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The 18 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland in 2023

The 18 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland in 2023

Jewel-like Switzerland, with its beautiful landscapes, rich culture, and delicious culture, is on many travelers’ bucket lists. It is a small country with a lot to see, including these top places to visit.

The 18 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland

Switzerland is a prime destination for lovers of nature. Most of the country is covered by the Alps, creating stunning landscapes. From adventurous hikes and skiing trips to more sedate walks and railway trips, there are many ways to get into nature in Switzerland.

Switzerland also has many historical sites and cultural landmarks to satisfy the traveler who prefers to spend a bit more time in cities.

Plus, the chocolate, fondue, and other local delicacies will delight foodies. Here are some of our top picks for where to visit in Switzerland for any traveler and budget.

1. The Matterhorn

Stunning view of the giant Matterhorn pictured towering above the lake and green valley below in one of the best places to visit in Switzerland

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Switzerland is full of beautiful mountains and peaks, but there is only one Matterhorn. This mountain, with its distinct pointed peak, is a symbol of Switzerland. Ski here year-round thanks to the opportunity for glacier skiing or go hiking and climbing in the mountains.

The best base for exploring the Matterhorn is Zermatt, the quaint village at the foot of the mountain. The traditional chalets, carriages, and complete lack of motorized vehicles make you feel as if you are stepping back in time.

2. Jungfrau Region and Jungfraujoch

Red train the famous Jungfraujoch region, one of the best places to visit in Switzerland


The Jungfrau region is home to some of the tallest mountains in the Alps. A major draw is the Jungfraujoch, or “The Top of Europe.”

This saddle connects two massive mountains and is over 11,000 feet above sea level. Go up to the observation terrace for some spectacular views. Besides the Jungfraujoch, the Jungfrau Region boasts other spectacular views and adventures.

Check out Grindelwald, a village nestled in the foothills of a glacier with some gorgeous views. Take a train through the region to check out all the vistas.

3. Interlaken

Beautiful house on the river in Interlaken, one of the best places to visit in Switzerland


Switzerland has many picturesque towns and cities, but most people agree that Interlaken is one of the prettiest. This resort in the mountains used to be a watch-making town but is now a popular base for exploring the surrounding nature.

From Interlaken, you can go biking around Lakes Thun and Brienz, swimming, and hiking. There is also plenty to do in the city itself, such as strolling along the main boulevard, Höheweg.

4. Lucerne

Idyllic view of the long wooden pier and dock at Lucerne, a top pick for the best places to visit in Switzerland


Lucerne is rich with culture and history, plus it boasts beautiful views. This medieval town is located right on the coast of Lake Lucerne, a bright blue alpine lake famous for its scenic views.

In Lucerne, walk around the streets to see the beautifully preserved medieval architecture.

However, the city also has a vibrant modern culture. Be sure to check out the contemporary cultural scene by visiting the KKL arts center or timing your visit to coincide with the International Music Festival.

5. Geneva

Night view of the famous fountain with a full moon in the sky in Geneva, one of the best places to visit in Switzerland


Geneva is one of Switzerland’s biggest cities but retains a picturesque small-town atmosphere. The gorgeous vistas, with the shore of Lake Geneva right along the city and Mont Blanc in the background, add to the atmosphere.

The best thing to do in Geneva is to just walk around the center of town and take in the beautiful historic architecture.

Make sure to learn about the local culture at the Geneva Opera House, one of the world’s premier destinations for music. Stop in some of the parks, which cover 20 percent of the city’s surface.

6. Lausanne

Neat and modern bridge above the historic streets of one of our top picks for must-visit places in Switzerland, Lausanne

Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock

Lausanne is also on the shores of Lake Geneva and is often overlooked for its more famous neighboring city. However, don’t miss Lausanne, which boasts beautiful architecture and a rich culture that played host to historical luminaries such as Lord Byron.

When you visit Lausanne, you have to see the beautiful Palais de Rumine, a historical palace now turned into a series of museums. Walk through the Cité, or historic district, and take photos. Be sure to check out the nightlife, which is vibrant, thanks to the large student population.

7. St. Moritz

Winter view of one of Switzerland's best places to visit, St. Moritz, with people riding along the street in a horse-drawn carriage

Konektus Photo/Shutterstock

St. Moritz is one of the best places in Switzerland to see and be seen. This mountain resort is where fashionable people from all over Europe and beyond come to ski and play (so expect the prices to match the atmosphere).

Check out the many opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports, including the Cresta Run for tobogganing. Then, visit one of the many chic restaurants and bars for your après-ski entertainment.

8. Montreux and Château de Chillon

Hilltop view of the city of Montreux, one of the best places to visit in Switzerland

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Montreux is another one of those cute towns nestled along Lake Geneva. Between Lake Geneva and the Alps, it boasts plenty of beautiful views and medieval architecture.

Lovers of music will want to come to the Montreux Jazz Festival. Montreux is also a good base to make a day trip to Château de Chillon.

This dramatic 12th-century castle on the lake features Gothic architecture and preserved medieval murals. Follow in the footsteps of writers such as Lord Byron and Victor Hugo when you explore this once-mighty edifice.

9. Bern

Scenic view of the old part of town in Bern, a must-see place in Switzerland


Bern, Switzerland’s capital, has maybe one of the best-preserved medieval towns in all of Europe. Explore the preserved Old Town, a UNESCO heritage site.

Make a beeline for the many landmarks, including the Zytglogge clock tower and Renaissance parliament building, but also budget time to get lost in the streets.

Bern is a great family destination thanks to the Aare River and fairy tale references dotted through the city. Kids (and adults) will get a kick out of Bear Park, a beautiful stretch along the river with three resident bears.

10. Lake Geneva

Old wooden ferry ship on Lake Geneva, one of the best places to visit in Switzerland

Valery Bareta/Shutterstock

We’ve mentioned some of the many beautiful towns dotting the banks of Lake Geneva, but this spectacular alpine lake deserves an entry of its own. Lake Geneva is a great destination for lovers of outdoor adventures and beautiful views.

Drive around the lake and explore the smaller towns, castles, and rolling vineyards that dot the shores. You can also take boat trips on the lake itself for great views of the surrounding towns.

11. Zürich

Winter view of Zurich pictured with old buildings with spires and ice on the water for a piece on the best places to visit on a trip to Switzerland

Alexandru Staiu/Shutterstock

Zürich is one of Switzerland’s largest cities but doesn’t lose the livable, small-town feeling that makes Switzerland so popular. Wander the Old Town with its Gothic and Romanesque architecture to feel like you stepped back in time.

Learn more about Switzerland’s history at the Swiss National Museum. Of course, Zürich is still in Switzerland, which means there is spectacular nature at the city’s doorstep.

Lake Zürich offers great opportunities for hiking, biking, rowing, and swimming. Hike the surrounding mountains or get great views without the physical effort by taking the 19th-century Polybahn funicular.

12. Lake Lugano

Aerial view of Lake Lugano and Monte San Salvatore in Tinico, Switzerland, with lush green grass around the lake

Eva Bocek/Shutterstock

Lake Lugano provides a breath of Mediterranean atmosphere in Alpine Switzerland. This lake is located in Ticino, Switzerland’s Italian-speaking canton.

The shores of Lake Lugano boast many Italian-like towns with piazzas and olive trees, of which the most famous is Lugano itself. The best way to explore this region is by boat, either by taking the steamers or renting your own.

13. Swiss National Park

Dirt walking path through the alps in the Swiss National Park

Thomas Mathys/Shutterstock

Switzerland is a hub of nature but somehow has only one national park. Perhaps the rest of the country preserves nature so well, it doesn’t need designated park areas.

The simply-named Swiss National Park, on the Italian border, is a great place to check out Alpine landscapes.

Hike on the many trails to take in the dramatic mountain landscapes and try to spot wildlife such as ibex and marmots. Be careful when hiking, however — going off the trails is expressly forbidden.

14. The Albula/Bernina Railway Line

For a piece on the best places to visit in Switzerland, an aerial view of the Bernina Express train crossing a stone bridge that looks like a viaduct

Chen Min Chun/Shutterstock

Only a few railway lines in the world get the honor of becoming UNESCO World Heritage sites. Once you visit the Albula/Bernina Railway Line, you’ll understand why this line made the cut.

This train takes you through the mountains of the Eastern Alps, with many spectacular viaducts covering jaw-dropping vistas. The train itself, with its panoramic cars and distinct red color, is as much part of the attraction as the views.

15. Lake Constance

Stone lighthouse in the harbor of Lindau, one of the best places to visit in Switzerland, on a clear day with a a few clouds over the mountains

Marc Stephah/Shutterstock

Lake Constance, also known as the Bodensee, is located in Switzerland’s northwest, on the German and Austrian borders. Its vast waters make it Europe’s third-largest lake.

Besides the gorgeous mountain views, Lake Constance is a great destination for outdoor activities such as swimming, rowing, and hiking. Explore the picturesque towns surrounding it, such as Stein am Rhein, which has a colorful medieval Old Town.

16. Oberhofen Castle

Idyllic view of the Oberhofen Castle reflecting in the water of Lake Thun, pictured at dusk


Oberhofen Castle is a great place to visit if you want to feel as if you’re living in a fairy tale. The castle is now home to a luxury hotel, but even if staying there is out of your budget, you can come for a visit.

When you visit the castle, check out the diverse architectural styles as changing owners added to it over the centuries since it was built in the 13th century. Set aside time to explore the large gardens, which are lovingly maintained.

17. Appenzell

Single house at the base of the mountains in Appenzell, one of the best places to visit in Switzerland, seen on a clear day with lush green grass around it

Eva Bocek/Shutterstock

Appenzell is a region in northeastern Switzerland that is a popular destination for rural tourism and families that may find the Alps a bit overwhelming. It is a bit off the beaten track for Switzerland.

Explore Appenzell by taking a road trip, stopping at historic towns such as St. Gallen and tourist attractions such as the Schaukäserei, a cheese-tasting locale in the town of Appenzell. You can also go for hikes, but be ready to share the trails with local cows!

18. Gruyères

Old medieval town of Gruyeres in Switzerland seen from the air

Ksenija Toyechkina/Shutterstock

It’s impossible to discuss a trip to Switzerland without discussing cheese. Cheese lovers should include the French-speaking region of Gruyères on their list as this is the home of the world-famous Gruyère cheese.

Visit the cheese factory and, of course, indulge in some tasting. That doesn’t mean that cheese is all the region has to offer. Check out the 13th-century Gruyères Castle and small museums, including the surprising Tibet Museum.

Things to Consider

Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your trip to Switzerland. First, the stereotype about the Swiss being sticklers for rules is true. Be sure that you follow any posted rules, such as staying on the trails in nature areas and validating your ticket on public transportation.

Second, getting around Switzerland is easy thanks to the well-developed public transportation network, most of which is accessible if you get the Swiss Rail Pass. This pass is expensive, so see how it fits into your budget.

Finally, a lot of the best things to do in Switzerland involve going outdoors, so make sure you pack appropriate gear and footwear. Bring layers, as even in the summer, it can get cold in higher elevations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Small homes in the Swiss town of Jungfraujoch, one of the best places to visit in Switzerland, pictured from the grass

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Here are some things you might want to know before visiting Switzerland:

Which part of Switzerland is the most beautiful?

There is no one answer to this question since Switzerland has beautiful vistas wherever you look. You can’t go wrong with the area around Lake Geneva, which has a pristine alpine lake, mountains, and picturesque towns.

What is the best part of Switzerland?

This is another question that is difficult to answer as it depends on what you’re looking for. Lovers of Alpine adventures should head to the Jungfrau region, while those interested in some nature but also culture should stick to the area around Lake Geneva.

Is one week enough for Switzerland?

One week isn’t enough to see everything that Switzerland has to offer, but you can get an idea of the best the country has to offer by checking out the string of towns along Lake Geneva and heading into the mountains for a few days. Switzerland is small and well-connected with public transportation, so you can make the most of even a short visit.

What is Switzerland’s most beautiful city?

Switzerland has many beautiful cities, but most people agree that Lucerne is the prettiest. This city boasts gorgeous medieval architecture and views of Lake Lucerne, as well as great culture.

What is the least expensive month to visit Switzerland?

Switzerland is slightly less expensive in the off-season, which runs from November to March. However, there is a difference between least expensive and inexpensive. Switzerland is a very expensive destination no matter when you visit, so make sure to budget accordingly.

So, What Is the Best Place to Visit in Switzerland?

There is so much to do in Switzerland for nature lovers, foodies, and history buffs, as well as anyone in between. Check out the gorgeous medieval towns such as Lucerne and Bern.

Make sure to save time to visit nature, whether you take a road trip around Lake Geneva or go into the mountains in the Jungfrau region. So what are you waiting for — book your trip to Switzerland today!