It is tough to pick the most beautiful cities in Switzerland when the entire country is a picture-perfect paradise.
Blessed with gorgeous landscapes comprising the mystic snow-capped Alps, glaciers, stunning lakes, majestic waterfalls, out-of-the-world fairytale villages and towns, historic old medieval cities and market squares amidst a maze of cobbled streets – There are plenty of beautiful places in Switzerland to visit.
Despite being landlocked and relatively small, there are plenty of tourist attractions and splendid Instagrammable locations.
Plus, not to mention the traditional Swiss cuisine, chocolates, wine and stunning shopping districts, it is one of the most enchanting countries in Europe.
If you are wondering where to go in Switzerland, this post is for you as you will discover the most beautiful Swiss cities you can add to your bucket list.
This is the list of the best places in Switzerland to include on your itinerary, encompassing beautiful lakes, mountains and resort towns.
MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN SWITZERLAND
Bern, the fairytale capital city located on the banks of the Aare River, is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland.
Home to many buildings at least 500 years old, Bern is the city you must visit if you want to feel transported back in time.
To top this, the majestic Alps form the quintessential signature Swiss backdrop on the horizon, which makes Bern one of the top places to visit in Switzerland.
Things to do in Bern
If you don’t believe my words about this beautiful city in Switzerland, head to the old town of Bern, Altstadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It comprises over three miles of cobbled lanes lined with traditional buildings that have turned into shops, leading to the square housing sandstone-arcaded 500-year-old buildings.
The streets in the old town are the longest in Europe to house shopping arcades. Take a walk through these luxurious streets comprising houses with vibrant flowers, beautifying the city further.
Bern is called the City of Fountains, thanks to its many 16th-century ornate fountains that you can see everywhere in the old town.
Check out Zytglogge, a medieval astrological with moving puppets similar to the one in Munich’s St.Mary’s square.
This clock tower is one of the landmarks of Bern. Also, check out the tallest Gothic Cathedral in Switzerland, Münster.
Parliament Square is another top attraction that you shouldn’t miss. Bundeshaus, the imposing parliament building, dominate it. Also nearby is Bundesplatz, the local market perfect for shopping.
Bern is home to excellent museums and art galleries that you must visit, such as the Bern Historical Museum, Einsteinhaus – Einstein’s house, the Alpine Museum of Switzerland, and Zentrum Paul Klee, which has the most extensive collection of art pieces. Art lovers will also enjoy visiting the Bern Museum of Art.
In summer, you can enjoy a picnic in the Rosengarten, which offers stunning views of the Aare river and the Old Town.
Where to stay in Bern?
One of my favourites, Lauterbrunnen, must be the most beautiful city in Switzerland. Thanks to its fantastic location, this town is blessed with surreal valleys, surrounded by cliffs with greenery.
And these cliffs at many places lead to some 70+ spectacular waterfalls, the most famous being 300 meter-high Staubbach Falls.
If you are looking for a Swiss paradise to experience beautiful Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen should be on your bucket list.
This charming town in Switzerland inspired J. R. R. Tolkien to create Rivendell—an imaginary realm.
Things to do in Lauterbrunnen
Visit one of the many viewing platforms that offer splendid 360-degree views of beautiful landscapes.
Watch the impressive glacial waters of Trümmelbach Falls as they rush through the mountains. You can rent a car and drive to many of the waterfalls.
Where to stay in Lauterbrunnen?
If you want to get lost in the wonders of Switzerland, topped with seemingly unending views of stunning mountains, Interlaken is where you should be headed.
Interlaken is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland, from where you can witness the three majestic mountains of the Bernese Oberland – the Jungfrau, the Eiger and the Monch.
Its excellent location at the foot of these Alpine mountain ranges makes it one of the most enchanting cities in Europe.
Sandwiches between two lakes, Brienz and Thun, Interlaken is the perfect Swiss city that fits the bill in every aspect.
Things to do in Interlaken
Interlaken will probably be your best place in Switzerland if you enjoy the outdoors. Interlaken is known as the outdoor and adventure capital of the country.
The city is the starting point for many hikes and mountain villages.
In summer, you can go hiking in one of the many forested mountains and camp amidst alpine meadows for stunning views dotted with vibrant wildflowers.
You can enjoy paddle-boating and kayaking in one of the lakes or try hand gliding. You can check off Paragliding over the Alps and the glacial lakes from your bucket list in Interlaken.
The city turns into a wonderland resort town during winter, with Alpine glaciers forming perfect places for snowboarding and skiing.
Recommended: From Zurich: Day Trip to Grindelwald & Interlaken
Where to stay in Interlaken?
Zermatt and Matterhorn
Zermatt, the famous city for mountaineering, is home to the highest mountain Matterhorn, one of the iconic landmarks and the most photographed place in the country.
Zermatt is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland. It is one of the most popular cities in Switzerland and receives a lot of travelers throughout the year.
Boasting the Alp’s highest mountain is no small feat. Located at the foot of these, Zermatt is surrounded by exceptional natural beauty – glaciers, snow-capped mountains, alpine meadows, surreal valleys and rivers amidst the hills.
Neatly decorated wooden chalets and century-old barns complete this postcard-perfect landscape that Zermatt possesses.
Things to do in Zermatt
You can hike to one of the many mountains that bless Zermatt if you are here during the spring and summer seasons.
If you are a serious hiker, get on the 300-mile Matterhorn Trail, passing through some of the most rugged Swiss landscapes you can witness, dotted with alpine forests and flower meadows.
Over 60+ mountain railway routes are waiting for you, so hop on one of the scenic trains to take the most beautiful railway routes in Switzerland.
If you are here in summer, visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Europe’s most prominent and highest-lying summer skiing region.
Did you know? To date, no Motorized vehicles are allowed in the village of Zermatt, and you can travel by one horse-drawn carriage, which makes it one of the prettiest villages in Switzerland transporting you back in time.
And to reach the mountains, cable cars are the way to go. These cars are filled with people heading to the mountain tops for a splendid skiing holiday in winter.
Stop at the Museum of Mountaineering if you’re interested in learning about the hiking trails and history of the region.
Where to stay in Zermatt?
MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN SWITZERLAND
Zurich, the largest city in the country, is located on the banks of the pretty eponymous Lake and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland.
If you are visiting Switzerland for the first time, Zurich is the perfect base to explore many other stunning attractions, thanks to excellent connectivity and proximity.
Things to do in Zurich
Surrounded by the magnificent, unparalleled views of the snow-covered Alps, a historic old town, over fifty museums, fantastic shopping centres and a bustling nightlife with lots of pubs, bars and clubs, there are plenty of things to do and see in Zurich, one of the best Switzerland cities.
If you are in Zurich in August, you can participate in the vibrant Street Parade – a techno music festival.
Hundreds of thousands of electronic and techno music fans dance around Zurich’s Lake basin. The city becomes a party paradise during the parade.
Explore Altstadt, the famous old town on the banks of the Limmat River, with medieval buildings decorated with fresco paintings and colourful flowers.
The main attractions in the old quarter include Grossmünster and Münsterbrücke Cathedrals.
Also, don’t miss checking out St.Peter’s Cathedral, which boasts Europe’s most massive clock face.
Shopping enthusiasts should head to Brahonstrasse, one of the world’s most expensive shopping streets.
The road is the best and the latest in fashion, so pick up the latest here. Also, this street is packed with shops for plenty of lovely souvenirs.
If you want to enjoy hiking, check out Uetliberg Mountain trails.
Where to stay in Zurich?
Lucerne, located at the foot of Mount Pilatus, is considered one of the prettiest cities in the world.
Sitting at the edge of scenic Lake Lucerne, with the stunning Alps forming a gorgeous backdrop in all directions, it is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland.
You will find the city irresistibly charming.
You can’t help being bedazzled by its rugged natural beauty, picture-perfect old town with gable paintings, historic buildings, iconic bridges, traditional town squares and lovely cobbled streets.
Things to do in Lucerne
Head to the magnificent 14th-century Chapel Bridge, a covered wooden bridge with ceiling beams lined with paintings. It is one of Switzerland’s oldest bridges and the most photographed landmark.
Reach the other end of this bridge to come across the historic Octagonal Water Tower, another famous monument, a former medieval dungeon and a treasury vault.
Take a boat trip on the river to the neighbouring idyllic small villages that are even more beautiful, sitting at the foot of the mountains.
You can also take a lake tour on one of the steamships, which is very romantic.
Walk amidst the old houses decorated with frescoes on the cobbled streets leading to the old town. Enjoy a walk around the stunning Lake Lucerne for incredible views, especially during the sunset.
Take a ride on the double-decker tram to reach the summit of Mount Stanserhorn for glorious views of the panorama from the top. You can also hike on the trails leading to many viewpoints.
You can plan many day trips from Lucern to enjoy the nearby mountains, the most popular being Mount Pilatus, which can be reached by cable car.
Where to stay in Lucerne?
Basel is the third-largest city on two sides of the banks of the Rhine River. Located between Germany and France, Basel is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland.
It should be on your itinerary, known for its blend of architectural forms, vibrant museums, carnivals, and many shopping stores.
Did you know? You can travel to Germany and France within an hour from Basel on a tram. Imagine checking off two countries this quickly!
Things to do in Basel
Due to its proximity to these countries, Basel is a melting pot of culture, architecture, history and gastronomy.
Start with the city’s heart, the most ancient old quarter dominated by the market square, adorned with beautiful medieval buildings.
The central attractions of the square are the Romanesque-Gothic cathedral and the City Town Hall.
Basel is home to around 40 museums, most related to arts, because of which Basel gets the name The City of Arts.
You should check out the most popular ones are the Basel Art Museum, the Fondation Beyeler and the Museum of Cultures.
Where to stay in Basel?
Geneva, located on the edge of the Lake of the same name, is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland that you should visit.
Surrounded by the classic Alps, the city is a perfect blend of the old and the new worlds, with the historic medieval ruins entwined with the modern multi-storey buildings flanked by abundant natural beauty.
Geneva, one of the best cities to visit in Switzerland, has many feathers in its cap.
It is the administrative centre, the headquarters of many international organizations such as the International Red Cross Committee, the European headquarters of the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization, to name a few.
Things to do in Geneva
Explore Geneva’s well-preserved old town, home to many medieval structures, including the central Gothic cathedral of St Pierre.
Walk to Bourg-de-Four Square, the oldest area, and another beautiful square Molard, known for its bell tower.
Take a cable car ride to the top of Mont Saleve for stunning views of the Alps and Lake Geneva along with its skyline.
Lake Geneva is one of the most visited places in Switzerland. This magnificent Lake, surrounded by the spectacular snow-capped Alps, is the largest Alpine Lake in Europe.
There are plenty of Swiss villages – hidden gems along this Lake that you can visit if you are here for a longer time.
One of the most famous attractions of the Lake is the 150-meter-high Jet d’Eau fountain.
Also, check out the Grand Theatre and the Opera House. Check out the flower clock made of thousands of flowers.
Next, take a tour of the United Nations building and if you want to add a museum to your itinerary, check out the League of Nations Museum.
Where to stay in Geneva?
Montreux, located on the shores of Lake Geneva, is one of the best places to go in Switzerland.
It is renowned for the Montreux Jazz Festival, held in July, the second-largest jazz festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors daily.
From the vast varieties of cheese to snow-capped mountain views to charming old towns sprinkled with colonial cobblestone roads, Montreux is one of the most scenic places in Switzerland.
Things to do in Montreux
Explore the streets of the old town walking through the maze of streets lined with beautiful medieval structures topped with flowering pots.
A few hiking trails from the old quarter square take you to incredible viewpoints and villages. If you take the route of Chauderon Gauges, you can reach the stunning Glion village.
You can rent a mountain bike and ride to Vevey. You can take a boat tour or a romantic cruise on the Lake.
Explore the vast and pretty Lavaux vineyard and take a wine-tasting tour.
If you enjoy museums like me, I’d highly recommend the Swiss Camera Museum and the Montreux Museum to understand the region’s rich history.
Take a guided tour of Chaplin’s World, located in Chaplin’s Vevey house. It has Chaplin’s costumes and movie clips playing around in the museum.
Where to stay in Montreux?
If you are looking for a warmer destination in Switzerland, St Moritz comprising villages and towns is one of the prettiest places in Switzerland.
With more than 300+ sunny days awaiting you, St Moritz is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland in Winter.
It is a popular holiday destination, a resort town for celebrities, billionaires and the rich, thanks to the incredible beauty of Swiss landscapes along the Engadin Valley comprising of beautiful lakes, glaciers, and alpine forests and home to the oldest resort in the world.
But the expensive rates shouldn’t discourage you because another section, St. Moritz Bad, has more affordable options to enjoy a scenic holiday in this mountain city.
Things to do in St Moritz
You can enjoy a wide range of activities, from snowboarding to skiing to skating to sledging. The summer months are best for hiking along some of the gorgeous routes in the country.
Try sledging on the toboggan track from St Moritz that passes through the stunning villages of Celerina and Cresta.
There are plenty of luxurious spas to pamper yourself. Don’t forget to try many traditional Swiss cuisines too.
MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN SWITZERLAND – OFFBEAT
In the Southern part of the country bordering Italy is the magnificent Lake Lugano.
On the shores of this Lake is the city of Lugano, which is unlike the other cities in the country, more Meditteranean than Swiss, thanks to the Italian influence running deep in the food, drinks, history and culture.
Lugano is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland, perfect for first-time travellers.
Things to do in Lugano
Walk amidst the old town dotted with many cobbled squares lined with souvenir-selling shops, Italian cafes, medieval buildings, Cathedrals and restaurants. Don’t miss trying the gelatos.
If you are an art buff, take the Lugano art and culture guided tour to learn more about the culture of this quaint town.
Take one of the cable cars(funicular) of Monte San Salvatore to get down to one of the many fairytale villages like Carona for its Cathedrals or Morcote for its medieval town and lovely botanical garden.
Where to stay in Lugano?
Lausanne is another city located along the shores of Lake Geneva.
This hill city, situated on the slope of a plateau, is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland, known for its sweeping views of the Lake and Alpine mountains.
This city has a long history, and its spectacular beauty has drawn philosophers and thinkers who came here for pondering and inspiration, the most notable among them being Rousseau and Voltaire.
Things to do in Lausanne
Explore the charming medieval old town dominated by the 12th-century Gothic Lausanne Cathedral, surrounded by many smaller middle-aged structures, some of which have been converted into cute cafes and restaurants.
Lausanne is a city of museums, and you can spend many days exploring them alone.
The most famous is The Olympic Museum, which is the largest museum dedicated to Olympic history and events, with over 10,000 artefacts.
Visit the 19th-century Palais de Rumine building, which houses five museums related to arts and science. Climb the top of the lovely wooden tower Sauvabelin to get splendid panoramic views of the city.
If you love water activities, enjoy sailing or take a boat trip to the Lake. Go for the region cruise tour if you have spare time.
Where to stay in Lausanne?
If you are looking for one of the best cities in Switzerland to visit that has fewer crowds or commercialization, you should Winterthur, one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland.
Most people visit Winterthur as one of the day trips from Zurich due to its close location.
But if you have time, I recommend you spend at least two days or more as there are many things to do and enjoy a quiet holiday in beautiful Switzerland.
Things to do in Winterthur
Head to the old quarter to get glimpses of the medieval past of Winterthur, which is also one of the best places for shopping – thanks to many shops selling souvenirs in the local markets.
One of the most stunning Castles in Switzerland is outside the city, Kyburg Castle overlooking the Töss river, which also houses a history museum.
Art lovers should check out the Oskar Reinhart Museum, one of Europe’s finest collections of art and photographs.
Science lovers will love visiting the Swiss Science Center Technorama, a large Science Museum.
Where to stay in Winterthur?
St. Gallen is a lovely city close to Lake Constance in the country’s northeastern part.
It is one of the best places to be visited in Switzerland if you want to enjoy the beauty and attractions of a Swiss city without crowds.
Things to do in St. Gallen
Gallen is one of the off-beat destinations in Switzerland, but there are many things to do and see in this lovely town.
The city’s top attraction is the beautiful baroque-style monastery, the Abbey of St. Gall, which also houses a twin-towered Church and a great library with an excellent collection of many ancient books.
Gallen was one of the critical trade cities in the country, especially during the medieval period, due to its location close to the border.
Visit the Textile Museum, which has excellent collections about trade history in Gallen.
Go for the photography tour to capture in your lens the cobbled streets lined with pretty houses embellished with flowers and visit the market for shopping.
Enjoy a ride amidst the rolling hills taking in the views of the mountains surrounding the valley.
If you are here in summer, you can enjoy many water activities on the Lake or take a cruise.
Where to stay in St. Gallen?
Fribourg is a lovely city on either side of a gorge, rising above the Sarine River in the western part of the country.
It is one of the most picturesque places in Switzerland, known for its iconic bridges connecting the city’s two sides.
It’s not the river that separates the city, but you can notice two different cultures and even languages in the same town.
If you are looking for the most beautiful city in Switzerland to enjoy all by yourself, head to Fribourg, and you will not be disappointed.
Things to do in Fribourg
Wander through the magnificent medieval old town, at the centre of which is the lovely St-Nicolas Cathedral, which is visible towering over the skyline of Fribourg. Admire the beautiful views from the Pont de Berne bridge.
Fribourg is home to many museums, so if you love visiting them, check out the Museum of History, Swiss Puppet Museum and Gutenburg Museum.
Where to stay in Fribourg?
That’s a wrap for the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. Have you been to Switzerland? If yes, let us know which is your favourite city.
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