“Switzerland, with its breathtaking Alpine lakes, snow-capped peaks, and verdant valleys that stretch endlessly, requires no introduction. If you’re considering a visit, chances are the country’s iconic attractions are already on your must-see list. However, you may also be curious about the top experiences to have in Switzerland.”
“Switzerland is a country brimming with breathtaking nature and charming cities waiting to be explored. But why settle for a typical vacation when you can elevate it to unforgettable heights? Embark on an exhilarating mountain climb, traverse a national park on foot, or challenge yourself on the world-renowned ski slopes.
Let our curated list of top activities in Switzerland help you plan a trip like no other.”
1. Experience the Matterhorn
“Rising majestically to a staggering altitude of 4,500 meters, the iconic Matterhorn reigns supreme at the border of Italy and Switzerland. Its pyramid-like structure looms over the picturesque town of Zermatt, beckoning outdoor enthusiasts with endless opportunities for skiing, hiking, and basking in breathtaking vistas. A true marvel of nature, this mighty mountain is a playground for those seeking adventure and a sanctuary for those seeking solace in its awe-inspiring presence.”
“If your arrival falls between the months of July and September, you will find that one of the most sought-after activities is none other than climbing. The Matterhorn offers four distinct routes for climbers to embark on, all starting from the charming town of Zermatt. Among these, the North-East route reigns supreme as the most popular choice, having been the very path taken during the historic first ascent in 1865.”
“The duration of a summit on a combination of Grade 2 (exposed edged ridges) and Grade 3 (some hard, technical climbing) terrain can vary between eight to 12 hours, depending on weather conditions. However, the last stretch of the climb proves to be particularly challenging due to snow and altitude sickness, making it suitable only for experienced and physically fit climbers.”
2. Visit the Top of Europe at the Jungfraujoch
“The Jungfraujoch, nestled between the majestic peaks of Jungfrau and Mönch in the Bernese Alps, is a glacial pass that offers unrivaled views of the snow-capped landscape. A visit to the Jungfrau Region is a must for any adventurer seeking to bask in the beauty of the open vistas and breathtaking scenery. However, the true highlight of this experience lies in reaching the summit of the mountain.
Rising to a staggering altitude of 3,454 meters, the Jungfrau Railway is the highest train line in all of Europe. Its journey takes passengers through a tunnel, with stops at stations that offer unique windows for viewing the awe-inspiring Eiger peak. But the real treat awaits at the top, where visitors can explore hiking trails that lead into the glacier, marvel at the breathtaking views from the 3,572-meter-high viewing platform, and even visit one of the world’s highest astronomical observatories. The Jungfraujoch truly is a masterpiece of nature, waiting to be discovered by all who dare to embark on this unforgettable journey.”
3. Get Lost in Swiss National Park
“Located in the heart of Switzerland lies the country’s sole national park, spanning an impressive 175 square kilometers of breathtaking mountain terrain. With its picturesque Alpine meadows, crystal blue lakes, and sprawling moors, this park has become a top destination for tourists seeking a taste of nature’s untouched beauty.
For avid hikers, there are over 80 kilometers of trails to explore in this untouched haven, where nature has been allowed to thrive in its purest form. As you traverse through the park, you may encounter a variety of wildlife such as ibexes, chamois, and even golden eagles.
For a truly spectacular experience, embark on the 21-kilometer-long Lakes of Macun hike, offering stunning views of turquoise blue lakes. Alternatively, the 13-kilometer-long hike to Munt la Schera, bordering Italy, provides breathtaking vistas of the neighboring Stelvio National Park.
One cannot miss the opportunity to hike through the enchanting Val Cluozza, especially during the spring or autumn months when the trees transform into a vibrant sea of colors and the wildflowers bloom in abundance. This park truly encapsulates the essence of Switzerland’s natural beauty and is a must-visit for any nature enthusiast.”
4. Watch the World from Above at the Interlaken Viewing Platform
“Interlaken’s picturesque surroundings and breathtaking landscapes are a major attraction for nature lovers. It comes as no surprise that the most spectacular view of Interlaken’s natural beauty can be found from atop the 1,322-meter-high Harder Kulm mountain, home to the Interlaken viewing platform. This popular spot offers a dreamy escape for both thrill-seekers and photography enthusiasts alike. To reach the top, one can either take a ride on the century-old funicular railway or embark on a challenging hike. Once there, the best spot for capturing panoramic photos is the “Two Lakes Bridge” viewing platform, which boasts stunning views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, with the charming town of Interlaken nestled in between. On clear days, the majestic Jungfrau and Eiger mountains can also be admired from this vantage point. And for those looking for a cozy retreat during the colder months, a delightful restaurant serving traditional Swiss and European cuisine (with a few surprises from other regions) awaits.”
5. Go Canoeing or Kayaking on Lake Geneva
“Nestled between France and Switzerland (with the latter owning 60 percent of its shores), lies the majestic Lake Geneva. Its vast, deep waters hold an abundance of wonders waiting to be discovered. For those seeking a serene connection with nature amidst breathtaking landscapes, Lake Geneva is a haven of tranquility.
While indulging in a sightseeing boat tour or a romantic dinner cruise is a must in Geneva, the true thrill lies in renting a canoe or kayak to embark on a personal exploration. The lake’s charming towns and villages each boast their own rental shops, making it convenient to set sail and immerse in the turquoise waters and picturesque surroundings.
For those craving a more adrenaline-fueled adventure, pedal boats and water skis are available for rent. And on a scorching day, why not take a refreshing dip in the clean waters, with temperatures reaching a pleasant 20-plus degrees Celsius. Lake Geneva offers endless possibilities for a day filled with excitement and serenity, all set against a stunning backdrop of nature’s beauty.”
6. Go Skiing near St. Moritz
“For centuries, St. Moritz has reigned as the reigning monarch of European skiing, captivating the hearts of travelers from far and wide. Its cosmopolitan charm and unparalleled glamour make it a must-visit destination, having hosted numerous Winter Olympics and solidifying its status as one of the most coveted Swiss winter resorts.
Perched at an impressive elevation of 1,800 meters above sea level, this picturesque Alpine retreat boasts exceptional gastronomy and is home to the renowned Cresta Run, a 1.2-kilometer ice toboggan track that draws thrill-seekers from all corners of the globe.
Of course, skiing remains the crown jewel of St. Moritz’s offerings. With an impressive 87 pistes and a vast network of 155 kilometers of slopes, skiers and snowboarders of all levels will feel right at home here. The ski season spans from early December to early April, boasting plenty of sunshine and a guaranteed snowfall thanks to its lofty altitude and state-of-the-art snowmaking technology.”
7. Catch the Cable Car to the Top of Mount Titlis
“Standing tall at a staggering height of 3,238 meters, Mount Titlis reigns as one of the most majestic peaks in the Swiss Alps. But its grandeur doesn’t stop there. Nestled within its snowy slopes lies a one-of-a-kind attraction – the world’s only rotating cable car.
Embark on a thrilling five-minute journey aboard the TITLIS Xpress cable car, as it ascends to the mountain’s summit. With a complete 360-degree rotation, the ride offers unparalleled views of the picturesque Engelberg Valley.
But the adventure doesn’t end there. At the mountain’s peak, prepare to be mesmerized by Europe’s highest-elevation suspension bridge – the Titlis Cliff Walk. Spanning one kilometer and only one meter wide, this pedestrian bridge is not for the faint of heart. Endure the strong winds and snow as you walk along this narrow path, and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views that have been hailed as some of the most awe-inspiring in the world.”
“Descend to explore the vast network of skiing trails spanning over 80 kilometers, nestled at the base of majestic Mount Titlis. This snowy paradise boasts a ski season that extends until May, providing endless opportunities for exhilarating winter sports. However, even as the summit remains blanketed in perpetual snow, the lower slopes bask in the warmth of mild summers, inviting hikers to revel in the stunning beauty of the surroundings. A harmonious blend of contrasting seasons, making Mount Titlis a year-round haven for adventure seekers.”
8. Take a Boat Tour of the Rhine Falls
“Nestled in the picturesque landscape of northern Switzerland lies a natural wonder that has captivated visitors for over 14,000 years. Standing at a towering height of 23 meters, Europe’s most formidable waterfall has stood the test of time. Once harnessed to power a millsite, this majestic force of nature now reigns as a must-see tourist destination.
To truly immerse oneself in the grandeur of the falls, one must come as close as possible to hear its deafening roar and witness its thunderous power. A boat ride to the heart of the falls offers the perfect vantage point, where one can ascend the Middle Rock and be rewarded with breathtaking 360-degree views of the Rhine Falls.
On either side of the falls, ancient castles stand as a testament to the rich history of the region. While the Worth Castle boasts a more intriguing tour, it is the Laufen Castle, dating back to the year 858, that offers unparalleled viewing platforms with a circular walkway. Step back in time and be awestruck by the beauty and splendor of this natural wonder, surrounded by the remnants of a bygone era.”
9. Ride the Glacier Express
Affectionately known as the world’s slowest express train, the Glacier Express is slow on purpose. It comes equipped with huge panoramic carriages, so you can absorb the stunning views as it travels across fairy-tale Alpine villages, snowcapped mountains, and dramatic tunnels and bridges.
If you were to travel the entire route – from Zermatt to Saint Moritz – the journey would take eight hours and cost quite a bit of money. If you can only pick a section to travel on, the trip between Andermatt and Disentis is a perfect choice.
It takes just over an hour on the Glacier Express and crosses over the Oberalp Pass, 2,000 meters above sea level. Although beautiful all year, it’s particularly stunning in winter, when the surrounding mountains are completely covered in powdery-white snow.
10. Hike in Grindelwald
“Nestled in the verdant Grindelwald valley, lies the quaint village of Grindelwald, encircled by majestic peaks soaring to a staggering height of 4,000 meters. Among these towering giants are the Lower Grindelwald Glacier and the renowned climbing haven, Fiescherhorn.
While the village itself boasts its own alluring charms, it is most renowned as the starting point for some of the most picturesque hikes in all of Switzerland.
A must-do on any adventurer’s list is the 16-kilometer trek from First to Schynige Platte, which commences with a scenic gondola ride up the mountain. Take a moment to bask in the breathtaking views from the top before embarking on the journey. Stay on the designated trail and be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the snow-capped Bernese Alps, the iconic Jungfrau, and a plethora of sapphire lakes.
For a more leisurely yet equally awe-inspiring hike, the Bachese lake trail is a popular choice, spanning a mere six kilometers round trip.
Or for the intrepid souls, the strenuous 5.6-kilometer Grosse Scheidegg to Bussalp hike awaits, offering a challenging ascent and unparalleled vistas of the Grindelwald Glacier.”
11. Climb to the Top of the Grossmünster for Amazing Views Over Zurich
The Romanesque-style Grossmünster church was built in the 1100s, and its twin towers, with its medieval columns and neo-Gothic tops, are the most iconic structure in Zürich.
Step inside for the beautiful stained-glass windows and a cloister museum dedicated to the Reformation, a 16th-century religious reform movement.
Most people coming to the church are there for the views, though. Climb the 187 stone and wood steps to the top of the towers, and you’ll find four outside viewing platforms. From here, you’ll have the best open views over some of Zurich’s top sights, including Zurich’s Old Town, the nearby Fraumünster church, and the river Limmat.
12. Explore Lake Lucerne’s Chapel Bridge
“The picturesque village of Grindelwald nestled in the Grindelwald valley is a sight to behold. It is surrounded by majestic blue mountains that give it a fjord-like appearance, making it seem like a scene from a fairy tale. Adding to its charm are the historic paddle wheel steamer boats that call the GrindelLake home.
A boat trip is the perfect way to explore the beauty of Lake Lucerne, but the heart of the lake lies in the town of Lucerne and its iconic Chapel Bridge, also known as Kapellbrücke. This 205-meter-long covered wooden bridge, built in the 1300s, boasts stunning 17th-century paintings on its ceiling.
Unfortunately, a fire in 1993 destroyed 100 of the original 147 paintings, but they have since been replaced with 19th-century paintings from museum storage. At the end of the bridge stands a 43-meter-tall tower, originally used for water storage but now housing a souvenir shop after serving as a prison and archive over the centuries. The bridge is not only a popular tourist spot but also offers breathtaking views of the town and the distant blue mountains.
While Grindelwald village has its own allure, it is most famous as the starting point for some of the most breathtaking hikes in Switzerland. The Lower Grindelwald Glacier and the Fiescherhorn are just two of the stunning 4,000-meter-high peaks that surround the village.
A must-do hike is the 16-kilometer journey from First to Schynige Platte, which begins with a gondola ride up the mountain. Take a moment at the top to soak in the panoramic views before embarking on the trail. As you hike, you will be rewarded with views of the snow-capped Bernese Alps, the Jungfrau, and several deep blue lakes.
Another popular hike is the 6-kilometer round trip to Bachese lake, offering breathtaking views in an easy trek. For a more challenging adventure, the 5.6-kilometer Grosse Scheidegg to Bussalp hike is an option, with its steep elevation and stunning views of the Grindelwald Glacier. Let Grindelwald and its surroundings take your breath away with its enchanting beauty and endless possibilities for exploration.”
13. Visit Gruyères, the Cheese Capital of the World
“When one thinks of Switzerland, it is natural to envision decadent chocolate. However, the renowned Gruyère Swiss cheese also has its roots in this picturesque country. Perched atop a lush, forested hill and overlooking a serene lake, the medieval town of Gruyères is a charming destination. Its medieval castle and trackless train add to its allure, while its small population of just over 2,000 residents gives it a quaint charm. Despite its rural setting, Gruyères attracts a steady stream of curious tourists who seek to experience the birthplace of the famous cheese and bask in the verdant pastures that surround it. Nearby, the village of Pringy boasts its own cheese factory, offering visitors the opportunity to tour the facility and indulge in some delectable cheese fondue.”
14. Step Back in Time at the Château Chillon
“The island castle of Lake Geneva has a rich history that dates back to its origins as a Roman outpost. Over the centuries, it has undergone numerous expansions and reconstructions, eventually transforming into the impressive structure we see today. However, its purpose has also evolved, serving as a prison in the 16th century and later as an ammunition depot. Despite falling into disuse for some time, the castle was eventually revitalized in the 1800s.
Today, the Chillon castle stands as a testament to the remarkable reconstruction efforts of the late 19th century. However, even before its completion, the castle had already attracted the attention of renowned individuals. From Alexandre Dumas to Mary Shelley, writers and poets flocked to this enchanting location in search of inspiration and solitude.
For modern-day visitors, the castle offers a unique experience of admiring its majestic beauty from the water during a scenic lake cruise. Alternatively, one can also explore the medieval gates and wander through the castle’s halls and chambers on a self-guided tour. The lower levels still bear traces of its past as a prison, while the rest of the castle boasts impressive art exhibits, antique collections, and original features that transport visitors back in time.”