Best Places to Visit in Switzerland


Are you looking for inspiration and wondering about the best places to visit in Switzerland? Then this post is for you. Switzerland has so many beautiful places, and I could have easily filled this post with 100 places I genuinely recommend. So instead, I focus on the very, very best places in Switzerland for your Switzerland itinerary.

Here are my top places in Switzerland:

  • Best Lakes in Switzerland
  • Best Cities to Visit in Switzerland
  • Best Waterfalls to Chase in Switzerland
  • Best Towns and Villages in Switzerland
  • More Beautiful Places to Visit in Switzerland

Find out about the best areas and places to stay in Switzerland – for all budgets.


Okay, here are my favorite lakes in Switzerland (because the lakes are some of the most beautiful places in Switzerland and so I start here).


  • Canton: Bernese Oberland

Oeschinensee is often considered the most beautiful lake in the country. If you want to spend time in nature, it surely is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland.

Oeschinensee hike, Heuberg a top thing to do in Interlaken, Arzo Travels

Lake Oeschinen is a mountain lake at almost 1,600 meters above sea level and located in Kandersteg which is quite close to Interlaken.

For the best views, you need to do some hiking. Take the cable car from Kandersteg and get to the mountain top and then your hike will start which will take about 3-4 hours in total. It is definitely worth seeing it from above since the lake then has the most intense color! However, you can also take the cable car and then do an easy 20-minute hike straight to the lake.

It reminds me a little bit, with its color and surroundings, of one of the Canadian lakes and if people say it is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland, you won’t find me disagreeing with them!


  • Canton: Bernese Oberland

Blausee is another gorgeous lake in Kandersteg, close to Oeschinensee, that is just astonishing. 

Bucket list places in Switzerland Blausee
Blausee is a VERY tiny lake located in a national park. Though it is called a blue lake, I personally see more of a greenish color. Either way, the color is amazing.

The myth says that the lake has its unique color, as a maiden actually died by drowning in the water, and thus, the color of the lake is actually the color of her eyes. Though it’s tiny, you can do a short boat cruise there, and once when I visited, there was even a big screen showing movies in the evening. Also, it’s a popular place for couples who have just gotten married to have their pictures taken.

  • There is an entrance fee (during the high season) of about 10€. I visited twice, but I am still not sure it is really worth the entrance fee. It is very beautiful – yes – but there are many more great places to see for free. 
  • For more tips on Blausee, check out my detailed post about Blausee.


  • Canton: Bernese Oberland

Lake Brienz is my personal favorite of Switzerland’s lakes. Simply because it has the most amazing color that I could imagine for a lake, it has extreme clarity and beautiful surroundings, so it isn’t surprising that I have added it to the list. 

Best places to visit in Switzerland Lake Brienz
Lake Brienz is huge, too! As a big boat fan, I loved cruising on Lake Brienz, and since it is located in one of the most beautiful regions in Switzerland, Interlaken, this lake never ceases to amaze me.

Whether you choose to stroll along the lakeside, cruise on its waters, swim in it, or you just want to take time to admire it from afar (by the way, the best view is from Brienzer Rothorn or Giessbach Waterfalls), this lake is definitely a beauty.


  • Canton: Bern

Lake Thun is another top-notch lake in the region of Interlaken. Interestingly, Lake Brienz and Lake Thun were one lake once upon a time. Now, Lake Thun is a beauty in its own right, shimmering in gorgeous emerald color. 

Best things to see at Lake Thun, boat tour Lake Thun
It is a little bit warmer than Lake Brienz, making it a little better for swimming, and other water sports activities. It is perfect for long (or short) boat tours, and nice strolls along the shores.


  • Cantons: Zurich, St. Gallen, and Schwyz

Lake Zurich is simply lovely during the day with great opportunities to dive into the water or spend time by the lakeside. 

Switzerland Points of interest Lake Zurich
It is also a perfect place to end your day since there is so much going on at Lake Zurich, including many artists congregating by the lakeside in the evening on a warm day to keep you entertained. So really it is a perfect idea to spend the whole day at Lake Zurich.


  • Cantons: Vaud

Lake Geneva does not disappoint. It is one of the biggest lakes in Europe, and it amazes with its size, color, and range of activities.

Colorful Montreux- it is all about flowers, the promenade and Lake Geneva

Whether you like sailing, SUP, or swimming, there are tons to do at Lake Geneva, and it is definitely one of the best places to see in Switzerland. Not only is Lake Geneva great to visit in its own right, but you can also visit Montreux from there to have the best of Lake Geneva.


  • Canton: Graubünden

If you are looking for a lesser-known place to visit in Switzerland, add Lake Cauma to your Switzerland itinerary. Standing at the mountain summit looking down at this lake is a feast for the eyes. This little mountain lake in Flims blew me away, and with its amazing color, it proves that size isn’t everything.

Switzerland tourist attractions

If you are not convinced yet, make sure to visit Switzerland’s lesser-known area and hike around the area. You can, of course, swim in it or if you prefer you can take a little row boat out onto the water.

Bring your rubber ring and grab some food and drink and you can spend your whole day at Lake Cauma and have a great time.

  • In the summer months, there is an entrance fee to pay if you want to spend time at the shores of Lake Blausee.
  • Check out my post on the Caumasee here.


  • Canton: Obwalden

Lake Lungern is located on the shores of the little village Lungern and is often overlooked. Passing this area by train is one of the most scenic routes, but it is worth it to stop and enjoy the beauty of the place.  

Brüning Pass, Lake Lungern Switzerland Arzo Travels
While Lake Lungern makes a great place to have a picnic or walk around, this view can be enjoyed when driving up the mountain (for most people from Lucerne to Interlaken) – a popular place when road-tripping Switzerland.

It does not surprise that the viewing station there is quite popular, and people stop by and take trillions of pictures. Well, it certainly does not surprise me as I am one of those who stops by every single time (yes, I stop here every single time) I am driving this road.


  • Canton: Lucerne

Without a doubt, Lake Lucerne is one of Switzerland´s gems given its size, colors, and setting make Lake Lucerne (or in German “Vierwaldstättersee”). 

Getting up Mount Rigi - a must-do activity in Lucerne
It does not matter whether you are strolling along Lake Lucerne in Lucerne, relaxing in Weggis, heading to Mount Rigi or Mount Pilatus to enjoy the view from above, or driving the scenic Grand Tour around Lake Lucerne = this lake knows how to impress.

Thus it should not come as a surprise that you have to add this place to your Switzerland bucket list.


  • Canton: Graubünden

If you prefer smaller, lesser-known places and lakes – but still stunning ones, then Lago di Saoseo is perfect for you. 

Lago di Saosea - underrated places in Switzerland
I had never expected to see such a beautiful lake in the region of Valposchiavo – it surely is one of the five prettiest lakes in the country, and I can promise you that no pictures do the lake any justice.

I would even suggest visiting the mountain lake if you are short in time – because then you really have seen a hidden gem of Switzerland.


  • Canton: Bern

One of Switzerland’s most beautiful lakes is the Bachalpsee (Bachalp Lake) near Grindelwald. I visited on a very grey day, so I did not get to see it perfectly. However, it is one of the best lakes to see. First, get to Grindelwald First by gondola, then you will have to do an easy hike to get there. 

Bachalpsee in Grindelwald - not too far from Hotel Caprice

The hike is well worth it and makes a perfect day tour that you will not forget so easily.


There are not that many cities in Switzerland. Actually, there are just very few cities and most of them are actually towns. However, here are the best cities to visit in Switzerland.


  • Canton: Zurich

Switzerland’s biggest city Zurich, located close to the German border, is one of my favorite cities.

Zurich @shutterstock best places to stay in Zurich

The city is full of beautiful nature, mountains (though there are no Alps, there are some nice mountain peaks like Uetliberg), Lake Zurich, and it is home to one of the most expensive streets in the world: the Bahnhofstrasse.


  • Canton: Vaud

If you want to visit a place in Switzerland that doesn’t feel Swiss, then visit Geneva. Geneva is the only city in Switzerland with a cosmopolitan feeling, making it a great place to visit. 

View of Lake Geneva in one day
While there, you can head to Lake Geneva, visit the UN headquarters or the International Committee of the Red Cross, and you can see Mont Blanc from Geneva – the white peak only shows on clear days, but it is quite impressive.

By the way, Geneva is THE place for luxury watches, so “watch shopping” might be another activity you might want to do in Geneva.

You should set aside at least one day to visit Geneva when you visit Switzerland.


  • Canton: Lucerne

Lucerne is considered by many as the most beautiful city in Switzerland. 

Chapel Bridge 2016 in Lucerne - Can you spot me and Puppygak on th bridge?
It is way smaller than Zurich and has fewer activities on offer. However, walking the world-famous wooden Chapel Bridge or strolling through the old town, then doing a boat trip on Lake Lucerne, or getting on top of Mount Pilatus and/or Mount Rigi are definitely some of the best things to do in all of Switzerland.


  • Canton: Bern

Bern – the capital – is one of the best places to go in Switzerland. 

Best cities to visit in Switzerland Bern Aare river view in bern
Whether you head to the Rosengarten for great city views, visit the bear family in the Bärenpark, or stroll along the Aare river – Bern is not short of nice attractions.

Interestingly, Bern’s whole old town is a UNESCO World Heritage – so getting lost in those beautiful streets of Bern is another fun and free thing to do.


  • Canton: Basel City

Basel is the art capital located in the most northern part – very close to Germany. If you are an art lover, you have probably heard of Basel because it is worldwide known for its many important museums. 

Basel best view from Münster
But Basel also has a beautiful old town, and it is also very well-known for the Christmas markets in December for a few weeks. In summer, people love to swim and float in the Aare River.

It took me years to visit, but I was surely not disappointed when I finally went to Basel.


  • Canton: Ticino

Lugano is located in the southern part of Switzerland – close to the border of Italy and you can tell, the Italian influence is there. 

Parco Ciani is one of the most beautiful places in Lugano

So, by visiting Lugano, you are going to see some of the prettiest places in Switzerland. Parks, mountain peaks (like Monte Bre and Monte San Salvatore), cute villages, and towns along the shores of Lake Lugano – in Lugano you have all that and more.

Due to its southern location, you also have a mild climate throughout the year (while also having snow in the mountains in the winter).


I know waterfalls are not the first thing that comes to our mind when we think about the best places to visit in Switzerland – but there are some gorgeous waterfalls to visit.


  • Canton: Bern

Waterfalls in Switzerland can be pretty amazing. One of the best places to see waterfalls is Interlaken and its Giessbach Waterfalls. These stunning falls have a total length of around 500 meters over 14 stages.

Balcony - Waterfall view room

If you are fine to admire the waterfalls from far, you can just do a boat tour to pass the waterfalls. Alternatively, you can hike up to get to the top of Giessbach Waterfalls, or if you are at the Hotel Giessbach, you can enjoy the most beautiful view from there.


  • Canton: Schaffhausen and Zurich

Talking about waterfalls, the most powerful waterfalls in Europe are the Rhine Falls. Several hundred cubic meters of water thunder through these impressive falls each second. 

Rhine Falls Switzerland Best places to see in Switzerland
The Rhine Falls are located close to the German border, or, more precisely, between Schaffhausen and Zurich. To experience this powerful waterfall, you can go to a platform where, if you stretch out your hand out far enough, you can almost touch the waterfall! Or, if you prefer, you can do a boat tour. My tip would be to visit on a sunny day, or after a hefty rainfall if possible because the waterfall is more powerful.

  • Check out my guide on the Rhine Falls for more information.


  • Canton: Bern

With 300 meters in height, Staubbach Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Switzerland and one of the most interesting ones.

Lauterbrunnen Staubbach waterfall a top activity in Interlaken with Arzo Travels
Located in the beautiful village of Lauterbrunnen, the water looks like fine dust, which explains the origin of the name (Staub=dust). Supposedly, it inspired Johann Wolfgang Goethe for one of his poems, so wandering around this area with the waterfalls in eyesight might be an inspiration for all those looking for stunning places to visit in Switzerland.

Also, Lauterbrunnen is the starting point to go to places like Murren or Schilthorn.


Switzerland has some gorgeous towns to see – and here are my favorites that have made it on my list.


  • Canton: Schaffhausen

Stein am Rhein is so exquisitely pretty I couldn’t believe it was real. 

Places to visit in Switzerland
Stein am Rhein will leave you speechless, and after strolling the tiny old town, it is time to enjoy the scenery while walking along the Rhine River. It is lesser-known than towns like Interlaken or Lucerne but a must-see in Switzerland.


  • Canton: Bern

Thun was a great surprise, I drove through it many times, but I fell in love immediately when I finally decided to visit. 

Thun, most beautiful town in Interlaken
@View from Thun Castle, free with a Swiss Travel Pass

The castles there (Thun is home to several beautiful romantic castles, my favorite is Thun Castle because you have splendid views), the old town, Lake Thun, and the river. There are many reasons why you should see Thun. It also makes a great base as you can get quite easily to places like Kandersteg, Zermatt, etc.


  • Canton: Bern

Interlaken is a town in between two lakes- Lake Thun and Lake Brienz – and it is also surrounded by stunning nature and one of the best places to visit as an adventurous outdoor fan.  

Switzerland Interlaken at Lake Thun
Admittedly, the old town of Interlaken is a bit unspectacular, but the scenery makes up for that. 

Whether you get up Harder Kulm (Interlaken´s own local mountain) or stroll along the shores of one of the lakes, you will not be disappointed by this pretty piece of land.

It is also one of the best places to stay – there are so many amazing day trips from Interlaken (including to Lauterbrunnen, and Jungfraujoch).


  • Canton: Vaud

If you are looking for a beautiful little town located on Lake Geneva’s shores, Montreux is the place to visit. 

Chateau de Chillion_A must see place in Montreux
Montreux is just stunning and owes its beauty because it mostly consists of flowers and Lake Geneva.

These two facts make it one of Switzerland’s most beautiful places, but you should not miss seeing the Chateau de Chillon or the beautiful vineyards that come with the best views of Lake Geneva. If you are a fan of Freddie Mercury or Charlie Chaplin, make sure to visit their statues/homes as both fell in love with Montreux/Vevey and made it their home.


  • Canton: Bern

Grindelwald is one of the most popular towns in Switzerland – it is indeed wonderful! It is located in the Jungfrau/Interlaken region with great views of the Swiss Skyline. The town itself is so popular because it is one of the most visited regions for skiing in. In addition, it is a great base for people who like to hike in the summer months. 

Grindelwald is one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland

Check out my Grindelwald in winter guide or my regular post on what to do in Grindelwald.


  • Canton: Ticino

Ascona, located on Lake Maggiore’s northern shore and just 30 minutes away from the Italian border, is one most colorful towns in Switzerland. 

Switzerland attractions
The Old Town and its lively piazza make Ascona one of my top places to visit, and the proximity to another absolute gem is another plus (more on this beautiful spot is about to come).


  • Canton: Valais

Zermatt is probably one of the hottest destinations in Switzerland – while this is not meant literally, this beautiful picturesque village nestled at the foot of the world-famous Matterhorn is just really….pretty!

Bets holiday places in Switzerland Zermatt

Whether you head to Matterhorn Glacier paradise by cable car, get up Gornergat, or stroll the Vispa River, you will not be disappointed. Also, it is a top destination to visit in the summer and the winter months.


  • Canton: Bern

Seriously, Spiez is one of the prettiest places though there is not much to do and see. 

Spiez best of Switzerland
Picture-perfect Spiez sits on a promontory jutting out into Lake Thun, above which the Niederhorn mountain range stretches out to the Bernese Alps, creating wonderful views. You can’t miss Castle Spiez, which looms, with its imposing size and huge tower, over the village with the best view of Niesen Mountain.


  • Canton: Bern

Lauterbrunnen, which translates as ‘many fountains,’ is just wow…

Lauterbrunnen village

Surrounded by the magnificent Alps and boastings as many as 72 thundering waterfalls amongst alpine meadows and mountain inns and is, in fact, one of the biggest nature conservation areas in Switzerland.

The town itself is filled with beautiful timber facades and lies right alongside the beautiful crystal-clear river of the glacier-fed Lutschine, making it one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland.


Here are a few impressive places in Switzerland that did not really fit in one category, so this is my miscellaneous section.


  • Canton: Ticino

If you are looking for a special place in Switzerland among the stunning mountains and lakes, the place to visit is Valley Verzasca.

Where to go in Switzerland on holidays
 You will hardly find a nicer shade of green anywhere, and – since it is not a lake – this beautiful Verzasca River is one of the most unique places in the country. Furthermore, the Lavertezzo Bridge adds additional beauty to this gorgeous region of Ticino.


  • Canton: Bernese Oberland

Grabenmuhle has blown me away, and I think it is one of the cutest and prettiest places in Sigriswil, in the region of Interlaken. 

Grabenmühle best place to visit in Switzerland
Though I can’t say what it is about it that I love so much, it is a natural park with some cute flower arrangements and a great view of Niesen Mountain.

You can also fish there, or you can see the old houses so seriously, don’t ask me what it is, but it is a lovely place!

It is just a few minute’s walk from the Sigriswil Suspension bridge, too, so definitely plan in half a day to see this place and the suspension bridge. So, this is one of the best places to visit if you are more into the hidden gems of the country.


  • Canton: Appenzellerland

The Aescher is also known as the most beautiful restaurant.

unique things to do in Switzerland Aescher Guest House
 Sitting at the Ebenalp Mountain foot, this cliff restaurant (and former hotel) amazes guests from all over the world. The food there is also quite affordable for Swiss standards, so try out their vegetarian Rösti.

If you want to have the best wow effect, I recommend going up by cable car, getting off there, and then hiking down for about 10 or 15 minutes, and all of a sudden, you will see this beautiful cliff guesthouse where you can take a rest.

From there, I would recommend hiking down to see the Seealpsee – another beautiful place that you can easily combine with a trip to Appenzell.


  • Canton: Bern

Getting up to Jungfraujoch is probably one of the highlights for many Switzerland visitors. 

top of europe Jungfraujoch - things to know.
The impressive saddle in the Bernese Alps (connecting the two mountain peaks, Jungfrau and Mönch, at about 3,500 meters) is a popular day-trip destination in the region of Jungfrau/Interlaken. Book a train ticket in advance to get up the mountain.

The views along the way are often gorgeous, though you also spend a lot of time in tunnels before arriving at the highest train station in Europe.

At the top, you´ll find a lot of attractions like the Ice Palace or the Alpine Sensation. But most of all, you have a lot of fun outdoors because snow is guaranteed throughout the year, so you can imagine how much fun it is for people of all ages.

It is one of those places you have to visit (even if the trip is not a cheap one).


  • Canton: Bernese Oberland

Though I have had countless experiences that took my breath away in Switzerland, my day trip to Brienzer Rothorn was a one-of-a-kind experience. 

View from Brienzer Rothorn
The ride up in a historic locomotive was my personal favorite. While going up, you´ll have amazing views of Lake Brienz (the stunning turquoise lake in the region of Interlaken) and the mountain range in front of you.

You pass short tunnels and meet cows and other animals along the way (the ride up takes about one hour). It is indeed a memory that I will always cherish, and it is my personal top tip when it comes to mountain views.


  • Canton: Bern

What makes Schynige Platte unique is the fantastic view you get.  

Visit the Schynige Platte with your Swiss Travel Pass
After a 40-minute ride in a cable car, you arrive at Schynige Platte and have a gorgeous view of the Swiss Skyline (which consists of three mountains, Jungfrau, Eigner, and Mönch).

And if you think it cannot get much better than that, just take a 10-minute hike through the Alpine Garden, and on the other side, you have an even better view! This vantage point gives you the best view of Lake Brienz and Lake Thun (two of the most stunning sights ever) at the same time. 

It did not surprise me that this was so popular among visitors. Two completely different views from one summit! Now, that’s what I call efficiency.


  • Canton: Lucerne

My trip to Mount Pilatus did not start well, and I was sure it was not worth it (yes, I can be quick in jumping to conclusions). 

Switzerland what to visit
But, seriously, I have to admit that Mount Pilatus is pretty great. Not only literally (it is about 2,500 meters high), but the views from there are just breathtaking.

It seems that there is a whole new mini-village on the summit, and if you want to do some paragliding, you can even do that up there. Views of Lake Lucerne and the Alps make it one of Switzerland’s top places (avoid visiting on Sundays during these months and go very early, so you do not have to wait in line as I did, which almost ruined the trip for me).


  • Canton: Graubünden

Last but not least: This stunning mountain peak with one of the prettiest mountain views I have had. Sassal Masone in Valposchiavo.

Valposchiavo Palü Lake in heart shape
The view of the stunning, turquoise-colored lake is just one amazing reason to visit. The stone houses at Sassal Masone, the Palü Glacier view are many reasons to visit this gorgeous place.

Getting here is just an experience by itself – and I promise you it is no less stunning than the other attractions and places in Switzerland.


I hope you enjoy Switzerland as much as I do and these tips help you find the best places to visit in Switzerland. For visiting all the places above, you would need a while but maybe just pick a few that appeal the most to you so that you can create a perfect Switzerland itinerary for you.

Whether you road trip to Switzerland or discover the country by train and public transportation – I am sure you will not be disappointed!

Safe Travels, Arzo

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