It is not easy to identify what is the most beautiful city in Switzerland. Although it is such a small country, there is a remarkable amount of natural beauty and cultural diversity. You know that 4 languages are spoken here, right? These 17 cities scattered throughout Switzerland bear witness to what the country has to offer in terms of mountain landscapes, nature trails surrounded by floral beauty and picturesque old town centres. Switzerland may be called a small country, but tourism is anything but tiny. Alps and glaciers dominate the main places to visit and there are more than 200 peaks over 3,000 metres high.
Along the Swiss countryside, ancient castles, clear turquoise lakes and breathtaking peaks can be found in every direction. There are therefore many cities to visit in Switzerland so here is a list of the most beautiful. Switzerland is the place where technology, high-level infrastructure, modern urban areas and idyllic mountain views meet, creating a very special reality. Despite being a pioneering country, it remains a nation full of dream landscapes and characteristic customs. Analyzing them from this very point of view, let’s try to see which are the most beautiful cities in Switzerland!
What is the most beautiful city in Switzerland: Geneva
We start our What is the most beautiful city in Switzerland guide with Geneva. To see its characteristic views, all you need to do is start from Coppet Castle, the place of Madame de Staël’s exile, and then reach the historic centre. Reaching Place de Molard, famous for shopping, you can reach the Petit Palais. There you can admire the works of Chagall, Renoir and Picasso, and the Cathedral of Saint Pierre near which is Maison Tavel, the oldest house in Geneva.
Geneva houses, in addition to the headquarters of the UN, WHO and WTO, about twenty-five museums including the Clock Museum and the Red Cross Museum. For lovers of worldly life, the Carouge district is a must, where the bohemian spirit pervades the local artists. For those who love nature, the botanical gardens in the Mon Repos area are the perfect place to relax and admire about ten thousand species of plants. In short, Geneva offers its beauty in every form. Ready to discover it?
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A university town and an important commercial centre, Lausanne is one of the best holiday destinations. Walking through the centre, it is possible to admire the Cathedral in Gothic style around which the shopping streets intertwine. If you love the outdoors, don’t miss Sauvabelin Park, perfect for walking and seeing animals including deer, peacocks and various birds.
If you are passionate about art, Lausanne will not disappoint you with the Elysee Museum dedicated to photography, the Hermitage Foundation, the Pipa Museum and many others. Lausanne was declared “Olympic Capital” in 1994, you can also visit the largest dedicated museum of the Olympic Games with the purchase of a ticket costing around CHF18 for adults and CHF5 for children. Once visited Lausanne you will already know what is the most beautiful city in Switzerland.
What is the most beautiful city in Switzerland: Montreux
Strolling along the lake is what you need to enjoy the best view of the city and breathe some of the typical atmosphere between bars and cafes. The old town is located in the historical centre, where – following the main street leading to Rue du Marchè – you reach the top of a hill from where you can have a wonderful view of the city and the lake. To learn more about the history of Montreux do not miss a visit to the Musée du vieux Montreux where you can discover the history of the city.
For music lovers, in Place du Marchè, overlooking the lake, stands the statue of Freddie Mercury who decided to spend the last years of his life here, where together with the rest of his band, Queen, he bought the recording studios Mountain Studios. Rock music lovers, come forward, this is the most beautiful city in Switzerland for you!
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The capital of Switzerland is located on a small peninsula created by the Aare river and develops between streets and stone houses culminating in the old town, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the Clock Tower and the house of Einstein in which he developed his theory of relativity.
Climb the 254 steps up the 254 steps of Bern Cathedral Tower and enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape until you see Rosegarten, the rose garden. Among the museums, the Paul Klee Centre – designed by Renzo Piano – is one of the most popular in the city. To end a day in the city, why not spend an evening in the trendy Matte district? There you will find the answer for what is the most beautiful city in Switzerland.
What is the most beautiful city in Switzerland: Zurich
Switzerland’s most international city overlooks the lake of the same name, along the shores of which is the popular Blatterwiese garden, frequented by those who play sports or simply want to relax a bit. Would you like to see Zurich from above and discover what is the most beautiful city in Switzerland?
Climb the towers of the old Grossmunster Cathedral or reach Lindenhof – a high plateau from which you can enjoy a splendid view of the old town – or go to the summit of Uetliberg, a mountain about 800 metres high. If Chagall is one of your favourite artists, you can admire his decorations on the large windows of the church in Frumunster, but if you love shopping, Bahnhofstrasse is the right street for you!
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Formed by the villages of Crans and Montana, the well-known ski resort offers 160 km of slopes and 40 lifts. A popular destination both for winter sports and during the summer for trekking and climbing enthusiasts, Crans-Montana is also renowned thanks to Plaine Morte, a glacier of about 10 square kilometres at an altitude of 3000 metres – very popular in every season of the year. The spectacle of nature here is truly guaranteed! Once you see it you can stop asking yourself what is the most beautiful city in Switzerland.
With three ski areas (Corviglia, Diavolezza and Corvatsch) and around 200 km of cross-country skiing trails, St. Moritz is one of the most popular winter destinations in Switzerland. The town’s luxury is immediately apparent in the town centre and the shopping streets. The highlights are certainly the leaning bell tower and the Dorfkirche and St. Karl churches. If you’re in the vicinity, don’t miss out on the cakes and pastries from the Hanselmann confectioner’s shop – a delicacy not to be missed!
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What is the most beautiful city in Switzerland: Zermatt
Nestled at the foot of the Matterhorn, this village at an altitude of 1600 metres can be reached by train from Tasch. The old part of Zermatt shows the old houses of yesteryear, while the new part is more focused on the commercial luxury that still makes the town so famous today. What makes the town special is certainly – in addition to the ski lifts – the spectacular view of the Matterhorn, in its majesty and beauty in every season of the year. Frequented in every season, Zermatt offers activities for all needs. Don’t miss the Matterhorn Museum and, why not, a train ride to Gornergrat, a mountain ridge over 3000 metres above sea level.
Switzerland is the land of lakes nestled between Alpine peaks and breathtaking landscapes. Along the shores of Lake Geneva, probably the best known, you can find the best views of the area. In addition to the famous cities of Geneva, Lausanne and Montreux – which overlook the waters of this lake – you can take a step back in time by admiring Chillon Castle, which dates back to around 1100 and was built on a small rocky islet on the edge of the lake. If you are a lover of the genre or are interested in rediscovering the past a little bit, you can access the castle at any time of the year.
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Situated 1650 metres above sea level in the canton of Grisons, Guarda is a village whose delightfully painted 17th century houses have been carefully restored in recent times. The famous children’s book “A bell for Ursli” is set here. The village has also retained some ancient traditions, including the Chalandamarz in March. Most of the population still speaks Romansh, the fourth official language of Switzerland after German, French and Italian.
What is the most beautiful city in Switzerland: Interlaken
As the name suggests, Interlaken is located between two lakes – Lake Thun and Lake Brenz. In addition, it is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Switzerland. It is a perfect base from which to enjoy the natural beauty of the area, both near the lake and on the many hiking trails from Harder Kulm (vantage point at 1320 metres). As the resort is located in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, the highest peaks in the region are accessible by Alpine railway trains. Just ask someone what is the most beautiful city in Switzerland.
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Located in the centre of Switzerland, Lucerne is a picturesque old town on the lake of the same name (also known as Lake Lucerne). There are numerous medieval landmarks such as the Chapel Bridge or the Musegg wall (an intact part of the bastion wall built in 1386). The town also has a modern part and offers breathtaking alpine landscapes and landscapes.
What is the most beautiful city in Switzerland which boasts one of the most impressive national parks in the Alps? Zernes – a return to what the Alps were like before it was touched by tourism is the Schweizerischer National Park, which offers 172 square kilometres of unspoilt landscapes with snow-covered glaciers, green pastures, waterfalls and lush forests, making it a unique place to see in Switzerland. The park is easily accessible from Zernez itself and adjacent towns such as S-chanf and Scuol.
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What is the most beautiful city in Switzerland: Lugano
Travelling to Lugano means going to the sixth most beautiful city in Switzerland and above all to discover the latter in a different light, as the Italian influence is undeniable in the aforementioned town which is part of the Canton Ticino. Although it is a landlocked country, the climate is tinged with warm Mediterranean air currents, and among other things it is rich in museums and numerous historical sites housed in neoclassical buildings (large buildings).
Schaffhausen is the next city in Switzerland worth a visit, above all because it has the legendary Rhine Falls, the largest in Europe, which are an enchanting natural wonder of Swiss tourism. In the northernmost part of Switzerland and precisely near the city of Schaffhausen there are the mighty waterfalls with a width of more than 150 meters. Visitors can watch the spectacle from various vantage points, while those who are brave enough can rent canoes.
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It is the third most populous city in Switzerland and could not fail to be mentioned in the list of what is the most beautiful city in Switzerland. Basel is considered the cultural capital of Switzerland, as it boasts not only the oldest university in Switzerland but also 40 museums of exceptional value. Not to be missed in Basel are: the Mittlere Brücke, the most famous and iconic bridge in the city; Marktplatz, overlooked by the Town Hall; the Spalen Gate, the ancient entrance to the city; Basel Cathedral, a beautiful medieval building made of red sandstone.
Thun, in Canton Bern, is one of the Swiss cities to see at least once in a lifetime. Travelers arriving in Thun stop asking what is the most beautiful city in Switzerland. This small town with its typical Swiss charm is a real gem in terms of architecture and town planning.
Thun lies on the lake of the same name and is an ideal access to the Bernese Oberland. The old town centre is very old and is dominated by the majestic 12th century castle. The old town develops around the manor: to be projected into the most authentic and intimate soul of Thun, let yourself be guided by chance and lose yourself in its fairytale alleys.