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15 Most Beautiful Cities in Switzerland for your bucket list

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Switzerland is a wonderful country to visit in Europe. With its pristine and beautiful lakes, cable cars, rolling hills, and a high standard of living, Swiss places always find the desired spot on travel bucket lists. In this post, we will discover the most beautiful cities in Switzerland that you must explore.

Swiss Statistical Agency recognizes 20 places as “cities” or big towns. In this list, we have included the best cities to visit in Switzerland regardless of their size – just that these are super gorgeous destinations and totally worthy of your time and money.

15 Most beautiful cities in Switzerland – Guide to best cities to visit in Switzerland 

Most beautiful cities in Switerland - Find out the best cities to visit in Switzerland
Most beautiful cities in Switzerland – Find out the best cities to visit in Switzerland

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Switzerland is a confederation of 26 member states and it has 4 official languages – French, German, Italian, and Romansh. It is not uncommon for people including locals and tour guides to refer to the French side or the German side – when they refer to different cities in Switzerland.

Did you know that – Switzerland is also known as “Confoederatio Helvetica”? “Helvetica” is derived from the Latin word “Helvetier”, and you will see the abbreviation “CH”, commonly used for Switzerland. And “Confoederatio” stands for “confederation”.

Switzerland Map with cities

map of Switzerland
Switzerland City Bucket list

In this guide, we will cover the following places. 

15 Most beautiful cities in Switzerland 

  1. Zurich
  2. Berne
  3. Biel/Bienna
  4. Geneva
  5. Zermatt
  6. St. Gallen
  7. Lucerne
  8. Basel
  9. Winterthur
  10. Lugano
  11. Interlaken
  12. Lausanne
  13. Neuchâtel
  14. Sion
  15. Montreaux 

Essential Tips for Best cities to visit in Switzerland 

Suggested Switzerland Itinerary 

Switzerland as a country is not very big. You can easily keep a major city in Switzerland as a base and take day trips to explore more of the country. If you are visiting Switzerland for 7-10 days and arriving in Zurich, you might find our suggested itinerary useful.

READ: 7 -10 days in Switzerland Itinerary

Swiss Travel Pass 

To explore all of the beautiful cities in Switzerland – purchase a Swiss Travel Pass. The Swiss Travel Pass allows you to take unlimited train rides across the country (for a set duration of time) and also comes with discounted entry fees to many iconic landmarks in the city.

Use the Travel Card to design your own Switzerland itinerary and get unlimited train rides across the country. Buy your Swiss Travel Card here.

Are cities in Switzerland expensive?

Switzerland is an expensive place to travel to and stay for the long term. If you budget things well and stay in a mid-range hotel with access to trams and trains (use public transportation), you can explore the country with affordable means.

Switzerland has a very high standard of living, amazing landscape (which is free to view), and safety while traveling in the country makes up for the high price tag that comes with vacationing here. Come to think of it – all expensive cities/countries have a high living standard, clean public spaces (including toilets), less crime, and good infrastructure. 

Zurich – The largest city in Switzerland

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. It is a wonderful place as a base city, to start exploring this beautiful country. Zurich offers a state of the art infrastructure, a high standard of living with a charming old town center.

In Zurich, you cannot miss the Altstadt, which is the historic old town. Spend most of your time in Zurich by exploring iconic landmarks such as the Grossmünster Church and the Münsterbrücke and the Fraumünster church.

Views of District 01 in Zurich - Best places to stay in Zurich
One of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland – Zurich

Zurich is also home to the most expensive retail or shopping street in the world, called the Bahnhofstrasse. The beauty of Zurich Old Town is magnified by the Limmat River that flows through the city. Take a stroll along the river banks or hop on a cruise, either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Lindenhof Hill is a nice oasis in the heart of the city of Zurich, which is also a MUST visit to soak in amazing views of the historic town. The Lindenhof was the site of a Roman Castle in the early Middle Ages. Today it is a popular hangout place, to unwind and relax under the shade of trees.

Other popular attractions in Zurich include the FIFA World Cup Museum, which is a must-visit for soccer lovers. It is located just a few minutes outside of the old town.

Zurich old town and church lanes Zurich Itinerary 2 days
Most beautiful cities in Switzerland

Lake Zurich Promenade is also located in the same district and this is where most cruises to Lake Zurich depart from. It is a lovely place to explore during summers, whether or not you wish to take a cruise.

Zurich is an easy option for first-time visitors to Switzerland. Keeping Zurich as a base, you can explore a lot of other places like the Rhine falls, Bern, Lucerne, Interlaken, and Basel. 

Zurich is the financial capital of the country and a global city – definitely, a must-visit as it is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. Also, read our guide on Zurich in winter

RECOMMENDED HOTELRomantik Hotel Europe  | Where to stay in Zurich -a neighborhood guide

Read: How to spend 5 days in Switzerland itinerary

Bern – Capital City of Switzerland

Bern may be the capital of Switzerland but that doesn’t mean it’s boring and business-like.  The Old Town, in particular, offers many charms and it’s easy to spend a day or two exploring. In fact, it has so many treasures it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.

Most beautiful cities in Switzerland – Bern-Switzerland by Carolyn from Holidays to Europe

The city dates back to the 12th century so there’s plenty of history to discover and your first stop should be the Zytglogge, Bern’s famous clock tower. It features an intricate clock face and mechanical figures that ‘perform’ every hour.

As you wander the cobbled streets of Bern’s Old Town (Altstadt in German), you’ll notice the many covered arcades that house the shops, cafes, and galleries.  There are around six kilometres of covered arcades in total, making this the longest covered shopping arcade in Europe.

Keep an eye out also, for the numerous fountains in the Old Town which were built to commemorate significant historical events.

For wonderful views over the city, head to Berner Munster – the city’s cathedral that was built in 1421.  If you’re energetic enough to climb the steps of the 100-meter tower, you’ll be rewarded for your effort. Prefer to stay on the ground? No problem, be sure to check out the impressive 12-metre-high stained glass windows inside the cathedral.

Bern in 7 days in Switzerland Itinerary
Bern Switzerland

Your next stop should be Einstein’s House.  This is the exact residence that Albert Einstein lived in when he developed the theory of relativity.

Just across the Nydeggbrucke (Nydegg bridge) which spans the turquoise River Aare, you’ll find the Bern Bear Park. This is home to a number of Pyrenean Brown Bears, the symbol of the city.  In this large riverside park, the bears are free to roam amongst forested areas and caves and swim in a large pool. Visitors can watch the bears from behind secure fences.

If you have more time available and would like more things to do in Bern, we highly recommend visiting Gurten Park which is located just outside the city centre. Sitting on a hill that overlooks Bern, this is a great place to come for spectacular views. 

If you are traveling with children, they’ll love the miniature train rides and adventure playground – and the funicular ride to get to the park. Gurten can be reached by tram from the city centre.

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel La Pergola | Search more Bern Switzerland hotels

Biel/Bienne – The largest bilingual city in Switzerland

Biel/Bienne is a large city in Switzerland that is located on the border of French-speaking and German-speaking regions. As a result, it is one of the few Swiss cities that is bilingual, with both French and German being official languages.

View of the historic old town of the Swiss city of Biel

This city is a great choice for visitors who are interested in Swiss culture and history. The old town is full of historic buildings that date back to the Middle Ages and there are many museums and art galleries worth checking out as well. 

The charming, narrow lanes of Beil/Bienne with its fountains are a perfect place to wander and unwind at the same time!

There is a Moorish synagogue, dating back to 1884 which is worth checking out. 

Outdoor enthusiasts will also enjoy spending time in Biel/Bienne. It is located on the shore of Lake Biel and offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, and outdoor adventures.

In addition to its rich culture, Biel/Bienne is also known for its beautiful natural surroundings. Whether you want to enjoy a hike in the mountains or go boating on one of the many lakes, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy.

If you are looking for a unique city break in Switzerland, be sure to consider a visit to Biel/Bienne. Whether you are interested in Swiss culture or outdoor adventure, this city has something to offer everyone.

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: City Hotel Biel Bienne | Art Déco Hotel Elite

Geneva – City of UN Importance 

Geneva is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and absolutely worth a stop during your trip throughout Switzerland.

Geneva in the winter
Geneva in the winter

Located between three picturesque mountain ranges and the beautiful Lake Geneva, the city is an outdoor playground. Walk around and get lost in its many beautiful green spaces and parks, and don’t miss the infamous flower clock made up of thousands of live flowers.

Lake Geneva is also home to the Jet d’Eau, a 140-meter-high vertical water jet that has become synonymous with the city and can even be seen from a plane. Explore the lake further by taking a cruise, going sailing, doing water sports, or hanging out at one of its beautiful beaches.

The lake is not just the largest in Switzerland, it’s also one of the largest in Western Europe. Stroll around it for a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.

Geneva_Jet_D'eau in 7 days in Switzerland Itinerary
Geneva is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. Contributed by Ioana from The World is My Playground

Next, head to Geneva’s old town and discover its hidden corners, buildings full of history and stories, picturesque cafes, and charming restaurants. Walk up Rue Verdaine and find yourself in the oldest place in the city, Bourg-de-Four Square.

The old town is filled with sights to visit, but don’t miss the 16th century Calvin College, Saint Peter’s Cathedral, the Chapel of the Maccabees, the Reformation Wall, and the Molard Tower, located in Molard Square as you exit the old town.

Take a tour of the United Nations building, Palais des Nations, and learn more about the history of the UN and the initiatives that are spearheaded here. The building is quite impressive. Time permitting, head to the League of Nations Museum, and Ariana Park while you’re in the vicinity.

If you love city viewpoints as much as we do, you’ll want to leave yourself time for a beautiful panoramic view of the city and the lake from Mont Saleve. A cable car will take you to the top (1100 metres) for a breathtaking view of the surrounding area.

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel des Alpes | Search for more hotels in Switzerland in Geneva

St. Gallen – Small town vibes 

St Gallen is one of the prettiest cities in Switzerland. Filled with beautiful old buildings including the Abbey of St. Gall (baroque style monastery), St Gallen will take your breath away.

St Gallen is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland
St Gallen is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland

You must explore the monastery and take a peek at its rich archives (it houses over 170,000 documents). To capture amazing views of the city, and the Abbey, head to St. Laurenzenkirche. From St. Laurenzenkirche tower (and 186 steps after) the views are stunning. You can access the tower views for 5 CHF, from November to March!

Being a compact town, you can cover most of the attractions in a day (or less). If you are into museums, visit the art museum (Kunstmuseum) in the city centre. There is a Textile Museum which is also worth a visit. 

Its location in the northeastern part of Switzerland with the view of Lake Constance (Bodensee), is its USP. 

There are a variety of outdoor activities to choose from – wildlife parks, mountains, gardens, and waterfalls. Yes, this Swiss city has an accessible waterfall – Mühlenenschlucht Gorge.

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel Radisson Blue St Gallen | Search for more hotels in Switzerland in St Gallen

Read: 2 days in Switzerland itinerary

Zermatt – The Gateway city of Switzerland’s Matterhorn 

One of the cutest cities to visit in Switzerland is Zermatt. This charming city is located in Southwest Switzerland on the border of Italy. It is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in this wonderful country.

There are many activities to do in Zermatt. One of the most popular activities is skiing in the winter. Three main ski areas offer wide-open slopes for beginners while the more advanced skiers enjoy the challenge of Tiefbach, Aeroleid, and Momatt. You can even ski over to the Italian side of the mountains!

Views of Zermatt in Most beautiful cities in Switzerland
Zermatt in Switzerland. By Michelle from TheWanderingQueen

Another outstanding activity is to go hiking in the summer. Zermatt has a 400 km (248+ miles) hiking trail network! It is a perfect spot to start any hiking adventure. The views of the grand Matterhorn throughout the hikes will take your breath away.

If hiking and skiing aren’t your cups of tea, there are still so many other things to do. You can take the world-famous Gornergrat Bahn (the train) for outstanding panoramic views of Matterhorn and all the surrounding mountains. The Gornergrat Bahn was the first, fully electric cog railway in Switzerland.

You can also experience Glacier Paradise where they have the highest cable car station in Europe. In this area, you can visit restaurants and an ice palace, or you can just take in the lovely views.

One of the most popular things to do in Zermatt is to explore the small city. This city has so much shopping, restaurants, and bars to explore! The best part is that no cars are allowed so you can walk all around the village and take in all the cute shops and mountain views. 

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Search hotels in Zermatt 

READ: Find more destinations to visit in Switzerland in winter

Lucerne – The compact city of Switzerland 

Lucerne is a picturesque city located in central Switzerland. It is super compact and can be easily explored on a day trip from Bern or Zurich. Lucerne is also known by its German name – Luzern – yes they are the same city.

Lucerne - Most beautiful places in Switzerland
Lucerne is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland

Lucerne is one of the beautiful cities in Switzerland with a backdrop of Lake Lucerne, making it forever picturesque.

Take time to wander the historic old town of Lucerne. The medieval old town is connected by Bridge Chapel – a covered bridge of the 14th century, built over the Reuss River. The old town is also home to a 17th-century old clock tower, which is hard to miss as you explore the city.  

Lucerne city has a lot of remnants of the military past including the Lions Monument – a tribute to the fallen soldiers who were killed by revolutionaries at the Tuileries Palace in France.  

With a relaxing vibe and loads of picturesque landscapes, it is not a surprise that Lucerne makes it to one of the most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland. 

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel des Alpes Luzern | Get the best hotels in Switzerland Lucerne 

The Golden Pass – The Golden Pass is a scenic train route from Lucerne to Montreux – another city in Switzerland. The train route is an easy one and PERFECT for those short on time. Lucerne is one hour away from Zurich and Montreux is 75 minutes away from Geneva, making it easy for transportation.

Read: Switzerland bucket list

Basel – Most beautiful City in Switzerland with a vibrant cultural life

Basel, like all of Switzerland, is a really expensive city. However, for your money, you will normally get a very good quality of food and stay, so a long weekend in Basel can be a great idea. 

To start your visit in Basel, make sure you see the old town. The main sights there are the colorful Townhall, Münster, Spalentor City Gate, Spalenberg Street, and Barfusserplatz. If you happen to visit Basel on a weekend, come by Marktplatz square and buy some local delicacies at the Farmers’ market.

Basel Switzerland
Basel Switzerland

After you are done with the old town, check out some modern architecture. Basel has plenty of very interesting buildings, and you may need to use public transport to reach some of them, but there are a few within a walking distance.

Some of the must-sees are the Tinguely Water Fountain and the iconic Messe Basel New Hall. If you feel like walking, go further to admire Messeturm and Warteck and pay a visit to the Hammering Man on Aeschenplatz.

Basel - Most beautiful cities in Switzerland
Basel – Most beautiful cities in Switzerland – By Ana from merrygoroundslowly

If you are in Basel on a rainy day, it still has a lot to offer. Check out the museums, for example, the Fine Arts Museum or Museum Tinguely, full of mysterious machines. Or spend a day among the green plants at the Botanical Gardens of the University of Basel.

And on a sunny day, you have to visit the Three Country Corner One. It has a little bar, where you can slowly sip one cocktail in Germany, Switzerland, and France at the same time.

For your stay in Basel, we recommend the East-West Hotel. Honestly, it was one of the best hotel experiences we have ever had. It is small and cozy and located just next to the river and the main promenade. Even if you decide to stay in your room for the evening, you will feel like a part of the action.

When you check-in, you will also usually get your Basel City Card, which will give you free access to transport and wifi, as well as some discounts on the main sights and museums.

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: East-West Riverside Hotel | Browse Basel Switzerland hotel deals 

Winterthur – Sixth largest city in Switzerland (north)

Located in the canton of Zurich is the beautiful city of Winterthur in northern Switzerland. Often overlooked by travelers for Zurich, Winterthur is an offbeat city in Switzerland to visit. Allot at least one day or two, to experience Winterthur. 

Winterthur is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland

It has arts, history, and gorgeous natural landscapes everywhere. Winterthur is the sixth-largest populated city in Switzerland. It is a service and high-tech industrial satellite town within the Zürich canton.

Winterthur has a medieval old world charm with a bustling city center full of life. There are shops, restaurants, markets, and museums – all to keep you busy during your stay or a short visit to the city.

A city filled with cultural nuances, Winterthur is home to the largest art collections by Oskar Reinhart – an art collector showcasing one of Europe’s finest photography museums.

Winterthur also serves as a great stop-over for places in Eastern Switzerland and Germany and Austria. You can visit Winterthur in 20 minutes by train from Zürich.  

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Park Hotel Winterthur | Find more hotels in Winterthur

Lugano – Ninth largest city in Switzerland (south)

Located in the southern part of Switzerland is the stunning city of Lugano. Bordering Italy, Lugano is home to the largest Italian speaking community, outside of Italy.

Lugano - Most beautiful cities in Switzerland
Lugano is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland

Lugano is nestled on Lake Lugano and surrounded by mountains of the Prealps, making it forever picturesque. With a stunning backdrop, Lugano boasts many pretty villas and sacred monuments, green spaces, and parks.

The city of Lugano treats its visitors real nice, with luxurious boutiques and fine dining places, and many gorgeous cobblestone lanes, filled with Mediterranean charm.  

Lugano belongs to the canton of Ticino and is the ninth-largest Swiss city, in terms of population. It is also the third most important financial and business conference center with a focus on banking sectors.  

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel Federale | Check out more hotels in Lugano

Interlaken – Getaway city for many lakes, towns, Bernese highlands

Not a city, as per your usual definition but the Swiss town of Interlaken is not to be missed from your bucket list. Located in the canton of Bern – the capital city of Switzerland, Interlaken is super pretty with the Bernese Highlands and the Swiss Alps in their backdrop.

Interlaken in Switzerland Itinerary 7 days
Interlaken Switzerland

Most popularly known as a town between two lakes – Brienz to the east and Thun to the west and alongside the river Aare, Interlaken is a tourist magnet. Boat tours are conducted here during summers both at Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.

Both lakes are unique – one with turquoise tones and the latter with deep blue colors!

Interlaken serves as the main transport gateway for the Interlaken-Oberhasli district, and there are many towns and mountains that you can explore within 10 minutes distance. Harder Kulm can be ascended in a few minutes, and the towns near Lake Thun are picturesque and makes for quick and nice day trip options.

Interlaken can also be visited as a day trip destination from Zurich or Bern.

If you are staying in Interlaken for a few days, explore the Jungfrau region. This is the most popular day trip from Interlaken. Jungfraujoch is known as “Top of Europe” because it’s the highest train station in Europe at 3,454 meters and it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel Bellevue | Check more hotels in Interlaken

Lausanne – the Olympic Capital city 

Lausanne is the capital city of the canton of Vaud, located on Lake Geneva. It faces the French town of Évian-Les-Bains and is situated on the southern slope of the Swiss plateau. With an elevation of about 500 metres, Lausanne showcases gorgeous panoramic views of the lake and the Swiss Alps.

Lausanne - Most beautiful places in Switzerland
Lausanne is one of the prettiest cities Switzerland

Lausanne has undergone tremendous changes over the centuries. Its charming old center was the site of an ancient river, the Flon. It has been covered for so long and today there are gorges formed in and around the city center. These gorges make the old town center quite unique and interesting to wander through.

Once upon a time, Lausanne was an intellectual capital, attracting great thinkers such as Rousseau and Voltaire. You will find many museums and buildings that are a living testimony to the era.

When you visit Lausanne, you are in the midst of history engulfed by dramatic landscapes all around. Lausanne is also a perfect place for those who love water sports – swimming and sailing.

The International Olympic Committee is headquartered in Lausanne. 

RECOMMENDED HOTELHotel Angleterre & Résidence | Find more hotels in Lausanne

Neuchâtel – A small city of vineyards and watchmaking

If you love the famous Swiss watches, don’t miss a stop in Neuchâtel.  Its location on Lake Neuchâtel makes it a popular destination for both summer and winter activities.

View of Neuchatel Switzerland

Snow lovers will enjoy the ski resorts of Robella Val-de-Travers, Le Paquier, and Les Bugnenets Savagnieres during the winter months. In summer, activities include hiking, mountain biking, and sailing on the lake.

Neuchâtel is also renowned for its wine production and a trip to one of the local vineyards is an absolute must. Switzerland produces some of the finest wines in Europe so you won’t be disappointed.

The Old Town is home to many top rated attractions like the old castle and the church. So as you wander the narrow streets of Neuchâtel’s Old Town, be sure to check out the impressive Gothic castle that sits on a hill overlooking the city. This is Château de Neuchâtel, and it dates back to the 10th century. 

If you are visiting between 1st April and 30th September, you can join a free guided tour of the castle.

Another popular attraction in Neuchâtel is the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle de Neuchâtel (Museum of Natural History). This museum has an impressive collection of native wildlife dioramas, entomology displays & geology exhibits.

Whether you are sampling the local wines, taking in the views across Lake Neuchâtel, or enjoying a museum visit, there is plenty to see and do in this charming little city. 

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Beau-Rivage Neuchâtel SA | Neuchâtel City Hôtel

Sion – Visit for its hilltop castles and wineries

Located in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Sion is a charming little city that offers visitors plenty of hiking and outdoor adventures. But if you are looking for something a little less active, there is still plenty to see and do here.

Vineyards below the church at Conthey, Sion region, canton Valais, Switzerland Switzerland

One of the highlights of any visit to Sion is exploring its hilltop castles. The Château de Tourbillon (Tourbillon Castle) is a medieval fortress that dates back to the 13th century. Located high on a hill overlooking the city, this castle features stunning views and well-preserved ruins that are sure to delight history buffs.

Another must-see attraction in Sion is its wineries. The Valais region produces some of the finest wines in Switzerland and a visit to one of the local wineries is a great way to learn more about the wine-making process. 

Many of the wineries offer tours and tastings, so you can sample the local wines while enjoying the stunning views of the Alps.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend in the countryside or an action-packed outdoor adventure, Sion is a great choice. 

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Moxy Sion | iBis Sion

Montreux – A modern Swiss city known for its Jazz Festival & Christmas markets 

Montreux sits on the east side of Lake Geneva on the Swiss side of lac leman. The lake has three names depending on which language you use. It’s a pretty place and combines the rural charm of alpine Switzerland with a bustling and modern city.

Montreaux - Most beautiful cities in Switzerland
Montreux – Most beautiful cities in Switzerland – By Emma Pamley-Liddell from Journey of a Nomadic Family

Inside the city, you can visit the Swiss Camera Museum, Swiss Museum of Games, Freddie Mercury Statue and Queen recording studios, and Chaplin’s World museum. If you fancy a bit of gambling, Montreux casino has 3 restaurants, 24 gaming tables, 377 slot machines, shops, and a swimming pool.

If you’re looking for something more energetic, you can walk all the way from Montreux to Villeneuve along the 3.5 km (2.17 miles) promenade that stretches along the lake taking in the numerous gardens, statues, shoreline art, and the Chateau de Chillon.

Chillon Castle Switzerland bucket list
Chillon Castle in Switzerland at dawn in the winter

From the shoreline, you could catch one of the numerous ferries around the lake or if you’re brave enough you could try to stand up paddleboarding or even learn to sail. Alternatively, cycle north on the 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) promenade from Montreux to Vevey, by renting a bike from the Montreux youth hostel.

Montreux is a steeply sloped city that has maintained its old town. If you’re after a bit of Swiss culture –  visit the Montreux Museum which revives the rich history of the area, the Visinand House offers exhibitions and the Riviera Theatre has repertoires throughout the year.

The old city is also the starting point of a number of hikes – one of which is the path of Chauderon Gauges which leads you to the village of Glion. You’ll need snowshoes in the winter months.

Montreux – By Emma Pamley-Liddell from Journey of a Nomadic Family

If you’re driving, do not miss the scenic route de Caux which takes you up on a high zig-zag road, giving you elevated views over the lake. The rochers de naye may have snow on them in February but they make for an exhilarating hike if you wrap up warm.

Further away from Montreux is the Lantern Trail Of Les Pléiades where you can catch a train and follow a trail lit by lanterns. Alternatively, you could explore the 800 hectares of the Lavaux vineyard, the Swiss Vapeur Parc, or visit Maison Cailler and take a chocolate workshop.

This Swiss city is also known for its music fests. The Montreux Jazz Festival is a music festival in Switzerland, held in early July every year in Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline. It is the second-largest annual jazz festival in the world after Canada’s Montreal International Jazz Festival. 

RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic, Autograph Collection | Check more hotels in Montreux 

Important resources – Most beautiful cities in Switzerland Travel Tips

Let’s talk a little about Switzerland in preparation for your trip. 

Travel Documents 

While preparing for your trip to Switzerland, ensure you have the right travel documents and currency. Switzerland is not a part of the European Union, but they follow the Schengen visa guidelines for travel requirements for non-visa-exempt passport countries.

You will have to apply for a Schengen Visa in your country of residence prior to arriving in Switzerland. Read our detailed guide to applying for a Schengen visa.

If this is your first time in Europe, read our handy guide – Planning a trip to Europe 101.

Currency and credit cards

As Switzerland is not a part of the EU, the Euro is not the official currency, but it is widely accepted. Swiss Francs is the official currency of Switzerland. The conversion rate of Euros and Swiss Francs is almost at par.

If you pay in euros (cash), you will receive francs in return. Credit cards are widely accepted in all major Swiss cities.

When is the best time to visit Switzerland?

Depending on your travel agenda, Switzerland has something every month. As a general rule, the off-season is the best time to visit Switzerland. These months include June, September, and the early weeks of October. The weather is pleasant during this time, and the cities in Switzerland are not super crowded.

June and September are perfect to wander around the historic old towns in various cities of Switzerland. Warm weather, fewer crowds, and cheap airfares and hotels.

September and October are great for hikers and other adventure sports.

Ski season is from mid-January to mid-March – around this time the slopes are very crowded. Particularly in February, you can expect bigger crowds and difficulty in booking accommodation, if not booked in advance, especially in the mountain city of Zermatt – which is the gateway to the Matterhorn.

Zermatt in 7 days in Switzerland Itinerary

July and August are busy months, especially in various cities in Switzerland. Being surrounded by beautiful lakes and mountain views, tourists visit Switzerland for sunbathing and other water activities in the summer. Things get booked quickly (and they could get expensive if tours and hotels are not booked in advance).

The end of November and December are also great months to visit these beautiful cities in Switzerland for their Christmas Markets. The popular Christmas market is held at Montreux – Marche de Noel – they start early in November and continue until the end of December.

Other popular Christmas Markets are held in Geneva, Lausanne, and Rapperswil (outside of Zurich).

Read: Best time to visit Switzerland

Packing tips for visiting the most beautiful cities in Switzerland 

Switzerland experiences a mix of humid continental and temperate oceanic climate.

Cities in Switzerland have a warm humid climate and it can be rainy during the summer months. Autumn is perfect for experiencing Indian summer and September is also the least rainy month.

Read: What to wear in Switzerland

In the mountains, expect low temperatures, and hence packing for the weather and activities is essential. It is often told that you can look at the weather forecast as much as you want, but Switzerland will never follow that.

So here are some essential items you must pack and carry  

  • Lightweight jacket – You MUST pack a lightweight, preferably waterproof jacket to Switzerland at all times of the year. I am in love with this jacket from Arc’teryx Beta LT Jacket and it looks very smart!
    • For ski or snow-related activities or winter travel, pack your hooded parkas and ski gear.
  • Daypack – With so many day trip options from major cities in Switzerland, a day-pack is super essential to pack your essentials. We recommend that you invest in a good anti-theft backpack – which will be handy all over Europe, especially if you plan on visiting Italy or France from Switzerland.
  • Comfortable walking shoes or hiking shoes – If you are a city hiker like us, wear comfortable walking shoes as most of the cities in Switzerland are car-free. Plus who doesn’t like to wander around medieval cobblestone lanes? Here is my favorite pair.
  • Camera – Don’t forget to pack your camera for capturing amazing pictures. Also, include this high capacity SD card to store all the memories on the go.
  • Portable battery backup or juicePack this battery backup for charging your electronics on the go. With one nightly charge, you can use it for 2-3 days.
  • Universal Adapter – Invest in a good universal adapter that you can keep using for all of your travels. Our North American or Asian power plugs will not work out in Switzerland. Here is what we recommend.
  • Multi-port charging cables – And here is my absolute favorite piece of electronics – this multi-port charging cable – is super handy on the go, especially if you have an iPhone and your camera uses a micro-USB port. They come in a variety of colors that are super versatile. I also use them while commuting to work. 

We hope you enjoyed our selection of the best cities to visit in Switzerland and found our tips useful! 

Happy Travels!

Pin: 15 Most Beautiful Swiss cities to visit – These are the most beautiful cities in Switzerland

Most beautiful places in Switzerland
Most beautiful places in Switzerland

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