Switzerland is a small country, but it’s a place with big mountains, big culture, and big opportunities for travelers. Here you can spend time in cosmopolitan cities to explore the museums and culinary scene, and then head to the colorful villages to learn about life as a Swiss local and take in the beautiful scenery. These are our eight favorite things to see and do in Switzerland!
1- Take a Boat Ride on Lake Geneva
Geneva is an international city that’s known for its role in the United Nations and the International Red Cross. But the city itself is also full of lovely parks and some really interesting sights to see. One of the best ways to get to know Geneva is to take a boat ride out on Lake Geneva to experience it from the water.
2- Ride the Bernina Express through the Swiss Alps
One of the most memorable things you’ll ever do in Switzerland is to take a ride through the Swiss Alps on the Bernina Express. This train route will take you through alpine scenery, historical sites, with amazing views around every turn. The route goes from the town of Chur to Tirao in Italy and crosses the canton of Graubünden on a ride that takes about four hours. Alternatively, you can take a route from Davos for a 15-minute ride or a ride from St. Moritz for about a two-hour ride. But the full route is definitely the best one to take if you have the time.
3- Summit the Matterhorn, Zermatt
The Matterhorn is one of the highest mountains Switzerland, but it really stands out for its unique shape and role in mountaineering history. Standing at 4,478 meters tall, this highly photographed mountain draws in alpinists from all over the world to summit to the top. It’s located near the small town of Zermatt, which is very pedestrian-friendly and a year-around destination for skiers and hikers.
4- Discover Outdoor Adventure in Interlaken
Interlaken is known as the adventure capital of Switzerland, and this resort area offers so many things to do for people who love getting active in the outdoors. Start your journey here to head into the Bernese Oberland Alps for your adventures. This is also a popular resort area because of the spas and fresh mountain air that’s unique to this part of the world. Interlaken is a very popular place to go hang gliding, kayaking, paragliding, river rafting, jet boating, and hiking.
5- Explore Old Town Bern
The Old Town part of the city of Bern, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is definitely a great place to visit when you plan a trip to Switzerland. Here you’ll find the Munster, which is an iconic Gothic cathedral and a beautiful town hall. While in Bern, you can also see the Zytglogge, which is a famous clock tower with puppets. This is also an ideal area for travelers who love to shop for souvenirs, gifts, and personal items to take back home.
6- See Rhine Falls
The largest waterfall in all of Europe is Rhine Falls, which is near Schaffhausen and in the northern part of the country. Here you can watch the falls from a viewing deck and see the falls drop at least 150 meters down. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even rent a canoe and head out on the water. You can even reach the castles of Wörth and Laufen by boat from this area.
7- Go Boating on Lake Lucerne
Another lake worth visiting during your time in Switzerland is Lake Lucerne. This region is in the German-speaking part of the country and is incredibly beautiful. The city of Lucerne is also known for its Chapel Bridge and Water Tower. Come here for picture-perfect postcard views and a lovely charm that will make you fall in love with Swiss culture. Consider taking a boat cruise on a historic paddlewheel steamer or salon motor vessel to really experience this lake.
8- Walk Around Old Town (Altstadt), Zurich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and is a favorite spot among arts and culture enthusiasts. There are so many museums and art galleries here that it would be impossible to see them all in just one trip. One highly recommended thing to do in Zurich is to explore the Old Town area, known as Altstadt. This area is home to the Swiss National Museum, the Museum of Art, Minster of Our Lady Church, and Bahnhofstrasse.