Top Tourist Spots in Switzerland: 14 Best Places To Visit

switzerland tourist spots

Switzerland is a stunning country and one that everyone should visit once or twice in their lifetime as it has so much to offer both a winter and summer vacation.

Between the Swiss Alps, alpine lakes, charming cities, endless valleys, rivers, waterfalls, and everything that comes with it, it is a magical place.

So, what are the top tourist attractions that should be on your bucket list for your visit to Switzerland? That is what we are here to find out.

Join me as I run through the top tourist spots for you to visit while you travel around this amazing country.

Zurich

best hotels zurich families
Zurich

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and a great place to visit in Switzerland. Known as Switzerland’s financial hub, it is a stunning city with a rich history and lots to discover.

The city offers a wide array of tourist attractions some of which you simply must see. Start by strolling through the charming cobbled streets of the Old Town, where you can admire the beautifully preserved medieval architecture of the historic buildings.

The narrow alleys are filled with quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants, creating a lively and inviting atmosphere. As you wander through the medieval town, you’ll come across historical landmarks such as the Fraumünster Church and the Bahnhofstrasse, one of the world’s most exclusive shopping streets.

The Limmat River flows through the medieval Old Town, adding to its charm and a stroll around stunning Lake Zurich is also a must.

Zurich is also home to a plethora of world-class museums, including the Swiss National Museum and the Kunsthaus Zurich, which houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art.

Chateau de Chillon

Chillon Castle Switzerland
Chillon Castle, Switzerland

Sitting on the shores of Lake Geneva just outside the town of Montreux, Chateau de Chillon is a castle that dates back to the 12th century. This architectural gem is nestled on a small rocky island and offers stunning views of the surrounding lake and mountains.

The stunningly preserved medieval architecture is hard to beat as you walk through the Great Hall, the Chapel, and the Duke’s Bedroom. Admire the intricate frescoes that adorn the walls and imagine the castle’s former inhabitants going about their daily lives.

While in Montreux, you might also be able to catch the annual international music festival, The Montreux Jazz Festival which takes place at the end of June.

Jungfraujoch

Jungfraujoch, Top-of-Europe
Jungfraujoch, Top-of-Europe

Jungfraujoch is an incredible place to visit in Switzerland. Known as the “Top of Europe,” it is nestled high up in the Bernese Alps and offers panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, including the famous Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains.

The journey to Jungfraujoch itself is an experience to remember. Board the Jungfrau Railway, which winds its way up through picturesque valleys, tunnels, and mountain passes. As the train ascends, the landscape transforms into a snowy wonderland, and the air becomes crisp and refreshing.

Once you reach the summit, step out onto the Sphinx Observation Terrace, which provides an awe-inspiring vista of the Swiss Alps. Take a moment to soak in the breathtaking beauty of the snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and deep valleys stretching out before you.

There is lots to do at Jungfraujoch too from skiing and snowboarding to hiking on the glacier to exploring the Ice Palace and visiting the Sphinx Observatory.

Swiss Grand Canyon

Swiss Grand Canyon
Swiss Grand Canyon

Swiss Grand Canyon, also known as the Rhine Gorge, is in eastern Switzerland and is a breathtaking natural wonder to visit in Switzerland.

Carved by the Rhine River over millions of years, this deep and narrow gorge is beautiful with its dramatic cliffs, lush greenery, and crystal-clear waters.

You can take a boat ride along the river or hike along the gorge’s well-marked trails to see it in all its glory.

The Matterhorn

The Matterhorn in Zermatt
The Matterhorn in Zermatt

No visit to Switzerland would be complete without seeing the majestic Matterhorn. This iconic mountain, standing at 4,478 meters, is one of the most recognizable peaks in the world.

Sitting in the Swiss Alps near the border with Italy, the mountain’s distinctive pyramid shape, with its sheer rock faces and snow-covered summit, is a sight to behold.

The village of Zermatt, nestled at the foot of the Matterhorn, serves as a gateway to this iconic mountain and is a wonderful place to visit with lots of great things to do.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Matterhorn offers a playground of adventure. Hiking, climbing, and mountain biking, and year-round skiing are available while you explore the breathtaking alpine scenery of multiple 4000-meter peaks.

In winter, Zermatt is a winter paradise, with world-class slopes and cozy chalets. Whether you choose to hike the challenging trails, ski, or simply admire its beauty from a distance, the Matterhorn and Zermatt are a must-see for your visit to Switzerland.

Oberhofen Castle

Oberhofen Castle
Oberhofen Castle

Oberhofen Castle is a romantic lakeside palace that dates back to the 13th century that sits on the shores of Lake Thun. It features beautifully landscaped gardens, fantastic architecture, and lots more that will give you a glimpse into Switzerland’s aristocratic past.

The fairytale-like towers, turrets, and battlements are a sight to see especially with the backdrop of Lake Thun’s majestic mountains. Inside the castle, you will find elegant rooms, intricate woodwork, painted ceilings, and ornate tapestries, which have been beautifully preserved.

Oberhofen Castle offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the elegance and grandeur of a bygone era.

Swiss National Park

Swiss National Park
Swiss National Park

Calling all nature lovers, somewhere you have to visit in Switzerland is the Swiss National Park. Located in the eastern part of Switzerland, this pristine wilderness spans over 170 square kilometers and is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The Swiss National Park is a sanctuary for a wide range of flora and fauna, including ibex, chamois, marmots, and golden eagles that are endemic to Switzerland.

Established in 1914, it was the first national park in the Alps and remains one of the largest protected areas in the country. As you hike through the rugged landscapes, you’ll be surrounded by majestic mountains, dense forests, and alpine meadows adorned with colorful wildflowers.

Keep an eye out for the park’s resident wildlife, which can often be spotted grazing or playing in their natural habitat.

Lucerne

lucerne hotels
Lucerne

Lucerne is one of my favorite places to visit in Switzerland and it is not to be missed. Sitting on the shores of Lake Lucerne, the city has a lot to offer.

It is home to one of the best preserved Medieval Old Towns in Europe, home to its narrow cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, colorful facades, fountains, and lots more.

A stroll across Chapel Bridge, one of Lucerne’s most iconic landmarks is a must. This covered wooden bridge, adorned with flowers, spans the Reuss River and offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Don’t miss a visit to the impressive Lion Monument, a sculpture that commemorates the Swiss Guards who lost their lives during the French Revolution. The lion, carved into a rock face, is a powerful symbol of courage and sacrifice.

Lucerne is also home to the Richard Wagner Museum and the Swiss Museum of Transport, where you can delve into the country’s history and heritage.

With its stunning lakeside setting, historic charm, and rich culture, Lucerne is a special Swiss city.

Aletsch Glacier

aletsch glacier
Aletsch Glacier

As the largest glacier in the Alps, the Aletsch Glacier is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is simply mesmerizing.

Located in the Jungfrau region, the glacier is over 23 kilometers long and covers a total area of about 82 square kilometers – it is huge and one of the top UNESCO World Heritage Sites to see in Switzerland.

You can visit the Aletsch glacier via a hike or see it in all its glory by taking a cable car ride to the Eggishorn viewpoint.

From here, you’ll be treated to an unforgettable panoramic view of the glacier and the surrounding peaks – you’ll be surrounded by a sea of ice, with the jagged peaks of the Swiss Alps towering in the distance.

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva is Europe’s largest alpine lake and is a stunning body of water that captivates visitors with its tranquil beauty.

Known as Lac Léman in French, this expansive lake stretches over 580 square kilometers, making it one of the largest lakes in Western Europe.

Lake Geneva is absolutely stunning with views into the Alps plus vineyards, and picturesque towns along its shores.

Take a boat cruise to explore the lake’s shores and visit the charming lakeside towns of Montreux and Vevey. In the summer, sunbathe and swim on one of its many beaches, or take to the water and enjoy paddle boarding, wakeboarding, and lots more.

Rhine Falls

Rhine Falls
Rhine Falls

The Rhine Falls is Europe’s largest waterfall and the sheer power of this waterfall is something everyone should experience at some point.

The falls cascade down a height of 23 meters and span a width of 150 meters pumping out an amazing 700 cubic meters of water per second.

This immense volume of water plunging over the falls creates a thunderous roar and a huge spray of mist. Taking a boat up close to the falls is the best way to experience just how much power the falls have.

Alternatively, follow the well-maintained pathways that lead to various viewpoints, allowing you to admire the falls from different angles.

The Rhine Falls is surrounded by stunning landscapes and there are picnic areas, restaurants, and more where you can relax and enjoy the view.

Gruyeres

Gruyeres
Gruyères

Nestled in the canton of Fribourg, the charming village of Gruyères is famous for its cheese and its well-preserved medieval architecture. The village is located on a hilltop, overlooking the surrounding countryside, and offers a peaceful retreat away from the bustling cities.

The main attraction in Gruyères is the Gruyères Castle, a magnificent fortress that dates back to the 13th century. Explore the castle’s rooms, including the Grand Council Chamber, the Knights’ Hall, and the chapel, and learn about the history of the region.

The castle also houses several museums, including the Gruyères Museum, where you can discover the traditions and craftsmanship of the area. After visiting the castle, take a stroll through the village’s cobblestone streets and soak in the medieval ambiance.

Gruyères is also renowned for its cheese production, and a visit to the La Maison du Gruyère is a must. This interactive museum takes you on a journey through the cheese-making process, allowing you to learn about the famous Gruyère cheese and even sample some.

Bern Old Town

Bern old town
Bern Old Town

The Old Town of Bern, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a beautifully preserved medieval quarter that transports you back in time.

Explore the narrow streets and alleys, lined with sandstone buildings adorned with colorful flags, and take in the historical architecture. Be sure to see the Zytglogge, a medieval clock tower, and try to catch the clock’s hourly performance.

Stroll along the Kramgasse, Bern’s main street, and browse the boutiques, cafes, and markets that bring the Old Town to life.

The Bern Cathedral, with its stunning architecture and panoramic views from the tower, is a must-visit attraction as is the Aare River.

Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano
Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano is a hidden gem located in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland Ticino. Surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards, and picturesque villages, the setting could not be better, and when you throw in Italian architecture and food, it is hard to beat.

The vibrant city of Lugano on the lake’s shores is a great place to visit with its lively waterfront promenade, lined with palm trees, boutiques, and cafes.

Enjoy a boat ride on the lake to see the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the glistening waters. Sunbathe on the beaches, swim, enjoy some fishing, sailing, or many other water sports – Lake Lugano offers so much.

For a touch of culture, go to the Museo d’Arte della Svizzera Italiana, which houses an impressive collection of Italian and Swiss art.

Head to the nearby Monte San Salvatore for a panoramic view that allows you to take in the beauty of the lake and the surrounding landscapes. It is a magical part of Switzerland.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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