One of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Switzerland, contains an extraordinary abundance of natural beauty and timeless appeal. Each city or country town offers something of interest to every visitor and whether you are looking for pure leisure or an action packed holiday, Switzerland has it all.
The best way to explore the country is through the Swiss Travel System (STS), which is an efficient network of trains, buses and ships all timed to near perfection. Each city is inter-connected by the hourly inter-city trains which not only provides easy connectivity but also provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy the pristine beauty of this region with quaint country houses perched on the lush slopes having the majestic mountains with snow capped peaks as its backdrop. The Swiss Flexi Pass (valid for 2 or more adults and free for children under 16) entitles you to unlimited travel throughout the STS for a pre-fixed number of days.
MUST VISIT CITIES/TOWNS
Situated on the banks of River Aare with the breathtaking view of the Alps on the horizon, Berne, the capital of Switzerland is probably the most charming of all Swiss cities. The perfectly preserved medieval street plan, with its quiet, cobbled lanes lined with sandstone arcades and numerous street fountains, has made UNESCO list Bern as a World Heritage Site. It is here that Albert Einstein worked and the Toblerone chocolate bar and Emmental cheese, known as Swiss Cheese is made.
Nestled beside Lake Zurich and along River Limmat with views of the distant snowy peaks, Zurich is considered Switzerland’s most important financial, industrial and commercial center. It offers a unique mixture of attractions – over 50 museums and more than 100 art galleries, international fashion labels and the most flamboyant and lively nightlife in Switzerland. Recreational activities range from a visit to the riverside and lakeside boating areas in the very heart of the city, to a spectacular hike on the Uetliberg mountain. It is the closest international airport to the capital city (Bern) and is well connected to all other Swiss cities as well as most parts of the world.
The European seat of the UNO and headquarters of the Red Cross, Geneva, situated on the westernmost fringe of Switzerland has much to offer. Geneva’s most popular attraction is its lake around which the city thrives. During the summer months, the endless attractions around the waterfront of Lake Geneva include everything from water sports to boat trips and restaurants with a view.
River Rhône, which flows through the city, is lined with tourist attractions, shops, hotels and eateries. Try to leave enough time for a leisurely boat trip along the River Rhône on a sunny afternoon, or perhaps enjoy one of the many evening gourmet cruises, which are also available on the River Rhône.
Other notable attractions in Geneva include the graceful promenades along the lake, Jet d’Eau (world’s tallest water fountain), floral clock, chic shops, flea market, the International Museum of the Red Cross and the United Nations complex.
Poised gracefully on Lake Lucerne and embedded within an impressive mountainous panorama, Luzern is an ideal starting point for many excursions to the highlights of central Switzerland like Mt Pilatus and Mt. Rigi. The stay at Luzern itself is made memorable thanks to its various attractions which include the Chapel Bridge, the Culture and Convention Center (KKL), its various souvenir and watch shops, the beautiful lakeside setting and the happening night life.
Situated between Lakes Thun and Brienz and at the feet of the three famous peaks Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, Interlaken is a sleepy but charming little town which facilitates a variety of activities like day trips to the nearby peaks or trekking on an extensive network of hiking routes and paragliding on the sunny slopes just ten kilometers away. Interlaken is well connected to the capital city of Bern making it easy to reach this town. Don’t miss a bus ride around Interlaken or to its neighbouring city, Thun to enjoy the Swiss bus system and the beautiful sights to the fullest.
Lausanne, the second-largest city on Lake Geneva and the seat of the International Olympic Committee, combines a dynamic commercial town with the locality of a holiday resort. The town which is built on three hills, surrounded by vineyard-covered slopes, with Lake Geneva at its feet has a picture-perfect setting. The main highlights here are the Old Town with its impressive Cathedral and the Olympic Museum among others.
Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe
A 1 and 1/2 hour journey from Intelaken OST via Kleine Scheidegg takes you to the highest peak in Europe. Highlight is to enjoy the slides down the icy slopes and to visit the Ice Palace, Sphinx Terrace and the Glacier Plateau.
The Golden Round Trip lets you enjoy your day trip to this popular tourist spot. From Luzern reach Alpnachnstad either by boat (90min) or train (20min). From here an exhilarating trip on the world’s steepest cog wheel takes you to the peak. After enjoying the beautiful sights and a sumptuous meal there, the return journey by the spectacular cable car ride brings you first to Frakmuntegg. This place offers adventure seekers an exciting outing on Central Swizterland’s largest suspension rope park. From here a panoramic gondola ride brings you down to Kriens and a 15 min bus ride from here to Luzern completes the Golden round Trip.
Another picturesque train ride from Luzern and then the famous Rotair (rotating cable car) ride takes you to the summit of Mt. Titlis. Highlights : – The Ice Flyer Chairlift provides a breathtaking trip over the glacier crevasses to the Glacier Park. –Fun rides at the specially prepared snow run at the Glacier park
Also Don’t Miss:
– A visit to the Cheese factory at the Engelberg Monastery (Near Luzern)
– A visit to the Caillers-Nestlé factory
Though it does not feature on any tourist itinerary, a visit to First, another beautiful and less explored peak in this region can be a fun family outing. A train journey from Interlaken to Grindelwald (a quaint little village) and from there a breathtaking cable car ride takes you to this icy terrain. If you are in a mood for some physical activity, you could get off at one of the intermediate cable stations and trek up to the next station.The restaurants atop the hill serves a variety of beverages apart from some tempting ice-creams and other short-eats.