50 Unique Things To Do in Switzerland This Summer

Best Things To Do in Switzerland Summer 2017

From exploring the top of Europe to sailing around Lake Geneva, photographing Chillon Castle or passing by the spectacular Rhine Falls on your Grand Train Tour, you’ll soon realise why Switzerland is known to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world are there are endless fun activities. If you’re planning a trip there, be it the the Alps or all the great lakes in Zurich and Lucerne, here are the 50 best things to do in Switzerland this summer 2017.

50 Best Things To Do in Switzerland: Alps, Lakes, Food

1. A hotel with a view

If you’re going to spend your hard earned cash on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Switzerland, the you might as well stay in one of the most incredible hotels in the world. Hotel Villa Honegg has got a lot of attention recently (mainly due to viral Instagram images!) thanks to its spectacular infinity pool overlooking the Alps. When it comes to a room with a view, it doesn’t get much better than this! If this is *a little* out of your budget, then here are some equally amazing and unique places to stay in Switzerland with a smaller price tag!

Chateau Guetsch, Lucerne Just €200 a night to stay in a CASTLE! – Check availability here

Whitepod, Monthey – Stay in a luxury mountain pod! – Check availability

The Cambrian, Adelboden – Infinity pool with unbeatable views – Check availability

2. Eat your weight in Swiss cheese

If you didn’t already know Switzerland is famous for its cheese – now you know! One of the most fun things to do on any trip to Switzerland is to see how many different types of delicious Swiss cheese you can eat. Be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, while sitting in a fancy Fondue Restaurant, or at a picnic in the park you’ve put together for your self, nothing beats a meal of cheese. We ate at the oldest restaurant in Lausanne and I can happily say I’ve never eaten that much cheese in one sitting in my life – it was heavenly! It should be noted that in Switzerland they don’t really call it “Swiss cheese” as they simply have a huge variety of delicious Alpine cheeses, made from cows milk that comes from the happiest cows in the world.




swiss-cheese-fondue

3. Do a chocolate-making workshop

 No trip to Switzerland would be complete without taking part in a chocolate-making workshop. While Lausanne seems like an obvious choice (milk chocolate was actually invented in the small village of Vevey near Lausanne by Swiss Man Daniel Peter in 1876) we actually did our workshop in beautiful Interlaken. There’s a chocolate-making workshop and cafe there called The Funky Chocolate Club and Ian and I had an insanely fun morning melting, mixing and eating our own chocolatey creations here. it was interesting to learn where the cocoa beans come from, wha the perfect temperature is for making milk and dark chocolate and all the various methods to decorate your chocolate bar! All we ate that day was chocolate – and I know my Dad is still jealous of this fact. You can book the top 5 chocolate making workshops here.
chocolate-making-workshop

Top Chocolate Making tours in Switzerland – CHECK PRICES HERE

4. Stay in the world’s prettiest hostels

Whether you are on a shoestring budget or not, staying in hostels is weirdly one of the top things to do in Switzerland. They are unlike any other backpackers hostels I’ve encountered around the world – and many are even prettier and better-located than their neighbouring hotels. In Interlaken we stayed at the very famous Balmers Hostel, which is the oldest private hostel in Switzerland and has more extra facilities than you can shake a stick (of chocolate) at. There’s a restaurant, a night club, a massive terrace and garden, a room full of hammocks and a play area with foosball and pool tables. We stayed in a private room that was more spacious than some of the hotels we’ve stayed at and the decor was certainly unique! While we didn’t stay in Lauterbrunnen the hostel we saw there was also one of the prettiest hostels in the world and might be worth checking out for a night or two if you plan to do some hiking.

Book Balmers Hostel – CHECK PRICES

balmers-hostel-interlaken

5. Go wine tasting in Lugano

While Switzerland may not be as famous as its neighbouring countries for wine (hello France and Italy!) the wines that we tasted were pretty amazing. There are even some pretty famous wine-making districts around the country from the UNESCO World Heritage Vineyards in Vevey to the warm, hills around Lugano in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. Ian and I spent a few hours at a very small family run vineyard in Lugano called La Fattoria Moncucchetto.

It was actually really nice to look around a very small vineyard (the produce 35,000 bottles a year and don’t export anything) as well as learning how their various varieties of wine are made. We tasted a few glasses of their 2014 Refolo Brut and both agreed we wouldn’t mind purchasing a bottle on ten! ;-) The bubbles went straight to my head but in a good way! Be sure to visit if passing through Lugano – the views are also incredible from their terrace.

wine-tasting-lugano

 

Top Hotels in Lugano – CHECK PRICES

6. Discover Switzerland’s oldest town

The city of Chur, located in the Swiss canton of Graubünden, is officially the oldest town in Switzerland dating back over 5,000 years. The towns official language is German but the main language spoken here is the Alemannia Swiss German dialect. The old part of the town is very picturesque and 100% car free making a visit here even more enjoyable. 

Chur #chur #graubünden #switzerland

A photo posted by Simona Guarino (@siimonaguarino) on

7. Cruise down the River Rhine

One of my favourite things to do in Switzerland was a morning spent cruising down the famous River Rhine. We hopped on board in the town of Schaffhaussen in Switzerland and watching in awe as the boat manoeuvred its way down the river with Switzerland to one side and Germany to the other. Was sort of like being in two countries at once. We passed some stunning little villages, camp sites and absolutely massive mansions on either side of the river and it was by far one of the most relaxing mornings we had. As most of the boats rides in Switzerland are included in your Swiss Travel Pass, we just hopped off the train and onto the boat with our giant backpacks and took a sort of two-hour detour down the river  then re-joined the train further down the route. img_0035

 

8. Experience three cultures in one

You may laugh at me, but until I actually travelled around Switzerland I was not aware that there are three separate languages spoken. Four if your can Romansh, a language only spoken in the Graubünden area to the West of the country. Three languages means three separate cultures and three very different varieties of food. It’s quite fun travelling from the French-speaking area around Lausanne – where you’ll find delicious baked goods, crepes and other delightful delicacies from France to the German-speaking area where you will suddenly see street signs in German and advertisements for Bratwursts! The moment we got off the train in Lugano it actually felt life we had already crossed over into Italy – expect the prices of course!

9. Descend a mountain in a cable car

Whether you decide to take the cable car up the mountain or down, riding in a cable car is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Switzerland! In the winter they’re obviously used by the masses to get to the top of the mountains before skiing or snowboarding back down, while in summer there a little quieter and can be used to get to the top of various peaks to admire the spectacular view from the top. As we had a 8-day Swiss Rail Pass, we were allowed to take some cable car rides for free such as the one linking Mount Rigi near Lucerne to Weggis at the lakeshore. Switzerland is also home to the world’s first revolving cable car – while we didn’t get to experience this personally I’ve heard it’s an incredible experience. cable-car

10. Take an old cog railway up Mount Rigi

One of the best day trips on our 8-day Grand Train Tour was a morning ascending Mount Rigi in an old cog railway. the incline was seriously steep and the train went at a snail’s pace, but this meant all the passengers could easily hang our the windows and take some of the most stunning panorama shots of the surrounding lakes and mountains. One photo I took was so spectacular that most of my friends thought it was taken with a drone! Once at the top there is a cafe and restaurant and some great photo opportunities looking back down to the three lakes that surround Mount Rigi. The walk back down to the cable car station is extremely easy, and you might even come across a paraglider flying off the mount as you walk by! rigi-train


Best Luxury Hotels in Mount Rigi – CHECK PRICES NOW

11. Photograph the world’s happiest cows

Did you know Switzerland is famous for having the “happiest cows in the world”? Apparently that’s why Swiss chocolate is so famous – it’s all about the rich and creamy milk! We saw these happy cows everywhere we went, roaming freely through fields, hills and with their cute bells hanging around their necks. We never got too close, but we did have fun trying to get some picture-perfect shots of these famous milk-makers!

 

12. Go skydiving in Interlaken

Forget about Queenstown in New Zealand or Victoria Falls in Southern Africa, I can say with confidence that Interlaken is the new adrenaline-junkie capital of the world. Whatever sort of crazy activity you can think of, be it skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, mountain biking, off-roading, quad biking and loads of others that i can’t begin to explain – they have it. It is also one of the most spectacular spots on earth to go skydiving – surrounded by the dramatic peaks of the Alps. Check out Skydiving Interkalen for info on prices! 

13. Take a steamboat around Lake Leman

One of the things I love about Switzerland is how they manage to combine ancient traditions with modernity. Its home to some of the most complicated banking and technology systems, but still maintains traditional steamboats and old cog railways. We had the pleasure of taking two separate steamboat rides while in Switzerland but our favourite was a 100-year-old cruise around Lake Leman (otherwise known as Lake Geneva) taking in beautiful lakeside towns and villages such as Montreaux, Vevey and Port Valais.  steamboat-lausanne

 

14. Visit a UNESCO Vineyard at Vevey

The vineyards at Vevay are an unforgettable site that need to be seen to be believed. Whether you rock up as part of a cruise around Lake Leman or stop off there on the train from Lausanne to Montreaux, these stepped vineyards are absolutely stunning. Dating back over 1,000 years, when the Italians brought the first grapes to Switzerland, a half day spent here is a half day well spent! Two famous people also hail from here: Comedy genius Charlie Chaplin and the founder of milk chocolate Daniel Peter!
VEVEY-LAVAUX

Luxury hotels in Lausanne –  CHECK PRICES

15. Explore old railway bridges

Depending on how much time you have in Switzerland, one fun thing to do is to spend a day exploring old railway bridges. We did this while passing through St Gallen, where the tallest railway bridge in Switzerland is located. There are actually three bridges next to each other – one for cars and two for trains. Whether you walk over them or under them, they are a sight to behold and a great place to meet some locals or even take a dip in one of Switzerland’s many perfectly-clean rivers. railway-bridge-switzerland

16. Get soaked by a waterfall

This might happen by accident but it will most definitely happen! One thing Switzerland has a lot of is powerful waterfalls. we actually came across a few by accident and the one that we paid to get into was one of the most incredible waterfalls I’ve ever had the opportunity to visit. if you take the train to Lauterbrunnen and take the super-easy 1 hour hike to Trummelbach, you will actually pass about two or three other waterfalls along the way. If you have a few more hours (or even days) to kill, you can check out all 72 waterfalls to be found in this mountainous region of the country! Trummelbach, the most famous waterfall, has been formed by the melting snow breaking through cracks in the rocks and gushing down into the valley. Because it’s so cold and so clear, the colour of the water is this unusual greyish white colour which can be viewed up close at the bottom of the falls. To see the falls up close, they have carved steps and platforms into the rock face so visitors can view the waterfall in all its glory from varying dizzying heights. img_1187




17. Discover picturesque villages

While Switzerland is famous for a few of its large and well-known cities, the real beauty is to be found in all the small and picturesque villages you pass along the way. It’s best not to try fit too much into your daily itinerary so you have time to hop off the train as you please to have a coffee in a cute little village, take a walk around and unknown lake or simply to take pictures which is what I did. At one stage I hopped off the train in a town called Spiez with all my bags and left Ian ride on to Zurich by himself as I was so keen to take some drone shots (which you can see below!). The same goes for boat rides – give yourself enough time to jump off at some the more picturesque towns and villages you see along the way. pretty-town




 

18. Stroll through Stein Am Rhein

A town I had never heard of until a local took us there following a boat ride down the River Rhine, Stein Am Rhein is a medieval town in the German-speaking part of Switzerland with perfectly preserved ancient centre. No amount of photos would be enough in this storybook town – I kept feeling as if I had walked into a fairytale such a Shrek as not one building looked like any i had ever seen before. Dating back hundreds of years, the front of most buildings were perfectly preserved with ancient paintings in beautiful colours. Has to be seen to be believed!

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stein-am-rhein

 

19. See Europe’s most powerful waterfall

If you didn’t get your fill of amazing waterfalls in The Alps, then a visit to Rhine Falls just 40 minutes outside of Zurich by train is  must. Our train passed right by and I honestly nearly jumped out the window of the train i was in such awe at what I was seeing. I kicked myself for not doing my research and knowing that it existed so I would have known to get off the train!! Don’t make the same mistake as me – plan your journey and be sure to make s all photo stop here!

20. Take in a Zurich sunrise

This wasn’t planned (we just happened to need to get up very early when leaving Zurich) but I highly recommend you set your alarm clock and explore this beautiful city as the sun rises. It’s so quiet and peaceful in the morning, the light is at its best for photographs and the river is flat calm allowing for some stunning reflection shots. Looking for travel info about Zurich? Here’s 10 great things to do in Zurich.

sunrise-in-zurich

Luxury hotels in Zurich – CHECK PRICES

21. Visit the Olympic Museum

While there are lots of fantastic museums in Switzerland, The Olympic Museum in Lausanne is by far the best by a long shot. Located in the Olympic City, the home of the founder of the modern-day olympics and the International Olympic Committee, visiting this museum is both fascinating and exciting. Perfect for all ages, this interactive museum takes you through the history of the olympics, all about its founder and his life in Lausanne as well as a chance to see signed memorabilia from many of the past Olympic Games. You can take a photo of yourself holding the Olympic Torch from Rio and you can even try your hand at some Olympic Sports from athletics to shooting as well as playing games to test your balance. Tom Cafe, the restaurant on the top floor, has a beautiful terrace with panoramic views of Lake Geneva and delicious buffet to treat yourself to. My travel buddy Ian has written a separate post all about why he loved The Olympic Museum which you should definitely check out! olympic-museum img_0976

 

22. Tour the country by train

I honestly think the ONLY way to visit Switzerland is by train. There’s this thing called the “Grand Train Tour of Switzerland” which we did. You can either buy a 4 day or an 8 day pass and it essentially lets you travel anywhere in Switzerland by boat, bus or train and even some cable cars. If not covered by the pass, there’s almost always a 25% or 50% discount. While you might need to make a reservation for some of the more popular trains in the summer, or the panoramic trains through the Alps, we didn’t need to reserve seats anywhere and found travelling from city to city by train super easy for extremely enjoyable. The ticket also gets your first class so you ride in style! Here’s another great post with more information about travelling Europe by train. Train travel in Switzerland really the only way to go! train-travel-switzerland

mountains

23. Cruise around Lake Lucerne

As I’m sure you’ve guessed already – Switzerland is essentially full of mountains, lakes and rivers. around every corner there is a mountain to be climbed and a lake to be explored by boat. We loved taking an old steamer across Lake Lucerne – the views were spectacular and you can hop on and off as your please visiting some of the pretty lakeside towns that I previously talked about. lake-lucerne lucerne-cruise

24. Play in the snow at Jungfraujoch

Jungfraujoch – known as the Top of Europe – is the highest railway station in Europe. Located  3,454 metres above sea level, this has snow year round so even if you visit in the summer you can still do a variety of fun winter sports. It can be rather pricey to get to the top – be it by train or cable car – but the people we met who made it up there said it was definitely worth it for the view and the unique “snow in summer” experience. Just be sure to check the weather before you go as there’s no point going up on a very cloudy day! A blogger friend of mine wrote a great write-up about travelling to Jungfraujoch here.

25. Cycle around Zurich

Zurich is a very easy city to get around and despite being known as the banking capital of the world, it is in fact a very beautiful old city with a lot to see and do. Full of excellent museums and attractions, renting a bike and exploring this city on two wheels is definitely the best way to see all of has to offer. Be sure to check out the giant clock face, Europe’s largest clock face at St Peter’s Church.

26. Old railway to Lauterbrunnen

Taking a traditional train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, or even further up into the mountains if your budget allows it, is one of the most unique things to do in Switzerland. The view is beautiful along the way as the train slowly winds its way up the valley and on arrival in Lauterbrunnen you will feel like you’ve arrived in a fairytale town. Whether you visit in Winter or Summer, a walk around this magical village will put a smile on your face. Grab a hot chocolate at one of the cute cafes or book into one of the most picturesque hostels in the world.

swiss-train

27. Explore lakeside town of Spietz

A cute lakeside town only a short train ride from Interlaken, and a perfect stop if you are travelling on to Zurich. Spend a day walking around this town and be sure to check out Spietz Castle, the marina and the church that sits by the lake. You can also take a boat trip out around the lake if you have time and enjoy the spectacular backdrop of the mountains behind you. aerial2

28. Rent a paddle boat in Lausanne

Visiting Lausanne is a little like travelling back in time to the summer resorts of the past. Watch as families sit by the lake enjoying the sunshine or rent a paddle boat and paddle along the shore of beautiful Lake Leman. You can enjoy great views of the Olympic Museum as well as an alternative view of some of the best hotels in the world which live the side of the lake overlooking the clear waters. paddle-boat-lausanne

29. Watch the paragliders in Interlaken

If paragliding isn’t in your budget it can also be fun to go the park in Interlaken to watch as hundreds and hundreds of them descend on the town, doing flips and tricks, landing mere meters from your comfortable park bench. It’s a real sight to behold and will ensure your photo of Interlaken have a pretty energetic background!

paraglider

30. Stay in an old jailhouse

There’s a hotel in Lucerne that use to be the city jail. you can now pay to get the full “jail experience” complete with small beds in cell-like rooms, bars on the windows and dim lighting. A unique Swiss experience for sure! The prison dates back to 1862 – so you might imagine a few visitors while you sleep!

Home for the night. Jailhotel#switzerland #luzerne #jailhotelluzern‼️ #yolo

A photo posted by El Rafa (@el_rafas_world) on

31. Eat a great, big Swiss steak

Like I mentioned earlier, Switzerland is pretty famous for having the happiest cows in the world and some of the world’s tastiest cheese. It’s no surprise that it is also a meat-lovers heaven an is home to the tastiest cuts of steak as well as a huge variety of mouth-watering dried meats. We treated ourselves to a steak dinner while in Lausanne and it was way up there with one of the best-cooked steaks I’ve ever eaten. Enjoy it with some good Swiss red wine and you’ll be in foodie heaven!

32. Stay in the leading hotels of the world

Switzerland must have more luxury hotels per capita than anywhere else in the world. Some aren’t even widely marketed – they’re just known by those in the know. Many are famous for having hosted some of the world’s biggest celebrities and one such hotel in Lausanne was the home Coco Chanel for two years and even has a suite in the hotel named after her. Be in castles up in the mountains or 5-star lakeside retreats, many dating back over 100 years, you are sure to find a hotel you’ll never forget while in Switzerland. We spent two nights in the Carlton Lausanne and I had the most incredible balcony overlooking the street with the lake in the near distance. While the hotel had kept much of its old-world charm (there were even a hotel posters in the breakfast room), it didn’t feel old and the rooms were beautifully decorated.

Book Carlton Lausanne

hotel-carlton

33. Go hiking

There are so many amazing hiking opportunities in Switzerland. You could probably go hiking every day of your holiday and never get bored as the routes are all equally different and equally enchanting. Climb up to snow-capped peaks or take it easy walking around gently sloping paths surrounding Switzerland’s endless lakes. Take a cable car up and walk back down or if you’re feeling energetic walk up and take an old railway back down. hiker

 

34. Take a funicular to Harder Kulm

If you have a few days in Interlaken, be sure to take the old funicular up to Harder Kulm. The large windows and glass roof will allow you spectacular views as you rise up to one the surrounding mountain peaks located 1,322 metres above sea level. There’s a Chinese restaurant at the top that looks like a mixture between a castle and a temple where you can enjoy the view with a sundowner!  Check the weather here before you go up to ensure there’s a clear view and no low-lying clouds.

35. Visit the James Bond restaurant

The famous James Bond restaurant in Switzerland is located at the top of Schilthorn, a 2970 meter high mountain peak in the middle of the country. The restaurant at the top, called Piz Gloria, is where the 1969 James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was set. The restaurant actually revolves and affords visitors panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. You will need to take a series of trains and cable cars to get here so the reward of such an incredible view is a welcome treat on arrival.

james-bond-restaurant

36. Explore Switzerland’s stunning castles

Every village, every town, every lake, every river and everywhere else in between seems to have its own stunning castle in Switzerland. I was blown away by the first one I saw (probably as it’s one of the most famous – Chilean Castle on the shores of Lake Geneva) but that it almost got to a stage when i stopped noticing them as there were so many to take pictures of. If you take a 2 hour train journey through the Swiss countryside you won’t be able to count the amount of castles you see on both hands. In fact, there is said to be a grand total of 62 castles in Switzerland so see how many you can tick off! castle-switzerland

 

37.  Listen to Jazz in Montreux

The small town of Montreux on the shore of Lake Geneva is very much a traditional lakeside resort town but with a small twist. It’s most famous for its annual Montreux Jazz Festival held each July, and dating back over 50 years. It’s the second largest annual jazz festival in the world, second only to Canada’s famous Montreal Jazz Fest, attracting artists and festival-goers from around the world. While primarily focusing on Jazz music, you can listen to all types of music genres imaginable. The festival lasts two full weeks and attracts almost a quarter of a million people each year.

montreux

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Where To Stay in Montreux 

Fairmont Le Montreux Palace – from €305 a night

Hotel Helvetie – from €117 a night

Eurotel Montreux – from €167 a night

38. Watch the sunset over Lake Lucerne

While Switzerland is full of beautiful places to watch the sunset, I particularly loved watching the sunset in beautiful Lucerne. The city has a very unique layout, stretching down each side of the lake, which makes viewing the sunset all the more pleasurable. you can also take sunset cruises out on to the water and look back on the city as the sun sets behind it. An unforgettable experience. There’s even a bar called ‘Sunset Bar’ as part of the Hotel Seeburg where you are guaranteed the best sunset pics!

39. Drink Swiss wine at Mojito in Lugano

While in Lugano we discovered this very cute lakeside bar called Mojito. Unlike every other bar we frequented on our travels so far, this bar is run by the local community and all profits made of directly back into the running of the bar and funding local festivals and events that take place next to Lake Lugano. Prices were very reasonable and they served up some of the mojitos this side of the world. Highly recommend visiting and supporting this social enterprise.

lugano-mojito

40. Take the Glacier Express

No visit to Switzerland would be complete without riding the famous Glacier Express through the mountains, right up to some of the most spectacularly beautiful spots on all of Europe. Riding this train is like being transported into a Disney movie – complete with huge panoramic, glass windows to ensure you don’t miss a single mountain whizzing by. Taking about seven hours, it goes all the way across the Alps from Zermatt to Davos or St. Moritz. On a single day trip, you will pass by  deep gorges, delightful valleys, 91 tunnels and over 291 impressive bridges!

glacier-express

41. Eat some cobblestone chocolate

If you are spending some time in the Olympic City be sure to take yourself on a self-guided tour up and down the cobblestone streets until you come across the cities most famous chocolate shop. Here the master chocolatier at Paves Tony makes small cobblestone-shaped chocolatey with a very high alcohol content that are sure to melt in you mouth and have your returning time and time again for more tasty delights. 

paves_de_la_rue_de_bourg

42. Explore 3 countries in 1 in Basel

Basel is one of the most unusual cities in the world which makes a visit here one of the best things to do in Switzerland. It’s unique location on the border of three countries means that parts of the city are in France, another part is in Switzerland and a third part is in Germany! Besides its unique location, it was one of the prettiest cities in the country with plenty to keep you occupied for a few days. Basel is also an art lovers paradise – as Jet-Settera found out recently. If visiting during Winter be sure to check out the famous Basel Winter Carnival – the biggest of its kind in Switzerland.

basel-switzerland

43. Go window shopping in Geneva

Oh Geneva. If you have to ask for the price tag, then you probably can’t afford it! this city is FULL of glamorous shop fronts, women clad in designer clothes from head to toe and people driving cars that cost more than an average house. It’s quite the experience to soak it all in for a day or two and look on at a lifestyle you will probably never have! ;-)

44. Walk around Kapellbrücke in Lucerne

The Kapellbrücke, or Chapel Bridge, in Lucerne is one of the biggest defining features of the city and a must-visit attraction. Slightly creepy at night, and equally atmospheric, walking around this ancient bridge (the oldest covered bridge in Europe) is an experience you won’t be forgetting.Be sure to check out the intricate interior paintings that date back to the 17th century and 43 meter tall water tower at the end of the bridge.

luzern_kapellbruecke

45. View the Matterhorn from Zermatt

One of Europe’s highest mountain peaks, at 4,478 metres, this pyramidal peak in the Alps is one of the most recognisable peaks in the world. If you travel to Zermatt by train, you can go up a perfect viewing platform and view this mighty peak from a sad distance. This is also a haven for experiences climbers who can reach 38 separate four thousand-metre peaks from Zermatt. Here are 10 more interesting facts about the Matterhorn that you may not have been privy to!

matterhorn_from_domhutte_-_2

46. Swim in a river or lake

I’m not going to lie. The rivers and lakes in Switzerland are not exactly the warmest. In fact, if you are brave enough to take a dip in a river that has been formed from melting snow, be prepared for an icy surprise. While some are warmer than others, they have one thing in common – they contain some of the clearest and cleanest water in Europe and a real delight to swim in. Be brave, make the jump!

river-switzerland


47. Mingle with the rich in St Moritz

It is said that Winter Tourism was actually invented in St Moritz over 150 years ago after a local hotel owner and its gets made a bet with each other. Over the years, St Moritz has grown into one of the most well-known and prestigious ski resorts in the world – popular with the rich and famous from all four corners of the world. A hub for winter sports enthusiasts – 70% of St Moritz visitors come during the Winter months. Be sure to have a nice bit of savings if you plan of travelling here as winter sports, food, accommodation and everything in between don’t come cheap! Looking for some alternative ski resorts? Read all about where locals would recommend!

st-moritz

48. Eat your way around Gruyères

For the foodies amount you (or anyone that simply enjoys some good cheese!) Gruyere should be added to your Swiss bucket list. Famous for the large concentration of cheese factories as well as some of Switzerland’s most famous meat products, Gruyeres is also a picture-perfect medieval town with a lot of history. Visit the Maison Cailler and Gruyères Chocolate factories, discover hot to make traditional cheese at La Maion du Gruyere or learn to make traditional, organic bread in the Adde bread oven. There are literally endless things to do in this tiny place.

gruyeres-cheese

49. Have a night out in Le Flon

Looking for the best nightlife in Switzerland? It has to be Le Flon district in Lausanne. While may people would argue it’s all about Geneva – many locals from Geneva actually travel to Lausanne for the nightlife. This old warehouse district, which is full of retro clubs and new bars which have kept the old warehouse-style architecture and vibe transform this part of the city into an eclectic nightlife area. In the summer lots of live music and festivals take place here and at the weekends the district really comes alive. Be sure to check out the iconic Mad nightclub….you’ll see why when you get there.

mad-lausanne

50. Visit picturesque Albogasio

While this picturesque village is technically on Italian territory, it can be accessed on a one hour cruise from Lugano, the southern most city in Switzerland. We had to actually google the name when we arrived back to our hostel as we were pretty mesmerised by this tiny but perfectly formed stepped village on the shore of Lake Lugano. A photographers dream – and a village that conjures up images of many of the more famous villages around Southern and Northern Italy.

lugano-1

Editors note: Thank you SO much to Tourism Lausanne for hosting us in Lausanne for two days, to the people at Swiss Travel Pass for kindly sponsoring two 8-day passes and to both the Youth Hostel in Lugano and the Balmer’s Hostel in Interlaken for so kindly hosting us. As always, all opinions are my own and I would highly recommend everyone to visit Switzerland – especially during the summer!

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24 Comments

  1. September 12, 2016 / 6:34 am

    If ever there is a heaven on earth, than it is most likely to be Switzerland. Switzerland is a country which seems to have been created with the personal love and affection of the best artists of the world. It is a land that takes you beyond the realms of your own imagination by its sheer beauty. Switzerland is a country with infinite precious gems and you have strung these gems together beautifully to form a stunning necklace.

  2. September 12, 2016 / 7:53 am

    Great post! switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world..everything is a bit smaller, older and more beautiful than anywhere else :)

  3. September 12, 2016 / 8:02 am

    You had me at “Eat your weight in Swiss cheese”! Ohhh I love Switzerland. Thanks so much for this post – so much great info all in one spot!

  4. September 12, 2016 / 4:12 pm

    Thanks for some of the tips, I love Switzerland and swiss cheese but there a few things in there I definitely didn’t know and will take a note of next time I go.

  5. September 12, 2016 / 5:50 pm

    There are SO many amazing things on this list! Number 2 has my heart but 38 and 40 are something from dreams! Thank you for this, I want to go back soon and this is perfect!!

  6. September 12, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    I feel like Jerry Macguire with “you had me at… cheese” I’d love to explore Switzerland. For all the 48 non-cheese things, but especially the cheesesssss

  7. September 12, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    Great list! I love Switzerland – spent two weeks there, and that wasn’t nearlly enough! I favorite by far was the chocolate-making workshop we did :D SO fun!

  8. sur
    September 13, 2016 / 6:42 am

    sharing more beauties of Switzerland.

  9. September 13, 2016 / 10:31 am

    I have never been to Switzerland but it has been on my wish list for so long. This is gold for my planning in the future. I would love to attend a chocolate making workshop and also would love to eat the cobblestone chocolates. Hiking, Visiting Matterhorn, Top of the Europe. So many things to do. People who have been to Lucerne can’t stop talking about it.

  10. September 13, 2016 / 12:55 pm

    Wow..this is an awesome list..lets see how many of these we are able to strike off on our trip to switzerland which is soon to be…bookmarked ma’m !! :)

  11. September 13, 2016 / 3:24 pm

    This is awesome! I plan to visit Switzerland in the future and this is getting bookmarked for sure! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Bernadette
    September 13, 2016 / 11:45 pm

    This is a very interesting travel guide, but how could you forget to mention Berne. The capital of Switzerland- a beautiful City and idefinitely worth a visit!!

  13. Barbara Wagner
    September 14, 2016 / 7:20 am

    Amazing article Janet! So many colorful photos and useful advise! It makes me want to go back to Switzerland right now!

  14. September 14, 2016 / 11:43 am

    I guess it is too close to home, I have never quite seen Switzerland as a travel destination. But this made me seriously reconsider. Mainly because No 1 – there is just nothing better than cheese! Oh wait, there is – melted cheese!!

  15. dominik
    September 14, 2016 / 2:58 pm

    You forgot to visit Bern, the capital of Switzerland and swim in the river Aare.

    “When the sun comes out, hundreds of Bern locals head to the Aare river for a swim or river rafting while the impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site old town looks down on them from high above. The cool, deep-blue, clean water of the Aare river, which winds its way into the city from the Bernese Alps, offers optimum refreshment on hot summer days.”

    • Marcus Strallen
      September 19, 2016 / 4:30 pm

      A great article, but I agree that a visit to Bern and a swim in the Aare are in the top 10 most important things to do in Switzerland.

  16. September 14, 2016 / 3:26 pm

    I absolutely love this post! thanks for sharing all your wonderful insights. Switzerland is on my must visit list and after reading this it has been bumped to near the top. I’ll certainly be referring to this when i plan my visit. I love the idea of dining in the Chinese restaurant with the fab view, visiting the waterfalls, enjoying a steamboat ride, taking the Glacier Express, eating chocolate of course and more except the skydiving!. ha ha! It looks like you had an amazing adventure and you’ve made this lady very happy. June :)

  17. September 15, 2016 / 8:37 am

    Wine, snow, beautiful landscapes, Glacier Express, and chocolate. These are what I knew about Switzerland. Now I know much more. Nice article.

  18. October 14, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Taking the cable car up to the top of Mount Pilatus in Lucerne is also a great activity to do. Man, I have not been to Switzerland since coming here for a high school trip nearly 20 years ago. Reading about all these activities and seeing all these photos now make me want to go back again, especially to see the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

  19. Lea
    November 13, 2016 / 2:38 pm

    So sad you haven’t been to Bern once (or you haven’t mentioned it)! Wonderful city (the capital) with its old town which is a UNESCO world heritage. Hundreds of old buildings, tiny streets, a river that floods around the city, beautiful landscape and many more! Definitely a MUST VISIT while traveling around Switzerland.
    Would be pleased to show you our amazing city next time! :-)

  20. December 2, 2016 / 3:41 am

    Wow! Switzerland seems absolutely picturesque. I hope to make it there sometime and do all of these things!

  21. December 4, 2016 / 5:26 am

    This list is amazing! I’ve learned so much more about Switzerland and where to visit. Thanks!

  22. Hanka
    December 20, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Great post! I’ve been living in Switzerland for two years now and I absolutely love it here! There are so many places to visit, So much to do. We love hiking with kids and I also write a personal blog about our experience. Check http://www.adinajustina.blogspot.ch

  23. Julia
    January 13, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    One thing I enjoy most about visiting Switzerland is that it’s people dress and act tastefully. Please stop with the ugly American habit of showing too much skin. Note your attire compared to the tasteful dress of the locals in your photographs.