25 Fun Things to Do in Switzerland

If you watch a lot of action shows or movies, it is likely that you have seen Switzerland being used as the location for exciting scenes in various storylines involving banks. As much as Hollywood loves to use the financial notoriety of the country, we the regular folks love it for its skiing, hang gliding, chocolate, Swatch watches and the beautiful nature. This post features our travel tips on what to do in Switzerland.

Hike through Laufen

The little Basel town Laufen has fewer than 4000 residents, and  Most notable sights are in Laufen where you get to see the Church of St. Katharina, palace of the Prince-Bishops, the Neolithic gravesite and the palace of the Prince-Bishops The visually-appealing hiking lasts about 3,5 hours and while it is long, can be enjoyed by hikers of all levels.

what to do in Switzerland

Laufen by Chris Juden

Sip Pinot Noir in Schaffhausen

The northernmost point of Switzerland Schaffhausen is also one of the regions where the Pinot noir grapes are grown. I’ve never been particularly fond of wine, but even I’m intrigued to taste Pinot Noir where it’s meant to be tasted. You can find about how it is made by taking a walk along the wine trail.In addition to Pinot noir, Schaffhausen has some stunning Renaissance era buildings, All Saints Abbey, the Church of St. John and the Munot fortress.The old town is closed to cars, making it a lot easier and more convenient to walk around and shop. I’d recommend taking the train to Rhine Falls, to see Europe’s largest waterfall at the end of your Schaffhausen trip.

what to do in Switzerland

St Maria Cathedral Schaffhausen by LenDog64

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Discover Switzerland’s Oldest Town Sion

Sion lies in the southwestern Switzerland district Valais, with a population a little over than 30,000. Sion is the perfect sight-seeing area for those who don’t love big cities. Sion gets a lot of sun, which makes it ideal for both winter and summer getaways. Sion is also one of Switzerland historically richest areas, as its foundation goes back to pre-historical times. You can start enjoying its beauties with Basilique de Val and Chateau de Tourbillon- which face each other on their respective hills. You can then continue with Fine Arts Museum, Majorie Castle, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Grande Dixence Dam (the world’s highest dam, and you can take a tour inside from mid June to the end of September), Derborence primeval forest among others. Sion also hosts wine-tasting events, and football fans might want to drop by Stade Tourbillon, the stadium of the Swiss Super Leauge team FC Sion.

what to do in Switzerland

Sionby aleyda

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Go Hang Gliding at Mount Chasseral

If you do not want to deal with ski equipment, the cold and the crowds, you might opt for a lesser known sport and go hang gliding at Mount Chasseral in the summer. Mount Chasseral is still an option if you are a skiing fan.

what to do in Switzerland

Hang gliding by Amanda Kendle

Watch the Rheinfall Waterfalls

Who doesn’t like waterfalls? They have a way of making you appreciate the nature. If you are like me and love waterfalls, you are definitely going to love Switzerland’s Rheinfall waterfalls– which happen to be the largest (in width and in the amount of water it carries) in Europe.

what to do in Switzerland

Rheinfall Waterfalls by Amanda Kendle

Marvel at the Alien Artwork at the HR Giger Museum in Gruyeres

Gruyeres is a great medieval town that is bound to surprise and please its visitors. In contrast to the ancient look of its castle, surroundings and the suitably gloomy weather, Gruyéres also houses the HR Giger Museum, the museum for the famous Swiss painter, set decorator and sculptor who won Oscar for Aliens (a 1979 sci-fi hit by director Ridley Scott) visual effects. The movie props of a sci-fi movie is sure to offer a modern alternative, although it might just add to the deliciously gloomy atmosphere of the city.

Breathe Alpine Air at Oberried am Brienzersee

It might have something to do with the fact that I grew up in an apartment flat, because I’ve always loved those annual getaways to holiday resorts where I’d get to stay in two, three-storey houses with excellent views as opposed to seeing just other buildings and only a handful of trees. So if you are going to enjoy the Alps, you might as well make the most of it by staying at Oberried am Brienzersee. You will appreciate the breath-taking view of the mountains and the lakes.

what to do in Switzerland

Oberried am Brienzersee by arwa

Experience the Best Lucerne Attractions

North-central Swiss city Lucerne has been a popular traveler’s spot since the 19th century, having welcomed famous musicians and writers like Wagner and Mark Twain. The city owes its popularity to its spectacular lakeshore position along with the mountain views it offers. The must-visit sights of the city include the wooden Chapel Bridge and the Water Tower, the house Wagner spent 6 years of his life in, Musegg Wall and the Dying Lion Monument.

what to do in Switzerland

The Dying Lion image by Margaret Doherty

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Listen to Jazz in Montreux

Montreux is famous for its annual Jazz Festival. In addition to jazz enthusiasts, rock music fans will appreciate the 3-meter statue of Freddie Mercury (the late front man of the rock band Queen) with a view of Lake Geneva. The city houses has some great if rather expensive bars, the castle Chateau de Chillon,  and hiking at Hauts de Montreux.

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Explore the Swiss Bernese Oberland

Switzerland is brimming with magnificent lake and mountain views, and the Bernese Oberland is no exception. Frequented by tourists since the 18th century, the Bernese Oberland is a haven for nature and outdoors lovers. You can go hiking, mountain-biking, visit the highest train station of Europe, take in the view of the Eiger mountain, ride in cable cars, enjoy boat trips on the lakes Thum and Brienz, appreciate the sight of the Staubbach Waterfall and more.

Lauterbrunnen Valley by Margaret Doherty

Make the Most of Basel

Basel is a unique Swiss city as it is Switzerland’s only port and it rests on the border of France, Switzerland and Germany. It is also known for the University of Basel, the country’s oldest university.There are many things to see in the medieval city of Basel including the Kuntsmuseum, Tinguely Fountain, Tinguely Museum, the Music Museum, sculptures and paintings of Fondation Beyeler the town hall (the Rathaus), cathedral the Munster , Middle Bridge, the sculptures and paintings of Foundation Beyeler. I’m most tempted by The Music Museum as it offers the country’s largest collection of musical instruments going back five centuries. I’m also looking forward to discovering cool stuff at the flea markets of the city, sipping my coffee at the many cafes, catching one of the many festivals the city hosts (such as Basel Tattoo) and seeing the kinetic art works of Jean Tinguely.

what to do in Switzerland

Tinguely Fountain in Basel by Margaret Donerty

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Satisfy Your Love for Photography in the Musee de L’Elysee in Lausanne

One of the must-see landmarks of Lake Geneva’s second largest city Lausanne is the leading photography museum Musee de L’Elysee. The museum is famous for its efforts to feature digital photography exhibitions as well.
After a trip to the museum, you might take a walk around the Old Town to take some great pictures of your own, and then move on to Flon at night, to go clubbing. To reach Lausanne, you can take a train from Geneva. It only takes an hour, or you could book a taxi in Geneva, if you don’t want to be restricted by train timetables.

what to do in SwitzerlandLa

Lausanne by Daniel Sparing

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Get an Italian Flavour in Bellinzona

Does the name sound Italian? It should. From its Italian-style theater (Teatro Sociale) to its Castelgrande (the town’s oldest and most impressive castle featuring a museum), Bellinzona shows traces from times it belonged to Milan. Bellinzona’s two other glorious castles are Castello di Sasso Corbaro and Castello di Montebello (features the Archaeological and Civic Museum). Your other Bellinzona stops should include Villa dei Cedri (art gallery housing Italian and Swiss paintings) and Old Town (the medieval part of town). Bellinzona hosts various event throughout the year; Carnevale Rabadan Bellinzona in February, which features masked balls and street performers, and September comes with Bacchica Bellinzonese, a wine-growers festival. If you’ll be visiting the town in May, you should pack your waterproof boots and umbrella, as it gets the most rain (and snow) in that time of the year.

what to do in Switzerland

Castel Grande Bellinzona by stijn

Spoil yourself in the Roman-Irish baths of Bogn Engiadina, Scuol

What can be more tempting then treating yourself to the first Roman- Irish bath of the country and its mineral water springs? Of course you may opt for this treatment before or after you see the rest of what Scuol has to offer; such as Europe’s oldest National Park that comes with massive hiking areas, animal-watching tours, as well as biological and ecological excursions. You can add the exploration of the gorgeous Tarasp Castle, where you get to see the halls of knights and their ballrooms, the chapel, bedrooms and the impressive 2,500-piped organ.

what to do in Switzerland

Scuol by andymash

Show Off Your Adventurous Side While Skiing in Verbier

Verbier is best known for being the ultimate center for winter sports, both for showing off your skills and learning them. This Valais village has numerous resorts, ski slopes and winter sport schools. Whether you are just a beginner snowboarder or a danger-loving expert skier, Verbier is bound to please you.Should you choose to go to Verbier in the summer, you can utilize the hiking trails that cover a mighty distance of 400km!

what to do in Switzerland

Verbier by Leo-setä

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Rock and Roll in St. Gallen

Just like many other beautiful Swiss cities, St. Gallen has a lot to offer when it comes to culture, the most significant landmark being The Abbey of St. Gallen, which has one of the richest medieval libraries in the world. But St. Gallen is also famous for its two festivals and as a music fan, I can’t help but prioritize. St. Gallen is the home for the February music festival Nordklang, and it has also been hosting the famous St. The OpenAir St.Gallen Festival since 1977. The festival has housed many important names since then, including Jethro Tull, Stone Temple Pilots, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Nine Inch Nails, Lenny Kravitz,, R.E.M, Foo Fighters, Metallica, Black Sabbath and others.

what to do in Switzerland

St Gallen OpenAir Festival by ausnahmezustand

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Get to Know Burgdorf

I’ve always been amazed by small towns that had many appealing attractions and events, as they manage to entertain and inform without making you feel claustrophobic. My to-see list starts with the Burgdorf Castle, the country’s biggest and best-maintained castle. The castle also has a historical museum. I’d also love to see the Gothic church, the Franz Gertsch Museum where you can see the works of the prominent Swiss painter and the Emme river. If you are going in the winter, you might want to shop at the huge Kalter Markt fair, and if you are a summer person, you should check out Cinete, the open air movie theater. Don’t neglect to drop by at one of the street cafes to enjoy the atmosphere and the urban architecture. I’d also check my calendar to see if the year of your visit will coincide with the fun  Burgdorf Crime Days, an event for the lovers of murder mystery. This 10-day festival has 50 events and it takes place every two years.

what to do in Switzerland

Brugdorf via keepthebyte

Browse the Art of Liechtenstein in Vaduz

Vaduz, having taken its name from the Vaduz Castle (also the residence of the Liechtenstein royalty), is sure to please your artistic intrigue and senses as it is the home of The National Art Gallery and the contemporary art gallery Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein whose building is considered an architectural landmark. Another architecturally impressive building of Vaduz is the Cathedral of St. Florin.

what to do in Switzerland

Vaduz Castle by cameliatwu

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Explore Switzerland’s Oldest City Chur

Chur is the capital of the Graubunden region and its history goes back nearly 4000 years BC, and while it might be old, it is not exactly old-fashioned. It has lots of stores, museums and shopping centers. Other sights include the Museum Bündner Kunstmuseum (Art Museum), Bundner Naturmuseum (Natural History Museum), the Dommuseum and the Rätisches Museum and the St Luzius Cathedral. You can take a train from Zurich to get to Chur. And on a fun note, H.R.Geiger, the Swiss artist whose museum is mentioned for Gruyeres, was born in Chur.

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Chur Catedral by Holly Hayes

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Feel Like You Are in a Fairy Tale in Fribourg

Founded in 1157, this old Fribourg city is one of the best preserved Switzerland cities, and to me, it is also the one that looks most like a fairy tale setting. My favorite Fribourg spot, even though it has pretty amazing building all over is Sarine River near the town, and the Red Tower (Tour Rouge) built over the river and the Sarine Valley. Of course there is a lot more to this beautiful historic city, and it might be best explored by taking one excursion at a time. You might want to check out the city’s tourism information site for other fun ideas.

what to do in Switzerland

Fribourg by travellady.com

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Experience the Famous Holiday Region Zermatt

Located at the bottom of the mountain Matterhorn, this Valais holiday village is a convenient and luxurious choice for travelers who like to have abundant options. Zermatt is surrounded by vast skiing and hiking areas, and is irresistible to climbers as well. In fact, the mountain owes its fame to a climber, who tried to climb the mountain with his team in 1865. Unfortunately, he lost members of his team on the way down. You can learn about this and other Matterhorn-related adventures in the Matterhorn Museum. You can also snow-board, go paragliding or just go up to the Glacier Paradise / Klein Matterhorn which is, at 3883 m, Europe’s highest point. And if you choose to stay away from the heights, you can watch the open air curling tournament in January, catch the unplugged concert in April or watch the tennis tournament in the summer. Whether you are interested in music, food, winter sports or summer activities like cycling and hiking, Zematt has something for everyone. And best of all, you get all this in a car-free, clean environment.

what to do in Switzerland

Zermatt by trailsource.com

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Enjoy Ancient History and Modern City Simultaneously in Lugano

While Lugano is one of Ticino’s crucial business centers, for tourists, it is one big vacation spot around Lake Lugano, with typically impressive mountain views. You can ride your bike or simply hike for sightseeing. As Lugano is a combination of an ancient town and modern city, your sights will include beautiful parks (Parco Civico Ciani) and squares, gardens (the Belvedere Gardens) and cathedrals (St. Lawrence Cathedral), villas (Villa Favorita) and museums (Cantonal Art Museum.)

what to do in Switzerland

Lugano via bristley

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Join Fellow Movie Fans at the International Film Festival in Locarno

Locarno is one of Ticino’s most popular cities, and one of the reasons is the annual film festival. Festival happens in the Piazza Grande. Whether you are a filmmaker with a competing festival movie or just a movie enthusiast, watching movies in this more Italian style town will show you a good time. Locarno also houses some other great events such as July’s pop/rock music festival Moon & Stars Locarno lasting 10 nights at the Piazza Grande, October’s Jazz Festival or July’s Festival de la Cite where you can witness tons of free street events and activities.

what to do in Switzerland

Image by Kelly Nigro

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View Five Countries from Santis

Santis is the highest mountain among the Alps, and its 2,502-meter top will simultaneously give you the view of the 5 different countries: Italy, Switzerland, Austria, France and Germany.

You can opt for tours, and feast at the panoramic restaurant at the top of the mountain. Just take the gondola up to this breath-taking mountain. You can use the panoramic restaurant for romantic dates as well.

Just like many Swiss destinations, Santis is equally pleasant in both summer and winter where you can choose from different sports and activities to make the trip complete.

what to do in Switzerland

Image by stephen velasco

Make the most of Kandersteg and Its Stunning Lake Oeschinen

Resting on the River Kander valley, Kandersteg’s tourist potential was realized in the 19th century. It is not surprising that people can’t resist this little town that comes with the clear-watered Lake Oeschinen, amazing mountain views and a range of sport activities to choose from such as mountain climbing, skiing, swimming, rowing, ice-fishing, ice-skating, hiking and others.

You can arrive at your destination after taking the hourly express train from Bern and then the freight train.

what to do in Switzerland

Image by MrUllmi

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