If a country stands on everyone’s dream destination and bucket list, it’s sure to be Switzerland. Dense forests to rugged trek terrains, deep glacial ice valleys, Swiss Alps, chocolate, cheese, watches, and tennis. These Switzerland cities will cover it all.
Being a landlocked country, the Swiss borders blend with the nearby Italian and French terrain and people. For first-time visitors, here are our top recommendations and tips.
1. Best Time to Pack your Bag for Switzerland
No time of year can be said to be more beautiful than another for this Alpine country.
The Autumn sees the rolling hills painted in shades of yellow and red. Summer months get longer sunshine and more time to explore the region.
Rains are romantic, and Spring turns the region picturesque in vivid colors and floral smell. Winter casts white and heavenly magic.
Additionally, the winter season is famous for some snowy adventures and sports. It is the official ski season.
The spring season gets you meeting the cows in the bright green pastures. Summer is the European tourism peak, resulting in more travelers just like you and higher prices. Fall becomes the harvest season for fruits and wines.
2. Most Beautiful Swiss Cities to Visit Once in a Lifetime
Our list of beautiful Switzerland cities begins with Lucerne. It is famous for its charming medieval architecture and stunning views surrounding the banks of lake Lucerne.
Altstadt- the charming old town, Musegg Wall, and Chapel Bridge are preserved structures of that time.
The city locates in central Switzerland and is surrounded by high snow-capped mountains. The nightlife is pretty limited, but plenty of outdoor adventures, including hiking.
Lucerne often remains underrated due to the more popular nearby cities, but the place has its magic, sure to take place in your heart.
Swans swimming by lake Lucerne, River Reuss shining against the rock in the sunshine, getting awestruck with the lion mountain, knowing the history of fire breakout on its iconic bridge, beautiful churches, and the majestic Mt. Pilatus- everything here seems amazing.
You can reach the Mt Pilatus summit through two routes, Golden or Silver round trip. The former is whether bound open from May to October. Lucerne to Alpnachstad sees the only difference in both the route options. Golden round trip sees the distance covered by a ferry, otherwise a rail trip in the silvers. The rest of the ride remains the same.
Get ready for jaw-dropping views from the rail, cable car, and bus on this scenic route. The summit provides a 360 view of the city below. Watching a sunset here will be worth a lifetime.
Interlaken is a small town sandwiched between two Swiss glasses of water- Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Year-round you are blessed with views of the alpine in its rawest forms. The language is a local Swiss variant of the German language.
Start your trip by exploring the fairytale town. The wooden houses line up the streets, taking you back to Switzerland’s natural history. Wildlife parks and multiple viewing platforms provide peace to your wandering soul.
After a good time in the old town, follow your way to the legends of St. Beatus caves and waterfalls. The lakes provide multiple water activities while the high passes ease your paragliding urge.
Staying up in Interlaken gives you mobility access to undertake day trips to nearby villages of Lauterbrunnen- the haven of waterfalls and Grindelwald- your entry to Europe’s highest railway station to Jungfraujoch- A place you can’t miss when in Switzerland.
Our trip has found its way to the capital city, Bern. The Swiss capital is set through the river Aare. The various museums, cathedrals, clocktowers, and horse carriers going through the city give you the go-back-in-time feel.
Bern’s old town is one of the most beautiful in Switzerland. Navigating your way through the cobbled streets to the historic landmarks, clock tower, and the beautiful Rosengarten. Bern Minster is the tallest cathedral in the nation.
A local legend suggests Bern’s capital city has been named after a bear. Bearpit is such a spot in the city, which showcases the bear habitat from a closer look.
For a picnic spot to relax your selves, Gurten hill is the place to be in this beautiful city. It offers a panoramic view of the Bernese Alps. Zentrum Paul Klee presents you with the world’s finest collection of artwork of Paul Klee.
Zermatt is a car-free ski resort at the foot of the mighty Matterhorn mountain- the icon of Switzerland. This ski haven is known for its luxury and winter activities.
The views of the surrounding mountains are never leaving your way here, whether you make your way to the top Matterhorn Glacier paradise through the world’s highest gondola or take a stroll in the town’s shopping street.
Glacial paradise is an ice cave at the top. It allows you to admire ice sculptures while walking 15 meters under a glacier. Gornergret railway is Europe’s highest open-air cogwheel train, rewarding you with views of Gorner glacier.
The 5 lake hiking trails provide Instagram-famous reflections of Matterhorn in alpine lakes. The surrounding views are spectacular. Here you can take some time out to reconnect with nature.
Now coming to the most exciting part- The Glacier Express. The train ride of a lifetime. Running through passes, deep valleys, enchanting forests, and bridges, the train ride blends views like no other. It connects you to St. Moritz. Enjoy some food sitting back on your train seat, watching breathtaking from your window pane!
Zurich is a global city – an international hub for banking and financial capital.
The largest one in the Switzerland cities is also home to the biggest shop and factory, Lindt. A place to die for all chocolate lovers. Grab their tastings, pose in front of their chocolate factory, and learn more about their history.
It is in high demand, so make sure you book it online to avoid any chances of major FOMO.
After a calorie gain in the chocolate factory, burn those out while paddle boarding in Lake Zurich. You get to admire the city and the Swiss Alps while cool air brushes off your face in this experience.
Cruising through is also a great option. Nearby the lakeside, there are many graffiti-painted walls under tree shades, perfect for a short walk.
Uetliberg is the highest point in Zermatt which can be reached by a tram followed by a short walk. The viewing spot overlooks the whole of the city.
West Zurich, The viaduct, and the old town are the to-dos as the sun sets in. All of these places are perfect for strolling, shopping and café hopping. Do not forget to try on the famous Swiss dish- Fondue. The city is known for its vibrant nightlife.
The famous Rhine falls on the border can be taken as a short day trip from Zurich. The views and cruise rides are ready to stun you- for sure!
When coming on the list of most beautiful Switzerland cities, Montreux is the one which will surely make its way! The city stands on the shore of lake Geneva.
This resort town is a popular destination for two things- Chateau De Chillon, an island sporting a castle with a chapel, and the Montreux Jazz festival, which occurs in July.
The Alps surrounding the city provide a beautiful backdrop for your camera. The Chillon castle is a historic landmark of the country. Built on a rock on Lake Geneva, it gives amazing city views. The place can also be booked for private events if you are rich enough.
Rochers de Naye, a mountain top, takes you to an elevation of 2000m. The views take you to the French alps too. Here you can find numerous hiking trails which can satiate your adventure goals.
Basel is set on the Rhine river, sharing its border with France and Germany.
Basel is well known for keeping up the culture of Switzerland. It is known for its museums- from art to the history of the land. Kunstmuseum is the first museum of art which was made open to the public way back in 1661.
It’s a blend of modern architecture with a medieval touch that will blow your mind. A walk through the old town and interacting with the locals is a must to soak up the culture of Switzerland.
Christmas markets are very famous and worth a few hours if you visit Switzerland during that time.
A ferry ride through the waters is a great option to ditch walking on the bridge, relax in the water’s coolness and navigate to the other side of the river. Look for amazing street art to get some amazing clicks etched in your albums.
If major Switzerland cities had been named, Geneva would have made it to the top. The picturesque city speaks French and is famous for Lake Geneva, brilliant views of Mont Blanc, and Europe’s headquarters for the UN.
Pamper yourself roaming in the vineyards, sip and taste some of the finest wines of Switzerland. The city’s popular attractions include- the Cathedral de St. Pierre, Mont Saleve, Flower Clock, and the largest historic center of Switzerland- Vielle Velle.
At the top of the cathedral, you see a 360-degree panorama of the city. The cable car to the top of Mont Saleve takes you to a massive height of 3600 ft. Make sure you ride around the iconic fountain of the lake.
Famed in the world as the Olympic capital, Lausanne is a stunning city for a short visit. The Olympic Museum and park by the lake from its base for the International Olympic committee.
It has been voted the best small city in the world. After visiting the Olympic places, relax, cruising across the lake or Lavaux vineyards.
Street markets of Lausanne are every shopper’s delight.
2.10 St Moritz
Bernina Express is another grand train ride like the Glacier express that connects St Moritz to the town of Tirano in Italy, passing through a UNESCO world heritage site. Its winter views are magical.
St Moritz lake provides the best alpine views. Take a ride to Corviglia Funicalar. This is another spot that takes you to a massive height amidst snowy backgrounds.
Hohensee, Engadine Museum, Silvaplana Segantini Museum, and a day trip to Sils and Val Fex are the must-dos in this Swiss city.
Do our list of the best Switzerland cities end with these 10? No! Every Swiss destination is worth a visit year-round. Budget and time are great killers here.
St. Gallen, Freebury, Locarno, Thun, Vevey, and Nyom are some Switzerland cities you must while your second time or if you choose a stay longer.
3. Tips to Save While in Switzerland
Switzerland is an expensive country. Both in terms of cost of living and traveling. The views, experiences, landmarks, activities, and culture attract every visitor’s attention.
It’s like a dream destination for everyone. Here are some tips that you can follow to lower your spending when touring some of the best Switzerland cities.
3.1 Travel Costs
Eurail pass and Swiss day passes are worth every penny. Not only do they allow you worry-free travel bookings, but they also have many additional offers that can be redeemed to get discounts.
Additionally, you can look to take up rideshare. If you wish to rent a car, plan it beforehand and compare the prices of different companies.
Couchsurfing means staying up with locals for free. It allows you to blend and soak in their traditions as no other experience can.
In return, you may help them, offer a gift, or host an outing.
3.3 Food and Drinks
Public tap waters in Switzerland are safe. Carry a reusable water bottle to save on these.
Meats and alcoholic beverages are, in general, very expensive in Switzerland. Try avoiding them in your meals to save some extra.
3.4 Student Advantage
An international student card can save you a lot. From museums to day passes and Eurail. Traveling younger is a sure treat here, in these Switzerland cities- both on savings and memories you make!
Accommodations in these Switzerland cities range from super luxuries to hostels. These will be higher than the general price level in other tourist countries.
To save a few bucks here, you can opt for hostels, which fall on the cheaper side. But not everyone would wish to stay in hostels. For them, the advice remains to opt for a stay in a hotel that is outside of the city center.
Summers is the peak season here. Not in Switzerland but the whole of Europe. Try planning during the shoulder season, from September through March, avoiding the Christmas and local holidays.
For the currency, keep in mind that Switzerland does not accept Euros. If you exchange it directly, you will be at a loss by the 1:1 ratio. Always make sure to change them in Exchange offices suitable to you.
Some of these Switzerland Cities also offer free bike and bus rides and walking tours. Do keep a check on them.
Hope our guide helps you to plan out your dream trip to these Switzerland cities. For more information, visit the tourism website of Switzerland.
In the comment sections below, tell us what you like the most about Switzerland cities. Which one is your favorite?