Search entire travel group

Explore the different regions to visit in Switzerland

Switzerland

Posted by on 27 Apr 2021 , in Europe

Zurich

Just a stone’s throw away from the Alps, Zürich is the ideal starting point for all kinds of excursions, whether it’s the beginning or end point of your journey throughout Switzerland.

Known as the economic and educational city of Switzerland, you can also enjoy such highlights like the Lake and Old Town which make up the heart of Zürich giving you the opportunity to stroll, enjoy and marvel. Or why not make a visit to Rapperswil, also known as ‘The Town of Roses’, which is the Riviera on Upper Lake Zürich and awaits visitors with its Mediterranean charm and more than 16,000 roses. Or if it’s just rest and relaxation you’re after, you can be in the Swiss mountains in less than an hour where nature lovers can look down onto the bustling city.

Zürich received a modern extension with the impressive new building of the Swiss National Museum. Behind its over 100-year-old walls, history comes to life as visitors gain an insight into how previous generations lived, thought and felt.

Oberhofen Castle with its medieval keep and lake tower is located on the shore of Lake Thun. The castle, which dates back to the early 13th century, houses a living museum.

Zürich’s medieval houses, contorted narrow lanes and guild and town halls from the Renaissance period offer an attractive backdrop for world-class entertainment. A tour of the Old Town lets visitors experience Zürich’s multifaceted past. Explore the Zoo on the Zürichberg, home to more than 340 animal species in near-natural habitats. About 4,000 animals serve as ambassadors for their fellows in the wild. A nature conservation centre involved in international breeding programs and resettlement projects.

Uetliberg is Zürich’s very own mountain. The best way to take in a city is from above. The Uetliberg lookout is just a short train ride and a 10-minute walk away, and the view over the city, lake and Alps is spectacular.

Take the Polybahn cable car up to the ETH Zürich, the Polyterrasse patio offers an amazing view over the Old Town, the lake and city center. Those who haven’t seen Lake Zürich, weren’t in Zürich. When standing next to the famous Ganymede statue on the Bürkliterrasse, you can see as far as the Swiss Alps.

When to visit

The best time to visit Zurich in general is in summer, which is July – September. However, it is very busy during these times. So, shoulder seasons are a good alternative, especially October – November, because the snow hasn't come yet and the weather is usually quite sunny.

November to December - Christmas Markets are a Swiss tradition for the festive season. As Christmas approaches, decorated and illuminated chalets appear in Switzerland’s main cites and the nights are filled with twinkling lights and a cheerful buzz as shoppers explore the stalls and enjoy classic entertainment, drinking in the festive atmosphere. Market stalls showcase local handy crafts, regional food specialties and much more. Some of the best Christmas markets can be found in Montreux, Zürich, Basel, Bern, Wengen, Einsiedeln and Lucerne to name a few, each with its own unique Winter Christmas experiences.

Davos & Graubunden

Davos is a famous winter sports resort located 1560m above sea level, making it the highest town in Europe. It’s located in the Region of Graubunden which is in the south-east of Switzerland, bordering Austria, Italy and Liechtenstein. The town of Davos is split into two parts, Davos Platz in the south-west and Davos Dorf in the north-east and you can walk from one end to the other in about 45minutes. Davos is a large ski resort town with several large hotels and conference centers and doesn’t quite have the glamour’s of St. Moritz or Zermatt which can help keep the cost down a bit. Its all about the natural beauty of the surrounding areas.

The main activities to do in Davos are hiking, biking and swimming in Lake Davos in the summer and any type of snow sport you can think of in the winter. There’s also many restaurants, bars and a casino to keep you entertained throughout your holiday.

The people of Graubunden speak Swiss-Germain, Italian or Rhaeto-Romanic, depending on the subregion

The Bernina Express offers an excellent way to see Garubunden in just a few hours, make sure not to skip it! You should also many sure you include at least one mountain top in your travel plans. The Weisshorn near Arosa is a great one for its stunning 360 degree view. Another very good option is Diavolezza on the Bernina Pass, offering a magnificent view of the Piz Bernina, the highest mountain in Graubünden, and its surrounding glaciers.

When to visit

The warmest months of the year to visit Davos are June to September, with the highest temperature being around 19°C. If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of rain in Davos are February, March and November. If you are after snow in Davos, the best month to visit is February where the snow is the deepest.

Basel

Perfectly situated on the River Rhine in Northwestern Switzerland, sharing a border with France and Germany, Basel is the ideal place for any pre or post cruising, or even if you’re wanting to get a taste of each European country all in one trip as they’re all very easily accessible by rail and can be done as day trips. Gently float down the river past the historic city centre with your clothes protected by an iconic “Wickelfisch”, a watertight sack – this a must for anyone visiting Basel around this time of the year!

A trip to Basel is also not complete without trying the traditional hard spiced biscuit known as the “Läckerli”. You can even try them freshly baked if you decide to do a cooking class!

The Kunstmuseum Basel was recently enhanced by a new building, bringing the total to three. Contemporary art is shown in the Kunstmuseum Basel Gegenwart, about five minutes’ walk from the main building.

Another popular attraction is the Basel Toy World Museum with over 2500 teddy bears, dolls, doll houses, little old shops and carousels: and it’s not only children’s eyes that light up on viewing objects in the Basel Toy World Museum. Here, the lovingly exhibited pieces from all over the world touch the hearts of adults as well.

The Spalentor (Gate of Spalen) is the most magnificent and impressive of the three city gates still remaining from the city fortifications dating from 1400.

Marktplatz, is the market square dominated by the impressive City Hall, the seat of government of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. During the week, the market on the square sells fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers.

Between Basel's five bridges across the Rhine, you will find the CITY'S FOUR FERRIES: “Wilde Maa”, “Leu”, “Vogel Gryff” und “Ueli”, with which you can cross the Rhine without motorised assistance, using only the natural power of the river's current. It is not only tourists that are thrilled by this mode of transport, the inhabitants of the city also regularly use this means of transport around the city.

The Rhine is the artery carrying the lifeblood of the city. It provides recreation, inspiration and has moulded the history and architecture of the city. In the summer months, Basel's inhabitants, students and businessmen flock to the river's banks to sunbath, promenade and generally let their cares melt away in the sunshine.

When to visit

  • May through September is a good range of times to go to Basel. Summer temperatures are pleasant, but nights can be on the warm side in July and August. Winters are cold in Basel, and there is little snow.
  • Summer weather in Basel is mild and known to be rather changeable.
  • November to December - Christmas Markets are a Swiss tradition for the festive season. As Christmas approaches, decorated and illuminated chalets appear in Switzerland’s main cites and the nights are filled with twinkling lights and a cheerful buzz as shoppers explore the stalls and enjoy classic entertainment, drinking in the festive atmosphere. Market stalls showcase local handy crafts, regional food specialties and much more. Some of the best Christmas markets can be found in Montreux, Zürich, Basel, Bern, Wengen, Einsiedeln and Lucerne to name a few, each with its own unique Winter Christmas experiences.

Bern & Bernese Lowlands

The old town of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and thanks to its 6 kilometres of arcades - the locals refer to them as 'Lauben' - boasts on of the longest weather-sheltered shopping promenades in Europe.

The Zytglogge (Clock Tower), the Parliament Building and the BearPark – there are many things to be discovered in and around Bern! These attractions are definitely a must when visiting the Swiss capital.

When to visit

The best time to visit Bern & Western Switzerland in general is in summer, which is July – September. However, it is very busy during these times. So, shoulder seasons are a good alternative, especially October – November, because the snow hasn't come yet and the weather is usually quite sunny.

November to December - Christmas Markets are a Swiss tradition for the festive season. As Christmas approaches, decorated and illuminated chalets appear in Switzerland’s main cites and the nights are filled with twinkling lights and a cheerful buzz as shoppers explore the stalls and enjoy classic entertainment, drinking in the festive atmosphere. Market stalls showcase local handy crafts, regional food specialties and much more. Some of the best Christmas markets can be found in Montreux, Zürich, Basel, Bern, Wengen, Einsiedeln and Lucerne to name a few, each with its own unique Winter Christmas experiences.

Interlaken & Bernese Highlands

Interlaken is where you come to experience picture book Switzerland.

Lying in the heart of Switzerland, Interlaken is just under 2 hours away from Lucerne and situated right on the Golden Pass Line. The unlimited choices of excursions into the lake and mountain world will make you wish you stayed longer. Mountain rail and cable-ways carry you up to the Alpine summits with spectacular sweeping views. Stroll through Thun’s old town where you’ll meet a stylish lifestyle combined with Swiss charisma. Enjoy the bustling cosy street cafes, lively bars, and shops with a rich tradition which are encircled by the green arms of the River Aare.

Also known as the Adventure capital, get your adrenalin kick in and on the water as well as in the air. Or why not take a cruise along Lake Thun or Lake Brienz? You will feel relaxed by the Mediterranean flair and be whisked away by the unique panorama of the Eiger, Monach and Jungfrau towers that the region nestles between.

Harder Kulm offers the best view of Interlaken, EigerMönch and Jungfrau, as well as the Thun and Lake Brienz. The palatial restaurant and the Two Lakes Bridge viewing platform are an enticing place to spend time.

Heimwehfluh, a historic funicular, provides transport to the vantage terrace with a restaurant, all-weather toboggan run, model railway display and large playground.

Venture to Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn. The rides by rackrailway to the highest railway station in Europe and the cable way to the Piz Glora revolving restaurant, two top mountain experiences in the Bernese Oberland, are unmissable!

Interlaken certainly is the heart of all adrenaline and adventure sports in Switzerland. There’s virtually no limit to what’s on offer in the region! Set your pulse racing with a wild river rafting ride or a spot of canyoning. If the sky’s the limit, then go for paragliding or skydiving as the ultimate thrill.

There’s always a fantastic atmosphere at events and festivals, whether it’s an openair concert in the mountains, customs & traditions, a huge fireworks display, classical concerts or a rock festival.

Schadau Castle was built between 1846 and 1854 for the Neuchâtel banker Denis Alfred de Rougemont. The location of the castle, on the southern banks of Lake Thun where the River Aare flows out of the lake, and with its views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, is almost as attractive as the architecture itself.

When to visit

The best time to visit Interlaken & Bernese Oberland in general is in summer, which is July – September. However, it is very busy during these times. So, shoulder seasons are a good alternative, especially October – November, because the snow hasn't come yet and the weather is usually quite sunny.

During winter, some of the outdoor activities will not be possible, like hiking, however, all the gondolas and trains are running, and the views are still the same, just a bit whiter! Of course, you can also try other winter sports like skiing, snow shoeing, tobogganing, winter walking and ice skating.

Lucerne & Central Switzerland

The gateway to central Switzerland, situated on Lake Lucerne and only 45 minutes from Zürich, Lucerne is embedded within an impressive mountainous landscape. It is the ideal base or starting point for many excursions to the highlights of central Switzerland. A trip up one of Lucerne’s regional mountains, the Pilatus or the Rigi, known as ‘The Queen of Mountains’ is a must. However, excursions up onto the Stanserhorn, the Bürgenstock, or a steamship cruise on Lake Lucerne with its many bends and arms are unquestionably no less worthy.

Complemented by gable paintings, the covered, medieval Chapel Bridge forms the centrepiece of Lucerne’s townscape and is considered to be one of the oldest covered wooden bridges in Europe. A further landmark of the town is the Museggmauer, a wall which, with the exception only of one of its towers, has been preserved in its original, well-fortified state.

Thanks to its attractions, easy accessibility, its souvenir and watch shops, the beautiful lakeside setting and the nearby mountain excursions, the town of Lucerne is a destination for many travel groups and individuals on their journey through central Switzerland. 

When to visit

The best time to visit Lucerne in general is in summer, which is July – September. However, it is very busy during these times. So, shoulder seasons are a good alternative, especially October – November, because the snow hasn't come yet and the weather is usually quite sunny.

November to December - Christmas Markets are a Swiss tradition for the festive season. As Christmas approaches, decorated and illuminated chalets appear in Switzerland’s main cites and the nights are filled with twinkling lights and a cheerful buzz as shoppers explore the stalls and enjoy classic entertainment, drinking in the festive atmosphere. Market stalls showcase local handy crafts, regional food specialties and much more. Some of the best Christmas markets can be found in Montreux, Zürich, Basel, Bern, Wengen, Einsiedeln and Lucerne to name a few, each with its own unique Winter Christmas experiences.

Lugano & Ticino

Located on the Lake Lugano shore in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino bordering Italy, Lugano is a town with a Mediterranean flair, adorned with parks and flowers, villas and sacred buildings.

Set on the lakeside, Lugano is surrounded by numerous mountains offering splendid viewpoints, and boasts a traffic-free historic town centre with exclusive museums and a packed calendar of events.

When to visit

The best time to visit Lugano & the Ticino Region in general is in summer, which is July – September. However, it is very busy during these times. So, shoulder seasons are a good alternative, especially October – November, because the snow hasn't come yet and the weather is usually quite sunny.

LAKE GENEVA & MONTREUX

Montreux is a traditional resort town on Lake Geneva, known for its mild microclimate and the Montreux Jazz Festival, held in July. The town's promenade is lined with flowers, sculptures, Mediterranean trees and grand Belle Époque buildings. Offshore is a medieval island castle, Château de Chillon, with ramparts, formal halls and a chapel with 14th-century murals. Great base to explore more of the region by train!

When to visit

The best time to visit Montreux & Lake Geneva Region in general is in summer, which is July – September. However, it is very busy during these times. So, shoulder seasons are a good alternative, especially October – November, because the snow hasn't come yet and the weather is usually quite sunny.

November to December - Christmas Markets are a Swiss tradition for the festive season. As Christmas approaches, decorated and illuminated chalets appear in Switzerland’s main cites and the nights are filled with twinkling lights and a cheerful buzz as shoppers explore the stalls and enjoy classic entertainment, drinking in the festive atmosphere. Market stalls showcase local handy crafts, regional food specialties and much more. Some of the best Christmas markets can be found in Montreux, Zürich, Basel, Bern, Wengen, Einsiedeln and Lucerne to name a few, each with its own unique Winter Christmas experiences.

NEUCHATEL & JURA

The spacious canton of Jura, situated at an altitude of 1000m, is the meeting place of man and horse. Located in the Northwestern part of Switzerland and consists of 2 parts, Jura mountains in the south and the Jura plateau in the north. Rivers flow gently along plains and hills, then tumble into impressive gorges. A boat tour along the “three Lakes” should not be missed, the lakes consist of Biel, Murten and Neuchatel. There’s plenty of wonderful bike routes throughout the Lakes.

Neuchatel, a taste of France in Switzerland, often referred to as “New Castle”. Located in the French part of Switzerland along the north-western shores of lake neuchatel, Neuchatel is an alluring medieval waterfront city which dates back to 13,000 BC. Offering an array of breathtaking and various landscapes.

When to visit

The best time to visit the Jura region in Switzerland is from June to August when you will have pleasant temperature and little rainfall. The highest temperature in Jura is 23°C in July and the lowest is 2°C in January.

ST GALLEN & NORTH EAST

Northeastern Switzerland is the place to tiptoe off the map and back to nature for a few days. From the thunderous Rheinfall to the still waters of Lake Constance, nature here is on a grand scale. You can visit the castle-topped downs such as Stein am Rhein and Scaffhausen, their facades adorned with frescos and oriel windows. St Gallen is a university town with a focus on the economic sciences and its most famous landmark is its Baroque cathedral with the Abbey Library, which houses some 170,000 documents. St Gallen makes the best starting point for excursions into the Appenzellerland with the Santis, and to Lake Constance.

When to visit

The best time to visit St. Gallen in Switzerland is from June until august, when you will have a pleasant temperature and little rainfall. The highest average temperature in St. Gallen is 23°C in July and the lowest is 3°C in January.

ZERMATT & VALAIS

Renowned for skiing, climbing and hiking, boutique shops, hotels and restaurants, Zermatt is an ideal location for a short getaway. Zermatt is a hiker’s paradise, with 400km of summer trails through some of the most incredible scenery in the Alps.


The best time to visit Zermatt in general is in summer, which is July – September. However, it is very busy during these times. So, shoulder seasons are a good alternative, especially October – November, because the snow hasn't come yet and the weather is usually quite sunny.