21 Top things to do in Switzerland

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read the disclaimer.

Soaring alpine peaks overhanging quaint village towns; chocolates to delight the senses; fondues and raclettes, and Emmentaler cheese; the serene Swiss National Park and the wooded shores of Lake Geneva; these are just some of the reasons to visit Switzerland.

Bridge across the Limmat River in Zurich, Switzerland - pic by Sarah
Bridge across the Limmat River in Zurich

The last time we were there, it was on our way back from Austria, and we were a bit rushed. So we didn’t get to see many top Swiss towns. All I remember from that trip was cheese, chocolate and making my sis stop in the rain while crossing the Limmat River to take lots of pics. Funnily the sun always came out after we got back to our hotels. 😉 So we’re planning to visit Switzerland again and our travel blogger friends put together a list of things you cannot miss in Switzerland for our next trip. If you’re planning a trip to this amazing Alpine destination, here are some of the best things to do in Switzerland.

1. Hike through the Swiss Grand Canyon

Swiss Grand Canyon – Pic by Smita from My Faulty Compass
Swiss Grand Canyon
Pic by Smita from My Faulty Compass

The region of the Rhine Gorge in Switzerland is one of the least-touristy, yet among the most spectacular places to visit in Switzerland! A hike through the Swiss Alps discovering the incredible Swiss Grand Canyon and the beautiful lakes & forests is a magical experience and an absolute must-do when visiting Switzerland.

Stretching for ~13 km between Ilanz and Reichenau in the canton of Graubünden, the Ruinaulta, known also as the Rhine Gorge or the Swiss Grand Canyon, is the result of 10,000 years old geological events. The word ‘Ruinaulta’ translates to a high heap of rubble, which is literally what happened as a result of the Flims rockslide! The rock formations have a unique white colour from the rockslide thousands of years ago that blocked the path of the Rhine in Flims. Over the centuries, the river has made its way back through the rocks creating an incredible gorge.

The hike to discover the Swiss Grand Canyon is an easy one that starts from Flims Waldhaus in South East Switzerland and takes you through beautiful flower-filled forests and the stunningly turquoise Caumasee (one of the prettiest lakes in Switzerland!) to the tiny village of Conn. Along the hike, you will be able to spot the canyon from multiple points but the most amazing views are from the Il Spir viewing platform. There are multiple more options to discover this incredible natural phenomenon – from hiking & biking to canoeing & kayaking!

By Smita from My Faulty Compass
Catch up with My Faulty Compass on Facebook here!

2. Or go on an Schilthorn Hike

Schilthorn Hike – Pic by Jackson from Journey Era
Schilthorn Hike
Pic by Jackson from Journey Era

One of the top hiking trails in Switzerland is the Schilthorn Hike, which is a very challenging trek with over 1600m of altitude to climb throughout the trail as you make the journey all the way to the Piz Gloria summit. At the summit you will find the mountain lair where James Bond ‘007’ was filmed, which is actually a restaurant and viewing platform for tourists.

The scenic hike starts in the town of Murren and the first part of the trail from Murren to Rotstockhutte is fairly easy. Throughout the majority of the trail, you’ll be on a dirt path although there are some sections that are a mixture of rock and path. Most families will easily be able to hike their way to Rotstockhutte with only 300-400m of elevation.

The trail from Rotstockhutte to Schilthorn is very steep. This part of the hike starts to get serious. On this section of the trail you will gain over 1000-meters of an incline in just a few kilometers, which means it is just straight up the mountain and quite a battle. Here you clamber over rocks and are constantly heading uphill. However, it is quite safe and there are no drop-offs. If you can manage the steep incline there isn’t much more to worry about.

The entire hike is a 12.9km total distance from Murren to Schilthorn mountain summit. IIf you are very fit and want to hike down you will need to add a few more kilometers but most hikers catch the Schilthornbahn down to Murren, which was a nice way to return after a long day on the legs to complete the loop.

By Jackson from Journey Era
Catch up with Journey Era on Facebook here!

3. Cross the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge

Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge – Pic by Debbi from My Debstinations
Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge
Pic by Debbi from My Debstinations

The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge is the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge near the village of Randa. It is 494m long, 65 cm wide, and 86m above ground (at its highest point), connecting Grächen and Zermatt on the Europaweg foot trail.
The bridge is completely constructed of steel and is set against the backdrop of stunning views of the Matterhorn, Weisshorn, and the Bernese Alps in the distance.

The previous bridge had been damaged by rock falls in 2010 and took hikers about four hours to cross. In 2017, engineers from Swissrope and Lauber cableways remodeled the bridge in 10 weeks. It now takes pedestrians only 10 minutes to cross and is free to public access.

It is best to cross the bridge in May – October. This bridge spans the Grabengufer ravine and shaves about three hours off the route from the Europahutte to Zermatt. The bridge can also be reached easily via day trip from Zermatt.

By Debbi from My Debstinations
Catch up with My Debstinations on Facebook here!

4. Trek the Swiss Portion of the Tour du Mont Blanc

The Swiss Portion of the Tour du Mont Blanc – Pic by Dean from Routinely Nomadic
Climbing to Col de Balme, the Swiss Portion of the Tour du Mont Blanc
Pic by Dean from Routinely Nomadic

The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the world’s great treks. An amalgamation of ancient shepherd’s trails that passes through three different countries, intrepid mountaineers have been hiking these steep tracks since way back in the 18th century. It features looming peaks, strenuous hiking, charming mountain lodges and, most importantly, phenomenal scenery throughout. While most people take 10-12 days to complete the full circuit, it is possible to tackle it in smaller sections as well. The Swiss portion of the TMB stretches for about 47 kilometres between the windy, expansive views of Col Ferret on the Italian border, down to La Fouly over to Champex and up to Trient, before crossing back into France over the equally stunning Col de Balme.

Somewhat greener and gentler than the French and Italian sections, the main highlights of the Swiss legs are the lush Val Ferret, the campy Mushroom Route lined with fun carvings and, of course, the beautiful Champex-Lac. There are two routes out of Champex – the relatively easy Bovine Route and the steeper, more scenic Fenetre d’Arpette, which can only be attempted in good weather. Oh, and who could forget the iconic Swiss “raclette” meals of delicious melted cheese, meat and potatoes? No one who just finished an 8-hour day of mountain trekking, I assure you. The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the world’s most famous hikes for good reason, so even if you don’t have time for the full circuit, spending a few days traversing the Swiss portion is well worth it.

By Dean from Routinely Nomadic
Catch up with Routinely Nomadic on Facebook here!

5. Walk the Rehberger Weg

Walk the Rehberger Weg  – Pic by Bridget from The Flashpacker
Walk the Rehberger Weg
Pic by Bridget from The Flashpacker

Switzerland is blessed with an abundance of hiking opportunities, but for a unique trail with a twist of modern art walk the Rehberger Weg.

Created by the artist Tobias Rehberger, this 5km trail links two countries, Switzerland and Germany, and two cultural institutions. The trail is waymarked by 24 large pieces of modern art, which are sometimes functional, often amusing but always striking.

Before you set out, pick up a free route map from the tourist information office at Bahnhof Basel SBB. Alternatively, download a Rehberger Weg hiking map.

The Rehberger Weg starts at the Fondation Beyeler at Riehen, in the suburbs of Basel. Designed by Renzo Piano, is considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful museums.

From here, guided by the artistic waymarkers, amble through open countryside and alongside rolling vineyards until you reach the Vitra Campus in Germany’s Weil am Rhein. This endpoint of the Rehberger Weg, is best known for two things: its ensemble of contemporary architecture and furniture design, most notably Eames chairs.

Time it right, and you can take a guided architectural tour of the Campus. Failing that, visit the excellent Vitra Design Museum and relax with coffee and cake in the café. You deserve it.

By Bridget from The Flashpacker
Catch up with The Flashpacker on Facebook here!

6. Go skiing and snowboarding in Swiss Alps

People playing on snowboard - Pic by Cristina Munteanu from Unsplash
People playing on snowboard
Pic by Cristina Munteanu from Unsplash

Swiss Alps are a real paradise for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. 7300 km of ski trails, perfect snow conditions, modern infrastructure, and breathtaking views. All this means that there are many ski resorts and picturesque Alpine towns and villages worth visiting. However, three of them draw particular attention.

Verbier

Verbier is one of the valleys of the famous 4 Valleys region with over 400 km of trails. It is a luxurious resort, where you can meet celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jude Law, the Beckhams, and even members of the British royal family. But it’s also a paradise for freeriders as there are 87 off-piste trails here. The town is also host to Freeride World Tour Finals – Xtreme Verbier.

Zermatt

This is one of the most beautiful ski resorts in Europe. It lies at the foot of Matterhorn, one of the most recognizable peaks in the world. Zermatt also has the longest, 25 km downhill route. The resort eliminated car traffic and, despite its high popularity, managed to retain the character of an authentic mountain village.

Davos

This highest-located town in Europe is one of the most attractive and largest Swiss resorts, as well as a popular winter spa. Davos is also frequently visited by participants of various congresses, including the most famous – the annual World Economic Forum.

By Anna from Liquid Traveling
Catch up with Liquid Traveling on Facebook here!

7. Visit Aare Gorge and Reichenbach Falls

Aare Gorge and Reichenbach Falls  – Pic by Brianna from Curious Travel Bug
Aare Gorge and Reichenbach Falls
Pic by Brianna from Curious Travel Bug

If you’re looking for some of the best scenery in Switzerland, Aare Gorge and Reichenbach Falls near Meiringen are strong contenders. The best part is, they are close to other top sights in Switzerland so you can easily visit them if you are visiting Lauterbrunnen or Interlaken.

To visit Aare Gorge and Reichenbach Falls you can park in Meiringen and walk to both locations from there. Aare Gorge is a beautiful canyon walk that will take you next to glacial water with 50 m cliffs on either side. The gorge is made accessible by boardwalks that cling to the side of the cliffs. It’s actually been a popular destination in Switzerland since it opened in 1889.

After exploring Aare Gorge, take the funicular from Meiringen to Reichenbach Falls. Reichenbach Falls was made famous by Sherlock Holmes. It’s the site that Holmes is murdered by his nemesis, Moriarty. The 120 m tall falls are a spectacular sight and there are several viewing platforms to view the waterfall from above and below. It’s easy to see why Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired to write about these waterfalls in Sherlock Holmes.

Both sights are highlights of the Bernese Alps and are not to be missed if you are in the region

By Brianna from Curious Travel Bug
Catch up with Curious Travel Bug on Facebook here!

If you want to see Switzerland with a really witty driver-guide, ping my friend Chris at info@typicallyswisstours.com or call him at 0041792860451. Give Chris code AbbyAbby and he’ll give you a discount for day trips or overland tours.

8. Freestyle in Laax

Superpipe in Laax - Pic by Philipp Ruggli from Wiki Creative Commons CC0
Superpipe in Laax
Pic by Philipp Ruggli from Wiki Creative Commons CC0

In the Alpine Mountains of Southeast Switzerland, sits the small resort town of Laax. Traditional wooden chalets ooze charm and, when the snow is good, up on the mountain you’ll find an extensive ski area, as well as plenty of off-piste freeriding opportunities. Laax is most famous for freestyle (snow park jumps and tricks) though, boasting several snow parks that cater to all different abilities, as well as Europe’s largest super halfpipe. When better to visit than in January for the annual Laax Open? This has been Europe’s premier snowboard event for the past 30 years, offering a chance to watch some of the top riders from around the World taking on the halfpipe and slopestyle courses.

Back down in the resort, settle in at the Rider’s Hotel, a fashionable modern multi-event space with a hotel, restaurant, gym, lounge bar and nightclub. For anyone inspired to have a go at freestyle themselves, there’s the opportunity to learn some tricks in safety at the Laax Freestyle Academy; an indoor training centre complete with big air jumps into a foam landing pit. Put all this together and Laax could well be the best mountain resort you may never have heard of.

By Rachel from Children of Wanderlust
Catch up with Children of Wanderlust on Facebook here!

9. Go Mountain Karting

Hochwurzen – Mountain Go-Kart - Pic by Przemek Pietrak from Wiki Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0
Hochwurzen – Mountain Go-Kart
Pic by Przemek Pietrak from Wiki Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0

Situated almost in the middle of Geneva and Zurich, is a famous mountain cart activity which is the first of its kind. Originally created to give thrill seekers a fun mountain activity to do outside of the winter season. We all know how much fun sledging down mountains are, but why should the fun stop when the summer comes round and the snow makes way for beautiful lush greenery?

You will start off at the top of a 3 km road and head down towards Bort. The views are incredible and you will have a great views of the mountains around you.

But don’t worry about missing the views, you can slow the carts down and take little breaks for photos if you want. From a distance it looks quite slow but once youre heading downhill you have the ability to bring out your thrill for speed!

They provide all the required safety gear and the activity is open everyone who has a minimum height of 135cm. (4 ft 4”). They are usually open throughout the summer months of June to October daily from morning to early evening.

By Manpreet from Hello Manpreet
Catch up with Hello Manpreet on Instagram here!

10. Visit the Maison Cailler chocolate factory in Gruyères

Visiting the Maison Cailler chocolate factory in Gruyères  – Pic by Deeptha from The Globe Trotter
Visiting the Maison Cailler chocolate factory in Gruyères
Pic by Deeptha from The Globe Trotter

The Maison Cailler chocolate factory is located in Broc near Gruyères in the Canton of Fribourg. You can club a visit to the chocolate factory with a visit to the historic town of Gruyères to make it a memorable and fun day trip.

Operational since 1898, the chocolate factory makes the famous Cailler chocolates from milk produced in the area. The factory is open to visitors and regular audio guided tours are conducted. The tours are split into two parts – the first one takes you through the history of chocolate, right from the Aztec times to the current trends, while the second part of the tour offers a glimpse into the manufacturing process. It is very interesting and educational to see the production line of the chocolate factory and the tour ends with sampling. You get to try out all the different varieties of chocolates manufactured at the factory.

Once you have sampled all of Cailler’s specialities it is time to visit their shop which is a chocolate lover’s paradise. You will find everything from milk & dark chocolates to an assortment of pralines and from assorted Napolitains to cocoa powders and more.

With centuries of history, Maison Cailler even today continues to produce the finest chocolate products from local and sustainable ingredients. A visit to this historical symbol of La Gruyère comes recommended.

By Deeptha from The Globe Trotter
Catch up with The Globe Trotter on Facebook here!

11. Spend time in Charming Lucerne

Lake Lucerne  – Pic by Ivan from Mind The Travel
Lake Lucerne
Pic by Ivan from Mind The Travel

Nestled on the banks of Lake Lucerne, with the impressive Alps in the background, Lucerne is a city that has it all: city life, stunning views, historic buildings, painted facades, and arrow cobbled streets. Arguably, Lucerne is one of the most charming cities in Europe. The city is most famous for its pedestrian medieval old town, waterfront promenades, and covered bridges, some of which dates back as far as 700 years.

If you want to get the most out of your time in Lucerne, take a cruise on the eponymous lake, and stroll the streets to explore its 14th century Chapel Bridge and Water Tower, which is said to be the most photographed landmark in Switzerland. It contains several interior aintings dating from the 17th century.

Additionally, visitors may also take pleasure from visiting the famous Lion Monument, a poignant sculpture of a dying lion, which honors the heroic death of Swiss Guards during the storming of the Tuileries by revolutionary forces in August 1792. For all tech lovers and history enthusiasts out there, Lucerne has an amazing Swiss Transport Museum that features numerous exhibitions, theme parks, and simulations.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there is a number of hiking trails around Lucerne as well. For beautiful views of Lucerne, the Alps, and the lake, ride the funiculars to Pilatus, Rigi, tanserhorn. All of these imposing mountains made offer up postcard-worthy vistas of the region around Lucerne

By Ivan from Mind The Travel
Catch up with Mind The Travel on Facebook here!

12. Visit Switzerland’s Captial City, Bern

Winter in Bern Switzerland  – Pic by Allan from It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor
Winter in Bern Switzerland
Pic by Allan from It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor

Bern is the unlikely capital of Switzerland as the 5th largest city in Switzerland and when compared to the financial capital of Zurich and the worldwide centre for diplomacy in Geneva. As Bern was otherwise a compromise with its more central location and language and multicultural stance between French and German. So Bern is where the country’s parliament, government and foreign embassies are now situated. But it is also the most significant cultural city and the Old City itself has been designated UNESCO (Cultural World Heritage Site) status due to the compact network of medieval buildings, churches, Renaissance fountains, and the more recent federal buildings. And it really just shares ridiculously quaint and cute medieval charm. The highlight however would have to be the connecting bridges that cross the passing River Aare where the trams and trains are like a picture straight out of a Wes Anderson flick. Bern like Switzerland is expensive as expected but everything is so close-knit and local attractions can be covered on just a short visit. Bern is a picture-perfect city year-round but we were lucky to visit en route to the Glacier Express train route in winter when Bern was blanketed in snow.

By Allan from It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor
Catch up with It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor on Facebook here!

13. Take a day trip to Emmental Valley in the Canton of Bern

Enchanting Emmental Valley in the canton of Bern – Pic by Sarah from CosmopoliClan
Enchanting Emmental Valley in the canton of Bern
Pic by Sarah from CosmopoliClan

A visit to the enchanting city of Bern, with its covered passages and interesting fountains, left me inspired to catch a glimpse of the wider area. The Bern region is where for two hearty treats are produced: Toblerone chocolate and Emmentaler cheese. The Toblerone factory doesn’t organise visits, unfortunately, but the Emmental, or valley of the Emme river, makes for a wonderful day trip from Bern. The Emmentaler e-bike Käseroute or Cheese Route takes visitors on a tour of this lovely region. It’s a loop trail, that comes in a 1-day version of 35km and a 2-day version of 78km, both of which start and end at the railway station of Burgdorf (20 minutes by train from Bern). Stops include visits to an Emmentaler farm and a show cheese dairy, so you’ll learn all about the history and production of this famous Swiss cheese. The rolling green hills and breathtaking views that you’ll encounter along the way, make this more than a culinary escapade. You’ll find Swiss nature at its purest, with plenty of inviting picnicking spots and the crisp water of the Emme that’s perfect for a refreshing toe-dipping session. The charming villages that dot the landscape complete the idyllic Emmentaler picture.

By Sarah from CosmopoliClan
Catch up with CosmopoliClan on Facebook here!

14. Walk Under the Jet d’Eau

Walk Under the Jet d'Eau – Pic by Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan
Walk Under the Jet d’Eau
Pic by Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

Geneva’s most iconic landmark is the Jet d’Eau. This rather unimaginative but accurate name just means “jet of water” in French, and that’s exactly what it is. The original jet d’eau was simply a safety valve for a hydraulic power network. Onlookers were impressed by the sight of the water shooting up into the air, so it was moved to its current location on the lake as a tourist attraction and has now become an emblem of the city.

In 1951, the original was replaced with an even more powerful jet d’eau that shoots water 140 meters up into the air. With Mont Blanc visible in the background on a clear day, it’s quite a sight. It’s even easy to spot from the plane when flying into the city.

The fountain normally runs every day but is sometimes switched off in the event of frost or strong winds. From the neighborhood of Eaux-Vives on the left bank of the lake, you can walk out on the stone jetty for a close-up view of the fountain. It’s completely free, which is always welcome in a pricey city like Geneva. Be warned, though, that on windy days you might get drenched! After visiting the jet, enjoy lunch at the nearby café Alive, one of the best vegan restaurants in Geneva.

By Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan
Catch up with The Nomadic Vegan on Facebook here!

If you want to see Switzerland with a really witty driver-guide, ping my friend Chris at info@typicallyswisstours.com or call him at 0041792860451. Give Chris code AbbyAbby and he’ll give you a discount for day trips or overland tours.

15. Visit Switzerland’s best, the Lavaux Vineyards

Lavaux vineyards – Pic by Nisha from Nerdy Footsteps
Lavaux vineyards
Pic by Nisha from Nerdy Footsteps

Lavaux vineyards are the best-kept secrets from Switzerland. People don’t know much about Swiss wine because the Swiss drink almost all the wine they produce.

Wine has been an inherent part of Swiss culture since long back in history. Lavaux vineyards were planted here in the 11th century bu the monks but the proof of viticulture has been found in other regions in Switzerland as early as the 2nd century BC. People in Valais, the biggest wine-producing canton in Switzerland, used to bury their dead with wine then.

The sloped terraces of the vineyards present an excellent opportunity to see them and the Lake Geneva in all its glory. The traditional hike is the 11 km long ‘Terrasses de Lavaux’ and passes through several small swiss villages. The hiking path is well built and presents a relatively easy hike. The route presents an excellent view of the lake, vineyards, Alps, and even the french villages on the other side of the lake, on a clear day.

If you don’t want to hike or don’t have time for it, you can take a ferry from Lausanne to see the best of the region from the lake. This UNESCO heritage site does not disappoint.

By Nisha from Nerdy Footsteps
Catch up with Nerdy Footsteps on Facebook here!

16. Spend time in Zurich Altstadt or Zurich Old Town

Zurich Old Town – Pic by Chrysoula from Travel Passionate
Zurich Old Town
Pic by Chrysoula from Travel Passionate

Zurich Old Town – or Altstadt – is one of the most charming parts of the city center, with an eclectic array of architecture, a selection of quaint cafes, and a wealth of rich and varied history. While you can most definitely just enjoy Zürich’s Altstadt by strolling through the streets admiring the architecture, it can be a fun idea to join one of the city’s many walking tours that guide you around some of the highlights of Old Town while also giving you a greater depth of knowledge about the history and the culture of the place.

Dating back to the 1800s, Die Altstadt is an administrative part of the Zurich that lies within the former city ramparts, with famous buildings such as the Rathaus (town hall), the Fraumünster Abbey and the photogenic Guild House that lies on the Limmatquai riverbank.

With boutiques and bakeries, coffee houses, and churches, there are plenty of sights within Old Town to keep you entertained.
As the buildings and streets are so clean and picture-perfect in Zurich’s Old Town, you will really feel as though you’ve stepped back in time or hopped straight into a period movie set!

By Chrysoula from Travel Passionate
Catch up with Travel Passionate on Facebook here!

17. Spend Time in Historic Basel

Historic Basel – Pic by Joanne from Sunsets and Roller Coasters
Historic Basel
Pic by Joanne from Sunsets and Roller Coasters

The city of Basel is nestled at the junction where France, Germany and Switzerland meet. It is one of the most picturesque cities in Switzerland but also, one of the most historic.

Basel’s Old Town, divided into Grossbasel and Kleinbasel by the Rhine, is filled with remnants of its incredible past. As you explore the incredible museums and other things to do in Basel, make sure to visit its most historic sites in and around the Old Town.

Wander across the Mittlere Brücke, the middle bridge, which is one of the oldest bridges to cross the Rhine. It joins Grossbasel and Kleinbasel. Stop at the Käppelijoch, the old bridge chapel, where prisoners were sent to die in the Middle Ages.

Enjoy the architecture of Basel Münster, a former Catholic church that became protestant after the Reformation. While there, visit the cloister and crypt where the tombs of royalty and prominent citizens of Basel were buried and climb one of the two facades towers that were replaced after the earthquake in the 1300s. You’ll be rewarded with a magnificent view!

The impressive 15th century Rathaus in Marktplatz, at the center of Old Town, is over 500 years old and was built to commemorate Basel joining the Swiss Confederation. As you walk, seek out the intricate fountains and the wonderful legendary green Basilisk which can be found throughout the city. The Basilisk is the heraldic animal of Basel and has been its symbol since the 15th century. Basel is filled with fables and stories so ask when you visit. You might be told where to find the cheeky kings, one on each side of the Mittlere Brücke, that have been licking their tongues out at each other every day since the 17th century!

By Joanne from Sunsets and Roller Coasters
Catch up with Sunsets and Roller Coasters on Facebook here!

18. Hike through the Maderanertal Valley

Maderanertal Valley – Pic by Annabel from Smudged Postcard
Maderanertal Valley
Pic by Annabel from Smudged Postcard

If you would like to get your children into multi day hikes or if you are simply looking for an easy two day walk in the Swiss Alps, the Maderanertal Valley is perfect.

Located close to the Gotthard Tunnel, the hike can be reached via the cable car at Bristen. There is a wonderful lake for swimming in at Golzern where the cable car terminates along with a couple of comfortable guest houses for an overnight stay.

The walk from Golzern to Hotel Maderanertal takes hikers through beautiful alpine scenery with rushing rivers, forests packed with wild berries and an interesting mountain diary which makes a great pit stop for lunch.

The hotel is very characterful and has its own picturesque lake which guests can swim in if they’re hardy enough. There are wonderful views down the valley towards Mt Bristen.

The following day it’s a downhill walk along the river all the way back to the bottom of the Bristen cable car. There is a fabulous guesthouse to stop at for lunch which serves excellent food.
This hike is suitable for children as young as 5, there’s very little uphill walking and there’s no more than four hours of hiking on the longest walking day.

By Annabel from Smudged Postcard
Catch up with Smudged Postcard on Facebook here!

19. Go paragliding in Lauterbrunnen

Paragliding in Lauterbrunnen – Pic by Mikaela from Voyageur Tripper
Paragliding in Lauterbrunnen
Pic by Mikaela from Voyageur Tripper

Hundreds of visitors make their way to this pocket of Switzerland to photograph Lauterbrunnen’s famous U-shaped valley and church. After traveling there myself, I can assure you the best view is not from the winding road nor from a mountain trail, but from the sky. Lauterbrunnen is home to some of the best paragliding in the world and is worthy of a spot on any Switzerland bucket list.

The tour started in Murren, a mountain town in the Lauterbrunnen valley accessible by gondola. I was given a helmet and debriefing, and then strapped into a harness with a professional paraglider. We took a few steps and then just stepped off the mountain (it was amazingly easy). Suddenly we were in the air, soaring through the valley. He brought me along the edge of the valley walls where I could see waterfalls that hadn’t been visible for the ground. He even did some fancy moves to send us spinning and flying upside down (if that sounds too crazy, you can pass on that part).

For thirty minutes we flew the length of the valley and back again. I had a huge grin plastered to my face the entire time – paragliding in Lauterbrunnen was easily my favourite activity I did in all of Switzerland.

By Mikaela from Voyageur Tripper
Catch up with Voyageur Tripper on Facebook here!

20. See Zermatt, the town nestled under the Matterhorn

Zermatt, towered over by the impressive Matterhorn Mountain – Pic by Vicky from Travels On Uneven Pavements
Zermatt, towered over by the impressive Matterhorn Mountain
Pic by Vicky from Travels On Uneven Pavements

Nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps is the stunning town of Zermatt, towered over by the impressive Matterhorn Mountain. This car free town is incredibly picturesque, and as well as the Matterhorn, also offers incredible views of 28 other 4,000 metre peaks. The town, now a popular ski area in the winter, was only ‘discovered’ mid-century by British mountaineers. The Matterhorn was one of the last alpine mountains to be conquered, and as the other mountains surrounding the village became popular climbing spots, the construction of tourist facilities began. The name Zermatt stems from the alpine meadows, or Matten in Germany that can be found in the valley.

Although mostly known as a skiing resort, it is an incredible place to visit no matter the time of year. The alpine style buildings are covered in flowers during the summer months, and the streets, shops and restaurants are buzzing with tourists. Many of the streets run alongside the river Matter Vispa, which is the perfect place for a gentle stroll.

By Vicky from Travels On Uneven Pavements
Catch up with Travels On Uneven Pavements on Instagram here!

21. Scenic Train Rides

Glimpses of the mighty Matterhorn – Pic by Simon from Wild About Travel
Glimpses of the mighty Matterhorn
Pic by Simon from Wild About Travel

One of the top things to do in Switzerland is to have a ride on one of the country’s many scenic trains. Which one to choose depends on the length of your stay and your tentative itinerary. And if you get the chance, it’s worth having more than one scenic train ride in Switzerland

The Pilatus Rack Railway is a must when visiting Lucerne. The short cogwheel train climbs the mountain at a steep gradient, reaching up to 48 percent. During the ride, you’ll see verdant meadows, beautiful mountain ranges, and idyllic alpine scenery. The journey to Pilatus Kulm takes about 30 minutes, where there’s plenty to do, from hiking to enjoying the longest toboggan ride in Switzerland. 

The Bernina Express, also nicknamed Bernina Red Train, is one of Switzerland’s most classic train rides. It’s a must if you’re visiting both northern Italy and Switzerland since the train rides between the two countries. The trip from Chur to Tirano (or vice versa) takes about four hours and offers endless magnificent views, whichever the season. The Bernina Express is an incredible engineering work and is considered a once in a lifetime experience. Furthermore, UNESCO classified it as a World Heritage Site back in 2008. 

The Glacier Express, from Zermatt to St. Moritz, is another top railway ride in Switzerland. It’s a full-day journey lasting eight hours, although you can also split it and take a stopover along the 300 km stretch. Through the wide window panels, you’ll admire breathtaking alpine sceneries, river gorges, vineyards, and you’ll get glimpses of the mighty Matterhorn. 

Zermatt is also home to another fantastic train ride: the Gornergrat Bahn. You’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of the Matterhorn as the train climbs up. And once you reach your destination, you’ll be welcomed by the spellbinding sight of the Gorner glacier. 

The Jungfrau Railway is probably the most famous train ride in Switzerland. You can start your trip from Interlaken, Grindelwald, and Lauterbrunnen, and travel on the cogwheel train climbing up to Jungfraujoch Top of Europe. At 3,454 m (11,332 ft), it’s the highest railway station in Europe. From up there, you’ll admire one of the most beautiful mountain ranges of the Alps, including the winding Aletsch glacier.

By Simon from Wild About Travel
Catch up with Wild About Travel on Facebook here!

If you want to see Switzerland with a really witty driver-guide, ping my friend Chris at info@typicallyswisstours.com or call him at 0041792860451. Give Chris code AbbyAbby and he’ll give you a discount for day trips or overland tours.

How many of these top Swiss places have you been to? And how many have you added to your Switzerland bucket list?

Other European Travel Posts to Read

Best things to do in Switzerland - List by TheWingedFork
Top things to do in Switzerland - List by TheWingedFork
Top Things to add to your Switzerland Bucketlist - List by TheWingedFork

1 thought on “21 Top things to do in Switzerland”

Leave a comment

119 Shares
Pin59
Share56
Tweet4
Flip