The Alps mountain range that blesses Switzerland with its picturesque terrain, enchanting forests and glorious waterfalls is not the only thing that makes this European country unique. With four official languages and its fascinating history of wartime neutrality, Switzerland’s is a rare mixture of cultures unlike any other in the world. If you plan to visit this one-of-a-kind nation, consider the following must-see sites.
Before Everest became the world’s most prestigious hiking challenge, mountain climbers were obsessed with the Matterhorn—and it’s easy to see why. The Matterhorn’s uniquely steep slope and pointed summit make it one of the most photographed mountains in the world. And despite being shorter than other Alps, the path to the Matterhorn’s peak is the challenge that makes it reputation. To reach the summit, climbers must pull themselves up vertically on tiny ledges and find handholds in the narrowest places. If you have the physical fitness to conquer this mountain, you’ll need to set aside at least two days for climbing and come prepared with the proper equipment and food.
Colorful Lucerne is the quintessential Swiss city. You could easily spend days there, checking out the museums, lake tours, river walks, and the Alpine train ride. Lucerne is home to some of the finest hospitality schools in the world, which is reflected in the quality of service and food at its many high-end restaurants. You truly can’t find a bad meal in Lucerne.
Lake Geneva (or Lake Leman)
This beautiful, crescent-shaped lake straddles the border between France and Switzerland. It’s a hot tourist destination with restaurants serving local Swiss delicacies like fondue and beef tartare. On a clear day, you can see the Alps forming a gorgeous backdrop against the horizon. The lake is perfect for fans of paddle-boarding and kayaking, and you can sign up for a tour on either vessel to make the most of your visit. At night, head to the town of Lausanne for high-end parties and clubs.
Swiss National Park
If you love the great outdoors, you’ll want to visit Swiss National Park near the country’s eastern border. Go in the summertime for plenty of hiking, lakes to explore and resorts for relaxation. Go in the wintertime to enjoy some of the best skiing or snowboarding conditions in the world. Don’t miss the hot springs where you can soak your sore joints after a day on the slopes or the amazing selection of restaurants where you can get your Swiss cheese fix.
The Rhine Falls
These are the most powerful waterfalls in all of Europe, located in northern Switzerland near the German border. You can either take a tour to get near the falls in person or behold their splendor from a nearby observation deck. These natural beauties have inspired artists for centuries, yielding countless paintings and poems extolling their charm. What will your trip inspire you to do?