day, the après-ski scene comes alive, and this sleepy town transforms into a hopping party. St. Moritz has something for everyone, whether you want to be peaceful and refined or party till the sun comes up.
In addition, St. Moritz is famed for hosting an annual snow polo event in January, which is well worth seeing if you’re in town.
There is something for every sort of visitor in Switzerland. This landlocked nation manages to include a great range of scenery in only approximately 16,000 square miles: enormous, contemporary cities; small, pastoral villages that have altered little in hundreds of years; and lakes and mountains that constitute some of Europe’s most gorgeous vistas.
Switzerland is beautiful, clean, efficient, and simple to explore, with adventure and amazement around every corner—or on the other side of every mountain. The activities listed above are some of our favorites in Switzerland. So go ahead and have fun!
Other countries in Europe
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