Switzerland is a country in the middle of Europe known for its beauty and cultural diversity. Switzerland is known for its cuckoo clocks, chocolate, and yodeling, but it also has a mix of cultures and some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world.
Switzerland is always beautiful, whether you go in the winter to snowshoe or cross-country ski or in the summer to hike on trails with breathtaking views. Switzerland is a great place to visit at any time, especially if you want to see its cities, which are stylish and full of history. Don’t forget that a Swiss Travel Pass gives you access to these cities and many more.
The medieval Swiss city of Basel is small and sweet, like a chocolate box. It is a melting pot of art, culture, and architecture. Visit the Old Town to see historic places like the Basel Münster cathedral, the Rathaus town hall, and the St. Elizabeth church. Or you could walk down to the Rhine and take a boat ride.
It’s also worth taking a 40-minute train ride across the German border from Basel to Freiburg, the gateway to the Black Forest with many great places to see. Don’t miss the Art Basel international art fair, which takes place every year in June.
Bern is unlike any other capital city because it is on both sides of the Aare river. This laid-back capital is known best for its cobbled Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site with a huge network of medieval arcades, colorful fountains, and limestone buildings. Bern is the most beautiful flower city in Europe.
It is also the birthplace of Toblerone chocolate and Einstein’s theory of relativity. There is beauty and history around every corner in Bern. It is also the starting point for trips to the Swiss Alps. Interlaken and Grindelwald are both less than 2 hours away by train.
It is sleek and stylish, where chocolate and watches were first made. Under its seemingly perfect surface, though, you’ll find a lot of alternative art and culture. Walk around the Quartier des Paquis and along the Rhône, where bars and cafes are full of counterculture coolness in post-industrial Quartier des Paquis and along the Rhône.
Early in the summer, the vineyards in the countryside hold caves ouvertes for wine lovers who want to learn more about Swiss wine. Geneva is right on the border with France, and you can get there from Paris by train in a little over 3 hours.
Interlaken, as the name implies, is located in the Bernese Oberland between two lakes, Thun and Brienz. Interlaken is known as one of the best places in the world to find thrills because tall Alpine peaks like Jungfrau, Eiger, and Monch surround it. Follow the Panoramaweg, a two-hour, low-impact hiking trail, for a more relaxed way to see the sights.
Grindelwald First (2,166m), where many hiking trails begin, is the best place to see the Eiger North Face. To get there, take a train from Interlaken to Grindelwald, which takes about 25 minutes, and then take a cable car the rest of the way up. Note that you can only go to Grindelwald First from April to October.
In the middle of Switzerland, Lucerne is on the edge of its namesake lake. Queen Victoria, Wagner, and Goethe all liked the city and its beautiful views in the 19th century when it became very popular. The medieval Altstadt (Old Town) of Lucerne and its sunny plazas, lakeside promenades, and candy-colored houses in Weinmarkt Square make this city a joy to walk around.
Mark Twain called the city’s shopping “gimcrackery of the souvenir sort,” which is still true. Lucerne’s mix of old and new makes this “city of lights” shine. You can carry the train from Paris to Lucerne in 4 hours and 43 minutes.
Lausanne is spread over three hills and is right next to Lake Geneva. Its sides are covered with vineyards. Since 1914, the International Olympic Committee has been based in Lausanne, which makes sense given the city’s steep layout. Climb the Escaliers du Marché to reach the city’s Gothic old town and Switzerland’s biggest cathedral.
If you want to see the cooler side of Lausanne, go to the trendy lakeside neighborhoods of Flon and Ouchy, where old warehouses have been turned into bars, restaurants, clubs, shops, and art galleries. By train, it takes 36 minutes to get from Geneva to Lausanne.
Car-free Zermatt has been known for a long time as one of the most luxurious resorts in Switzerland. The best part of any trip to Zermatt is seeing the Matterhorn in all its glory. This famous jagged peak rises 4,478 meters above the rooftops of Zermatt. There are numerous ways to enjoy the scenery around Zermatt, but walking is the best. Nearly 400 km of marked hiking and mountain trails of different difficulty levels can be found in the area.
Zurich is a beautiful city at the foot of the Alps where the River Limmat gets to meet Lake Zurich. Walk down Spiegelgasse to see Lenin’s old home and the Cabaret Voltaire, where Tristan Tzara and Hans Arp started the Dada art movement in 1916. Don’t miss a trip to Lake Zurich, which has beautiful parks and promenades along its shores.