The 20 BEST outdoor activities in Switzerland
Wanting to see everything while visiting Switzerland for the first time? The amount of information available on the internet can be overwhelming, therefore I'm going to give you a list of the TOP 20 things to do and places to see in Switzerland.
This list contains my favourite spots and the things that I was doing meanwhile living in Switzerland for almost 5 years.
Here are my top 20 must-do and see activities in Switzerland:
Enjoy a walk on Lake Thun
There are days where we just need to relax and appreciate what we are experiencing. If you are in the Berne region, an ideal excursion is to take a boat on Lake Thun, its blue water frames the cities of Thun, Spiez and Interlaken, making the trip one of the most beautiful boat trips in all of Europe.
Visit the Matterhorn, the most photographed mountain in Europe
The Matterhorn is situated near Zermatt, a picturesque town in the Swiss Alps that is well-known as one of the nation's top tourist destinations.
Zermatt looks like being a movie, in addition, there are no cars allowed there so you can only get there by train. Due to its height, you can ski there year-round, making it one of the most popular ski areas in Switzerland.
Spectacular trip to the Pilatus mountain near Lucerne
Lucerne is a charming little city located in the center of Switzerland, on one of the shores of the Lake of the Four Cantons. However, one of its great claims is its proximity to Mount Pilatus, a viewpoint over the city located at more than 2,000 meters above sea level, specifically at 2,119 meters. From there it is easy to feel insignificant among so much immensity.
Apart from the views that can be seen from this high point in the Swiss Alps, a large part of its attraction also lies in the spectacular means of transport that allow you to get there : the steepest rack railway in the world, 48%, or a cable car not suitable for people with vertigo.
Visit Lucerne and its Kapellbrücke, its magical bridge
One of my favorite cities in Switzerland is Lucerne since, in my opinion, it is where the best views of the entire nation are located. The Chapel Bridge, a city landmark, is one of them.
The sun setting behind the bridge is a great time to see the sunset, or else stay at the Hotel des Balances for a spectacular view of both the bridge and the cathedral!
Explore Ticino, the Swiss sun parlor
Ticino is the Swiss sun parlor and a place of longing with a Mediterranean flair. The region was once considered the poor house in Switzerland. That only changed in 1882 with the commissioning of the Gotthard railway tunnel - after that the tourists came in droves.
The canton of Ticino exudes Italian flair instead of Swiss thoroughness and attracts with glamorous cities as well as with cute villages. let me share with you my favourite places.
Explore one of the most expensive cities in the world, Zurich
Possibly the charm of Zurich is not due to a single reason but to a mixture between its views of the Alps, its location at the foot of a Lake and its beauty. Going through it is going through numerous cultural attractions (museums, galleries,...), modern streets or the old town, in addition to the fact that the main attractions to see in Zurich in 1 day are possible without great trouble.
Visit the Rhine Falls, the largest in all of Europe
Switzerland has the largest waterfalls in the entire European continent. Best of all, you can visit it for free, which is not common in Switzerland! If you want to go up to the highest platform or take a boat to see them more closely you have to buy a ticket, but it is not mandatory.
It is a beautiful place to go with family or friends and spend the whole day, especially in summer!
Taste wines in Lavaux, the UNESCO heritage vineyards
It is not for nothing that the Lavaux vineyards are a UNESCO heritage site. From Lausanne or from Geneva you can take a one-day tour and especially in summer, I assure you that it will be totally worth it. They are one of the best European wines and the landscapes from the vineyards are amazing.
Explore the Swiss Riviera, Montreux
Montreux is a paradise for lovers of nature, tranquility and culture in its broadest expression. As soon as you see it, you will understand why many travelers, writers or artists such as Charles Chaplin or Freddie Mercury decided to spend their last years in this incredible city. With its old town, the impressive Lake Geneva or the Lavaux vineyards named World Heritage by UNESCO, Montreux was my home for almost a year.
Get lost in the Lauterbrunnen Valley
Tokien was inspired by this small town with 72 waterfalls for the creation of Lord of the Rings. Without a doubt, it is a mandatory stop, you cannot leave Switzerland without visiting this town in the middle of the Alps. The views are amazing and it is very accessible by train from Interlaken and Bern.
Valle Verzasca and the bridge with more than 400 years of history
The Ponte dei Salti is undoubtedly one of the great attractions of the Italian part of Switzerland. With its two arcades and the turquoise color of the water, it is an ideal destination to visit in summer relax with friends and bathe in a living postcard. Also starring in one of the James Bond movies.
Visit Gruyères, where the most famous cheese in the world was born
It is undoubtedly a mandatory stop if you are in western Switzerland. Strolling through the streets of Gruyeres to feel like you're in the Middle Ages, visiting the castle and enjoying amazing views are one of the great things you can do in the region.
You will fly with the aroma of cheese in the city and without a doubt you cannot miss trying the famous meringues with regional cream, the best I have tried in Switzerland.
Blausee and one of the most Instagrammable lakes in the world
Its turquoise color has made it the protagonist of numerous photos on social networks, and that is how it is, whether in summer or winter it is a walk that you must do if you visit the Bern region. Ideal for camping nearby or a good destination is Kirchberg where you can sleep and visit both this lake and its famous brother, the Oeschinensee, another of the most visited in Switzerland.
Go up to Jungfrau and the highest train station in Europe
Getting to the highest train station in all of Europe? Yes, in the Jungfrau mountain you can have an amazing experience in the Swiss Alps. It is a great excursion from Grindelwald, you can watch the sunset at more than 3,400 meters high or immerse yourself in the crystal palace. Without a doubt, it is one of the most beautiful activities to do in Switzerland .
Sleep in a Swiss chalet in Gstaad
I went to Gstaad a few times and I would return twice a year without a doubt. It is definitely one of my favorite regions in the country. That typical Swiss town that we see in the movies is Gstaad. Ideal for skiing in winter and for visiting the Swiss cows in summer.
It is one of those places to get lost in the whole day walks through the Swiss Alps, eat a good fondue with friends and why not visit a cheese cellar. Another of the great activities that you can do is visit the Peak Walk by Tissot, the suspension bridge between two mountain peaks more than 3000 meters high in the Swiss Alps.
Get away on a cruise on Lake Geneva
It is one of the activities that if or if you have to do in Geneva. This city is characterized by being the headquarters of the ONU and many international entities. Lake Leman is the largest lake in the region and shares territory with France. Even one of the beautiful excursions that you can do is to cross to the neighboring country and visit Annecy, without a doubt that little town will make you fall in love.
Travel to St Moriz, the world's number one winter destination
I don't think you've seen this advice much, and I think it's because St Moritz is a bit out of the way if we do a typical route through the country. But I love it and I definitely want to go back in the summer. Not for nothing is it known for being THE vacation destination for the rich Europeans. If you have the opportunity, cross by bus 15 minutes to Pontresina, Italian architecture and Swiss Alps.
Visit the most beautiful Swiss lakes
If we talk about the best of Switzerland, I think the first thing I think about is its landscapes and obviously they include its mountains, its lakes and the fairytale houses that Heidi showed us so much in her drawings.
Switzerland offers the most beautiful lakes in the world and after visiting most of them, I want to help you listing my favourites and must visit.
Interlaken, the city between lakes
Nestled between Lakes Thun and Lake Brienz, Interlaken is the perfect base for exploring a magnificent natural environment. Do not miss the spectacular panoramic view of the city from the Harder Kulm viewpoint, or a visit to the beautiful town of Grindelwald . However, the main attraction in the area is the Jungfrau peak , which is no more and no less than 4,158 m. The rack railway that reaches the Jungfraujoch (the highest railway station in Europe) will make it a little easier for you 😉
Discover all the most famous Swiss cities
With a great diversity of cities, from cosmopolitan and modern metropolises such as Zurich and Geneva to cities that retain all their medieval charm such as Bern and Lucerne, to those that stand out for having a unique natural environment such as Zermatt or Thun, perfect for long hiking routes. hiking and winter sports, the cities in Switzerland are another of the great attractions of the country.
Despite its small size, Switzerland has a seemingly unending amount of attractions. You have various opportunities to experience the nation thanks to the transportation system's infrastructure, which enables you to travel to any location, and that Swiss perfection.
Until here the 20 things that you have to do sometime in your life in Switzerland. Would you add something else? Leave it to me in comments!