Guest post by Kimmy
Switzerland, a heaven on earth. Not sure when Switzerland made an impression on me. Growing up, all the cheesy dramas would talk about was eloping to Switzerland and getting married in the fairytale land.
Years later, when I finally visited the paradise, I found out it’s really as beautiful as they say, not at all underwhelming. One of my best friends is from Switzerland and she lives in a small town. Every time I visited, she made sure to take me to the must-see places as well as the local places. Thanks to her, I now have a pretty good understanding of places to visit in Switzerland to maximise your experience.
When’s the best time to visit?
This tiny nation in the heart of Europe has so much beauty to offer all year round. The best time to visit if you want to go for a hike would be summer. The ever-changing scenery throughout the year won’t disappoint you anyways.
Of all the places I visited in this landlocked country, these are my favourite places to visit in Switzerland that I think you wouldn’t want to miss out on!
This historical town located right on the edge of Lake Thun is probably one of the most underrated places to visit in Switzerland. With all the hype going around Zurich, many forget just how breathtaking this place is during summer with the sun gently reflecting its wheat-shade rays over the waves. It was a peaceful winter evening I spent staring at the water with kids building a snowman around me.
Famous for the Chapel Bride, Luzern is already on many people’s must-see lists. Besides the typical European old town and the fairytale-like architectural style, Luzern has much more to offer. Bathed in history, you would find a lot of monuments all over the city. Check out the museums on your way as you will be surprised by how much this tiny city has to offer.
You can’t visit Switzerland without visiting at least one of its many mesmerising mountains. Lots of people have said the mountain on the Toblerone chocolate is Matterhorn. Although it’s been clarified that the mountain on the label doesn’t refer to a specific mountain, it hasn’t deterred people’s interest in climbing this majestic Alpine summit.
In winter, many choose to take an express cable train to go up there for an exciting ski day. Whereas, in the summer, many prefer to either hike, camp or even kayak in the surrounding area. Matterhorn has a completely different scenery to offer each day.
If you have good eyesight, you’d be able to see mountain animals hopping around different mountains when you’re surrounded by all the gigantic mountains in the Alps. It’s a magical experience!
A hidden treasure. Griesalps is a hidden gem for international tourists. You rarely see foreigners wandering this untouched land. Most tourists comprise of German-speaking visitors from Austria and locally in Switzerland.
Isn’t it fantastic to go hiking in a place well-loved by locals and most foreigners don’t know about? You won’t be disappointed with this soul-cleansing journey deep inside the alps.
For those of you out there fascinated by borders, Basel is the place to be. Situated on the edge of the Germany-France border, there’s a statue marking the point in which you can be standing in three different countries at the same time. It’s an interesting experience to be at the border between two countries, let alone three.
Basel is also crowned the hub of art with a heap of international exhibitions going on around the year with watches, technology and artworks. Vendors love Basel because it’s the centre of innovation. Hop by anytime and you will still find an exhibition that speaks to you.
With Zurich and Geneva often taking the thunder, it’s easy to forget that Bern is actually the capital of Switzerland. If you take a walk down Bern, you will see this place exactly like a Swiss city. Vintage buildings, walking streets with shops down in the basement, vendors selling nuts on the side of the road during a cold winter…All these are exactly how you picture a Charles Dickens’ story would be.
Besides, shopping in Bern is pleasantly cheaper than Zurich and Geneva, yet the quality remains. If you are looking to go on a shopping frenzy in one of the most expensive countries in the world, Bern is probably the better choice.
Swiss National Park
Located right on the edge of the Eastern side of the country, Swiss National Park is a great gem for hikes and nature. It’s quiet with not a lot of people around, you are free to roam around the national park and find all kinds of wild animals happily living there.
The best thing about this park is that it is very family-friendly so you would find many facilities to accommodate your need if you are travelling with a family.
Yes, Grindelwald is the name of the villain from Fantastic Beasts, but it’s also a one of the best places to visit in Switzerland! Grindelwald is famous for its stunning view of the alps from a little fairytale town. Grindelwald is the gateway to many caravan camping trips and a hikers’ paradise.
At Grindelwald, you will truly experience what they call “the mountain weather”. It can be raining storms in the morning and sunny like Thailand in the afternoon. The weather forecast has never seemed so inaccurate.
Another must-see lake in Switzerland is Blausee. The water is clear as day and you will see exactly what’s down under. Blausee is not a big area that you can venture off but you will be blown away by how clean the lake is. That’s another thing I love about Switzerland. Everyone is so cautious about their environment that you can barely find a contaminated lake, even in city areas.
This may be a very biased choice but I have been loving this small Swiss neighbourhood ever since I visited my friend. This side of Zurichsee is a bunch of small towns that are peaceful and gorgeous. In the surrounding areas, you can find a lot of farms, most of which include cafes and farm experience where you can feed the animals etc.
If you are feeling done with all the Swiss adventures the guidebook throws at you, hitting a small town not marked on your Lonely Planet guidebook can be a very unique experience to enjoy. Take a sip of coffee by the lake only locals would go, write your journal, and document how your trip has been. That’s a real adventure right there!
Switzerland has no doubt so much to offer and it’s basically a mine with endless wonders. Wherever you go, you will either be blown away by the stunning nature or by the vintage architecture and friendly people.
No wonder they say Switzerland is a paradise, because it really is, in many ways possible.
About the Author
Kimmy loves travelling the world to collect stories from women of all backgrounds to inspire and empower. She always prefers lemon tea over anything!
- Website: https://storytalej.com
- FB: https://facebook.com/adventurettejournal/
- IG: https://instagram.com/kimmyaoa/