I have now been lucky enough to visit Switzerland 4 times in the last 5 years – it is such a beautiful, clean country with stunning scenery and I absolutely love it! But yes it is very expensive… I was lucky enough to be able to stay with my Swiss friend’s family in a traditional Swiss farmhouse up in the mountains overlooking Thun, and then on another trip, in a modern flat in the centre of Einsiedeln – so this reduced our costs significantly. However, we managed to find plenty of things to see and do for free (or very cheaply) – like taking a swim in the lakes or hiking in the mountains. The weather is also surprisingly hot during the summer, all of which combines to make Switzerland a great place for a summer holiday. I’ve compiled a list of my favourite places, but as trains are really expensive it would be impossible to see everything in one trip – but that means a great excuse to go again… and again 🙂
9 postcard perfect places to visit on a Swiss summer holiday:
1. Thun (Bernese Highlands):
Thun has all the essentials of a beautiful Swiss town – a lake, surrounded by mountains, and even a castle! It’s definitely worth making a stop here – less than half an hour from Bern on the train. My favourite things are:
- Great views of the town, lake and mountains from the top of Schloss Thun
- Take the cablecar to the top of Mount Niederhorn and then scoot or bike back down and enjoy the amazing views of Lake Thun and the mountains
- Visit Schadau Castle next to the lake – you can also take a boat trip around the lake
- Go swimming in the river Aare at one of the designated swimming areas
The largest city in Switzerland, with another stunning lake, and lots of shops and restaurants to explore in the Old Town, and the picturesque Grossmunster Church. My favourite things are:
- The boat trip round the lake is a great way to enjoy the views
- Go to the cafe / restaurant at the Prime Tower – the tallest tower in Switzerland – with amazing views over the city
- Go to Adler’s Swiss Chuchi restaurant in the middle of the old town for some fondue and raclette
One of Switzerland’s most famous and touristy cities – although it’s expensive it is worth a visit to see the iconic Kappellbrucke
Over in the French speaking part of Switzerland, Lausanne is a beautiful place to stop off on the way to or from Geneva to enjoy the stunning mountain views across the lake. We went down to the water front at Ouchy to take a swim in the blue water, and then enjoyed a delicious dinner at one of the many restaurants and creperies overlooking the great views.
A small town about an hour from Zurich on the train, Einsiedeln is home to an impressive monastery and some beautiful scenery. The nearby Sihlsee lake is a great place to swim. There are also some traditional Swiss farms in the area where we went for brunch on Swiss National Day – 1st August.
The capital city of Switzerland is another great place to visit to see the Bern bears and amazing medieval architecture of the Old Town.
Close to the Italian border in the South, Locarno is a great place to take a pedalo out into the lake and enjoy some gelato!
This high altitude town can only be reached by a rather terrifying winding road up the mountain. A ski resort in the winter months, Adelboden is a really pretty town to visit in the summer, with amazing views if you go up in the cable car to the summit of the Tschenten Mountain.
South of Zurich and East of Lucern, Schwyz is another breathtakingly beautiful destination. We took a cable car and then hiked further up the Grosser Mythen to see some spectacular views of the lake and mountains.