Stunning mountain scenery, fairy-tale villages, buzzing cities and the world's best cheese and chocolate are just a few of the reasons to view this charming, compact nation. Read more...
There’s more to this surprising country than banking and watches. Switzerland is also blessed with great beauty, from its snow-capped alpine ranges to stunning lakes, and a unique mix of cultures. Bordered by France, Italy, Austria and Germany, it takes a little of the traditions of each to make a diverse destination.
Imagine relaxing on the Glacier Express, one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring train journeys, and making your way through petite, picturesque villages into the iconic Alps. High up in the mountains near Zermatt you can take in the jagged peak of the Matterhorn. Visit the top of Europe at Jungfraujoch and look out over the majesty of the Aletsch Glacier, the longest glacier in the Alps. In fact, there’s no better way to travel the country than by rail. Settle into a comfy carriage and stare out the window as your train winds through fairytale scenery, or opt for something a little more adventurous and board the world’s steepest cogwheel rail that runs from Alpnachstad through lush meadows and up a craggy rock wall.
Another gorgeous place to admire the soaring mountain ranges is around Lake Geneva. From medieval villages to thousand-year-old vineyards this region is steeped in history. Relax on the Montreux Riveria, before taking a stroll along the promenade lined with flowers to Vevey. Many famous people, from Queen’s Freddie Mercury to Charlie Chaplin, have lived on this lake, and you can visit Chaplin’s World, a museum in his former residence in Corsier-sur-Vevey. This is also where you’ll find Lausanne, hometown of the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Museum.
Be overcome by romance when you cross the fourteenth-century Chapel Bridge in the idyllic town of Lucerne. Marvel at history from the Ice Age at the Glacier Garden, and lose yourself in the quaint cobbled streets.
For food lovers, Switzerland is a must-visit. Sumptuous pots of cheese fondue are the perfect accompaniment to mountain views. Taste raclette, gruyère and emmenthal while visiting traditional dairy farms, dine on fresh perch from the lakes, sip on wine in the UNESCO-listed vineyards of Lavaux and, of course, there’s the chance to indulge in the creation of Switzerland’s famous chocolatiers.
The Matterhorn and Switzerland are inseparably linked to each other. The pyramid shaped colossus of a mountain, which is very difficult to climb, is said to be the most-photographed mountain in the world. The Klein-Matterhorn (“Little Matterhorn”), which can be reached via a funicular, lies adjacent to the Matterhorn.
One has a fantastic view of the world’s most photographed mountain from the Klein-Matterhorn (Matterhorn Paradise), which is only separated from the Matterhorn by the Theodul Pass and Glacier. Visitors can board the aerial cable car in Zermatt. The mountain station at 3820 meters above sea level is the highest cable car station of the Alps.
Zurich Old Town is a cultural, social and historical melting pot. It’s medieval houses, contorted, narrow lanes and guild and town halls from the Renaissance period offer an attractive backdrop for world-class entertainment. A tour of the Old Town lets visitors experience Zurich’s multifaceted past. The backdrop turns into a living history of characteristic buildings and the people that lived and acted out their lives in them.
The double towers of the Grossmünster (Great Minster) are Zurich’s landmark, and further sights worth seeing include the Peterskirche (Peter’s Church), which has Europe’s largest clockface, and the Fraumünster (Minster of Our Lady), which is known for its stained glass windows by Giacometti and Chagall.
The Chocolate train runs between Montreux and the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory at Broc and is a real “must” – not only for the true “sweet tooth” but also for railway enthusiasts. One simply cannot visit Switzerland without sampling Switzerland’s most famous speciality – Swiss chocolate. Montreux-Berner Oberland railway has dedicated a whole train to the world’s most delicate temptation. In the stately “Belle Époche”-Pullman 1915 vintage coaches and/or modern panorama coaches, visitors travel in 1st class style only.
The journey in what has been dubbed the world’s slowest express train takes travellers across the Alps within roughly eight hours, passing through 91 tunnels and over 291 bridges. The Glacier Express offers a journey for the senses – from Engadine right to the Matterhorn. On its relaxing drive from dazzling St. Moritz to equally sophisticated Zermatt, the Glacier Express delights travellers with scenic attractions and technical state-of-the-art achievements.
With its overheight panoramic windows, the Glacier Express opens up unobstructed views of unique landscapes.