The most beautiful cities in Switzerland
The most beautiful cities
Switzerland is known for its impressive nature and mountain scenery, but did you know that the Swiss cities are also more than worth a visit? A city trip or road trip will take you past the most beautiful cities in Switzerland.
Just on the border, as you enter Switzerland, you encounter the city of Basel. This university town is one of the larger cities in Switzerland and the perfect base from which to begin a road trip through the country. Are you staying just outside the city center? No problem! The subways take you from point to point and run very regularly. Public transportation is easy to use in Switzerland anyway and of excellent quality.
Be sure to take a street art tour through the city as you will find the most impressive graffiti walls as well as some works by famous street art artists. Otherwise, the city is very charming, mainly along the waterfront. Delicious dining can be had just about anywhere in the city.
After your visit to Basel, you can do a bit of the Grand Tour. This beautiful route takes you past top locations such as, for example, the picturesque village of Saint-Ursanne. Here you imagine yourself in Provence thanks to the many colorful houses. A little further on you will find Creux-du-Van. An insane nature reserve with the biggest asset being the giant rock face where you can regularly spot ibex. Worth stopping here too and possibly taking a nice walk. It is also the perfect picnic spot.
Golden Pass Route
As mentioned earlier, public transport is of excellent quality in Switzerland and is by far the best mode of transport for traveling in and between different cities. We took a very special train from Lausanne. Namely, the Belle Époque wagon (part of a regular train) of the Golden Pass route. This wagon is completely in the style of the Belle époque and for that reason alone is worth taking. But also the route along the way is to dream away. Mountain landscapes, vineyards, grassy fields… You’ll encounter it all along the way. And the best part? You pay nothing extra to use this fancy wagon. It’s all part of your Swiss Travel Pass. This combines all public transport (bus, train, streetcar, metro and boat) with access to various museums.
One city that we highly recommend visiting is Lausanne. Located on Lake Geneva, this city is the fourth largest in Switzerland, but remains immensely charming despite its size. You’ll find not only the impressive Olympic Museum but also the largest gothic church in Switzerland.
Het is de moeite om na een bezoekje aan het Olympisch museum een wandeling langs het Meer van Genève te maken. In our opinion, the most romantic spot in town. In addition, a visit to the many vineyards just outside the city center is a must-do. The views here are incredibly beautiful. And what could be better than wine tasting with an excellent view? On-and-off vacation feeling!
When you visit the city, be sure to walk to the Notre-dame Cathedral. Here you have an insane view of the city and if you are lucky you can hear ‘le guet’ calling the hours at night. In Lausanne, you still have a kind of “bellman” who calls out the hours from the top of the cathedral from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. We witnessed it and this is so special. This tradition has lasted for over 600 years and it takes passion to be ready for this job every night.
Another special feature in Lausanne is the smallest museum in the world. Musée de la Chaussure is only a few square meters in size but has a huge collection of leather shoes throughout the years. Chances are the museum will be closed when you pass, but if you stand long enough the friendly owner (who lives next door) will come and open for you.
The next city we visited on our route through Switzerland was Lucerne. This fairy-tale city is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. And we have to give in to that as well. What a gem! From the famous Chapel Bridge to authentic traditions. Lucerne is a must see for anyone who loves culture and romance. This city has a tremendous charm that charmed even us, nature lovers at heart. You can spend the night in the luxurious rooms of Hotel Des Balances with a view of the Reuss River. Fairytale like could hardly be more. Here you can completely relax.
From Lucerne you can visit the mountain Pilatus Kulm. It is located at an altitude of 2,100 meters and is easily accessible via the Golden Round Trip. This goes via cable elevator, as well as train and boat and with one ticket you can take the different modes of transport. So, for example, you can take the cable elevator up and return via the little train (highly recommended!) and then take the boat towards Lucerne. In this way, you have made an entire “journey” around Pilate and enjoyed the most beautiful views the region has to offer.
On the mountain itself, you can also make wonderful (short, but tough) hikes that, with clear weather, will give you beautiful views of the city and mountain peaks. This is Switzerland at its best! Therefore we recommend everyone to visit Mount Pilatus Kulm and spend at least one night there. In fact, a comfortable hotel with a restaurant can be found at 2100 meters, which is quite unique. Awakening among the mountains? A magical feeling! And the food in the restaurant is of excellent quality. One more reason to spend a night.
As the last city in Switzerland, Zurich of course could not be missed. Switzerland’s largest city is known far beyond Europe. Celebrities such as Roger Federer and Tina Turner have residences there. With any luck, you can spot them on the street along with plenty of other celebrities. Zurich teems with familiar faces. It may not be surprising, then, that this is an expensive city to live and work in. Eating out quickly costs around 50 euros and accommodation is not cheap either. Fortunately, plenty of museums and attractions are included in the Swiss Travel Pass, saving you a few euros.
Soon, by the way, you will be able to take the night train from Amsterdam to Zurich. This way you can be in Switzerland in a few hours and just take a nap while you travel. These trains will normally be operational from December 2021. It is then even easier and faster to travel to Switzerland!
Other beautiful cities in Switzerland
These were our favorite cities we recently visited in Switzerland. As nature lovers, they also knew how to charm us because just about every city is surrounded by water and mountain landscapes. So you go from city to nature in a moment if you wish. The best of both worlds!
Of course, there are dozens of other beautiful cities in Switzerland that are more than worth visiting. Think Geneva, Bern, Lugano, Sankt Moritz or Neuchâtel. Each and every one of them are beautiful cities that you want to visit at least once in your life. Unfortunately, we only saw a bit of the beautiful Switzerland but that gives us a good reason to return again.