16 Best Things to Do in Switzerland

Embarking on a journey to Switzerland promises an exhilarating adventure!

This enchanting nation amidst Europe’s picturesque landscapes beckons with its majestic peaks, quaint villages, satisfying cuisine, and an array of captivating experiences. 

16 Best Things to Do in Switzerland

Embarking on a journey to Switzerland promises an exhilarating adventure!

This enchanting nation amidst Europe’s picturesque landscapes beckons with its majestic peaks, quaint villages, satisfying cuisine, and an array of captivating experiences. 

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

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Visit Lauterbrunnen - best things to do in Switzerland

What are the best things to do in Switzerland? It’s safe to say that this destination offers endless activities to satisfy every kind of traveller. 

I’ve thoroughly explored this stunning country, and there are always new and exciting things to do in Switzerland; however, this post covers my top 16!

Hiking stunning mountainous trails, wandering through the cobblestone streets of medieval towns, or ascending the towering peaks of Mount Pilatus, Shilthorn, and Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, will keep on surprising!

Adventure seekers will be spoiled for choice. To celebrate my 30th birthday, I tandem skydived out of a chopper with incredible views of Switzerland’s massive peaks, an experience I’ll never forget.

I even lived in the gorgeous valley of Lauterbrunnen for a while, one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever seen. 

Switzerland should be your next holiday choice if you’re seeking a thrilling travel destination that will amaze you.

Let’s Begin! 16 Best Things to Do in Switzerland

1) Zermatt and the Matterhorn

Zermatt Switzerland

The Matterhorn, at an impressive 4,478 metres, is one of the most iconic peaks in the Alps. It spans the border between Switzerland and Italy and is located approximately 10 km from the village of Zermatt.

You can stay in Zermatt and marvel at the iconic Matterhorn Mountain from below, but we recommend you book this cable car ticket to visit the Matterhorn Glacier.

This is the world’s highest cable car, allowing you to discover the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise from its spectacular viewing platform and explore the unique ice palace and cinema lounge.

If you stay for a few days in Zermatt (view accommodation options here), this area has many hiking and mountain biking trails offering more spectacular views of the Swiss Alps.

2) Explore the stunning Lauterbrunnen Valley

Rach and Marty in Lauterbrunnen Switzerland

Lauterbrunnen is known for its cascading waterfalls and panoramic landscapes.

This village is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see, and it offers so many exciting activities and day trips.

I recommend you base yourself at Hotel Oberland or Camping Jungfrau and hike (or take the funicular or train) to spots like Mürren and Wengen. These are two stunning villages that are 100% worth visiting.

Furthermore, the views from these elevated towns are spectacular, and you might have to pinch yourself to see that they’re real.

There’s a small train station in town where you can book funiculars, train tickets, and transport to get to some incredible places in the valley.

If hiking isn’t your thing, hire a bike from the town’s bike shop, then cycle along the pristine roads at your leisure and explore! 

This Waterfalls E-Bike Tour with a Swiss Picnic is fantastic. This tour includes top natural wonders such as Trummelback Falls & Staubbach Waterfalls.

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3) Visit Jungfraujoch – The Top of Europe

One of the top attractions near Interlaken is a day-trip train excursion to Jungfraujoch, known as the ‘Top of Europe’ at 3,454 metres. 

The scenic journey from Interlaken to Jungfrau takes around 90 minutes, passing through the villages of Kleine Scheidegg and Wengen. 

Once you reach the top, explore the Ice Palace, enjoy the epic Jungfrau panorama, and visit the Sphinx Observatory for stunning views of the Aletsch Glacier. 

This is one of the best things to do in Switzerland, and I’ve been up here more than once. It’s simply incredible!

Enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of the magnificent Swiss Alps from Europe’s highest railway station and post office.

Adventurous activities like tubing, skiing, and sledding are available from May to October. 

You can relax at the restaurant’s viewing platforms and be mesmerised by the views, or start a snowball fight with your travel partner at the Top of Europe!

Be sure to snap a photo of yourself with the enormous Swiss flag at the top; it’s also one of the best things to do in Switzerland and a lasting memory of your trip.

TIP: Book in advance for discounts on entry and train tickets from Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen, as a limited number of visitors are allowed at Jungfrau daily, and the summer months are busy.

You can also book this complete package to Jungrau from Interlaken.

If you’re staying in Lauterbrunnen, book this Jungfrau package, which includes a round-trip train and entry ticket to Jungfraujoch.

4)  Vist Switzerland’s adventure capital – Interlaken

Interlaken lake and flowers

Interlaken is Switzerland’s adventure capital, with many activities amidst the stunning Swiss Alps. 

You can embark on scenic hikes, take boat cruises on Lake Thun, take a scenic jetboat ride on Lake Brienz, and book a paragliding experience for breathtaking aerial views.

It’s the hub for many of the best things to do in Switzerland, including those mentioned in this post. 

Some popular activities I recommend doing from Interlaken include:

5) Harder Kulm Viewpoint  

A visit to Harder Kulm in Interlaken is essential.

Serving as the town’s local peak, it looms at 1,321m above sea level, easily reachable via a historic funicular railway dating back to 1908. 

Reserve a funicular ticket here or hike up to the Harder Kulm Lookout, as I did!

The journey to the summit features a thrilling and steep ascent. If you’re at a reasonable fitness level, I recommend hiking!

Upon arrival, you’ll say hello to the Harder Kulm Panorama Restaurant, which resembles a castle with a viewing platform offering a breathtaking panoramic vista.

Rach Harder Kulm Lookout

From this elevated platform, behold the incredible panoramas of the iconic Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains, forming the legendary trio of the Swiss Alps. 

The expansive views also encompass Lake Thun and Brienz’s sparkling waters.

This hike is one of my favourite things to do in Switzerland, so don’t miss it!

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 6) Go Skydiving over the Swiss Alps

If there is one place in the world that is PERFECT for freefalling mid-air from a chopper, screaming with delight and admiring the most beautiful views you will EVER see, Switzerland is where you want to do it!

Take it from me: more than a decade after tandem skydiving over the Swiss Alps, I can still feel the excitement, the adrenaline, and the pure joy of that day like it was yesterday. 

It was hands down one of the best experiences of my life. 

I recommend going tandem skydiving in Lauterbrunnen to make a lifetime memory. Reserve your skydive here (by aeroplane).

NOTE: Only one shop in Lauterbrunnen, Skydive Extreme, offers Tandem Skydiving in the Lauterbrunnen Valley; however, you can’t reserve this activity online. If you want to take your chances and try to book it once you’re there, it’s up to you, but it’s subject to availability (and weather conditions).

If you prefer a confirmed skydiving experience, jumping from an aeroplane, then you should book this activity for your desired date before arrival to avoid disappointment.

If skydiving is too extreme for you, I recommend you should reserve a ticket to go paragliding instead.

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7) Take a scenic train journey

Train Journey through Lungern Switzerland

Switzerland offers scenic train routes, including the Glacier Express, Bernina Express, and Golden Pass Line, providing unforgettable views of the Swiss countryside.

Glacier Express: Embark on a fascinating eight-hour journey through the heart of the Swiss Alps aboard the Glacier Express. Revel in the breathtaking panoramas of snow-capped mountains, picturesque valleys, and charming Alpine villages along the way.

Bernina Express: This is one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. It traverses the Swiss Alps and crosses the famous Landwasser Viaduct.

Golden Pass Line is a picturesque route from Lucerne to Lake Geneva. Traverse through the scenic landscapes of the Emmental region, passing by the idyllic towns of Interlaken and Montreux, and enjoy breathtaking views along the way.

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8) Day Trip to Mount Rigi

Mount Rigi Switzerland - mountains and nature

Take a cogwheel train or hike up Mount Rigi, known as the “Queen of the Mountains,” for panoramic views of the Swiss Alps and surrounding lakes, accessible from Lucerne, Zurich and other nearby cities.

Whether hiking enthusiasts, nature lovers, or simply seeking relaxation, Mount Rigi has something for you. 

In addition to hiking, you can enjoy mountain biking, paragliding, or soaking in the tranquil surroundings.

From the summit of Mount Rigi, you can experience the magic of sunrise or sunset; it’s out of this world.

9) Explore Geneva

Geneva Switzerland - Cityscape

This vibrant city blends culture, history, and natural beauty.

You can explore iconic landmarks such as the Jet d’Eau fountain and the United Nations Office, stroll along the scenic shores of Lake Geneva, visit world-class museums like the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, and indulge in culinary delights at local cafes and restaurants. 

Additionally, Geneva is a gateway to the picturesque Swiss countryside, with easy access to nearby attractions such as the scenic towns of Montreux and Vevey.

10) Visit the Rhine Falls

Rhine Falls Switzerland

Experience the power and beauty of Europe’s largest waterfall, the Rhine Falls, located near the town of Schaffhausen and reign as the largest waterfall on the continent.

Cool, right?

From numerous viewing platforms, behold the staggering force as torrents of water cascade over the rocks every second, a truly awe-inspiring sight, particularly during the peak flow in summer.

For a more private experience, embark on a boat trip to experience the falls up close. 

11) Visit Bern

Bern Switzerland

Discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town of Bern, Switzerland’s capital city, and wander through its medieval streets and arcades.

Explore the Old Town on foot and admire the famous Zytglogge Clock Tower, which dates back to medieval times. It’s very cool. 

Other top attractions include the Cathedral of Bern and the Bern Historical Museum for history lovers.

Bern has a thriving local arts and culture scene, too, and there are many museums and galleries worth visiting to immerse yourself fully in Swiss culture. 

I recommend this 1.5-hour stroll through the Old Town, where you can learn about the city’s 800 years of history from a local guide.

Bern is ideal for a leisurely boat ride on the Aare River if you prefer a relaxing day.

12) Tour the Lindt Chocolate Factory in Zurich

Visit the Lindt Chocolate Factory - top things to do in Switzerland
What to do in Switzerland? Eat delicious Swiss chocolate, of course!

Every visit to Switzerland must include at least a few days in Zurich. 

Serving as the nation’s financial hub, it stands as Switzerland’s largest city, nestled in a picturesque locale on the shores of Lake Zurich. 

Zurich has many excellent activities, so make a solid plan for your time here. 

The Lindt Home of Chocolate stands out prominently among the city’s most popular attractions. Everyone loves chocolate, and Switzerland is arguably one of the best chocolate producers worldwide. 

It wouldn’t be right if you didn’t fully immerse yourself in learning (and tasting) more Swiss chocolate.

Far from your standard factory tour, the Lindt chocolate tour delves into the rich history of chocolate and offers plentiful opportunities to indulge in this delicious delight.

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13) Go to the top of Mount Pilatus

panorama from mount pilatus in Switzerland

While visiting Lucerne, take advantage of the opportunity to embark on a day trip to Mount Pilatus. 

As you can guess from our list of the best things to do in Switzerland, many options include peaks and incredible panoramic views! Well, that’s what Switzerland is about, and it’d be a shame to return home and not have known about this mountain, too.

This massive mountain near Lucerne offers awe-inspiring panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape. 

Accessing the summit is an adventure in itself. It involves a thrilling ascent via a series of cable cars, including a ride on the cogwheel railway, one of the steepest railways worldwide. 

Reserve your Mount Pilatus Summit from Lucerne with a lake cruise

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14) Explore Lucerne

In central Switzerland, Lucerne emerges as a beautiful gem nestled along the banks of Lake Lucerne. 

This picturesque location boasts a multi-colour panorama of history, breathtaking vistas, and a collection of worthy dining establishments.

An exploration of the city’s medieval old town is essential. Wander through the charming streets and admire the 700-year-old Chapel Bridge, and for history lovers, a journey to the Museggmauer’s medieval ramparts is a must!

Are you searching for a quintessential Swiss item, such as a Swiss watch (Rolex or Omega) or a fancy Swiss army knife? Lucerne’s old town has some excellent shopping, so you can shop til you drop! 

Nature buffs will be captivated by Lucerne’s natural surroundings. 

I recommend this 1-hour scenic cruise on panoramic yacht to soak in the magnificent vistas of the encircling mountains. 

Alternatively, venture on a day trip to the nearby Mount Pilatus or this day trip to Mount Rigi is pretty special, too.

Lucerne’s strategic central location makes it an ideal hub for further exploration of more of the best things to do in Switzerland.

15) Visit Schilthorn Viewpoint

One of the most spectacular day trips from Interlaken is to visit the Schilthorn. 

At an altitude of 2,970m, it offers phenomenal views accessible by cable car. While hiking up is doable (in summer), I’ll only cover more details on the cable car option.

The Schilthorn gained fame as a location in the 1969 James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’. It still retains a Bond-themed ambience today, adding to its allure. 

One of the highlights of the Schilthorn experience is its revolving restaurant, Piz Gloria, located at the summit. The food tastes even better when staring out the window at the stunning panorama year-round.

You’re treated to breathtaking views of the iconic ‘Big 3’ mountains from the summit: Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. 

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16) Explore Grindelwald and Glacier Canyon

Grindelwald Switzerland
Grindelwald is one of the best places to see in Switzerland

Magnificent mountains surround Grindelwald, including the iconic Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau peaks. 

The breathtaking scenery offers countless opportunities for hiking, photography, and soaking in the dreamy vistas.

From hiking and mountain biking to paragliding and skiing (in winter), the options for outdoor adventures are endless in Grindelwald.

Take the cable car to Grindelwald-First, the region’s top adventure hub. You can try thrilling activities like the First Flyer zip line, First Glider, and Trottibike scooters here. 

There are also hiking trails suitable for all levels.

Don’t miss Glacier Canyon, also known as Gletscherschlucht, one of the most captivating attractions in Grindelwald. Wander through a labyrinth of tunnels, walkways, and rugged terrain as the Lütschine River rushes through the ancient 250 million-year-old canyon. 

This 870-metre-long path offers an impressive journey amidst towering cliffs that rise from the canyon floor. 

Situated just 5 minutes from downtown Grindelwald, I highly recommend it!

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Frequently Asked Questions

When Is The Best Time To Visit Switzerland 

The answer to this question depends on your preferences and the activities you like to enjoy:

  1. Summer (June to August): Summer is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and lake cruises. The weather is generally warm and sunny, and wildflowers are in full bloom, making for some beautiful photographs. Summer is also popular for festivals and events; the Swiss do these well!
  2. Autumn (September to November): Autumn offers favourable temperatures, fewer crowds, and stunning colours. It’s an excellent time for hiking, wine tasting in the vineyards, and enjoying local harvest festivals.
  3. Winter (December to February): Winter is ideal for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports in the Swiss Alps. The country becomes a winter wonderland, like those pictures you’ve seen in fairytales. Winter is the only time to catch festive Christmas markets, a huge bucket list item for many.
  4. Spring (March to May): Spring gets warmer temperatures and starts the hiking season. It’s a great time to visit if you want to bypass crowds and enjoy flowers in full bloom.
Rach Canoeing in Switzerland

How to Get Around in Switzerland

Getting around Switzerland will depend on your preferences, budget, planned itinerary and duration of time you wish to spend here. 

Here are some popular options:

Train: Switzerland has a comprehensive and incredibly efficient train network. Trains are known for their punctuality, comfort, and picturesque routes, making them popular for journeying between cities and exploring the countryside. 

Reserve the best train fares on Trainline

Car: Renting a car is convenient if you want flexibility and the ability to explore remote areas at your own pace. 

Switzerland has excellent roads and stunning scenic drives; however, parking fees can be costly. If you do hire a car, we highly recommend Discover Cars.

Public Transport: Besides trains, Switzerland has an outstanding network of buses, trams, and boats. Public transport is dependable and convenient, especially in cities and tourist areas. 

Bicycle: Switzerland is bike-friendly, with many dedicated trails cycling routes and well-maintained roads. Renting a bike is a great way to explore the countryside and scenic lakeside paths.

Walking: This mode of transport will likely be your favourite! Switzerland is a hiker’s paradise, with thousands of km of well-marked trails that suit all fitness levels. 

Exploring Switzerland’s cities on foot is also the best way to explore, so pack some comfortable waterproof hiking shoes or comfortable trainers.

Where to Stay In Switzerland

Interlaken: This city is a good base for many of Switzerland’s best activities. 

I recommend Hotel Du Nord or Hotel Weisses Kreuz for value for money, location and convenience to public transport.

Zurich: If you plan to visit Zurich for a few days, I recommend staying in the city’s heart, the Old Town. This will allow you to explore the city on foot and be surrounded by the best restaurants and cafes.

I recommend Hotel Scheuble or Hotel Alexander for its value for money, location, and convenience for public transport.

Lucerne: If you plan to visit Lucerne for a few days, the ideal location is in the Old Town city centre. You can explore the city on foot, surrounded by the best restaurants and cafes.

I recommend The Lubo or Hotel Hofgarten for its value for money, location, and convenience for public transport.

Lauterbrunnen: Lauterbrunnen is a small village, so you can easily walk around town, no car or public transport required.

I recommend both Hotel Oberland or Camping Jungfrau for value for money, location and convenience of the train station.

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Switzerland’s compact size makes getting around a breeze. With the efficient Swiss rail system, navigating the country is a seamless experience.

Alternatively, rent a car for the freedom of your own schedule. Whatever your mode of transport, you’ll discover an abundance of activities throughout the country, so get planning!

I recommend downloading an eSIM for Switzerland to stay connected in the country. You can buy one of these six eSIM data plans for Switzerland.

Would you prefer to learn more about Swiss eSIM before going? That’s no problem; we explain it all in this post.

You can bet we’ve got you covered for Swiss cuisine, too! Check out these 20 delicious foods from Switzerland.

Travel Tips for Europe

We have many travel guides and tips for Europe— an incredible continent!

Are you travelling on a budget? These ten cheapest European countries will help you plan an itinerary that lets you see as much as possible while there.

Furthermore, if you plan to travel long-term (or at least until the money runs out), these 21 cheapest countries to visit will help you make your hard-earned dollars stretch a bit further.

Delicious cuisine can be enjoyed across Europe, and our food map of Europe will inspire your culinary journey.

For food lovers, don’t miss our top 10 best countries for foodies, a couple of them are located in Europe.

Here are 8 things to know about travelling to Eastern Europe and it’s good to know these 7 misconceptions about Eastern Europe too.

These top 6 travel hacks to save money are great to read when planning your travels.

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in Europe. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View eSIMs for individual European countries, or consider a regional eSIM for Europe (which covers 39 countries).

If your travels in Europe are part of a much larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM. The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

If you want to travel with like-minded travellers, consider joining a group tour. View the best deals on group tours in Europe.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

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