Fairy tale towns with delicious chocolate and cheese being served on every corner come to mind when talking about Switzerland. From the snow-covered towns adored by ski enthusiasts to lakeside towns with flowers dotting every road. I partnered with other travel bloggers so you can discover the most beautiful cities in Switzerland.
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Recommended by Bridget of The Flashpacker
Visit Bern for its charm and beauty, a perfectly intact medieval center, and for easy access by train to the spectacular peaks of the Bernese Oberland. Surrounded by the aquamarine waters of the River and the Alps, Switzerland’s understated capital is located in a stunning setting.
Start by exploring Bern’s Altstadt, or Old Town on foot. This UNESCO World Heritage site features 6km of arcades lining cobbled streets of sandstone buildings and a profusion of fountains. The most famous of these fountains is the Kindlifresserbrunnen, which depicts an ogre snacking on a small child.
If you are craving open spaces, take the funicular to the Gurten, a small peak that is 3km south of the city center. From here, select one of the hiking trails, which range from 3 – 6km in length. The lookout tower at the Gurten is also one of the best places for views of Bern and of the Alps.
For traditional Swiss food, including excellent fondue, book a table at Restaurant Harmonie on the Old Town (Hotelgasse 3). Finally, stay in the heart of Bern’s Aldstadt at The Bristol hotel. It’s not cheap, but this 4-star hotel is in an excellent location, has comfortable beds and coolly efficient staff!
Recommended by Cosette of KarsTravels
Chur is the oldest city of Switzerland, (at least it claims to be) since there already was a settlement on this spot 9000 years BC. The city is located in the eastern part of Switzerland and this beautiful city should be part of 4 Days in Switzerland. It has numerous old buildings and is surrounded by mountains and valleys.
There are plenty of things to do in and around Chur. Recommended is visiting the Martinskirche (St. Martin’s Church). It dominates the vista of Chur and is the iconic symbol of Chur. It’s located on St. Martin’s Square and has a distinctive spire and clock face.
Stroll along the old town of Chur to admire the facades of the beautiful historical buildings. Take at least an hour for this.
At least visit one of the interesting museums in Chur, like the Graubünden Art Museum. This museum is for art lovers, with art ranging from the 18th century to modern times.
For some local cuisine sit down at the restaurant Drei Bunde. If staying over in Chur, go to Central Hotel Post.
The best view of Chur is from the Haldenhüttli, from which you get that picture-perfect postcard view.
Recommended by Carolyn of Holidays to Switzerland
One of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland has to be Grindelwald. Although more of a town than a city, this attractive alpine resort sits in one of the most idyllic locations in the Swiss Alps. Nestled at the foot of Mt. Eiger and right in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, Grindelwald is everything you’d expect an authentic Swiss mountain town to be. Wooden chalets line the main street and dot the surrounding hillsides, whilst the imposing peaks of snow-capped mountains provide a stunning backdrop. Visitors come to Grindelwald to enjoy the scenery and to indulge in outdoor pursuits – skiing and snow sports in winter and hiking and adrenaline activities in summer.
One of the most popular things to do in Grindelwald is to visit Mt. First where there are numerous fun activities to enjoy including a cliff walk, zip line, and fat-tire scooters to ride. It’s also from Mt. First that you can enjoy spectacular panoramic vistas of Grindelwald. An excursion to Jungfraujoch is also top of the list for most visitors to Grindelwald. The journey to the ‘Top of Europe’ can be taken either by train or a combination of the cable car and train – both options taking passengers to Europe’s highest railway station at 3,454 meters. When you’re hungry, head to Barrys Restaurant where you can dine on typical Swiss fare including fondue. The centrally-located Hotel Spinne is the ideal place to stay in Grindelwald as it offers a range of excellent amenities including an infinity pool which offers views of the Alps. Contributed by Carolyn of Holidays to Switzerland
Recommended by Madison of Madison’s Footsteps
Translating to “between lakes,” Interlaken is the adrenaline capital of Europe and one of the most picturesque towns in Switzerland. Thrill-seekers and travelers from all over the globe flock to Interlaken for a variety of extreme sports including skydiving, paragliding, skiing, bungee jumping, and canyoning. Even if plummeting through midair at dizzying speeds isn’t your forte, there are plenty of exciting and awe-inspiring things to do in Interlaken, Switzerland.
Interlaken is located in the Bernese Oberland region of central Switzerland and is snugly nestled between two beautiful blue lakes: Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Downtown Interlaken is incredibly charming and spotted with quaint restaurants and Swiss-style chalets. If adventure sports aren’t on your Switzerland itinerary, you could learn how to make Swiss chocolate, book a winter or summer kayaking excursion, take the strenuous hike to Harder Kulm (the Top of Interlaken) or simply enjoy every type of Swiss fondue under the sun.
If you wish to ski, snowboard, hike or just explore the neighboring mountain towns, Interlaken is the ideal home base for your Switzerland vacation. You’ll find that buses, trains, and trams leave frequently from Interlaken to shuttle travelers all over the region. The best part about visiting Interlaken is the fact that there’s no true off-season. Interlaken offers plenty of fun, outdoor activities during all seasons!
Recommended by Jonny of Jonny Melon
Lauterbrunnen is hands-down one of the most beautiful destinations in all of Switzerland and is commonly referred to as the Valley Of 72 Waterfalls.
Located in the Jungfrau Region, Lauterbrunnen boasts glacial waterfalls, hiking trails, ski slopes, and quaint villages. You could easily spend a week here exploring all four corners of this stunning valley, though if your time is limited, 2-3 days would be enough to see the top attractions.
Some of the best things to do in Lauterbrunnen including walking into the cave behind Staubbach Falls, taking a scenic train ride to Wengen Village, riding the Gondola to Piz Gloria located on top of Mount Schiulthorn where one of the original James Bond movies was filmed, and wandering around the picturesque village of Mürren which lies at the end of Lauterbrunnen Valley.
If you plan your visit during winter you have the option to go skiing on the slopes on Mount Schilthorn, and for those of you who prefer the hotter months, Lauterbrunnen offers a range of different hiking trails which are open in the summer.
It’s safe to say, Lauterbrunnen has many fun-fuelled activities to suit all kinds of travelers!
Recommended by Me, The Directionally Challenged Traveler
Snuggled comfortably by the Swiss Alps, Lucerne is the quintessential beautiful city in Switzerland. With Lake Lucerne at the center of the city, there’s so much to do and breathtaking views wherever you look. As one of the oldest cities in Switzerland, there is a lot of history to explore. The famous Chapel Bridge is more than a pretty picture. The iconic Wassturm (or water tower) served the city in a number of ways – including a prison and a local treasury!
Strolling along the city streets you’ll enjoy the colorful buildings and the waterfront dotted with swans. Keep an eye out for the onion-shaped towers of the Jesuit Church! For an off-the-beaten-path experience, head to Glacier Garden. This monument shows that Lucerne was once covered by glaciers during the last Ice Age. You can get lost in the mirror maze or enjoy paintings in the Rosengard Collection.
To satisfy your sweet tooth, head to Laderach for their famous Swiss chocolate. If you’re able to spend the night, check out Atlstadt Hotel Magic!
Recommended by Michela of She Goes The Distance
Nestled just beyond the border of Italy in the Ticino region, Lugano boasts a unique culture and geography unlike any other city in Switzerland. You’ll discover the locals speak Italian but enjoy the luxurious perks of being Swiss, including the glamorous buildings on the lakefront and the high-end shopping in the city center. The stunning Lake Lugano framed by the Alps is Lugano’s biggest draw. Take advantage of the view by enjoying a lakeside meal at La Cucina di Alice.
A walk along the Lungolago is a must-do, where you can rent a paddleboat and enjoy the sparkling waters of Lake Lugano or sit on one of the red benches that line the lakeside promenade to soak up the views. For the best view with the tiniest effort, ascend through the hilly town center to the Cathedral of St. Lawrence. The ornate facade of this imposing church faces a panoramic view over Lake Lugano and its most famous mountains.
Monte San Salvatore is a uniquely shaped mountain across the city center of Lugano and also offers amazing views from its peak over the entire valley. You can take the cable car or hike your way to the highest vantage point. For the most adventurous travelers, face the challenging Via Ferrata rock-climbing route for an exhilarating trip to the top. Enjoy the lake views and central location of the International au Lac Historic Lakeside Hotel for your stay in this picture-perfect Swiss city.
Recommended by Enzo of Inguribile Viaggiatore
Strolling along the lake of Montreaux is what you need to appreciate the city’s best view and breathe a bit of the typical atmosphere between bars and cafes.
In the historic centre, there is the old city, where – following the main street that leads to Rue du Marchè – you reach the top of a hill from which you can have a splendid view of the city and the lake. To learn more about the history of Montreux, be sure to visit the Musée du Vieux Montreux, where you can discover the history of the city.
Moreover, in Place du Marchè, overlooking the lake for music lovers, stands the statue of Freddie Mercury. He decided to spend the last years of his life here, where together with the rest of his musical group, the Queen, he bought his studies. Of Mountain Studios recording. Rock music lovers, step forward!
The most visited historic building in Switzerland is Chateau du Chillon located in Veytaux, a short distance from Montreux. The Chateau du Chillon is located on a rocky island; the charming medieval-style castle dating back to the 11th century, first owned by the Savoy Counts, then by the Bernese, attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Once you have crossed the drawbridge, it will be clear why: the towers, the walkways, the vaults in the Gothic style of the basement, the well-preserved frescoes, but above all, the context in which it is inserted, make it a genuinely suggestive place. If you like luxury, you have to stay at the Royal Plaza Montreux while savouring French cuisine and traditional specialities; suggest the Auberge Frahier restaurant or L’Escorneil.
Recommended by Smita of My Faulty Compass
One of the best things to do in Zermatt is to take in the mighty Matterhorn from different vantage points – from the Kirchbrücke in the village to the many hiking trails around the mountain, there is no shortage of viewing spots to take in the amazing scenery. Make sure you also capture sunrise & sunset over the Matterhorn – it makes for a ridiculously photogenic scene!
Visit the mountains surrounding Zermatt to take in the fantastic views over the village – Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn & Rothorn are all easily accessible and have some beautiful hiking trails. The Gornergrat trail & the Zermatt 5 lakes trail are among the most popular and with good reason! Both offer very different (yet equally stunning) scenery over the glacier, the mountains, and the many lakes. See if you can capture the reflection of the Matterhorn in one of the lakes for a postcard-perfect image.
The village of Zermatt itself is a charming, quaint place with wooden chalets lining the streets. Take a stroll through the village taking in Zermatt’s pretty church and the Matterhorn Museum followed by a walk alongside the river Mattervispa.
When looking for a place to stay in Zermatt, pick a place that has views over the Matterhorn so you can capture the early morning sunrise shots! Overlook Lodge by CERVO is a fantastic option that offers great views from the balcony.
Recommended by Ronja of Ronja Goes Abroad
Just a 20min train ride outside of Zürich you can find the beautiful town of Zug. Zug is located right next to lake Zugersee. Just across the lake lays Rooterberg, Mt Rigi, and Wildspitz. So you are promised incredible views!
If you are looking for the best viewpoint you need to check out Aussichspunkt Guggi! This place is located on top of a hill and you can see right down over the town. From here you can also see the lake and the mountains. An amazing view all around the day!
When in Zug you should visit Zugerberg. Take the cable car up the hill and hike back down. It’s a 2h hike and you will have incredible views and will be surrounded by nature during the entire hike! As Zug is located by the lake you should have a day at the beach, do some water sports like paddleboarding! Day trips to Luzern and Zürich are also possible as the train passes right through Zug.
The best and unique restaurant in Zug is definitely Crêprie Intermezzo. Here you can get both salty and sweet crepe and they are amazing!
Staying in Zug isn’t very cheap. But a place worth the stay is City-Hotel Ochsen. This old hotel is located right in the heart of the old town. The town is right at your feet! Zug is a must-visit as one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland!
Recommended by Smita of My Faulty Compass
Zurich is often overlooked by travelers when it comes to visiting cities in Switzerland which is really unfortunate since the city has so much to offer! With the gorgeous Lake Zurich, the lovely river Limmat, the charming old town, and stunning mountains overlooking the city, Zurich is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland.
One of the best things to do in Zurich is to take a stroll starting from the famous shopping street of Bahnhofstrasse all the way down to the old town and the lake – you’ll be able to capture most of the best sights in the city along this walk. Visit Lindenhof and learn about the history of the place while enjoying panoramic views over the river and the old town.
The iconic Grossmünster church and the Fraumünster church are located in the old town and are beautiful places to visit. Continuing your stroll will bring you to Sechseläutenplatz where the Opera House is situated – catch an opera if you have the time!
The gorgeous lake of Zurich is best enjoyed with a ferry ride or a swim! Or go hiking in the mountains surrounding it and delight in some panoramic views. Uetliberg is the closest mountain to catch some great views of the city.
When in Zurich, you should not miss Sprüngli, Zurich’s most famous cafe & confidence. Sample their iconic Luxemburgerli – mini macarons unlike you’ve ever had! Hotel Altstadt, Marktgasse Hotel or Savoy Baur en Ville are wonderful places to stay in Zurich – these are located close to the best sights and will allow you to walk everywhere.