Best things to do in Switzerland

Best things to do in Switzerland

Unlock the Swiss Adventure: Best Things to Do in Switzerland for an Unforgettable Journey

Photo by 🧔‍♂️ Michal Kmeť on Unsplash
PUBLISHED ONNovember 30, 2023

Embark on an unforgettable Swiss adventure, ideal for driving in Switzerland, as we reveal the top things to do and places to visit in this picturesque country. From breathtaking landscapes and captivating cultural experiences to other awe-inspiring attractions, careful planning ensures a smooth and enjoyable journey on Switzerland's scenic roads.

This blog covers essential details to enrich your travel experience and presents an expertly curated list of Switzerland's must-see wonders for a truly memorable adventure. Time to dive in!

Best Things to Do in Switzerland

Alpine Meadow with Grazing Cattle and Bench

Photo by Ruth Georgiev on Unsplash

Your Swiss journey promises to be the adventure of a lifetime. Engage with nature's masterpieces, revel in vibrant culture, indulge your taste buds, and navigate through an efficient transport system.

We've curated specific, compelling experiences that will immerse you in the essence of Switzerland. Let's embark on a trip highlighting the best things to do for an unforgettable journey. Let's unlock the Swiss adventure!

Man Jumping Against Mountainous Backdrop

Photo by Rik Buiting on Unsplash

  • The Matterhorn: Represents the grandeur of Switzerland, providing a spectacular view and a climber's delight. The sight of the mountain paired with Swiss hot chocolate in Zermatt is unmatched.
  • Château de Chillon: Located on Lake Geneva, it exudes history. Its grand architecture transports one to medieval Switzerland. The wine-tasting experience in its ancient cellars is unique.
  • Lake Geneva: An epitome of Swiss sereness with natural elegance interwoven with urban charm. Enjoy cruising, lakeside relaxation, or indulge in the Swiss and French cuisine. Montreux and Lausanne, its lively towns, represent Swiss culture.
  • Cities: Zurich, Lucerne, and Bern: These cities effortlessly blend modernity with timeless tradition. From Zurich’s busy streets and Lucerne’s ancient bridges to spotting bears in Bern, they narrate the tale of Swiss tradition and modern lifestyle. Attractions include engaging festivals, museums, local cuisine, and street art.

Unique Cultural Experiences

  • Geneva Festival: The Geneva Festival, or 'Fêtes de Genève,' is an annual cultural celebration that showcases an array of vibrant performances, dazzling fireworks, and mouth-watering culinary delights.
  • Basel Carnival: Dive into Swiss culture by attending the Basel Carnival, or 'Fasnacht,' renowned for its vivid colors, lively traditional music, and intricate masks. This event offers an authentic glimpse into Swiss folklore, as it revives centuries-old customs set against a spirited background.
  • Cow Parades in the Alps: Witness a truly unique and unexpected Alpine tradition—the Cow Parades, or 'Alpabzug'—and watch as beautifully adorned cows descend from the summer pastures in the mountains to their lower altitude homes.
  • Cultural Heritage Exploration: No visit to Switzerland is complete without diving into its rich cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in the nation's history through visits to museums, galleries, and historical sites.

Natural Wonders

  • Swiss National Park: If you have an affinity for nature, then the Swiss National Park is a must-visit. It is a living testament to the incredible biodiversity of Switzerland, boasting a varied range of unique flora and fauna.
  • Aletsch Glacier: It's time to feast your eyes on the captivating views courtesy of the Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland's very own "frozen giant". This ice-covered wonder is more than just a stunning sight, it's a tangible testament to the timeless power and stark beauty of our planet's natural environment.
  • Rhine Falls: Feel the awesome power of nature at Rhine Falls, Europe's largest waterfall. The thundering rapids and the sheer force of cascading waters will leave you in awe.
  • Lakes and Mountains: Switzerland's picturesque countryside is studded with pristine lakes and majestic mountains that promise adventure at each bend of your path. Use your trip to explore hiking trails, panoramic viewpoints, or even hidden picnic spots.

Outdoor Activities

  • Skiing and Snowboarding: Swap beach relaxation for winter sports in Switzerland. At resorts like Zermatt, enjoy thrilling ski and snowboarding outings amid snowy slopes and breathtaking mountain views.
  • Hiking and Mountain Biking: Strap on your boots or saddle up on two wheels and hit the picturesque trails of dreamy Alpine towns like Verbier. From leisurely scenic walks to adrenaline-pumping singletrack rides.
  • Paragliding: For thrill-seekers searching for new heights, paragliding in Interlaken won't disappoint. Feel your heart race as you glide high above snow-capped mountains, sparkling lakes, and the vibrant town below you.

Local Cuisine

  • Raclette & Fondue: Experience Swiss comfort food classics like raclette and fondue, with molten cheese enveloping roasted potatoes or accompanied by toasted bread pieces for dipping.
  • Rosti: Be sure not to miss out on 'rosti,' an iconic Swiss dish that delights the palate with its perfectly crisp and golden brown potatoes. Considered a Swiss national dish, rosti embodies the country's culinary simplicity, converting basic ingredients into something utterly divine.
  • Swiss Chocolate: No food journey in Switzerland is complete without their world-renowned chocolates, a must-indulge treat that reflects Swiss identity. Whether milk, dark, or white chocolate, it promises a delectable end to your culinary exploration.

Transportation Options

  • Swiss Transport System: Much like the fresh Alpine air, the Swiss transport system stands unparalleled for its punctuality, efficiency, and coverage. You can surely count on it to comfortably whisk you away to the next extraordinary Swiss location.
  • Trams: Trams are a popular and easy way to navigate through Swiss cities. They sweep through the streets with a predictable rhythm and offer travellers a chance to navigate cities in the most local way possible.
  • Boats: Feeling like crisscrossing serene Swiss lakes? By boat, you will effortlessly glide through the shimmering blue waters, embracing tranquillity while admiring panoramic views that define the iconic Swiss scenery.
  • Swiss Travel Pass: To experience the full gamut of Swiss transportation modes, consider bagging the Swiss Travel Pass. Think of it as an all-you-can-ride buffet. Whether you're planning to ascend snow-blanketed mountains in a cogwheel train or cruise Lake Geneva, this pass has you covered.
  • Driving and International Permit in Switzerland: When opting for a drive, make sure you acquaint yourself with the diverse Swiss driving guides to aid with laws, routes, and scenic views you certainly don't want to miss. Remember, an international driving permit for Switzerland would frequently be necessary if you're an overseas visitor. It's important to double-check Switzerland's specific requirements for this permit.

Safety Considerations

Switzerland holds a well-earned reputation as a serene and safe travel destination. Yet, it's paramount to remember some key safety guidelines to ensure a carefree and enjoyable journey. Here are some tips to guide you:

1. Be Vigilantly Aware: Switzerland is safe, but it's not an impetus to be complacent. Keeping an eye on your property ensures you avoid unnecessary heartbreak. Don't fear to explore; simply be mindful of your belongings.

2. Scout Your Surroundings: It's always wise to familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Note the signs, landmarks, and general layout of the area. It helps when navigating and allows you to quickly identify any potential safety concerns.

3. Maintain Balance: Keeping safety in mind shouldn't deter you from experiencing the beautiful Swiss culture and landscapes. Safety is but one ingredient in the recipe for fantastic travel experiences.

4. Embrace the Adventure: Travel is meant to be a great adventure. Don't let the concern for safety overshadow your trip's purpose. Seek to experience the new, the unknown, and the exciting while keeping safety as your travel buddy.

Remember, even in the friendliest of countries like Switzerland, a good traveler is a safe traveler.

Visa Requirements

Understanding your visa requirements when journeying out of your home country can often seem like a daunting task. Here's a breakdown for Swiss-bound travelers, ensuring you don't miss a step:

1. Stay Informed about the Schengen Agreement: The Schengen Pact has simplified travel for many, allowing for borderless movement across most European countries. However, not everyone is automatically granted this luxury.

2. Check Your Eligibility: Not all passports are created equal, and yours determines your travel restrictions more often than not. Before making any concrete plans, be sure to verify whether your current passport allows for free travel within the Schengen
zone or if there are restrictions to consider.

3. Research Your Visa Needs: The type of visa you require hinges on your travel aspirations. Are you just passing through, staying for a while, or considering long-term living solutions? Different goals come with different visa requirements.

4. Be Prepared: Dealing with visa necessities is an essential part of travel preparation. It's not the most thrilling part of the experience, but it's invaluable. A bit of diligent planning can save you significant headaches in the long run.

5. Stay Updated: Visa rules are far from static. They evolve over time, concurrent with changes in international relations and policies. So, regardless of your previous travel experiences, always go for a "fresh check" before each journey.

Weather Conditions

When planning your Swiss adventure, consider two main factors: regional diversity and seasonal variations.

Regional Weather:

  • North: Expect cold winters that demand thermal clothing, heavy-duty jackets, and insulated accessories
  • South: A Mediterranean-style climate means lightweight clothing for most of the year, with some warm items for cooler evenings.

Season-by-Season Guide:

  • Winter (December-February): The mountainous regions morph into snowy paradises. Pack your warmest clothes as temperatures can drop significantly.
  • Spring (March-May): Witness reviving nature and vibrant landscapes. As weather can be unpredictable, focus on layered clothing for flexibility.
  • Summer (June-August): It's generally warm with occasional showers. Pack light clothing and have a rain jacket or umbrella at the ready.
  • Autumn (September-November): With crisp air and golden foliage, a mix of warm and cold weather clothing works well as temperatures start to drop.

Flexibility and smart packing are key to enjoying the varying weather of Switzerland, as the best time to visit Switzerland hinges heavily on your preferred activities and weather conditions.

Health and Insurance

Let's talk about safeguarding your health during your Swiss escapade. Travel insurance plays a crucial role in that. Unpredictable things can happen during travel – from lost luggage to sudden health emergencies. Skimping on insurance is not a smart move.

Switzerland's health system is world-renowned. They're truly at the top of their game when it comes to healthcare. In a crunch, be assured you're covered with first-rate medical assistance. The country's efficient and rapid response in emergencies, aided by a comprehensive list of emergency numbers, will have you back on your feet swiftly.

Remember to familiarize yourself with any terms and conditions before you board that plane. Travel insurance packages vary and are tailored to different traveler needs. Take time to review them and find the insurance plan that covers your specific needs.


Arriving in Switzerland invites you into an orchestration of languages. This country boasts four national languages, each lending its unique melody to the overall Swiss symphony of diversity.

Here is a primer on these languages and how they might color your Swiss travel:

  • German: Reserve your German phrases for cities like Zürich. Ordering in a traditional Swiss restaurant? Your 'Ich hätte gerne ein Rösti' (I would like a Rösti) in German will impress the locals.
  • French: Let your French come alive in Geneva. Raising a glass of local Swiss winery's best? Pair it with a hearty 'Santé' (Cheers).
  • Italian: Visiting Lugano's bustling markets would be the perfect spot to use your Italian. A casual 'Quanto costa?' (How much is it?) might come in really handy.
  • Romansh: Though not as prevalent, glimpses of Romansh can be heard in regions of Graubünden. Knowing a phrase like 'Bun di' (Good day) in this ancient language could be an interesting conversation starter.

While many Swiss are proficient in English, knowing a few local phrases enhances your travel experience by connecting more directly with the culture.


Switzerland uses the Swiss Franc (CHF) as its official currency, not the Euro found in neighboring countries. Here's a simple guide to handling money matters.

  • The Swiss Franc: Available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 1000 CHF banknotes. Coins used include "Rappen" in German and "centime" in French.
  • Credit Cards: Most places, from high-end boutiques to cozy restaurants, accept major credit cards. So, you won't need to carry a lot of cash for your transactions.
  • Cash Payments: Like anywhere else, there might be times when only cash will do, or you might stumble upon a small local shop that accepts only cash. Therefore, it's advisable to keep some Francs in your pocket.
  • ATMs/Bancomats: ATMs, known locally as "Bancomats", are plentiful across the country. They allow for easy withdrawals in local currency and typically offer several language options for user-friendly transactions.
  • Currency Exchange: You can find exchange services at airports, train stations, and banks. However, bear in mind that they might come with extra fees or less favorable rates. Opt for ATMs when you can, as they usually provide better exchange rates.

Familiarizing yourself with Swiss currency helps ensure smooth financial transactions during your Swiss adventure.

Local Laws and Customs

Understanding local laws and customs ensures a harmonious visit to Switzerland. Here is a quick guide to help you navigate Swiss laws and customs with confidence:

  1. Littering: Switzerland's clean environment is guarded by strict laws against littering with heavy fines. Always dispose of your waste responsibly.

2. Noise Regulations: Noise restrictions are in place after 10 PM in residential areas to respect the local preference for tranquility. Avoid loud music, conversations, or disruptively loud actions at night.

3. Sunday: A Day of Rest: Most businesses close on Sundays, considered a rest day. Some areas also enforce noise restrictions. Prepare by shopping the previous days for your needs.

4. Public Drinking: Drinking alcohol in public is allowed, yet moderation is urged to avoid distasteful behavior that could lead to fines or arrests.

5. Public Transportation: Swiss transport is known for its punctuality. Ensure to validate your tickets before boarding and maintain decorum, like refraining from eating, drinking, or improper seating.

6. Smoking: Indoor smoking is banned in public spaces, but specific smoking zones are provided. Respect non-smokers and abide by smoking guidelines.

Adhering to these customs and regulations will enhance your cultural understanding and travel experience.


As you set foot in Switzerland, rest assured that excellent mobile and internet coverage has your back. Here's what you need to know to stay effortlessly connected during your journey:

  1. Exceptional Mobile and Internet Coverage: Switzerland’s mobile networks offer comprehensive coverage, reaching even remote areas. You'll find high-speed internet readily accessible in many places.

2. Local SIM Cards: Consider getting a local SIM card to avoid hefty roaming charges enjoy cost-effective communication. Swiss networks provide affordable call and data plans.

3. Compatibility Check: Before jumping on that plane, ensure your phone is unlocked and compatible with Swiss networks to avoid any connectivity hitches.

4. Use of Internet Cafes: In case of any issues, internet cafes dotted around Swiss towns offer good internet access for a small fee.

With Switzerland's robust connectivity, rest assured you'll be able to share those scenic mountain selfies and stay in touch effortlessly while savoring the Swiss experience.


Travelers, particularly in Switzerland, bear the responsibility of fostering sustainability. Beyond a land of cheese and chocolate, Switzerland leads the world in conservation practices.

Its untouched valleys, sparkling lakes, and snowy peaks evidence a profound commitment to sustainability. Switzerland's actions, from waste management to energy usage, exemplify this.

As guests, we are custodians of the land, fostering change through behavior adjustments and championing local ecosystems. A journey through Switzerland isn't just sightseeing but practicing sustainable tourism. As we explore, let's pledge to preserve this enchanting nation because sustainability is the essence of Switzerland's allure.


Switzerland offers the joy of diverse landscapes, cultures, and food, promising an unforgettable journey. As you delve into the Swiss experience, remember to explore its natural and cultural wonders, including the best places to visit in Switzerland. Navigate its efficient transport system, and meet safety guidelines for a hassle-free adventure.

Preparation regarding visas, weather, language, and currency will ensure a smoother trip. Embrace the country's commitment to sustainability and enrich your journey with Responsible Tourism practices. Enjoy this Swiss adventure, fostering striking memories and honoring the country's mesmerizing landscapes.

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