Things to do in Switzerland with Kids
Traveling Europe is a wonderful thing to do with your children and Switzerland is a country that you do not want to miss! With the abundant outdoor activities, the precision of rail travel, driving the highways through hundreds of tunnels and learning about swiss chocolate, there are so many things to do in Switzerland with kids!
Our road trip took us on a Switzerland family vacation. We enjoyed luxury at the Movenpick Egerkingen featuring excellent rooms for families, we rode the Swiss Rail around Lake Geneva, known as le lac Laman in French, we rode a cog train up to Rigi Kulm and boated across Lake Lucerne. We made chocolate at the Funky Chocolate Lab in Interlaken before shopping for the best Switzerland souvenirs and ate sushi (yes sushi) in Movenpick Geneva.
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Train Travel in Switzerland with Kids – Short Day Trips
Train Travel in Switzerland with kids is a bit daunting. That is why we picked several day trips which included train time, playing and exploring time and then more train time. We had a Swiss Travel Pass, which is free for kids, and here are a few shorter routes I would recommend. They were perfect day trips that returned to our hotel in the evening. Something that I loathe about travel with kids is hotel hopping! I love leaving my luggage in the room and heading out with just a daypack!
Geneva – Montreux by Train
This route takes you around lac Laman (also known as Lake Geneva) from Geneva to Montreux and a great spot to get off to visit le chateau de Chillon. The Swiss Rail system is so comprehensive and the app gives you a variety of timetable and direction options! Pick the one that works best for you and you are off to one of the top 10 places to visit in Switzerland.
Recommended Hotel: Moderne Hotel
Interlaken with Kids
Interlaken is home to the Funky Chocolate Club, winner of best milk chocolate in the country. They offer daily chocolate making classes, allowing you to learn about the different types of chocolate and indulge in as many samples as your tummy can handle! If you do not have time to make chocolate, their shop has plenty of sweets to pick up! In a field behind the shop, you can watch sky divers land in the field and… indulge in your sweet treats.
Check Also: Top 7 Things To Do In Interlaken Switzerland
Maienfled with Kids
The classic children’s book, Heidi, was actually set in Maienfeld, Switzerland. You’ll want to read the story to your children either before, during, or after your trip–preferably all those times. The tiny town is located approximately 20 miles from Chur, which makes a good base for exploring the area. Actually lived in until 1997, Heidi’s rustic 300-year-old stone hut brings the story to life with a cellar, a front room, Grandfather’s room, Heidi’s room, and an attic. It now appears as it did in 1880, when the story takes place. If you have the time, you can hike a steeper Alp trail that begins behind the hut and leads up to another smaller hut. And back down near the gift shop, you can end with a visit Peter’s goat pen and have refreshments.
Gstaad with Kids
“Known as “the last paradise in a crazy world”, Gstaad is an ideal destination for a family break or digital detox with kids. Surrounded by Alpine hills and home to the magnificent Glacier 3000, Gstaad has everything you could want on a family holiday. Whizz down the mountain on the Alpine Coaster, flying at up to six metres off the ground and taking on jumps and turns on the hillsides. Climb up to the Glacier or hop on the gondola lift for breathtaking views of the snowy mountain top, stopping at a tiny restaurant at the top for lunch. Visit a traditional Swiss dairy farm where the cows roam freely and sleep in a barn attached to the famers’ cottage, and try Swiss cheese freshly made from the pan. Celebrities such as Julie Andrews and the fashion designer Valentino retreat to Gstaad for a luxury break away from the media, and to sample the world-class food on offer.”
Lucerne with Kids
Lucerne is a great little town to visit for families. It offers a mysterious old town and a lovely lake Lucerne with boating activities and lovely promenade that houses a unique Museum of Transport.
A nearby Mount Pilatus presents a family-friendly “introduction” into Swiss Alps. We took 4 modes of transports to get there: a boat, a cogwheel train (the world’s steepest), a cable car and a panoramic gondola. As you get off at Frakmunteg on your way down to transfer from a cable car to a panoramic gondola, kids could ride a toboggan slide (fun, but not 100% fall-proof!).
You’ll find the Swiss Museum of Transport or Verkehrshaus der Schweiz in Lucerne. Lucerne is an incredibly picturesque lakefront city surrounded by the dramatic peaks of the Swiss Alps. The Swiss Museum of Transport is Switzerland’s most popular museum and it is easy to see why. Multiple themed halls display trains, planes, boats and aeroplanes, many of which children can climb into and experience from the inside. There are plenty of interactive displays and timed events throughout the day. Hop into a fire-engine, ride a model train and merry-go-round, you can even be a crash test dummy in a low-speed car accident! In the central courtyard, you’ll find a muddy, dirty construction site where the children are the workers and operate excavators and shovel gravel.
My top tip is to visit the museum backwards. It is easy to spend too much time in the first hall, housing the trains. The best displays are found in the Automobile, Navigation and Aviation halls.
Recommended Hotel: Tourist Hotel
Zug with Kids
The beautiful lakeside town of Zug is often skipped by tourists, overshadowed by its more popular neighbour to the north, Zarich. But instead of zooming by on the train from Zurich to Luzern or Italy, hop off and discover this laid back town known for its cherries and beautiful sunsets. Zug famous clocktower, the Zytturm, stands proudly at the entrance to the old town dates back to the 16th century. In early December, The Fairytale Sunday (Marlisunntig) is based around the old town of Zug and children can visit more than 30 different locations with story tellers (in German), puppet shows as well as a parade through town at 5.30pm. Spring time brings cherry season and from those cherries they created the famous Kirsch (Cherry Schnapps). Why not treat yourself to a piece of the famous and very alcoholic Kirschtorte (Cherry Schnapps cake). Finish your day with a walk along the lake and enjoy the sunset, some of the best I’ve ever experienced.
Zugiblubbi Adventure trail
The new 4.9km themed hiking trail opened recently on the Zugerberg (The mountain above Zug) will get your kids lacing up their hiking boots to enjoy the great outdoors. The adventure trail is themed around the character Zugiblubbi, the friendly ghost of the Zugerberg, who is helping his forest friends recover from a big storm. The cute story (in both English and German) starts the trail and continues on with the help of a treasure map, where the kids search for 9 hidden diamonds around the trail. Each of the 9 stations has something exciting to discover from a mushroom forest to a barefoot path. The path is not only child friendly, but also stroller and wheelchair friendly. Finish your hike with a picnic at the Schattwaldi playground.
Engelberg with Kids
The entire family will love sledding down the glacier on the top of Mount Titlis, just a short walk from the train station in Engelberg, an easy one-hour train ride from Lucerne. Getting to the top of the mountain is half the fun! From the Mount Titlis cable car base station, take an eight-seater cable car up to the Rotair cable car station. The Rotair cable car rotates 360 degrees for views of the Alps from above Engelberg. When you step off the Rotair, you will be at the top of Mount Titlis. From here, walk underneath the glacier inside the ice cave and walk across the suspension bridge over the crevasses. Enjoy the ice cream shop, restaurant and gift shop in the cable car station as you look out over the glacier and the Alps. Finally, take the Ice Flyer chair lift over to the Glacier Park for sledding on the glacier for the grand finale of your perfect day on Mount Titlis!
Vevey with Kids
By Lindsay Nieminen
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