From the mountains to cities and towns, Switzerland is a traveler’s paradise! But if you’re like me and want to reach absolute peak relaxation while on your trip – then I definitely recommend adding some of their gorgeous (and quite frankly magical) lakes to your Swiss bucket list.

With over 1,500 lakes, Switzerland boasts some of the most picturesque lakes in the world. Whether you’re into swimming, other water activities, or just taking a leisurely stroll along the shore, there’s a lake for everyone in this beautiful country. 

As a #LakeAddict I consider myself an expert when it comes to Swiss lakes – I really know my stuff. And I can say: The lakes in Switzerland are everything you could ask for! They are a real dream. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors! So make sure to add a few lakes to your Switzerland itinerary.


Here are the most stunning, the prettiest, and the most amazing and the best lakes in Switzerland to add to your Switzerland bucket list

Lake Brienz


In the canton of Bern lies Lake Brienz, an immense turquoise lake with a surface area larger than 29 football fields! Perfect for taking in deep breaths of fresh air and admiring fantastic views along its banks standing 564 meters above sea level.

Best things to do around Lake Brienz, Interlaken Giessbach Waterfalls

If you’re looking for a picturesque spot to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then Lake Brienz is your ideal destination. This lake is located near Interlaken and takes its name from the nearby village of Brienz.

Cruise around on one of their iconic ships or take an unforgettable short ride up 98 meters with astounding views by taking a funicular journey aboard Giessbachbahn, where you can also walk behind the Giessbach Waterfalls.

For some views even higher up, get up to Brienzer Rothorn Mountain for some of the best panoramas!

Lake Brienz is definitely in my “top 3 Swiss lakes”. I am blown away by its sheer size in that unique color. Also, I love spending time around the shores and enjoy that there is so much to do and see around Lake Brienz. C

READ MORE: Check out my Lake Brienz guide – Things to do in Interlaken

Lake Thun


With 48 square kilometers to its credit, Lake Thun is one of the biggest lakes in Switzerland and stretches 17.5 km long and reaches 217 meters deep at its maximum depth!

View from the panorama restaurant in St Beatus Caves
View from the Panorama restaurant in St Beatus Caves

Explore the picturesque town of Thun, where pristine bluish-greenish waters sparkle beneath a dazzling sky. Jump aboard one of many ships and sail across this majestic lake! Also, you will find some of the most gorgeous medieval castles along Lake Thun´s shore.

Lake Thun is definitely in my “top 5 of Swiss lakes”. There are so many amazing villages and towns along the shores that I like to explore which makes this lake very special. Also, cruising Lake Thun is one of my favorite boat cruises.

READ MORE: Things to do in Thun – Things to do around Lake Thun

Lake Oeschinen


Deep in the Swiss Alps and surrounded by towering mountains, Oeschinen Lake is a sight straight out of a postcard. At 1,578 meters above sea level and with a surface area over one square kilometer wide you won’t soon forget this alpine gem!

To get to the lake itself though – it’s all on foot or by gondola/bus from Kandersteg. So just make sure you pack some hiking boots before heading off because no cars are allowed.

Stunning Lake Oeschinensee with Arzo Travels

Lake Oeschinen is one of the most unique lakes in the country and has become a hotspot – so though it is no hidden gem, the water has some of the most beautiful colors which still make it a must-see place.

Lake Oeschinen is definitely in my “top 10 Swiss lakes”, I am smitten. Its color and scenery make it incredibly beautiful. However, why I do not rank it even higher, is that for the best views, some hiking is required. It is not one of the “in your face” lakes that are so easily accessible like many of the other lakes. Either way, I just love the color and the backdrop.

READ MORE: Lake Oeschinen Hiking Guide

Lake Blausee


Check out Lake Blausee, a teeny deep blue gem tucked away in the Bernese Oberland. Located high up at 887 meters and only 0.64 hectares large (we’re talking extra small!), it’s no wonder this lake was praised by travel guides back in 1885!

Blausee in Berner Oberland, Arzo Travels

And you might be surprised that you can enjoy a boat trip on this tiny lake – small and yet exciting! 

I think, Lake Blausee is pretty, a pretty, pretty small lake. It is not in my “top 10 of Swiss lakes”, because there is an entrance fee (up to 13 CHF for adults, depending on visiting time) to see it. Quite a bumper, especially because most other lakes are free to visit. Also, it can be very busy, which is more “annoying” at small lakes.

READ MORE: Quick Lake Blausee travel guide

Lake Lucerne


Lake Lucerne (also known as Vierwaldstättersee in German) lies in the heart of Central Switzerland, surrounded by stunning Swiss Alps. It’s so huge that it can almost count as nine lakes – with bays, funnels, and basins galore. 

Don’t forget to  Lucerne on the western side a visit while you’re there; then bring your swimwear and dive into some serious relaxation time at beautiful Lake Lucerne.

Getting up Mount Rigi - a must-do activity in Lucerne

Lake Lucerne is definitely in my “top 10 of Swiss lakes”. Its sheer size and stunning scenery make it a top lake in Switzerland. Also, there is so much to do and see around Lake Lucerne that I appreciate. This includes boat cruises, visiting beautiful villages along the shores, and watersports.

Check out my guide on Lucerne for more tips on things to do around Lake Lucerne. 

Lake Geneva


If you’re looking for a big splash, hop on over to Lake Geneva (also known as Lac Léman)! Situated near the gorgeous Swiss cities of Lausanne and Montreaux as well as France, this lake is awe-inspiring 580 square kilometers.

And it doesn’t stop there – Lake Geneva is 73 km in length and 14km in width at 372 meters above sea level. Plus check out its max depth – 310 meters deep! 

Boat Tour on Lake Geneva with the Swiss Travel Pass

Lake Geneva is definitely in my “10 best Swiss lakes”. Its enormous size blew me away – no surprise as one of the largest lakes in Switzerland. Also, there is so much to do and see around Lake Geneva – from vineyards to castles and more. I love spending time on and at the shores of Lake Geneva. The water is extremely clear (given the size of the lake, this is not everywhere a given).

READ MORE: Montreux travel guide – One day in Geneva

Lake Zurich


Lake Zurich is a beautiful 88 square kilometer body of water located in the north of Switzerland near Germany. In fact, it’s so big that its length is an astonishing 40 kilometers!

Although it looks like a kind of an L-shaped lake from up above, go deep enough into its depths and surprise – this refreshing beauty can plunge down to 136 meters below sea level at maximum depth!

Where to stay in Zurich - best places to stay in Zurich Switzerland

Lake Zurich is definitely in my “top 10 of Swiss lakes”. It probably is not the most beautiful nor the largest lake. However, there is so much to do and see, especially in the summer months it is heaven. I can choose from water sports, many villages and towns along the shore to discover, boat cruises, and more. Lake Zurich is one of the most exciting lakes in Switzerland.

READ MORE: Things to do in Zurich

Lake Lungern


Lake Lungern is the perfect place to dive in and cool off! At just 2 km long, it’s also easy to take a leisurely stroll around this beautiful lake nestled between Lake Brienz and Lucerne. Temperatures of 23°C (71°F) make for crystal-clear water that looks like something out of a postcard.

Brüning Pass, Lake Lungern Switzerland Arzo Travels

Lake Lungern is one of my favorite stops when I road trip. For the last 10 years or so, I always stop here and enjoy the view from here. Sometimes I take some short walks around the lake. However, now the water has been drained (do not ask me) and it looks appealing to me. The shores are just less pretty now, so I would not consider it a top 10 lake any longer (the watercolor is still gorgeous though).

READ MORE: Best Switzerland road trip

Lake Bachalpsee


Lake Bachalpsee is a gorgeous little gem nestled way up high at 2265 meters.

At only 0.08 square kilometers (that’s small!), it offers breathtaking mountain views. Its crystal blue depths reach an impressive 14-meter max depth – perfect for anyone wanting to take a refreshing dip!

So if beauty and serenity are what your heart desires, then look no further: head on over to this spectacular alpine oasis known as Lake Bachalpsee.

Bachalpsee near Grindelwald one of the most photogenic spost in Interlaken

Bachalpsee is definitely a unique lake – unfortunately, it was very foggy when I visited. This might be a problem because the weather in Grindelwald First is often not ideal. If the weather had been better, I surely would have enjoyed it much more. However, if you are in Grindelwald – whether in winter or any other season – make sure to put Bachalpsee on your itinerary.

READ MORE: Best day trips from Interlaken

Lago di Saoseo


Have you heard of Lago di Saoseo? It’s a tiny but totally charming mountain lake tucked away in Switzerland near the Italian border. This picturesque spot, only 0.025 square kilometers big and 2,028 meters above sea level, is surrounded by pine forests with an extra-special bonus.

Though this is not the most famous lake, it surely is one of the most stunning lakes of Switzerland. 

Lago di Saoseo in Valposchiavo

Lago di Saoseo is definitely in my “top 5 of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland”. Its beauty is beyond…everything. It does not present itself on a silver platter and it is time-consuming getting there but it is worth it. This lake is everything. However, I now had the chance to visit a second time – on a not-so-clear summer day. I have to say, that this made a huge difference. If you make your lake to this lake, I highly suggest to visit on a sunny day.

For more info, read my Valposchiavo travel guide.

Lake Gelmersee

If you’re looking for a magnificent Swiss experience, Lake Gelmer in the Bernese Oberland is practically calling your name – this artificial lake sits at 1.850 meters elevation with an incredible maximum depth of 48 meters.

Plus it’s got its own dam, steep funicular railway, and spectacular waterfalls if you take on the hike around the shoreline.

Gelmer Lake in Switzerland Arzo Travels

Lake Gelmersee is definitely in my “top 5 of Swiss lakes”. I know, it is a man-made lake, and yet, I just love it. It was probably the watercolor and the fun and yet easy hike around it, that made me appreciate it even more.

READ MORE: You can check out my full guide on Lake Gelmersee for the best vantage points, activities, and more. 

Lake Maggiore


Looking for some warm sun and a beautiful lake view? Make your way to Lake Maggiore! This stunning lake is split between Italy and Switzerland, with the Swiss portion situated at its tip in the Italian-speaking Canton of Ticino.

With an area covering 212 square kilometers (and 16km long on the Swiss side), you are sure to find breathtaking views wherever you look – plus those extra special sunny days when it comes time for vacationing in Locarno.

Best Places to See in Switzerland - Lake Lugano

Lake Maggiore is pretty – no doubt about it. I love the beautiful towns and villages along the shores. However, it has not made it on my top 10 list. I am not sure, why not. Probably, because the watercolor is “just blue”. Maybe it is just because I like another lake close by even more.  

READ MORE: Things to do in Locarno/Ascona

Lake Lugano


Take a dip in Lake Lugano, an emerald oasis in Ticino – one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Curving around the idyllic Swiss Canton of Ticino and Northern Italy this sparkling jewel covers 48.7 square kilometers with the bustling town of Lugano along its northern shores!

Why not take advantage of swimming spots galore or hiking trails to explore or enjoy a boat tour on Lake Lugano?

Parco Ciani is one of the most beautiful places in Lugano

Lake Lugano is definitely in my “top 10 of Swiss lakes. I love its colors, the vantage points, and the villages along the shores (including the most beautiful village which is Morcote) – I just love it. However, as with many lakes, the color changes. Depending on direct solar radiation, but also whether it has rained a lot or not and more. So each year, Lake Lugano is a surprise for me (more so than other lakes).

You can check out my full guide on Lugano (the largest city in the area) and Morcote for the best vantage points, activities, and more. 

Palü Lake


Palü Lake is a precious, blue gem tucked away in the woods of Graubünden. Sitting 1.923 meters up and with an area less than one-tenth of a square kilometer – you might even miss it if you’re not looking! Palü Glacier gives this tiny lake its well-earned beauty that visitors from near & far come to admire.

Valposchiavo Palü Lake in heart shape

Standing at the vantage point and looking at Lake Palü on the one side and Palü Glacier, on the other hand, made me realize it is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. I know, it is an artificial lake and yet, I just love it.

I have seen the lake several times. The lake color looked incredible the first time. The second time, I visited after some heavy rainfalls – the lake color was quite disappointing. That can happen if you visit after some rainy days. 

READ MORE: What to do in Valposchiavo

Lai da Palpuogna


Tucked away in the Swiss Alps is a hidden gem known as Lai da Palpuogna. This lake, sitting at an awe-inspiring 1918 meters above sea level and boasting views of lush forests and massive mountains, should be on everyone’s bucket list!

If you’re lucky enough to take a drive-by car along Albula Pass – keep your eyes peeled for this incredible spot; if not, don’t worry – public transportation takes you close too then it’s just all about putting one foot in front of the other until paradise awaits.

Get ready for some unbeatable fall vibes or clear summer skies…trust me when I say that seeing really is believing with Lai de Palpuogna!

One of the most beautiful lakes, Albula Pass, Lai da Palpuogna

This lake is amongst my top 3 lakes in Switzerland. I was absolutely blown away by its beauty and really believe it is one of the most amazing lakes in the country.  While I have had the chance to revisit it, my favorite time to see it was during the fall. 

Lake Wildsee


If you’re looking for a unique backdrop to your hiking adventure, how about Lake Wildsee at a lofty 2,438 meters above sea level? Nestled in the stunning Pizol Glacier with azure waters and breathtaking views – trust me when I say it’s well worth wheezing up that steep hike!

Unlike many Alpine lakes though this one is definitely off-limits for swimming so take some pics instead to remember why mountain air doesn’t get much better than this.

Check out my comprehensive guide on tackling the Pizol Hike like an absolute champ!

Wildsee Lake Pizol from Wangs

The lake color is insane – it really is insane and out of the world. I have seen quite some glacier lakes but none like this. So, another one for my “top 5 of lakes in Switzerland. Why is it not in my “top 3”? Because it is not easily accessible and also there is not so much to do around it, except for hiking.

Lake Schottensee


Your next incredible lake awaits you at Pizol Hike – Schottensee. With an altitude of 2,335 meters, it is a true stunner that offers so much more than just picturesque views.

This Swiss glacier lake invites you for some fun in the water on those hot days and would make a great spot if you’re looking to take a longer break after your difficult hike up here.

Pizolhike with a dog

The color of this Alpine lake is insane – especially if you look at it from above. The backdrop is not as gorgeous as the Wildsee but it is still a top lake well worth the hike.

Lake Bannalpsee

If you want a tranquil escape in the Swiss Alps, Lake Bannalpsee is your spot. First built back in the 1930s, this reservoir located just outside of Lucerne has become one of Switzerland’s most stunning lakes!

Reachable by cable car from Oberrickenbach or through an adventurous hike up to 1.586 meters above sea level – there are lots of options for exploring and relaxing around the lake. 

Lake Bannalpsee near Lucern, Pinterest

This lake is absolutely stunning. It reminds me a bit of Lake Oeschinen though the lake color is different. I am not sure it is in my “top 5” but it is for sure one of my favorites. Though there were quite some people when I visited, most were Swiss people, and this beauty is still not well known to the international audience.

Check out my dedicated post on Lake Bannalpsee for more info.

Underground Lake of St-Léonard / Lac Souterrain


Get ready for a legendary adventure! Head to the amazing, underground lake of St-Leonard in Valais. It’s Europe‘s biggest natural subterranean lake at around 3.00 meters (985 feet) long, 20 meters (65 feet) wide, and 10 meters (32 feet) deep – plus there are boat rides with guides who will tell you all about this hidden gem of Switzerland.

Warning: These boats fill up quickly so don’t forget to book one ahead. A 30-minute trip only costs 10 CHF; definitely worth doing before somebody else takes off in *your* spot!

underground lake of St-Léonard in Switzerland

This lake is one of the most unique lakes I have come across in Switzerland. Not only because it is an underground lake but also because of its striking color. However, getting there might be time-consuming because it is not close to regions like Lucerne, Interlaken, or Zurich. I, however, highly recommend visiting this lake if you are a lake chase like me and are in Sion or the surroundings.

Lake Sils


Visit Lake Sils and get ready for an immersive nature experience! Surrounded by beautiful larch forests, you’ll be mesmerized no matter what time of year it is – autumnal gold, wintry black ice, or snowy cross-country ski trails that will make your adventure truly magical.

Lake Sils in Engadin

Uncover a kaleidoscope of shades and hues as you take on the 16-kilometer trek around lovely Lake Sils. Map out your adventure – wander through shady forests, bask in colorful meadows – however long or short you want it to be! Lake Sils is for sure one of the most beautiful Swiss lakes.

Lake Sils is definitely in my top 10 of the most gorgeous Swiss lakes. This really is a beauty – my favorite time to visit this lake is in the fall. I also love to look at it from above (this is also why I get up the mountain peaks in the Engadine Valley – it is for the view).

Lake Silvaplana


Lake Silvaplana´s crystal-clear waters make it a popular destination for swimming, windsurfing (!), water skiing, and other water sports. The lake is also surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and lush forests, making it the perfect spot for tranquil reflection or outdoor adventure.

View of Upper Engadine Lakes incl Silser Lake, Silvaplana Lake
Lake Silvaplana (right) and Lake Sils (left)

Lake Silvaplana is definitely in my top 5 of the most Swiss beautiful lakes. The lake color is as mesmerizing as Lake Brienz´and seeing all the windsurfers on Lake Silvaplana makes it extra special. Check out my St.Moritz guide, to find out about the best views and more of Lake Silvaplana.


From crystal-clear glacier lakes to the serenity of subterranean wonders, Switzerland has a wide range of stunning lake destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. Switzerland taught me to love and appreciate lakes – they are some of my favorite places to visit in the world.

And above mentioned lakes are my favorites – the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Okay, maybe I have named more than “3 favorites as my top 3 lakes” but it is really hard to choose only 3 lakes. Some are not easily accessible – some you will see while sitting on a train. Some are small and charming, some are gigantic and impressive.

Each lake is stunning. Each lake is special! Each lake is worth a trip! So, whichever lake you end up visiting, you cannot go wrong! 

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