Are you planning a road trip through Europe? Or perhaps you’re planning a holiday to Switzerland and are looking to get some inspiration and direction as to the best things to do in Switzerland?
Well, my friend, welcome!
In this post, I am going to share with you some of the best things to do in Switzerland, some of which I have done and some that are high on my Switzerland bucket list.
From taking on one of the incredible Swiss via ferratas, chocolate tasting during a Swiss Alps road trip, and hiking and skiing in the Swiss Alps all the way to a city break in Geneva and a weekend in Lucerne, you aren’t short of things to do in this diverse European country. Some of the best things to do in Europe can be found in Switzerland.
I’ve done many road trips through Switzerland over the years and as you can tell by the latter list, your trip to Switzerland can include so many incredible types of adventure. I forgot to mention spending a weekend in Zurich, visiting Lake Maggiore and staying in an igloo! Gosh, Switzerland is amazing!
Blog posts and travel guides you may find useful:
- Europe: The Ultimate Travel Guide
- An 8-day itinerary through France & Switzerland
- My 4-day Swiss mountains road trip
- A weekend guide to Lucerne, Switzerland
- How to save money on your Swiss Alps road trip
- My first via ferrata in Switzerland & a weekend in Geneva
- How to spend a weekend in Zurich in summer
Get your bucket list at the ready, by the end of this post you’re going to know the best things to do in Switzerland, the best places to eat in Switzerland and the best adventures to go on in Switzerland.
The best things to do in Switzerland...
1. Road trip through the Swiss Alps.
This is hands down, without a doubt, the best road trip I have ever been on.
Driving through the Swiss Alps and exploring Montreux, Evolene, Saint-Luc and Veyonnaz with my best friend Lydia was so much fun – so much so that I can’t wait to go back in my van! A Swiss Alps road trip, in my opinion, should be near the top of the best things to do in Switzerland… if you like mountains of course.
Watch my road trip come to life in the video below, or check out the my planning guide for a Swiss Alps road trip. You can also see my Swiss Alps road trip itinerary here, and all my top tips on how to save money in Switzerland here.
2. Be a tourist during a city break in Geneva.
Geneva is the biggest city in the French part of Switzerland, and while it might not stand out as one of the best places to visit in Switzerland, you should definitely go at least once. It’s a melting pot of international culture and full of luxury hotels and boutiques, making it a great European weekend away. Popular destinations like Chamonix, Lausanne and Montreux are all a short day-trip away so you’ll never be short of places to see or things to do in Switzerland. It’s the perfect city break for anyone who loves science as there is the CERN, and for anyone who loves swimming in lakes, make sure that you don’t miss out on a dip in Lac Léman (Lake Geneva).
Just across Lake Geneva you’ll find Château d’Oex, the hot air ballooning capital of the world. From here you can set off on a hot air balloon ride across The Alps, a once in a lifetime experience for your Switzerland bucket list!
3. Spend a summer weekend in Zurich.
One of the best things to do in Switzerland in summer is to visit Zurich. Zurich (the largest of the Swiss cities) sits on Lake Zurich, the main selling point of this destination for me. I enjoyed a diverse weekend of lake jumping, mountain hiking, catherdral ascending and city mooching, all without venturing far from the city centre at all.
Lake Zurich is filled with the most gorgeous shade of turquoise fresh water which is clear enough to see through, swim through and runs through the whole city. Yup, you’ll witness people jumping in to cool off left, right and centre and we did exactly the same.
4. Get close to nature at the Swiss National Park and go hiking in Switzerland.
The Swiss National Park is the Alps’ oldest national park. It was founded in 1914 is located in the canton of Graubünden in eastern Switzerland. It’s the ultimate place to be at one with nature and one of the best places to visit in Swizterland. With over 80 kilometres of hiking trails, it’s one of the best places to go hiking in Swizterland. In this park you may also be lucky enough to see ibexes, chamois, marmots, golden eagles and bearded vultures.
Conservation of the park has been extremely successful, partly because it is forbidden to leave the trails, a rule that you must remember.
Hiking in the Swiss Alps is one of the best things to do in Switzerland and a completely unforgettable experience. Switzerland is packed with beautiful trails, stunning mountain peaks and quieter valleys to explore, especially in Grindelwald. It is easy to navigate because there are clearly signposted pathways, lifts and buses, as well as apps such as ‘SwitzerlandMobility’ that help you navigate your hiking route.
5. Go skiing with a view of the Matterhorn.
One of the top things to do in Switzerland is to hit the slopes in the Alpine region, and one of the best places to go skiing in Switzerland is in the shadow of the Matterhorn, the infamous rock within the Alps. From the fresh powdery snow to the fun apres-ski parties, as well as the absolutely stunning views, you’re guaranteed to make some memories to last a lifetime. There are also places near the Matterhorn for you to stay in an igloo in Switzerland, if you’re looking for a completely unique thing to do in Switzerland!
If you don’t want to be in teh snow, you can see the iconic Matterhorn in different ways. Head to the summit of the Rothorn, a short 30 minute cable car journey away from Zermatt, and you’ll get to the most beautiful panorama of the Swiss Alps.
6. Indulge in the local Swiss cheese, wine and chocolate.
One of the best things to do in Switzerland (if not THE best) is to try Swiss chocolate and cheese. Switzerland is known globally for its amazing chocolate, with famous brands such as Lindt and Toblerone originating in Switzerland! Head into a local chocolatier and try some of the world’s best chocolate… I promise you’ll never look at chocolate the same way again!
Gruyères is famous for its cheese and one of the best things to do in Switzerland is to visit this medieval town and try it for yourself. La Maison du Gruyère offer tours about the cheese making process and you can even try some when you’re there!
7. Visit the Rhines, the biggest waterfall in Europe.
The Rhine Falls, the biggest waterfall in Europe, should definitely be on your Switzerland bucket list. The falls are a perfect day trip destination from Zurich, which is only 47 km away. One of the best things to do in Switzerland is to experience the power of the water as it cascades down 23m across a width of 150m. There are viewing platforms so close to the Rhine Falls that you can touch the water, and there’s also a boat that takes you to a rock in the middle of the falls. Those of you looking to learn more about history and culture will enjoy the castles on either side of the falls.
8. Spend a weekend in Lucerne.
Another great place to visit in Switzerland is Lucerne. The small city of Lucerne is centrally located in the Swiss-German speaking region of Switzerland.
Roughly one-fifth the size of Zurich, Lucerne is a microcosm of the rest of the country with its namesake lake reflecting the towering peaks of Mount Pilatus and Mount Titlis. Make sure that when you are in Lucerne you take a trip to these mountains!
One of the best things to do in Switzerland in summer is to take a dip in Lake Lucerne! The River Reuss flows through the outstandingly preserved and charming squares of the Old Town, a wonderful place to grab coffee and watch the world go by.
There is also the Golden Pass train line that runs between Lucerne and Montreux, a must-do on your Switzerland bucket list if you love trains and beautiful views of lakes, mountains, valleys and rivers!
9. Visit Jungfraujoch, the top of Europe.
If you’re after scenic train rides in Switzerland and absolutely stunning views of the glaciers, one of the best things to do in Switzerland is taking the train to Jungfraujoch. At 3,454 metres, Jungfraujoch Top of Europe is the highest train station in Europe, overlooking the Aletsch glacier, the longest in the Alps. The views from the top of the mountains are jaw-droppingly beautiful. The Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn region is a UNESCO World Heritage site and people from all over the world come to admire this stunning mountain scenery.
10. Take on a via ferrata.
I absolutely love Via Ferrata adventures and in Switzerland, you are never too far from one.
These ‘iron paths’ built into the rocks consist of ladders, bridges and all sorts of challenges and will guide your climb, making it a little more ‘straight forward’ than rock climbing but believe me, they aren’t to be underestimated.
I did the Via Ferrata of the Belvédère in Nax, Valais. This is considered to be a beginner’s via ferrata so great if you’ve never done one before!
Check out my trip to Nax and my via ferrata experience here. You cannot beat those views!
What are your favourite things to do in Switzerland?
Where are your favourite places to visit in Switzerland? Anything you’d add to this Switzerland bucket list?
Love as always and happy adventuring,
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