Best Cities to Visit in Switzerland
Updated: Jan 28
Living for more than 4 years in Switzerland, I had the chance to visit and re-visit most of the cities and towns in the country, so let me share with you my favourites.
This list of the best beautiful cities in Switzerland will allow you to discover one of the great attractions of this country full of dreamlike landscapes and fairy-tale towns, which we are sure will exceed all your expectations.
Keep in mind that all these localities, included among the essential places to see in Switzerland, can be visited in one day or even some in half a day and also all of them can be easily included in a route by car or public transport, as they are very well connected to each other.
Although it is reputed to be one of the most expensive cities in the world, Zurich is also one of those that offers the best quality of life and a cultural and leisure offer that is hard to beat. Without any doubt, Zurich is my favorite city in Switzerland.
Cosmopolitan and modern, this city is located at the confluence of the Limmat River with Lake Zurich and is perfect to spend a weekend enjoying quiet terraces, art galleries, interesting museums, exclusive shops and clubs where you can spend a fun night. without forgetting to get lost in its beautiful historic center full of churches and trade union buildings with colorful facades.
Bern, the capital of Switzerland with its historic center declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Europe. It's one of the nearest cities from the place I used to live so I used to come here quite often.
Located in a beautiful meander that forms the Aare river, in this city you will move to the Middle Ages as you walk through its streets and squares surrounded by well-cared medieval houses with reddish roofs and arcades.
Among the main places to see in Bern in a day are the Kramgasse, a street full of Renaissance fountains, the Eisnten House Museum, where the genius lived for 7 years and performed some of his most famous formulas, as well as climbing the sunset to its fantastic viewpoints such as the Rose Garden.
Situated on the banks of the Rhine, Basel's strategic location, right on the borders of France and Germany, has seen wealth accumulate in the city as commerce flowed through its streets. Therefore, it has a lot of old buildings and there is a very rich atmosphere in the place.
There are also some fantastic museums and galleries on offer. Although not as picturesque as Bern, Basel still has a beautiful old town worth visiting, and great architecture, both old and new, situated around its confines. To get a taste of the daily life of its residents, head to Kleinbasel for a fine dinner on the riverbank.
The second largest city in the country is a rich and cosmopolitan place that certainly has a luxurious feel to it. Home to many international organizations, such as the UN and the World Bank, its streets are opulent and bright. Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, the city has a plethora of expensive hotels, boutiques, and restaurants for visitors to choose from, although of course there is another side to Geneva.
Check what to do in Geneva on one of my previous blog posts:
Situated on the banks of the River Aare, Thun is surrounded by mountains and resembles the archetypal Swiss city. With a commanding castle dominating the city, old buildings on the banks of the river, and cafes along the coast, Thun is a delightful place to stroll. There is a certain energy in the city and unique artisan shops dotted around its streets.
One of my favourite spots in Switzerland as the Thun Lake is just gorgeous in summer. A must go if you like to see a beautiful scenery doing a picnic by the lake.
The meaning of its name is "city between lakes." And it is that this beautiful city is characterized by being located between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, in addition to being sheltered by beautiful rock formations, which differentiate it from the rest of the cities in Switzerland. Without a doubt, one of the best things you can do in this city is an excursion through the Interlaken Valley or embarking on a cruise through its beautiful lakes.
You can also visit the Interlaken waterfalls and enjoy the fabulous landscapes that this land offers. Interlaken may not be the best known among Swiss cities, but if you want to relax and get to know the culture of these lands in depth, then there is no doubt that Interlaken is an ideal destination for you.
Lucerne, bathed by Lake Lucerne and surrounded by the Alps, is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland and Europe.
Although the entire city is impressive, it is especially worth getting lost in the narrow streets surrounded by picturesque facades of its medieval old town until you find treasures such as the Kapellbrücke (the chapel bridge), the Lion Monument and the Cathedral, all located between the best places to see in Lucerne.
Situated in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, Lugano sits on the shores of Lake Lugano and has mountains throughout the surrounding landscape. Along with its scenic surroundings, Lugano is an elegant and dazzling place to visit, thanks to its upscale boutiques, restaurants, and bars. Its charming cobbled streets lead away from the heart of the city in Piazza della Riforma, and there are great walks along the waterfront offering fantastic views over the lake. With a beautiful cathedral, a great museum of modern art, and hiking in the nearby mountains, Lugano has more than enough to make it worth a stop.
The large number of students in Lausanne is a fun city to hang out in. There is a lively and youthful vibe in the city, and it is a great place to visit due to its lively nightlife. More than a university city, Lausanne is beautifully situated on the slopes of Lake Geneva. The city descends down the gentle slopes, with the beautiful Gothic Old Town situated at the top. There are some great museums scattered around, or take time to relax in the many cafes and bars that line the warehouses along the waterfront at the bottom of the city - Lausanne has something for everyone.
I close this article on the first city I lived on when I moved to Switzerland for the first time. It is not one of the most famous cities in Switzerland, but many have fallen in love with it. In fact, Freddy Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, fell in love with this city, in which he lived for many years. In this same town they made him a statue, which is one of the places that you should know in Montreux.
Also located in this town is the Chillon Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in the world and one of the most representative places of this place. In addition, Montreux is one of the ideal places if you are looking to contemplate the beautiful Alpine landscapes of Switzerland, especially if you take the train that will take you to the top of Rochers de Naye, at more than 2000 meters high. Up there the world opens up like a perpetual landscape.
With that I conclude our article on the best cities in Switzerland. I hope you liked it and, above all, that it has motivated you to visit each of these towns where you will have a great time.
Have you already been to any of these cities? Do you dare to visit Switzerland on a trip? Leave your opinion in the comments. I will be looking forward to reading you!