Whether you are visiting Switzerland for the first time or planning a dedicated Swiss Alps holiday, there are so many amazing places to visit in the Swiss Alps; you may want to extend your Swiss itinerary.
From hiking to skiing, even camping in Switzerland, there’s good reason Switzerland’s magnificent Alps lure millions of visitors each year.
The Swiss Alps
While Switzerland is relatively small, it is bursting at the seams with natural attractions and boasts some of the most beautiful destinations in the world.
With more than two hundred peaks higher than 3,000 meters above sea level, many of the best places to visit in Switzerland are dominated by glaciers and soaring alps.
The alpine countryside serves up quintessential postcard views worth visiting at any time of year: crystalline alpine lakes, ancient castles, and breathtaking mountain peaks in every direction.
It is also in the Swiss Alps where you can discover much of Switzerland’s culinary heritage.
From the most beautiful towns in the Swiss Alps to national parks and iconic Swiss landscapes. Here are a few of the most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland.
When is the best time to visit Europe? See our guide on the best time of year to visit Europe based on what you want to see and do.
Straddling the border of Switzerland and Italy, at 4,478 meters above sea level, the Matterhorn, with its near-perfect symmetrical pyramid peak is one of the highest summits in the Swiss Alps and Europe.
At the base of the legendary Matterhorn is the village of Zermatt. The mountain resort attracts tourists year-round from all over the world. Zermatt offers a host of stunning vantage points from which to admire and photograph the Matterhorn. The alpine playground also provides a host of things to do any time of year.
Learn about the people who have conquered the peak and those who died trying at the Zermatlantis Matterhorn Museum and Mountaineers’ Cemetery. Explore a glacier, ski mid-summer, hike some of Switzerland’s most breathtaking trails, or climb one of Europe’s highest mountains.
All possible thanks to record-breaking infrastructure around the Matterhorn. From aerial tramways and funiculars to the highest open-air rack railway in Europe and the highest cable car station in the Swiss Alps.
Man’s engineering feats in such an extreme environment has made it possible for anyone to enjoy the Swiss Alps most iconic peaks, not just the most avid explorers.
Add a River Cruise to Your Swiss Itinerary: A river cruise down the Rhine and Moselle between Paris and Zurich is a great addition to your Swiss itinerary.
One of the most popular Matterhorn day trips from Zermatt. Experience the heights of the Alps and marvel at man’s incredible engineering achievement as you climb a glacier from Zermatt up to Gornergrat 3,089 metres above sea level on the cogwheel train.
Enjoy magnificent views over the most famous peaks of the Swiss Alps – Rothorn, Klein, and the world-famous Matterhorn from the year-round viewing platform. Throughout the ride, you will pass some of the most beautiful views in Switzerland with the Matterhorn continually in view.
Tickets are valid for one day; prices start at CHF 90 pp. See here for full tour details and inclusions.
At an altitude of 3454 m, the Jungfraujoch is one of the most exceptional alpine wonderlands. Located in a UNESCO World Heritage area between Mönch and Jungfrau mountains it is one of the most visited mountains in Switzerland.
Aside from the unique glacial attractions around Jungfrau, the nearby areas of Wengen, Murren, Grindelwald, and Lauterbrunnen offer some of the best hiking trails in the world.
The big highlight of The Jungfrau region, though, is getting to the top.
For more than a century, the Jungfrau railway has been making the journey to 3454 metres above sea level to the highest-altitude railway station in Europe.
The train travels steeply for nine kilometres from Kleine Scheidegg, through a seven-kilometre tunnel finished in 1912. Two station stops in the middle of the tunnel offer passengers spectacular views of the glacial wonders of the Alps through a window built in the mountainside.
Enjoy astounding views of the Aletsch Glacier looking into Italy, France and Germany and immerse yourself in a world of ice in the Ice Palace.
Visit Jungfraujoch from Zurich on an all-inclusive day trip. Travel the Brünig Pass and the shores of Lake Brienz to the Bernese Oberland to meet the cog train. Visit the Sphinx Observation Terrace and Plateau for the most striking vistas of the Aletsch Glacier and stroll through the tunnels of the Ice Palace in the heart of the glacier. Get full tour details here.
The Swiss National Park
The Swiss National Park, located in the Western Rhaetian Alps is part of the worldwide UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Covering over 170 square kilometres; the park has over 80 kilometres of hiking paths and nature trails. The first national park was established in the Alps over a century ago, thankfully, little has changed.
A pristine wilderness of forests, lakes, and alpine mountains, the park is also home to an abundance of wildlife.
There are a total of twenty-one hiking routes through the park. The park visitor centre in Zernez has park maps and guides. You can also book a guided hike for around CHF 35. The park closes in winter as part of wildlife conservation and protection practices.
The Monte Carlo of Switzerland. Lugano, in southern Switzerland’s Italian speaking Ticino region, will have you thinking you landed in the Mediterranean.
Popular with celebrities and the like for its stunning scenery and laid back lifestyle, Lugano City sits on the shore of its namesake glacial lake set against the San Salvatore and Brè Mountains.
The main square, Piazza della Riforma has all the charming character you expect from any of Italy’s most enchanting cities and towns flanked with pastel coloured Italianate architecture.
Lakeside promenades, chic shopping streets and lively alfresco restaurants fill the city. It’s not surprising, Lugano has a long reputation as one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland surrounded by charming alpine towns.
Whether you are a romantic or an adrenaline junkie, Interlaken is the springboard for so many of Switzerland’s essential experiences.
The town’s name stems from its location nestled in between the turquoise waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in the mountainous Bernese Highlands.
Characterised by its grand Victorian hotels set against striking mountain vistas, Interlaken is a hotspot for a host of outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking on Lake Brienze, canyoning and paragliding which is extremely popular in the area.
One of the main stops on the Golden Pass Line, Interlaken also connects much of countries train networks and in turn, Switzerland’s most popular attractions.
Enjoy the vistas of Interlaken from above on a tandem paraglide. Enjoy the views of the mountains and lakes on a tandem flight with a skilled pilot. See here for full activity details.
Without a doubt, one of Switzerland’s most popular destinations, a popular day trip from Zurich, Lucerne dishes up old-world charm, striking landscapes and sophisticated shopping streets.
The German-speaking city on the shores of Lake Lucerne appears to be embraced in the panoramas of Mount Rigi and Pilatus.
The gateway to central Switzerland, Lucerne seems to have everything at her fingertips. Take a steamship cruise on the lake, alpine excursions to the peaks of Pilatus or Rigi, explore the streets of the traffic-free Altstadt (Old Town). Or, take the opportunity for some shopping at the many luxury stores located in Lucerne.
We have put together a great 2 Days in Lucerne Itinerary to help you plan your stay.
Lucerne is popular with visitors to Switzerland for a reason and is beautiful to visit any time of year. Situated where the Alps begin, it is the ideal starting point for discovering many of the highlights of Central Switzerland. Its location in relation to Zurich also makes it a great addition if you only have a few days in Switzerland.
Enjoy breathtaking views on a ride to the top of Mt. Pilatus by aerial cable car to enjoy an easy hike through the Alpine scenery on this 5.5 hr tour.
Brave the world’s steepest cogwheel railway as you descend the mountain. Cruise back to Lucerne by boat enjoying views from lake Lucerne. Get full tour details here.