If you are anything like me, you seem to always have an eye on visiting a European country. Now deciding which to visit seems to be one of the biggest challenges. Besides ya know, taking time off, saving money, and all of that adult stuff.
Switzerland stole my heart while I was still on the plane and flying over the country. It was clear to why so many others had said it felt like a fairytale. As someone who likes to take photos, the landscapes were already an absolute dream!
Here’s a guide to 21 reasons why Switzerland is worth visiting and more.
Is Switzerland Worth Visiting?
Located centrally in the heart of Europe is beautiful Switzerland. To anyone who asks, I would immediately say this should be on your bucket list to visit. For thrill-seekers, this should be on the top of your list due to the amount of adrenaline activities.
There are so many reasons why Switzerland is worth the time and money to visit. No matter what time of year you choose to visit, the beauty of the country is breathtaking.
21 Reasons to Visit Switzerland
This was a tough one to narrow down. Thank goodness you can’t hear me ramble on about a million reasons why you should visit. This list has a combination of places, food, activities, and more of why you should visit Switzerland.
1. The Matterhorn
This beloved mountain that you have probably seen in photos of Switzerland or on the delicious Toblerone chocolate bar is the most iconic in Switzerland.
The Matterhorn is an attraction for artists and photographers with its awe-inspiring appearance. Others may want to visit the Matterhorn for its rich climbing history, and maybe attempt an ascent (not recommended if not an advanced climber).
2. Swiss Chocolate
Even if you are not visiting Switzerland, you have probably had their delectable milk chocolates such as Lindt. The headquarters for Lindt Chocolates is in Kilchberg, Switzerland. If you visit that town, you can reserve a 90-minute tour online in advance. Find out more about Lindt’s museum here.
Chocolate in Switzerland is an art, with quality ingredients that lead to a harmonious flavor profile.
3. Hostels, AirBnBs, and Camping
While visiting Switzerland, I had a variety of different types of accommodations. Balmer’s Hostel in Interlaken is one of my favorite hostels I have stayed at. The vibe and community are lively and it’s located close to mountains and Lake Thun.
Not only are there welcoming hostels but there are campsites right on the water as well. Waking up to a fresh hot cup of coffee and sitting on the lake’s edge was one of the highlights of the trip. I did bring my tent, sleeping bag, and other camping gear for this, knowing ahead of time I would be camping a few nights.
4. Hiking Trails
The views to reach the trails, the views during the trails, and the views at the top of the trails are all unparalleled.
During my visit to Switzerland, I used my AllTrails app to plan which hike I desired the most. There is a variety of shorter hikes near the towns or more remote hikes around the alpine lakes and through the mountains.
Switzerland has over a thousand museums throughout the country. Ranging from chocolate to transporation to arts. The Swiss National Museum and The Olympic Museum are the top two to visit while in Switzerland.
6. Europe’s Largest Waterfall: Rheinfall
This is not only the largest, but the most powerul waterfull in all of Europe. You can grab some lunch, spend a couple hours walking around or take a boat tour at these falls. A beautiful experience and spot to take photos!
7. Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe
If you want to visit the highest railway station in Europe, book a ticket to visit Jungfraujoch. Feeling like you are at the top of the world with 360 views will feel like you are on a cloud.
Heads up: The prices for visiting Jungfraujoch are a bit steep.
If you have the opportunity and aren’t too terrified of heights, I highly recommend paragliding in Zermatt with FlyZermatt. This company from making reservations to walking through the steps of the flight were knowledgable and kind. There was a slight hiccup with the weather (can’t tell Mother Nature what to do) but were able to reschedule the flight and still make a dream come true.
9. Swiss Watches
A lot of the top tier watches like Rolex, Omega, and Breitling are based out of Switzerland. There are museums for you to learn more about the history of watchmaking or to simply purchase a watch that maybe you have had an eye on for a while.
10. Alpine Coasters
If you have seen an alpine coaster on social media in Switzerland, it is probably the famous Gelmerbahn in Interlaken. There are other slides you can scoot down throughout the alps as well. If you are traveling with children, there are age restrictions on certain coasters and I would recommend checking this out before booking.
As a skydiver, my favorite place to ever jump was in Switzerland. Surrounded by 360 degrees of mountains, lakes in Interlaken, and the meadows throughout the valley.
Skydive Switzerland will forever hold a core memory of mine. Not only do they have a Grand Caravan that gets to altitude in 15 minutes, but the other licensed skydivers that show up are epic and a rad community.
12. Cheese Fondue
Cafe Du Soleil in Geneva was probably my favorite restaraunt throughout the trip. A cozy atmosphere with delicious red wine and lots of cheese. Bonus points for this cafe is that you can request your fondue to come with gluten-free bread!
As someone who unfortunately can’t eat gluten, this was tough for me to find a spot where I could eat more than just spoonfuls of cheese. Not that I wouldn’t do that…
If you are thinking about a trip to Iceland in the future, check out my Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide.
13. Skiing and Snowboarding
Stunning scenery at Zermatt, Verbier, and St. Moritz while skiing and snowboarding. One of the best parts about this is you don’t have to bring your own skis with you. Having the ability to rent allows for less baggage to carry around, and giving a peace of mind that yours won’t get damaged or lost on the flight.
Switzerland is one of the cleanest countries that I have ever been to. The water is clear, the mountains are pure, and the cities aren’t lined with trash. Not only is it a pristine country, there are also water fountains throughout the cities. The water tastes clean and comes out cold, the best of both worlds.
To be a more sustainable and environmental friendly traveler, bring a refillable waterbottle and take advantage of water fountains like these.
While traveling throughout Switzerland, I had the opportunity to meet some of the kindest people. It was easy and natural to spark up conversations at train stations, in restaurants, and in grocery stores. All of the people that I interacted with were genuine and helpful if I had any questions. It was comforting knowing how friendly the locals are.
16. Montreaux Jazz Festival
In early July on the Lake Geneva shoreline is the Montreaux Jazz Festival every year. Vendors come from around the world and jam out at the second largest jazz festival in the world. The event happens every night for 16 days and brings in more than 250 talented artists.
Check out the Montreaux Jazz Festival website if this is something that you want to align your trip dates with.
17. Lake Geneva
A great spot for locals and tourists to walk around, rent a boat, watch the sailboats, or visit the Jet d’Eau (water fountain). The lake is massive and mildly tempertured in July. Like most places in Switzerland, there is endless beauty around the lake. You can see the mountains from any side, visit local shops, or grab some food on the water.
18. Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
Still standing in Lucerne is Switzerland’s oldest covered bridge. The Chapel Bridge was built in the 14th century and remains a historic tourist attraction. Part of the bridge did catch on fire in 1993, and was rebuilt and reopened in 1994. Many tourists visit the Chapel Bridge due to the beauty that it still holds with the old wooden pannels to looking out at the historic buildings in the city.
19. Public Transportation
Getting around Switzerland was made easy with its comprehensive public transporation system. I was able to take the train the majority of the time from large city to another large city. The buses and boats are also easy ways to travel in Switzerland.
There are a couple different travel passes that you can purchase as well if they fit your itinerary. Otherwise you can purchase tickets at the counter before taking off to your next destination.
20. Charming villages
If I had to choose out of all the villages that I visited while traveling in Switzerland, my top two would be: Grindlewald and Spiez.
Grindlewald is tucked up in the mountains and one of the oldest resort towns in the area. I spent a few days in this area after I was done hiking and backpacking.
Spiez is surrounded by lakes with a magestic castle. A lot of history, art, and vineyards fill this area of Switzerland.
The other 20 reasons why to visit Switzerland have mentioned the sceneary and landscapes a few times. Switzerland’s beauty feels like a place that doesn’t really exist. Throughout my experience it felt like a fairytale. The meadows are filled with lush green and wildflowers, the alpine lakes are crisp and (very) chilly, and the mountains are easy to stare at all day long.
Best Time to Visit Switzerland
The best time to visit Switzerland is up to what you are planning on doing. The summer will have the nicest and warmest temperatures for outdoor activities that don’t require snow. Meanwhile, if your plan is to ski or take part in other snow sports the winter will be your best time to visit.
Visiting in July or August may be a little more busy of a season with other travelers, and the airfare can tend to be a little more pricey then. If you visit in early spring or early fall this will be the least traveled times.
I would recommend once you decide what time of year you want to visit to put a flight tracker on a couple flights so you can get notified when they are cheapest.
How Many Days in Switzerland is Enough?
My first time in Switzerland I was there for 14 days. I would have loved to spend a couple months there if I am being honest. This is an outdoor lovers absolute dream. I spent a lot of time in the mountains, and felt addicted to the beauty.
If you are traveling between different cities, the train rides can be a bit lengthy. It might be helpful to do some time distance analysis if you want to visit different parts of the country.
If you want to travel the entire country or visit a few big cities, 10-14 days would be adequate to see (and eat) everything you most likely want to do.
Reasons Not to Visit Switzerland
❌ Not the cheapest destination. If you are on a budget, Switzerland can quickly become a bit expensive between flights, accomodations, meals, and traveling.
❌ If nightlife is something that you enjoy on a trip, Switzerland isn’t exaclty known for that scene.
❌ Switzerland has many lakes, however if you are looking for a beach/sea destination…this country is landlocked.
❌ Not known for the cusine, Switzerland’s cusine wasn’t something that I was too excited about. Besides the cheese and chocolate.
Expanding on Switzerland being Expensive…
I wanted to take a moment to discuss budgets and tips for traveling to Switzerland. I am not a luxury travler by any means, the majority of the time on trips I spend outdoors eating JetBoiled meals.
Here are some tips to help budget:
✅ Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you have to. I say this because some of my friends mention traveling and how they feel the need to visit certain spots because it is “the place to go”. If hiking or a museum isn’t your fortay, skip it.
✅ Meals is the next sneaky way that can take a lot of your money. While I was traveling throughout Switzerland I didn’t eat out at too many restaraunts. The cuisine isn’t something that most people go there for. I would stop at grocery stores and grab a premade salad and some fruit for lunch. Doing something as little as this can help out a lot.
✅ Accomodations can add up fast. If you want to stay at that beautiful place for a night and can afford it, go for it. Otherwise do you really need to spend a ton of money on a hotel or AirBnB that you may not be spending much time at?
Being mindful of finances before your travels and setting financial boundaries with yourself during the trip can help ease these stressors.
Conclusion: Is Switzerland Worth Visiting?
It makes sense why there are many paintings and photographs of Switzerland and all of her beauty. Switzerland is one of the cleanest, kindest, and thrilling countries that I have visited. You know it’s a place to visit again when you contemplate skipping your flight and have the desire to move there.
I hope that if you are deciding to visit Switzerland that this guide has helped you and reassured your decision. Safe travels!
One of my favorite moments on the trip was reading this sign on a bench in the mountains. Lottie and George (who are strangers to me) gave me a sense of gratification and fulfillment.
There is something about being in the outdoors, and in the mountains that can fill our cup and lead to our peak happiness.
Mindful PNW Travels