Do you love alpine landscapes and ancient villages? Then Switzerland is the perfect location for you. This magical place can offer glistening blue lakes, emerald valleys, glaciers, and picturesque lakeside. Nestled among mountain valleys and lakes are world-class international resorts with hiking, biking, climbing, paragliding, and skiing.
Germany, Italy, Austria, and France border Switzerland, and their languages and customs infuse this country with a multicultural sophistication. From the Italian architecture of palm-studded Ticino to the dialects of Swiss-German and Latin-derived Romansch, Switzerland can sometimes feel like several countries in on. Yet all with the slick packaging and punctuality for which it is famous.
The Matterhorn, the iconic peak of Switzerland, is one of the highest mountains in the Alps. On the border with Italy, this legendary peak rises to 4,478 meters. Its four steep faces lie in the direction of the compass points. Today, thousands of experienced climbers come here every summer.
There are a wide variety of different attractions to be discovered around the Matterhorn. A top excursion is Gornergrat. On this three-thousand-meter mountain ridge, there is a viewing platform with a truly unforgettable view of the Matterhorn and the surrounding mountain world. Visit The Matterhorn Museum where you can learn about the historic development of Zermatt transformation from a mountain village to an Alpine holiday resort.
Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe
One of the most popular experiences in the beautiful Bernese Peninsula is the train journey to Jungfraujoch, with an observation terrace and a scientific observatory perched at 3,454 meters. The longest glacier in Europe – the Great Alec Glacier starts in Jungfraujoch and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The famous Eiger Trail from the Eiger Glacier Station to Alpiglen adheres to the rocks at the foot of the north wall.
Other popular walks include a panoramic path to the sunny, south-facing first slope: Glacier Gorge and Öpfelchüechliwäg. The high-altitude trail from Holenstein to Brandegg through fields of flowers, alpine pastures, and forests. The less active can take gondolas and cabins to admire the views over the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Grindelwald is a glacial village in the Jungfrau area, making it a great base for adventures in the surrounding mountains. It stretches at the base of snow-capped mountains and is one of the oldest and most popular resorts in Switzerland. Above this alpine valley rises the Veterhorn tiara and the clear northern face of the Eiger, one of the most dramatic and difficult climbs on the planet. Between the mountains are the two shiny glaciers of Grindelwald. For the best view, the Faulhorn, at 2,681 meters, offers breathtaking views of the giant peaks.
Situated at the foot of the Alps on the shores of Lake Geneva, the city of Geneva is perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Geneva invites visitors to see a wealth of cultural landmarks, which include more than 30 museums and art galleries – two of the most popular are the International Museum of the Red Cross Crescent and the stunning MAMCO – Museum of Contemporary and Contemporary Art. Highlights of a visit to Geneva will include a walk along the promenade, a tour of the cobbled old town and a visit of artisans to the rather bohemian Karuj. The city also offers great shopping (great Swiss watches are a specialty) and excellent cuisine.
Jet d’Eau Fountain is a large fountain in Geneva, Switzerland, one of the city’s landmarks and one of the largest fountains in the world. It is located at the point where Lake Geneva empties into the Rhone River.
The fountain is visible from all over the city, when it sprays water in the air, it can be seen even from a height of 10 km. 500 liters of water are sprayed per second at an altitude of 140 meters. The fountain works with 2 pumps, 16 tons, 500 kW, 2400 volts, consuming over 1 megawatt of electricity. The water leaves the nozzle at a speed of 200 km / h. When the fountain works, there is an average of 7,000 liters of water in the air. Unsuspecting tourists visiting the fountain, which can be reached by a stone dike on the left bank of the lake, maybe surprised and wet after a slight change in wind direction.
Nestled between Lake Thun in the west and Lake Brienz in the east, Interlaken is one of the most popular resorts in Switzerland. In the city center, the Höhematte is a marvel of urban planning with 35 acres of open space. Flower gardens, hotels, and cafés surround the Höheweg, the main boulevard here with amazing mountain views. The powerful peaks of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau towers over the city provide excellent opportunities for alpine adventures. Hiking, climbing, bowing and kayaking are the main goals.
More than 45 mountain railways, gondola lifts, chair lifts, and ski lifts transport visitors to the area. In winter, skiers and snowboarders can choose from the surrounding resorts and cross-country skiing along with the extensive trail network. In summer, paragliders start from Beatenberg-Niederhorn. To enjoy nature from lower altitudes, take a parachute boat cruise on the lakes.
The Swiss capital Bern is located on the back of the river Aare and dates from the 12th century. The city contains a treasure trove of well-preserved medieval architecture, much of which you can admire on a walking tour of the Altstadt (old town). Some of the highlights of your tour will be the Bundeshaus (Neo-Renaissance town hall) and Zytglogge (bell tower), which date from the 13th century. The city is also full of interesting museums for all tastes, as well as several arts and music venues.
Wherever you go in the city, you will never be far from the impressive Swiss watch shops and chocolate shops – work out your calories by taking a long walk in the countryside.
Walking along the cobbled streets, visitors can see the tallest cathedral in Switzerland, with panoramic views from its tower, 16th-century fountains, the Zytglogge medieval clock tower with moving dolls, and six kilometers of shopping arcades called “Lauben” by the locals. The Rosengarten offers a beautiful view of the old town center.
Bern has many excellent museums, and art lovers will appreciate the impressive galleries, including the Zentrum Paul Klee, the largest collection of works by this famous artist, and the Bern Museum of Art (Kunstmuseum). Don’t miss the Bundesplatz markets overlooking the elegant Bundeshaus. Families will also enjoy a visit to Bear Park.
Imagine a sparkling blue lake surrounded by mountains, an ancient medieval city without cars, covered bridges, coastal alleys, frescoed historic buildings, and sunny beaches with barbecues. No wonder Lucerne (in German Lucerne) is the best place for tourists. Famous for its musical concerts, this Swiss city attracts famous soloists, conductors, and orchestras at its annual International Music Festival. The Cultural and Congress Center is home to one of the world’s leading concert halls.
One of the most famous landmarks of the city is the Chapel Bridge, built in the 14th century. In a small park is the famous Lion Monument. An amazing sculpture of a dying lion that commemorates the heroic death of the Swiss Guards during the attack on the Tuileries in the French Revolution. History buffs will enjoy the Swiss Transport Museum with extensive exhibits on all modes of transport, including air and space travel, railway locomotives, and a planetarium. For beautiful views of Lucerne, the Alps, and the lake, walk to Didehiberg in the northern part of Lake Lucerne, drive around Mt. Pilatus on the cable car or head to Riga, a famous landmark.
Château de Chillon (Chillon Castle)
Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, near Montreux, the Chateau de Chillon has inspired artists and writers for centuries. Lord Byron, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Victor Hugo were among the luminaries who wrote about this architectural treasure. It was once a fortress of the Counts and Dukes of Savoy from the 12th century. The complex comprised of about 25 buildings, grouped around three courtyards. Highlights include the Great Halls, with magnificent views of Lake Geneva, gothic underground rooms, a chapel decorated with 14th-century paintings. The Domini Chamber, a bedroom occupied by the Duke of Savoy and decorated with medieval frescoes.
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland, a major transport hub and a starting point for travelers. The city is located at the northwestern end of Lake Zurich above the Limmat River. Beneath its hardened facade, this rich banking capital boasts a wide range of cultural treasures.
A great place to start your tour is the cobbled streets of the Old Town with its antique shops, cafes, and galleries. Mile-long Bahnhofstrasse, one of the best market destinations in Europe, attracts designer shops selling fashion, watches, and jewelry.
Moving away from boutiques, visitors will find more than 50 museums and 100 art galleries. The best choice is the Kunsthaus Zürich. The museum of fine arts has an impressive collection of art from the Middle Ages to the present day. Another favorite is the Ritberg Museum, focusing on non-European art with many works from China, India, and Africa.
Families will love the Zurich Zoo with its elephant park, penguin parade, and Madagascar pavilion. From the city, take the Wetliberg Mountain train for panoramic views of the city and the countryside.
Lauterbrunnen (Bern region of Switzerland)
Lauterbrunnen is located in one of the most impressive valleys in the Swiss Alps. It’s surrounded by giant sheer cliffs and towering peaks.
The name Lauter Brunnen translates to many fountains. There are 72 waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the most famous is the Staubbach Falls. Plunging almost 300 meters from an overhanging rock face, they are one of the highest free-falling waterfalls in Europe.
In winter, the valley invites skiers from all levels to come and enjoy 213 slopes. Almost 100 km of winter hiking trails and 50 km of toboggan run.
The valley town of Lauterbrunnen is the starting point for some of the best-known excursion destinations in the Jungfrau region. Do not miss the rack railway that links Lauterbrunnen with the sunny terrace of Wengen.