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15 Best Places To Visit In Switzerland In Summer in 2024


Home » 15 Best Places To Visit In Switzerland In Summer in 2024

Switzerland in the Summer is stunning. The snowcapped mountains become lush and bright green inviting you for amazing outdoor hikes.

This European country has so many amazing places to visit in the summer.

But with so many places to explore, it can be daunting to narrow down your options.

That’s why we asked 15 different travel bloggers to share their top picks for the best summer destinations in Switzerland.

They’ve written about their own personal experiences and described why these places should definitely be on your must-visit list this summer.

These Switzerland summer destinations offer a whole range of outdoor activities, from hiking, to enjoying the lakes or swimming in some rivers.

Best places to visit in Switzerland in summer

So if you’re not sure which places you should check out while in Switzerland, you can trust the advice of the thousands of travelers who’ve been there and done that!

If you are looking for a European summer vacation, then be sure to have a look at this list of 15 must-see places in Switzerland in summer.

15 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland in Summer

This travel guide listing the best places to visit in Switzerland for the summer will help you plan the most amazing summer vacation to this European destination due to the warm climate in Switzerland in August .

From the best places to visit in Switzerland during summer where you can enjoy and sample some of Switzerland’s finest food and wine to the most scenic city in Switzerland or the best things to do in Switzerland in the summer – this list covers all of them!

1. Montreux

Contributed by Bulgarian On The Go

Montreux in Summer

The first destination on our list of the best places to visit in Switzerland in summer is Montreux.

Montreux is one of the most exciting places to visit in the summer.

The main reason is very simple – the Montreux Jazz Festival . This is the second-largest jazz festival in the world and it takes place annually in early July on the Lake Geneva shoreline.

It’s become so popular that around 200,000 people visit it every year.  

The summer in Montreux also allows for many water sports in Lake Geneva , such as paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, and even water skiing.

Even if you’re not a fan of water sports, you can still take advantage of the beautiful Lake Geneva shore and enjoy a day at the beach . 

For all hiking lovers, there are quite a few hiking routes near Montreux which are worth exploring. Some ideas for hikes include the Gorge du Chauderon, Via Alpina, and Rochers de Naye. 

Do not forget to add the Chillon Castle (make your life easier and grab your entrance ticket online here ), the statue of Freddy Mercury , and the Queen’s Studio to your itinerary of things to do in Montreux .

Chillon Castle in Montreux in summer by Bulgarian on the Go

The town is incredible to visit in any season, but it’s additionally special in summer due to the wide variety of activities provided during this time of the year. 

Popular Summer Montreaux Tours To Book

Here are some of our top picks for tours that will make your time in Montreux extra special!

1. Full-day tour to Riviera Col du Pillon & Glacier 3000

suspension bridge, Glacier 3000 in Switzerland

Experience the beauty of Les Diablerets in Switzerland!

Admire the majestic glacier, standing 3000 meters tall, and the Peak Walk – the world’s first suspension bridge connecting two peaks.

Have fun sledding down a slope or enjoy a thrilling descent on Europe’s highest Alpine Coaster.

This is a must-do tour.

2. Relax on This 2-Hour Riviera Cruise

Take a summer cruise on the Swiss Riviera

Immerse yourself in the scenic beauty of the Swiss Riviera with a 2-hour paddle steamer boat cruise.

Admire striking views of Lake Geneva, the Swiss and French Alps, and Chillon Castle.

This unforgettable experience promises to leave you breathless and awestruck.

How Long To Stay For + Where To Stay in Montreux

Montreux is a charming little city that deserves more than a day trip (although it is totally doable as a day trip).

We suggest staying for 2-3 nights to make the most of the tours and truly enjoy its allure.

For your stay, we recommend you stay at the super popular Eurotel Montreux .

Eurotel Montreux

Conveniently located in the heart of the city (close to sights, restaurants, and a train station) and with a magnificent view of Lake Geneva and the Alps, Eurotel Montreux offers guests luxury 4-star accommodation.

With its remarkable location on the lake, Eurotel Montreux provides an ideal setting for those who wish to enjoy all that Montreux has to offer during their summer escape.

Contributed by Dymabroad

Zurich in the Summer

Is Zurich worth visiting in the summer? Absolutely!

Zurich is one of the best Swiss cities to visit in summer.

This is the largest city in the country and there are a lot of things that you can do in the city during summer. 

Zurich summer cruise

One of the best summer activities in Zurich is to check out the outdoor pools in the city .

There are several pools on or next to Lake Zurich. For example, a nice one is Flussbad Oberer Letten . 

Furthermore, you can go to Film am See, which is an open-air movie theater. 

Besides that, hiking is a great activity to do in Zurich during summer. There are beautiful hills with nature that surround the city.

Also, it can be great to go to the Uetliberg Lookout Tower when you do this. This is an observation tower from where you can get a panoramic view of the city and its surrounding. 

Also, the Zürcher Theater Spektakel takes place during summer.

This is a performing arts festival during which you can see all kinds of performances at various venues in the city. For example, there are live theater shows at this festival.

Zurich is definitely one of the best cities in Switzerland and one of the best places to go in Switzerland in summer.

Popular Summer Zurich Tours To Book


Discover Zurich’s hidden gems with these top-rated tours! Elevate your experience with our hand-picked selection of unique and unforgettable adventures.

  • City Tour, Cruise, and Lindt Home of Chocolate Visit – Enjoy a 5.5-hour city tour with a cruise. See the top sights and enjoy some yummy tastings at the Lindt Home of Chocolate. Book your tour here .
  • Lindt Home of Chocolate Entry Ticket – Enjoy this skip-the-line ticket where you can enjoy unlimited chocolate tasting whilst learning all about chocolate. Grab your skip-the-line entrance ticket here .

Popular Day Trips From Zurich Worth Booking

Grindelwald Switzerland

Looking to add to your trip and explore some of the beautiful surrounding locations?

Here are our favorite day trips that are 100% worth booking.

  • Day Trip to Jungfraujoch – Take a breathtaking journey through the Swiss Alps on the cogwheel railway. Enjoy a panorama from Europe’s highest railway station and explore a glacier in the Ice Palace. Book your spot here .
  • Mount Titlis Day Tour – Discover the city of Lucerne before heading up Mount Titlis. Get panoramic views of the Swiss Alps from the Rotair cable car and visit the ice grotto. Book this tour here .
  • Day Trip to Grindelwald & Interlaken – Includes a scenic train ride, free time in both towns, a cable car to Mt. First plus more! Book this tour here (for spectacular scenery!)
  • Stein am Rhein and Rhine Falls Half-Day Trip – Visit Europe’s largest waterfall, enjoy a guided stroll through the medieval village of Stein am Rhein and visit the Laufen Castle. See if there are spots free on this tour .

How Long To Stay For + Where To Stay in Zurich

We suggest staying for a minimum of two days, but we encourage you to extend your stay if you’d like to explore the beautiful places mentioned earlier with a day trip.

Book your stay at H+ Hotel Zürich . It is a very popular hotel is located 2 min away from a tram stop.

H plus hotel Zurich Switzerland

If you’re looking for an enjoyable summer vacation in Zurich, then look no further than the 4-star H+ Hotel Zurich.

With comfortable rooms ideally designed for 2-3 people, a convenient location, and an amazing breakfast every morning, it’s easy to see why H+ is the perfect choice!

Contributed by Travels In Poland

Lucerne in Summer

Lucerne is one of the most beautiful and popular summer destinations in Switzerland. 

With the base of the Swiss Alps, Lake Lucerne offers amazing water and mountain-based activities for visitors. 

Lucerne, located in central Switzerland, is the largest city on the lake and is located at the northern tip of the lake is a great city to visit when visiting the lake. 

The city offers a range of amenities, a beautiful old wooden walking bridge , a small city feel, and numerous amenities.

Old bridge Kapellbrucke in Lucerne, Switzerland

The quaint villages and small cities sprinkled around the lake can be accessed by boats that make numerous daily crossings across the lake. 

One of the towns, Weggis, has high-end luxury hotels and spas, though this is also true for other cities on the lake. 

Viztnau is also a great destination as it offers a cogwheel train up to Rigi Mountain ( here is a great tour to book for Mt Rigi ), a popular destination for hiking . 

Campgrounds can be found in the cities along the lake, and visitors should not be surprised to see RVs lining up at each site.

The lake has hundreds of offerings of water-based activities , such as boating, swimming, fishing, canoeing, paddle boats, kayaking, and much more. 

There is access to public beaches in many areas, which allows visitors to spend the day at the lake however they wish. 

One of the best parts of Lake Lucerne is the hundreds of lakeside cafes, restaurants , hotels, spas, and much more. 

Travelers can simply pick and choose a beautiful city to visit along the lake, and they can easily find fine Swiss dining and beautiful views.

Besides visiting the lake, you can also head for the mountains.

Mount Pilatus is only a 15-minute bus ride away ( or book this super popular tour ) and the summit is easily reached via cable cars and a gondola.

Mount Pilatus

The mountain has snow-capped peaks even during the summer season. On a clear day, you can enjoy panoramic views over the Alpine peaks and lakes.

Lucerne is called the heart of Switzerland, and in my opinion, might just be the best city to visit in Switzerland in summer, and is well worth a visit if you haven’t been.

Popular Summer Lucerne Tours To Book

Lucerne Switzerland, city and river view

Unearth the hidden gems of Lucerne with these carefully curated, top-rated tours!

  • Relax on This 1-Hour Cruise on a Panoramic Yacht – Relax and enjoy the cruise to Meggenhorn Castle. Take in the views of villas, hills, and the deep blue lake. Book your spot here .
  • Join a Combined Lucerne Walking and Boat Tour – Experience the highlights of Lucerne in just one day! Join a small group for a leisurely 5.5-hour walking and sightseeing boat tour. Grab a spot here .

Popular Day Trips From Lucerne Worth Booking

Mt. Pilatus and Lake Lucerne view in Switzerland, cable car

Explore stunning nearby locations! Here are our top day trips worth booking.

  • Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip – Experience Mt. Pilatus on a 5.5-hour journey! Take a gondola to Fräkmüntegg, then ascend to the peak by cableway. Descend on the steepest cogwheel to Alpnachstad & catch a boat for a scenic Lake Lucerne cruise. Book your spot on this tour (it is the most popular one).
  • Jungfraujoch Top of Europe Day Trip – Such a spectacular day tour with all of these stops included: Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Jungfraujoch, Ice Palace, Sphinx Observatory, cogwheel train down to Eigergletscher and V-Cableway Eiger Express. Don’t miss this one! Secure your spot on this tour here.

How Long To Stay For + Where To Stay in Lucerne

To make the most of your visit, we suggest staying for a minimum of two days . Lucerne is also the starting point for our 4 days in Switzerland itinerary .

You can spend one day exploring the city’s offerings and use the other day to embark on a day trip to one of the nearby mountains.

The 5-star Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern is the perfect place to stay during a summer vacation in Lucerne.

Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern, where to stay in Lucerne, Switzerland

This family-owned hotel in downtown Lucerne’s Old Town is perfect for couples and families, footsteps from the lake.

The elegantly decorated rooms come with modern amenities, and there’s an onsite spa area.

Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a fun-filled family vacation you’re after, Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern is ready to welcome you!

4. Gruyères

Gruyeres Switzerland best places to visit

So if I asked you: what is Switzerland known for ? I bet some of you might think about chocolate and Swiss cheese. And this little town is about both, making it the best village in Switzerland .

Gruyères is a beautiful walled Medieval town packed with tons of charm. Whilst there are many things to do in Gruyères during the day, you’ll love walking along the cobblestone streets.

This quaint town has few shops and homes which makes the experience of visiting this town one of the must-see places to see in Switzerland in summer.

Gruyères is known for its cheese which is used in a number of gourmet dishes around the world.

As an avid traveler, I adore experiencing local delicacies. Recently, I tried the fondue. Although the dish tasted lovely, the richness of the cheese was overwhelming. My recommendation to fellow foodies would be to order fondue as a shared platter to relish its flavor without it dominating your meal.

Be sure to try the village specialty dish, known as Moitie-Moitie , which is a dish made with the popular Gruyères and another locally sourced cheese named Vacherin from the Fribourg area.

It is also known for the HR Giger Museum where you can see paintings and sculptures of many alien movies that have been made.

There is also the Medieval Gruyères Castle that you can explore and visit – the views from up on that level are spectacular!

Gruyères Village in Switzerland

For all those chocolate lovers, the Cailler Chocolate Factory is accessible with a short 5-minute walk from the Broc train stop and well worth a visit.

Enjoy a tour of the factory, relax at the café, and grab some delicious souvenirs from the chocolate shop on the way out.

We recommend you visit Gruyères on a day trip from Geneva . The town is small and I wouldn’t stay overnight in the area.

This Gruyères Day Trip from Geneva includes a panorama train ride, and chocolate and cheese tasting.

Contributed by The World In My Pocket

Lugano Switzerland The World In My Pocket

Lugano is a fantastic summer destination in Switzerland.

The Swiss city, located on the shores of the lake with the same name, has a certain Mediterranean feel that is best enjoyed during the summer months when the days are long and terraces open until late in the evening. 

There are plenty of things to do in Lugano in summer. The city has a wonderful lido , as well as a public beach where you can cool off from the heat, by swimming in the lake .

For nature enthusiasts, going up Mont Bre to hike and admire the panorama of the Swiss and Italian mountains is a must. You can book this tour to Mont Bre .

At the top of Mont Bre you can enjoy a drink with a view from the outdoor terrace of the restaurant there, which has a 360 panorama of the lakes and mountains below.

There are plenty of trails here as well that can take you all the way to Italy. 

In summer in Lugano, you can also enjoy a relaxing time by hiring a pedalo boat to explore more of the lake at your own pace. The boats are very cute, in the shape of old race cars. 

Even if you are  going to Lugano on a day trip , this city is so worth visiting in summer.

On a side note, did you know that you could easily reach Italy for a day trip from Italy?

  • Lugano is the closest Swiss city to Milan and you can easily reach it on a train – which will only take 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • If you want to visit Lugano on a day trip from Como , a train journey will take only 45 minutes.

You can easily explore all of Lugano’s highlights in one single day so we recommend visiting Lugano on a day trip from Zurich, Milan, or Lake Como.

Popular Summer Lugano Tours To Book

Explore Lugano’s hidden summer treasures with these highest-rated tours!

  • Monte Brè Tour from Lugano by Funicular – Uncover the treasures of Monte Brè on this delightful full-day tour. The itinerary features a lake cruise as well as a funicular train ride to the peak. Book this tour here .
  • Skip the Line Falconeria Locarno Ticket – Escape bustling Lugano with a visit to Locarno’s Falconry! Get up-close with birds of prey like hawks, owls, and eagles in an awe-inspiring traditional show! Grab your skip-the-line tickets here.

6. Interlaken

Contributed by Megan Starr

Interlaken summer - by Maria Starr

Interlaken is a fantastic summer destination with a plethora of activities to choose from. You’ll never be bored!

There are many great hiking trails to explore the area’s natural beauty.

Try the easier Rugen trail or the more challenging Harder Kulm trail (or take the funicular up to Harder Kulm ) for breathtaking views over the lake, mountains, and town.

Interlaken Kulm trail in Summer

Grindelwald , just a short train ride away, is a paradise for hikers with many gorgeous mountain trails.

For less strenuous options, stroll on the lakeside of beautiful Lake Brienz or Lake Thun . You can also jump in the water for a refreshing swim.

Kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding on these blue lakes are fun activities to take advantage of the beautiful weather.

If you are a thrill-seeker, Interlaken is one of the most stunning places to go paragliding ( here is the most popular paragliding tour ), an activity  offered both in winter  and summer!

And don’t miss out on visiting the enchanting Oberhofen Castle and strolling through its colorful gardens, with unhindered views of lovely Lake Thun.

Interlaken also hosts some great summer music festivals .

Check out the Greenfield rock festival, and the International Trucker and Country Music Festival, or head to nearby Spiez for the Seaside Festival, featuring different genres of music from both Swiss and international music stars.

For all these reasons and more Interlaken is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland !

Popular Summer Interlaken Tours To Book

Interlaken Switzerland

Explore Interlaken’s summer wonders with these highly-rated tours!

  • Tandem Paragliding Experience from Interlaken – Soar above Swiss Alp peaks on a tandem paragliding flight with transportation from Interlaken. Marvel at views of Lake Thun and the snowy summits of Jungfrau! Book this popular experience here .
  • Grab Your Boat Day Pass on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz . Enjoy a summer trip to witness St. Beatus Caves, Giessbach Falls & castles around the lake. The lake offers glorious views of the Bernese Oberland mountains.
  • Kayak Tour of the Turquoise Lake Brienz – Kayak across River Lütschine exploring cliffs, Ringgenberg Castle & hidden beaches on this fun kayak tour! Book the Lake Brienz kayak tour .

Popular Day Trip From Interlaken Worth Booking

Sphinx Observatory on Jungfraujoch, Most Beautiful Places in Switzerland

Looking to add to your trip and explore some of the beautiful surrounding locations? Here are our favorite day trips that are 100% worth booking.

  • Day Trip to Jungfraujoch Mountain – Explore Jungfraujoch on a full-day guided tour from Interlaken. Take a cable car ride, witness sweeping views of Europe from the Sphinx Observation Terrace, and venture through the Ice Palace tunnels. Book this awesome day trip here.

We recommend staying 2-4 days to truly relish the town, lakes, and mountain hikes, with a day trip to Jungfaujoch .

The best hotel to book for your stay is The HEY Hotel .

The Hey Hotel in Switzerland, most beautiful places in Switzerland

The hotel is in the center of the town, has comfortable rooms and it’s only 400 meters from the Interlaken-West train station.

7. Lavertezzo

Contributed by Together In Switzerland

Lavertezzo in Summer

Switzerland in Summer can be truly magical, such as when visiting the mountains in combination with a lake or river for swimming.

A recommendation of one of the best places to visit in Summer is Lavertezzo, a dreamy little location in the Ticino Canton. 

Pack your sun cream, sunglasses, and your swimwear as you will want to dip into the stunning  crystal clear waters at Lavertezzo .

The river flows through the Verzasca Valley, a popular spot with locals and a few tourists who make the visit.

You can visit by car, but the easiest is with the local public bus that stops right in the area. 

As well as swimming in the waters at Lavertezzo, you can hike along the river’s edge either North or South through the forestry area and past the local houses.

During Summer it is very idyllic to relax and take your time in the area, so bring yourself a picnic full of delicious treats. 

It’s very rural in the area, but the Ponte dei Salti double arch stone bridge is a top highlight even for locals.

If you’re a daredevil, join the locals by jumping off this bridge directly into the deep but clear waters below. It’s about a 4-meter drop so it’s not for those scared of heights! 

From Lavertezzo, you can also consider adding to the day with a visit to either Ascona or Locarno.

Both are located at Lake Maggiore where the Verzasca valley and river end. 

8. Lausanne

Contributed by Passion for Hospitality

Pretty Lausanne in Switzerland

Lausanne , Switzerland’s fourth largest city is not only considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the country but has also enjoyed global recognition as the Olympic capital since 1994.

You can visit the Olympic Museum – grab your ticket online here .

This important title makes Lausanne one of the most reputable and significant locations in the sports world and the summer months are a perfect time of year to enjoy several sporting events .

From Cyclotour du Léman,  a popular cycling race that runs along the Swiss and French shores of Lake Geneva to the Ladies Open Lausanne , and of course Lausanne Triathlon , one of the most anticipated sports events not to be missed!

Apart from being a sporting capital, Lausanne is located in a widely popular wine-growing region which is a UNESCO World Heritage site as well.

Wine lovers are guaranteed to enjoy some of the most prized wine varieties paired with a highly relished local cuisine.

Lausanne boasts a myriad of wonderful experiences throughout the year and the summertime is a perfect season to enjoy its rich cultural program which combines exciting theatre performances with dance, music, and circus. 

We love visiting Lausanne on a day trip from Geneva or Montreux.

Popular Summer Lausanne Tours To Book

Lausanne in the summer

Explore Lausanne’s summer wonders with these highly-rated tours!

  • 2-Hour Lake Geneva Cruise Along Lavaux Vineyards – Set sail on a serene cruise from Lausanne to Vevey and witness the beauty of the Lavaux vineyards. Marvel at the views along Lake Geneva. Grab your tickets here.

9. Maggia Valley

Contributed by G-Extreme Travel

Maggia Valley in Switzerland

Switzerland is known for its majestic mountains, stunning lakes, and pristine valleys.

While the country offers a wide range of outdoor activities year-round, nothing beats exploring Switzerland in the summertime.

One of the best places to experience the best of what Switzerland has to offer is Maggia Valley. It is located in the southwest corner of the country, close to the Italian border .

Maggia Valley is best known for its awe-inspiring waterfalls and lush green mountain valleys .

Maggia Valley

The best way to experience this paradise of nature is to go on a hike. You can explore hiking trails along the river or venture out onto one of the many peaks in the region .

You’ll be rewarded with views of the valley, beautiful streams, and waterfalls cascading down the mountains.

Switzerland is well known for its traditional dishes such as fondue, raclette, and rosti… but in this majesty valley, you’ll encounter the Grottini Ticinesi, a place made of traditional rustic stone huts, that serve delicious regional dishes like pizzoccheri, polenta, and other deliciousness!

Here you can sample some of the best local food while enjoying an amazing view of the mountains.

Besides spectacular views and delicious food, Maggia Valley has something for everyone in terms of activities.

Many of the trails are suitable for families , while others are more challenging and best suited for experienced hikers.

Maggia Valley is a true gem for visitors looking to experience Switzerland’s best in the summertime.

From its stunning waterfalls and lush green mountains to its delicious restaurants and wide range of activities, there is something for everyone in this valley.

So if you’re looking for a summer getaway that offers something special, then Maggia Valley should definitely be on your list.

Contributed by Life Part 2 And Beyond

Vevey in Summer

The lovely town of Vevey lies on Lake Geneva’s north coast. It’s a beautiful place to visit during the summer months. 

You can take a swim in the lake, a boat trip, a pedalo, or a kayak, or simply relax by the water’s edge. And don’t forget to take that Instagram photo of Vevey’s iconic giant fork that sticks out of the water. 

Then explore the old town and lose yourself in its cobbled streets. If you’re there on a Tuesday or Saturday, be sure to visit the farmers market in the Grand Place. 

Visit Vevey in August and enjoy the entertainment from the Street Artists Festival . 

And did you know that Charlie Chaplin lived in Vevey for the last 20+ years of his life?

His old house is now a fascinating museum about Chaplin’s life , and there’s an interactive movie studio showing his movies too. A trip to Chaplin’s World is a must on any visit to Vevey. 

Just on the edge of town is a funicular that takes you up to Mont Pelerin .

From the mountain top, there are great views of Vevey, the lake and the mountains and some great summer hiking options . All trails are clearly marked. 

Vevey is best visited on a day trip. You can easily reach it from Geneva, Lausanne , or Montreux.

Contributed by Global Travel Escapades

Geneva in Summer

Is Geneva worth visiting in the summer? One of the best places in Switzerland to visit during the summer is the gorgeous city of Geneva .

During the summer, the city experiences a pleasantly mild climate , with temperatures usually around 77-78F (25-26C) – ideal for soaking up the sun!

You can find plenty of activities to enjoy around Geneva during the summer. For example, you can cool off by swimming in the refreshing and clear waters of the Rhône River at Plage de Rhône.

Alternatively, if you prefer to lounge around and indulge in some of the region’s famous fondue, head on over to the Bains des Pâquis !

Here, you will find several areas of Lake Geneva that have been sectioned off, water structures that kids can play on, a restaurant, and even a few diving boards!

Lastly, you won’t want to miss seeing the iconic Jet d’eau Geneve . This giant water jet propels water a whooping 140m into the air!

Afterward, you can stroll along the harbor and admire the colorful flower clock in Jardin Anglais which is believed to be created out of over 6,500 flowers!

So, if you’ve dreamt of swimming in Switzerland’s clear blue waters, then consider a visit to Geneva! Here is a fun 5-day itinerary in Switzerland that starts in Geneva for you to follow.

Popular Summer Geneva Tours To Book

Discover Geneva’s summer gems with these top-rated tours!

  • 3-hour Chocolate Tasting and Old Town Visit – Experience the allure of Geneva through a tour that combines the city’s sights with the indulgence of Swiss chocolate. Book this tour here .
  • 50-Minute Lake Geneva Cruise – Experience the beauty of Lake Geneva’s shores on a sightseeing cruise. Enjoy views of the Swiss Alps while learning about local landmarks with an audio guide. Book your tickets here .

Popular Day Trips From Geneva Worth Booking

Mont Blanc

  • Guided Day Trip to Chamonix and Mont-Blanc (in France) – Take a day tour from Geneva to Chamonix, a mountain resort at Mont Blanc’s base. Experience breathtaking views atop Aiguille du Midi via cable car. Book this awesome tour here !
  • Annecy Half-Day Trip (in France) – Discover Annecy, the Venice of the Alps! This charming city boasts vibrant markets, colorful pedestrian streets, and an enchanting old town area. Book this tour .
  • Gruyères Tour With Train Ride, Chocolate and Cheese Tasting – If you ever wanted to visit Gruyeres, this is the best tour to do so. Book your tour here .

If you want to visit a country near Geneva , Switzerland, France is easy to reach, however, I would suggest adding on at least an additional day to your travel itinerary to fit it in.

How Long To Stay For + Where To Stay in Geneva

We suggest staying for a minimum of three days, so that you can fit in some of the day trips to explore surrounding places.

For one of the best places to stay, look no further than CitizenM Geneva .

citizenm geneva

CitizenM Geneva is the perfect place for any traveler looking to get a four-star experience in an amazing location.

Not only is it super innovative, but the incredible breakfast and modern amenities make it perfect for younger modern couples.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend away or for a base to explore surrounding areas in Switzerland, CitizenM Geneva has everything you need.

12. Zermatt

Contributed by Destination Checkoff

Zermatt Town Switzerland Destination

Zermatt is a year-round destination and has plenty of activities and sights to enjoy in the summer.

The biggest draw of Zermatt is the Matterhorn mountain at 4478 meters towering above the town ( grab your cable car tickets here ). 

Zermatt Town in Switzerland

During the summer, take the 30-minute cog railway to Gornergrat for some epic views of the Matterhorn mountain from the Gornergrat observation deck at 3089 meters.

Zermatt is a popular summer destination for hiking and mountain biking . There are several trails here for all levels of hikers and mountain bikers.

Hike the Five Lakes Walk Trail for some stunning scenic lakes and reflection of the Matterhorn in the lake waters. 

Zermatt town is a nice place to walk around and explore the shops and restaurants.

To learn about the history of Zermatt make sure to visit the Matterhorn Museum . The Findeln Chapel and the English Church are sacred places to admire in Zermatt.

Every summer in August, the Folklore Festival celebrates the Swiss culture with a huge parade that features a variety of traditional Swiss music, dance, and costumes. 

In Zermatt town, you will find charming boutique hotels with spas offering great relaxation after a day of hiking or summer adventures.

There are several restaurants offering delicious Swiss cuisine as well as international cuisine.  

Popular Summer Zermatt Tours To Book

Discover Zermatt’s summer gems with these top-rated tours!

  • Pre-book your Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Cable Car Ticket here.
  • Purchase your Skip-the-line Gornergrat Bahn Cogwheel Train Ticket online before you go.
  • Why not book something unique? This paragliding tandem flight in Zermatt has with spectacular views of the Matterhorn and its surrounding peaks.
  • Never been skiing before? You can enjoy skiing even in the summer here. Book this private 3-hour private ski lesson so you can get out on the fun slopes as soon as possible.

How Long To Stay For + Where To Stay in Zermatt

To make the most of your time in Zermatt, I recommend spending at least 2-3 nights.

This will give you a couple of full days to explore the area, or more if you’re interested in experiencing some of the amazing skiing opportunities available.

We recommend you stay at Hotel Ambassador Zermatt .

Hotel Zermatt in Switzerland

This property has it all! Boasting an unbeatable location, the rooms are ultra cozy, featuring breathtaking views and there’s a pool and sauna for your indulgence.

Contributed by The Discovery Nut

Ascona in Summer in Switzerland

Located along the shores of Lake Maggiore in Southern Switzerland, Ascona is a perfect summer destination if you are looking to enjoy the Mediterranean flair, enjoy boat rides , and take a couple of hikes in the nearby Valley Maggia . 

This cute town sits near the Italian border in the Canton of Ticino , the only Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland that’s located less than 2 hours away from Milan. 

Ascona boasts a colorful old town with a prominent clock tower, small stores, and gelato shops along the cobblestone streets.

If you spend a couple of days here, you might think that you have just stepped into Italy: the cobblestone streets of Old Town Ascona are lined with boutique shops and gelato stores where you can buy a tasty treat on a hot summer day. 

Ascona makes a perfect stop on your Switzerland itinerary and the best part is that it’s less discovered than some of the most popular destinations in the region like Lugano and Lake Como which receives the majority of visitors. 

Whether you want to go hiking, explore the medieval architecture of Old Town Ascona, or spend a few days enjoying the lake, you will have a great time here.

How Long To Stay For + Where To Stay in Ascona

We suggest staying for two to three days in order to be able to enjoy some of the summer activities.

The 4-star Charme Hotel al Torchio is the perfect choice for travelers looking for a luxurious stay in Ascona. Its prime location in the old city puts you just steps away from the lake, and within easy reach of all the historical sites.

Swissôtel Kursaal Bern

The hotel was recently renovated to offer modern amenities such as comfortable beds and fantastic bathrooms with showers.

But that’s not all: Hotel al Torchio also offers a wonderful buffet breakfast every morning that is sure to put a smile on your face!

So if you’re looking for the best hotel in Ascona, look no further than Charme Hotel al Torchio. You won’t be disappointed!

Contributed by Paul from Paul Marina

Bern Switzerland Paul Marina

Bern, the capital of Switzerland , is located at the heart of the country. The medieval city was founded more than 800 years ago at the bend of the Aare River. 

The turquoise blue waters, and cute houses with clay-colored roofs as a backdrop, enthrall most visitors with their unique beauty.

Architectural marvels and the  top attractions of Bern  can be explored on a stroll through the well-preserved old town ( here is a great walking tour that you can book ). 

Bern Old Town, most beautiful places in Switzerland

A popular summer activity is swimming in the crystal clear Aare River . Locals and visitors from all over the world just tuck their belongings into a dry bag and jump into the refreshing waters.

Floating down the river is a relaxing unique experience, and you get to see the city from a different angle.

Families with kids will appreciate the free public pools in Bern to beat the hot summer heat. 

The open-air grocery market at the Bärenplatz has seasonal local fruits in the summer and the adjoining flea market is a treasure trove worth exploring.

For those looking to get active, the cycle trails along the Aare River are popular and a great way to explore the green areas of Bern. 

The funicular to the Gurten mountain peak takes one closer to various hiking trails . Exceptional views of the city and of the Bernese Oberland Alps can be expected here!

Popular Summer Bern Tours To Book

Zytglogge Clocktower Bern Switzerland

Here are some of our top picks for tours that will make your time in Bern special!

  • Zytglogge – Tour through the Clock Tower – Tour the iconic Zytglogge clock tower, witness its inner workings & enjoy a charming puppet show. Don’t miss this memorable experience! Book this popular tour .
  • 90-Minute Walking Tour Through the Old Town – Explore the UNESCO-listed Old Town of Bern, and marvel at its fountains, towers, winding streets, & more with an expert guide. Experience 800 years of local history condensed into one unforgettable walk! Book your walking tour here .

How Long To Stay For + Where To Stay in Bern

We suggest staying for a minimum of two days or three if you prefer exploring at a more relaxed pace.

Book your stay at the Swissôtel Kursaal Bern . This 4-star hotel exceeds all your expectations: close to the city center & attractions, and with stunning views of medieval Old Town & breathtaking Alps.

Swissôtel Kursaal Bern guarantees a luxurious experience with a 24-hour gym, casino, 2 restaurants, a bar, and a garden lounge.

This contemporary hotel has all you need for an amazing time.

Lavaux in Summer

Visiting Lavaux, the wine region of Switzerland , make this one of the best places to visit in Switzerland during the summer months for any wine lover.

The region of Lavaux is known for its terraced vineyards that stretch along the northern shores of Lake Geneva for over 30 km.

Lavaux is not just for wine lovers though. Lavaux has some of the best things to do in Switzerland in the summer.

You can explore the 800 hectares of magnificent terraced vineyards on foot or by bicycle .

And if wine is your thing, be sure to take part in a wine tasting in the many wine cellars and sample the best wines that Switzerland has to offer.

When you travel through the region of Lavaux, there are many charming pintes (mini-restaurants) that you can stop at to enjoy the local produce and food.

Exploring Lavaux, a UNESCO World Heritage Site , should be at the top of anyone’s list when visiting Switzerland.

Our favorite tour departs from Geneva and lasts 8-10 hours. It takes you through the picturesque streets of Vevey, as well as giving you the opportunity to take a cruise on an old steamboat (if selected).

You will also visit the famous Montreux, with its beautiful walks, and notable castle of Chillon.

To top it off, enjoy a glass of wine in Lavaux itself – a truly unique experience!

How to Get Around Switzerland

Before we hop into our post of the best places to visit in summer in Switzerland, let’s just quickly cover how to get around Switzerland.

1. Public Transport

Public transport in Switzerland is an easy and economical way to explore the country.

The “ Swiss Travel Pass ” offered by SBB provides discounted and unlimited access to public transport by train, bus, and boat to explore over 41 cities, scale mountain peaks, and cruise on breathtaking lakes in Switzerland.

Swiss Travel Pass for Trains


Save money and make life a lot easier with a Swiss Travel Pass. Allowing you to simply hop on trains, busses, and boats in most destinations.

Allowing travelers to go wherever they want without worrying about booking individual tickets or spending too much money on transportation costs. Grab your Swiss Travel Pass online with ease here .

2. Rent a Car

We are a family of 5 and we have young kids. When we visited Switzerland our youngest was only 1 year old, so we just found it so much easier to rent a car.

That way we can come and go when we wanted rather than waiting around for trains or buses to arrive.

Discover Cars is our go-to for car rental in Switzerland .

As a comparison site, it fetches the most competitive prices from all the leading car rental companies in the country.

It’s easy to use and makes car rentals a breeze!

rent a car in switerland


I recommend  and use   Discover Cars . They search through all rental companies to find and offer only the best deals.

With transport cover, let’s talk about which summer destinations in Switzerland you should include on your list of places to visit.

When is Summer in Switzerland?


From June to mid-September, Switzerland is a perfect place for a warm getaway. With plenty of daylight hours, travelers will be able to enjoy the stunning views that this country has to offer.

The attractions are open for longer periods during this time and visitors can take advantage of the extended hours.

Plus, with the higher temperatures, sightseeing and outdoor activities become even more enjoyable.

Hiking trails are in full bloom and mountaintops offer refreshing breezes for those looking for a break from the summer heat.

You will also find a range of watersports activities, from kayaking and sailing to fishing, all of which can be experienced on the crystal-clear waters of the lakes in this country.

Switzerland in Summer Weather: What to Expect?

Switzerland itinerary 5 days including Lucerne

In the summer, beautiful days and pleasant temperatures await travelers looking to book a warm summer vacation in Switzerland.

You can expect mild temperatures ranging from 20°C (68°F) in June and September, and up to 25°C (77°F) in July and August.

The weather will vary depending on where you are. In the Alps, temperatures tend to be cooler than those experienced at lower altitudes.

Let’s have a quick look at the average temperatures you can expect in popular destinations in Switzerland.

What to Wear in Switzerland in Summer

family on bike in Switzerland- Lauterbrunnen

Pack clothing that can be easily layered. Light, breathable fabrics such as loose-fitting shirts, shorts, and dresses are ideal for warmer days in Switzerland during the summer months.

For cooler evenings or high-altitude areas, pack a lightweight sweater or jacket to keep you warm and comfortable.

Bring sandals for easy slip-on shoes along with some comfortable hiking shoes for when you explore the great outdoors of Switzerland.

Don’t forget to bring a hat and sunglasses along with sunscreen and lip balm to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.

FAQ About Switzerland Summer Destinations

Find below answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about summertime and weather in Switzerland as well as answers to the best Switzerland summer destinations.

Views over Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland

1. Is it worth visiting Switzerland in Summer?

Yes. Europe is wonderful in the summer and with many Switzerland places to visit in summer, it is definitely worth visiting.

2. When is summer in Switzerland

Summer is from the months of mid-June to late September.

The temperature range during the summer months ranges between 65° – 82° F (18 to 28 °C) making it a very comfortable temperature to enjoy the many activities and places Switzerland has to offer.

3. What is Switzerland like in the summer?

Switzerland in the summer is really beautiful. The sun is out, hiking trails are open, and the many lakes around Switzerland are warm enough for swimming.

The summer weather is great for exploring the lush green hills and mountainsides by foot or bicycle.

4. Is Switzerland crowded in summer?

As you can imagine, summer in Switzerland will be one of the busiest times next to the Swiss ski season so be prepared for crowds if you travel during the high season of June through to the end of August.

If you still want great weather but want to avoid the crowds, visit during the months of April – May or September – October.

5. Should you visit Geneva or Zurich in Summer?

Geneva and Zurich are two of the best cities to visit in Switzerland in summer. Both cities have warm climates during the summer months with hot and sunny weather.

Geneva tends to be drier than Zurich, although it is a little more humid, so if you want to try and avoid summer showers, Geneva may be best.

Final Thoughts on Where to Visit in Switzerland in Summer

Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, and it is a true dream to visit if you love nature, outdoor activities, and gorgeous towns and villages.

We hope that this list of where to go in Switzerland in summer is a great guide to help you put together your list of Switzerland summer destinations.

If you want more ideas for the best places in Switzerland in summer be sure to read our Switzerland Travel Blog Posts for more inspiration.

Tip: Check out our blog posts on Switzerland:

  • Best times to visit Switzerland
  • Why is Switzerland so beautiful?
  • 7-day Switzerland itinerary
  • Reasons to visit Switzerland
  • Travel Insurance Switzerland
  • Switzerland in June

15 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland in Summer

Jolene Ejmont

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The Gap Decaders

The Best of Switzerland in Summer: 17 Amazing Highlights

This post may contain affiliate links, from which we earn an income.

Think of Switzerland and chances are you think of majestic mountains, snowy landscapes, and winter sports. But think again! Switzerland in summer still has the Alps, but instead of snow and ice, you’ll find lush landscapes, gushing waterfalls, and gorgeous weather.

A Switzerland summer vacation offers exciting Alpine hiking, lake-based water sports, trips on mountain trains and cable cars, epic visitor attractions, and some of the cutest villages in Europe to visit.

We much prefer the summer season in Switzerland and think it’s the perfect time to explore the country’s outdoor beauty and adventurous activities. In our guide, we share all the top things to do and places to visit in Switzerland in summer to help you plan the perfect trip.

Switzerland summer

When is Summer in Switzerland?

Summer in the northern hemisphere, including Switzerland, starts on the 1st of June and ends on the 31st of August.

When is the Best Time to Go to Switzerland?

The Swiss summer tourist season starts in early May and continues until late September.

In late May and June, and September until mid-October, Switzerland offers mild weather and some sunny days, fewer crowds, and better value for money on accommodation, car hire, and day trips and tours.

In both spring and fall, make sure to experience almentrieb , the celebration of transhumance , when decorated cattle are herded through Alpine villages as they move between high to low pastures. In fall, there are also plenty of food festivals celebrating the bounty of the land.

For mountain hiking and lake swimming, things don’t really warm up until late June, but once you’re past that point, you’re good until mid-September.

The summer months of July and August can be busy with families on school holidays, but you will experience the best weather and warm temperatures, and the longest days. On 1st August, you’ll get to celebrate Swiss National Day, a country-wide party to commemorate the founding of the Swiss Confederation and usually involves carnivals, street parties, and lots of fireworks!

During the between time, or zwischen zeit , from April to early May and from late October through November, the cities are quiet, but mountain resort towns like Zermatt are mostly closed and the weather can be unpleasantly cold and wet.

RELATED POST: Fall in Europe: 23 Stunning Destinations for Autumn

The most cost-effective and best way to get around is with the Swiss Travel Pass . This ticket allows free use of the well-developed and punctual public transport network including trains, buses, and boats. Although it may look expensive when you add up the cost of hiring a car, fuel, and parking you’ll realize it offers really good value for money, and just adds to the beautiful Switzerland experience!

Best Places to Visit for an Incredible Switzerland Summer

Explore the city of lucerne.

Under the shadow of Mount Pilatus, Lucerne is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland. Nestled between the Emmental Mountains and the shoreline of Lake Lucerne, the medieval town can trace its history back to the 8th century and was originally a small fishing town.

Take the time to walk over the oldest footbridge in Europe. The Chapel Bridge was built in 1365, covering close to 700 feet of the Reuss River. During your walk, you will encounter artwork on the interior walls, and street musicians playing music for tips. All provide an eclectic tone to your visit.

Lake Lucerne’s, also known as the  Vierwaldstättersee  or ‘Lake of the Four Forest Cantons,’ is a great place for boat trips, or you can hire paddle boats and kayaks to explore the crystal-clear water. If you prefer to stay on dry land, you can trek the lake’s shoreline as there are several trails to follow.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Make sure you have travel insurance you can trust when planning your  Switzerland summer trip . We recommend True Traveller for their 5-star TrustPilot reviews, variety of cover options, best activities cover as standard, great prices, and excellent service.

Hike the Swiss Alps

One of the top attractions in Switzerland is hiking the Swiss Alps during the summer, and there are 14 mountain ranges in Switzerland to choose from! 

In early summer, the warm weather melts the snow and the Alpine peaks burst into life with wildflower meadows blooming. Herds of goats and cows are moved to higher pastures and all around you will be the sound of cow bells as the animals munch on the sweet grass.

The summer temperature average in the Swiss Alps is in the low 70s, and it is pleasant to hike in shorts and a t-shirt. You can always cool down by dipping in a mountain lake or stopping to take in the spectacular mountain scenery whilst unwinding and recharging your batteries.

There are well over 2,500 hiking trails in Switzerland ranging from long-distance multi-day hikes to shorter distances suitable for all levels of fitness. Use an app like All Trails to find the best.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Looking for the best SIM card deals in Europe for your trip? Check out our guide to the best data SIMs in Europe and get the best deal for your trip to Switzerland.

Spend a Day in Zurich

Located on the northwest tip of Lake Zurich with the River Limmat running through it, and set against a dramatic Alpine backdrop, is the beautiful city of Zurich.

A relatively small and compact city by European standards, its quaint winding lanes show off its pre-medieval history, and the waterfront offers many open-air public baths, where people swim in summer months before the baths become impromptu bars as the sun sets.

One side of the River Limmat has a modern look and is home to the world’s largest financial district with banking and stock market houses lining the boulevards.

The other side is home to the Old Town area. Here is time well spent wandering the cobblestone streets and marveling at the historic medieval architecture. The Romanesque Graumunster and Fraumunster churches in Zurich’s Old Town are two of the most recognizable building landmarks.

Zurich is also home to over 1,200 fountains, some dating as far back as 1430. They are dotted every few meters all over the city and offer fresh drinking water, so make sure you have a drinking bottle with you when you start exploring. There is an Old Town walking tour called Water in Zurich which will teach you all about the importance of these fountains in Zurich.

RELATED POST: One Day in Zurich – Itinerary, Map, Tips & Guide

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Discover the Mighty Jungfraujoch

The Jungfraujoch, also known as the ‘Top of Europe’, is a saddle connecting two major 4000m peaks of the Bernese Alps: the Jungfrau and the Mönch. Located at an altitude of 3,450 meters above sea level in the Bernese Alps, the Jungfraujoch offers spectacular views on a clear day of the seemingly endless snowy mountains.

The starting point for a day trip to the Jungfraujoch can be either the pretty little town of Grindelwald or the lively city of Interlaken, and the Jungfrau Railway takes you right into the heart of the first natural heritage site in the Alps.

Try and avoid the weekends when visiting this popular destination and take the first early morning train if you can – this will help avoid the inevitable crowds.

Once at the highest train station in Europe, an incredible world of eternal ice and snow opens up. The Sphinx Observatory viewing platform offers spectacular panoramas of the surrounding mountain peaks: on one side the view of the Swiss Mittelland all the way to the French Vosges, on the other the impressive Aletsch Glacier, lined with four-thousand-meter peaks. 

You can take a short hike to the Mönchsjoch hut through the glaciers surrounding the Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highest-altitude serviced hut in Switzerland can be reached on foot from the Jungfraujoch on a high Alpine path in 45 minutes with around 200m of elevation gain. You need to be reasonably fit and wear good hiking shoes or boots to attempt this – but it’s so worth it!

Jungfraujoch is undoubtedly a highlight in this fascinating country and a place you should not miss from your Switzerland itinerary.

Swiss flag flying by a grassy cliff with snow covered mountains in the background

Sample Switzerland’s Wines

While Switzerland is surrounded by renowned wine-producing nations like France , Italy , and Germany , did you know that Switzerland cultivates around 15,000 hectares of vineyards? Us neither, at least not until we went wine tasting!

Located mostly at lower altitudes in cantons near its wine-making neighbors, Switzerland’s vineyards produce over a million hectoliters of wine every year. Yet only 2% of this volume is exported, which accounts for why you may not know much about Swiss wine.

Swiss wines, like the culture and history of the country, reflect the influence of surrounding nations. The Valais and Lake Geneva wine-growing regions border France and feature grapes such as Gamay, Merlot, and Pinot Noir, and Vaud is known for the Lavaux vineyard terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring miles of vineyards along the hillsides of Lake Geneva.

Ticino sits at the top of Italy and emphasizes reds akin to northern Italian styles. Schaffhausen, on the edge of Lake Constance, specializes in crisper whites using Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer.

There are plenty of opportunities to stop by a winery, wander through the grape vines, enjoy a tasting, and learn about the traditional art of viticulture.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Fall in Love with Lake Lugano

Lugano is in an Italian-speaking region and has a distinctive Swiss-Mediterranean mix of cultures which are reflected in its architecture and cuisine.

The city of Lugano stands on the shore of beautiful Lake Lugano, surrounded by mountains, including Monte San Salvatore, and is full of lively squares, lakeside walks, fun shopping streets, and colorful parks. Spending time around and on Lake Lugano is at the top of the list when visiting Switzerland in summer.

The best route to Lake Lugano from the city is through Parco Ciani, a former private villa transformed into a public park. The locals love relaxing in the shade or participating in water activities near the lake’s shoreline. The sparkling blue water is inviting for a mid-afternoon swim.

During your stay, visit Cattedale di San Lorenzo, a Catholic Church cathedral that offers a stunning view of the lake. The structure was built in the Middle Ages and was renovated in the 15th century.

To tick another country off your list, hop on a boat from the downtown pier of Lugano Centrale to either Porlezza or Ponte Tresa, both of which are in Italy.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Discover Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen is so perfectly beautiful that it could be mistaken for a film set, which it has actually been! Both Lauterbrunnen and nearby Mürren served as filming locations for the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969.

The valley town is known for its 72 waterfalls, including the famous 300-meter-high Staubbach Falls, and the nearby Trümmelbach Falls, which cascade through mountain crevices past viewing platforms in the spring and summer.

Hiking, rock climbing, paragliding, and canyoning are all popular ways to experience Lauterbrunnen’s stunning location in the Interlaken-Oberhasli region. For a truly unique and special experience, consider viewing the breathtaking Bernese Alps landscape from a hot air balloon.

RELATED POST: Most Beautiful Places In Switzerland That You Must Visit!

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Get Your Adrenaline Rush in Interlaken

Sandwiched between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, Interlaken is a small city known as the adventure capital of Switzerland and one of the best summer destinations in Switzerland for high-risk activities. 

There is an endless list of  things to do in Interlaken  in summer, including boat riding, skydiving, paragliding, skydiving, canyoning, river rafting, and bungee jumping, so it’s well worth a stop.

At 1,322 meters above sea level, Harder Kulm, Interlaken’s ‘house mountain’, delivers breathtaking views of the city and the mighty peaks of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. It’s an easy climb as the Harder funicular railway, which is over 100 years old, does the hard work!

If you have a head for heights, check out the overhanging  Zwei Seen Steg , or Two Lakes Bridge, for even more panoramic views of the two blue lakes that Interlaken is named for.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Discover Zermatt

Zermatt is a photogenic town at the foot of the impressive Matterhorn and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. This car-free mountain village deep in the Swiss Alps is known for its horse-drawn carriage rides, luxury hotels, and variety of activities like hiking, mountaineering, and mountain biking.

In fact, you can even ski in summer in Zermatt as a few of the highest slopes offer a year-round ski season! Take the gondola to Klein Matterhorn at 3,883m via Furi and Trockener Steg. Once there, you’ll have a great time enjoying snow sports along 21 km of pistes.

The Matterhorn, one of the most famous mountains in the world, dominates Zermatt. Viewpoints in the surrounding Alpine meadows and smaller summits offer breathtaking panoramic views of the distinctive snow-capped peak which is 4,478 meters high!

The highest cogwheel railway in Europe reaches the panoramic Gornergra t , and the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing, which opened in July 2023, means you can travel in less than 1.5 hours by cable car over the Italian border to Breuil Cervinia in the Aosta Valley, the perfect place to have a coffee!

RELATED POST: Europe Winter Destinations: 22 Amazing Wintry Places

Lit town at dusk surrounded by large mountains

Visit the Perfect Summer Location of Grindelwald

Winter tourists regard Grindelwald as the perfect location for skiing and snowboarding, but do not discount this small town for your summer holidays.

Grindelwald is a small village sandwiched by mountains in the Bernese Oberland of Central Switzerland. Impossibly picturesque and with a lot of things to do and see, Grindelwald is becoming a must-visit summer destination in Switzerland.

Top of the list of activities is the First Cliff Walk at the summit of the First Mountain at 2,200m above sea level, a quick ride from the village on the Grindelwald Firstbahn cable car .

The walk itself is along a metal walkway and a single-rope suspension bridge constructed along a cliff. At the end of the walkway, there is a spectacular observation platform that stretches out 45 meters above the mountains below.

We also suggest experiencing the Grindelwald-Männlichen Cableway which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, including the famous peaks of the Eiger and Wetterhorn, and the Grindelwald Glacier Canyon , an underground labyrinth carved out by the 250 million-year-old Grindelwald Glacier.

RELATED POST: Switzerland Road Trip: The Best Itinerary + Map & Tips

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Spend Time in Bern

Always in the shadow of rivals Zurich and Geneva, Bern is a gorgeous city, with its historic Old Town and scenic location on the Aare River, popular for swimming in summer.

The Old Town of Bern, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is rich with characteristic arcades and well-preserved medieval buildings, as well as the Gothic Bern Cathedral and the Zytglogge, an impressive astronomical clock and architectural masterpiece.

Bern combines history, culture, world-class museums, and natural beauty and is definitely one of the most eclectic places in Switzerland, which you should not miss during your visit.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Get Off-the-Beaten-Path at Schynige Platte

Located in the heart of the Jungfrau region, Schynige Platte, known as the ‘top of Swiss tradition’ is lesser visited than many of the surrounding big hitters and is a great excursion for families.

The best way to reach the hidden gem of Schynige Platte is on the nostalgic 126-year-old cog railway, the Schynige-Platte-Bahn from Wilderswil near Interlaken. Only running in summer, the 7km journey takes 52 minutes, as the train slowly pulls its way up the ascent.

Once you get there, the incredible views of the mountains take your breath away. The easy Naturkino circular trail connects picturesque vantage points, and in the Botanical Alpine Garden, you can admire over 750 species of Alpine plants.

Schynige Platte also has plenty of outdoor fun for kids, who will discover Lily the cow as she accompanies visitors on a treasure hunt around the Alpine landscape.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Spend a Day at Rhine Falls

The Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen, in the far north of Switzerland, is a spectacular natural spectacle and one of the most popular places to visit in Switzerland. This huge waterfall, between the towns of Schaffhausen and Neuhausen on the German border, attracts visitors from all over the world.

Rhine Falls day trips from Zurich are one of the easiest ways to see the mighty waterfall along with the medieval town of Stein am Rhein.

The Rhine Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in Europe and the huge amount of water that falls over the rocks is truly impressive. At 23 meters, the falls are not particularly high but are an imposing 150 meters wide as they stretch out along the River Rhine.

One of the best ways to experience the Rhine Falls is to take a boat ride. The excursion boats take the visitors on a small rock, in the middle of the water forces, so that the mighty power of the fall can be felt up close. 

But if you are not keen on a boat ride, you can see the Rhine Falls from afar. Head over to the Northern Banks promenade deck where the waterfall is visible from the different terraces.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Ride Switzerland’s Famous Trains

Traveling on the Bernina Express is a truly one-of-a-kind experience. This railway runs along the highest tracks in Europe and boasts the steepest inclines worldwide!

You’ll embark on a fantastic journey through 55 tunnels and over 196 bridges as the Bernina Express makes its way through romantic gorges, past vast glaciers and manmade structures such as the iconic Landwasser Viaduct, and charming Swiss towns.

The Bernina Express leaves on its 4.5 hour journey from Chur, and terminates in Tirano in the Italian Alps, via the resort town of St Moritz and the spectacular Bernina Pass and Albula Pass. 

The Glacier Express connects Zermatt in the west of Switzerland to St Moritz in the east and takes 7.5 hours to wind its way between the snow-capped mountains. The Glacier Express is described as the slowest train in the world but with incredible scenery and mountain views to photograph, you won’t want to go any faster!

Once you leave Zermatt, the first sight is the Matterhorn, a majestic snow-capped mountain peak and one of Switzerland’s most famous landmarks. Along the route you’ll travel through 91 tunnels and across 291 bridges, passing icy-blue glaciers, pretty mountain villages, and stunning Alpine scenery.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Summer Fun & Music at Lake Geneva

The Lake Geneva area is one of the top summer attractions in Switzerland. The guests come to golf at the local PGA course, stroll through the parks, or boat on Lake Geneva. The different outdoor activities keep everyone active during their stay.

Lake Geneva is also home to one of the world’s best-known music festivals, the Montreux Jazz Festival, held annually for two weeks in July. Over the years, the music has diversified, and popular artists like Prince, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder have all played the stage at Montreux.

Geneva has a thriving culinary scene, with specialties like Longeole and Boutefas sausages, Fondue Genevoise, Café de Paris sauce (perfect with steak-frites), and Raclette high on the menu. Choose from fine dining to casual suppers and everything in between!

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Hike the Alpine Cheese Trail

The Alpine Cheese Trail is our idea of heaven! The Alpkäse-Trail offers hikers a unique experience to learn and sample delicious Swiss cheese as you pass seven different Alpine dairy farms nestled in the mountains south of Lucerne.

Set amid Engelberg’s beautiful mountain setting, the circular route is 46.9km long and reaches 1,853 meters above sea level at the highest point. The scenic route makes a good multi-day hike with plenty of places to spend the night along the way.

At every dairy farm, you’ll be invited to learn everything about traditionally produced Alpine cheeses and the craft and lifestyle of the cheesemakers. Of course, you’ll have the opportunity to try various cheeses and cheese dishes, but that’s OK as you’ll hike it all off the next day!

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Drive the Furka Pass

To reach the awe-inspiring Furka Pass, you’ll first have to cross the Grimsel Pass, meaning you’ll bag two of Switzerland’s best driving roads in a day. These high-altitude mountain passes in the Swiss Alps are famous for their incredible scenic drives, but they’re not for the faint-hearted.

Best known for its star appearance in Goldfinger, the Furka Pass was the backdrop to an Alpine car chase. Today, it is considered one of Europe’s greatest driving roads and is a firm favorite with petrolheads everywhere.

Remember, you will need to time your travel dates correctly to experience this world-renowned drive! The Grimsel and Furka Pass are only open between June and October due to travel conditions and snow on the roads.

RELATED POST: Driving in the Alps: Top Tips & Best Routes

A road following a river through mountains

Switzerland Travel Resources

Here are the services we use and recommend for traveling in Switzerland;

  • Search for affordable flights with Skyscanner
  • Book your airport transfers with Intui Travel
  • Find hotel and accommodation deals with Booking.com
  • Book the best value car rentals with Rentalcars.com
  • Find and hire your perfect campervan with Motorhome Republic
  • Find the best activities and tours with Get Your Guide
  • Get highly rated travel insurance with True Traveller
  • Get your convenient travel esim from Airalo and Holafly .

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Best places to visit in switzerland.

Switzerland is known around the world for its chocolate, cheese, charming towns and scenic landscapes . Everywhere you turn, you're treated to a little bit of history and a little bit of nature's beauty, as well as plenty of mouthwatering cuisine in between. U.S. News considered factors like sights, culture, accessibility and variety of things to do, plus traveler and expert input, to calculate the best places to visit in Switzerland. Peruse the list below, and vote for your favorite spots.

Appenzell District

Jungfrau region.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Interlaken's unique location between two lakes – Lake Brienz and Lake Thun – makes it a breathtaking spot for a vacation. Here, you can spend hours hiking various trails, taking in the castle-studded shores of Lake Thun on a boat cruise or gazing at the surrounding mountains from the Harder Kulm observation deck (accessible via a funicular). To see more of the region's stunning scenery, go for a ride on the Schynige Platte Railway or sign up for a paragliding or skydiving excursion.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Travelers looking to ski or snowboard in the Swiss Alps should head to Zermatt. This small, car-free town in the middle of the Alps is famous for housing one of the world's most famous attractions — the Matterhorn (a peak so popular that it inspired a Disneyland ride) — and Switzerland's highest ski resort. Novice and expert skiers and snowboarders can spend the bulk of their vacation hitting the slopes, which showcase incredible mountain views. After shredding powder, visitors can ride the Gornergrat train, pick up a slab of homemade chocolate from a local shop or savor cheese fondue at a traditional Swiss restaurant.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Picturesque Lucerne sits on Lake Lucerne in central Switzerland, framed by snowcapped mountains and medieval buildings. This beautiful city's old town is home to historic attractions, lively town squares, boutique shops and old churches. Top attractions include the Musegg Wall and its towers (the preserved fortifications date back to the 13th century) and Europe's oldest wooden covered bridge, the must-see Chapel Bridge, which was originally built in the 1330s. Those looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure can also ride a cable car to Mount Pilatus for stunning views of Lake Lucerne and plenty of activities at the top.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

This lakefront city on the Swiss-Italian border offers visitors a unique travel experience. Because Lugano shares waters with neighboring Italy, the city features a mix of Swiss and Mediterranean influences in everything from its cuisine to its architecture. Plus, Lugano boasts unforgettable panoramas. Visit Monte San Salvatore and Monte Brè, both of which you can reach by funicular, for bird's-eye views of Lake Lugano and the city. Or, spend a few hours hiking the Olive Grove Trail or strolling the gardens of Ciani Park. If you'd rather lounge on a beach, head to Lido di Lugano.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Zurich is a cosmopolitan financial center, a foodie haven and a romantic European city that appeals to all types of travelers. A vacation here should include spending time admiring Lake Zurich, exploring the trendy bars and Michelin-starred restaurants, meandering through Lindenhof park and exploring the city's distinct neighborhoods. Join well-heeled shoppers (or just admire the window displays) on Bahnhofstrasse, a world-famous exclusive retail boulevard. While here, be sure to sample the famous dark chocolate Champagne truffles from specialty chocolatier Teuscher.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Visit the medieval town of Gruyères if you want to feel as if you've stepped back in time during your next trip. Its good looks (think: car-free cobblestone streets, fountain-filled squares and a 13th-century castle) create an old-world ambiance you're bound to love. Plus, the town is world-renowned for its Gruyère cheese, which you can sample and learn more about at a local cheese dairy or cellar. Sampling chocolate is also a must-do here, so be sure to check out a chocolate factory or attend a chocolate workshop while in town.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Like its neighbor Lugano, Locarno is located in the Ticino region near the Italian border. This quiet, small town is surrounded by stunning scenery (it sits on the shores of Lake Maggiore in the foothills of the Alps), and since it's the warmest destination in Switzerland, you'll have plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and explore. Be sure to stroll through the picture-perfect main square, Piazza Grande, where the city hosts several summer festivals, and trek to Madonna del Sasso, considered sacred among Roman Catholics. Then, head to the Verzasca river valley to swim or bungee jump.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Appenzell captures the essence of Switzerland with rolling hills, a car-free village and well-preserved customs. Visitors can take in the scenic landscape of the Appenzell District (located in the northeastern part of the country) by taking a cable car to the oft-photographed Aescher guest house, picturesquely built into the rock face, or hiking the region's "experience trails" like the Gonten Barefoot Trail and Appenzeller Kapellenweg, which weaves past 11 chapels. Meanwhile, the tiny village of Appenzell boasts quaint, frescoed shops and Museum Appenzell, which highlights the region's traditional crafts, folk music and art.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

You'd be hard-pressed to find a small town that boasts more charm and incredible scenery than Brienz. Located in the stunning Bernese Oberland region, Brienz sits on the northeastern shore of Lake Brienz, which features gorgeous turquoise water and is flanked by towering evergreen mountains. Some of the best ways to soak up the awe-inspiring setting include strolling picture-perfect Brunngasse (often proclaimed the most beautiful street in Europe), riding the Brienz Rothorn Bahn (which traverses a steam rack railway) and taking a boat tour to lake attractions like Giessbach Falls.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Set along the banks of crystal-clear Lake Geneva in western Switzerland, this city is known for its incredible views and as the headquarters of the Red Cross and the United Nations. Geneva is also home to some iconic sights, including the Jet d'Eau (one of the world's tallest water fountains) and an old town with cobblestone streets and picturesque squares. While exploring the latter, be sure to check out the Saint Pierre Cathedral, which features Roman, Gothic and neoclassical details.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

The capital of Switzerland, Bern sometimes gets overlooked for flashier Swiss cities like Zurich and Geneva. But Bern holds many charms, including an old town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) featuring the iconic Zytglogge clock tower, Renaissance-style fountains and a Gothic cathedral with the highest spire in Switzerland. The city also boasts many museums – several dedicated to Albert Einstein, who lived in Bern when developing his theory of relativity. Head to Gurten mountain – which you can reach by funicular, by bike or on foot – for sweeping views of the city below.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

As the largest ski area in central Switzerland, Engelberg is a winter playground, with a long, snowy season for downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and sledding. But don't sleep on a summertime visit here; warmer months allow for a bevy of fun family activities like a toboggan run, 300-plus miles of hiking trails and water activities on Trübsee lake. Regardless of when you visit, you won't want to miss the TITLIS Rotair, a revolving cable car that takes riders up Mount Titlis, and the other cable lifts that stop at a glacier cave, a panoramic restaurant, and the TITLIS Cliff Walk.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Considered "the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism," St. Moritz welcomes travelers with world-class skiing, swanky hotels, renowned après-ski offerings and top-notch restaurants. In addition to offering downhill skiing trails so highly regarded that the town has hosted the Olympics twice, St. Moritz features excellent spots for cross-country skiing, sledding and winter hikes. Come summertime, the area invites outdoor lovers to golf, bike, hike or enjoy water sports and swimming in the surrounding lakes.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

The Jungfrau Region is the perfect place for first-timers wanting to experience the otherworldly splendor that is the Swiss Alps. But be forewarned: The destination is sky high. Popular attractions like the Jungfraujoch (which features Europe's highest train station), the Grindelwald-First cable car and the First Cliff Walk Presented by Tissot sit at the top of towering peaks. The innovative Eiger Express gondola offers even faster transport to the top (just 15 minutes from Grindelwald). For those who'd rather stick closer to Earth's surface, prioritize a hike on a lower-level valley path and a visit to the Pfingstegg toboggan.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Tourists may not be as familiar with Montreux as they are with its Lake Geneva neighbors, which makes this Swiss town such an undiscovered gem. Quaint Montreux features a waterfront promenade dotted with flowers and trees, a medieval castle and a charming old town, not to mention a statue commemorating Freddie Mercury (Queen recorded multiple albums here from 1978 to 1995). Montreux is also surrounded by vineyards and hosts a popular open-air jazz festival every summer, while the holiday season brings the festive Montreux Noël market.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Located less than 5 miles from Montreux, Vevey is another Lake Geneva gem. This town's picturesque promenade along the lake is filled with flowers and features a sculpture of Charlie Chaplin, who spent the last 25 years of his life in Vevey. The Alimentarium, a nutrition-focused museum, also adorns the shoreline with its beautiful sandstone building, which once served as the headquarters to Nestlé (the company is still based in Vevey). After admiring the town, visitors can take a cog railway to the scenic Les Pléiades vantage point for its stunning views and the astronomy-centric Astropléiades trail.   

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

The second-largest city on Lake Geneva, Lausanne is characterized by its renowned Gothic cathedral and surrounding hilly terrain. The stunning lake views and colorful city center don't hurt, either. Travelers can take in Lausanne's lively atmosphere by checking out the city's cafes, admiring the old town's beautiful architecture and perusing the exhibits at the Olympic Museum. No visit would be complete without venturing outside the city to nearby Lavaux, where you can enjoy wine from vineyards that are so scenic and well-preserved (some date back to the 11th century), the area was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Vote to Add these Destinations to the Rankings

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Swiss National Park

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

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best cities to visit in switzerland summer

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The Best 17 Places to Visit in Switzerland

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

It's no secret that Switzerland has scenery in spades. The small European country is big on towering, snow-capped mountains, shimmering lakes, storybook villages, and vibrant cities. For active vacationers, Switzerland offers virtually every winter sport, including, of course, some of the world's best skiing, plus hiking, biking, climbing, hang-gliding, and other temptations for adrenaline junkies. There's also plenty to fill a more leisurely vacation, with hearty cuisine, including what some say is the world's finest chocolate, high-end shopping, first-rate museums, and, at every turn, another gobsmacking panorama.

Switzerland is a year-round destination, and it would take many, many trips to see all that it has to offer. But assuming you don't have a lifetime to explore the country, here's our list of the top 17 places to see in Switzerland.

TripSavvy / Michela Sieman

Switzerland's largest city is a stunner—at once historic and modern, cosmopolitan and bohemian. Divided by the Limmat River and wrapping around Lake Zurich's shores, Zurich offers some of Switzerland's best museums, Swiss and international dining , and Bahnhofstrasse—rightfully called the world's most expensive shopping street. Plan to spend much of your time in the Altstadt, or Old Town, and enjoy at least one traditional meal in a restaurant housed in a former medieval guildhall. Many a tour of Switzerland begins or ends here, as the city is seamlessly connected to the rest of the country and Europe, thanks to the ultra-efficient Swiss Rail System .

©GenèveTourisme; ©www.geneve.com 

Switzerland's second-largest city, French-speaking Geneva sits at the southwestern end of Lake Geneva and has a long lakefront promenade on two shores offering views of the famous Jet d'Eau fountain. Geneva is one of Europe's most expensive cities in which to live; that prosperity is felt in its elegant streets and parks, high-end shopping avenues, and five-star hotels with luxury sedans parked out front. But the city is also rich in history, as the center of the Swiss Reformation and, today, the home of the International Red Cross and the United Nations.

TripSavvy / Christopher Larson

The Swiss capital of Bern sits on a sharp bend in the River Aare in the western part of the country. Its Altstadt, or Old Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to so many well-preserved medieval buildings. But the undisputed star of the show is the Zytglogge, the fascinating astronomical clock that Einstein is said to have studied when developing his Theory of Relativity. Bern Minster has the tallest church spire in Switzerland and a stunning main portal. Those with more modern tastes can head to Zentrum Paul Klee, a museum dedicated to the country's most famous artist.

Like so many Swiss cities, pretty, walkable Lucerne occupies a magnificent setting—this time on Lake Lucerne with the Alps as a backdrop. The 14th-century wooden Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) is one of the most photographed sights in Switzerland, and Lucern's medieval Altstadt (Old Town) looks much the same as it did hundreds of years ago. The innovative Swiss Museum of Transport  is the most visited museum in Switzerland.

Lake Geneva


With one shore in Switzerland and one shore in France, Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) is a sparkling, half-moon shaped international playground. On the Swiss side, it offers the elegant city of Geneva; relaxed Montreux , famous for its jazz festival; and Lausanne, home of the International Olympic Committee. The terraced vineyards of the Lavaux wine region are a UNESCO World Heritage Site—some date back to the 11th-century. Last but definitely not least, 12th-century Chillon Castle is everything a castle should be—complete with a (partial) moat, dungeons, and a keep.

David Hanson/GettyImages 

The smallest Swiss canton, Appenzell Innerrhoden is set in the rolling hills south of Lake Constance. This is storybook Switzerland, complete with villages of brightly painted houses, folk traditions, and residents in traditional costume. In the fall, the cows literally come home, as herdsmen bring their cattle—decked out in bells and flower garlands—down from the mountains for the winter. Appenzell's car-free village is a center for folk-art, traditional festivals, baked goods, and yes—yodeling.

St. Moritz & the Engadine

Francesco Meroni / GettyImages

St. Moritz ranks as one of the world's top winter playgrounds for the jet set, and its palatial hotels, luxury shopping, and tony apres-ski scene are fun to dip into. Non-one-percenters might prefer some of the smaller, more down-to-earth towns and villages of the sunny Engadine Valley, known for its glaciers, snowy peaks, glacial lakes, forest, and folk culture. Listen closely, and you may hear Romansch being spoken—the ancient Latin-based language is still taught in the Engadine schools. The area is also a summer paradise for hikers, mountain bikers, and windsurfers.

Interlaken & Jungfrau

TripSavvy / Lauren Breedlove

Set between lakes Thun and Brienz, the pleasant town of Interlaken is the most convenient base for exploring the towering peaks of the Bernese Oberland—the region of glaciers, craggy mountains, and pristine lakes that offer postcard views at every turn. From Interlaken, a system of trains, cable cars, and cogwheel rails connect to the region's major ski areas and the Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe. For more than a century, it’s been the highest railway station in Europe. There, a high altitude playground awaits, with observatory platforms offering multi-peak views, the Eispalast (Ice Palace) walk inside a glacier, plus restaurants, and, of course, more skiing.

Lugano and Ticino

You'd be excused for thinking you've crossed over into Italy once you reach Ticino, the region wedged between the Alps and the Italian border. There's a distinctly Mediterranean vibe here, and Italian, not Swiss, is the first language. Lakes Lugano and Maggiore shares shores with Italy and offers a summertime playground for hiking, sailing, and swimming, with a touch of la dolce vita thrown in. Lugano's lakefront city is the bustling regional hub, but climb—or take a cable car—up any mountain to discover sleepy, rustic villages, clean air, and traditional country inns and restaurants.

raymondchan photo / GettyImages 

Something looms large over the car-free, stylish-yet-traditional mountain town of Zermatt—the Matterhorn. Europe's most famous mountain peak draws hordes of visitors to this otherwise sleepy town in the valley for skiing, ice-climbing, and arduous summer hikes and mountain biking. There's plenty of passive sightseeing to do here as well, and the views never disappoint. A mountaineering museum, traditional restaurants, luxe spas, and cozy—if not cheap—hotels can keep you pleasantly occupied here for a few days.

Stuart Dee/GettyImages

Near Lake Constance and the border with Liechtenstein, historic St. Gallen has a car-free center, a UNESCO-listed abbey and cathedral, and a textile-making tradition more than a thousand years old. The Rococo-style abbey library, stocked with 170,000 priceless volumes and documents, is a must-see here. There's a full cultural program in this important university town, as well as easy access to biking, hiking, boat rides on Lake Constance, and jaunts into Germany, Liechtenstein, and Austria.

Andrew Bain / GettyImages 

Pass the cheese, please. Though there's more to this charming medieval town than its namesake cheese, it would be a shame to leave Gruyères without sampling traditional raclette or fondue and visiting the Maison du Gruyère, where they make—you guessed it. In-between bites of cheese, visit the imposing 13th-century Gruyères Castle and take in the pastoral countryside. Oh, and did we mention there's a chocolate factory here, too?

Great St. Bernard Pass

irisphoto2 / GettyImages

Connecting Italy to Switzerland, the Great St. Bernard Pass has been a strategic gateway for the continent—long before the Romans first laid claim to it. The St. Bernard Hospice is still here, as are the iconic St. Bernard dogs—though they perform fewer mountain rescues than they once did. You can drive over the scenic pass or spend the day crossing it on foot, stopping at cozy village inns for hearty sustenance along the way.

Rhaetian Railway

 Dirk von Mallinckrodt / GettyImages

It's all about the journey rather than the destination when you climb aboard one of the Rhaetian Railway trains, the network of scenic Alpine train rides that includes the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express . Panoramic train cars allow for sweeping views of passing glaciers, glacial lakes, mountain passes, and dense forests. The astonishing engineering feats of these high-altitude train tracks are reason enough to make the trip on at least one leg.

Trümmelbach Falls

Catalin Daniel Ciolca / GettyImages 

If you're visiting the Jungfrau, be sure to stop and see where all that spring snowmelt goes. Trümmelbach Falls are a series of falls that crash through a scenic gorge, carrying waters of the Jungfrau as they roar through underground caverns and pools. A series of elevators, bridges, and pathways puts visitors right in the spray of the mighty falls, which are closed in the wintertime.

Ayhan Altun / GettyImages

Palm and lemon trees give Locarno a nearly tropical feel. Switzerland's warmest city sits on Lake Maggiore and is the relaxed alternative to busy Lugano. Wandering the narrow streets of the town, strolling along the lake, and having a coffee or aperitivo on Piazza Grande—these are the simple pleasures of Locarno. A hike or funicular ride up to the Madonna del Sasso pilgrimage church rewards with breathtaking views of the lake, the town, and the surrounding mountains. From there, explore the villages and streams and waterfalls of the surrounding Valle Verzasca.

 Alexander Spatari / GettyImages

Literary Lausanne has inspired writers and artists through the ages, no doubt inspired by Lake Geneva's views, the city's pedestrian-only medieval center, and, perhaps, its mighty Gothic cathedral. Divided between upper and lower towns connected by a subway, Lausanne the smallest city in Europe with a metro system. It's the International Olympic Committee's home and a sporty vibe pervades—as evidenced by all the bikers, walkers, swimmers, and sailors.

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Switzerland In Summer (Cities & Mountains)

Traveling to spend summer in Switzerland might not be high on your list of vacation destinations but you’re missing out if you think Switzerland hasn’t got lots to offer in all seasons. Yes, there are no winter sports, but there is a lot more going on!

In the summertime, the hiking trails through the Alps open up, you can walk through lush forests, green valleys, swim in crystal blue beautiful lakes, climb mountains, and take in all the culture of mountain resorts, and the stunning cities.

Have I convinced you that a Switzerland summer is worth considering? Join me as we take a look at all the things you need to know to have an amazing time visiting Switzerland in Summer.


Summer in Switzerland is blessed with great weather and if you stay low in altitude around spots like Lake Geneva, you’ll enjoy average temperatures of 23 to 26 degrees celsius.

I have spent a few summers in Switzerland and it’s pretty hot, daily swims in the lakes are a must, and enjoying a cold glass of wine or a beer on the shores is the way to live life.

If you venture into the majestic mountains, then the temperature does drop between the evenings and morning but it’s still pretty warm.

What to Wear

If you’re spending time in the lower areas when you visit Switzerland, shorts and t-shirts are more than enough with a jumper and trousers for the chilly evenings.

Ladies can wear summer dresses and skirts without worry and of course, everyone should pack their bathing suits for refreshing swims in the lakes.

If you’re up in the Alps, then having some layers with you is a good idea for the evenings, nights, and mornings, a light down jacket and a merino wool jumper is more than enough.

Best Places to Visit


The Jungfrau region is a stunning place and is a must-visit during summer in Switzerland.

The highlight of the region is visiting the peak of Jungfraujoch mountain which is accessed via a cogwheel railway train ride that provides stunning views over the Alps. Once on the top of the mountain, you will see reaching views into the Black Forest in Germany and the Vosges Mountains in France.

It’s wise to have a Swiss pass when doing this journey as the pass will give you a huge discount on this rather expensive train.

While in the area you can stay in the lovely town of Interlaken where you’ll find two lakes joined together with great views. You can hike around the lakes, swim, and grab a boat ride to see the crystal clear waters.

You also have the option to stay in or explore some delightful mountain resorts like Murren, Grindelwald, and Wengen. If you love waterfalls, the Alps, beautiful lakes, and interesting train rides, this spot can’t be missed.

Lake Lugano is one of the main tourist attractions in Switzerland during the summer and this is not only because of how beautiful it is but also thanks to its micro-climate.

The beautiful city of Lugano sits on the Swiss-Italian border and is the sunniest place in Switzerland and has a Mediterranean flair to it with sub-tropical plants, Italian culture, and accents, plus lake views.

This world-class city is home to the rich and famous, has amazing shopping, unforgettable cuisines, and access to some great activities . You can hop on a boat tour around the lake, use boats as transport, go up into the mountains and do water sports on the lake too.

The panoramic views you can see of Lugano and Lake Lugano from the nearby mountains and hiking routes are out of this world. Plus, you’ll pretty much have a lake view no matter where your accommodation is placed.

Mount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus is another of the amazing attractions that should be missed by travelers spending summer in Switzerland. You can travel to this amazing mountain via the stunning Swiss city of Lucerne, set on the shores of the beautiful Lake Lucerne.

To travel to the peak of Pilatus all you need to do is hop on a scenic train ride via the cogwheel railway to see spectacular views of the Alps, the largest town of Lucerne, and Lake Lucerne too.

While staying in Lucerne during your Switzerland trip it’s a must to stroll around the colorful houses, historic buildings, and many bridges of Lucerne’s 15th century medieval old town. Swimming in the lake is also highly encouraged as are boat trips and exploring the lush greenery that surrounds the lake.

If you’re looking to explore the best of Swiss country with a mix of quiet city life and incredible access to nature, this is a destination for your Switzerland itinerary .

Geneva is the second-biggest city in Switzerland and it’s set on the biggest lake in Switzerland, Lake Geneva. You’ll have views of the lake of the Jura mountains on the Swiss side and then views of the Alps and Mont Blanc on the French side.

Geneva is home to the International Federation of the Red Cross, the European headquarters of the United Nations, and the World Health Organization (WHO), making it one of the most significant cities on the planet when it comes to world diplomacy.

This is a destination that has to be added to your summer in Switzerland itinerary as you have access to the lovely old town, see one of the largest fountains in the world Jet d’Eau (Water-Jet), the Palace of Nations, and lots more between its old buildings and cobblestone streets.

Swimming in Lake Geneva is a must, you can explore the rolling green hills around the lake, take a trip into the nearby mountains, enjoy shopping, walk around the lake, take in the sun, see museums, and check out a quaint village or two and historic castles around the lake.

A trip to Montreux, a village on the lake is also a must and if you can time it with the annual jazz festivals then you will have the best time.

RELATED : Learn more about Geneva in the summer

If you want to spend time in the Swiss countryside and enjoy a quiet retreat with your family and a few of the rich and famous, then adding the alpine resort of Gstaad to your Switzerland itinerary is a great idea.

Gstaad is located in the Alps close to Lake Geneva in the Bernese Oberland. It’s incredibly easy to travel to in the summer and traveling to it is stunning as you follow the winding roads or railways through the mountains.

Gstaad is home to incredible hotels, shops, gourmet restaurants, galleries, and more that line this 100% car-free resort. If you want a place to relax during your trip to Switzerland, this is it.

Local activities are mainly based around the nearby peaks and the area is famous for its stunning hikes through the country and if you prefer some biking as well as tasting the great chocolate and cheese on offer.

One of the best things to do while in this town is to get on the cable car which takes you 10,000 feet up to the top of the Les Diablerets Glacier. The cable car ride is amazing enough but visitors’ minds are blown by the views and experience of the glacier.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

If you travel to Switzerland in summer, something you have to experience is to see the most photographed mountain in Europe, if not the world, which is the Matterhorn mountain.

To see the Matterhorn, you will want to base yourself in the charming Swiss town of Zermatt which you can get to on the famous glacier express. Zermatt combines the feeling of a traditional town with fine dining and modern living and you can actually see the Matterhorn from Zermatt town.

The streets of Zermatt are incredibly quiet and electric vehicles are only allowed so as not to create pollution in front of the greatest peak in Europe and to keep the village quiet too.

To get to the Matterhorn, you’ll need to get on the Gornergratbahn, the highest cogwheel train in Europe. While you’re traveling on the train, you’ll see 29 peaks, seven glaciers, and of course, the Matterhorn.

Rhine Falls

If you haven’t visited Rhine Falls by the time you leave your Switzerland summer vacation, then you have missed out.

Located in northern Switzerland near the German border, the Rhine falls are the biggest waterfalls in Europe, and gazing upon the huge volume of crystal blue water gushing down the falls is nothing short of a spectacular experience.

To see the falls, you can either drive from Zurich and stay in Laufen Uhwiesen and hop on a boat to see them up close, or you can book a Rhine River Cruise that can even include Basel, Lucerne, and Zurich.

If you choose to spend the night next to the falls, make sure to enjoy the beautiful sightseeing along the river, have dinner by the river, and spend the evening enjoying all the summer festivities on offer.

Chateau de Chillon

While you’re in Lake Geneva and Montreux, somewhere you have to visit is Chateau Chillon, a castle located on an island in the middle of the lake.

This castle is the most visited castle in Switzerland and is accessed via a short boat ride. Traveling to the island is a journey in itself as you’re surrounded by mountains, sights, rivers, and lots more.

Inside the famous castle, you’ll find art dating back to the 14th century, ancient dungeons and subterranean vaults, and lots more. The art is worth seeing, especially if you’re a fan of old paintings.

One of the best things about this visit is that close by is a destination not to pass by. The town of Lausanne sits right on the lake and is one of the most beautiful cities in the country.

A visit to Zurich is also something worth adding to your travel itinerary. Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and it sits on the northern end of Lake Zurich.

It’s a city packed full of history and filled with museums, galleries, and a lovely old town to explore too. You literally drop into the Renaissance period on a walk around the old Zurich between the guildhalls, narrow streets, and medieval houses.

If you’re wondering what the best things about seeing Zurich are, I’d say it’s the balance between city life and nature. You can get into trails for hiking around the lake and into the mountains, pop into town for some culture and great food, and enjoy a bit of the Zurich nightlife.

A boat cruise around the lake is also a great thing to do for tourists who travel to Zurich in the summer as the backdrop of the Alps is mind-blowing. Or ride the Ployhabh to get amazing views of Zurich and the lake from a higher vantage point.

RELATED : If you are planning to travel to Zurich in the summer, check out our detailed guide here . 

You have to visit Bern if you can while spending the summer season in Switzerland as this beautiful capital city is actually home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its stunning old town.

The medieval arcades in Bern go back to the 1100s and along with the decorative fountains of old folkloric and historic characters, along with the stunning clock tower are just some of the sights to see in Bern.

You should certainly see the 15th-century Gothic cathedral in Bern, home to the tallest spire in Switzerland and if you climb the staircase, you can see great views of the city.

One of THE year-round destinations in Switzerland to travel to is St Moritz, no matter the season as in the summer you swap skiing and snow-covered slopes for incredible hikes with alpine views in all directions.

You can take a cable car up to Piz Nair and Corviglia to access fresh trails and some of the best views, you can also enjoy the peace and quiet, nearby lakes, and history museum in town that showcases village life from the 13th century to the 19th century.

You are not going to find the best deals in St Moritz, so only plan a visit if you have the budget as this region is pretty much designed to cater to affluent tourists. Unfortunately, this is one of the places to avoid if you’re on a budget.

Verbier is a place that is known for its winter season but it’s worth a pass during the summer in Switzerland too. Alpine hikes, a relaxing atmosphere as well as great rock climbing, biking, canyoning , and more are on offer.

You’ll have to forgo the snow and Christmas markets but you can dine in the stunning villages that surround it and enjoy the summer alpine vibe of Switzerland.

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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20 of the Best Places to Visit in Switzerland — From Quaint Villages to Glamorous Cities

From tiny medieval towns to iconic ski resorts, here are 20 of the best places to go in Switzerland.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

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When you close your eyes and think of Switzerland, what do you see? Is it snow-capped mountains? Perhaps a verdant valley punctuated by springtime wildflowers? Or maybe it's a quaint Swiss city filled with cultural attractions and world-class restaurants. No matter which vision comes to mind, all of them are right — because Switzerland is all that and more. 

"Switzerland is small, yet we have four official languages, and every single one of the 26 cantons (states) is unique and has something different to offer," Catja-Camilla Straub, a tour guide with GatyaGoes , shared with Travel + Leisure . "There are different ways to explore and experience Switzerland, and there is something for everyone's interests: the outdoors, activities, luxury, a large number of festivals, food, culture, and history." 

Straub isn't the only one to see the nation's remarkable beauty. "Switzerland can offer you all Europa has to offer in one country," Tim Wehrle, a tour guide and underwater archaeologist in Zurich, said. "From lonely mountain valleys to a Mediterranean flair in the south of Switzerland, from busy nightlife to historic town centers, you can find everything in Switzerland." 

Ready to see it all? Here are 20 of the best places to visit in Switzerland.

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“Zurich is a small gem with only 450,000 inhabitants, yet it's the largest and most vibrant city in Switzerland,” Straub shared. Zurich may be best known for its banking and shopping, but, as Staub noted, it “actually has a rich history dating back to the Romans.” Staub recommends seeing it all and learning everything you can on a walking tour with a local like her.

Mount Rigi Kulm

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Make your way to the top of Mount Rigi to get a view of three countries at once. The mountain, located between Lake Lucerne and Lake Zug, offers views of Switzerland, France, and Germany at the top, which you can reach by taking a train or hiking all the way .

Lake Lucerne

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Lake Lucerne offers some of Switzerland’s most fantastic views. The glittering lake stretches on for 43 square miles, offering visitors the chance to hike around it, boat through it, or stay at any number of fantastic hotels lining its shores to enjoy the view. 

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Make your way about an hour northeast of Lake Lucerne to the town of Rapperswil , which sits on Lake Zurich. The town is known for its abundant roses in the spring and summer and for its medieval architecture, including its very own castle.

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History lovers, this one is for you. Ticino, a town in southern Switzerland, is home to not one but two UNESCO World Heritage Sites — the Bellinzona castles and Monte San Giorgio. Come explore them all year long, dive in the lake in summer, or take to the mountains for a ski trip in winter. 

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Tucked between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, travelers can find the town of Interlaken . It’s well known as an adventure-lovers paradise, offering the chance to hike, ski, paraglide, skydive, and more through the majestic mountain range surrounding the town.

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Quinten , which sits on the shores of Lake Walen, is the place to be for those who love to see everything on foot. The entire community is car-free and offers spectacular views throughout its terraced neighborhoods lined with vineyards overlooking the Churfirsten mountain range.

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Want another car-free adventure? Head to the picturesque town of Appenzell in northeast Switzerland. The small community of just 7,000 full-time residents is known for its hand-made cheeses, best enjoyed with a picnic out in the rolling green pastures. 

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Montreux, positioned on the shores of Lake Geneva, is loved for its palm-lined promenade, castles, and gorgeous alpine vistas. It’s also the place to be over the summer when it hosts the annual Montreux Jazz Festival, which is worthy of planning an entire trip around.

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If you’re into cheese, you’ve likely heard the name Gruyère before. Visit its namesake town, located in southwest Switzerland, to dig into the cheese-making tradition and to visit its fairy-tale streets surrounded by a positively bucolic landscape.

Oeschinen Lake

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Explore another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Switzerland with a visit to the glacial Oeschinen Lake. Like many places in Switzerland, this lake comes flanked by snow-capped peaks and alpine meadows, and it offers more than its fair share of outdoor fun, including everything from hiking and biking to ice fishing in the winter.

Lavaux Vineyard

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Wine lovers will adore visiting Lavaux Vineyard, the nation’s largest contiguous vineyard area that goes on for nearly 2,000 acres. The vineyard is yet another one of Switzerland’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which comes with the added bonus of gorgeous views and divine wine tastings .

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Want to feel like you’re on top of the world? Head to Stoos , a town located at 4,265 feet. The entire (car-free) town is adorable, but the coolest part is its funicular railway — which holds the record as the steepest on Earth — that takes guests some 2,400 feet high in under 10 minutes. 

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Find a little slice of luxury in St. Mortiz. The high-end town marries some of the best skiing in the world with some of the best shopping. It’s got glitz, glamour, and plenty of bona fides to back up its reputation as a winter sports heaven; St. Moritz hosted the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympic Games.

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Geneva, the second-largest city in Switzerland, is renowned for its international organizations like the United Nations European headquarters and the International Committee of the Red Cross. It’s also a spot where travelers can find luxuries galore, including high-end watch shops selling some of the most exclusive pieces on Earth.

Rhine Falls

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Feel the power of Mother Nature at Rhine Falls, Europe's largest waterfall. Visitors can marvel at the thunderous waters from viewing platforms, and those feeling more adventurous can take boat trips for a closer experience. Just make sure to wear something waterproof.

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Zermatt , which sits in the shadow of the Matterhorn, is one more car-free village that combines rustic charm with high-end amenities, including some of the best skiing in Europe. Of course, guests can explore the mountains all spring, summer, and fall by hiking and biking, or just enjoy the town’s fantastic (year-round) shopping opportunities.

Bern, Switzerland's capital, offers an enticing mix of old and new. The city has retained much of its medieval architecture and cobblestone streets, now the setting for world-class dining venues, boutiques, and beer gardens, all worthy of visiting on your next trip.

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Find a little taste of Italy in Lugano, the largest Italian-speaking city in Switzerland (which counts Italian among its four official languages). The Swiss city offers more gorgeous promenades to stroll, along with delicious Italian-influenced restaurants and an art scene that can't be beaten. 

Swiss National Park

Get one more taste of Switzerland’s incredible natural beauty with a visit to Swiss National Park , located in the Engadin Valley. The park encompasses 68 square miles, making it a fantastic place to explore. While on a hike, see how many animals you can spot, including the park’s resident marmots, ibexes, and golden eagles.

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Switzerland in Summer: What to Do & Where to Go

In Switzerland , summer and winter couldn’t be more different. You probably already know that the frozen peaks of the Swiss Alps are a sought-after snowsports destination. But what happens when the seasons change?

Read on and discover what to do in Switzerland in summer.

Breathtaking road trips and thrilling outdoor activities are just the beginning. You could also immerse yourself in the local culture and take your pick from art, music and food festivals.

As well as warmer weather, the summer months usher in longer days, perfect for soaking up the scenery. And what scenery!

In the Swiss Alps, lofty mountains, glittering glaciers and idyllic wildflower meadows are waiting for you. Elsewhere, you’ll find turquoise lakes, historic chateaus and celebrated vineyards. Not to mention cities, towns and villages brimming with old-world Swiss charm. 

  • Get inspired by these Switzerland self-drive tours and start planning your next adventure

First cliff walk, Grindelwald, Switzerland

When is summer in Switzerland?

Summertime in Switzerland spans June through mid-September. At this time of year, attractions tend to have the longest opening hours. Plus, you’ll have plenty of daylight, ideal for making the most of the spectacular views.

June is early summer and tends to be a little milder. Whereas July and August – peak summer season – are best for enjoying the year’s warmest temperatures.

Alternatively, travel in May or from mid-September to October – the shoulder season – to experience the top attractions with fewer visitors around. It’s worth remembering that the temperatures will be cooler and the weather could be more changeable in spring and autumn.

  • Whisk yourself off on a Swiss getaway this summer

Stein am Rhein, Switzerland

What’s the weather like in Switzerland in summer?

Switzerland has a continental climate, which means it has cold winters and warm summers.

That said, the weather will vary depending on where you are. This is because mountain ranges affect the way weather systems move through the country. And of course, conditions in the Alps will be different to what you’d experience at lower altitudes.

Visit in summer – June to mid-September – and you’ll often get pleasantly warm temperatures averaging around 20°C (68°F). June and September tend to be the cooler of the summer months, while July and August are the hottest.

This is the range of average temperatures you could experience in some popular Swiss destinations between June and September: 

People having a picnic on the lakeshore at Lorcarno, Switzerland

What to wear in Switzerland in summer

No summer trip to Switzerland would be complete without time outdoors. For instance, you could go hiking, ride cable cars up to jaw-dropping mountain viewpoints, or swim in inviting lakes.

This means you’ll want to be prepared for a variety of activities and weather conditions, even if you are travelling in summer. Wearing layers is often the best way to dress for this.

For example, you could start with a light baselayer top and comfortable bottoms. Just make sure to pack a day bag with a warm fleece, waterproof jacket and cosy hat, in case the weather changes unexpectedly.

To get you started, here’s a basic packing list for Switzerland:

  • Walking boots or shoes with good grip
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Insulated jacket
  • Warm fleece or woollen jumper
  • Light baselayers
  • Hiking socks
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Sunglasses and suncream
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Reusable water bottle
  • European plug adapter (type C or J)

If you plan on dining out in the evening, it’s also worth bringing some smarter outfits to change into.

Couple sitting on a bench in the Swiss Alps

Things to do in Switzerland in summer

One of the best ways to explore Switzerland in summertime is by taking the wheel on a road trip. This will give you the freedom to explore at your own pace and take detours.

Spontaneous moments often make for memorable travel experiences. But having an idea of what you want to do before you go will help make sure you have an unforgettable trip overall.

So coming up are some suggestions for amazing activities you can try on your summer getaway to Switzerland. 

1. Ride iconic Swiss railways

Swiss trains are world-famous for running like clockwork. So travelling on Switzerland’s railways is a chance to combine two things that the country is known for: awe-inspiring scenery and meticulous timekeeping.

Hop aboard and you could ride sleek intercity trains or take traditional cogwheel railways up mountains. Either way, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the view on a day trip to remember.

These are just some of the most beautiful short train journeys in Switzerland:

Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch

Perched at 3,454 metres (11,330 feet) above sea level, Jungfraujoch (or the “Top of Europe”) is the highest train station in Switzerland. With year-round glacier access and an ice sculpture hall, along with a restaurant, café and chocolate shop, it’s a destination in its own right.

Zermatt to Gornergrat

Board this open-air mountain rack railway in the Alpine village of Zermatt and in 35 minutes you’ll arrive on the Gorner ridge. Throughout your journey, marvel at jaw-dropping views of the Matterhorn.

Lausanne to Montreux

Expect tranquil lakeside scenes and sprawling vineyards dotted with chateaus on this trip along the shores of Lake Geneva. In just 25 minutes you’ll be transported from the pretty university city of Lausanne to the medieval heart of Montreux.

Jungfraujoch train near Zermatt, Switzerland

2. Experience Switzerland’s lakes

Switzerland is landlocked, so it’s probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think about relaxing by the water. But did you know that Switzerland is home to around 1,500 lakes ?

Of course, some of these are small bodies of water tucked away in the remote mountains. Others, meanwhile, are easy to get to and ideal for activities like swimming and paddle boarding.

That said, you don’t need to dip a toe to appreciate Switzerland’s beautiful blue lakes. You can also enjoy them from lakeshore promenades or from the decks of passenger ferries and vintage paddle steamers. 

People jumping into a Swiss lake

Come summertime, these are just a few of the top lakes you could check out in Switzerland:

Lake Thun and Lake Brienz

Sitting at the gateway to the Bernese Alps, you’ll find these neighbours on either side of a town called Interlaken. From the castle-studded shores of Lake Thun (“Thunersee”) and Lake Brienz (“Brienzersee”), you can see iconic peaks, such as the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

Lake Geneva

Straddling the Swiss-French border, Lake Geneva (“Lac Léman”) is the largest of Switzerland’s lakes. As well as sightseeing in the cosmopolitan cities of Geneva and Lausanne, you could visit one of the many vineyards surrounding the lake.

Lake Constance

Located on the border with Germany, Lake Constance (“Bodensee”) is another of Switzerland’s largest lakes. Take a trip to the town of Stein am Rhein, where you’ll see fine examples of half-timbered houses with intricately painted facades. Then check out the nearby Rhine Falls, one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe.

Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano

Head to these dreamy lakes on Switzerland’s southern border and you’ll be treated to a slice of Italy. The shores of Lake Maggiore (“Lago Maggiore”) and Lake Lugano (“Lago di Lugano”) are studded with towns and villages that exude Mediterranean charm. Just picture yourself enjoying fresh gelato in a piazza surrounded by pastel-coloured buildings. 

  • You could explore these destinations on a Switzerland road trip package

Lake Maggiore, Switzerland

3. Try outdoor activities

Throughout summer, the warmer temperatures and longer days transform Switzerland into a paradise for nature lovers.

In fact, there are over 65,000 kilometres (40,390 miles) of way-marked hiking trails crisscrossing the countryside. Thanks to this extensive offering, you’ll find something to suit you, whatever your abilities.

With Switzerland’s unspoiled scenery beckoning, it’s time to lace up your hiking boots, pack a picnic and hit the trail. Soon you could be strolling through wildflower meadows, relishing shady forest paths and soaking up views of snow-capped peaks.  

Person hiking in the Alps

It’s not just about hiking though. Here are more ideas for your next adventure:

Hop into the saddle, whether it’s a road, mountain or town bike, and get ready to experience Switzerland on two wheels. There’s a country-wide network of signposted routes for you to enjoy.


Switzerland’s lakes are the perfect playground for activities such as paddle boarding and kayaking. The most popular lakes will have places for you to rent gear for a leisurely outing.

Year-round snow on some of Switzerland’s glaciers means that you can ski or snowboard, even in summer. So while it’s not possible to sweep downhill at the likes of St Moritz, head for the Theodul glacier above Zermatt to get your fix.

The Swiss Alps are home to marmots, chamois, ibex and plenty of birdlife. So whatever you end up doing, make sure to keep an eye out for the local wildlife.

Marmot in the Swiss Alps

Good to know: It’s worth mentioning that, compared to going for a hike, summiting one of Switzerland’s Alpine peaks is a different undertaking. In this case, you’ll find that a high level of fitness, mountaineering and climbing skills, as well as experience moving at altitude, are essential. Hiring a professional mountain guide is highly recommended.

  • Why not add some of these activities to a Switzerland at leisure trip over 2 weeks?
  • Check out the 10 best Scottish walks to find out why Scotland is another top hiking destination

4. Visit fairytale castles

Although you can explore Switzerland’s castles (or “chateaus”) year-round, summer is one of the best times to visit. This is because many of them have beautiful gardens that’ll be in full bloom.

Plus, most of these grand castles and palaces have their longest opening hours between June and September.

Switzerland’s rich heritage means that you’ll be able to see castles of different ages and styles. For instance, you could tour 1,000-year-old fortresses as well as turreted manor houses from the 19th century.

Head for Lake Thun, at the foot of the Bernese Alps, and you’ll be able to visit several castles in a small area. Spiez Castle, Hünegg Castle and Schadau Park are all good places to begin.

Iseltwald castle, Lake Brienz, Switzerland

These are even more top Swiss castles for you to check out:

Château de Chillon

Thanks to its role in The Little Mermaid , Château de Chillon is one of the most popular castles in Switzerland. You’ll find this stronghold in Montreux on the shore of Lake Geneva.

Beyond inspiring Disney movie backdrops , the castle’s location was key for the Counts of Savoy between the 12-16th centuries. During this time, they became powerful by controlling the movement of boats on the lake from here. 

Neuchâtel Castle

Neuchâtel was once part of the Kingdom of Burgundy, and the castle has had many roles over its 1,000 years of heritage. Today, it’s home to the Canton of Neuchâtel’s parliament, the Grand Council. But the gardens and views over the town are reason enough for a visit.

Château de Gruyères

Perched on a hilltop in the Pre-Alps, this 13th-century castle in Gruyères is well worth your time. Here you can glimpse medieval stained-glass windows and capes that once belonged to knights.

Palais de Rumine & Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts

Built in the 1800s, this Florentine Renaissance palace in Lausanne used to be a university. Now, there are 5 museums and galleries for you to browse.

  • Delve into Swiss history and culture on a classic tour of Switzerland
  • Related: Best castles to visit in Ireland and Scotland

Gruyeres castle garden, Switzerland

5. Wine and dine the Swiss way

When you think about Swiss food, chocolate and cheese fondue are probably the first things that come to mind. And while these are local (and world-renowned) favourites, there’s plenty more to discover when it comes to the national cuisine.

For instance, did you know that Switzerland has one of the highest densities of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world?

What’s more, summertime is perfect for dining al fresco. Just imagine having a cocktail at a sophisticated lakefront bar or a hearty dish at an Alpine restaurant. This is also a great time of year for getting your hands on fresh produce at Swiss farmers’ markets.

Table of food in Montreux, Switzerland

If you love good food, there’s a chance you appreciate fine wine too. In this case, you won’t want to miss a visit to one of Switzerland’s wineries.

The UNESCO-protected vineyards of Lavaux, near Lausanne, are an excellent place to start. Why, you ask? Picture the scene: you’re sipping a glass of wine in the same vineyard the grapes were grown in, with the Alps as your backdrop.

Or for a dining experience with a difference, try the revolving mountaintop restaurant on the Schilthorn. A cable car will take you up to Piz Gloria station where you can savour a meal with unforgettable 360-degree views.

Lavaux vineyards, Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Where to go in Switzerland in summer

Switzerland might be a small country, but you can have a wide range of experiences here, depending on where you decide to go.

For instance, the Swiss Alps are a feast for the eyes, not to mention a playground for adventurers. Alternatively, head for the likes of Lake Maggiore, on the Italian border, for Mediterranean vibes. Or enjoy a cosmopolitan getaway in cities such as Bern, Geneva and Lausanne.

Read on to uncover some of the best places to visit in Switzerland in summer.

The Swiss capital is a must-see stop on your trip. With a population of less than half a million people, Bern isn’t the country’s largest city. But it does pack a punch!

Explore the UNESCO-listed old town (or “Aldstadt”) and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. Here you can drink from ornate fountains and roam winding cobbled streets dating from the 12th century.

The jewel of the city’s medieval heart is the clock tower. In German, it’s called the “Zytglogge”, and it’s well worth making a beeline here for the clock’s famous show. On the hour, you’ll be treated to a mechanical display of bears, roosters and other creatures that parade below the clock face.

Bern clock tower, Switzerland

The capital is also home to numerous museums and galleries, so you’re sure to find something that interests you. You could start with the Einstein House or the city’s museum of fine arts.

Meandering through the centre of Bern is the Aare river. In summer, join locals taking a refreshing dip in its riverside pools. And keep an eye out for people rafting down the river while you’re discovering the city. 

2. Lausanne

The elegant university city of Lausanne makes for an excellent base on a trip to Switzerland. You’ll find it on the northern shore of Lake Geneva, located between the city of Geneva and the medieval town of Montreux.

Breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps aside, the city has pretty lakeside promenades and a rich cultural heritage. Not only is Lausanne home to an impressive 12th-century cathedral, but you’ll also find the Olympic Museum here. In fact, this is where the International Olympic Committee is based.

You might also want to take a boat trip on Lake Geneva, perhaps cruising past Château de Chillon in nearby Montreux. And if you’re a foodie, keep an eye out for farmers’ markets and events run by Lausanne à Table .

People drinking wine, Switzerland

This Alpine village is nestled near the base of the Matterhorn’s iconic pyramidal peak. Standing over 4,000 metres (13,125 feet) tall, its jagged summit will draw your eye no matter where you are in the village.

For the best views of the Matterhorn though, you’ll want to gain some height. And thankfully hiking isn’t the only way to do this. You can even head up to an altitude of 3,100 metres (10,170 feet) on the classic Gornergrat railway.

Sunnegga village near Zermatt, Switzerland

Alternatively, take a funicular to Sunnegga station and in less than 5 minutes from Zermatt you could be exploring a picturesque Alpine meadow.

Just a stone's throw from Sunnegga is Leisee lake. It’s the perfect place for taking a dip with the Matterhorn as your backdrop. You could also go on a short hike, looking out for marmots as you go. Or simply drink in the views from one of the mountainside restaurants.

There’s also the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise cable car. Hop in and you’ll be transported up to a viewing platform at 3,883 metres (12,740 feet) above sea level. From here, on a clear day, you can spot 38 mountains over 4,000 metres (13,125 feet).

Back down in Zermatt, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to places to eat. You can dine out in upscale restaurants, relax in casual bars and fuel up in cosy cafés. There’s also an underground museum, called Zermatlantis, to check out, along with plenty of shops for picking up souvenirs.

Chamois in the Swiss Alps

4. Bernese Alps

The Bernese Alps, or Bernese Oberland, are a region of the wider Swiss Alps. One of the stand-out places you’ll want to see here is the Jungfrau region. It spans two valleys that connect the town of Interlaken with the mountain villages of Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald.

What’s more, the area is part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. These three peaks are steeped in mountaineering heritage. But thanks to excellent infrastructure, you could experience them for yourself with relative ease.

For instance, you could take a train up the slopes of the Jungfrau. Or stand at the bottom of the Eiger’s north face, just a short hike from Kleine Scheidegg rail station.

Meanwhile, in the valleys and Alpine meadows, you’ll spy charming villages of timber chalets. And the soundtrack to your days will likely be the soft ringing of Swiss cowbells. 

Lauterbrunnen Valley, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

When you’re travelling between Bern and Zürich, make sure you get to spend some time in the city of Lucerne. It’s best known locally for its medieval architecture and the wooden Chapel Bridge, which dates from the 1300s.

The city is also renowned as a hub for classical music. The annual Lucerne Festival has been held here since 1938. Depending on when you travel, you could catch a performance over the summer.

Chapel Bridge, Lucerne, Switzerland

Better still, the city sits on the shores of Lake Lucerne. This means you can take boat trips on the lake – an excellent way to see Lucerne from a different angle. You could even take to the water on a vintage paddle steamer.

There’s lots more to see and do in Lucerne, including visiting the Swiss Transport Museum or nearby Meggenhorn Castle. You could also take a cable car up Pilatus mountain for unrivalled views over the lake. Or simply relax at one of the city’s lakeside parks.

Nestled at the northern end of Lake Maggiore, you’ll find the town of Locarno. And being just a 30-kilometre (19-mile) drive from the border with Italy, this is an Italian-speaking region of Switzerland.

For unmatched views over Lake Maggiore, head for Madonna del Sasso, an ancient pilgrimage spot. Use the funicular to get to the sanctuary’s viewpoint perched high on the hillside. Once you’re here, you could take some time to tour the museum’s artefacts.

Madonna del Sasso overlooking Lake Maggiore, Switzerland

Fun fact: Locarno is one of the sunniest places in Switzerland.

Just imagine soaking up summer rays from the town’s Piazza Grande – gelato in hand, of course! In the piazza, you’ll be surrounded by buildings painted in those characteristic Italian shades of pistachio green, lemon yellow and terracotta red. Dreamy.

  • You could visit these exciting destinations on a complete Swiss road trip
  • Related: Fun facts about the Alps

How to visit Switzerland in summer

Now you know what you could experience in Switzerland, what are you waiting for? Whisk yourself off on a self-drive tour of Switzerland this summer.

Book with Nordic Visitor and you’ll have your own dedicated travel consultant, based in Lucerne, to take care of the planning for you.

This includes arranging your accommodation and rental car, along with giving you insider insights to make your road trip extra special. You’ll also get a hand-marked map with personalised recommendations for attractions and restaurants.

Contact our Swiss team , and get ready to discover the joy of summer in Switzerland. 

catherine blog profile

Born and raised in Scotland, Catherine has a background in trip organisation and design. When not travelling, or writing about travels, you can find her rock climbing and exploring remote corners of Scotland. Her top travel experiences include cycling along India’s Brahmaputra River, wandering the souks of Marrakech, and mountaineering in the Alps.

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We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.


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15 Best Swiss Cities To Visit (Not Just The Popular Ones)

Grossmünster & münsterbrücke in Zurich

Switzerland is a land of impeccable beauty. Once you have been there, you can’t get going back off your mind. Believe me, it’s true, I always long for the mountain views, swims in lakes, and the stunning scenery you discover while hiking and skiing. 

But, there is more to Switzerland than amazing landscapes to immerse yourself in, it is also full of beautiful cities that are worth spending some time in too. 

Whether you are looking for culture, a cosmopolitan vibe, or a fun place to base yourself while you explore the mountains, there is a picturesque city that will give you just that.

Join me as I run through the best cities in Switzerland in detail so you can learn all about them and choose the best cities to visit while you are there.  

Table of Contents


Geneva is a very international city and one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. Sitting on the shores of Lake Geneva, the views across beautiful Lake Geneva are stunning, and you can see the alps in the background too. 

Being home to the United Nations Headquarters, the World Bank, and countless other international organizations, a large part of Geneva’s population are ex-pats. It is also the second largest city in Switzerland so there is a lot to do. 

From museums to great restaurants, bars, art galleries, fun water activities, and exploring the surrounding mountains, you will never be bored in Geneva. 

Some of the top sights in Geneva include the CERN collider , the observatory, and the Patek Philippe Museum which teaches you all about luxury Swiss watches.

Be sure to explore the Old Town of this charming city with its narrow passageways, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum are a must too. 

Bern old town

Bern is the capital city of Switzerland and is nestled in the heart of the country, between Geneva and Zurich . Bern’s location is great for exploring the rest of the country as it is a short train ride to the mountain resorts of the Swiss Alps and all the great cities in Switzerland too. 

It is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland with its charming Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), many beautiful fountains, and the crystal clear waters of the Aare River running through it. 

There is a lot to do in Bern. You can swim in the River Aare in the warmer months, explore the Old Town, visit the Einstein Museum , art galleries and lots more. Einstein actually lived in Bern when he formed his theory of relativity. 

A view not to be missed is at the top of the St. Vincent Cathedral, a Gothic-style masterpiece with two towers. At the top of one of the towers, you can see across the city and into the snow-capped mountains.   


Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland with a population of 1.42 million people. It is also the economic hub of Switzerland and as the other capital city, and is thus the richest city in Switzerland too. 

Located on the northern side of Switzerland, Zurich is also a beautiful city. Sitting on the shores of Lake Zurich with the Limmat River running through it and surrounded by small mountains, it is very picturesque. 

Being such an affluent and large city, it is great for fine dining and luxurious shopping along the high-end retail stores and small boutiques of Bahnhofstrasse. Zurich is also a bit of a cultural hub in Switzerland and is home to hundreds of art galleries and world-class museums . 

Do not miss a visit to the Swiss National Museum, a stroll around the beautiful Old Town, and be sure to see the Grossmunster Cathedral too. 

In the summer, there are lots of great hiking trails in the surrounding hills and the lake is a buzz with outdoor bars. Swimming and sunbathing in the lake and river are a must in the warmer months. 


Interlaken is more of a big town than a city, but it might just be the most beautiful city in Switzerland in my eyes. Nestled in the middle of Switzerland, not far from Bern, it sits between two alpine lakes on the banks of the river that connects them, with the Alps just down the road. 

You couldn’t ask for more incredible scenery and the beautiful lakes are different colors too, one turquoise and one deep blue. 

You will find a lively music scene in Interlaken as well as great restaurants and a few cultural sights. But, this place is more about having fun in the mountains and lakes. Take a boat cruise around the lakes, swim, fish, paddleboard, and swim in the warmer months. 

In winter, mountain resorts are just down the road and you can access the stunning Jungfrau region from here in just 30 minutes. The likes of Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, and Jungfraujoch are just a stone’s throw away. 


Basel is the third largest city in Switzerland and is located on the banks of the Rhine River, right on the border with Germany and France in north Switzerland. It is known for being very artsy and is home to a lot of galleries and museums you can spend your time exploring. 

The museums not to miss include the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. If you are traveling with kids, the toy museum Welten is a lot of fun. 

In the summer, life revolves around the River Rhine and with 300 days of sun a year, it is no surprise why. The bars and restaurants lining the banks of the river are a great place to spend an evening. 

You can spend your days swimming in the river, sunbathing on the beaches, canoeing, paddle boarding, or on a river cruise. 


Lugano is in the southern part of Switzerland in the Italian-speaking part of the country and is just across from the Italian border. It is very different from the major Swiss cities to the north as it has a big Italian influence both architecturally and in its food. 

The beautiful architecture is only beaten by the beautiful scenery. Sitting on Lake Lugano, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, it is hard to beat. It is, without a doubt, one of the best cities in Switzerland and is very popular with tourists. 

There is a lot to do in and outside of the city. Take to the pre-alps for hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter. Swim in the lakes, explore the valleys, go on boat tours, or just chill on the beaches of Lake Lugano. 

While in town, sample the amazing Italian cuisine, see the architectural sites of the San Lorenzo Cathedral, the amazing library (Biblioteca), explore the Hermann Hesse Museum, Museo Cantonale di Storia Naturale di Lugano, and more. 


Lausanne is also on Lake Geneva, another international city home to the International Olympic Committee. It is filled with people from across the globe who love to be active in nature and it couldn’t be better located for it.

In the winter months, winter activities are available just down the road in the mountains. The lake offers great swimming, rowing, sailing, fishing, canoeing, and more. 

I spend every evening in Lausanne on the beach in the summer and there is nothing quite like swimming in clear waters with the alps as your view. 

There are also a lot of cultural sites in Lausanne as well as great chocolate, cheese, and Swiss wine. The famous Lavaux Vineyards are just down the lake in Lutry so tasting some of the local wine is a must. 

Other things not to miss are the Olympic Museum, the Old Town , the City Hall, and all the great restaurants too. 


Lucerne is another of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. Between its location on Lake Lucerne and the banks of the Reuss river and being surrounded by mountains, its natural beauty is mind-blowing, 

Throw in the well-preserved medieval Old Town, and architectural sites like Chapel Bridge , and you have one of the best cities in Switzerland. 

In the summer, the lake shores are dotted with beach bars, there is a great music scene, you can be on the top of Mt Rigi and Mt Pilatus within an hour, and anything from hiking, boat tours, swimming, canoeing, paddle boarding, skiing, paragliding, and more are all on offer.

Things not to be missed are Chapel Bridge, Sammlung Rosengart Picasso Museum, Swiss Museum Of Transport, the Lion Monument, Glacier Garden, and the Jesuit Church, plus a stroll around the Old Town is magical. 


Chur sits in eastern Switzerland amongst the Alps and is the oldest city in Switzerland at over 5,000 years old. It is a small city surrounded by meadows and mountains on the upper Rhine River. 

Being so old, it is draped in history and is home to a car-free Old Town that you have to explore when you visit. 

Other great things to see are the Bishop’s Palace and the Saint Mary Cathedral of Assumption and there are a few museums too which are all about the history of the city and the area. 

Access to the mountains is excellent from Chur. You can ride the cable car from town to go skiing in winter or for great hikes and views in summer. 


Fribourg lies between Bern and Lausanne on the banks of the Sarine River and is more of a small town than a city, but is a city nonetheless. 

Like most of the cities in Switzerland, it has a medieval Old Town packed full of history featuring great architecture in the form of the Baroque Loreto Chapel, Hauterive Abbey, and the St. Nicholas Cathedral. 

In the summer, life is all about being near the river and its numerous beaches. You might even find musical performances on the beach while you are there, and being a university town, they are packed full of energy. Open-air cinemas are also a lot of fun to attend in the summer. 

In winter, you can explore the numerous museums and even catch a festival or two. The St. Nicholas Parade before Christmas is very festive and in February, the Fribourg Carnival takes over the streets.  


Montreux sits on the eastern end of Lake Geneva, down from Lausanne. Famous for the Montreux Jazz Festival, Chillon Castle, and Charlie Chaplin Museum, and being where Queen recorded a lot of records, it is an awesome city. 

The Alps are right behind Montreux creating an amazing view from everywhere in the city, especially along the lake. Between spending time on the water in summer or hiking, and being in the mountains in winter, it is hard to beat. 

Be sure to hike along the lake to nearby villages, see the Chillon Castle , and if you are there before Christmas, experience one of the coolest Christmas markets in Switzerland. 


Neuchâtel is another stunning city to visit in Switzerland. Sitting on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel in northern Switzerland with the Jura mountains to the west, it offers a lot of activities from hiking to swimming and exploring the Old Town Center and Swiss Heritage Sites. 

The delightful medieval quarter is lovely to stroll around. You’ll see the 12th Century Château de Neuchâtel and Collégiale and a visit to the Natural History Museum is also recommended. 

If you love to hike, the Jura mountains aren’t far away, and nearby is the amphitheater canyon of Creux du Van. In the winter, you can be on the slopes in less than an hour enjoying the local ski resorts. 

St. Gallen

Sitting close to the shores of Lake Constance in northern Switzerland is the little city of St Gallen. Known for its beautiful Old Town with cobblestone streets, small alleyways, and beautiful architecture. 

The Abbey of St. Gall is something not to miss with its huge baroque library full of books, some of which are hundreds of years old. There is also a beautiful cathedral with two towers which is part of the Abbey that is a must-see also. 


Just north of Zurich is the little city of Winterthur it is packed full of history and is a great place to visit in Switzerland if you are looking for art, architecture, and museums. 

There are many things to do in the city of Winterthur . Strolling around the Old Town you will see houses from hundreds of years ago in various architectural styles. 

The Fotomuseum Winterthur is an awesome exhibition of some of the best photographers in the world and the two art museums of the Oskar Reinhart Collection have works by the likes of Cezanne and Monet. 

A tour around the old ​​Kyburg Castle is a must too as you explore every part of this well-preserved castle from the dungeons to the kitchen.  

La Chaux-de-Fonds

La Chaux-de-Fonds

La Chaux-de-Fonds is a little city on the French border north of Neuchâtel in the Jura Mountains at 1,000 meters above sea level. It is the highest city you can visit in Switzerland and it is beautiful. 

The city combines architecture with nature seamlessly thanks to the famous architect Le Corbusier who was born there. There are 23 Swiss Heritage sites in the city to visit along with valleys, mountains, and meadows with hundreds of hiking trails.  

It is also the home of Swiss watches and a visit to the International Museum of Watchmaking is very much worth it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best swiss city to visit during winter.

Winter in Switzerland

This is a hard question to answer as it comes down to your personal preference. I would say Lucerne is one of the best cities in Switzerland to visit in winter. 

Not only is it packed full of cultural sights, but it is also beautiful, and you can access great skiing on the many mountains close by. If you happen to be there before and/or over Christmas, the city will be decorated with lights, and trees, and be filled with markets and a ton of festive cheer. 

Lucerne is also more affordable to visit in winter as accommodation costs go down, and the crowds will be to a minimum too! 

What is the best Swiss city for young adults?

One of the best cities in Switzerland for young adults is Lausanne in my eyes, but Geneva, which is just down the lake, is also a great bet. 

What I love about Lausanne is that it is not too big, but there is a fun young international crowd who love to be active in nature. This has a lot to do with the International Olympic Committee being based there as they employ sporty people from all over the world.

Lausanne’s location on Lake Geneva is also great. In the summer you are a short walk away from beaches, a swim, and lots of water sports. In winter, the ski slopes aren’t far away either. 

Geneva is similar to Lausanne but a lot bigger. If you prefer big cities, then Geneva might suit you a little better. 

Interlaken is also a great city in Switzerland for young adults, particularly if you love adventure sports. The compact city is built around young people having fun. Accommodation is more affordable, and you can access the Alps, lakes, rivers, and more within just a few minutes on a train.    

Which Swiss City is the best to live in?

The best Swiss city in Switzerland to live in would either be Geneva or Zurich. 

Geneva is full of ex-pats and therefore has a very international crowd which makes finding friends very easy. It also has excellent schools, it is easy to find work there as tons of international organizations are based there, and its lakeside location is stunning.  

Access to rivers, lakes, and mountains is very easy, you can be in France in minutes, and the international airport connects you to anywhere in the world. 

Zurich is a little different from Geneva, still quite similar but it is a much bigger city than Geneva, so if you are used to London or New York, it might suit you better. There are lots of International Organizations there as it is the economic hub and the largest city in Switzerland.

Zurich is well placed to explore Switzerland from, it is also lakeside and riverside for summer fun, and its airport is the main international hub too. 

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best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Switzerland in the Summer: Things To Do

Studying in Switzerland

Switzerland, a country synonymous with picturesque landscapes and a rich cultural heritage, transforms into a veritable paradise during the summer months. The term Switzerland in the summer conjures images of lush green meadows, crystal-clear lakes, and majestic Alpine peaks bathed in golden sunlight.

With a delightful blend of outdoor activities, cultural events, and culinary indulgences, Switzerland in the summer offers an unparalleled experience that captivates the hearts of travelers from across the globe.

Whether you are an adventurer seeking thrilling escapades in the mountains or a leisure traveler looking for serene beauty and relaxation, Switzerland in the summer caters to every inclination. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on a journey that promises to be nothing short of magical.

When Is Summer in Switzerland?

Summer in Switzerland officially spans from June 21 to September 23. This period ushers in the warmest and brightest days of the year, allowing locals and tourists to fully enjoy the country’s scenic beauty and outdoor activities.

The highest temperatures in Switzerland are usually recorded between June and August, with July being the warmest month. During these summer months, daily average temperatures can reach or exceed 25°C at lower altitudes, providing the perfect weather for a plethora of outdoor activities, be it hiking, swimming in the lakes, or simply strolling through the vibrant Swiss cities.

This generous stretch of warm weather and extended daylight hours make the Swiss summer a perfect time to experience the country’s diverse landscapes, from the serene lakes to the lofty Alpine peaks, all while enjoying the delightful gastronomy Switzerland has to offer.

What To Wear in Switzerland During the Summer?

When packing for a summer trip to Switzerland, keep in mind that the weather can vary significantly between different regions and altitudes. Despite the warm temperatures, it’s a good idea to prepare for occasional rain showers and cooler evenings.

Here are some clothing essentials for a Swiss summer:

  • Lightweight Clothing: The days can get quite warm, so pack breathable, lightweight clothing like short-sleeved shirts, shorts, and summer dresses.
  • Swimwear: With numerous pristine lakes and public swimming pools, you’ll definitely want to bring along a swimsuit or trunks.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Whether you’re strolling through city streets or hiking up the trails, comfortable shoes are essential. Consider packing a pair of sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots along with more casual options.
  • Layered Clothing: As temperatures can drop in the evening, especially in mountainous areas, it’s wise to bring some layers. Pack a lightweight jacket, a sweater, or a fleece for those cooler moments.
  • Rain Gear: Summer in Switzerland can also mean occasional showers, so don’t forget your rain jacket or umbrella.
  • Sun Protection: The sun can be strong, especially in the mountains. So pack a hat, sunglasses, and high SPF sunscreen.

Remember, the key to packing for a Swiss summer is versatility. Be prepared for a range of weather conditions and activities, and you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy everything Switzerland has to offer in the summer.

Things To Do in Switzerland in the Summer

Switzerland in the summer is a playground for a multitude of activities. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a nature lover, or a cultural explorer, Switzerland offers a diverse array of experiences to make your summer unforgettable. Here are some things you can do:

  • Hiking: With the snow melted, summer unveils numerous hiking trails across the country. From easy walks along flower-filled meadows to challenging treks in the Swiss Alps, hiking is an excellent way to immerse yourself in Switzerland’s spectacular landscapes.
  • Cycling and Mountain Biking: Switzerland boasts an extensive network of cycling routes. From leisurely rides around tranquil lakes to thrilling mountain biking on Alpine trails, there’s something for cyclists of all skill levels.
  • Boating and Swimming: The country’s pristine lakes offer various water activities, including swimming, boating, and paddleboarding. Or you can simply relax on a lakeside beach and enjoy the sun.
  • Attend Summer Festivals: Swiss cities come alive with cultural festivals in summer. From music concerts to food festivals, these events provide an opportunity to mingle with locals and experience Swiss culture firsthand.
  • Paragliding: For adrenaline junkies, paragliding over the Swiss Alps can be an exhilarating experience. Soar like a bird and enjoy panoramic views of the spectacular landscapes below.
  • Visit Museums and Castles: Switzerland is home to numerous museums and historic castles. Summer is an ideal time to explore these cultural treasures and learn about the country’s rich history.
  • Alpine Train Rides: Enjoy scenic train rides, like the Glacier Express or the Bernina Express, that traverse spectacular mountain landscapes and quaint towns.
  • Try Swiss Cuisine: Don’t forget to try the delicious Swiss cuisine. Summer brings fresh, local ingredients to Swiss tables, and there are countless food festivals and farmers’ markets to explore.

These activities offer just a glimpse into the multitude of experiences that Switzerland in the summer has in store. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

10 Best Places To Visit in Switzerland During the Summer

Switzerland in the summer is a treasure trove of mesmerizing beauty and exhilarating activities, and choosing the top places to visit can be quite a task. This list of the 10 best summer destinations in Switzerland serves as your guide to experiencing the country’s diverse and captivating charm. From the sun-kissed peaks of the Swiss Alps to the culturally vibrant cities and the tranquil lakeside towns, each destination offers its own unique blend of experiences that truly epitomize the Swiss summer. So, let’s embark on this journey and explore the stunning destinations that make Switzerland a quintessential summer paradise.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

The city with the best quality of life in Europe is our top recommendation if you want to visit Switzerland during the summer. On this season, Zurich buzzes with life while its citizens enjoy Lake Zurich’s promenades, in town squares, or garden terraces.

Things to do in Zurich

  • Strolling along the blue waters of Zürichsee

If not doing these activities, visitors (and natives alike) will probably be sitting in the numerous park spaces and having picnics on a summer day. On the other hand, if you’re searching for quiet and relaxing mornings, you can make that happen on the east side of the lake – all this while still having a fantastic view of the Alps from Bürkliplatz or Zürihorn.

This quaint historic city located in the northern part of Switzerland is indulged in art. Basel is a city of vibrant history, countless exhibits events, and the home of several festivals that amaze tourists all over the world. In the art world, it is best known as the home of Art Basel – an international art fair.

Things to do in Basel

  • Explore the unique architecture of the old town
  • Enjoy the stunning views of the Rhine river
  • Visit the open-air cinema, cool bars, and annual dances by the river

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

You may know Verbier as one of the most famous Swiss winter playgrounds, but this beautiful location in the Alps has so much more to offer than just that. It is also a top destination to visit during the summer season as the perfect spot for a break or retreat. This beautiful Swiss Alps village is located in the south of Switzerland and perched on a south-facing plateau 1500m above sea level.

Things to do in Verbier

  • Canyoneering
  • Rock climbing
  • Biking along the trails of  Verbier Bike Park, which has a vertical drop of around 700 meters.
  • Dine in the village at Namaste or La Marmotte
  • This Swiss canton is the largest wine-producing region in Switzerland, so if you enjoy fine wine, do not forget to grab some while you’re there.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Located in the heart of Europe, Lugano is the largest town in the holiday region of Ticino which joins together the best of both Switzerland and Italy. The reason why this city is mostly visited during the summer is because of its micro-climate, which makes Lugano one of the sunniest places in Switzerland.

This town is a world-class city, combined with flowers, sacred buildings, and villas. Lake Lugano makes certainly the largest summer attraction for many people (especially well-known celebrities), because of its views and refreshing waters. Considering the Italian influence in this region, you’ll bet that there will be plenty of food and shopping choices to seek.

Things to do in Lugano

  • Visit the Hermann Hesse Museum
  • Visit the Alprose Chocolate Museum
  • Windsurfing
  • Enjoy the climate in Switzerland’s Sonnenstube which stands for “sunny room”
  • Eat at the Restaurant Gallery Arté al Lago – a restaurant in an art gallery
  • Go shopping at Via Nassa

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

The mountain town of Lungern is located between Luzern and Interlaken. This place is more than worthy of our top 10 list of the best places to visit in Switzerland during the summer, because of the amazing turquoise lakes and rolling green pastures.

This natural paradise, surrounded by mountain trails, is the perfect destination for nature lovers and hikers. And just like almost every valley in Switzerland – Lungern also has its own beautiful lake known as Lungernsee. You can take advantage of the town’s perfect climate and go into the lake for a memorable summer bath.

Benefiting from the town’s pleasant climate, the lake is perfect for swimming in summer.

Things to do in Lungern

  • Swimming in Lungern Lake
  • Mountain biking
  • Experience the magical Butterfly Trail through lush flowery meadows

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

The city of Geneva offers visitors some must-experience cosmopolitan feels. There is a variety of things you can do in this beautiful city, and one of them is enjoying the famous boat excursions at Lake Geneva. There are countless daily cruises that offer you the chance to discover the most beautiful shores of Lake Geneva.

The boats date from the early twentieth century, and while you’re cruising, you’ll notice that vintage and nostalgic feel. And of course, you cannot go by not visiting the Geneva Water Fountain (Jet d’eau de Genève). The fountain is a historic and symbolic icon of the city.

Things to do in Geneva

  • See Geneva’s Italian side
  • Explore the Old Town
  • Paragliding
  • Summer tobogganing
  • Paddleboard on Lake Geneva
  • Visit the Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Bern is undoubtedly a beautiful capital and possibly one of the most beautiful ones in the world. And if there’s one reason you should visit Bern in summer, then that should be the atmosphere of the Aare river. During this season, it’s like Aare river becomes the soul of the city.

With temperatures rising and the sun showing its face, that’s where you’ll find so much joy and spirit. Summer in Bern is all about the Aare, and if you want to get to know this relaxed city, that’s where you should turn to.

What to do in Bern

8. the rhine falls.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Europe’s largest waterfall – the Rhine Falls is mostly recommended to visit during May, June, and July. That is the time when the water density peaks, and you’ll surely get a spectacular view from any standpoint nearby.

It is known as an incredible experience from tourists worldwide, who say to feel the roar and the vibration of the water flowing over their entire bodies. The falls lie in the northernmost part of Switzerland near the town of Schaffhausen. By ship one can reach castles, the Rhine Falls Basin and the mighty rock right in the middle of the waterfall.

What to do in the Rhine Falls

  • Sightseeing
  • Picture taking

9. Interlaken

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Interlaken is a beautiful town in the heart of Switzerland attracting thousands of tourists from all around the world that want to see the wonderful Jungfrau region with their own eyes. Interlaken is utterly magnificent in both seasons, winter and summer, so in this case, it depends on what type of person you are and what you prefer to do while traveling.

What to do in Interlaken

  • Enjoy the fresh air
  • Outdoor sports
  • Enjoy the crystal clear blue water lakes surrounded by majestic mountains

10. Furka Pass

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Furka Pass is the legendary Swiss mountain pass that gained fame after it was featured in a car chase scene in the James Bond movie “Goldfinger” from 1964. An Aston Martin DB5 and a Ford Mustang climbed this scenic driving road, located in the Uri/Valais region of Switzerland.

More than 50 years later the landscapes have remained almost the same, and this is most certainly a road in the Alps that those in search of the best driving roads in Europe should experience. Furka Pass provides a truly scenic ride – panoramic views with its height, twists, and turns – so it’s definitely worth paying a visit.

Things to do in Furka Pass

  • Drive in a panoramic view

How To Visit Switzerland in the Summer?

Planning a summer trip to Switzerland involves several key considerations, from choosing the right travel dates to planning your itinerary and booking accommodations. Here are some steps to ensure a smooth and enjoyable Swiss summer holiday:

  • Choose the Right Dates: As we’ve established, summer in Switzerland runs from June 21 to September 23. July and August are generally the warmest months and attract a lot of tourists. If you prefer a quieter time, consider visiting in June or September.
  • Plan Your Itinerary: Switzerland offers a plethora of attractions and activities in summer. Identify your interests, be it hiking, city tours, cultural festivals, or culinary exploration, and plan your itinerary accordingly.
  • Book in Advance: Summer is a popular time for tourism in Switzerland, and accommodations can fill up quickly. It’s advisable to book your hotels and any specific activities or tours in advance.
  • Pack Appropriately: Pack lightweight clothing for warm days, but remember to include some layers and rain gear for cooler temperatures and unexpected showers. Don’t forget your comfortable footwear for exploring cities and hiking trails.
  • Get a Swiss Travel Pass: The Swiss Travel Pass offers unlimited travel on the Swiss Travel System network, which covers trains, buses, and boats. This pass can be a cost-effective and convenient way to travel within Switzerland.
  • Learn Some Local Customs: While English is widely spoken in Switzerland, learning a few words in the local language (German, French, Italian, or Romansh) can enhance your experience.
  • Prepare for the Altitude: If you’re planning to visit higher altitudes, remember to stay hydrated and take time to acclimate to prevent altitude sickness.
  • Respect the Environment: Switzerland is known for its pristine natural beauty. Wherever you go, remember to respect nature, dispose of your trash properly, and adhere to marked trails when hiking.

Planning ahead will ensure that your visit to Switzerland in the summer is as enjoyable and memorable as you’ve dreamt it to be. Happy travels!

There’s no denying the allure of Switzerland in the summer. The stunning landscapes come alive under the warm sun, offering endless opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and cultural exploration. Whether you’re navigating the picturesque hiking trails, immersing in the festive summer events, or simply marveling at the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps, a summer trip to Switzerland promises an unforgettable experience.

So pack your bags, plan your journey, and get ready to create lifelong memories in the heart of Europe’s enchanting summer haven – Switzerland.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should i pack for a summer trip to switzerland.

For a summer trip, pack lightweight and breathable clothing for the warm days. Include swimwear, comfortable footwear for walking or hiking, and layered clothing for cooler evenings. Also, pack a rain jacket or umbrella for occasional showers and sun protection items like a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

What activities can I do in Switzerland in the summer?

Summer in Switzerland offers a range of activities like hiking, cycling, boating, swimming, attending summer festivals, paragliding, exploring museums and castles, taking scenic train rides, and trying Swiss cuisine at food festivals and farmers’ markets.

How can I travel within Switzerland?

Switzerland has an extensive public transport network, including trains, buses, and boats. The Swiss Travel Pass offers unlimited travel on the Swiss Travel System network, making it a convenient option for tourists.

Can I visit the Swiss Alps in the summer?

Yes, summer is a great time to visit the Swiss Alps. The snow melts away to reveal green meadows, and the hiking trails become accessible. You can also partake in mountain biking, paragliding, and other outdoor activities.

Is it necessary to book accommodations in advance for a summer trip to Switzerland?

Yes, summer is a popular time for tourism in Switzerland, and accommodations can fill up quickly. It’s advisable to book your hotels and any specific activities or tours in advance to avoid any last-minute inconveniences.

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best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Founded as a public institution in 1785, UGA boasts an illustrious history in higher education. Today, Georgia's flagship university offers online programs to make a UGA degree more accessible. The online courses limit class sizes and use the same high academic standards as on-campus classes. UGA offers an online bachelor's degree in special education and multiple online graduate programs in education. Degree-seekers can also earn master's degrees in community nutrition, international biomedical regulatory sciences, emerging media, and avian health and medicine. Other available online master's programs include business, technology, and social work.


University of Georgia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

10% your international health insurance for life!

Scorestudies includes higher benefits than the Swiss compulsory health insurance, it is very often on a full refund basis and no co-​payment of 10% is required. In case of emergency, hospitalisation or prescribed medication, you are fully reimbursed by Allianz Care.

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Lenzerheide, hikes: hiking & trekking, biosfera val müstair, goldingen atzmännig, biel / bienne, advertisement, crans-montana, stechelberg, brigels - waltensburg - andiast, val de travers, tschappina (heinzenberg), flumserberg.

swiss flag in front of the snowy alps at mannlichen in jungfrau region, one of the most beautiful places to visit in switzerland

17 Spectacular Places to Visit in Switzerland (+ Map!)

Nestled in central Europe and dominated by the Alps, the best places to visit in Switzerland are downright sublime.

When it comes to jaw-dropping landscapes, quaint small towns, and enchanting cities that perfectly blend the past, present, and future, nowhere does it quite like Switzerland.

Many people (us included) put off planning trips to Switzerland’s beautiful corners for years because of its deserved reputation for high prices–but the best Swiss travel destinations are so incredible that, while expensive, you never doubt that you’re getting your money’s worth.

To help get you excited about planning your bucket list Switzerland vacation, we’ve worked with several other travel bloggers to round up the most magnificent places in Switzerland to visit!

Whether your dream Swiss trip involves Alpine hiking, lake swimming, skiing, or simply eating lots of fondue while overlooking the mountains, there’s an incredible getaway in Switzerland here for you.

Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland!

Table of Contents

Stunning Cities to Visit in Switzerland

Beautiful small villages + mountain towns in switzerland, more of the best places to visit in switzerland, map of the most beautiful places in switzerland to visit.

kate storm in a black dress with the alps in the background on the murren to gimmelwald hike

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From Rachel of Rachel’s Ruminations

Basel is a lovely little city with a historical core that is just perfect for strolling and soaking up the atmosphere.

The houses are simple and charming, some dating to the Middle Ages.

Art dots the streets: fountains, decorative sculpture, and painting on the centuries-old buildings as well as amusing modern art, like the dragon sculpture that breathes actual smoke!

“Reaction ferries” – no motor or sails – carry passengers across the Rhine between the two halves of the city.

If you like to see historical sights, the Romanesque and Gothic Basel Cathedral is one of the best sights in Basel , and climbing the spire to see the view is also worth the effort.

close up of red decor on basel town hall with clock in the center

Three of the original city gates still stand, restored to their medieval glory, and the bright red Rathaus (city hall) is quite a sight too.

The more modern Tinguely fountain is an amusing cross between a fountain and a kinetic sculpture.

The Foundation Beyeler, on the edge of town, houses a truly exceptional collection of modern masterpieces by major artists such as Rothko, Picasso, Monet, and Mondrian. It’s just outside of town but easy to reach.

Basel is a year-round destination, but summer is the best season for enjoying the outdoor attractions and architecture.

However, December brings a different charm: Basel is home to what is widely considered to be the best Christmas market in Switzerland!

view of old town basel, one of the best cities to visit in switzerland, with river in the foreground

From Caroline of Veggie Wayfarer

Snowcapped mountains, half-timbered houses, and a city that seemingly rolls down a hill right into the most pristine lake, upon which steamboats glide to and back from France: this is the storybook city of Lausanne, in the  Vaud-region .

Built atop three hills, the very first thing you will want to bring with you is a good pair of walking shoes. Start at the Lausanne Cathedral for some of the best views over the entire city, walk down the famous wooden staircase ( Escaliers du marché ) into the heart of the city at the  Place de la Palud , which contains a clutch of restaurants and bars as well as the oldest working fountain of the city.

skyline of lausanne switzerland with gothic cathedral prominent

Meander through the tiny streets until you hit  Palais de Rumine , a Renaissance palace well worth a visit.

The buzzing Flon district is great for a night on the town, or grab a drink at Brasserie Montbenon if you are looking for a more intimate setting.

Make your way to Lake Geneva at the foot of Lausanne, where you’ll find a variety of watersports on offer throughout the year.

Time permitting, hop of a steam peddler to Chillon Castle.

On the way make a brief stop at the UNESCO Lavaux vineyards, to try a glass of locally-produced wine.

view of chateau in lausanne with flowers and lake in the foreground, one of the best switzerland cities to visit

From Zoe of Together In Switzerland

For one of the best places to visit in Switzerland, consider booking your next Swiss getaway in Lugano!

Located in the heart of the Italian-speaking Ticino region, Lugano is beautiful to visit all year round.

However, the best time for  Lugano is in the summer , with long warm days and lots of local events in the city.

Since Lugano is well known also for its Lake Lugano, one of the best things to do after exploring and shopping in the city is to get out onto the lake!

You can rent cute red little paddle boats for a minimum of 30 minutes, or else book a larger boat trip that includes sightseeing at some local villages nearby. 

view of lugano city and lake from above

Lugano also is home to two funiculars that you can take up either Mount San Salvatore or Monte Bre.

Both nearby mountains are just above 900 in elevation and both have gorgeous views of the lake and the city of Lugano.

Summer is especially beautiful at each top mountain as they both have a restaurant serving drinks and food late into the night.

From there, you can see the sunset from above as well as watch the city light up in the darkness. 

If you’re visiting Switzerland in the summer, it’s also a must to bring your swimsuit to Lugano as you should not leave without swimming in the lake!

There are a few dedicated swimming areas to choose from, such as at Lido Riva Caccia right in the city center. 

paddleboats parked near the shore in lugano, one of the most beautiful places switzerland

From Kristin of Global Travel Escapades

When looking for the best travel destinations in Switzerland, you won’t want to miss the lakeside city of Geneva.

The city is in the French-speaking region of Switzerland and is located right next to the border of France, not far from Annecy.

In addition to being a beautiful city with lots of French-style architecture, Geneva’s location along Lake Geneva makes it an ideal Swiss city to visit.

The most iconic attraction in Geneva is the Jet d’eau Geneve, a 140m tall water jet in the middle of Lake Geneva.

Jet d'eau Geneve in geneva swizterland near sunset

After seeing the fountain, you can walk along the harbor and admire the colorful flower clock in the nearby Jardin Anglais.

The flower clock features over 6,500 flowers that create the watch’s face.

No trip to Geneva would be complete without paying a visit to Palais de Nations.

You’ll see the flag of each country that is part of the United Nations!

So if you’re looking for places to visit in Switzerland, consider Geneva, and make sure you visit during the summer months to minimize your chances of rainy weather!

view of lake geneva and the city from saint pierre cathedral in geneva, one of the best places in switzerland to visit

From Dymphe of Dym Abroad

One of the best places to visit in Switzerland is the picturesque city of Lucerne.

Whether you are spending  one day in Lucerne  or enjoying a longer trip, this German-speaking city nestled along the River Reuss is a beautiful travel destination.

One of the best things to do in Lucerne is to visit the Kapellbrücke, a covered pedestrian wooden bridge that spans the river in the city that dates back to the 14th century.

The Kapellbrücke has unique architecture and there are historic interior paintings that are very interesting to see.

chapel bridge in lucerne, one of the most beautiful cities in switzerland to visit

If you like the Kapellbrücke, the Spreuer Bridge is another must-see!

Other top attractions in central Lucerne include climbing the towers along the Musegg Wall for incredible views of the city and Lake Lucerne and visiting the Swiss Museum of Transport .

Another one of the best things to do in Lucerne is to spend time on Lake Lucerne to enjoy spectacular views of the mountains. You can ride the ferry or go swimming in the summer.

While visiting Lucerne, don’t miss the chance to head up to Mount Pilatus , either–not only are the views incredible but getting to the top includes riding the steepest cog railway in the world!

view of tower and lake lucerne from musegg walls, one of the best things to do in lucerne

From Sarah of CosmopoliClan

Nestled amidst rolling green hills and hugged by the crystal-clear Aare river, lies the city of Bern.

It’s the political epicenter of Switzerland with the Bundeshaus as the seat of the Swiss Parliament.

Bern’s picturesque Old Town may be compact, this UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site has a lot offer.

Visiting the Zytglogge, or Clock Tower, is one of the most popular of  things to do in Bern .

This landmark featuring a bear parade, golden rooster and time god Chronos as it strikes the hour, seems to come straight out of a story book.

As you stroll the elegant flag-lined streets of Bern, you’ll notice the many colorfully decorated water fountains.

historic center of bern switzerland street lined with flags and clock tower in the distance

Other architectural highlights are the stately arcades and the vaulted cellars that guarantee a pleasant shopping or dining experience regardless of the weather.

For a wonderful view over the city, climb the 312 steps to the viewing platform of the Bern Minster. This cathedral has the highest spire in all of Switzerland.

Behind it, you’ll find the Mattelift which will take you to the lower-level Matte district with its artistic flair and half-timbered houses.

From there, you can cross the Aare river to the Bärengraben where you can meet some of the city’s most famous residents: the bears.

The legend goes that the Duke who founded Bern would name the city after the first animal he encountered while hunting and that happened to be a bear.

End your visit at the Rosengarten park and take in the most spectacular panoramic view over the Altstadt and the white mountain peaks of the Bernese Oberland.

aerial view of bern surrounded by aare river, one of the most interesting switzerland cities to visit

From Emma of Travel on a Time Budget

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland , with no shortage of things to do.

It’s also a beautiful city, with the Limmat River flowing through the old town and Lake Zurich at one end, surrounded by mountain peaks.

Among the best things to do in Zurich is to spend some time in the historic old town.

This has picturesque cobbled streets and squares to wander through, with beautiful churches, wonderful cafes and restaurants, and a 17th-century renaissance town hall.

Boat trips run along the river and around the lake; the ferry stops at Zurichhorn for the chance to walk around the park and visit the small pretty Chinese Garden with its lake and colorful temples.

Zurich also has a number of fascinating museums to visit.

These include the Swiss National Museum, the Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum , the Rietberg Art Museum, and the FIFA World Cup Museum dedicated to the history of football.

For visitors looking for some relaxation, there is the rooftop thermal pool at the Thermalbad and Spa that provides views out across the city.

view of zurich switzerland from above in the summer, one of the best places to go in switzerland

Zurich is a wonderful place to visit at any time of year.

The summer months are perfect for walking around the lake or dipping in the water in one of the city’s lidos.

In the winter, there is skiing in the nearby mountains and ice skating in the city.

The city’s streets are lit up, and there are cozy cafes to pop into to warm up with the local fondue. At Christmas, the city hosts several markets.

Though deservedly famous for being expensive, Zurich has a range of accommodations to suit most Switzerland-friendly budgets.

The Hotel Montana near the main train station is ideal for short city breaks.

For more luxury, The Dolder Grand , with its hilltop setting, complete with an ice rink in winter, is a great option. 

central zurich decorated for christmas at night with a tram running down the street

From Megan of Megan & Aram

Interlaken, also known as the “Adventure Capital of Switzerland”, is a gorgeous place that can be visited in any season!

There are so many things you can do regardless of whether  you visit in winter   or summer… you just need to dress appropriately for the weather.

Go kayaking on beautiful Lake Brienz in all seasons, and relax on the beach after a swim session in the summer.

Interlaken has many fantastic hiking trails to choose from, and some of the most popular ones are Oberburghorn or Hardergrat.

You can take the funicular up the mountain to the Harder Kulm viewpoint, where you can enjoy the stunning views and dine at the Panorama Restaurant.

people standing on observation deck overlooking interlaken, one of the top travel destinations switzerland

To see the countryside from another perspective, take a hot air balloon ride!

And for even more views, take Europe’s highest railway to Jungfraujoch, where you will get breathtaking views from an elevation of nearly 3,500 m (about 11,500 ft).

You will never get tired of the spectacular scenery no matter how many viewpoints you go to!

Travel back in time by visiting the following fairytale-like places: St. Beatus Caves, a cave system over a kilometer long where legend says St. Beatus ousted a dragon living there in the 6th century; the medieval Thun Castle; or the charming village of Grindelwald.

Interlaken is a must-visit location in Switzerland and should be added to every itinerary!

historic center of interlaken with river in the foreground

From Paul D’Souza of Paulmarina.com

Mürren  is a beautiful, small village in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland.

Situated at 5400 feet (ca. 1,646 m) above sea level, this car-free village can only be accessed by cable car or mountain train.

Visitors can get there within 10 minutes from Stechelberg with the Schilthornbahn or take the iconic mountain train via Grütschalp to travel to Mürren within 20 minutes.

The views from Mürren are beyond stunning and will enthrall every nature and mountain-loving traveler.

Mürren and the Schilthorn peak came to fame thanks to a James Bond movie. Take the cable car further up to Birg and Schilthorn to discover Bond World and enjoy brunch in the Piz Gloria rotating restaurant.

people walking through central murren switzerland in the summer

From there you can spot the Mönch, Jungfrau, and Eiger peaks.

Adventure lovers will enjoy the Brig Via Ferrata trail, a rock climbing, zip lining, and tight rope walking trail further down.

Every season is beautiful and has its perks in Mürren, but the warmer months are more suitable to go hiking and paragliding.

Skiing and snowshoe walking are popular winter activities in the area.

A winter wonderland awaits you from December to March with plenty of snow and snow-dusted Swiss mountains.

ranger storm sitting on a stump in murren switzerland with alps visible behind him

From Dean and Laynni of Routinely Nomadic

Home to the world-famous Matterhorn, Zermatt has long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland.

So, yes, it can get very busy. But the fabulous mountain scenery more than makes up for that.

While the iconic Matterhorn dominates the skyline, the town is completely surrounded by impressive mountains and fantastic viewpoints, many of which are accessible by cable car .

Truly a year-round destination, Zermatt is one of the top skiing destinations in Switzerland in the winter, while in summer it attracts outdoor enthusiasts from all over to enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing, paragliding, white-water rafting, and, of course, hiking.

If you have your heart set on seeing the Matterhorn , try to give yourself a few days in Zermatt in order to increase your odds of clear weather.

hiking trail in zermatt switzerland with matterhorn in the background, one of the most beautiful places in switzerland to visit

Along with a wide variety of gorgeous day hikes, Zermatt serves as the start or end point of the incredible  Walker’s Haute Route , a phenomenal 2-week hut-to-hut trek through the Alps that is arguably the best long-distance hike in Europe.

Secluded at the top of a picturesque valley, Zermatt is closed to vehicles (except for electric hotel and work shuttles), making it a wonderful place to wander on foot.

While long-time visitors to Zermatt lament the ever-growing number of hotels, restaurants, and retail stores, they make it a very easy place to have fun and every new building still conforms to the town’s classic ski town vibe.

Those looking for a luxury stay with amazing Matterhorn views should check out the Europe Hotel & Spa , although there are practically endless Zermatt accommodation options to fit most budgets.

view of zermatt from above at dusk with matterhorn in the background, one of the best places to visit in switzerland

Baden, Switzerland

By Nina of Nina Out and About

Baden is the spa capital of Switzerland, yet most people have never heard of it.

Unlike Bath in the UK, Baden has remained off the beaten paths for tourists, and even most  expats who live in Switzerland .

Baden is a small town located in Aargau, about 20 minutes by train from Zurich.

It’s routinely confused with Baden-Baden in Germany (even when you try to buy a ticket to visit). But don’t be fooled: it does exist!

Baden’s claim to fame is the natural springs that have made it a popular spa destination for centuries.

The most well-known is the Friedensquelle (“Peace Spring”), but there are several others to explore as well.

baden switzerland with river in the foreground, one of the beautiful small towns in switzerland

In addition to its spas, Baden is also home to a beautiful old town with plenty of shops and restaurants. There’s also an interesting museum dedicated to the history of the town’s springs.

You can try out the hot springs for free along the riverside.

There’s a bench with a trough of natural hot water that you can put your feet in while you enjoy a hot chocolate or takeaway pastry.

The spa inside has evening and early morning discounted tickets, which will allow you to enjoy the spa when it’s nearly empty.

If you’re looking for a relaxing day trip from Zurich to one of the most underrated places to visit in Switzerland, Baden is the perfect place to head.

The best time to visit Baden is in the spring or summer when the weather is warm and you can enjoy all the town has to offer.

view of the center of baden switzerland from above in the summer


From Martha of May Cause Wanderlust

Lauterbrunnen is a village at the base of the stunningly beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Bernese Oberland region, and it is indisputably one of the absolute best places to visit in Switzerland!

It is the epicentre of this bucolic area, which boasts of pretty waterfalls, steep snow-capped mountains and quaint wooden chalets, and there are plenty of  things to do in Lauterbrunnen  and the surrounding area.

In the village itself, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to scenery. On either side of the village, there are green hillsides dotted with chalets and sheer cliff faces.

The stunningly delicate and impossibly tall Staubbach Falls seem to be falling on the village – although they are actually just a short walk outside it.

village of lauterbrannen switzerland with waterfall visible on the right

And the best view of all is southward across the village towards Lauterbrunnen Church.

Looking in this direction, you see the pretty church steeple flanked on either side by the steep valley walls and the Staubach Falls, with the snow-capped peaks of the Alps behind them.

It is so picture perfect, it almost doesn’t feel real!

To explore the countryside around Lauterbrunnen, there are hiking and cycling trails, and you can also take trains and/or cable cars to the neighbouring car-free alpine villages of Mürren and Wengen.

You can also take a series of trains from Lauterbrunnen to Jungfraujoch for an up-close look at one of Switzerland’s remarkable glaciers.

For a reasonably affordable stay, with good food and a chance of gorgeous views from your room, check out the Hotel Oberland .

lauterbrunnen valley from above as seen via switzerland train ride

From Marianne of Pasta, Pretzels & Passports

Located approximately 25 kilometres southwest of Lucerne, in the heart of a UNESCO biosphere reserve, lies the picturesque town of Entlebuch.

Covering a 22-square-mile area, the town is home to only 3,300 people.

But don’t let its size fool you! Entlebuch is one of the prettiest towns you will ever see.

And if you enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, climbing, or canoeing, then this town is definitely one of the best places to visit in Switzerland.

Entlebuch offers more than 60 kilometers of well-marked hiking trails.

You can also choose one of the 13 loop trails that wind through gorgeous forests, along clear rivers, and through mountain meadows.

hiking path through tiny village in switzerland on sunny summer day

But if you are looking for something truly unique, head over to  Stillaub Lama  where you can go Lama-Trekking with a guided tour! Enjoy an incredible hike accompanied by llamas.

If canoeing is something that interests you, the Canoe Club in Entlebuch offers canoe rentals or even guided excursions.

Paddle along the scenic Emme (Emmenuferweg) river between Hasle and Entlebuch.

And although summer is an incredible time to visit Entlebuch, if you like winter activities, the town has plenty to offer at that time of the year as well.

From snowshoeing to winter hiking, cross-country and downhill skiing, you won’t find a more scenic location.

And after an exhilarating day of exploring this incredible area, head back to town where you will find several excellent restaurants serving local cuisine.

church with steeple in the alps of entlebuch switzerland

From Trijit of Budget Travel Buff

On the banks of Lake Geneva stands the charming resort city of Montreux, which happens to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland.

The town looks out over the entrancing splendor of the surrounding countryside as it lies peacefully tucked away within the Swiss Alps.

The architecture of the historic cities and the ancient castles of Montreux has made it a place worth exploring.

The ideal months to visit Montreux are from April to October, but you’ll also find a charming Swiss Christmas market here in December!

The French-speaking Vaud region of Switzerland, which stretches from Lausanne to Montreux, is the heart of the Swiss Riviera and has a distinct Mediterranean character.

The lakeside resorts provide a surreal view of the lush green landscape, where you can unwind.

It’s one of Switzerland’s most picturesque locations due to its gorgeous lakeside location, expansive vineyards, and mountains, hills, and valleys.

woman leaning over a rail overlooking montreux and lake geneva, some of the best places to visit in switzerland bucket list

Take a relaxing boat trip on Lake Geneva to take in the beauty of the surrounding landscape and the lakefront villages.

You can visit the Freddie Mercury statue, wander along the Old Town’s streets, and circle the Montreux Lake.

It is unusual to visit Switzerland without trying  Swiss chocolate , the country’s most well-known delicacy.

The chocolate train on the Montreux-Berner Oberland Railway is devoted to the world’s most delicate temptation.

The famous Château de Chillon, which is about a 30-minute walk from Montreux, is another reason to visit.

This 13th-century fortress comes from the Middle Ages and features a beautiful view of the lake.

Château de Chillon as seen from across lake geneva with a path and flowers in the foreground

From Michelle C. of Intentional Travelers

When it comes to beautiful places in Switzerland to add to your bucket list, nothing compares to the Alps.

Nendaz, a small ski resort town up in the mountains, is popular for both winter and summer activities.

Arrive via train to Sion, in the valley, and then take a Postbus up to town.

The drive up the winding mountain road is a beautiful initiation to the area with spectacular views.

In the summer and fall, there are great hikes leaving from town so be sure to pack  walking shoes !

nendaz switzerland with bernese alps looming behind the town

Several of the trails in the region follow along the “ bisses ,” or old waterways, in and out of small villages and farms, through the hills and forests.

The ski lift to Tracouet’s Black Lake provides another panoramic perspective and more hiking trails.

The vacation rental options in Nendaz are abundant, although many of the hotels close in the shoulder season (fall).

Staying in Haute (“high”) Nendaz not far from the Tourist Office is best for easy access to restaurants, grocery stores, bus stops, and the ski lift.

Nendaz can also be a good base for day trips to other excellent Switzerland travel destinations like Sion, Martigny, Zermatt, and even places a little further like Spiez, Interlaken, and Bern.

cable cars rising above nendaz, one of the best mountain towns in switzerland

Ascona, Switzerland

From Giorgy of G-Extreme Travel

The small lakeside town of Ascona is located in Ticino, the sunny, warmest, and most charming place in Switzerland.

Indeed, it boasts more than 300 days of sunshine a year and its mild climate makes it a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.

There are always plenty of delightful things to do in Ascona, regardless of the time of year.

From hiking to discovering the holy Monte Verità, and from soaking in the Maggia or Verzasca Valley surrounded by magical waterfalls to visiting historical museums such as Castello san Materno, Galleria Borgo, and Museo Comunale d’Arte Moderna.

ascona switzerland with lake in the foreground and town visible in the background

And, of course, the Ascona lido is always tempting in the summer.

Don’t forget to walk along the famous lungolago, where there are plenty of restaurants offering delicious Italian cuisine.

From this promenade, you can take an electric train around Ascona to discover the local attractions.

Or, you can take a boat to Brissago Island in the middle of Lake Maggiore letting you live an exciting story of only Switzerland’s Botanical Garden on the island.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed getaway, this little hidden gem is an incredible Switzerland travel destination to add to your bucket list!

black and red sign reading "i heart ascona" near lake shore

Bernina Express

It’s hard to say whether a train ride counts as a Switzerland travel destination–but then again, trains in Switzerland are a bit more exciting than just about anywhere else.

Famous for being one of the most spectacular train rides in the world, the Bernina Express runs from Chur, Switzerland to Tirano, Italy, covering truly spectacular scenery along the way!

Featuring nearly 200 bridges and more than 50 tunnels along the way, this 4-hour scenic journey definitely belongs on your Switzerland bucket list.

Dramatic views of the Alps, glaciers, the soaring bridges, and more are waiting to be enjoyed through panoramic windows.

Be sure to book this Swiss travel experience in advance–the train is deservedly popular, and gets booked up quickly!

bernina express entering tunnel over landwasser viaduct, one of the most beautiful places in switzerland

Schynige Platte

From Amela of Stay Wild Travels

If you’re heading to the Jungfrau Region in Switzerland, then visiting the summit of  Schynige Platte  is a must.

In order to get there, you’ll need to hop on board the Schynige Platte-Bahn, an old-fashioned, historic railway that leaves from the small village of Wilderswill which is not too far from Interlaken.

It chugs slowly up the mountainside and offers fantastic views, which is an incredible experience in itself.

Once you’ve arrived at the summit, you’ll find a plethora of hiking trails, a restaurant and a botanical alpine garden, to name a few.

historic red cogwheel train approaching schynige platte with alps in the background, one of the most beautiful places in switzerland vacation

The most popular hiking trail is the Panorama Trail. As the name suggests, this offers unmatched views over the Jungfrau Region, including the three major peaks in the area: Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger.

You’ll be able to visit Schynige Platte from the end of May to the end of October.

Those looking for a traditional stay among the mountains are in luck, as the restaurant also offers doubles up as a popular hotel .

The rooms are quaint with Swiss décor and offer picture-perfect mountain views.

It’s worth noting that Swiss Travel Pass holders receive a discount on the trip, and Jungfrau Pass holders have a visit included with their card.

Take This Map With You! Click each highlight to pull up the name of the destination. To save this map to “Your Places” on Google Maps, click the star to the right of the title. You’ll then be able to find it under the Maps tab of your Google Maps account! To open the map in a new window, click the button on the top right of the map.

2 photos of swiss travel destinations, black and red text reads "17 spectacular places switzerland"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

2 thoughts on “17 Spectacular Places to Visit in Switzerland (+ Map!)”

One place that should be a must to visit when in Switzerland is the Rheinfall (Rhinefall) near Schaffhausen which also is a beautiful town. It is less then 1 hour from Zurich. PS: A small typo, the river in Lucerne is called Reuss, not Neuss

Thanks, Thomas, I’ll get that fixed. 🙂

And yes, I hear the falls are supposed to be gorgeous!

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17 Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Switzerland

Written by Becca Blond and Joni Sweet Updated Mar 20, 2024

Switzerland's natural beauty is as addictive as its mouthwatering chocolates – one taste and you'll be left craving more. Whether you are on the hiking trails outside Zermatt, laying eyes on the iconic Matterhorn for the first time, or marveling at the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains schussing down a ski trail beginning atop the Jungfraujoch, Switzerland seduces quickly.

Matterhorn and mountain scenery in Switzerland

This landlocked central European country is home to two mountain ranges, the Alps in the south and the Jura in the northwest. But Switzerland's natural attractions don't stop with peaks and glaciers. You'll also find glimmering turquoise lakes, emerald valleys where tingling bell-wearing cows and sheep graze, charming chalets, and flower box-filled villages that look ripped from the pages of a fairytale storybook.

Amid all this natural beauty are also some fantastic urban diversions and places to visit. With four official languages (French, German, Italian, and Romansch), Switzerland has a multicultural sophistication to its cities, which all offer something different when it comes to history and culture.

French speaking Geneva is home to four major offices of the United Nations and has a large international population. German speaking Zurich is Switzerland's largest city and financial center, known for its shopping, museums, and nightlife. The capital city of Bern boasts a medieval old town with a famous moving puppet clock tower and a stunning riverfront locale.

Switzerland is a four-season destination with countless things to do for outdoor adventurists. In winter you can partake in snow sports at world-class resorts, while summers are perfect for hiking, biking, climbing, and paragliding.

Getting around Switzerland is easy. Although you can rent a car and drive, we recommend utilizing its excellent train system that goes almost everywhere in the country. Trains are fast, mostly on time, and allow you to just sit back and soak up the stunning scenery.

Explore in more depth by checking out our list of top attractions and places to visit in Switzerland

1. The Matterhorn

3. jungfraujoch: the top of europe, 4. interlaken, 6. lake geneva, 7. chateau de chillon, montreux, 8. st. moritz, 10. lake lugano and ticino, 12. the rhine falls, 13. swiss national park, 14. the albula/bernina railway line, 15. oberhofen castle, 16. swiss grand canyon, 17. gruyères, best time of the year to visit switzerland.

The Matterhorn

You'll never forget the first time you see Switzerland's most symbolic mountain, the Matterhorn. Maybe you arrive in the charming village of Zermatt, at its base , on a clear blue day and the 4,478-meter high , tooth-shaped mountain looms clearly in front of you. Or maybe it is spitting rain when you first set foot in the car-free town, and it isn't until the next morning that you witness the emblematic peak emerging from a sea of dissipating clouds. Whichever way you first see this legendary mountain, it will remain seared into your memory for years to come. It's that impressive.

One of the highest mountains in the Alps, the Matterhorn sits on the border with Italy. It has four steep faces rising to its craggy tip. Climbers have been intrigued by this mountain from the first successful summit in 1865 by British climber Edward Whymper and his team. The trip still ended tragically when four of the climbers fell to their deaths during the descent.

Today, thousands of experienced climbers come here in a summit bid each summer. There are several routes to the top of this mountain, which is not accessible by cable car. The easiest route is the Hörnligrat, which begins in Zermatt.

Things to Do at the Matterhorn

Gornegrat Bahn cog railway and the Matterhorn

If you don't have the skills to summit the Matterhorn, there are still plenty of ways to experience the mountain. One top excursion is to ride the Gornegrat Bahn cog railway to the summit of the 1,620-meter Gornergrat mountain for stunning Matterhorn views. Europe's highest open-air cog railway, and the first fully electric train of its kind, departs from Zermatt station multiple times per day.

The ride itself is also bound to leave you speechless. Taking 33 minutes and climbing 1,469 meters it crosses dramatic bridges, passes turquoise-hued mountain lakes, and at times clings to the side of the mountain with views down into rocky ravines.

Once you reach the mountaintop, you'll find an observation deck with views in all directions including a view of Switzerland's highest mountain and the second biggest glacier in the Alps. Keep an eye out for wild ibex near the viewing platform in summer.

Europe's highest-altitude hotel, the Kulmhotel Gornegrat is also here. Besides lodging, it has a restaurant and shops open to the public. There is excellent hiking in summer, while Switzerland's highest sledding hill provides winter fun.

Buildings in the village of Zermatt

At the foot of the Matterhorn, lies the charming village of Zermatt, a top international resort that is one of the most popular ski destinations in Switzerland , and a hiking, biking, and climbing paradise in summer.

Laid out along just a few main streets with a surreal-looking blue river running through it, motorized vehicles except for official electric taxis are banned to preserve the air quality and the town's peaceful ambiance.

Zermatt can also only be reached via helicopter (very pricy) or the Matterhorn Gotthard railway via the towns of Visp or Brig. If you drive to the region, you'll need to park your car down the valley in the town of Tasch, and then continue by train. As such, staying in Zermatt truly feels like you hiked into a remote mountain paradise.

View from the Top of the Rothorn

In the winter, skiers can play on more than 300 kilometers of slopes accessed via a funicular and the Blauherd and Rothorn gondolas. In the summer, these slopes turn into hiking and mountain biking trails.

The Five Lakes Trail is one of the most popular hikes, beginning at the top of the Blauherd gondola and eventually taking you back to town via a series of five lakes, three of which you can see the reflection of the Matterhorn in on a clear, windless day. If you want to paraglide, this is also available.

Summer street scene in Zermatt

Back in town, you'll find dozens of shops, restaurants (order Raclette, a cheese and potato dish that is a regional specialty), and hotels. If you are interested in history, pay a visit to the Matterhorn Museum , which tells the story of the mountain village turned international holiday resort. It also provides facts and photos from the Matterhorn's first ascent.

  • Read More: Top Tourist Attractions in Zermatt & Easy Day Trips

View from the Top of Europe

Since 1912, tourists have been making their way to the fairytale-like village of Grindelwald for an excursion to the Top of Europe (also known as Jungfraujoch). As its name suggests, it's the highest train station in Europe.

It offers panoramic views of the UNESCO-recognized Jungfrau region that will make your jaw drop. The Sphinx Observatory, an astronomical observatory that looks like a Bond villain lair perched 3,454 meters above sea level, is the best place to see the magnificent Aletsch Glacier and the 4,000-meter peaks that flank it. With snow 365 days per year, it's also a prime spot to get a break from Europe's heat in the summertime.

Sphinx Observatory

This famous attraction has come a long way in the last 100 years, giving tourists lots of things to do at the top. Step into the 360-degree cinematic experience room for a closer look at the glacier and the Swiss Alps (perfect for ensuring you still get a wonderful view on a foggy day). Walk through a 250-meter-long corridor with artifacts and exhibits on the history of the miners who built the railway to Jungfraujoch—the antique mining equipment hanging on the walls will give you a deeper respect for these early pioneers.

The Top of Europe

Peek inside a giant snow globe that depicts the region with charming moving figures, like yodelers and gondolas. Then, glide through the Ice Palace. Frozen from floor to ceiling, it features smooth, icy hallways filled with ice sculptures of animals, including several penguins around an igloo.

Jungfraujoach's highly sustainable cable car, the Eiger Express , shortened the journey between Grindelwald and Jungfraujoch from 45 minutes to just 15 minutes when it opened in late 2020. That makes it possible to summit the Top of Europe on a day trip from Interlaken or even Zurich, but if you have time, it's worth sticking around Grindelwald to hike for a few days .

Panorama Trail

The trails here are among the most beautiful in the world and most trailheads are easily accessible through the town's network of cable cars and gondolas. The aptly named Panorama Trail takes you along paths lined by wildflowers with a backdrop of snow-capped peaks, while the Grindelwald First cable car station puts you on the path to the world-famous Bachalpsee lake.

You can also break up your days of hiking with adventure activities. Grindelwald First is home to a zip line that soars at 80 kilometers per hour and a mountain cart attraction that lets you race down winding gravel paths, plus a trail you can tackle on a "trottibike"—a unique cross between a scooter and a bike that's surprisingly fast.

Jungfruajoch - Section map

Nestled on a strip of land between two glassy lakes, Interlaken looks like a postcard brought to life. The enchanting resort town has been a popular vacation destination for centuries, giving tourists a home base to explore the Bernese Oberland. Visit in the spring or summer to take in the striking sight of the town's lush gardens blooming with the snow-dusted Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch towering in the background.

Interlaken's proximity to Lake Thun to the west and Lake Brienz to the east, along with soaring alpine mountains, has helped it become the "Adventure Capital of Europe" —and it offers thrills for any taste.

Interlaken Harderbahn

Want to hike? Take a 10-minute ride on the Interlaken Harderbahn, a funicular railway that's more than 100 years old, to the Harder Kulm (Interlaken's closest mountain). A brick path lined with quirky Swiss statues takes you to the trailhead for the Harder Kulm Circular Path , a relatively easy, forested path that opens up to panoramic views of Interlaken.

From mountainside slopes, you can also take the sky on a paragliding adventure in the summer, or slip on a pair of skis and zip down fresh powder in one of five winter sports areas around Interlaken. It's also a lovely place to get out on the water. Rent kayaks, row boats, and pedal boats for a serene experience on the lakes. Or challenge yourself to wakeboarding, windsurfing, or water skiing.


The beautiful part about Interlaken, though, is that it's as much a place for excitement as it is for a laid-back retreat. Once you've gotten your share of adrenaline, wind down with a stroll on the Höheweg , Interlaken's main boulevard, or find a moment of peace at the Garden of Friendship, the country's first Japanese garden.

  • Read More: Top Tourist Attractions in Interlaken & Easy Day Trips


Imagine a sparkling blue lake surrounded by mountains, a car-free medieval old town, covered bridges, waterfront promenades, frescoed historic buildings, and sun-splashed plazas with bubbling fountains. No wonder Lucerne (in German, Luzern) is a top spot for tourists.

Famed for its music concerts, this quintessential Swiss town lures renowned soloists, conductors, and orchestras to its annual International Music Festival . The Culture and Convention Center is home to one of the world's leading concert halls.


One of the city's most famous landmarks is the Chapel Bridge , built in the 14th century. In a small park, lies the famous Lion Monument , a poignant sculpture of a dying lion, which honors the heroic death of Swiss Guards during the attack on the Tuileries in the French Revolution. History buffs will enjoy the Swiss Transport Museum with extensive exhibits on all forms of transport, including air and space travel, railroad locomotives, and a Planetarium.

For beautiful views of Lucerne, the Alps, and the lake, ride the funicular to the Dietschiberg on the north side of Lake Lucerne; cruise up Mt. Pilatus on the cableway; or head to the Rigi , a famous lookout point.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Lucerne

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva, Europe's largest Alpine lake , straddles the Swiss/French border, and laps at the shores of some of Switzerland's most popular cities. The city of Geneva (in French Genève; in German Genf) sits between pretty snowcapped peaks at the point where the Rhône spills into Lake Geneva.

This French-speaking "capital of peace" is the European seat of the United Nations and exudes a pleasing blend of French joie de vivre and Swiss structure. Promenades, parks, and gardens surround the lake, and the old town is a lovely spot to stroll among the historic buildings. The Jet d'Eau , a fountain in Lake Geneva shooting water 150 meters into the air, is a famous landmark. Cultural attractions include the Opera House and the Grand Théâtre , which stages international acts.

Also on the lake, about 62 kilometers from Geneva, Lausanne boasts lovely views over the surrounding region and the lake, with the Alps rising in the distance. Take a stroll through the medieval old town with its cute cafés and boutiques and stunning Gothic cathedral. At the foot of the Alps, on Lake Geneva, Montreux hosts the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival in June/July.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Geneva

Chateau de Chillon, Montreux

On the shores of Lake Geneva, near Montreux , the Chateau de Chillon (Chillon Castle) has inspired artists and writers for centuries. Lord Byron, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Victor Hugo are among the luminaries who have written about this architectural treasure.

Once the stronghold of the Counts and Dukes of Savoy from the 12th century, the complex encompasses about 25 buildings clustered around three courtyards. Highlights include the Great Halls, with magnificent views of Lake Geneva; the Gothic underground rooms; the Chapel , adorned with 14th-century paintings; and the Camera Domini , a bedroom occupied by the Duke of Savoy decorated with medieval murals.

View over St. Moritz

St. Moritz is a city of firsts. The world's first electric light clicked on here in December 1878. In 1889 it hosted the Alps' first golf tournament and in 1935 began operating one of Switzerland's first ski lifts. Additionally, the town is considered the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism after a hotelier convinced British summer guests to winter here in 1864. It went on to host the Winter Olympics twice (1928 and 1948).

In the Upper Engadin region in southeast Switzerland, in a valley surrounded by the Alps, today it is one of the world's most ritzy ski resorts , favored by billionaires and celebrities. It has 350 kilometers of ski and snowboard runs with some of Switzerland's steepest terrain.

Winter sports run the gamut, from skiing, snowboarding, skating, and bobsledding to tobogganing. One of the oldest natural ice runs for toboggans on the planet is found here, the famous 1.2-kilometer-long Cresta Run . There is also a snowboard fun park and 150 kilometers of winter walking and cross-country ski trails.

St. Moritz

In summer, St. Moritz attracts hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and rock climbers. If you prefer to golf, you can play four courses with fantastic mountain views. You can also enjoy the iron-rich natural mineral hot springs here year-round. They were discovered about 3,000 years ago.

Adding to all this spectacular mountain scenery, St. Moritz is a cultural crossroads. Romansch, German, Italian, French, and English are all spoken in the surrounding areas, not to mention the different languages of the many well-heeled international visitors and expats.

The town is divided into two parts: St. Moritz Dorf sits on a sunny terrace overlooking the Lake of St. Moritz. The other part of town, lakeside St. Moritz Bad on the valley floor, is a health resort with less expensive lodging.

  • Read More: Top Tourist Attractions in St. Moritz & Easy Day Trips


In a stunning location, perched on a peninsula of the River Aare, the Swiss capital of Bern exudes old-world charm, and the city's medieval old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Strolling along the cobbled streets, visitors can explore the tallest cathedral in Switzerland, with panoramic views from its tower; 16th-century fountains; the Zytglogge medieval clock tower with moving puppets; and six kilometers of shopping arcades, called " Lauben " by the locals. The Rose Garden (Rosengarten) offers beautiful views of the old town center.

Bern has many tourist attractions waiting to be discovered, including excellent museums. Art lovers will appreciate the impressive galleries, including the Zentrum Paul Klee, the world's largest collection of works by this famous artist, and the Bern Museum of Art (Kunstmuseum).

Don't miss the markets, held in the Bundesplatz (parliament square) with views of the elegant Renaissance-style parliament building (Bundeshaus). Families will also enjoy a visit to the Bear Park.

Lake Lugano and Ticino

Lake Lugano lies on the Swiss/Italian border in Ticino, Switzerland's only official Italian-speaking canton, and offers a tantalizing taste of the Mediterranean. Citrus, figs, palms, and pomegranates flourish in the mild climate here–even as snowcapped peaks beckon in the distance.

In the towns around Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore to the west, the feel of Italy is unmistakable in the architecture, the piazzas, and the passion for fine food, which spills over the Italian borders from the south, east, and west.

Visitors can explore the area by touring the lake on one of the white steamers or renting a boat. For a panoramic overview, Monte San Salvatore offers one of the most spectacular vistas of the surrounding countryside, lake, and snow-capped peaks.

Lugano , a financial center and the largest and most significant town in Ticino, is a popular summer resort. Northwest of Lugano, in sun-drenched Locarno on Lake Maggiore, Swiss lakeside living takes on a subtropical touch with warm days, blossoming gardens, and palm-studded estates. In Bellinzona , capital of the canton, three magnificent castles are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Lugano, Locarno, and the Ticino Region


Zurich is Switzerland's largest city, a major transportation hub, and a top starting point for travelers. The city lies at the northwestern end of Lake Zurich astride the river Limmat. Beyond its buttoned-up façade, this affluent banking capital boasts a rich line-up of cultural treasures.

A great place to begin a walking tour is the cobbled streets of the Old Town with its quaint shops, cafés, and galleries. Mile-long Bahnhofstrasse , one of Europe's finest shopping strands, beckons with designer stores selling fashion, watches, and jewelry.

Venturing away from the boutiques, visitors will find more than 50 museums and 100 art galleries, as well as many other tourist attractions . A top pick is the Kunsthaus Zürich , the museum of fine arts, with an impressive collection of art from the Middle Ages to the present day. Another favorite is the Rietberg Museum , which focuses on non-European art with many works from China, India, and Africa.

A short stroll from Zürich's main station, the Swiss National Museum , in a Gothic chateau, spotlights Swiss cultural history. Families will love the Zurich Zoo with an elephant park, penguin parade, and Madagascar pavilion. From the city, take a train ride to Uetliberg Mountain for panoramic views of the city and countryside.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Zürich

The Rhine Falls

Spanning 150 meters, the Rhine Falls (Rheinfall) at Schaffhausen are the largest falls in Europe. The best time to visit is during June and July when the mountain snow melts, and the falls swell in volume to spill over a 21-meter-high ledge of Jurassic limestone.

Boat trips up the Rhine provide excellent views of the falls, as do the viewing platforms on both sides of the river.

Hiking trail in the Swiss National Park

Founded in 1914, Swiss National Park in the Engadine Valley is the oldest reserve in the Alps. The park sits right on the border with Italy and encompasses more than 170 square kilometers of flower-dotted hollows, fast-flowing rivers, and limestone crags. The scenery is especially dramatic in winter when the forested mountains are covered in a blanket of snow, and the views from the cross-country ski trails are stunning.

Nature lovers can explore the region on the large network of trails, though veering off these paths is forbidden in an effort to preserve the natural ecosystems. More than 5,000 species of wildlife call the park home, including marmot, red deer, chamois, ibex, fox, and more than 100 species of birds.

Swiss National Park - Layout map

One of the very few railway lines in the world designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage listing, the Albula/Bernina line on the Rheatian Railways offers a majestic ride not to be missed. The route extends throughout the Albula and Bernina landscapes, covering 122 kilometers and winding through almost 200 bridges, the Graubünden mountains, and a number of tunnels and viaducts along the way.

A ride on this train means panoramic seats that overlook unspoiled mountain landscapes, including the Piz Bernina, the highest mountain in the Eastern Alps at just over 4,000 meters tall. The train operates all year long, and the views are just as magical in summer as they are in winter.

Oberhofen Castle

Right on the shore of Lake Thun and surrounded by a 2.5-hectare park, this 13th-century castle is one of the most breathtaking in Switzerland. Because Oberhofen Castle changed hands many times through the centuries, and new owners kept adding rooms to it, the result is a magical mix of many styles: Bernese Baroque-style buildings, Romantic-style facades, and Prussian-inspired exotic new areas (including a library and a smoking room).

The castle also houses a living museum showcasing the times and lives of feudal societies that called the castle (and its surroundings) home from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

View over the Ruinaulta (Swiss Grand Canyon)

The Ruinaulta (also known as the "Swiss Grand Canyon") is a deep gorge surrounded by expansive meadows and forested cliffs. Located in Eastern Switzerland, it was created over 10,000 years ago–when the Ice Age Rhine Glacier retreated, it led to a chain of events that resulted in a massive rockslide in the Rhine Valley. As the Rhine River seeped through the rock walls, the gorge was filled with water.

Today, the Swiss Grand Canyon is not only one of the most beautiful areas in Switzerland, but also a preferred destination for hikers, bird-watchers, and nature lovers. It's possible to raft the rapids here between May and October, or rent a canoe or kayak for a gentler route with stunning views of the steep cliffs all around.

Aerial view of Gruyères Castle

Even if you don't know anything about this small medieval town, you've probably heard about the hard yellow cheese that made its name famous. Today, that's one of the town's main attractions. Visitors can tour a cheese factory, sample the local specialties, and wave to the cows that call the surrounding green hills home. If cheese isn't enough, the Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory also operates in town.

Gruyères might be tiny – it covers an area of just 28.4 square kilometers and is home to around 2,000 permanent residents – but it makes up for it with plenty of things to do, including the 13 th -century Castle of Gruyères and its two small arts and regional museums, as well as Saint-Germain Castle, which was bought by Swiss surrealist painter and sculptor H. R. Giger, and it now houses a museum dedicated to his work. The Tibet Museum, housed in an old church in town, is also worth a visit.

Stunning landscapes surround Gruyères, including the Gorges de la Jogne (favorite with hikers) and the nearby Mont Moléson, popular with climbers in the warmer months and home to ski and snowshoe trails during winter.

Train crossing a bridge in Switzerland with the Matterhorn in the distance

The best time to visit Switzerland depends partly on why you're going there. If you're going for the skiing, then of course winter is the best time to visit. For mountain hiking, summer is best, as it's warm even high up in the mountains, and you won't encounter much rain to disrupt your outdoor plans.

If your visit to Switzerland will include a bit of everything, then the months between April and June are your best choice . You'll still find some snow if you arrive early in this period, and warm days if you arrive later on.

Temperatures vary between 15 and 22 degrees Celsius, and you'll get a bit of rain, but you'll also see long days with plenty of sunshine, perfect for hiking and sightseeing . May is the most unpredictable month weather-wise – you might see rain and cold evenings or sunshine with temperatures in the low 20s.

Since the summer crowds don't arrive until July, and the winter crowds are long gone, you'll get more privacy and a chance to grab better deals on flights and accommodations .

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18 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland

By Becky Griswold · Last updated on March 3, 2024

You are probably thinking about Swiss chocolate, Swiss cheese, and clocks, too. These are some of the things that you know about Switzerland already. But this landlocked country is a haven for anybody who might be looking for some truly picturesque and sweepingly dramatic landscapes. It’s in the middle of the Alps, so how couldn’t it boast the picture perfect look that it does?

You might find yourself getting a cogwheel railway up a mountain one moment and visiting slices of medieval heritage nestled on lakes the next. You’d better prepare yourself for some breathtaking views of craggy peaks from Swiss mountain towns, exploring historic districts on a crisp backdrop of glittering water, and marveling at majestic alpine meadows ringed by snowy mountains. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Switzerland:

Map of Switzerland

Switzerland Map

With over 300 days of sunshine every year, there’s never a bad time to be in Basel. Set along the Rhine River, Basel is the third-largest city in Switzerland. But tradition, quirkiness, and a splash of rebellious spirit make Basel different to the rest.

Baslers, as they are known, are a fascinating community. You’ll find them floating along the Rhine in summer, going with the current until something else calls them forth. That thing could be a family swim in one of the city’s historic fountains.

The joie de vivre goes through all parts of life. You can find it in their excellent galleries (plus 40 museums) and atmospheric markets. The latter includes Marktplatz in the Old Town. Also, in the way they celebrate Christmas.

Along the old streets, you’ll find elaborate architecture, from the town hall to the cathedral. Not to mention some of Switzerland’s best theaters.

17. Appenzell


Enveloped in beautiful countryside, Appenzell is equal with its surroundings. The lovely village is complete with vibrant gabled architecture, a great selection of museums, some mouthwatering bakeries and cultural events.

Speaking of events, Appenzell maintains tradition. For several weeks from mid-May, alpine herdsmen don their customary wear and guide their cows in an enormous procession up into the high hills. The cattle drive occurs again towards the end of summer. In between is the Appenzell Folk Music Festival, where the town’s artistic heritage is on full display.

Other traditions still take place year-round, including the creation of Appenzeller cheese, known for its bold taste. Complement this with some Rösti, and you’ll receive the proper local culinary experience.

From there, it’s time to hike. You’ll have endless options, from hiking hut to hut across the Appenzell Alps to trekking up to the romantic Berggasthaus Äscher, a guesthouse built into the side of a mountain.

16. Swiss National Park

Swiss National Park

In Engadine, the Swiss National Park is renowned for its wildlife, a sanctuary set in an utterly Swiss landscape. With room to roam and well-maintained trails, it’s exciting and easy to explore the country’s only national park.

You can be assured of the spectacular here. Lace-up your boots and discover dense forests that quickly dissolve into vast meadows beset with wildflowers. The valleys drive you towards tumbling falls and azure lakes. It’s once you’re here that you will appreciate the towering moors and summits.

Some of the park’s best hikes include the 21km Lakes of Macun Trail through high alpine plateaus and Alps views. The easier 13km Munt la Schera takes you through steppe-landscapes.

While the family-friendly Alp Trupchun remains steady, providing a great overview of the park and wildlife. This includes stag rutting in autumn, marmots, chamoix, ibex and deer.

15. St. Moritz

St. Moritz

A beloved winter destination since the mid-19th century, St. Moritz remains at the height of Swiss glitz and glamour. The snow forecast beckons high-end ski bums from across Europe, hoping to explore the slopes that have hosted two Winter Olympics. But there’s much more to St. Moritz for those who prefer to leave the skis at home.

Luxury palatial hotels bring warmth to the heart of winter. Day spas, retreats, romantic ice skating, even horse racing on ice. When the skiers and snowboarders return, swap stories in front of the cozy alpine fireplace.

Summer is a great time to visit St. Moritz and not just for the discounted 4 and 5 star hotels. One can sail on Lake St. Moritz, windsurf on Lake Maloja or float along the surging Inn River. To stretch your legs, plan a hike up to the Hedi Hut or wander the Segantini Museum.

14. Gruyères


In the flowing hills of French-speaking Switzerland, Gruyères’ cobbled streets lead you to a colorful mix of culinary and cultural delights. In classic Swiss fashion, the picturesque medieval town is also a proverbial trailhead for adventures beyond.

The Gruyères Castle dates back to the 13th century, from which the town surrounded it and spread out. It remains in great condition, atop the hill, offering splendid views of the diminutive Old Town.

From there, wander down to the historic main street, which at 300m long is packed with historic sights, charming buildings and cafe patios. Soon you’ll connect with the Les Grands Chemins, Gruyères’ walking path that circles the town.

As you explore, aromas will capture your attention. When in Gruyères, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to learn about the town’s famous cheese at the La Maison du Gruyère. Not to mention try the famous fondue at Restaurant des Remparts.

To work it off, hike the ionic Gastlosen or take the funicular to Moléson-sur-Gruyères.

13. Verzasca Valley

Verzasca Valley

Lost in the midst of Switzerland’s many amazing destinations, the Verzasca Valley is home to azure waters, deep valleys and imposing summits. In southern Switzerland, the valley too has more than a splash of Italian influence.

The valley is a place to be in nature and admire the diversity of landscape that Switzerland has to offer. You’ll feel a long way from Jungfrau, with the Mediterranean atmosphere providing an entirely different environment.

It all starts at the valley’s 220m dam wall, made iconic by James Bong. Verzasca expands to be a haven for hikers. The Sentierone goes end to end, while mountain bikers will also get their fix.

But perhaps the most famous part of the entire valley is the Ponte dei Salti. This 400-year-old medieval footbridge features two arches that run over the emerald waters, leading you to the small town of Lavertezzo.

12. Montreux


On the eastern shores of Lake Geneva, Montreaux is an elaborate collection of 19th century noble excellence amidst 13th century medieval architecture. Its beautiful surroundings, in partnership with a cooler climate has made it a popular summer escape.

This can be traced back to the 1800s, when the community slowly became the stuff of legend. It’s a magical mix of Swiss Alps scenery, the snow-fed lake and the rows of celebrated vineyards. This has created a renowned arts culture, of which the annual Montreux Jazz Festival, held in July, is the centerpiece.

But you can’t get to know Montreux’s contemporary history without understanding what came before, and what still stands today. This includes the Chateau de Chillon, a Middle Ages masterpiece on the lake’s edge.

Cap that off by wandering the parts of the 10km promenade. All before walking up the cobbled streets, encased in Belle époque elegance and wrought-iron balustrades.

11. Rhine Falls

Rhine Falls

In Schaffhausen, the Rhine Falls is Europe’s largest waterfall. The stupendous beauty of the falls is a natural spectacle, one worthy of a spot on your packed Switzerland itinerary.

In the country’s north, the falls can be found on the High Rhine. They were created as the tectonic plates shifted during the Ice Age some 15,000 years ago. From the observation platform, you can see upwards of 600,000 liters of water surge off the edge every second. For reference, that’s the equivalent of 20,000 basketballs!

The best time to visit the Rhine Falls is in the middle of the year. Come June and July, the snowmelt floods the region where this waterfall surges and drops over 21-meter ledge of pure Jurassic rock.

Surrounding the Rhine Falls, you can uncover the amazing Schloss Laufen, a 9th century castle. Its glass elevator offers some of the area’s best views with the castle’s thousand-plus year history dancing on your fingertips.

10. Interlaken


Interlaken used to be known as a watch making center, but today it’s more popular as a tourist resort. Tourists started coming to Interlaken in the early 1800s to breathe in the mountain air and partake of spa treatments. Its popularity only grew from there. The Swiss city is located directly between two major Alpine lakes: Thun and Brienz. As a result, you’ll never be too far from the chance to go swimming, boating or biking around the lakes.

Offering spectacular views of three famous Swiss mountains, the Eiger, the Jungfrau and the Monch, the city is also a popular base camp for outdoor acitivites in the surrounding Bernese Oberland Alps. Travelers looking for something different to do might want to sign up for a class or two at a woodcarving school. Hungry tourists may want to try raclette, a classic Swiss dish made from cheese.

9. Lausanne


Right on the shores of Lake Geneva, and with views of both the Swiss Alps and the French Alps, is the city of Lausanne. Serving as a gateway to a major ski area and the home to two major universities, it is easy to see the universal appeal of Lausanne.

The city is divided into districts, and the Cité district is by far the most important for travelers. In Cité, you can explore what was once known as the Old Town, and you can explore some of the architecture, which includes everything from cathedrals to castles. If you only have time to explore one attraction in Lausanne, make it the Palais de Rumine. This Italian Renaissance-style building is home to five different museums, making it the perfect place to spend an entire day learning more about local art, culture and history.

A part of the Swiss Riviera, Lausanne has been popular with writers over the centuries, include Lord Byron, the Shelleys and Ernest Hemingway. Located in the French-speaking sector of Switzerland, Lausanne boasts an impressive cathedral and wonderful outdoor markets.


Geneva is a city where international influences reign supreme. It is home to the International Red Cross Committee and the European headquarters of the United Nations, as well as 20 other international organizations. Environmental travelers will enjoy the fact that Geneva is a “green” city, with 20 percent of its land devoted to parks, earning it the nickname of “city of parks.”

A highlight of a visit to Geneva is a chance to see the iconic Jet d’Eau, an enormous fountain seen from the Lac Léman waterfront that spews water high into the air. In the Old Town, the towers of Cathédrale St-Pierre are the tallest things you can see, and you will definitely want to stop for some photographs of the exterior and a tour of the interior. Geneva also is a good city explore by bike or rest weary feet by taking a boat ride on Lake Geneva.


The city of Zurich is the largest in Switzerland, and it is known for being a major financial hub in Europe. Even if you’re not a part of the business world, Zurich has plenty to offer to visitors. To start, Zurich is located right on the edge of Lake Zurich. You can hike or cycle around the perimeter of the lake for some exercise, you could rent a boat and head out onto the water or you could check out some of the man made beaches and jump into the refreshing water for a lake swim.

Zurich is also home to a number of historic churches, world-class museums and renowned architecture. Not to be missed is the Swiss National Museum, located in a fairytale castle, it is dedicated to Switzerland’s cultural history. To see as much of Zurich as possible at once, hop aboard the Polybahn, a funicular dating back to the 19th century, for amazing views and a chance to dine at the charming cafe terrace at the top.


Zermatt is a small town that is famous for skiing and mountaineering due to its proximity to the Matterhorn, one of Switzerland’s highest mountains. Cable cars whisk skiers up surrounding mountains in the winter and hikers in the summer.

Zermatt is a good town for walking to various sites, since gasoline-driven vehicles are not permitted; any vehicles within the city limits must be battery-operated. As you wander, sun-soaked patios beckon you in. The same ones whose aromatic espresso and hot chocolates promise a warm escape once the snow has arrived. But keep your eyes peeled, as a striking view of the impregnable Matterhorn lies in wait.

Under the summer sun, the mountain blooms green, creating a mix of nature, rock and glaciers that create a climbing and biking mecca. Treks like the 5 Lakes Trail, peel back the curtain of the area’s beauty showcasing, yes, five lakes, many with Matterhorn reflections.

However, it’s the winter fun that brings most visitors. Funiculars and gondolas run up multiple sections to create a skiing and snowboarding paradise. With a touch of après-ski added in.

5. Jungfrau Region

Jungfrau Region

The Top of Europe, the Jungfrau Region, brings together all that is great about Switzerland. Offering a bounty of outdoor adventures, it’s the centerpiece of the Bernese Oberland with endless snowy peaks that descend via glaciers into the lush valley.

Home to Grindelwald, Mürren, Wengen and the fairytale waterfalls of Lauterbrunnen, it’s easy to access the all-encompassing bonny beauty of Jungfrau. That’s all before you truly get to know how Switzerland makes some of its best scenery accessible to you, without overpowering nature.

Gondolas sweep you up from the deep valleys and place you alongside classic mountain chalets surrounded by alpine farms. One of Switerland’s most scenic rail trip, the Jungfraubahn takes visitors from the Kleine Scheidegg mountain through the Eiger and Mönch up to the Jungfraujoch.

Hiking trails snake through blooming meadows to remote villages and the views just, don’t, stop.

The four Jungfrau towns noted above are great places to visit in Switzerland and a good pick to base yourself. This isn’t an area you want to rush through. Take your time to discover the towns themselves, and the peaks that rise from their doorsteps.


Lugano has been nicknamed the “Monte Carlo of Switzerland,” because of its growing popularity with celebrities. The city is located on Lake Lugano, in the Italian speaking section of this alpine country. Lugano, which is blessed with warm summers, dates back to the 9th century.

A major draw to Lugano is outdoor recreation, and there are plenty of ways to stay active in and around the area. You might spend the day hiking along the clearly signposted Olive Tree Trail, or you could go for a swim at the easily accessible Lido di Lugano right by the city center. After strolling through the Old Town to enjoy the architecture, view it all from a unique perspective at the charming and fascinating Swiss Miniature Village.

3. Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva

A joyous blend of Swiss and French soak Lake Geneva in opulent elegance as captivating as the scenery itself. And with the Rhône flowing into Europe’s largest alpine lake, encompassing high altitude peaks and rolling green meadows, there are few better.

Crescent-shaped Lake Geneva is speckled with fascinating towns and cities alike. The kind that doesn’t overwhelm the surroundings, but merely blend in.

Here, you can explore world-class museums, discover Renaissance and contemporary arts, laze in gorgeous botanical gardens, admire the Jet d’Eau and take your pick of the waterfront cafes. As you do, you’ll see the mouettes, a boat taking locals from A to B across the glass surface of Lake Geneva.

Another beautiful example of Lake Geneva’s life is Lausanne. The medieval old town, backed by towering peaks, boasts a stunning cathedral and access to the lake and mountains.


There is something effortlessly romantic about Lucerne . Whether it’s the glacial-fed lake that reflects the world like a mirror, or the utterly walkable Old Town. Magic abounds here. Medieval buildings have become the home of modern luxuries and comfort. While the ancient streets eventually lead you to the iconic Kapellbrücke Bridge.

Before you notice the 14th century bridge, however, you’ll sense the peace that comes from a car-less Old Town. A haven for pedestrians, and a dream to wander, you can bounce between plazas, by frescoed buildings and along the edge of the Reuss River. Another famous monument is the Dying Lion, which was carved out of rock to honor Swiss mercenaries who died in France in 1792.

Along the way, you’ll discover that not much has changed since the likes of Queen Victoria, Goethe and Wagner were entranced by Lucerne two centuries ago. You’ll be glad it hasn’t.

After wandering across the Kapellbrücke Bridge and visiting the KKL and Rosengart galleries, head to the town’s namesake lake. Here you’ll find some of Switzerland’s best sunsets surrounded by epic peaks.


Bern is a picturesque medieval city with a history that dates back to the 12th century, though it did not become a part of the Swiss Confederacy until the 16th century. While not the largest city in Switzerland, Bern is the capital. Its most famous attraction is the Zytglogge, an ancient clock tower with moving puppets. Other popular sites in Bern include the Munster, a Gothic cathedral that rises from the old town, and its town hall.

The bear is the symbol of Bern, with several being kept in an open-air pit. Shoppers will appreciate the old town that boasts four miles of arcades, making it one of the longest covered shopping areas in Europe.

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How to plan a family summer trip to the Swiss Alps

Switzerland’s Jungfrau Region promises dramatic Alpine scenery, flower-flecked meadows and thrills on every summit. And with an extensive network of cable cars and rail routes, it's ideal for a 10-day stress-free family adventure.

Mother Nature pulled out all the stops in the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Alps. From waterfalls and cloud-capped peaks (including the big three: Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau) to high pastures jangling with cowbells, cliff-hugging villages sprinkled with log chalets and Alpine railways taking you from pine to peak, this is picture-postcard Switzerland at its finest. For families, adventure awaits. Bomb down the mountains on a Trottibike scooter or thunder towards the Eiger on a zip-line. Head up high to play in the summer snow or get close to the water in glacier gorges. From villages to via ferrata, here’s how to plan a 10-day tour that takes it all in.

Days 1-3: Mürren

Begin your trip with one of the area's most spectacular rail and cable journeys, with the town of Interlaken as a starting point. Take the train to Lauterbrunnen and switch onto a gondola to Grütschalp, where a second and arguably more beautiful train ride will whisk you up to Mürren. Perched on a ridge at 1,638 metres, this high-altitude village offers knockout views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, and its flower-strewn pastures, spruce forests and dark-timber chalets are the picture of Swiss Alpine beauty.  

It's the ideal spot to ease into an active holiday. Hiking trails thread from its flanks in all directions, and a funicular glides up to Allmendhubel , where you can enjoy a meal on the mountain-facing sun terrace while kids romp among giant insects and Alpine blooms in the flower-themed adventure park. Budding botanists will love the nearby flower trail, which features 150 species of mountain flowers, from gentian to edelweiss. Alternatively, adults and older children can ramp up the adrenaline on the nearby Mürren-Gimmelwald via ferrata. A guide will help you learn the ropes, and before long you’ll be exploring a series of chalelnging suspension bridges, zip-lines and tightropes, with sky-high views of the Bernese Alps.

A circular restaurant building atop a high mountain peak, with a cable car travelling up from the valley below.

Devote a third day to Schilthorn, which begins with a dramatic cable-car ride above great fangs of rock to the eyrie-like summit of Schilthorn — Piz Gloria. Visited by James Bond in the 1969 film adaptation of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service , this dramatic destination enjoys views across 200 peaks all the way to Mont Blanc and the Black Forest on clear days. Enjoy the helicopter and bobsleigh simulators at Spy World , before heading down to middle station Birg for exhilarating, vertigo-inducing moments on the Skyline Walk and cliff-hugging Thrill Walk (crawl through the tunnel if you dare).

Days 3-7: Grindelwald  

With sensational views of the Eiger’s imposing North Face and a lineup of 4,000-metre peaks, it’s no surprise that Grindelwald is one of Switzerland’s most popular destinations for active travellers. The first task is to pick your peak. Swing high above the meadows to 1,391-metre Pfingstegg for a mad downhill dash on the summer toboggan run or zip-line. Or opt for mountain-rimmed Männlichen, where you can enjoy nature-focused fun on the treetop path, explore the vast playground that's home to a giant wooden cow, or head out on the Lieselotte Trail, where children can search for crystals, blow into an alphorn and peek at burrowing marmots through binoculars.  

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

On day two, make for the 2,184-metre summit of First Mountain, which has the edge for thrill-seekers. Clinging to near-vertical cliffs, the First Cliff Walk is an ideal place to begin your day’s activity, with giddy views of the Bernese Alps. From the top, you can whizz towards the Eiger on the First Flyer zip-line at speeds of up to 50mph, before tearing down the slopes back to Grindelwald by mountain cart or chunky Trottibike. Back in the valley, feel nature’s colossal force in Grindelwald’s Glacier Canyon, as you teeter across a walkable ‘spider’s web’ strung between towering rock faces polished by the waters of the Lütschine River. Daredevils can also enjoy the canyon swing , which involves a 90-metre freefall before you rip across the gorge at speeds of 75mph.

However, all of this is just laying the groundwork for a third-day trip up to 3,454-metre Jungfraujoch. From Grindelwald, hop aboard the tri-cable Eiger Express gondola for a riveting ride with views of the Eiger’s mile-high North Face. From the Eiger Glacier station at its top, switch to the Jungfrau Railway. This red train has been chugging up to the summit since 1912 and will transport you up to Europe’s highest railway station in less than 30 minutes. Here, the Sphinx observation terrace offers out-of-this-world views of the 14-mile Aletsch Glacier and the surrounding sea of 4,000-metre peaks. It’s snowy up top all year round, so dress warmly for sledding, tubing and zip-lining in the snow park, or a subzero wander through the glittering, sculpture-strewn tunnels of the Ice Palace.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Days 7-10: Meiringen (Haslital)

From Grindelwald, take a beautiful train ride via Interlaken, or a panoramic bus ride over the Grosse Scheidegg mountain pass to reach Meiringen, a pretty Alpine town in the Haslital Valley that's surrounded by dramatic activity. Top billing goes to the 120-metre-high Reichenbach Falls, which crash over forested cliffs with a roar. This is where writer Arthur Conan Doyle had fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and villainous Dr Moriarty fall over the edge in the 1893 story The Final Problem . For a less intense experience, take the funicular up and hike back down before stopping in at Patisserie Frutal for a Swiss meringue — Meiringen lays claim to fame as the 18th-century birthplace of this sweet treat.

The next day, continue your exploration of Meiringen’s surrounding cliffs and ravines. A quick train ride from town will see you reach the Aare Gorge, which carves a deep, narrow path through limestone tunnels and galleries and past a turquoise torrent of glacial water. Visit later in the day if you can, as the canyon is at its most entrancing when illuminated by summer-evening rays. Its closest rival is the waterfall-splashed Rosenlaui Gorge, where a circular trail leads through primeval forest and past chalk-slate cliffs pounded smooth by the Weissenbach River.

Finally, head north of Meiringen, to Hasliberg. This area is a family favourite, thanks to the three-mile Muggestutz Dwarf trail that runs from Mägisalp to Bidmi, where kids can dry pine cones, take on the ‘eagle swing’ and find cave treasure. Make a day of it and check out the marble run from Bidmi to Reuti, which offers 12 giant marble runs immersed in nature and a firepit for barbecues (wood is provided).  

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Five Of The Best Cities And Places To Visit In Switzerland

Nothing compares to the beautiful European country of Switzerland with its Alpine views, snowcapped mountains built for skiing, ice-blue lakes, and breathtaking valleys. A vacation to Switzerland is an adventure-lovers dream.

Tourists usually start their Switzerland holidays in big cities like Zurich or Geneva and then make their way out to iconic places such as Interlaken, St Moritz, and the Alps. Wherever you go, you’re in for a trip of a lifetime.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of five vacation ideas everyone should check out when they visit Switzerland.

When Is The Best Time To Travel To Switzerland?

Choosing when the best time for you to travel to Switzerland really depends on what type of holiday you’re going for. Are you looking to enjoy some outdoor activities, or would you prefer just a quiet city break?

June until September is the summer high season. This is when the weather is at the warmest temperatures, ranging from 16 to 23°C, more and more festivals are being held, and Europeans are all on their summer holidays, so the crowds are bigger even on the trails up in the mountains.

The winter months run from November through Christmas right up until March. This is prime time for snow sports, so it does get busy, but it’s pretty cold, with temperatures ranging from -2 to 7 °C. That’s music to skier’s and snowboarder’s ears.

Finally, you have the shoulder seasons from April to June and September to October. These are less busier times to visit and far cheaper too, which is ideal because Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world.

Five Cool Places To Go In Switzerland

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Zurich – One Of Switzerland’s Top Destinations For Families And Couples

Stunning Zurich is the world’s financial center and sits directly at the end of the charming lake Zurich in the northern part of the country. Stroll through the alluring old town a handful of times, grab a beer along the banks of the river Limmat or admire some contemporary art at the Helmhaus Gallery.

Zurich – What To Do There

Take a train up to Uetliberg – Southwest of Zurich is the breathtaking Uetilberg, a huge summit in the Albis ridge. You can take a train ride from Zurich city center that will leave you about a ten-minute walk from the peak of the mountain. When you reach the top, you’ll be treated to an outstanding view of the city center.

Check out the Fifa Museum – Every fan of sport knows what Fifa is. Gain insight into one of the world’s most famous sporting global brands and the story behind its success by taking a tour of its museum in Zurich. It’s a 13-meter-long interactive display that focuses mainly on the World Cup and how it has evolved over the years. You’ll even get the chance to see a trophy replica.

Hop on a Lake Zurich boat ride – Taking a cruise up Lake Zurich is one thing you must do. Catch a glimpse of the city’s promenades and the Glarus Alps from a different perspective. Either book a tour online beforehand, or you can approach one of the boat companies on the day to see if they have any availability. This is the perfect activity for honeymoons.

Must Try Food And Drink In Zurich

Cheese Fondue – Cheese fondue is a classic Swiss dish that dates all the way back to 1699. The recipe was first discovered in an old cookbook and has since evolved into a world phenomenon. It’s simply a pot of a couple of melted cheeses mixed in with additional ingredients like herbs, tomatoes, and mushrooms. A loaf of bread is usually served on the side for dipping when ordered in a restaurant.

Vivi Kola – Are you addicted to coca cola but would love an alternative that’s slightly better for your insides? Try Viva Kola. It’s made with 100% natural ingredients and is the perfect refreshment on a warm summer’s day in Zurich.

Tips For Visiting Zurich

  • If you plan on spending a few days in Zurich, consider buying the Zurich Pass. It gives you unlimited travel on all forms of public transportation in the city for between 24 and 72 hours, depending on how long you buy it for.
  • Lunch is the cheapest time to go out and eat. Many restaurants and bistros will offer great deals for a bite to eat that you should take advantage of when you can.
  • Switzerland isn’t in the EU, and they don’t use the euro as currency; they only use the Swiss Franc, so stock up on some before you arrive.
  • Discover the heart of Switzerland: flights to Zurich from Vienna.
  • Fly to Zurich – the ultimate Swiss experience awaits from Warsaw.
  • Your gateway to the breathtaking Alps: flights from London to Zurich.
  • Explore the beauty of Switzerland with flights from Berlin to Zurich.
  • Escape to Switzerland – flights from Paris to Zurich.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Bern – The Capital City That Everyone Loves

Most people usually assume that Zurich is the capital of Switzerland, but in fact, it’s Bern. The tiny capital is famed for its magical old town, ticking Zytglogge Clock Tower, and elevated viewpoints that give you a glimpse of the majestic metropolis from a different angle. You can easily make a day trip between Zurich and Bern as the train ride only takes an hour.

Top Places To See And Spots To Visit In Bern

Wander through the old town – Bern’s old town is a Unesco World Heritage Site located on the edge of a cliff, adding to its charm. Walk through the Medieval cobblestoned streets and scout out uniquely situated stores and cafes. Walk across one of the bridges to discover why some people say it looks like Venice.

Visit the Zytglogge Clock Tower – The Zytglogge Clock Tower is over 800 years old and is 23 meters high. Every three minutes before the clock strikes the hour, a display of mechanical dolls comes out and puts on a little performance to entertain the crowd as they wait patiently for the clock to finish the hour.

Go see some bears – Have you heard of Bear Pitt? It’s a tourist attraction that many people visit Bern for. In 2009, a bunch of bears found a new home in the Swiss capital at a 6000-meter square park where they roam freely, and you can go and watch them from a distance.

What To Eat And Drink In Bern

Meitschibei – Grab yourself a coffee and order a Meitschibei, a horseshoes shaped pastry with sweet hazelnuts. You can find these delicious snacks in bakeries throughout Bern and coffee shops; one is never enough; you’ll find it hard to resist.

Appenzeller Alpenbitter – Appenzeller Alpenbitter is simply a dark liqueur mixed with dark herbs. Of course, you can have it as a shot, but it’s best enjoyed on the rocks. There are many different types of Swiss Alpenbitter, but the most popular is the Appenzeller.

Must-know Tips For Visiting Bern

  • Upon your arrival in Bern, take a free walking tour to get a real feeling for the city. Free attractions in Bern are rare, and because it’s so expensive, you will want to utilize what you can when possible.
  • Uber is available in Bern and cheaper than taxis, but you’re better off avoiding both and sticking to public transport.
  • If you plan on hiking near Bern, keep an eye on weather warnings. You don’t want to walk into an unexpected avalanche by accident.
  • Explore the beauty of Switzerland: Fly to Bern from Antalya.
  • Book now and discover gorgeous Bern: Flights from Heraklion.
  • Discover the heart of Switzerland with flights from Larnaca to Bern.
  • Escape to the Alps: Flights from Palma, Majorca to Bern.
  • Experience the charm of Switzerland: Flights from Athens to Bern.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Geneva – The World Center For Diplomacy

Geneva is an oddly located city in southwestern Switzerland that France almost entirely surrounds. While the metropolis is often seen as business-oriented, there’s quite a lot to do there. Imagine slowly sailing up Lake Geneva to catch a jaw-dropping sunrise or admiring the Temple de Saint-Pierre. This is why Geneva is one of the most interesting places to travel in Switzerland.

Beautiful Places To See In Geneva

Sail up lake Geneva – Lake Geneva is, without a doubt, the highlight of everyone’s trip to the city. Kick back and enjoy a full-day boat tour or just an hour or two of the natural beauty, lake Geneva. Hear fascinating stories and see outstanding forms of nature as you immerse yourself in the Swiss countryside.

Walk around the Temple de Saint-Pierre – This romanesque church is a fascinating display of Gothic architecture and dates back to 1150. It’s situated at the Geneva old town’s highest point, so you’ll have to do some intense walking to get there. Be sure to climb to the top to catch an excellent city view.

Visit the Palais des Nations – The Palais des Nations is the general headquarters for the United Nations in Europe; that’s why Geneva is often referred to as the home of diplomacy. The marble buildings that make up the complex are impressive in themselves and will blow you away, to say the least. Join a guided tour to discover its role in the world and some of its great work.

Dishes And Drinks Everyone Has To Sample In Geneva

Swiss Meringue – Swiss Meringue is a dessert consisting of whipped egg whites and sugar. It looks the same as a blob of cream, only the consistency is more solid. The Swiss version of Meringue is fluffier than the French version but as tasty.

Iva – Iva, also known as Musk Arrow, is a sweet spirit made from the Iva plant with a light floral tang to it. Some health professionals have said that Iva can be used to help gastrointestinal issues because the Iva plant has always been used for various medical reasons.

What To Know Before Visiting Geneva

  • Anyone who arrives in Geneva is entitled to a complimentary 80-minute transport card that can be used on all public transport.
  • Many people in Geneva use bikes to get around. Blend in like the locals and hire a PubliBike, a part of the bike-sharing scheme, to explore the city.
  • To experience Geneva’s nightlife, visit Eaux-Vives, a vibrant district with many clubs and cocktail bars that play all kinds of live music.
  • Fly from London to Geneva – explore the Swiss Alps now!
  • Paris to Geneva flights – experience the beauty of Switzerland.
  • Barcelona to Geneva flights – book your next adventure now.
  • Lisbon to Geneva flights – discover Switzerland’s stunning scenery.
  • Bucharest to Geneva flights – get ready for a Swiss adventure.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Interlaken – A Typical Swiss Alpine Resort Town

Interlaken is a quintessential Swiss alpine resort town in central Switzerland embedded in a picturesque mountain valley. Many travelers will base themselves in Interlaken for their outdoor adventures because of its prime location. Take on challenging hikes like the Schynige Platte Trails, cross the Sigriswil Panorama Bridge, and go on the hunt for the mysterious St. Beatus Cave.

What Are The Best Things To Do In Interlaken?

Hire a kayak and hit Lake Brienz – East of Interlaken is the peaceful Lake Brienz, a quiet area that avid kayakers can’t stop talking about. Head down there early in the morning, and you might be lucky enough to have the place to yourself.

Chase the Giessbach Falls – The Giessbach Falls are over 500 meters high and crash down 14 rock ridges. To get there from Interlaken, buy a ticket for the Lake Brienz boat and get off at the Giessbach See landing stage. It’s about a 20-minute walk from there.

Experience the Brienzer-Rothorn Railway – Switzerland is home to some of the most scenic train rides in the world, including the Brienzer-Rothorn Railway, the country’s oldest steam rack railway. Buy your tickets beforehand and enjoy your ride to the enchanting town of Brienz.

The Best Food And Drink In Interlaken

Rostis – Rostis is a traditional Swiss breakfast dish made from leftover sliced potatoes that are fried in a pan with some butter. For some added flavor, ask for some meat or eggs to be added; you won’t regret it.

Filets de Perches – Seafood, anyone? Filets de perches is a freshwater fish caught in lakes around Switzerland. It’s served with either potatoes or French fries; most restaurants will give you the option. Unfortunately, finding Filets de Perches on the menu is becoming less common because they’re harder to catch.

Essential Information You Need To Know Before Traveling to Interlaken

  • Interlaken doesn’t have an airport, so the best way to get there is by flying into Bern and taking a 53 minutes train ride there.
  • To save money, stay at one of the many camps in Interlaken. They’re a fraction of the price of a hotel for a night and still come with great amenities.

best cities to visit in switzerland summer

Basel – The Cultural Capital Of Switzerland

Situated on the Rhine River, Basel is an adorable city in northwest Switzerland near the German and French border. Basel is sometimes called the cultural capital of the country, and Swiss citizens will tell you if you want to experience a whole different side of Switzerland, you need to visit Basel.

Which Are The Best Things To Do In Basel?

Start in the old town – To understand local life in Basel, start your trip in the old town, filled with medieval churches, cobblestoned streets, and uniquely designed homes; you’ll almost feel like you’re in a fairytale. If you’re a history buff, you should book yourself on a walking tour to get a real insight into the district’s background.

Visit the Paper Mill Museum – If you’re interested in unique museums, check out the Paper Mill Museum. It’s situated on the edge of a medieval canal in the heart of Basel. The museum aims to provide visitors with helpful information about the papermaking process and how the techniques have evolved over the years.

Go see some wildlife at Tierpark Lange Erlen – Take a break from city life and visit the Tierpark Lange Erlen, where wild boar, deer, lynx, and other animals roam freely. It’s a popular area for walking and a gem for any wildlife photographer looking to add some snaps to their portfolio.

Traditional Food And Drinks Everyone Should Try In Basel

Basler Mehlsuppe – A simple soup that will warm you up on a cold winter’s day in Basel is the Basler Mehlsuppe, consisting of brown flour, beef stock, onions, and a drop of red wine. This dish gains popularity throughout the city during the Carnival Basel celebration, which kicks off with a bowl on the first Monday after Ash Wednesday at 4 am.

Glühwein – Similar to mulled wine, Glühwein is a favorite among the Swiss, served around Christmas time and drank during skiing season. Its ingredients include red wine, sugar, citrus fruits, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon. Before consumption, the ingredients must be heated and mixed, but it’s forbidden to boil them.

Useful Information For Traveling To Basel

  • If you’re on a tight budget, take advantage of the many street food stalls selling inexpensive meals.
  • The tap water in Basel is safe to drink, so don’t waste your money buying bottled water.
  • Budapest to Basel flights – discover one of the most charming Swiss city!
  • Explore Basel from Warsaw – book your flights today.
  • Bucharest to Basel flights – experience the beauty of Switzerland.
  • Fly from London to Basel – discover the heart of Europe!
  • Prague to Basel flights – book now and explore the Swiss Alps.

Want more interesting tips and information on traveling? Read more Kiwi.com articles!

  • Introduction

Prague airport contains a wild illusion sculpture you have to see

Frequently asked questions

Switzerland can be visited at any time of the year, but if you want the nicest weather, June until September is ideal for sun lovers.

As for anyone looking to take part in winter sports, November until March is when the snow falls and ski resorts begin opening up their doors to visitors.

The shoulder seasons are always a good option for lower prices and fewer crowds if you have time.

Kiwi.com allows everyone to fly to their favorite destinations for an affordable price. Whether you're looking to spend time at warm places by the sea or mountainous regions away from civilization, we have you covered.

With the help of our travel hacks and technology, Kiwi.com shows you unbeatable fares that you won't find on any other flight website.

To start planning your holidays in Switzerland, visit our Switzerland destination page, tell us where you want to fly to in the country, and within minutes, we'll provide you with the cheapest flight fares that suit your travel dates.

Switzerland is famous for its incredible outdoor excursions, tasty chocolate, quirky clocks, and ice-blue lakes.

People who have visited Switzerland before will take you scrumptious dishes like fondue and rostis are the best, but other secret delights, such as Raclette and Polenta and braised beef, are well worth trying out.

One week in Switzerland will give you a little mix of cities and countryside towns and villages, but if you can, allocate at least two weeks to your trip so you can go deep into the alps and discover some hidden gems.

  • Travel with pets
  • Travel with kids

Shady trees lining the sidewalk in New Bern's Historic District. Image credit Wileydoc via Shutterstock.

  • 7 Coolest Towns in North Carolina for a Summer Vacation in 2024

North Carolina is home to some of the most amazing adventures in the country. To the west is the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway and to the east are gorgeous beaches and the Point near Hatteras Island , one of the best recreational angling locations in the country. Beyond the natural wonders of North Carolina also lies the amazing history within it, the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was written in 1775, with North Carolina voting to cede from Great Britain a year before the other colonies, and being one of the first locations where Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) were used during World War II.

North Carolina has played a very important role in the history of the United States, and even today, people flock to some of the natural landscapes for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Beyond the cities of Raleigh, Charlotte, and Wilmington lie smaller towns, just as beautiful and impactful without the big city nuisances.

Scenic homes lined along the coast at Beaufort, North Carolina.

A visitor cannot go wrong by choosing to travel to Beaufort. Beaufort is located about two hours from Raleigh and Wilmington, respectively, and is typically a quieter location. Beaufort is a great location for those interested in North Carolina 's coastal history, filled with pirates, spies, and love stories, or seeing pristine natural environments.

Beaufort is the location where Captain Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge was found shipwrecked and many of its remnants can be found at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, having been removed and then preserved after its discovery in 1996. The Maritime Museum in Beaufort has several other exhibits and activities, with a lucky visitor being able to occasionally touch a preserved whale heart on Valentine's Day or access the museum's maritime library.

History comes alive in Beaufort with very unique history tours. Beaufort has a 1967 double-decker British bus, bright red of course, used for historic tours of the town with tales of pirates and spies in abundance. After finishing the historic tour, a visit to the Old Burying Ground, the final resting place for individuals that have spanned almost 300 years of Beaufort history, might be in order. The Old Burying Ground also has available tours year-round, as long as the weather permits.

For those with the time, a paddle or ferry out to Shackleford Banks may be in order to see the wild horses on the shores. Shackleford Banks is part of the larger Cape Lookout National Seashore, an internationally ranked dark sky. Occasionally, the National Park Service also hosts astronomy nights so amateur astronomists can learn about constellations.

Buildings lining both sides of Main Street in Brevard, North Carolina. Editorial credit: Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock.com

Brevard is a mountain town that is close to the heart of many North Carolinians. Brevard is about two and a half hours from Charlotte , North Carolina and Knoxville , Tennessee , and seated between Pisgah National Forest and Nantahala National Forest. Brevard is surrounded by forests and mountains, drawing many visitors to locations like Looking Glass Rock for its hiking and climbing activities. There are also many waterfalls in Brevard, including Rainbow Falls, which requires only a short mile-and-a-half hike to see.

While you are hiking or walking around Brevard, you might see some peculiarly white squirrels in the area. Brevard has white variants of the Eastern Gray Squirrel and even holds a festival in their honor. Legend has it that a pair of squirrels were left behind when a carnival went through the town, but every resident has their own version. Importantly, the white squirrels make up a third of Brevard's squirrel population with people coming from all over to see them.

If you are not quite ready to put on your hiking boots for this trip, the Brevard Music Center might be just the place for you. A premier music institute focusing on classical music, the Brevard Music Center hosts a summer music festival from June to August with previous musicians being the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and Renee Fleming among the almost 100 performances each year.

When you get hungry during your adventures, head over to the Pisgah Bakehouse, a predominantly pizza location with other options like Braised Beef Cheek and Strawberry Breton Tart. Many of the incredible ingredients at the Pisgah Bakehouse are sourced locally so your dollars are even further contributing to the community.

Main Street, Mount Airy, North Carolina

Whether you grew up on the Andy Griffith Show as it came out on the screen or watched reruns, Mount Airy is the perfect Mayberry for you. In fact, Mount Airy was the inspiration for Mayberry. Less than two hours from Charlotte , just over two hours from Raleigh , and less than an hour from Winston-Salem , Mount Airy is a great location in western North Carolina to visit in 2024.

The biggest draw to Mount Airy is its focus on the Andy Griffith Show, the town has a replica courthouse and the Andy Griffith Museum for visitors to enjoy. After visiting the replica courthouse and touring the museum, you might be keen on heading down to Opies Candy Store to grab something sweet while strolling through Mount Airy. If you get tired of strolling, you can take a tour of the town on one of Mayberry's Squad Car Tours, with visits to some of the show's favorite places. On the Mayberry Squad Car Tours' website, it mentions that they take up to five passengers at a time for 50 dollars, making it a great, affordable attraction.

If you are not interested in the Mayberry vibes, Mount Airy has a lot to offer outside of that, surrounded by mountains and forests, Mount Airy has old bones. Home to the Rockford General Store from the National Register of Historic Places, it has been in operation since 1890. Rockford General Store is where visitors can buy a glass bottle, drink, and some candies before taking a self-guided walking tour of the historic village. For those hoping to be in the fresh air, Pilot Mountain State Park is a twenty-minute drive with options for camping, rock climbing, hiking, and paddling while overlooking the beautiful scenery. Overall, Mount Airy is the perfect little vacation spot for anyone hoping to get away.

Topsail Island

Sunrise on Topsail Island, North Carolina.

Topsail Island is in the southern part of the Outer Banks , just about an hour north of Wilmington . It has the beautiful and accessible beaches of Wilmington but a quieter atmosphere. The island is home to three small towns, all of which have just a few thousand people combined, making it a great location for someone looking for a nice beach getaway.

In North Carolina , Topsail Island is known as a great location to comb the beach for tiny shark teeth. Public access is not typically an issue, as parking is found in small lots across the southern portion of the island. Topsail Island is also a great place to sit down and have a picnic while getting your summer tan.

Topsail Island is a great location for access to the beach, but the sound side of the island is a great access for kayaking or paddle boarding. For paddlers bringing their own equipment, there are free launches around the island, but for those needing a rental, Paddle NC has a location in North Topsail where visitors can rent out equipment as well as sign up for ecotours of the sound.

After paddling across the sound, consider renewing your energy with a lunch at Splash by the Sea. Splash by the Sea is primarily seafood with other menu items, including gluten-free options like tuna nachos described as "seared ahi tuna over gluten-free crispy tortillas" with other ingredients.

For the lover of indoor environments, the Missiles and More Museum might be the best option for you. Missiles and More Museum is a great place to learn about Women Airforce Service Pilots who flew over North Carolina 's eastern coast during World War II or about Operation Bumblebee, the U.S. Navy's secret missile test program from the mid to late 1940s. After visiting the museum, you can even be able to drive past several of the watch towers that were used for Operation Bumblebee.

Main Street of Boone, NC.

With mild summers, Boone is the place to be to beat the heat in a North Carolina summer. Boone is a relatively close hour and a half from Winston-Salem and just under two hours from Asheville . Boone is also surrounded by other small, beautiful mountain towns like Banner Elk and Blowing Rock while sitting very close to the North Carolina-Tennessee border.

Sitting on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone is also very close to the well-known Grandfather Mountain. Great for those looking to hike to the top and see the iconic Blue Ridge Mountains. After a visit to Grandfather Mountain, a tour of the Daniel Boone Native Gardens, with native plants from the region, might be in order to feel the spirit of Boone.

Tweetsie Railroad is a must-see for anyone spending more than a few hours in Boone. It is a Wild West-themed amusement park where visitors hop onto a historic locomotive, feed local animals, or enjoy events like Tweetsie Christmas and Ghost Trains during appropriate seasons. For individuals more interested in the history of Boone, a visit to the Hickory Ridge History Museum may be in order. Tours of the cabins and living history interpreters make this museum a unique opportunity to explore the town in a new light.

View of downtown New Bern, North Carolina, looking north from the marina. Image credit Kyle Little via iStock.

New Bern is about an hour west of Beaufort and two hours north of Wilmington . It was founded in the 1700s by Swiss immigrants and was the original capital of North Carolina. New Bern has been a key location throughout history, but even today, much of it is very proud of its original Swiss heritage, with symbols of a bear found throughout the town.

New Bern's long history means that it has some beautiful, old locations to admire and take pictures at, the first being Tryon Palace. With multiple structures and 16 acres of gardens, Tryon Palace is a fantastic place for visitors hoping to take beautiful pictures at a historic location, as well as art galleries for viewing. Guided tours of the various gardens, offices, and buildings are also available with varying ticket purchases.

Another claim to fame that New Bern possesses is being the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola. A store full of Pepsi-related memorabilia is currently found at the original location, creatively named The Birthplace of Pepsi-Cola. A simple stroll around downtown New Bern could find you at this location.

After a great day, seeing the sites in New Bern, sit down for a meal at Baxter's 1892, a jazz club-inspired bar and restaurant in the heart of the historic district. With desserts like a triple chocolate layer cake or Baxter's apple cobbler, while being supplied with live music events regularly held, you may never want to leave!

Little Switzerland

Shops in downtown Little Switzerland, via Jdshepard  on Wikipedia

When heading away from the beach, Little Switzerland is the place to go. An hour from Asheville and two hours from Charlotte , this little town sits right on the Blue Ridge Parkway making it a great location to hike during the summer and the possibility of the colors starting to change at the very end of summer.

A dream stay might include waking up at La Petite Chalet, a colorful and eclectic Swiss-styled bed and breakfast before heading over to visit Emerald Village, a location to learn about North Carolina's mining industry while panning for gold, looking for gemstones, or visiting the mining museum. Outdoorsy visitors might prefer to take the three mile hike to Crabtree Falls, although it is mentioned as being a strenuous endeavor, before visiting the Little Switzerland Orchard and Winery for a taste of local ciders. If you are lucky, you might be visiting for a weekend in July or August, which means an evening of square dancing at Geneva Hall before going back to your bed and breakfast to sit around a small fire.

If you are hoping to summer at the beach, hike up a mountain, or go to an amusement park with the family, North Carolina has something available for everyone. From pirates to pioneers, spies to ghosts, there are opportunities to enjoy, and reimagine, yourself for a stay in North Carolina . Take a minute to decide where in North Carolina you want to experience the living history and gorgeous outdoors this summer and then pack your bags. If you are interested in more articles from North Carolina or did not find a perfect fit for your vacation, take a look at other World Atlas articles.

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Where Lonely Planet staffers are traveling this summer

Brekke Fletcher

Apr 19, 2024 • 10 min read

Banff National Park: Bow Valley Parkway Johnston Canyon

Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies is one of the places Lonely Planet staffers plan to visit this summer © Paul Zizka Photography / Banff Tourism Board

Summer is around the corner in the northern hemisphere, and the team at Lonely Planet is already making (or has made) their travel plans.

If you're wondering where to go and what to do this summer, why not follow one of our leads and discover a new destination or rediscover an old favorite? I, unlike my colleagues, have yet to make plans, so finding out where everyone else is going has lit a fire under me. Likewise, I hope these trip plans inspire you to make some of your own – and that you'll turn to Lonely Planet for help when plotting your next getaway.

Here are just some of the places the staff at Lonely Planet traveling this summer.

"I'm going to a backcountry lodge in Banff . It's only accessible by hiking in. I’ve wanted to do one of these for ages, so this is how I’m celebrating my 40th!" – Jessica Lockhart, Senior Editor, Oceania

Banff and Jasper National Parks have several rustic backcountry lodges surrounded by unparalleled scenery. Each lodge has its own unique setting, hosts and history, but all have simple amenities, minimal (or no) electricity and running water, and welcoming common spaces where travelers can gather to read, play cards or recount the day’s adventures. Advance bookings are key – prices may seem steep, but factor in the included home-cooked meals and freedom from setting up camp or worrying about weather and wildlife, and the cost suddenly becomes worth it. 

Keen to go hiking in Canada? Here's our guide to the best trekking routes


"I will be visiting Makarska Riviera , including Brela , Makarska, Tucepi and the island of Korčula . The trip is all about promoting Croatia ’s great outdoors , so the itinerary includes kayaking, rafting, buggying and lots of hiking !" – Aoife Breslin, Publicity and Marketing Coordinator

Croatia’s tourism peaks between June and August, when the Adriatic’s warm waters charm countless visitors. It’s great fun, though afternoons are roasting hot, the lines at attractions are at their longest, and accommodation costs rise. Inland, temperatures are higher, but crowds are less noticeable. June is the quietest month of high season, but with clear skies, music festivals and the promise of early summer, it's a strong contender for Croatia’s best month. 

Ready to plan your trip to Croatia? Choose the right time for your visit with our seasonal guide

"I'm going island hopping  in Greece for four weeks in June. I'll be spending most of my time on Serifos (to start) as it's where the local Greeks holiday  – doing a pottery class, vineyard tour, taking boats to secluded coves, going to cooking school and generally trying to be as fabulous as possible – with additional stays on Santorini and Paros . – Chris Zeiher, Senior Director of Trade Sales and Marketing

Greece is ancient sun-bleached ruins piercing blue skies, the balmy Aegean lapping an endless coastline and a culture alive with passionate music, wonderful cuisine and thrill-seeking activities. Summer is when most travelers choose to explore its countless islands, and June affords the longest days of sunshine, peaking in the second fortnight. It’s also an opportune time for your first, refreshing dip of the summer. 

Going to Greece for the first time? Here our our top tips on things to know before you go


"I'm heading to Tuscany and the island of Elba ." – Annie Greenberg, Creative Director  "We are doing a girls' trip to Tuscany." – Aly Yee, Senior Director

Tuscany escapes easy definition. The Apennines – Italy ’s mountainous spine – slope into vineyard-covered rolling hills, which in turn fade into the Mediterranean coast. Late spring to early autumn is when most people visit Tuscany. It’s easy to understand why – days get longer and warmer, the countryside comes to life, outdoor dining opportunities abound, and festivals happen all around.  The island of Elba comes to life during summer, and it’s worth booking accommodation well in advance if you plan to visit in the high season. Elba offers both great beaches and hiking opportunities along its Grande Traversata Elbana (GTE, Elba’s Great Crossing) trail.

Ready to plan a trip to Tuscany?  Check out our regional guide  

"I'm off to car-free Isla Holbox , Mexico for a relaxing beach getaway. I'm planning on horseback riding and wataflow therapy, which I've never done, but should be interesting."  – Serina Patel, Marketing Manager

Isla Holbox (hol-bosh), meaning "black hole" in Mayan, lives up to its name – it's like a portal to one of Mexico’s last unspoiled tropical islands. Golf carts and bicycles serve as the main forms of transportation, and visitors will discover sandy streets, colorful Caribbean buildings, lazing, sun-drunk dogs, and sand so fine its texture is nearly clay. The greenish waters are a unique color from the mixing of ocean currents, and on land there's a mixing too: of locals and tourists, the latter hoping to escape the hubbub of Cancún .

Using Cancún as a base? Here are the best day trips into the wider area

Many columns with intricate carvings at the edge of a beautiful courtyard

"I'm heading to Granada , Spain for a week or so, maybe getting in Málaga too. This will be my second visit, so I'm hoping to take a more relaxed approach this time and also catch up with friends." – Alison Killilea, Production Support Editor

With serene Islamic architecture, monumental churches, old-school tapas bars and counterculture graffiti art, Granada is Spain’s cultured, creative southern city; a place with a storied past centering on the Alhambra , one of the world’s great human-made wonders. While Granada can be scorching in summer, the city of Málaga is deemed to have the best climate in the country, with about 3000 hours of sun a year – the most in all of Spain. 

Seen the Alhambra? Here are Granada's other top experiences


"I'm also going to Zürich , Lucerne , Grindelwald  and Zermatt . I will mostly be hiking and doing lots of outdoorsy activities. My number one priority while I am in Switzerland is to do the highest hiking trail in Europe , the Barrhorn."  – Aoife Breslin, Publicity and Marketing Coordinator

Nowhere is perfect, but let’s face it, Switzerland gets pretty darned close. With its supermodel looks, fine weather, easy-peasy public transport , multilingual mindset and penchant for cheese and wine, this is a country where it’s easy to get comfortable – even if it is a bit on the pricey side.  Peak summer in Switzerland is  tip-top , to borrow the Swiss German phrase. Barring the odd storm, it’s nearly always hot and sunny – oppressively so, sometimes, meaning the best place to be is in the cooler air of the high mountains.

Ready to experience the best of Switzerland? Here's our guide to the top things to do

A palm tree-lined beach with windsurfing boards on white sand

The Bahamas

"I'm heading to Eleuthera  in the  Bahamas for our annual family trip – there are 16 of us so it's always an exciting week! With age ranges of 7–70, I can report that we are all excited to do a beach bonfire and barbecue, and go sailing to swim with some piggies." – Amy Nichols, Senior Marketing Manager

The sapphire waters and  sun-soaked sands  of the Bahamas beckon travelers with warm weather that never fades. Just a short flight from the east coast of the US, this island nation is a magnet for repeat visitors and last-minute bookers alike. Eleuthera, however, is a bit tougher to get to, but is well worth the expense and effort if you're looking for vacation bliss. With its pink-sand beaches, Atlantic-battered reefs, weather-warped rock and dense subtropical scrub, this incredibly narrow 109-mile (175km-long) crescent also offers boutique hotels, revered surf breaks and some fabulous restaurants. 

Can't decide where to go in the Bahamas? We can help with this guide to the best places to visit 

"I'm heading to Naples , Florida  on a family vacation for 2 weeks. I'm planning to relax mostly, with lots of trips to the beach and eating good food! But I'm hoping to take a trip to the Everglades , too." – Aoife Breslin, Publicity and Marketing Coordinator

For upscale romance and the prettiest, most serene city beach in southwest Florida, come to Naples, the Gulf Coast's answer to Palm Beach. The soft white sand is backed only by narrow dunes and half-hidden mansions. More than that, though, Naples is a cultured, sophisticated town, unabashedly stylish and privileged but also welcoming and fun-loving. With spectacular year-round sunshine, there's certainly no bad time to visit Florida . Summers can be pretty hot, but you'll probably spend less on lodging than the winter or summer months.

Traveling to Florida on a budget? We've got some money-saving tips for you

A row of large pastel-colored wooden houses faces the waterfront


"My friends and I are going to Martha’s Vineyard , Massachusetts in July. We’re planning a Midsommar -esque garden dinner one night and will spend the rest of our time beach hopping and strolling through Edgartown." – Ann Douglas Lott, Associate Editor

Martha's Vineyard remains untouched by the kind of rampant commercialism found on the mainland – there's not a single chain restaurant or cookie-cutter motel in sight. Sunny skies and consistently hot weather make July and August the best time for a traditional beach holiday with sunning, swimming and sand-digging. The tradeoff, of course, is that July and August are the months everyone goes to the Vineyard and it's likely to be jam-packed, so plan ahead.

Want to see more of Massachusetts? Here are the best road-trip routes

"My family is headed to Northern Michigan this summer. We're excited to paddleboard to a shipwreck, relax on the beach and sail on Lake Michigan. We'll hike and run down all the sand dunes, explore cute artsy towns full of galleries and good eats." – Sarah Stocking, Digital Editor

Summertime buzzes with travelers when draws like the  Great Lakes , charming islands and unspoiled wilderness are at their most accessible. Michigan’s high season kicks off on Memorial Day (the last Monday in May). Ferries start to depart more regularly to popular spots and while summer-only establishments lift their shutters. The weather is mostly sunny and warm, with temperatures ranging from 76°F (24°C) to 85°F (29°C). This means lots of summer-only outdoor activities begin.

There are loads of great beaches in Michigan. Here's our guide to the very best

A wooden fishing pier stretches out into the ocean as the sun rises turning the sky orange

North Carolina

"My wife and I are going to Kure Beach, North Carolina for the 4th of July for five days — my favorite things to do there are take a yoga class on the beach with Kure Beach Yoga (no need to bring a mat, bring a towel!), watch the sunrise from our hotel (The Lighthouse Inn, a very laid-back and recently revamped spot right by the water so you don’t have to stress about parking, which is awful every summer), and see if we can find the boardwalk cat, Bibi." – Rachel Lewis, Senior Social Media Manager

The height of summer in North Carolina is beach time, and with 322 miles (518km) of ocean shoreline reaching from the  Outer Banks  in the north to the  South Carolina  border in the south (and 12,000 miles/19,000km of estuarine coastline along the way),  North Carolina has plenty of beaches to choose from . Kure Beach has 6 miles (10km) of protected shoreline as well as lagoons teeming with wildlife that you can explore by renting a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard.

Explore some of North Carolina's epic landscapes by foot with our guide to the best hiking routes

Rhode Island

"I'm off to Newport , Rhode Island for Memorial Day Weekend and planning on going to restaurants, wineries, mansion tours, walking and hiking." – Serina Patel, Marketing Manager

It may be the yachting capital of the world, but you don’t need nautical stripes – or a summer cottage – to enjoy the seaside retreat of Newport, Rhode Island. With its fresh briny air, expansive sea views and stunning bays, it's obvious why cityfolk continue to follow in the footsteps of the American industrialists here. Enjoy a taste of the good life by touring Newport's Gilded Age mansions built in the late 1800s, taking sailing lessons, or going wine tasting.

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Euro 2024: How to follow England and Scotland in Germany this summer – and what to do in each city

T he stage is set for Europe ’s summer festival of football: the Euro 2024 finals in Germany . We now know all the teams who have qualified for the continent’s greatest football tournament, and when and where they will play their opening matches.

England and Scotland qualified emphatically. Sadly, Wales went out on penalties to Poland, who along with Georgia and Ukraine were last to qualify.

Euro 2024 kicks off in Munich on Friday 14 June and ends with the final in Berlin on Sunday 14 July.

Many fans will want to travel to Germany. Whether you are planning a midsummer’s dream trip to support your team or just want to soak up the atmosphere, these are the key questions and answers.

The venues?

  • Berlin Olympiastadion (capacity 70,000)
  • Munich Football Arena (67,000)
  • Dortmund BVB Stadion (66,000)
  • Stuttgart Arena (54,000)
  • Gelsenkirchen Arena AufSchalke (50.000)
  • Hamburg Volksparkstadion (50,000)
  • Cologne Stadium (47,000)
  • Dusseldorf Arena (47,000)
  • Frankfurt Arena (46,000)
  • Leipzig Stadium (42,000)

Read more on Europe travel :

  • Where to visit in Cyprus for a 2024 holiday
  • Why I chose Marseille over Paris for the Olympic Games
  • The best kids’ club resorts in Europe

Where and when are Scotland’s group-stage games?

14 June v Germany in Munich (the tournament’s opening match)

19 June v Switzerland in Cologne

23 June v Hungary in Stuttgart

Where and when are England’s group-stage games?

16 June v Serbia in Gelsenkirchen

20 June v Denmark in Frankfurt

25 June v Slovenia in Cologne

What are the basic travel mechanics?

Fortunately for supporters of England and Scotland, all the games – except for the opening match between Germany and Scotland in Munich – are in western Germany.

For Cologne, where England will play Slovenia and Scotland will play Switzerland, surface travel looks best: ideally a Eurostar train from London to Brussels and a connection from there.

But it will be much cheaper for groups of supporters to go by road. Many people will take cars across, and the Dover-Dunkirk or Harwich-Hook of Holland ferries are probably best – though Newcastle to Amsterdam and Hull to Rotterdam are also feasible, if expensive.

There’s a wide choice of flights on budget airlines from across England and Scotland to Germany , but they won’t be low-cost during the tournament for key games. It could be smart to fly to somewhere close to Germany instead.

For example, to reach Gelsenkirchen, the venue for England’s first game against Serbia, Eindhoven in the Netherlands is an option. Remarkably, for those flying out on 15 June and returning on 17 June, Ryanair has flights between London Stansted and Eindhoven for £15 each way.

For Scotland’s game against Hungary on 23 June in Stuttgart, you could fly on easyJet from Edinburgh to Basel in Switzerland and get a cheap train from there; out on 21 June, back on 24 June is currently £184 return.

Will travelling around the host nation be easy?

Yes, because German Railways has a vast, high-density network, with low fares if you don’t take the fastest expresses.

There is no real need to book anything in advance – you can buy tickets on the day. The network will feel the strain on match days, but trains will be supplemented by long-distance coaches.

If you’re driving your own car, the autobahns will be busy – and you will also find parking in cities and near venues difficult.

All ticket holders will get 36 hours of free local transport around each match.

Which brings us to the thorny question of tickets...

All group-match tickets have been sold, and the Uefa resale platform has now closed. The organisers say “There will be no further opportunities to resell tickets.”

Uefa adds: “Tickets reserved for knockout-stage matches will be sold during the tournament upon the qualification of the teams for the respective matches.”

Or you can settle for the fan zones – which will be in attractive locations such as Cologne’s old town, the Altstadt.

What about accommodation?

Unlike Paris, where hotel rates are steadily falling ahead of the Olympic Games , demand for rooms in and near host venues is rising – along with prices. For many fans, Germany is extremely accessible.

In Cologne, on the night of Scotland’s group game against Switzerland (19 June), many properties are sold out, and basic budget hotel rooms are selling for £400.

But you can save approximately half the cost by booking in Dusseldorf, about 20 minutes by train from Cologne. Go further, to Aachen (less than an hour away), and rates halve again.

While many Berlin hotels are sold out on the night of the final, a very good hotel room in Leipzig (the Amano Home ) is only €79 (£69) on the night of the final, with trains taking 75 minutes to reach the German capital.

Is it worth waiting until the knockout stages?

Quite possibly. A valid strategy is to do nothing now and see if England and Scotland progress beyond the group stage. From then onwards, everything becomes easier – pressure on transport and accommodation eases because lots of fans sadly go home.

Over the four-day spell of the quarter-finals, from 29 June to 2 July, could be the prime time to be in Germany.

And, if you are feeling optimistic, you could even book a cheap flight to Berlin for the final on 14 July. Ryanair is currently selling flights on 11 July, returning on 16 July, for just £137 from Edinburgh to the German capital.

What shall I do between the matches?

This guide focuses on the England and Scotland host cities, in order of their matches. But the best of the rest will follow.

Munich (Scotland v Germany, 14 June)

The Bavarian capital is the favourite German city of many travellers. The Altstadt, the old town, has the beautiful Marienplatz – dominated by the neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (new town hall), which stretches across its northern side. Shortly before 11am and noon each day, crowds gather for a glockenspiel performance that features a Bavarian knight beating a French challenger in a jousting tournament. For the best view of Munich (and, on a clear day, the Bavarian Alps), visit the tower of St Peter’s Church, just south.

Eat and drink

Warm summer evenings will mainly be spent on cafe terraces and in beer gardens, but the state-owned Hofbrauhaus is well worth visiting for the dizzying choreography of the well-attired waiting staff and the conviviality of the location – augmented from time to time with all the oompah you would expect from a Bavarian band.

Gelsenkirchen (England v Serbia, 16 June)

The Ruhr is off many tourists’ itineraries, but the former coal and steel hub for Germany’s economic and military might is fascinating. Gelsenkirchen itself is actually little more than a northern suburb of Essen (don’t show this to any locals). The industrial archaeology is remarkable, with much of the former Zollverein coal mine handed back to nature – and visitors. You can clamber, carefully, around this Unesco-listed gem. And the German Football Museum is just minutes away in Dortmund (see below).

Essen in central Essen: it is difficult to go wrong, but I like the Pfefferkorn Essen. South of the city centre, Il Pomodoro is a reliable Italian.

Cologne (Scotland v Switzerland, 19 June; England v Slovenia, 25 June)

Cologne is a city designed for walking. Start by climbing the bell tower of the dom (cathedral); the 509 steps are challenging, though you can pause halfway up to admire the glocken (bells). From the public gallery at a height of 97m, you get a fine view of the old town – and some ungainly modern buildings that were erected after the Second World War, in which 90 per cent of the city was destroyed. The Museum Ludwig, adjacent to the dom , celebrates modern art by the likes of Dali and Warhol. For 19th-century works and earlier, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum is a dramatic modern structure.

Eating, drinking and shopping are the main interests of the locals in what is arguably Germany’s friendliest big city. The local Kolsch beer – light and well hopped – will cheer even losing fans. The tastiest brand is Gaffel, whose home ground is the Gaffel Haus on Alter Markt. But the atmosphere is even more convivial at the Brauhaus Sion, which also serves up sauerbraten : beef marinated for what seems like months, which melts in your mouth in minutes.

Frankfurt (England v Denmark, 20 June)

Europe’s financial hub is far more rewarding than you might imagine. It has a traditionally restored old town, complete with the chance to ascend the tower of St Bartholomew’s (location for medieval coronations of holy Roman emperors), though with some questionable 1960s embellishments. Among the wealth of attractions in this wealthy city: Goethe’s House, where the national poet was born in 1749.

Goethe could have been talking to football fans when he wrote: “If you’ve never eaten while crying you don’t know what life tastes like.” Cross one of the bridges to go south of the Main and sample ebbelwei – apple wine, a cousin of cider – in Ebbelwoi Unser, where you can also dine on sausage, dumplings and sauerkraut.

Stuttgart (Scotland v Hungary, 23 June)

The capital of Baden-Wurttemberg, a big, prosperous southwestern state, feels different from many other German cities: with hilly surroundings and a sense of space, it is a location for getting out and about. Top attraction: the Mercedes-Benz Museum. But if you want to be alone after the match, try Schloss Solitude, just west of the city.

Could this be Germany’s most amazing bar? Jigger & Spoon is a modern take on the speakeasy bar, two floors below the city streets in the vault of a bank, which you reach by going into the office block at Gymnasiumstrasse 33 and taking the lift down two floors. Somehow it includes a cigar lounge. For dinner, the Stuttgart Rathskeller in the basement of the city hall is unbeatable.

Best of the rest – Simon Calder’s top recommendation for each of the other host cities

The wall may have come down in 1989, but 35 years on, the scars of the division of the German capital are still evident. The Palace of Tears at Friedrichstrasse railway station, where people checked out of East Germany to the West, is now a museum, and provides a profoundly emotional experience.

Controversy drags on about England’s third goal in the 1966 World Cup Final: the German Football Museum even has a special investigation into the linesman’s questionable decision against West Germany, using an interactive media station. Unsurprisingly, there is rather more focus on the occasions when German players won the Weltmeisterschaft (in 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014).

The Church of St Nicholas was built in 1874 by the great British architect Gilbert Scott. It was devastated during the Second World War by Allied bombers, but the spire survived and remains one of Europe’s tallest church structures. The crypt contains a small museum commemorating the wartime destruction of Hamburg and the victims of the Third Reich. Nearby, visit Altona Fischmark, the ornate fish market where The Beatles used to breakfast after their all-night shows on the Reeperbahn.

One of Germany’s most rewarding cities owes much of its beauty to the Rhine; a riverside highway is now confined to a tunnel. Take the Weisse Flotte €20 Panorama-Fahrt (no sniggering, please) to appreciate the setting and learn more about the monuments.

In this fine East German city, do mention the Cold War. The Zeitgeschictliches Forum focuses on four decades of state communism. You are taken through the whole sorry story, from the Nazi era via the postwar carve-up of Germany decided in Potsdam, and spy cameras disguised as cigarette packets, to the night in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down.

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