23 Most Beautiful Towns in Switzerland

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Town of Unterseen, Switzerland Surrounded by Mountains

Switzerland is known for its breathtaking scenery, steep mountains, and colorful valleys. There are many beautiful towns in Switzerland.

From delightful Swiss villages to impressive alpine scenery, this small Central European nation offers a wide range of amazing views that will leave you breathless. 

While it’s not easy to choose the best Swiss towns and cities, most people would likely agree that Berne, Geneva, and Zurich are among the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. 

Other beautiful places include Lucerne, Lauterbrunnen, and Grindelwald. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most beautiful places in Switzerland for your next trip!

Most Beautiful Towns in Switzerland to Visit

Switzerland is a small country, but it is big on beauty. It offers its tourists the most breathtaking natural scenery of lakes, mountains, and rivers. 

The country’s scenic beauty, unique culture, and traditions make it a global tourist hub. Here are Switzerland’s most beautiful towns perfectly capturing the nation’s aura!

1. Lucerne 

Lucerne Cityscape

Lucerne is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland. It is well-known for its picturesque scenery, vibrant nightlife, and gateway to the Swiss Alps. It is also famous for the legend of William Tell, an expert marksman with a crossbow. 

The town has a beautiful atmosphere with many historical buildings. Some top destinations include the Rathaus (Lucerne Town Hall) and the Chapel Bridge.

It is also known for its delicious chocolate, which you can sample at the Lindt Chocolate Shop. Lucerne is also known for its lake, Lake Lucerne, which you can relax on with a picnic or even swim in if you want to.

There’s so much to do in Lucerne. Exploring its past with the help of preserved medieval buildings, taking in stunning views from Mount Pilatus or Rigi-Kulm Mountain—that one day isn’t enough.  We recommend staying at least a day or two to see everything around Lucerne.

See Related: Where to Stay in Zurich, Switzerland

2. Montreux 

Farmland in Montreux 

Montreux is one of the major cities in Switzerland. It is situated in the Swiss Alps, near Lake Geneva. It is worth visiting due to the Lake Geneva lakeside view and the vertical hills in the surroundings. Its pleasant weather, middle-aged sculptures, and attractive seafront attract many visitors worldwide.

Montreux is well known for its Jazz Festival, held every year in the first week of July. The Montreux Jazz Festival is the second-largest music festival in the world. The Montreux Palace is also a prime tourist spot in the Swiss town of Montreux.

There are many things to do in Montreux, from walking along the lakeshore promenade or the streets lined with shops, eating at many fine restaurants, or enjoying a drink at one of the cozy cafes. There is so much to see that you might miss something. 

So, if you want to enjoy the beauty of Montreux, Switzerland, take a walking tour with a professional guide from GetYourGuide.

3. Gruyeres 

Castle at Gruyeres

Gruyeres is a 13th-century Swiss mountain town located in the Fribourg canton municipality. Gruyeres is the historical fortress at the highest point in Switzerland, Chateau de Gruyeres. It is also famous for the Gruyere cheese, produced in this region for centuries now.

The town of Gruyeres is rich in medieval and Gothic-style buildings. The old part of the town, dominated by towers and spires, contains many historical monuments, including the clock tower, castle, churches, and medieval walls.

The H.R. Giger and Tibet Museum are Gruyeres’s main attractions. The H.R. Giger Museum portrays the mind-blowing artwork of the film “Alien.” The Tibet Museum is famous for its medieval Buddhist sculptures and displays Himalayan custom items.

If you visit Gruyeres on a weekend getaway, Vrbo.com can help you find the best places to stay.

4. Locarno 

Locarno  Oceana dn Mountain Scenery

Locarno is a beautiful recreational site in southern Switzerland that offers many activities for people of all ages. Mountains, forests, and lakes surround the historic city center. It is a perfect place for cycling, hiking, boating, and other outdoor activities.

Locarno also has Italian-speaking natives, and it offers beautiful sunny weather. It hosts the famous Locarno International Film Festival annually in August with an outdoor screening at Piazza Grande. It is also known for the seven Locarno Treaties agreements held in October 1925 in London.

One way to get a lay of the land is to ride on one of the boats that provide transportation around Locarno’s many lakes. You can get out on the water and enjoy the view or sit back and relax while enjoying the natural beauty.

If you’re looking to get closer to nature, head over to Brissago Islands National Park, located just outside Locarno on Lake Maggiore. The park offers trails leading through forests and along cliffs overlooking the lake while taking spectacular views of the beautiful Switzerland Alps.

See Related: Travel Apps for Europe

5. Grindelwald

The beautiful mountains of Grindelwald

Grindelwald is an old town surrounded by mountains. It is a beautiful tourist attraction, offering routes to the famous Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland. Tourists don’t get bored in any weather. They can enjoy winter skiing and summer hiking at Grindelwald.

The landscape is spectacular, with clear blue skies and breathtaking views of ice-covered mountains and lakes. In the winter, Grindelwald is very popular with skiers because of its convenient location for skiing at several different alpine resorts that you can find on Booking.com.

During the summer, however, the population of Grindelwald swells to more than ten times its winter size. Most of these tourists are day-trippers from Interlaken and Bern, who come to enjoy the surrounding Swiss Alps and glaciers. 

Gletscherschlucht is a narrow glacier near Grindelwald that pleases visitors with its smoothly flowing small river, waterfalls, and striped limestone walls. Moreover, it is an easily accessible old town in Switzerland with transportation facilities like cable cars and trains.

See Related: Things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland

6. Bern 

Bern town view

Bern is the capital city of Switzerland, situated on the shores of the Aare River. Its antique architectural traces are present in the old town of Lucerne, Altstadt. The traces of medieval architecture in Bern indicate its existence in the 12th century.

Bern is Switzerland’s 4th most populated city, with over 140,000 people. It is also home to all of Switzerland’s significant federal administrative buildings. 

The Federal Palace is a parliament building in Bern, where the parliament’s officials and diplomats interact. The 13th-century French Church and Zytglogge Tower are other famous tourist spots in Bern.

What’s more, the Old Town of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its Old Town’s medieval architecture and picturesque cobblestone streets. The old town was built in the 12th century and centers on the Aare River. 

Many street festivals are held throughout the city during the summer, as well as other events, such as jazz concerts and art shows.

See Related: Things to do in Lucerne, Switzerland

7. Interlaken 

Interlaken town in alpine peaks of switzerland

If you’re planning a trip to Switzerland, Interlaken is a town you can’t miss. This beautiful Swiss Alps city is located in the Bernese Oberland, an administrative district of the canton of Bern. The area is known for its dramatic landscape, including Alpine peaks and glaciers. 

Interlaken is a well-known hangout for tourists, situated in a narrow valley. It nestles amid two green lakes: Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Interlaken has old-fashioned timber houses and meadows on both sides of the Aare River. It is also where you can find the world-famous Jungfrau Railway.

Interlaken also offers thrilling and adventurous sports like skiing, hiking, skydiving, and river rafting. The mountains in the surroundings of Interlaken are packed with thick forests, stunning glaciers, and alpine meadowlands. 

Interlaken has many hotels and restaurants, so you’ll never have a place to stay or eat. You’ll find everything from budget hotels to fancy resorts and excellent farm-to-table restaurants serving traditional Swiss food.

See Related: Things to Do in Zurich, Switzerland

8. Zermatt 

Houses in Zermatt  and Mountain View

Zermatt is a reputed mountain municipality in Switzerland. It has always been the point of attraction for numerous visitors. It is one of the most-visited destinations in Switzerland and has been the setting for many movies. Zermatt is famous for adventurous sports, including hiking, skiing, and climbing. It also contains an open-air ice skating rink, the Obere Matten ice rink.

Zermatt also provides the delightful scenery of the pyramid-shaped Matterhorn peak. The ice-capped Matterhorn peak is 1600 meters above the city. 

Bahnhofstrasse is a famous street in Zermatt, having several gift store shops, hotels, and food points. The road also contains curling and ice-skating rinks that exhibit energetic sports shows.

All told, there are several things to do in Zermatt: skiing or snowboarding, horse-riding, ice skating, or hiking. You can also go shopping or dine at some of the best Swiss restaurants.

9. Thun 

Thun Cityscape

Thun is also one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland. The town is located on the shores of Lake Thun and is surrounded by hills, forests, vineyards, and pastures. There are plenty of activities to do, such as hiking, biking, or just walking around and enjoying the scenery. 

Thun is a resort adjacent to Thun Lake in the Bernese Oberland. Visitors love to cross Thun Lake by paddle steamers to reach another Swiss town, Interlaken. The town has traditional landscapes and natural beauty in its surroundings. It also has a large medieval castle (Turreted Thun Castle) that you can visit, along with an old clock tower.

The ancient Turreted Thun Castle is at the town’s highest point. The Turreted Castle is an all-time favorite spot for tourists because it gives a picturesque view of the Alpine region in Switzerland. 

10. Spiez 

Mountain views in Spiez

Spiez is another town and canton present on the verge of Thun Lake in the Bernese Oberland area of Switzerland. It provides visitors with many entertaining facilities, including smooth travel adventures, transportation, cruising, hotels, restaurants, and cheering sports.

Spiez also has a dominant castle church that attracts many tourists. The old-fashioned castle rooms will take you 1000 years back in time to fantasize like the knights walking in the castle. The towers of the ancient castle church are visible from a long distance.

The town is close enough to Interlaken that it’s possible to include it as part of a trip itinerary but far enough out that you’ll immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a small Swiss village.

11. Sion 

Sion Cityscape

If you prefer sunny weather to cold weather, visit Sion when you are in Switzerland. Sion is a charming Swiss mountain town located in Valais, a municipality in southern Switzerland.

The town of Sion, located at the shore of the Rhone River, is the capital of Valais. It is also a gateway to the beautiful valleys. The Swiss town with a sunny climate and heart-touching resort sites is an inviting destination. 

The Swiss resort town gained global popularity due to its two ramparts: Tourbillon ruins and the Valere castle complex. Both of these 13th-century fortifications are present at the top of the cliff.

12. Chur 

Chur Cityscape

Chur is the capital town of the municipality of Grison. It is the most famous Swiss town near the Grisonian Rhine Valley in the north.  Most Chur natives are German and Italian-speaking. But, a few communicate in the languages’ local Grisonia German and Romansh variants. 

Chur is one of Switzerland’s oldest and best cities, on the right shore of the Rhine River. The city of Chur boasts many historical landmarks. 

You can visit the Catholic Cathedral, Protestant Church of St. Martin, Episcopal Palace, and the natural history and art museums. Chur is well known for its impressive cultural heritage with many medieval buildings and monuments.

See Related: Destination Wedding Ideas in Europe

13. Guarda 

Guarda town surrounded by mountains

The town of Guarda is stunning, but the thing that makes it so beautiful is its isolation. It’s one of the most remote towns in Switzerland. Mountains on all sides surround Guarda; we’re talking about peaks of over 6,000 feet here.

The narrow roads of Guarda, lined with beautifully renovated houses decorated with traditional paintings and lovingly carved doors and windows, draw many tourists to the town.

Guarda is also one of the most beautiful Swiss Alps villages. You can experience its charm in a few hours, but spending a night there is worth it. An overnight stay or even a special weekend in Guarda will let you enjoy its scenery and hospitality.

14. Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen nestled inside a sub-range of the Swiss Alps

Lauterbrunnen is one of the most beautiful towns in the Swiss Alps. Lauterbrunnen is a small and peaceful village in the Bernese Alps famous for its waterfalls, charming villages, and spectacular views. 

In this picturesque Swiss village, you can enjoy a refreshing walk along the beautiful trails with gorgeous mountain views. The town offers much, from traditional architecture to eye-catching stone bridges.

The nature around Lauterbrunnen offers spectacular scenery with impressive waterfalls and streams. The most famous one is Staubbach Falls. It falls from around 300 meters into a deep green abyss.

The Staubbach Falls are popular among tourists visiting this beautiful place. The locals also love this spot.

15. Bettmeralp

Bettmeralp on the Top of the Mountain

Bettmeralp is a car-free village with no roads leading to it. Instead, tourists must take a cable car to reach the town. It is located at 1,970 meters above sea level in the Raron district of Valais, Switzerland. The Aletsch Glacier is nearby, which makes for an impressive sight.

In Bettmeralp, most of the lifts are located close to the village. There are many well-groomed trails for winter walkers in winter. Riederalp can be reached by foot in one hour. The Goms area also has extensive cross-country skiing nearby.

During summer, it’s an area of stunning beauty, and there are many outdoor activities to do as well. On average, Bettmeralp gets nearly 300 sunny days yearly—a big draw for holidaymakers.

The friendly residents of Bettmeralp welcome visitors from all over the world. Enjoy an excellent meal at one of the town’s many excellent restaurants, and stay for at least a weekend to fully experience the beauty of this traditional Swiss village.

16. Epesse

Epesse Ocean Scenery

Epesses is a historical village located in the Lavaux region—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main attraction of the village is its beautiful scenery. The landscape is stunning here. 

If you take a walk through the streets, you will see many brightly colored balconies, which make the village one of the most typical villages in the Lavaux region of Switzerland.  You will be able to take nice pictures by just walking around!  

Epesses features a range of impressive architectural styles and buildings dating from the 17th through 19th centuries. The Saint-Jacques Church in Epesses was built between the 14th and 16th centuries and has been restored several times. 

One of the best things to do in Epesses is to take a boat ride on Lake Geneva. 

See Related: The 2nd Longest Bridge in Europe

17. Boudry 

Areuse gorges in Boudry town

Boudry is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland, with a stunning location nestled deep in the mountains. It’s an excellent place for a vacation, and you can’t find anything better than this. 

The Areuse Gorges are in Boudry, located right off the Areuse River. The river originates in the nearby mountains and is popular with kayakers. The Gorges are a great place to hike and are accessible from Boudry. 

You’ll see beautiful river views, stone bridges, stairways, catwalks, narrow passages through the cliffs, and the surrounding mountains from the main path. The path here is very well-maintained and easy to navigate. But we’d recommend picking up one of the maps at the information center, just in case.

Make sure to visit Boudry Castle as well. The castle is an incredibly gorgeous sight for a walk through history and incredible views.

18. Andermatt 

Andermatt  at Dawn

Andermatt, a village in Switzerland’s canton of Uri, is a picturesque Swiss mountain town in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

Andermatt is ideal for winter sports enthusiasts. Plenty of great places for freeriding and leisurely snowshoeing and hiking, with challenging steep-slope descents and curling cross-country trails. 

Find your best match on Booking.com or vrbo.com. Andermatt is also a great place to stroll through town and enjoy delicious Swiss dishes. The town is full of fresh air and natural beauty, which has attracted tourists from around the globe since the 1900s.

19. Morcote

Morcote town nestled against the shore of Lake Lugano

With a history dating back to the 12th century, Morcote is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland. Nestled against the shore of Lake Lugano, it has a population of under 1,000 people. The tiny village is known for its high concentration of 16th-century buildings.

The bank of the lake is lined with grand and simple buildings. In the area surrounding the village, you can find many quaint, winding streets.

Moreover, Morcote was voted Switzerland’s most beautiful village in 2016. It’s one of those little villages that seem to be a product of fairy tales—not surprising, as it was made up entirely of fishermen. 

Morcote is about 2 square miles, so it’s not huge—but it takes up most of a peninsula on Lake Lugano. The stunning views from just about any place in town are enough to make you want to stay awhile—and if you do, plenty of hotels and restaurants serve delicious fare! Find one for yourself on Booking.com or VRBO.

20. Appenzell

Houses at Appenzell

Appenzell is located in the heart of a picturesque and hilly landscape. Appenzell is a tiny village with a population of over 5,000. 

Appenzell village is known for its traditional way of life, with rural architecture and small shops. The main street of Appenzell is pedestrian-only, lined with colorful houses and boutiques. No cars are on the street because there is no room! The only way to get around the village is by foot or bike.

A visit to Appenzell Innerrhoden wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Appenzell Museum in the town hall. The museum shows a cross-section of Appenzell’s history and culture. It features several activities for children, such as folk art, Appenzell hand embroidery, and local beliefs. There are also folk costumes and furniture in this museum that have been preserved over time.

21. Murren

Cable car in Murren

Mürren is a small mountain village in Switzerland that can’t be reached by public road. The only way to get there is by train or cable car. This allows Mürren to have a quiet and peaceful atmosphere. 

It’s a popular tourist spot with summer and winter tourists. It overlooks the three towering mountains, Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau region, popular tourist spots for hiking and skiing. 

Many people visit Mürren yearly, but the locals don’t mind showing them around. They even offer guided tours during high season so you can get the most out of this beautiful area.

The guide will take you on an excursion to the Schilthorn restaurant atop a mountain peak with breathtaking views of the Alps. You can also enjoy activities like rock climbing, snowshoeing, and hiking on nearby trails during your stay.

22. Wengen

Wengen town nestled on the slopes of the Lauterbrunnen valley

Wengen is one of the most charming and popular ski resorts in Switzerland. It’s a gorgeous mountain village with a rich history full of charming touches that make traveling here more than just a way to get a tan. 

Nestled on the slopes of the Lauterbrunnen valley, Wengen is surrounded by mountain pines, quaint wooden chalets, and modest whitewashed churches. The village itself is particularly family-friendly, with manageable day hikes for children.  

Hiking here is a lovely way to enjoy the region’s natural beauty and get a sense of local culture. It’s a beautiful town for a day trip from nearby Swiss cities such as Zürich, Lucerne, and Bern. 

From the gorgeous snow-capped mountains to the quaint shops, it’s a place that feels like it belongs in a storybook.

23. Gstaad

Gstaad Town and Mountain Range

The Swiss Alps are the epitome of a winter wonderland. In Gstaad, you’ll find incredible skiing and snowboarding opportunities. But there’s more to do here than ski!

During summer, you can enjoy the scenic views on a mountain bike ride or hike through the rich alpine forests. The region is also famous for its luxury hotels and chalets. Some of these hotels and chalets have been around for over 100 years! 

See Related: Apps & Websites to Book Hotels in Europe

How to Get Around Switzerland

Eiger Express gondola with Swiss flag arriving at station
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Getting around major metropolitan areas in Switzerland is a doddle thanks to their excellent public transportation and easily cyclable cities. Getting between smaller hamlets, villages, and towns in Switzerland can be tougher.

Swiss rail is generally a pretty good bet for some villages or small towns in Switzerland but less so for some places featured on our list.

I’d recommend renting a car from RentalCars.com and driving – rural Switzerland is one of the most enjoyable driving countries in the world.

It is also possible to book domestic flights around Switzerland – you’d miss out on that lovely driving experience, but you’ll get to see more of this beautiful country from up high!

Flights to Zurich or Geneva are your best bet for accessing Switzerland internationally by air. Check out Skyscanner for great deals, or use Going.com (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) to let the deals come to you.

FAQ

What is the prettiest place in Switzerland?

Appenzell is the prettiest place in Switzerland, with a wide range of hiking options to suit every taste. Nestled inside a sub-range of the Alps, you’ll find various hiking trails in Appenzell. The trails will take you through the thick forest, over natural bridges, and up to alpine peaks. Here, you can enjoy day hikes, overnight treks, and scenic cable car rides to the Swiss Alps.

What’s unique about this region is that it’s an excellent destination for people of all skill levels. There are easy walking trails as well as more challenging routes.
I recommend staying in one of their many mountain inns when visiting Appenzell. The inns offer hiking, boating, and skiing opportunities.

What is the most beautiful town or city in Switzerland?

Zurich is the most beautiful town or city in Switzerland, with its historic old town and 1,200 fountains. Not only is it Switzerland’s largest city, but it is also one of Europe’s most important financial centers.

Zurich has several tourist attractions that you can visit, including Grossmünster, Fraumünster, Sechseläutenplatz, Lindenhof, Zürich-West, The Old Town, Polyterrasse, and Lindenhof. There are also several museums/art galleries that you can visit. You can see a wide variety of paintings and sculptures there.

Moreover, the entire area surrounding Lake Zurich is a beloved recreational destination because of its natural beauty and top-notch accommodations. There are several vacation packages available. The packages combine beautiful hotels with activities like hiking and boating on Lake Zurich.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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