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Things to do in Switzerland

Things to do in  Switzerland

Welcome to Switzerland

From the soaring Alpine peaks of the Jungfrau region to the peaceful shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland welcomes visitors with a wealth of great outdoor adventures. Private and small-group tours led by in-the-know guides help you navigate your way through regions with inspiring landscapes, medieval history, and multiple languages. In summer, take a hiking tour through lush pastureland and paddle along choppy rivers; in winter, ski, and snowboard in the Alps. Whether you tour by foot, bike, or coach, you’ll find places to sample Swiss cheese, chocolate, and wine; and learn about the country’s folklore. Take a walking tour of Zurich to admire monuments like the Bahnhofstrasse shopping street and Old Town, browse the Swiss National Museum, or cruise on Lake Zurich. Head to pretty Lucerne to view the Museggmauer, a 14th-century city wall with nine towers. Add a day trip to Montreux, home to the internationally renowned Montreux Jazz Festival and Chillon Castle, immortalized by Lord Byron in a poem, and explore its turrets and dungeons. For high-altitude action, take a day trip to the Alps and the Bernese Oberland, Mt. Pilatus, Jungfraujoch, or the charming mountain town of Chamonix, France, home to Mt. Blanc. Tours start from a variety of base towns, including Geneva and Zurich, to guide you to Interlaken and Grindelwald, with their spectacular scenery and crisp air. Take to the skies on a paragliding adventure, cruise the calm waters of magical Lake Lucerne, or visit Zermatt to experience the Matterhorn.

Top 15 attractions in Switzerland

Lake Zurich (Zürichsee)

Fed by clear glacial waters that flow down the Swiss Alps, the crescent-shaped Lake Zurich (Zurichsee) forms the scenic backdrop to Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, which spreads along the western tip of the lake. Measuring 25 miles (40 kilometers) in length and 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) in width, this alpine lake offers an easily accessible escape to nature for those based in the city, with plenty of swimming spots, hiking routes, tranquil islands, and picturesque mountain scenery.More

Lake Geneva (Lac Léman)

Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) is Switzerland's largest body of water, though most of its southern shore lies within France. A crescent of blue hemmed in by the snowy peaks of the French and Swiss Alps, the lake is a year-round hotspot for outdoor activities, with a northern shore covered in picturesque villages, terraced vineyards, and medieval castles.More

Lucerne (Luzern)

Situated on the shores of sparkling Lake Lucerne, at the base of Mount Pilatus, the city of Lucerne is one of Switzerland’s most scenic destinations and a popular basecamp for exploring the Swiss Alps. Visit to see the city’s historic medieval center, then head into the mountains for hiking, cycling, and winter sports adventures.More

Rhine Falls (Rheinfall)

At Rhine Falls (Rheinfall), sheets of white water tumble from a height of 75 feet (23 meters) across a 492-foot-wide (150-meter-wide) rock ledge. Created by the movement of the Earth’s crust about 15,000 years ago, this natural wonder is among Europe’s biggest waterfalls. The riverbanks near it are laced with walking and biking trails.More

Geneva Old Town (Vieille Ville)

All visitors to Geneva should spend some time exploring the Old Town (Vieille Ville) area. It’s full of fascinating museums, churches, and atmospheric cafés, plus most of the streets are pedestrian-only, so you can wander aimlessly without a care.More

Zurich Old Town (Altstadt)

With its striking 19th-century buildings and winding cobblestone lanes stretching along both sides of River Limmat, Zurich’s Old Town (Altstadt) is the most atmospheric part of the city and home to many principal tourist attractions.More

Lindt Home of Chocolate

Switzerland is famous for many things, including mountains, clocks, and, of course, chocolate. Legendary Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprungli has been churning out smooth, delicious confections since 1845. Today, visiting the company's factory shop, just outside of Zurich, is a must for any chocolate lover.More

Geneva Water Fountains (Jet d’Eau)

Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York has the Empire State Building, and Geneva has the Water Fountains (Jet d’Eau)—a stunning feature in Lake Geneva launching water 460 feet (140 meters) into the air. Enjoy views and snap a souvenir photo from the waterfront, where the River Rhône meets Lake Geneva.More

Gornergrat Railway (Gornergrat Bahn)

Dating back to 1898, Switzerland’s Gornergrat Railway (Gornergrat Bahn) continues today as Europe’s highest open-air railway. Its train whisks sightseers and skiers from the resort town of Zermatt to the mountain’s 10,135-foot (3,089-meter) station, while providing views of Alpine hamlets, colossal glaciers, and the iconic Matterhorn.More

Palais des Nations

The United Nations has its European headquarters in Geneva, in the Palace of United Nations (Palais des Nations Unis). Guided tours of the offices offer a behind-the-scenes look at rooms like the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, which was decorated by famous artist Miquel Barcelò, and the Assembly Hall.More


One of the most expensive strips of retail space in Europe, Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse is known for its many luxury shops selling designer fashion, jewelry, perfume, chocolate, and, of course, watches. While many visitors only go to window shop, the street is one of the city’s main commercial areas, frequented by both locals and travelers.More

Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee)

Located at the heart of Bernese Oberland and surrounded by the famous peaks of Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus, Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee) is one of Central Switzerland’s most photographed natural wonders and the country’s fourth largest lake. Whether you’re soaring overhead in a cable car, cruising the lake itself, or visiting waterfront villages such as Weggis and Gersau, Lake Lucerne is mesmerizing from all angles.More

Lucerne Old Town

Set on the left bank of the River Reuss, the Lucerne Old Town is encircled by medieval walls and watchtowers and connected to the right bank by two covered wooden bridges: Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) and Spreuer Bridge (Spreuerbrücke). The narrow streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site are lined with half-timbered houses and 15th-century buildings.More

Olympic Museum Lausanne (Musée Olympique)

Home to the world’s largest archive of modern Olympic artifacts, a visit to Lausanne’s Olympic Museum is a must for any sports fan or history lover. Visitors of all ages are catered to across the museum’s three floors, while the encircling Olympic Park is an ideal location for families or solo travelers to while away an afternoon.More

Jungfraujoch Sphinx Observatory (Sphinx-Observatorium)

Perched on a rocky precipice 11,716 feet (3,571 meters) above sea level, the Sphinx Observatory is a working lab with a large telescope. The landmark sits on Jungfraujoch peak—known as the "Top of Europe"—and offers stunning views of the Bernese Alps and beyond from its observation deck, one of the highest in Switzerland.More
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Top activities in Switzerland

Jungfraujoch: Top of Europe Day Trip from Zurich
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Chocolate Flavours Tours Geneva: 3-hour Chocolate Tasting and Old Town Visit
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All about Switzerland

When to visit

Switzerland’s snow-caked mountains and valleys were made for the winter months, when skiers make a beeline for the Alps, and events such as Basel Carnival and Lake Geneva's Christmas markets pull in the crowds. The shoulder season months—May and September—are ideal for hiking and outdoor activities without the crowds and high prices of summer.

People Also Ask

What is Switzerland known for?

Switzerland is known for its Alpine landscape, modern infrastructure, and luxury products—particularly its chocolate, cheese, and watches. Iconic mountain peaks include the Matterhorn and Jungfrau. Cities such as Geneva and Zurich are also top draws, while the St. Mortiz and Zermatt ski resorts enjoy international acclaim.

Which is the most visited place in Switzerland?

The Matterhorn attracts millions of visitors each year. Other popular outdoor attractions include Jungfraujoch, which connects the Jungfrau and Mönch peaks, the Creux du Van glacial cirque, and the Rhine Falls. Zurich and Geneva also frequently top must-see lists, thanks to their classic old towns and iconic lakes.

Is 7 days enough for Switzerland?

Yes, it’s possible to get an overview of Switzerland in seven days. Some tours offer multiday itineraries that visit the top sights, with either private transfer or travel aboard the mountain express railways. Aim to dedicate a full day to must-see locations such as Zurich, Interlaken, Geneva, and Zermatt.

What should you not miss in Switzerland?

Don’t miss the Alps. It seems obvious, but the high prices and full-day demand can be offputting. Fortunately, there are other options besides Jungfraujoch and the Matterhorn. Pilatus, Rigi, and Titlis are all impressive peaks in their own right and can be easily combined with nearby towns and other attractions.

Is Switzerland a cheap place to visit?

No. Switzerland is expensive, especially for tourists. But, there are ways to save money: Take advantage of ticket passes that include transportation and attractions, plan and book your travel route and activities well in advance, and lean into the local experience through home cooking, bike rental, and lake swimming.

Do they speak English in Switzerland?

Yes, English is the most common non-national language spoken in Switzerland, and young people living in cities are particularly fluent. However, not everyone can or wants to speak it. If you want to make a good impression, give the local language a go, whether that’s German, French, Italian, or Romansh.


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