Picking one of the many cities in Switzerland for a visit is not easy. The small country has it all: stunning views, beautiful nature, historical sites, a thriving art scene, delicious food and outdoor fun wherever you go. Still, you have to make a choice, and we are here to help you. Join us as we take a closer look at the must-sees and some lesser-known gems. Each destination is well worth a visit on its own and will offer you many different things to do and explore. Too difficult to choose just one? Plan your perfect trip through Switzerland and see them all.
- Bern: History come alive
- Basel: For art lovers
- Zurich: Designer brands and outdoor fun
- Geneva: Politics and science
- St. Moritz: Sports and party
- 6. Guarda: Tradition and family
1. Bern: History come alive
The Swiss capital dates back to the 12th century and is one of the oldest cities in Switzerland. Explore the Old Town, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1963, with its many medieval buildings, historical fountains and the famous clock tower from the 13th century. Or enjoy the view over the city from the tower of the Gothic Cathedral of St. Vincent. The Bern Historical Museum, which houses the apartment where Abert Einstein lived and worked, and the city’s history museum are great places to visit not only on rainy days. End the day shopping in the picturesque arcades called Lauben or go for a swim in the Aare River.
2. Basel for art lovers
If you are into art, Basel is one of the best cities to visit in Switzerland. The city shares a border with France and Germany and is home to some of the country’s biggest galleries, avant-garde architecture and the Kunstmuseum, to name but a few. The event Art Basel held at the Messe Basel with many exhibitions in and around the city brings together artists from all over the world and hosts shows in Miami Beach, Hong Kong and Paris. If you need a break, relax on a cruise on the Rhine river. Foodies will love the epic culinary scene.
3. Zurich: Designer brands and outdoor fun
Zurich is the Swiss shopping heaven and definitely one of the cities in Switzerland you should visit. The legendary Bahnhofstrasse is the best place to look for designer brands. But keep in mind: Zurich is one of the many cities in Switzerland known for high living standards as well as high prices. Luckily, there are many ways to have fun in Zurich, and not all of them require spending a fortune. Visit one of the over 150 museums and galleries or experience Dadaism at its very birthplace, the Cabaret Voltaire. The Uhrenmuseum Beyer will reveal to you the history and secrets of the famous Swiss watch-making industry. If you need a break, head out to Lake Zurich for some outdoor activities like biking, hiking or canoeing.
4. Geneva: Politics and science
Just as Zurich, Geneva caters to all kinds of interests. Stroll through the Old Town up to St. Pierre Cathedral or admire high-end watches at the Patek Philippe Museum. As Zurich, Geneva has its own lake with the spectacular Jet d’ Eau shooting the water 140 m up in the air. What sets Geneva apart from other cities in Switzerland is the Palais des Nations, the headquarters of the United Nations. Also unique is the International Museum of the Reformation and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about the God particle at the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research).
5. St. Moritz: Sports and party
St. Moritz heads the list of the best cities to visit in Switzerland in winter. The world-famous winter sports resort has hosted two Winter Olympics. Enjoy the excellent conditions for skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing. If you prefer a slower pace, you could try snow-shoe trekking or go on a hike. Relax in the mineral springs to prepare for the buzzing nightlife of glamorous St. Moritz.
6. Guarda: Tradition and family
Guarda is definitely not one of the biggest cities in Switzerland. This precious gem is hidden away in the Lower Engadine mountains. Enjoy traditional customs like the Chalandamarz event chasing away the winter in March in an authentic setting: Well-preserved village houses take you back to the 17th century with their beautifully painted facades. Or take your kids on a hike on the Schellenursli path, dedicated to Alois Carigiet’s children’s book from 1945. If you are curious about the mix of languages spoken in Switzerland, there is no better place to visit: In Guarda, the fourth official language Romansch is still very much alive. Although being rather small, Guarda is therefore one of the best cities to visit in Switzerland, also in winter. And again it proves the ideal destination for families with a children’s ski lift, a toboggan run and an ice rink.
Which city is most beautiful in Switzerland?
There is only one way to find out: Visit them all or pick one from this list of beautiful cities in Switzerland. No matter if you choose one of the biggest cities in Switzerland or seek out a smaller place. Bern, Basel, Zurich, Geneva, St. Moritz and Guarda will have you fall in love and come back for more.
Sandra lives in Istanbul, together with her kids, cat and dog. As a historian she thrives exploring this ancient city with her two- and four-legged loved ones. Together, they also love to go on adventures through all of Turkey and its neighbouring countries. The perfect opportunity to put all the language learning into practice. If she’s not on the road, Sandra is busy putting her experiences into writing as a freelance copywriter for the travel industry and everything related to language, culture and family. Her particular interest lies in providing information on animal welfare with her website contentrundumstier.de