Before we dive into the most beautiful places in Switzerland, check out my post on How to Travel Switzerland on a Budget.
Now that you settled down, and realized a trip to Switzerland won’t leave you bankrupt, it’s time to organize the list of the most breathtaking places, that you can’t miss in Switzerland.
Switzerland has many beautiful places to visit and it may be difficult to figure out what to choose. You can’t just visit the whole country in just a few days/weeks :))
No worries, I’ve put together a list of the best places to visit in Switzerland to help with your trip planning.
We booked an amazing two months trip to Switzerland in September and October. Because we were still working remotely on weekdays, we ended up traveling and exploring only on weekends. All of our day-trips had their starting point in the Zürich area, using our car.
Without any other further ado, here are my top places to visit in Switzerland:
The first city on our journey could be no other than beautiful Zürich.
In this charming medieval old town, the lake is not to be missed in the first place. Especially on a sunny day, it’s the perfect place to hang out, relax and enjoy your snack with an amazing lake-view. Explore the central Altstadt, with colorful houses and pedestrian-only streets.
Head over to Bahnhofstrasse boulevard for some high-end shopping or just looking. The boulevard is said to be one of the most expensive avenues in the world.
Lucerne is one of Switzerland’s most visited towns for sure. One of the most popular attractions in Lucerne is the Chapel Bridge, dating back to 13th century. Also make sure to visit Lucerne’s Altstadt, with its medieval squares and beautifully decorated facades.
From Zürich, Lucerne can be reached in about 40 minutes by car.
Now comes my favorite part: the incredible Lake Brienz. I’ve read stories about Lake Brienz being one of the most spectacular lakes in Switzerland, but to see it in reality, it’s something else for sure. I could not get enough of the color of the lake, so tropical.
One of the top places to visit on the lake is Iseltwald and Brienz towns. I’ve written more about these incredible places on my blog, check them out:
Lauterbrunnen, the Land of 72 Waterfalls! This amazingly lush green valley will for sure take your breath away and make you ball your eyes out :))
This small village of only 3,000 residents, can be easily reached from Lake Brienz, in about 20 minutes by car.
Take 1 day off and visit the capital of Switzerland, the beautiful city of Bern. From Zürich, you can reach Bern in about 1h 30m.
Explore the town’s imposing medieval architecture which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Climb up to Aussichtspunkt Henjesjoch for some incredible photos overlooking the city and the Aare river.
What I advise you to do, is also to ask your host about places to visit in the area, they know better!
Lake Cauma was suggested by one of our hosts and I am so glad we took their advice. This hidden gem in the Grisons, known for its dramatic Alpine scenery and winter sports, will leave you speechless.
It would take about 2 hours to reach this beautiful lake from Zürich, but once you reach it, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with the place in no-time. If the weather is good, take your swimsuit with you also.
Now that you are still in the area, don’t go home yet, there’s one more stop that you must take. Did you know about the Swiss Grand Canyon??
Lake Maggiore – the Italian part of Switzerland
My second favorite place in Switzerland has to be the Italian part of the country, more precisely: Locarno, Ascona, Cannobio and Verzasca valley.
One of the most important things to remember on your trip to Switzerland: if you have bad luck with a rainy day, which can cover the whole country, GO to Canton of Ticino, in southern Switzerland. There are 90% chances that it won’t rain in Ticino! This place is blessed with sunny skies around 300 days of the year.
From Zurich, you can reach Locarno in about 2 hours and a half by car. We actually made 3 hours because of Gotthard Tunnel(16.9 kilometers length). That area is always crowded with cars.
This part of the country, feels so relaxed, like you are on a glamorous holiday, with palm trees, gelato everywhere, very sunny, very Italian like. Except for the prices, the prices are still swiss. Not Zürich area, but still high enough. A short trip to Cannobio is a must on Lake Maggiore, not to mention, Cannobio is in Italy, which means, cheaper prices, incredible food, tasty desserts and delicious cappuccino by the lake. Check out more about Cannobio on this recent post I’ve made.
Montreux – Lake Geneva
Located at the foot of the Alps, on the shores of Lake Geneva, Montreux is a gorgeous and luxurious town. No wonder that here is where Charlie Chaplin decided to spend 25 years of his life and Queen created a couple of their best selling albums.
At about two hours and a half from Zürich by car, Lake Geneva is a gorgeous place to spend the whole day. Some of the cities we visited: Montreux, Vevey, Lausanne and of course, Geneva.
Alsace region, France
I know your probably thinking: France?! Wasn’t this post supposed to be about Switzerland?? Trust me, even if it was only one week since we arrived in Switzerland, when I saw photos of Alsace, I immediately planned a day trip for the next weekend.
If your booking is around Zürich area, and you are planning to stay more than a couple of days, I think you will thank me if you would add Alsace to your list.
From Zürich, you can reach this beautiful french area in approximately two hours by car. Alsace is well-known for its wine, colorful houses, castles, delicious tarte flambée, and savory desserts. The beauty of the Alsace region is hard to express in words. Check my recent post about this charming region: My top fairytale places in Alsace.
This concludes my list of top favorite places in Switzerland. Hope you will have an amazing stay in this gorgeous country and don’t rush yourself to visit everything, leave something out so you have a reason to come back.
Have an amazing day!