If you ask an Indian, which are the countries he/she would love to visit, Switzerland will definitely be one of them; and you have to give some credit to ‘Yash Chopra’ for that! Through his movies, he has shown us the natural beauty of the country, so much that we all desire to go there some day.
The good thing is that with changing aspirations, more and more Indians are able to fulfill that dream. So in case you’re also planning to visit this beautiful country, make sure you cover these places (or at least few of them) in your trip.
Here are the top 10 places in Switzerland to Visit.
This is another important city in Switzerland, and most politicians and business leaders come here for various summits. However, most travel itineraries, especially those that begin from Zurich, usually doesn’t cover this city, unless you’re doing a very long holidays in this country. If possible, make it a point to visit this place for sightseeing, including the beautiful Lake Geneva region.
Switzerland’s Lake Geneva Region
Located in the French-speaking part of Western Switzerland, the Lake Geneva region is a treasure trove of experiences. Ranveer Singh is busy promoting this unexplored gem in Switzerland.
For adventure lovers, a trip to Glacier 3000 is a must with its alpine coaster, snow bus and the peak walk – the world’s highest suspension bridge between to peaks.
Chillon castle appears to float on the surface of Lake Geneva, and has has stood proudly on its rocky island since the 12th century. Just a few minutes away from Montreux, it’s the most visited historical monument in Switzerland.
Lausanne – Diverse and full of surprises, its a beautiful blend of the old and the new. On one hand, there is the City’s Gothic Old Town with its majestic Lausanne Cathedral which takes you back to the past; on the other the neighborhoods of Ouchy and Flon, reflect the city’s hip, urban culture.
Montreux – Famous for its jazz festival, this place has been an inspiration for many musicians including Freddie Mercury (our own Parsi boy), whose statue stands overlooking the azure lake. Enjoy the good music, food and the good life in this city.
CGN Cruises – Enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Geneva on a Cruise. Admire tiny Swiss towns, terraced vineyards, various ports and their storybook castles and cathedrals, all against the backdrop of the purple mountains.
Olympic Museum houses over 10,000 sports related artifacts (largest archive of Olympic Games in the world), including Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand’s hockey stick as well as Mary Kom’s boxing gloves. It’s a popular attraction in Lausanne.
In all probability, this will be the first stop of your itinerary (or you may do it towards the end as well). And its not the capital of Switzerland, not even Geneva, its ‘Bern’! It’s the heart of Europe and is considered the hub of the entire railways network in Europe.
Lucerne (Luzern in German, or ‘the city of lights’), situated in the heartland of Switzerland, is stunning. In addition to being a fine place for sightseeing, Lucerne is also a great base from where you can explore other famous Swiss sites such as Mount Rigi and the Rutli Meadow.
Interlaken is home to several beautiful lakes, mountains and slopes. Many also use it as a base to explore the Bernese Oberland. Its also one of the world’s top adventure-sports destinations. You’ll find lakes Thun and Brienz, famous mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The scenery here is just mind-blowing. If you’re visiting Jungfrau (most Asians do), you’ll have to come to this place.
Zermatt is a very popular place for tourists. This place is heaven for ski fans, snowboarders and mountaineers, courtesy Matterhorn (4478m), the legendary peak towers, overlooking the town of Zermatt. Be prepared to be smitten by the Matterhorn.
St. Moritz (Engadin)
Excellent weather, this place receives sunshine for more 300 days per year. St. Moritz is a resort town located in the Engadine valley in Switzerland. Haven’t heard of this place before? Its because this is where mostly only the ‘rich’ come to enjoy their holidays; and the town also looks a million dollars with its shimmering aquamarine lake, emerald forests and aloof mountains.
Ticino is another beautiful region in the Switzerland; the only thing is that there’s a lot of Italian influence and it feels as if you’re in Italy. You’ll find Italian style, Italian pizza, Italian architecture & even Italian language. The region offers a little of everything.
Bern (Berne in English and French) is the capital city of Switzerland, although it seems to be quite laid back for a capital city. Its also a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Basel is the third most populous city in Switzerland (after Zurich and Geneva). If you’re working for a company that deals in global finance, you may have heard about this city. Basel is the closest Switzerland comes to having a seaport. Kleinbasel (Little Basel) is where this rich city’s working class lives.
The good things about this country is that you really don’t have to reach the destination to see good things, even the train journey itself is quite impressive and its a treat to your eyes to see all those beautiful sceneries outside while travelling. These are the best places in Switzerland to visit for holidays. Hope you get to visit all of them!
Lucerne – Interesting Things & Activities
Here are some more interesting things & activities to do when in Lucerne (luzern), Switzerland.
- Take a Swiss pass for travel – Do the lake luzern boat cruise. Its mind blowing. Very scenic. And its free. Best time is to take it around 4 pm.
- Visit Mt. Titlis or Jungfrau. Titlis can be visited from Lucerne and Jungrau in Interlaken. Jungfrau (Jungfraujoch) will take more time but its amazing; if you love heights, go to Jungfrau.
- The chapel bridge is scenic in luzern; there’s also a shopping g street in case you are interested in shopping. If you want to buy watches, be prepared to bargain. And buy it from luzern as you can get amazing watches at discounted prices (no discounts in main showrooms).
- Opposite Ibis styles hotel there is an Italian restaurant which serves amazing pizzas and pastas. Other side of the road is an Indian veg restaurant – serves great Indian veg food; the Thali there is amazing.
- There are several restaurants near the Chapel bridge and water spikes. All are open air and serve amazing food. You may eat at any of those.
So basically at Lucerne, enjoy the boat cruise, Chapel bridge , and Mt. Titlis if required.
Interlaken – Interesting Things & Activities
Journey from Luzern to Interlaken is amazing. Take the normal seating, but if possible take the cycle compartment as you can open the windows there and the view is just amazing.
- Paragliding is a must; don’t miss it if you’re there. Gliding over the two lakes – Thun and brienz is one of the best things that you’ll experience in life.
- Restaurants for must eat:
- Does Alpes on the main street for salads, italian and fondue
- LA rafmi for pizzas
- There’s an amazing Mexican restaurant on the main street too.
- Lots of Lebanese food joints available anytime in Swiss.
- Coop – for water and fruits everywhere. Water from coop is cheap all over Switzerland.
- Little Thai – amazing Thai food; don’t miss it if you like Thai.
- Enjoy the Indian dinner cruise at lake Brienz – its mind blowing experience. You’ll need to book it in advance. If you cant do the dinner, make sure you do the cruise for couple of hours at lake Brienz.
- Go for cycling around Interlaken, especially on the lake side; its an experience to remember. Try and spend time on the main street of Interlaken; its really good.
- Visit Jungfrau if you’re in Interlaken; it will take the full day. When at Mt, Titlis and Jungfrau, don’t forget to take heavy woolens as it gets really cold at the top.
Mount Titlis: Popular Destination Among Indians Visiting Switzerland
Talk about Mount Titlis in Switzerland, and if you’re a Bollywood fan, you can’t help but talk about Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ). The movie, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, was shot here, and you can see a giant cardboard cutout of the movie’s poster at the top of Mt. Titlis.
Located in central Switzerland (between the cantons of Obwalden and Berne), Mt. Titlis is one of the most popular destinations among Indian tourists visiting Switzerland.
It is mainly accessed from Engelberg (Obwalden) on the north side. The cable car system connects Engelberg to the summit of Klein Titlis through the three stages of Gerschnialp, Trübsee and Stand.
There’s a huge hoarding (for welcoming guests) just outside the cable car station. It says ‘Swagatam’ (Welcome) on one side and ‘Alvida’ (Bye) on the other side along with other languages.
Many take a train up to Engelberg, a picturesque village from where one can take a cable car to reach Mt. Titlis.
When you start the ascent in the cable car, you may not see the peak right away (due to the clouds), but few minutes later, when you’re above the clouds, you get a great view of Engelberg.
A life size cut-out of #DDLJ on the summit of Mount Titlis in Switzerland. Even after 20 years, the film lives on! pic.twitter.com/KzYv2GHLA0
— Reema Omer (@reema_omer) July 4, 2015
New Attractions for the Swiss Alps
While there’s plenty in the Swiss Alps to keep travelers occupied, there are now a few more reasons for you to visit Switzerland during the warmer months.
Lindt has opened the world’s highest chocolate shop, some 3,454 m above sea level in the mountains, where visitors will be able to see the company’s master chocolatiers at work, as well as buy chocolates. The Schynige Platte will now host daily Swiss Alphorn performances from 11 am until 2 pm (from 29th May to 26 October), where you can listen to the distinctive music, and even learn the basics of alphorn blowing from the musicians.
These, along with the sight of beautiful lakes, stunning wildflower meadows and charming Swiss villages are just a few reasons for you to visit the region.