The 10 Most Beautiful Places in Switzerland

Switzerland has always ranked highly among the best places to be born and live happily. You only need to walk outside your door to see why -- it’s beautiful. From mountains to valleys, charming lakes to historic cities, Switzerland is so breathtakingly gorgeous that it almost looks like a set from a Hollywood film: That is, until you walk among the fields, the stone paths, and over (and sometimes through) the mountains, and discover that it’s beautifully real. So, for those travelers looking for a bit of beauty in their travels, we’ve compiled a list of the most beautiful places in Switzerland that you really can’t miss. 

1. Lake Lucerne

Lake Lucern at the Hotel des Balances/Oyster

Lake Lucerne is the fourth largest lake in Switzerland, and by far, one of the most beautiful. It was in a meadow above the lake that the Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291, sealing the lake’s fate as an important place in Switzerland’s history. Today, the city of Lucerne sits on the stunning blue shores of this oddly-shaped body of water that’s encircled by mountains. There are multiple ways visitors can enjoy the beauty of Lake Lucerne. Take a 30-minute boat ride to the funicular of the Burgenstock Resort which takes guests up the Burgenstock mountain to unrivaled views of the lake. Then hike for 20 minutes to the Hammetschwand Lift, the tallest outdoor elevator in Europe (also located on the property), for an even more expansive view. Taking the aerial cable car up Mt. Pilatus is another fantastic way to get great views of Lake Lucerne from above. 

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2. Jungfraujoch

Patrick Nouhailler/Flickr

Switzerland is made up of one beautiful mountain after another, and it’s at the Jungfraujoch where travelers can see some of the big beauties up close and personal. The Jungfraujoch is home to the highest train station in Europe, which has been open since 1912, sending travelers to the station that sits between the Jungfrau and Monch mountains. At the Jungraujoch, visitors can walk outside onto viewing terraces to witness the snow-covered mountains, as well as the Aletsch glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps. If the beautiful white glaciers and mountains aren't wonderful enough on their own. there’s also an Ice Palace within the station that guests can walk through to experience beautiful ice sculptures. 

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3. Bern

The Penthouse Suite at the Hotel Allegro Bern/Oyster

Bern, the capital of Switzerland, was founded in 1191. As it grew along the Aare River, the town flourished over the centuries into one of the most visually appealing cities in Switzerland. Unlike others in Europe, Bern maintained its historic Bell Époque–style among the buildings of the Old City. The cream-toned structures are remarkable in their detail, lining  stone streets dotted with stunning water fountains. Rising above the city is the Bern Minster, a 328-foot-high Gothic-style Protestant church that looks over rows and rows of buildings with spires and red-tiled roofs, all the way to the green countryside and mountains that surround the city. Climb 220 steps up the Bern Minster for stunning city views, or take a bus to the elevated Rosengarten Restaurant and enjoy a delicious meal and delightful city views of Bern. 

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4. Castle of Chillon

Dennis Jarvis/Flickr

Dating to 1150, the Castle of Chillon is a beautiful castle that sits on an island on Lake Geneva. With 350,000 visitors per year, it is currently the most visited historic building in Switzerland. Once you see it, it’s no surprise why. Stone walls, round towers, and a romantic setting? Yes, please. The castle belonged to the Counts of Savoy from the 12th to the 16th century, and today, visitors can see 14th-century paintings, underground vaults, and 25 buildings and three courtyards. Fun fact: The castle was made famous by Lord Byron’s poem “The Prisoner of Chillon.” Byron scratched his name into a pillar at the castle, and it can still be seen today. 

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5. Interlaken

Xiquinho Silva/Flickr

The Interlaken area of Switzerland is by far one of the most breathtaking areas in the country. The region comprises Lake Thun, Lake Brienz, and the cities that dot the lakes or sit between them, like the city of Interlaken. The two lakes combined with three mountains that stand above -- Jungfrau, Eiger, and Monch -- create an awe-inspiring scene. Today, travelers come to this region for many reasons, from exploring the small lake towns to visiting Thun Castle or St. Beatus caves to heading up the mountain to Jungfraujoch. Skiing, hiking, tobogganing, and witnessing the Lauberhorn Ski Races are also other popular things to do here. If you want great views of Interlaken, take the Harderbahn up to Harder Kulm, a viewing platform with phenomenal views of both lakes, the mountains, small towns that dot the countryside, and the city of Interlaken that sits between it all. 

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6. The Matterhorn

Martin Abegglen/Flickr

You can’t leave the Matterhorn off a list of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. The Matterhorn is a stand-alone 15,000-foot mountain in the Swiss Alps that looks like a jagged tooth. Most travelers stay in Zermatt to witness stunning views of the giant, though an excursion to Gorgnergrat also offers great views from a viewing platform. Unfortunately, there’s no railway or cable car to take travelers up the Matterhorn, so the only way to see it up close and personal is by mountain climbing. 

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7. Lauterbrunnen Valley

Noel Reynolds/Flickr

The city of Lauterbrunnen sits in a green valley between the snowcapped mountains of the Swiss Alps, however, it’s not the city, per se, that makes this spot beautiful. Rather, it’s the 72 waterfalls that flow along the cliff edges of the valley during the summer when the snow melts. The very name “Laterbrunnen” means “many fountains,” and the sight is a spectacular thing to witness. The most famous of these waterfalls is the Staubbach Falls, which run pretty strongly throughout the year. At nearly 1,000 feet high, the Staubbach Falls are one of the tallest free-falling waterfalls in Europe. 

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8. Creux du Van

Felix5413/Flickr

The Swiss landscape is a magical mix of different types of land formations, and perhaps, none more so than Creux du Van. Over the centuries, the land has shaped itself into what looks like an amphitheater cut from rock. The Creux du Van transformed into a semi-circular three-quarter-mile long structure by erosion from water and ice. To witness this natural wonder, travelers must hike more than 2,000 feet up. The path then takes visitors along the edge of the arena. Trust us, this isn’t a show you want to miss. 

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9. Aare Gorge

Andrew Bowden/Flickr

Near the town of Meringen is the Aare Gorge. It’s the product of water from the Aare River eroding a bed of limestone. Today, the water is more than 600 feet deep, with some of the narrowest sections only a yard wide. There’s a three-quarter-mile path that can be hiked along the Aare Gorge, which takes adventurers along bridges and through tunnels. The limestone walls of the cliffs rise high above hikers making for a unique path among the many mountain hikes of the country. 

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10. Rhine Falls

Dennis Schubert/Flickr

The Rhine Falls is the largest waterfall in Europe, and, not surprisingly, one of the most beautiful spots in Switzerland. The Rhine Falls measures 490 feet feet wide and 75 feet high, and it's approximately 15,000 years old. It’s located in the north of Switzerland near Schaffhausen. Visitors can take a boat to the falls, and they can enjoy the powerful natural wonder up close and personal by standing on platforms that jut over them. Just be ready to get a little wet, but who cares? The photos will be worth it!

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