- You asked for it; you got it! By popular request, we now present the 25 best things to do in Switzerland!
- 1. Chasing Waterfalls
- 2. See the Cities
- 3. Explore the Towns
- 4. Discover the Villages
- 5. Go Take a Hike
- 6. Sign Aboard a Boat Tour
- 7. Discover the Lakes
- 8. Hop on a Train
- 9. Road Trip!
- 10. Visit the Museums
- 11. Visit Vineyards
- 12. Try Winter Sports
- 13. Walk Across the Suspension Bridges
- 14. See the Gorgeous Gorges
- 15. Snap Pictures of the Castles
- 16. Enjoy the Expansive Mountain Views
- 17. Sleep in a Memorable Mountain Guest House
- 18. Make Friends With the Cows
- 19. Watch a Film at an Open-Air Cinema
- 20. Experience an Adventure
- 21. Coffee That Comes With a View
- 22. Sample Some Sweet Swiss Chocolate
- 23. Cool Down in the Caves
- 24. Visit a Lovely Lido
- 25. See a Superb Swiss Sunset
You asked for it; you got it! By popular request, we now present the 25 best things to do in Switzerland!
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is one of those countries that travel buffs like to visit again and again. Are you going there any time in the near future? With so much to do and see, you might need help with your itinerary. We have consulted frequent flyers who have been there more than once to bring you a new list of the best things to do there. Here, in no particular order, here are the 25 best things to do in Switzerland.
1. Chasing Waterfalls
Contrary to what you might have heard in the TLC song, chasing waterfalls in Switzerland is highly recommended. Indeed, the largest waterfall in Europe is located here. Why the Rhine Falls in Neuhausen/Schaffhausen has already become popular with tourists, there are other worthy waterfalls as well.
There are the Trümmelbach Falls, the great Giessbach Waterfalls located at Lake Brienz, and the stunning Staubbach Waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen. Would you like more? There are several waterfalls along the way if you’re traveling from the Italian-speaking section of Switzerland to Zurich.
2. See the Cities
While the cities here are not the largest, you’ll still get that metropolitan feel when visiting. Zurich is a favorite of frequent flyers. It features quaint cafes, vegetarian restaurants, cool clubs, and the world’s most expensive shopping street, the Bahnhofstrasse.
Let’s not forget beautiful Lake Zurich either. In fact, every city has a lake and a “home mountain.” There’s also Geneva too. Famous for its watches, it’s also the home of Lake Geneva, the International Red Cross Committee and its own United Nations office. Beauteous Bern and lovely Lucerne are also recommended stops.
3. Explore the Towns
There are many old towns there as well. Those “who have been” say that seeing these towns is simply a “must do” experience and praise them for their cute, colorful appearance and friendly locals. Each of the small towns there have their own, individual charm and identity and are unique.
Appenzell is praised for its architecture. Stein am Rhine has its own sense of style. Other memorable towns include Montreux, Rapperswil, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, Thun, and Zermatt.
4. Discover the Villages
Switzerland also has some cute villages. While visitors often stumble upon them, why not plan them into your itinerary instead? Get off the beaten path a bit. Veteran visitors suggest seeing Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, and Wengen. Sample the wares of the local residents too.
5. Go Take a Hike
Unlike some travel writers, your rovin’ writer has actually earned several hiking awards. Switzerland is a great place for hiking. It’s a must-do activity for anyone looking for something different to do here.
There are hikes available for people of all skill levels too. Ebenalp, Flims and Harder Kulm offer comparatively easy hikes. Experienced hikers will find many difficult hiking trails as well. Socialize with Swiss hikers too. Sections of Interlaken are often populated by many Indian and Arabian hikers too if you’d like to hike with them.
6. Sign Aboard a Boat Tour
Take a boat tour on one of Switzerland’s (ahem) great lakes. They are available on all of the larger lakes. The cruise on Lake Geneva offers small lounges in first class. Make a day of it so you can go ashore in Montreux and Nyon.
Lake Lucerne is another perfect place for boat cruise. Plan on stopping at Vitznau or Weggis. Take the four-hour Lake Zurich boat tour. Stop off in Rapperswil too.
Most of these tours are free if you have a Swiss Travel Pass. If not, prices will vary significantly. For example, sources note that a single day pass for a Lake Brienz tour, the most expensive ticket, is roughly 100€ (or $111.00).
7. Discover the Lakes
Next to the mountains, the lakes are arguably the most stunning natural attractions in Switzerland. They all have their own unique colors too. Blausee is reported to be more green than blue.
Lake Brienz is turquoise. Lake Geneva is mainly blue but green around the edges. Cruises are not available on all of them and they’re not all well-known either.
Nevertheless, you should still also see both Zugersee and Lungernsee. If you take a train or car you will pass them going from Interlaken to Zurich. If you prefer more privacy then visit Lake Sufers.
You will have to pay to enter parks in order to get to Lake Blausee, Lake Cauma, and Lake Cresta but most can be seen for free. You can swim in them too.
8. Hop on a Train
While traveling by train may be a questionable experience in some places, here in Switzerland it is safe and fun. Seasoned travelers recommend it. Sources in the know report that the train that runs from Zurich to Lugano is especially enjoyable if you like scenery. Purchase a Swiss Travel Pass. It’s not only budget-friendly but with it you can get a discount on numerous other activities as well.
9. Road Trip!
Taking a road trip through Switzerland is as enjoyable as taking the train. While it doesn’t have that Orient Express feel to it, a road allows you more freedom in terms of where to stop, when to stop and how long to stay wherever you stop. Meet an attractive Swiss Miss (or Mister)? No hurry, hook up and hit the road when you’re ready.
If you need help with knowing which route is the most scenic or which one would be the most interesting to you then check out the Grand Road Tour. Veteran visitors suggest cruising around Lake Lucerne. Try the route from Lucerne to Weggis and even Vitznau.
Hit the road to Interlaken where you can drive around both Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. Drive through the Italian-speaking portion of Switzerland but be aware that it’s more difficult to maneuver. Another favorite route of frequent visitors is the route between Locarno and Valle Verzasca.
10. Visit the Museums
Frequent flyers one must-see museum in Switzerland is the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum located in Geneva. If that doesn’t work for you, there are over 900 more from which to choose. If you’d rather stay outside, stop by the popular Ballenberg museum which is part of the Jungfrau/Interlaken museum. If you’re into art then check out the city of Basel. Most of the museums will allow you to enter free with your Swiss Travel Pass.
11. Visit Vineyards
If you’re into wine then this stop is a no-brainer. Get on the phone and book a wine tasting. Still, even if you are a fan of the grape, the scenery in the vineyards is said to be amazing.
There are actually vineyards in many different areas of the country. You can arguably find the largest and most beauteous in the Montreux area. For the best overall view and scenery veteran vineyard visitors vouch for Chexbres where the memorable views include Lake Geneva.
12. Try Winter Sports
Yours truly is more of a biker, hiker and volleyball player. Still, if you, like your wandering wordsmith are not big on skiing, you need to remember this is one of the best places in the world to try it (and other winter sports).
Some places in Switzerland even offer winter sports during the summer months. Both Jungfraujoch and Klein Matterhorn offer a variety of them. Again though, if you like skiing or are willing to try it, then there is no better place to do that then in the skiing dream destination of Switzerland.
13. Walk Across the Suspension Bridges
Visitors in Switzerland cane see the best views from the mountain summits. If you don’t like heights that high, however, be sure to check out the panorama and suspension bridges. The longest suspension bridge in the world opened near the city of Zermatt in 2017. If you’re looking for another bridge worth the trip, take a ride to Sigriswil and visit the suspension bridge there.
14. See the Gorgeous Gorges
The gorges in Switzerland are amazing. In fact, the previously mentioned Trümmelbachfälle (waterfalls) is ensconced in a gorge. The well-known Rhine Gorge is perhaps best seen from a train or a higher viewpoint. If you wish to avoid this popular tourist attraction but would still like to see a gorgeous gorge try Gorner Gorge or Aare Gorge. These gorges will not have large crowds of tourists as they are less well-known than the Rhine Gorge.
15. Snap Pictures of the Castles
If you’re into history or just into medieval fantasy, visit the Instagrammable castles of Switzerland. The country is more than a fairy-tale winter wonderland, of course, and the castles are cool any time of the year. The castles here are generally ensconced in the midst of stunning scenery including lakes and mountains.
There are a number of famous castles worth mentioning here. There is the Chateau du Chillon in Montreux which is found on the shores of Lake Geneva and is said to be quite pretty. The Schadau Castle is memorable because it is actually pinkish. (Switzerland doesn’t exactly have lots of pink castles.) Another castle worth your attention is the popular Castel Grande in Bellinzona.
16. Enjoy the Expansive Mountain Views
Hiking up a mountain in Switzerland can be an incredible experience. Mind you, if your idea of hiking is walking from your hotel room to the hot tub, fret not. Some mountains can’t be hiked and many of these beautiful mountains offer visitors scenic cable car rides.
Taking in the view from a mountain summit at least 2000 meters (6561+ feet) high is a must-do. You can also take a train ride up into the mountains at Brienzer Rothorn. Other suggested mountains include Mount Rigi, Mount Pilatus, and Klein Matterhorn. The most well-known (albeit expensive) mountain adventure would be Jungfraujoch.
17. Sleep in a Memorable Mountain Guest House
You really need to spend at least one night in a Swiss mountain guest house. The majority of them are not all that fancy and yet sleeping in one there ensconced in the mountains can be surprisingly noteworthy. One favorite is Ebenalp Guest House on Ebenalp.
When compared to typical hotels, the price of this place is moderate too. Be sure to pack a lot of warm clothing. It can get cold staying at an elevation of 1,800 meters (5905+ feet) if the heater fails.
18. Make Friends With the Cows
It is always good to make friends in foreign lands. While the Swiss can reportedly be “a bit reserved” at times, the cows are not. The cows are everywhere.
Since cows spend most of their lives in the country, you cannot help but come across them once you travel outside the city. Take selfies with them but be nice and don’t tip them. After all, these cows contribute to creating incredible Swiss chocolate. If you’re not nice to them they might decide to stop making it.
19. Watch a Film at an Open-Air Cinema
If you visit in the summer, you simply must kick back and take in a flick at an open-air cinema. The locals consider it one of the main events of the season. Some of the best open-air cinemas can be found in the small towns. If the weather isn’t cooperative while you’re there put it on your list for next time. There are outdoor music concerts too!
20. Experience an Adventure
No matter when you visit, Switzerland is said by some veteran visitors to be a true “paradise for outdoor sports lovers.” You can find almost any adventurous activity here. Suggested sports activities include hiking, bungee jumping, glacier hiking, base jumping and paragliding.
21. Coffee That Comes With a View
Believe it or not, here you can sit on a mountain peak or atop one of a few of the high building there and relax with a hot cup of coffee. Take a breather and take in the views. Frequent flyers suggest that if at all possible, you visit a guest house or restaurant on one of the mountain peaks since you can find tall buildings anywhere.
22. Sample Some Sweet Swiss Chocolate
Some people have issues with cheese so we have skipped it. By all means though, as much as possible, sample all the local fare. When it comes to fresh Swiss chocolate, it is said to be delicious.
What makes chocolate worth its own mention here is not only the taste but the related activity. You can actually create your own chocolate souvenir via one of the popular chocolate workshops. One source praised particular workshop that is offered in Interlaken.
This workshop is not only fun and educational but they also allow participants to take home three bars of chocolate. (Try to make them last!) Mind you, Swiss chocolate can be quite costly.
Some visitors vouch for Lindt. It’s not the most expensive and yet it is great. Yes, there is dark chocolate too and it is vegan.
23. Cool Down in the Caves
If you visit Switzerland when it’s hot and you need to cool down then visit a cave. A few of them are notably beautiful. Here you can not only cool down a bit but learn something about another area of Switzerland that many never pause to consider.
One frequent flyer favors the famous St. Beatus Caves. Additionally, the guided tour is highly recommended. A bonus here is that outside of these caves you will be able to get a great view of Lake Thun.
24. Visit a Lovely Lido
If you are big on swimming then a lido is a great place to do it. A lido is a natural swimming pool within a river or lake. They are often fenced off and guarded.
They are safe and those who have been to Switzerland confirm that it’s a lot of fun to swim in the lakes and rivers there. Swimming in a lido cools you down and relaxes you. It costs only a few francs to use them too. Dogs are generally banned from lidos so if you take issue with dogs then these lidos are even more enjoyable.
25. See a Superb Swiss Sunset
Sunsets always top the list of beautiful scenery anywhere. It can be especially exceptional and romantic if you’re traveling as a couple. Nevertheless, seeing a sunset in Switzerland can be special.
You may wish to research where to see the setting sun based on your specific itinerary though in order to maximize the experience. Frequent flyers suggest seeing the sunset in such spots as in Vitznau near Lucerne–from atop Mount Rigi (if at all possible). If you have your sea legs, you can even sign on for a sunset boat cruise on Lake Thun.
There you have it, dear travelers, 25 of the best things to do in Switzerland. Have you been to Switzerland in the past? Did we miss any of your favorite activities? If so, let us know in the comment section!