Explore the 11 Most Incredible Places to Visit in Switzerland Part 2 | Crossworld Holidays

Discover the breathtaking beauty and diverse experiences awaiting you in Switzerland, from the majestic peaks of the Jungfrau region to the charming medieval streets of Bern and the cosmopolitan allure of Geneva and Zurich. | Crossworld Holidays



Explore the 11 Most Incredible Places to Visit in Switzerland Part 2

March 2024

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Switzerland travel

6. Bellinzona
Best for piazza dining

With medieval castles rising high and the Alps rearing beyond, good-looking Bellinzona in Ticino is a taste of the best of Italy's best food and culture in Switzerland. You’ll find a generous splash of Italian flair in its historic center, woven with flower-draped alleys, Renaissance churches and cafe-rimmed piazzas that brim with life, laughter, clinking glasses and the out-of-tune toll of countless campaniles.

Planning tip: Top of any wish list is seeing the castles, among them hilltop Castelgrande, which can be drawn out into a full day’s activity (bring water and comfortable shoes).

7. Jura Mountains and Lac de Neuchâtel
Best for road tripping

In the dark forested hills along the French-Swiss border, the Jura Mountains are a natural wonder. This peaceful region has a beauty all its own: meadows of green, ancient forests, rocky outcrops overlooking a trio of lakes against an Alpine backdrop and slow-paced villages and valleys little changed in centuries.

Begin with a road trip. Kick off at the Jura Vaudois Nature Park for hikes with dress-circle views of Lake Geneva and Gruyère cheese tastings at rustic Alpine huts. Swing north to Lac de Joux, the watchmaking village of Le Sentier, and Vallorbe, honeycombed with Switzerland’s biggest (and most impressive) limestone caves.

Tag on a trip to Lac de Neuchâtel and you can bathe in the thermal waters of Yverdon-les-Bains, tiptoe off the map in the lushly rolling Val-de-Travers (birthplace of absinthe) and the crescent-moon canyon of Creux du Van. Cultured Neuchâtel is a fitting climax with its fantasy of a lavishly turreted château.

8. Lake Lucerne
Best for sunset promenades

Reclining on the shores of its glittering namesake lake, Lucerne is a walkable, medieval dream of a city that has a magic you can’t quite put your finger on. It will grab you when you are strolling along the promenade as the sun sets in a blaze of gold and pinks or as you cruise across its waters to mountains of myth: 2,132m (6,995ft) Mt Pilatus, where Wagner raved about the Alpine panorama and Queen Victoria trotted on horseback, and 1,797m (5,896ft) Rigi, with a light so sublime Turner painted it in three different moods.

The little city punches far above its weight culturally with its iconic medieval Kapellbrücke bridge leaping across the Reuss River and the Jean Nouvel–designed KKL arts center and Sammlung Rosengart harboring a prized private collection of Picassos. Ambling past the belle époque hotels lining its shores, the same views that captivated Goethe, Queen Victoria and Wagner in the 19th century will hold you in their thrall.

Planning tip: With more time on your hands, you can really get out on the lake. Cruise across fjord-like, mountain-rimmed Lake Uri for a taste of Switzerland’s geographical and spiritual heartland. Boats ply the glassy turquoise waters to Rütli, birthplace of the Swiss nation.

9. Appenzell and northeastern Switzerland
Best for a bucolic Swiss experience

Northeastern Switzerland might not have the in-your-face drama of higher realms of the Alps, but it nevertheless delights in its own serene, deeply rural way with dairy country unraveling to meet the mountains and half-timbered, gaily muralled towns all fit for a postcard. This pocket-sized region is perfect for a family vacation with a hit of culture and gentle adventure.

Begin in St Gallen, with a spin round its World Heritage Stiftsbibliothek (Abbey Library), a literary marvel and a feast of rococo art and architecture. Move on to folksy, ridiculously pretty Appenzell, popping into the Schaukäserei to sample regional cheeses.

Muscling further south into the Alps, head on up to Säntis at 2,501m (8,205ft) for views embracing six countries and then go to Werdenberg, a tiny speck of a medieval hamlet home to Switzerland’s oldest timber chalets.

Planning Tip: Close by is Vaduz, Liechtenstein’s princely, castle-topped capital on the banks of the Rhine.

10. Basel
Best under-the-radar city experience

Popularity-wise, poor old Basel barely gets a look. But that’s a mistake. Straddling the Rhine, this city has everything going for it: world-class art in some of the country’s best galleries, a hot food scene, avant-garde buildings bearing the hallmark of Pritzker Prize–winning architects and an upbeat cafe culture.

Allow several days for a satisfying romp of the center, where must-sees include the Kunstmuseum and its fine arts collection, the Renzo Piano-designed Fondation Beyeler and the Frank Gehry-designed Vitra Design Museum.

Planning tip: Basel endears itself most to those who look beyond the trophy sights, with sundown drinks by the river or a wild swim in the Rhine. Rent a Wickelfisch (a fish-shaped waterproof bag) at the tourist office, strip to your swimming suit and go with the flow, floating downstream past the city’s landmarks.

11. Zürich
Best place to live

Regularly landing at the top in quality-of-living surveys, urban dynamo Zürich never seems to miss a beat: from cool waterside bars on the banks of the Limmat River to its alley-woven Old Town, where the twin-spired Romanesque Grossmünster shines with Augusto Giacometti’s rainbow of stained glass. Le Corbusier’s boldly colored architectural creations and the edgily post-industrial Züri-West neighborhood notch Zürich's culture cred up even further.

Planning tip: In mid-August, Zürich throws one of Switzerland’s wildest parties: the techno-pumping Street Parade.

Also read: Explore the 11 Most Incredible Places to Visit in Switzerland Part 1

Source: lonelyplanet.com

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