Things to Do in Switzerland

The Best Things to Do in Switzerland

If you’re looking for a ‘peak’ experience in Switzerland, then consider this your guide to all things Alpine and awesome.

things to do in switzerland

Ah, Switzerland – where steep cogwheel trains whistle through epic mountain passes, paddle steamers glide over crystal-clear lakes, and yodeling is more than just a myth.

It's a playground for bold explorers, tranquility seekers, and anyone who's ever daydreamed about the Alps. In this land of precision and punctuality, you'll find a delightful mix of traditional mountain villages, ice palaces, and, yes, the occasional yodel.

Foodies, rejoice! Eating and drinking in Switzerland is a treat, with options galore for adults and kids alike. Read our food and drink guide.

things to do in switzerland

And getting around to explore these delights? Easy-peasy. The Swiss transport system is like a finely-tuned Swiss watch - efficient and reliable.

The Swiss transport network really is a marvel, whisking you to hidden waterfalls, breathtaking plateaus, and dramatic gorges. And back in the towns, you can breathe in the pure air, stroll along flower-laden promenades, and relax in lakeside cafés.

Switzerland is a tapestry of beautiful cities, magnificent mountain resorts, and cosy Alpine hideaways. You can't possibly see it all in one trip, but here's a roundup of the best things to do in Switzerland to get you started.


1. Visit Lucerne's Colourful Old Town

Lucerne Old Town Things To Do in Switzerland

Take a stroll through Lucerne, with its Medieval bridge, fresco-painted houses, and a church from the 17th Century.

Make sure to include a visit to Mount Pilatus, an iconic symbol of Lucerne. This mountain is steeped in legends, known as a creator of weather, a realm of dragons, a residence for giants, and a resting place for ancient rulers. 

Mount Pilatus, Switzerland

On days when the sky is clear, Mount Pilatus reveals a stunning panoramic vista showing 73 Alpine summits.


2. Tour Lake Lucerne

Lake Lucerne Things to do In Switzerland

Combine culture and nature on a walking holiday to Lucerne. This little city is perfectly placed for exploring the mountainous lake lucerne region.

It’s super easy to explore on foot. Wander through the streets lined with art-covered cafés and museums in the pedestrian-only Old Town.

Lake lucerne to Weggis

Or, take a cruise on a paddler steamer to quaint villages like Weggis and Vitznau. And for the hikers? The nearby mountains Rigi and Pilatus Kulm are practically begging to be explored with their top-notch trails.

Lake Lucerne view things to do in switzerland

Take to the trails. The above picture offers a glimpse of the stunning scenery you'll encounter, overlooking the picturesque Lake Lucerne.

Get The Lindt Experience in Lucerne

swiss chocolate making

Chocolate lovers, prepare to swoon. The Museum of Transport in Lucerne houses the Lindt Experience, where you can indulge in the art of Swiss chocolate making.


3. Hiking the Bernese Oberland

Bernese Oberland Switzerland

Hiking in the Bernese Oberland is like diving into a chapter of a Swiss fairy tale, but with better hiking boots.

Here, over 500 km of trails cater to everyone from the Sunday stroller to the seasoned mountaineer. You can saunter along serene lakes or tackle trails that offer views so stunning, they might just make you forget the steep climb.

For a real challenge, try the Eiger Trail, where you'll skirt under the mighty Eiger's North Face.


Or, for something more relaxing, take a leisurely stroll from Faulensee to Spiez by Lake Thun. And when your feet need a break, the Trümmelbach Falls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley are a must-see – they're truly spectacular.


4. The Iconic Matterhorn

Matterhorn Views Things to Do in Switzerland

As the Eiffel Tower is to France, so the Matterhorn is to Switzerland. Situated in the picturesque village of Zermatt, it's a must-visit for anyone who appreciates jaw-dropping landscapes.

Ascending to Klein Matterhorn (3,883 metres) via a cable car is an experience in itself. It's not the famed Matterhorn, but it's close enough to wave hello.
From this lofty perch, you're treated to a front-row view of the Alps' grandest glaciers and peaks, with Mont Blanc playing a starring role. Welcome to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, where the wonders of the Alpine world unfold before you.

Up here, it's not just about the views. The restaurant dishes out local Alpine flavors, paired perfectly with regional wines – because what's a mountaintop without good food and drink?

For a dash of culture, a cinema showcases the wildlife and mountaineering legends of zermatt.

Ever wondered what's under all that ice? The Ice Palace offers a chilly peek into the glacier’s frosty heart. And for a touch of luxury, hop on the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing.

This state-of-the-art cable car is your ticket to a panoramic journey, connecting Zermatt with the quaint Italian village of Breuil-Cervinia. It's not just a trip; it's an Alpine experience that redefines heights.

5. Explore Lake Oeschinensee in Kandersteg

Lake Oeschinensee

If you love stunning water views, then you’ll love Lake Oeschinensee in Kandersteg. With its sparkly waters and beautiful mountain backdrop, it’s the perfect photo op. And if you’re feeling peckish, there are plenty of spots to grab a bite right by the lake.

In it for the thrills? Then you’ve got to try the 750 metre toboggan run. It’s a total adrenaline rush with a whopping 15-metre drop.


6. All Aboard the Chocolate Train from Montreux

chocolate making Montreux

This journey combines vintage luxury, delicious treats, and stunning landscapes, ending at the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory for a sweet exploration.


7. Visit Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva things to do in switzerland

Lake Geneva is a great spot to relax and enjoy some city-like vibes. It's the biggest lake in Switzerland and a cool place to explore by boat. You can ride ferries and steamers to different towns and villages around the lake.

Love a view? For a bird's-eye view of the lake, take the Rochers de Naye cog railway from Montreux. At the top, you'll be greeted with breathtaking views and a network of exciting walking trails to explore.

Grab a day pass, and you're free to hop on and off at different spots. For art lovers, Vevey is a must-visit for its museums and galleries, while Lausanne is great for coffee lovers with quaint little cafés. And if you love sightseeing, then a visit to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne is a must.


8. Vineyard Ventures by Lake Geneva

Vineyards in Switzerland

Fancy a walk through UNESCO-listed vineyards? Head to Lavaux, near Montreux and meander through terraced vineyards, or explore the diverse flora and fauna at the 'Grangettes' nature reserve.


9. Davos Adventure Park

Swing into fun at the Davos Adventure Park. This park is a paradise for thrill-seekers of all ages and skill levels. It's not just about swinging through treetops; the park boasts a high wire course and a cycling track too.

And for the little adventurers, there's a special children's course and not one, but two playgrounds. It's the perfect mix of adventure and natural beauty for the whole family.


10. Take The Kids to Madrisa Land in Klosters

Head over to Madrisa Land in Klosters, Switzerland's biggest mountain adventure playground! It's a wonderland of fun where kids can bounce around in a bouncy castle, scale a boulder wall, climb trees, and even tackle a climbing sack.

They'll whoosh down giant slides, and splash through numerous water games. Balance on a slackline, explore a cave, swing to their heart's content, and let their imaginations run wild in a play gondola, play hut, and more.

This family-friendly attraction is brought to life by the Madrisa Gang, five charming animals who guide kids through the largest playground in the Swiss mountains.


11. Ziplining in Grindelwald

ziplining in grindelwald things to do in switzerland

Get ready to zip and zoom and take on the First Flyer or soar like superheroes on the First Glider in Grindelwald.

Up to four thrill-seekers at a time can enjoy this sky-high adventure. Imagine being all air, no care – with the world whizzing by above, below, and all around.

At top speeds of 84 km/h, you'll zip over alpine meadows, about 50 meters up. It’s a unique, unforgettable adventure that’s like riding a roller coaster without the tracks.


12. Discover Switzerland by Train, Bus, Boat, or Cable Car

switzerland rail

Discovering Switzerland by train, bus, boat, or cable car offers an exciting and relaxing way to explore its stunning landscapes. The Swiss public transport system provides access to breathtaking mountain panoramas and romantic lakes, all covered by a variety of travel passes:

Jungfrau Travel Pass: Ideal for exploring the Jungfrau Region, this pass includes trains, boats and walkers' lifts to destinations like Kleine Scheidegg, Schynige Platte, and more. Supplements are required for some destinations like Jungfraujoch.

Bernese Oberland Regional Pass: Perfect for those wanting to venture further in the Bernese Oberland, it includes most benefits of the Jungfrau Travel Pass, plus travel to other regions and discounted access to Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn.

Tell Pass: Great for exploring Lake Lucerne and surrounding areas, this pass offers travel to popular peaks, unlimited boat trips on Lake Lucerne and Lake Zug, and train travel to several destinations.

Zermatt Peak Pass: Tailored for nature lovers and walkers, this pass allows unlimited travel in Zermatt’s cable cars and mountain railways, offering a unique view of the Matterhorn region.

Graubünden Pass: This pass is a gateway to explore Graubünden, including access to the UNESCO Bernina Express, and regional trains to various destinations.
Lake Geneva Regional Pass: Covering travel around Lake Geneva, this pass includes boats to several cities and access to the Rochers-de-Naye mountain railway.

Swiss Travel Pass: Offering unlimited travel across the Swiss Travel System network, this pass covers scenic routes, local trams and buses in many towns, and offers discounts on mountain trains and cable cars, along with free admission to over 500 museums.

Swiss Half Fare Travel Card: This card is worth over £100 and is included in your Inghams Walking Holiday to Switzerland. It comes included within your transfer rail ticket and offers up to 50% reduction first and second class travel on most of the Swiss transport network. Children ages 6 to 15 years old get to travel free when accompanied by a parent with the Family Card.


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