Switzerland is one of the top tourist destinations and the most beautiful places in the world. The scenic vistas of the Alps, the beautiful lakes, the meadows, the charming villages with chalets and the overflowing flowers, the jingling of the cows there is no dearth of things to do in Switzerland. The country is truly a paradise on earth. If you are planning to visit Switzerland here are the top things to do or the awe-inspiring reasons why Switzerland should on top of your list!
Thrilling Mountain Rides
Cable Car Ride or Gondola or Cogwheel Ride
One of the best ways to enjoy the scenic vistas of Switzerland is to ride a cable car or a gondola. The birds-eye view of the town or village below and the towering mountains around are sure to leave you awestruck. Then there are cogwheel trains which are a completely unique experience. The cogwheel train to Rigi Kulm is one of the oldest mountains railways and pass through the green meadows.
Brienzer Rothorn, one of the best things to do on your visit to Lake Brienz is another unique experience. The cogwheel steam train takes visitors up to the summit of Brienzer Rothorn at 2350 m offering a breathtaking landscape of Bernese Oberland. Here is a list of top best mountain rides in Switzerland you should not miss on your visit.
Scenic Train Rides
If you are a kind of person who likes train rides or enjoys views from the comfort of your seat then Switzerland offers a plenitude of opportunities. There is no dearth of picturesque vistas in Switzerland and almost all the train routes wind through offering some of the best views of this fairytale land.
Golden Pass train route in Switzerland is one such scenic ride which runs from Montreux to Lucerne. The train chugs past the quaint villages, lakes, lush meadows, chocolate colored chalets, and the Lavaux vineyards. There are two types of trains on the Golden Pass route – Panoramic trains and Classic Trains. The Panoramic trains have large windows offering panoramic views and the Classic Trains have the vintage interior for a varied experience.
The Glacier Express one of the best scenic rail journeys in Switzerland is something you wouldn’t want to miss too. And How about a train ride to Europe’s highest railway station at Jungfraujoch at an altitude of 11,000 feet above sea level? Sounds amazing right? More here.
If you are visiting Switzerland during the winters and freezing snow is stopping you from experiencing the Swiss landscapes then the train rides are one of the best options.
Boat Rides Over the Beautiful Lakes
Switzerland has some of the beautiful lakes which offer the breathtaking views of the mountains and the charming villages dotting the shores. Lake Geneva is one of the largest lakes in Europe. There are plenty of things to in Lake Geneva and around. Then there is the Lake Brienz and Lake Thun which nestle the beautiful town of Interlaken.
The lakeshores are dotted with quaint Swiss villages. One of the best ways to explore the lakes, the scenic vistas around and the lakeshore attraction is to go on a lake cruise. Read more about the boat trips here.
Stroll the Old Towns or Historic Centers
One of the first old towns we visited in Switzerland was the Geneva Old Town. The old town of Geneva with 2000 years old history is like a different world altogether. There are medieval buildings, houses, cafes, restaurants, the 12th century Gothic St. Pierre Cathedral and numerous museums. The Old Towns are charming neighborhoods in the city with an surrounded by tall buildings and shopping malls.
The Old Towns have an amazing history and are mostly car-free which offer a peaceful stroll. The stunning medieval fountains in Bern Old Town, the murals in Lucerne, magnificent churches in Zurich, the picturesque chalets along the Aare River in Interlaken are some of our favorite Old Towns in Switzerland.
Get Lost in Alleys of the Swiss Villages
There are many small charming Swiss villages which let you experience quintessential Switzerland. These villages, a peaceful haven are sure to drift you into a time warp. Wander the winding alleys of these villages and marvel at the picturesque setting. The chocolate chalets are adorned with colorful flowers and cowbells.
Iseltwald, Bonigen, and Brienz are beautiful villages on the shores of Lake Brienz which offers great views. Brienz village is a traditional wood carving village where you sure to find some amazing artworks. Appenzell is known for the colorful houses with painted facades and Lauterbrunnen looks like taken straight out of a fairytale. Here are the most beautiful villages in Switzerland which should be on your list.
Cheese and Chocolates
One of the popular draws for the tourists to Switzerland after the breathtaking sceneries are the cheese and chocolates. Switzerland treats its visitors with some delicious chocolates. And when it comes to cheese Gruyeres is our favorite. You can also visit the Gruyeres Cheese factory and watch the processing of the cheese. You will also get Gruyeres cheese for tasting.
Similarly, you can do a chocolate factory tour, take a tour of the chocolate manufacturing unit, enjoy an unlimited chocolate tasting session, attend a chocolate making workshop and take home some delicious souvenirs.
Did you know the land of fairytale views is home to UNESCO-listed vineyard terraces spanning over 830 hectares? The Lavaux Vineyards are located in a picturesque setting on the shores of the shimmering Lake Geneva. The vineyard terraces stretching from Montreux to Lausanne are one of the most beautiful wine regions. The vineyard terraces offer 30 km of hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Alps, small villages and the Lake Geneva.
The trail is dotted with numerous wine cellars where you can stop by for wine tasting. Some of the cellars also offer a tour of the cellar where you can learn about the vineyards and its history. The vineyards located on the slopes of the Rhone valley in Valais overlook the stunning snow-clad peaks. Some of the other popular wine regions are around the slopes of lakes Neuchatel, Biel, and Murten, Ticino, Hermance, and Aigle.
Switzerland is a shoppers paradise but if you are on a budget there is plenty of flea markets which sells almost everything from fresh food to vintage. The flea market at Plainpalais is one of the largest and oldest flea markets in Switzerland. The market takes place since 1970.
The Swiss capital Bern has numerous flea markets and produce markets. You will find flea markets in almost all the popular Swiss Cities. The markets usually take place weekly or biweekly on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Here is the list of best markets in Switzerland.
Swiss Skiing Resorts
One of the popular attraction for travelers to Switzerland is the ski regions. Some of the places in Switzerland get snow all through the year and the infrastructure is just fab which makes it a favorite destination for skiers. Also in Switzerland, the ski resorts are easy to reach due to a good network of trains and cableways.
The snow resorts also have snow parks which offer a variety of fun snow activities for kids as well as adults. Most of the Swiss mountain resorts are the authentic villages, for instance, Zermatt, Wengen, Gstaad or Engelberg. Along with the ski adventure, you also get to experience some quintessential Swiss culture and architecture.
Explore the Wonderful Cities
Switzerland is home to some of the amazing and beautiful cities. These Switzerland cities are different from the usual concrete jungles. Here apart from the usual boutique shops and large shopping malls you will find rivers, bridges, gardens, parks and historic centers. The Swiss cities are also home to some of the best Museums which are fun and educational at the same time. The global city of Geneva alone has over 30 museums. There are an abundance of green spaces in the city with children play area. The historic centers in the city are a unique experience. They are like a time warp like you are walking back into history.
Take Home Unique Souvenirs
Cowbells, Chocolates, Watches
We believe memories are one of the best souvenirs you can take back home. But the souvenirs from Switzerland are amongst the most irresistible ones. The cowbells, chocolates, cheese or the Swiss watches make for some of the best Swiss souvenirs. The delicious chocolates come in pretty collector boxes which you can keep as a memory. The shopping malls and supermarkets usually have offers and discounts on the chocolates.
Cowbells in various designs, colors and sizes can be found in malls and tourist shops. The best place to shop for a variety of cheese is the produce markets which are weekly markets in every Swiss city. And there is no dearth of watch shops in the city center. The design, quality and royal look of the Swiss watches distinguish it from the other brands.
Our other favorite Swiss souvenirs are Swiss Army Knife a popular pocketknife, Swiss Knife and Cuckoo Clocks.
We believe this post has given you enough reasons to plan your ‘the trip to Switzerland’. Do share with us your suggestions and experiences we would love to hear.