Snow-topped mountains, pristine lakes, vibrant cities – all that is part of Switzerland.
It is an all-year-round destination with dreamy landscapes and dramatic views, great for winter sports, hiking, spa holidays and culinary experiences. It also has the best and most reliable public transport system of not only trains, buses, trams and boats but also mountain railways, cable cars, funiculars, etc.
I have travelled Switzerland twice in the summer, all by train and public transport, once with my son and once on my own, and I highly recommend a visit.
Let me share a few highlights from my trips:
The Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen is a spectacular waterfall of the Rhine before it becomes the wider river near the Swiss/German border. It’s well worth taking a boat trip that takes you close to the waterfall and the spray is a very refreshing experience on hot summer days.
Lucerne is a city steeped in old traditions but also the modern era. The old Chapel Bridge from the 14th century across the river Reuss is a huge attraction and you can have a peak of some of the boats and yachts of the rich and famous at the marina. The city has been described as a mix of “old Switzerland and Monaco”. (By the way, do not miss a visit up Mt Pilatus when you’re there. The views are incredible, especially those across Lake Lucerne, and the cable car and mountain railway rides are an experience you won’t forget.)
The Bernese Oberland is a definite MUST! Enjoy the Lauterbrunnen Valey and some of the highest mountains are in that region with the Schilthorn and the Jungfraujoch luring with spectacular views. You even get to experience snow in the summer on a trip to the Jungfraujoch, and Piz Gloria on the Schilthorn offers a 360 degree rotating dining experience, plus it is loved and frequented by James Bond fans as it features in the “Her Majesty’s Secret Service” movie. Wengen and Mürren are two car-free villages that offer peace and tranquillity and plenty of hiking opportunities.
The other spectacular Swiss mountain is the Matterhorn near Zermatt. Zermatt is another car-free village, very popular with tourists from all over the world and with plenty ideas for trips, like going in the mountain railway up to the Gornergrat and combining it with a cable car trip to the Glacier Paradise at 3883 m altitude.
Zurich is another great place to visit, and not only because of the Chocolate Museum (I resisted to visit) or because the late Tina Turner spent many years at her Lake Zurich home towards and after the end of her career.
Yes, travelling Switzerland may be expensive but it is money well spent and there are always special offers on for foreign tourists, like the Swiss Pass or regional travel passes for public transport users. The breathtaking scenery and all the delicious food and generally great customer service will reward you with a trip of a lifetime.