Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the most amazing places to visit on the planet. This exquisite country has a diverse terrain where you can saturate your senses in the astounding beauty of the Swiss Alps, soak up the quiet aura of quaint countryside villages and immerse yourself in the beauty of stunning azure lakes. From skiing and hiking to art and food, Switzerland is a portal to countless adventures, and it’s time to get started.
Interlaken sits between two lakes, the Thun and the Brienz. Known for watchmaking, Interlocken offers spectacular views of three mountains: Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch. This popular destination serves as a base for outdoor recreation in the surrounding Bernese Oberland Alps. If paragliding in the Alps is on your bucket list, nearby Beatenburg-Niederhorn is glider paradise. The St. Beatus Caves are staggering. Wander past waterfalls and giant stalagmites on foot via the historic Pilgrims Way. If you are visiting Interlaken in January, check out The International Trucker and Country Festival or the Jungfrau Music Festival.
French-speaking Lausanne is the second largest city on Lake Geneva, and it is also the gateway to some of the best skiing in Switzerland. The ideal spot to enjoy panoramic vistas of both the lake and the mountains is in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Old Town. If you tire of walking, take a helicopter for a birds-eye view of the Lavaux vineyards, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cosmopolitan and French-speaking, Geneva sits comfortably in the bay where the Rhone River leaves Lake Geneva. One of Geneva’s most remarkable landmarks is the Jet d’Eau, a beautiful 500-foot fountain in the lake that is visible from much of the city. If you are short on touring time, get an overview of the area via a cruise on Lake Geneva, where magnificent castles and exceptional mountain panoramas are breathtaking.
One of the richest and cleanest cities in the world, Zurich is a cosmopolitan, boutique city. Zurich is a prominent, global financial center and boasts 50 museums, including the interactive FIFA World Football museum and 100 art galleries. You can shop for a luxury watch, fragrances, gifts and world-famous Swiss chocolates on Bahnhofstrasse. Celebrate the evening clubbing in stylish lounges or hip renovated warehouses. The best place to view this beautiful city and Lake Zurich is from Uetilberg, Zurich’s landmark mountain. Urban Zurich is not without its natural charms, so take a day trip for hiking in lush green meadows or boating on a mountain lake.
Within the shadows of the world renowned and awe-inspiring Matterhorn, this small town is a prized destination for skiers and mountaineers. Summer and autumn are ideal times to hike, walk or cycle along the Zermatt Lake Trail. The cog rail is a restful way to see the Matterhorn and the Swiss summits as well as those of neighboring Alps in France and Italy. Zermatt hosts the Open Air Curling championship in January, a Folklore Festival and the Swiss Food Festival in August.
Four quaint towns offer a quiet retreat sheltered by three immense mountains in the Bernese Alps. The World Snow Festival in January showcases amazing snow sculptures, and in August the area hosts a week-long celebration of classic Mendelssohn music. Well-maintained foot and bike paths meander from rolling green meadows to mountain foothills. The most staggering scenic railway trip is via the Kleine Scheidegg mountain to the apex of Jungfraujoch.
This lovely village rests in an alpine region called Engadine. This enchanting spot is beautiful untouched countryside, and the gateway to the Swiss National Park, Switzerland’s largest nature preserve. In the village, take a dip in the family baths, swim in the pool or get a relaxing spa massage. The Ofen Pass area has several nature trails. There’s a bike marathon in July that passes over several of the national park’s mountain trails.
Aside from the region’s fondness for yodeling and beer, this village is also one of the best cheese regions in the country. The countryside is characterized by barn-dappled rolling hills dotted with dairy cows. The Appenzell Museum is a great place to learn about the culture and history of the smallest Swiss canton. The area has a rambling network of scenic trails for hikers, birders and photography buffs.
Lucerne is most famous for the covered 14th century Chapel Bridge and Water Tower. In Lucerne, there's a delightful mix of city life, lakes, and mountains, and it's known for the Victorinox brand of Swiss army knives, World-class classical music comes to the area at Easter and in the summer and the fall. The International Comics Festival is in April.
Bern, Switzerland’s capital, is a historic town with narrow streets, stone fountains, fashionable boutiques, and lively cabarets. With a history dating back to the 12th century, this medieval city is known for the Zytglogger, an ancient clock tower complemented with moving puppets. Bears are Bern's symbol, so don’t miss the famous family of bears that inhabit the open pit. Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has four miles of covered arcade shopping. For several days in July, Bern hosts the international music scene at the Gurten Festival.