Man-made and natural monuments make Switzerland attractive for tourists. Modern architecture, ancient castles and cathedrals, waterfalls and lakes, mountain peaks, glaciers - all this diversity is located in a relatively small area of the country. Scenic views open from any snow-covered peak, and each city has its own unique flavor.
The tourist infrastructure is well developed throughout the country. Traveling around Switzerland is easy even for independent travelers. For those who prefer active recreation, hiking trails are laid along the slopes of the mountains. Lovers of antiquity go on excursions to the historical places of old cities. Don't forget about winter activities. Winter sports enthusiasts come to the slopes of the Titlis and Rigi mountains, where modern tracks have been laid for them.
What to see and where to go in Switzerland?
The most interesting and beautiful places to visit, photos and a brief description.
The mountain with a height of 4478 meters in the form of a pyramid of four faces is one of the most recognizable in the world. Hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world come just to look at it. Many are climbers and are trying to conquer the summit. However, it is recommended to assess your strength before climbing - the mountain is dangerous for its rocky steep slopes. For skiers, trails are laid at an altitude of 4 km.
Old Town (Zurich)
A cozy place in Zurich near the Limmat river. It is notable for its ancient buildings of the 9th century with painted walls. Remains of ancient Roman baths have been preserved. In the old town are the most famous churches of the city - Fraumünster and St. Peter's Cathedral. The clock face of the cathedral is considered the largest in Europe. In the park area near the lake there are picnic areas and a beach, and in the center there are many high-end shops of world famous brands.
Old City (Bern)
The historic part of Bern has been a UNESCO heritage site since 1983. It contains many medieval buildings. Bern Cathedral amazes tourists with its bell tower - its height is just over 100 meters. The Bern Bridge was built in the 13th century and is over 50 meters long. Notable sights in the Old Town are the Zytglogge clock tower, the Chapel of the Virgin Mary and the Nidegg Church.
The clear water of the lake is very cold. It warms up only in July. However, there are many beaches on the shores of the lake. Tourists can rent boats and yachts. People come here to admire the wonderful views of the snowy Alps, dense vegetation and vineyards, breathe in the clean mountain air. The resorts built on the shores of the lake are deservedly popular.
The lake is located in the central part of Switzerland, near the Alpine mountains of Riga and Pilat. Its second name is known - "Lake of the Four Forest Cantons". The lake is formed by glaciers and consists of four parts. They are connected by small straits. Boat trips on the lake are popular among tourists, they allow you to fully appreciate the beauty of the shores - the emerald-colored forest, snow-white mountain slopes and clear clear water.
Wooden covered bridge in Lucerne. It is considered the oldest bridge of this type in Europe - built in 1365. Its length is more than 200 meters. Previously, the bridge was part of the defensive structures of the city. Under the roof of the bridge are paintings depicting fragments from the history of the country. In the middle of the bridge is the Wasserturm tower. It was built a few years before the bridge - in 1300. Now it is occupied by a souvenir shop.
"The Dying Lion" (Lucerne)
The monument was erected in honor of the fallen soldiers of the palace guards - the guards of Louis XVI. In 1792 he was betrayed by troops and joined in the siege of the Tuileries Palace. Only a few hundred Swiss guards remained to protect the ruler. They died at the hands of the rebels, not even defending themselves by order of the king - he did not want harm to his people. The bas-relief carved into the rock depicts a lion covering the coats of arms of France and Switzerland with its body.
Located on the rocks of the lake, a bridge leads to the shore from the castle. Visitors note the luxury of this castle. The ceilings of the halls are decorated with paintings, and the ceiling of the Celebration Hall is made in the form of the underwater part of the ship. The columns are made of oak, many halls are decorated with coats of arms of Bernese officials. One of the halls now houses a museum of weapons. The castle has collections of pewter and fine antique furniture.
Palais des Nations (Geneva)
Architectural complex in Ariana Park in Geneva. Its construction began in 1929 and lasted almost 10 years. Several well-known architects worked on the project of the building, they erected a magnificent building in the neoclassical style. The size of the Palace of Nations is second only to the famous Versailles. It is the residence for many international organizations - the UN, UNESCO, UNCTAD. More than 100,000 tourists visit the palace every year.
Jet d'Eau Fountain (Geneva)
In 1886, the history of this fountain began - then it was just a jet of water, a side effect of the hydraulic motors of factories and mills. On weekends, this fountain relieved pressure, releasing water back into the lake. The spectacle of a 30-meter jet turned out to be interesting for the inhabitants of Geneva, and in 1951 the fountain was equipped directly in the lake. Its height is 147 meters - this is one of the largest fountains in the world.
"Bear Pit" (Bern)
The bear is the heraldic symbol of the city of Bern, and a special place for their keeping was founded in the 15th century. The cathedral is represented by a long moat adjacent to the Bear Park. Viewing terraces are equipped for visitors, and you can also safely watch animals from the Niedegbrücke bridge. Animal rights activists have been trying to improve the conditions for keeping bears for several years - now they are close to their natural habitat.
Founded in 1929. Over the years of its existence, it has undergone several large-scale reconstructions. At present, the inhabitants of the zoo do not live in cages, but in an area that imitates their natural habitat. The zoo's landscape design is admirable. The park's collection is growing, with more than 2,000 animals on display. Including animals from the Red Book, for example, king penguins and giant tortoises.
Monastery of St. Gall (St. Gallen)
A monument of history and architecture, included in the UNESCO list of protection. Within its walls is one of the oldest libraries in the world. It began to be collected at the time of the foundation of the monastery - in the 7th century. At present, the library's funds contain almost 200,000 books. From the moment of foundation, the building of the monastery changed its appearance, some of the medieval buildings were destroyed. Instead, impressive Baroque temples were built.
Monastery of Saint John (Müstair)
The Carolingian monastery is located in the village of Müstair. The well-preserved monastery was founded in the 13th century. At the same time, the walls of the building were painted with frescoes, which were completely hidden by new wall paintings in the 12th century. It was discovered only during the restoration in the XX century. UNESCO has taken this series of ancient images under its protection. Tourists can visit the monastery as part of an organized excursion group.
Saint-Pierre Cathedral (Geneva)
The elegant and, at the same time, strict building of the Geneva Cathedral is made in different architectural styles. It combines elements of Gothic, Neoclassicism and Romanism. This is largely due to the duration of construction. It began in the middle of the 12th century and lasted for about 150 years. During the restoration work, the remains of a church of the 4th century were discovered - it was in its place that the Saint-Pierre Cathedral was erected.
Gothic cathedral in Lausanne, built in the XIII century. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, therefore it is sometimes called the "Swiss Notre Dame". The cathedral is decorated with colored stained-glass windows, skillful stucco molding, and bas-reliefs. Particularly noteworthy is the Rose Window - a unique stained-glass window of the 13th century. During the Reformation, the cathedral was partially destroyed, many valuables were stolen. The restoration of the unique architectural appearance of the cathedral is still ongoing.
Stone cathedral in Basel, founded in the 9th century on the site of wooden churches of the 7th century. However, it did not stand for long - it was destroyed during the invasion of the Hungarians. The construction of the next building of the cathedral was completed by the 11th century; it survived hostilities, uprisings and an earthquake. The cathedral was built of sandstone and white limestone. There are many Gothic details in its appearance, including two pointed towers over 60 meters high. The facades of the cathedral are decorated with sculptures.
Grossmunster Cathedral (Zurich)
Cathedral in Zurich. It was built in the Romanesque style in the 13th century and this style has been preserved to this day. In the Middle Ages, Gothic changes were made to the interior of the castle, but later they were removed. The towers of the cathedral offer a panoramic view of Zurich. In the summer, the bell tower is open to the public. Once a month, a night tour is held, which immerses tourists in the atmosphere of the Middle Ages.
Swiss National Museum (Zurich)
The museum building resembles a small castle with dozens of turrets, a courtyard and a park. It is located on an island between the Limmat and Sihl rivers. The museum's collection is extensive. It presents works of art from different eras - both modern masters and antiquity. There are many exhibits from the Middle Ages - household items, weapons, costumes, coins, a collection of knightly culture. Expositions are arranged in historical interiors.
Large art museum in Zurich. Mostly works by Swiss artists are presented. But there are also collections of works by Munch and Giacometti. In addition to paintings, such objects of art as sculptures, graphics, photographs are presented. The museum's library collections contain more than 250,000 publications dedicated to contemporary art. The gift shop sells reproductions of famous paintings.
Olympic Museum (Lausanne)
Opened in 1993. 1500 exhibits are dedicated to the Olympic Movement. The interactive halls have information screens that tell about the history of the Olympics, famous athletes, about the emergence of the Paralympic Games. In a separate room, videos with descriptions of Olympic medals are shown, as well as a collection of personal belongings of famous athletes. The museum is located on the embankment terrace in a picturesque park.
Swiss Transport Museum (Lucerne)
The museum has one of the largest collections of all types of transport in Europe. There are more than 3,000 exhibits on the territory of the complex. Means of transportation by air and water, by road and rail, as well as in space are presented. An interactive exhibit attracts attention - a locomotive simulator where you can control the train. On the territory of the museum there is a planetarium, an IMAX cinema, a collection of works by Hans Erni.
CERN Museum (Geneva)
Museum of a major research center. It is located in two buildings, one of which is the "Sphere of Science and Innovation" - an unusual spherical structure with a diameter of 40 meters and a height of 27 meters. The pavilions offer to learn the secrets of the Universe, to learn about the research of elementary particles, to feel the atmosphere of the Big Bang. Unusual workshops are held for children, for example, how to make strawberry ice cream using liquid nitrogen.
Dedicated to Swiss national architecture. This is an open air park. Its area is 66 hectares - a tour of the park will take a whole day. Household and residential buildings of different eras, starting from the 15th century, are presented. They recreate the life and way of life of the represented era. In the workshops you can learn about the national crafts of the peoples of Switzerland. There are also public old buildings - a hospital, a hairdresser.
Castle of Gruyères
Considered the most visited castle in Switzerland. Founded in the XIII century, in the XV - it was converted into a fortress. In the 19th century, the Bovi and Balland dynasty became the owners of the castle. They changed the style of the castle, making it more attractive in appearance. In the 20th century, the castle was bought into the ownership of the municipality, and the authorities decided to arrange a museum in it. The atmosphere of the Middle Ages has been recreated - a hearth, a fireplace, a spit, a stone oven, objects of the Knights of the Golden Fleece.
Fortifications of Bellinzona
A complex of fortifications consisting of fortified walls and castles of Sasso Corbaro, Montebello and Castelgrande. Included in the list of UNESCO heritage sites. The castles are located on rocky peaks and are well-preserved examples of Alpine defensive architecture from the Middle Ages. Castelgrande is the oldest castle, Sasso Corbaro is the highest, and Montebello is considered the most beautiful, according to tourists.
Zermatt cog railway. Cog rail routing allows trains to climb large inclines. Gornergrat makes it possible for trains to rise to the mountain spurs of the same name to a height of 3089 meters. The elevation angle in some areas is 20°. The length of the road is 9 km, the travel time is approximately 20 minutes. On the route of the train there are four tunnels, two bridges and a 700-meter covered gallery.
The Swiss railway network. The section of the path that crosses the Alps is considered one of the most picturesque in the world. The most beautiful areas are also the most inaccessible. For the construction of the railway, advanced engineering technologies were used along them. For example, a unique railway bridge was built, 65 meters high and 136 meters long. It consists of 6 arches laid between the steep slopes of the mountains.
Mountain waterfall, consisting of 10 cascades. The height of the waterfall is 150 meters. The uniqueness of the waterfall is due to its location - it is located inside the Black Monk Mountain. Inspection is carried out from specially built illuminated tunnels in the mountain faults, which can be reached by elevator. Every year, the waters of the waterfall wash away about 20 tons of rocks. Sand and clay from them give the water a special milky hue.
One of the largest flat waterfalls in Europe. Its width is 150 meters, height - 23 meters. There are several viewing platforms near the waterfall. The most interesting is the platform located on the rock in the center of the waterfall. You can get to it by boat from the pier at the castle of Werth. To enjoy the full power of the waterfall, experienced tourists are advised to come to it during high water in late spring or summer.
Terraced vineyards of Lavaux
Even in the days of the Roman Empire, grapes were grown in this place. On the shores of Lake Geneva, terraces reinforced with stones were built. Now it is one of the main wine-growing regions of the country. The walking route through the vineyards can include a visit to the cellar, wineries, studying the culture of wine drinking in a restaurant and wine tasting. Many local wines are not brought to Russia because of the high price.
This unique ice accumulation is listed by UNESCO. It is the largest glacier in the Alps, with an area of 86 km2 and a length of 24 km. The appearance resembles a large man-made road formed by the movement of ice along the slopes of the valley. During the year, the glacier overcomes about 200 meters. You can get to it by high-mountain railway, as tens of thousands of travelers do every year.
One of the highest mountain peaks in Switzerland. Its height is 3238 meters. The mountain is covered by a glacier. Mount Titlis is popular among lovers of skiing and luge, especially popular at the foot of the mountain in the canton of Nidwalden. There are special tracks of different difficulty levels. You can go upstairs on cable lifts, as well as with the help of the railway. Popular walks on the 100-meter bridge over the abyss of 500 meters.
The mountain range, the highest point on it is the peak of Tomlishorn with a height of 2128 meters. The railway leads to it - steep and winding. Travelers come here to enjoy the beautiful views and beautiful nature. The slopes of the mountains are covered with dense coniferous forest, and the top of the mountain is hidden in the clouds. As you ascend, you can enjoy a view of Lake Lucerne and the peaks of the Alps. Hiking trails are laid, some of them pass through grottoes and caves.
One of the most popular tourist routes in the country is the hike to Mount Rigi, 1798 meters high. From the top of the mountain you can see 13 lakes, the Alps and the Swiss Plateau. You can climb to the top by one of the two railways, or by cable car. On the slopes of the mountain there are toboggan and ski slopes. For tourists there is all the necessary infrastructure - hotels, restaurants and cafes, equipment rental.