Whether you are inflicted by wanderlust or not, Switzerland is most probably on the top of your bucket list. The mountainous country is in Central Europe landlocked by France, Austria, Italy, and Germany. While it hasn't been blessed with sun-smashed beaches and pounding waves, it has its own picturesque blend of Alpine landscapes, pristine lakes, quaint villages, medieval towns, luxury ski resorts and serene hiking trails that seems straight out of a storybook. If that's not enough, here you can indulge in the world's finest Swiss chocolates. Don your warmest coat, a cozy beanie and jump into your snow boots to explore the winter wonderland.
Wait, what? Summer and Switzerland? We know we just told you to grab your winter jacket, but let's take a step back. It is true that the Alpine country is a beautiful winter destination, but summers are not to be underestimated. As the sun shines down, the extraordinary landscapes and pleasant weather combine together to offer a range of amazing activities in a midst of arresting panoramas. Here are the top summer experiences in Switzerland:
Lake Geneva - Switzerland is home to more than 7000 lakes, and summer is the best time to traverse the crystal clear water bordered by blooming greenery. Geneva Lake, straddling River Rhone, and France, runs through the resort city of Geneva and magnificently sprawls besides snow-kissed mountains, hillside villages, and vineyards. The resort city boasts stately mansions built during the Gilded Age, Olympic Museum with its lavish art installations and immaculate gardens, a Gothic cathedral of Notre Dame and a suspension bridge 'Peak Walk by Tissot'. The lake itself offers a plethora of exhilarating activities including rowing, scuba diving, sailing, water skiing, and windsurfing.
Pilatus - Plan a day trip from Lucerne to Mount Pilatus, a group of several peaks in Central Switzerland. On a clear, sunny day, you can have a fantastic time climbing the massif. It is not easy, I dare say, unless you are an exceptional hiker, but it is definitely worth it. Aside from mountaineering, explore the beautiful city of Lucerne encompassed by mountains and a picturesque lake. The magnificent medieval monuments, the vividly painted Altstadt, the 13th century Chapel Bridge and the Musegg Wall and its nine towers are some of the highlights of the city.
Festivals and Celebrations - Summertime ignites the whole country with vibrancy and joy. Festivals are in full swing during this season. Join in the fun at the Montreux Jazz Festival that takes place at Lake Geneva for two weeks. Head over to Zurich in August to be a part of Zurich OpenAir Festival that lasts for four days. Make sure to attend Swiss National Day on August 1st. It is held in all the major cities and almost the whole country turns up.
Adventure Park Interlaken - Sunny days call for zip lining and swings. Seilpark Interlaken is an outdoor adventure park where you can try out some adrenaline pumping activities. The park has several treetop courses, bridges, swings and ziplines. The forest boasts an array of towering centuries-old trees linked together with platforms. Apart from adventures, take in the views of the summits of Jungfrau and bask in the sun.
The capital of Switzerland cannot be missed at any cost. The federal city is abundant with historical gems, rich culture, and entertainment. Explore the old town, take a stroll alongside the bubbling River Aare, and soak up the beauty of the Rose Garden. One of the most unique activities is to visit the Bear Pit where you will find a plethora of brown bears lazing around.
When the snow covers the grounds, Switzerland transform into a glittering winter wonderland strongly reminding you of marshmallows and blankets. The crisp mountain air beckons you to the Swiss Alps, and you gear up to begin the adventure. Winter sports, stays at luxurious resorts and cozy towns are few of the many highlights of Swiss Winters. Here is how you can start:
Ski Resorts - Skiing the snow-kissed slopes is a must when you are in Switzerland. Whether you are a pro or absolutely inexperienced, the resorts cater to all levels of expertise. Some of the top-rated ski resorts are St. Moritz, Zermatt, Grindelwald, and Davos.
Christmas Markets - Throughout the merry season, Switzerland offers a number of festive Christmas markets brimming with scrumptious cuisine, fun-filled events, Christmas-themed music, joyful gatherings, and visually delightful decor. In Zurich, train station hall hosts the largest indoor market of Europe with trees adorned with Swarovski crystals and scents of freshly-baked goodies. The resort of Montreux also holds a great Christmas market by the lakeside. Thanks to plenty of activities for children and a Ferris Wheel, it is a perfect place for families with kids. The Münsterplatz market in Bern have a different take on Christmas with its arts and crafts stores.
Maestrani's Chocolarium in Flawil - Winters and warm, gooey chocolates go hand in hand. Be a little Charlie and head over to the Chocolarium in Flawil and indulge on a huge variety of chocolates in a totally Willy Wonka-ish way. The hands-on factory offers an interactive experience where you can witness the goodies being produced right in front of your eyes.
Snow Sports - Besides skiing, there are plenty of snow sports that you can enjoy in Switzerland. Toboggan rides, snowshoeing, snowboarding, skating, winter hiking, curling, cross-country skiing, and sledding are a bunch of snow-related activities that are extremely fun. The best part? You don't need any experience.
Arosa - The Alpine resort village lies in the mesmerizing Schanfigg Valley. It is renowned for its lakes, mountain peaks, ski slopes, hiking trails and fountains. Walk alongside the Landwasser River, walk the forested pathways, take a cable-car ride through the Parpaner Rothorn, and explore the many bridges.
Swiss cuisine is a dreamy combination of French, German,Italian and other regional cuisines. For breakfast, Rosti (potato pancakes),Bircher műesli (the original muesli), and butter and marmalade are popular.Before we forget, you must try the iconic Cheese Fondue with your best pals. Itis served in a communal pot in which you dip pieces of bread or potatoes. Ifyou aren't a big fan of cheese, you can try the chocolate version which is just as heavenly. Other traditional Swiss dishes include tarts, quiches, Zürcher Geschnetzeltes (made with veal strips and cream), Malakoff (fried cheese balls), and Raclette (hot cheese and potato scrapings.
Switzerland offers you a nightlife that ranges from low-key bars by the lakeside with Alpine panoramas to chic and classy urbanize dcafes with city's vistas. The nightlife is in full swing, and in summers,plenty of open-air bars open up here and there. You will find plenty of art theatres, cultural centers, and music venues as well.
The country boasts a wide variety of accommodations catering to all sorts of budgets. There are mid-range and luxury hotels, numerous ski resorts that are on the pricier side, youth hostels, inns and bed and breakfasts.
Both winters and summers have their own unique charm and offer a range of activities. High seasons occurs in July, August, and from December to April. Summertime lures cyclists and hikers while in the winter months, snow sports and Christmas activities are popular. Spring and Fall (April-June and September) has a pleasant climate with fewer crowds. During low season (October-March), the rates are very low, but the ski resorts close down, and attractions are open for a few hours only.
Major international airports offer flights to Europe as well as to rest of the world. They are located in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and a few other smaller cities. The country's national carrier is Swiss but other airlines also offer international flights. Traveling via lakes or by trains is also feasible.
Switzerland has an awesome transport service that makes traveling around the cities quite easy. They include trains, buses, ferries, planes, and mountain transports. Travelers can buy a Swiss Half-Fare Card that offers 50% discount on tickets for one month.
Switzerland is quite an expensive country with their own currency; Swiss franc. Although, many places accept euro and give you Swiss franc instead.
If you decide to go away, book your hotel, flights and activities through our trip concierge for discounts and benefits. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit and VIP gifts at many luxury hotels for the same price as the hotel’s own websites. (Book direct and you don’t get these benefits so why would you?). Our packaged vacation prices tend to be considerably cheaper than flight and hotel prices available online.