Are you planning a trip to the country of romance? This post on the top things to do in Switzerland lists all the exciting activities and famous landmarks.
With scenic beauty and a wide range of unique experiences on offer, a trip to Switzerland is sure to create happy memories that will last a lifetime. It’s best to plan your trip in advance, so you cover the best of Switzerland’s tourist attractions.
Known as the playground of Europe, Switzerland offers a plethora of both adventurous and relaxing things for travelers to partake in. While the country boasts many outstanding resorts, it is also home to one of the world’s most expensive hotels. Culture is in abundance, and discovering the country’s fascinating history feels like reading a mystical folk tale or legend.
Without further ado, here are all the best things to do and places to see in Switzerland.
What to Do in Switzerland
Switzerland, home to the Swiss Alps, boasts ravishing alpine scenery. The looming peaks of the snow-capped mountains cast flitting shadows on the country’s many quaint villages and charming towns.
Life in the hamlets here nestled amongst the mountains is as pretty as fairy tales. The landlocked country feels like a planet of its own with its mystical charm and otherworldly scenes. Amongst the many entertainment options are hiking, climbing, biking, skiing, and paragliding. Here are the best of them.
1. Take On the Matterhorn
One of the highest mountains in the Alps, The Matterhorn rises to an astounding 4,478 meters (14691.601 feet). At the base of this mountain is Zermatt, a world-famous mountain resort town. With horse-drawn carriages and whimsical chalets, Zermatt’s charm pulls in tourists like a magnet.
The village of Zermatt has a lively après-ski scene with skiing, biking, climbing, paragliding, and hiking on offer. Many experienced climbers visit this mighty peak each year to brave the heights and conquer this summit.
You can enjoy the iconic views while skiing down world-class slopes. Or, take a peaceful 30-minute cable car ride to the Rothorn’s peak.
2. Don’t Miss the Magic of Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva is the largest Alpine lake in Europe. You can rent a kayak on the lakeside and enjoy the serenity of the water with the picturesque backdrop of the mountains and a castle.
Straddling the Switzerland and France border, this crescent-shaped lake has many cities greeting its shores. Amongst these are the major cities of Geneva and Lausanne.
A perfect blend of the French aesthetic and Swiss architecture, the lovely city of Geneva showcases many promenades, parks, and gardens. Stroll the old town exuding medieval charm and don’t miss famous landmarks like the Opera House and Grand Théâtre.
3. Visit the Top of Europe
Located in Bernese Oberland, Jungfraujoch is the highest railway station in Europe, sitting 3,454 meters (11332.02 feet) above sea level.
It’s one of the best places to visit in Switzerland, with an observation terrace and scientific observatory to take in the mighty Swiss Alps. Also visible from the summit is the Great Aletsch glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps stretching 23 kilometers (14.29 miles) long.
Getting to Jungfraujoch is a bit of a mission but well worth the journey. The expedition includes a series of trains from different starting points and a cable car ride.
4. Explore the City of Lucerne
Lucerne is a beautiful city in central Switzerland, located near the border of Italy. The town is famous for hosting spectacular International Music Festivals annually.
Aside from the musical concerts, the city’s natural landscapes and medieval architecture also pull tourists from all over. Lucerne conveniently sits on the edge of Lake Lucerne amidst the backdrop of ice-capped mountains.
The charming old town with its fresco-styled historical structures and in-tact walls is a reminder of what once was. Tourists love the sun-kissed plazas, while the wooden bridge crossing the river to connect to the city is the highlight of this quintessential Swiss town.
5. Capture the Views on the Goldenpass Line
Amongst the top things to do in Switzerland is journeying the GoldenPass Line. The views of which are sure to leave you in awe.
The line is a train route beginning in Lucerne and running through Switzerland to Montreux (or vice versa). Since it’s not a direct line, your journey comprises three train rides with stops in Interlaken and Zweisimmen.
About five to six hours long, the train ride is a slow and calming experience filled with scenic views of mountains, forests, lakes, and waterfalls. Also dotted across the route are Swiss chalets nestled in valleys with an old-town charm.
6. Spend a Day at Interlaken
Located in the Bernese Oberland region, Interlaken is a traditional Swiss resort town boasting more than 45 mountain railways, cable cars, and chairlifts.
The town sits perfectly in the center of Switzerland’s nature scene. There’s Lake Thun on its western side and Lake Brienz to its east, along with the glorious peaks of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau in the surroundings.
It’s known as the “adventure capital of Switzerland” because of its long list of exciting things to do. From skydiving and bungee jumping to canyoning and river rafting, adrenaline junkies will never want to leave. The surrounding peaks also allow alpine adventures like hiking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, and abseiling.
7. Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture
Switzerland is home to a wide variety of cultures and traditions which the Swiss like to celebrate through boisterous festivals. Since it’s surrounded by countries with different cultures, like Italy, France, and Germany, Switzerland’s culture is an amalgamation of various European cultures and customs.
The biggest carnival, named Basler Fasnacht, occurs every year between February and March. During this festival, participants mask their identity and take to the streets of Basel with pipers and drummers. Other festivals like the Annual Witches Downhill Race and Fête de L’Escalade also give a glimpse of Swiss culture’s vibrancy and eccentricities.
Concluding Switzerland Things to Do & Places to See
The landscapes and sceneries of this heavenly destination are a feast for the eyes. From the glistening mountain lakes to glaciers as white as the snow that blankets these towns, Switzerland is a sight for sore eyes. When it comes to natural beauty, Switzerland is hard to beat.
Couple nature with some of the most thrilling and adventurous sports in the world, Switzerland is also a haven for daredevils. The list is endless, with boating, bungee jumping, paragliding, biking, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and rafting being the most famous.