10 Reasons to Visit Switzerland At Least Once in Your Lifetime

10 Reasons Why You Should Travel to Switzerland This Year

From chocolates and cheese, to slopes for skis, take your travel experience to new heights.

Ever wanted to visit a place that looks like a medieval high-fantasy tale come to life? Clearly, you need to travel to Switzerland. It’s a place where jagged, snow-capped peaks reach towards the heavens, emerald alpine valleys frame picturesque villages, and crystalline rivers sparkle under the sun, fed by endless snowmelt.

As one of Europe’s safest nations, Switzerland stands out as a jewel of the region, boasting a unique blend of nature, culture, cuisine, and craft that continues to stand the test of time. It’s no wonder that it draws visitors from across the globe all year round. If you’ve ever considered being one of them, read on for the best reasons to plan a trip here soon.

Also read: 15 Best Airbnbs in Switzerland With the Most Amazing Views

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Why visit Switzerland? Here are the best reasons!

1. It has superb spots for skiing

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Boasting some of the world’s best locations for skiing, Switzerland offers opportunities for this snowy sport, even when the summer sun sits high in the sky. That’s right, you heard me. In Zermatt, the Theodul Glacier remains frozen despite the changing of the seasons, making it the perfect place for you to try your hand at skiing whenever you choose to visit Switzerland.

Also, a visit to Zermatt is basically a two-for-one experience, as it’s located at the foot of the iconic Matterhorn: a colossal mountain that has become synonymous with this incredible nation itself. For a complete list of the best ski resorts in Switzerland (and where to stay!), click here

2. Switzerland is home to breathtaking natural vistas

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Whether you’re a photographer looking to capture the beauty of nature from behind the lens, or an artist ready to paint it out on a canvas, the natural sights of Switzerland are simply second to none. Need a bird’s-eye view? Visit Jungfraujoch to set foot in the region commonly known as the Top of Europe.

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Or take a boat trip down the Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall, and experience the primal roar of nature as it engulfs your senses. 

For more reasons to visit Switzerland, you can also head to Grindelwald Village. Located in the centre of the Bernese Mountains, this idyllic little town represents a perfect escape from metropolitan living. Expect to be surrounded by beautiful lakes, sloping meadows and charming treks.

3. It’s the birthplace of cheese fondue

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Another one of the reasons to visit Switzerland: the food! Swiss cuisine is fairly unique, as the various cantons (regions) of this country are influenced by different cultures; namely, German, French, and Italian. This results in a variety of popular dishes, each with its own roots. The raclette — composed of melted cheese on potatoes, pickles, and onions — is rooted in French cuisine. Meanwhile, the polenta with braised beef is popular in the canton of Ticino, which is dominantly Italian.

Of course, certain dishes like fondue (rustic bread dipped in near-boiling cheese) and rostini (crispy-fried grated potatoes) are considered universally Swiss. Regardless of their origin, you can count on the food in Switzerland to keep your bellies full, your bodies warm, and the cold at bay.

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4. You can explore castles worthy of a fairytale

reasons to visit switzerland

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For all you history buffs and LARPers out there, the sheer amount of ancient castles in the country is one among many reasons to visit Switzerland. The most popular of these strongholds is the Château de Chillon, which is the most visited historic building in Switzerland.

Built on the banks of Lake Geneva, hundreds of thousands of people flock to this castle every year to check out the 14th-century paintings, underground vaults, and bedrooms. Nearly every room has been carefully preserved since medieval times. With its towering walls and battlements, Château de Chillon is nothing short of a fairytale castle that’s alive and well in the modern day.

reasons to visit switzerland

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You can also visit the Habsburg Castle, which is the ancestral seat of the Habsburg Dynasty. This family of aristocrats and royals started off in the Middle Ages, growing in power until they ruled an empire. Presently, the castle is part of the Aargau Museum, which features tours and exhibitions of Habsburg history.

5. Swiss cities just don’t miss

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While the alpine wilderness and amazing history are great reasons to visit Switzerland, you would truly be at a loss if you don’t stop to take in the wonder of its cities. So, why not start with Zurich? An urban wonder by the water that truly has a bit of everything, visit Zurich’s Old Town first and marvel at picturesque views, historical buildings and the iconic Grossmünster church.

Once that quaint corner of your heart has been filled, head on over to Bahnhofstrasse: one of the most popular shopping avenues in the entire world. Whether you’re on the hunt for luxury brands or decadent treats, Zurich is a Swiss city that simply doesn’t miss.

reasons to visit switzerland

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If you’re in the mood for more rustic sights, travel to the city of Lucerne. Serving as the unofficial gateway to Central Switzerland, it’s filled with beautifully preserved structures that will leave you in awe. While you’re there, check out the Chapel Bridge: a medieval structure that is one of the oldest wood-covered bridges in Europe.

Also read: 6 Must-Visit Cities in Switzerland for Art and Culture

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6. Treat yo’ self to some of the world’s best chocolates

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Speaking of decadent treats, did you know that we owe the creation of milk chocolate to the Swiss? Chocolatier Daniel Peters is generally credited with this achievement, inventing this delicious creation way back in 1876. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that Switzerland is one of the chocolate capitals of the world.

Being a chocoholic is yet another one of many reasons to visit Switzerland! While you’re in Zurich, make sure to mosey on over to Confiserie Sprüngli, which has multiple locations throughout the city. The cafe is famous for exquisite truffles, the iconic Luxemburgerli macaroons, and enough chocolate to make Willy Wonka sweat with jealousy.

Be sure to visit Auer Chocolatier in Geneva as well. Here, the Auer family makes handmade chocolate treats, just as they have been doing for the past five generations.

Also read: 30 Europe Souvenirs to Bring Home from Your Next Adventure

7. You can tour the entire country by train

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Looking for more reasons to visit Switzerland? The romance of a good train ride is often lost on many people. But the fact remains that it’s one of the best ways to make your way across the country, especially when it comes to seeing the Swiss Alps

For that, you’ll want to hop on the Glacier Express, which begins in St. Moritz and ends in Zermatt, or vice-versa. This exquisite journey will take up about eight hours of your time (yes, it’s a bit of a commitment). But in return, you’ll get to enjoy an unrivalled view of the Swiss Alps on rails.

Of course, there’s another railway adventure that one-ups it, and that’s the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland. It’s basically one long trip that merges some of the most beautiful train lines in the country into a single, unique route. The best part here is that you can hop on and hop off wherever you please, and all you need to experience the entire tour is the Swiss Travel Pass.

8. It’s heaven for hikers

reasons to visit switzerland

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If you’re looking for reasons to visit Switzerland and also happen to be a hiking buff, then you might end up moving here. With some of the most beautiful trails in the world at your feet, get started with an easy hike in the Lauterbrunnental Glacial Valley, also known as the Valley of 12 Waterfalls. This gently sloping expanse of nature is filled with green meadows, rivers and cute, grazing cows.

To up the challenge slightly, you can also explore Parc Ela, which is an expanse of pristine nature in the canton of Graubünden. There are many trails to try in this gorgeous tract of land, but a good mid-level challenge is the Hängebrücke Val Meltger trail, an eight-kilometre hike that will give you great views of the Oberhalbstein Valley.

Of course, if you’re a hardcore hiker that doesn’t balk at any challenge, then feel free to take on the Matterhorn. The best place to begin this 12-hour hike is in Zermatt, but be warned, it’s not a journey for the faint of heart.

9. There’s no shortage of art, music, and culture

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Music lovers, you might be interested to know that the Swiss town of Montreux hosts the annual Montreux Jazz Festival: the second-largest of its kind in the whole world. This two-week event features not only jazz musicians, but also many different artists from other genres. Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar, and Lady Gaga are just some of the performers who have had the honour of playing here in recent years.

The best part? There are a ton of free activities to do at the festival such as pool parties, silent concerts, DJ sets, and endless jamming sessions that can last well into the wee hours of the morning. That’s right, you now have even more reasons to visit Switzerland. The Montreux Jazz Festival takes place during the summer season, so if you’re planning your trip around then, be sure to check it out.

10. The Swiss celebrate everything

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Last but not least, here’s one of the slightly more whimsical reasons to visit Switzerland as soon as you can. The celebration of Désalpe (or Alpine Descent) takes place in villages and towns across the country in September, during harvest time.

Villagers celebrate the return of cows from their grazing in high alpine regions by shearing and brushing them, as well as festooning the cows with large bells. Then, these cows are paraded through the village, with prizes normally being handed out to the prettiest-looking ones. It’s a day when the city and countryside meet, and everyone joins together and simply celebrates with joy.

Also read: 8D7N Switzerland Itinerary: Top Things to Do in Switzerland During Summer

From its highest peaks to its lowest valleys, Switzerland is a marvellous hub of modernity and tradition that begs to be seen and experienced in person. The simple truth is that you could take one trip there (or several), and it would still be difficult to immerse yourself in all the delights that it has to offer. 

The good news is that I’ve gotten you started with these 10 reasons to visit Switzerland as soon as you can, so the next step is fairly elementary. It’s time to pack your bags!

Featured image credit: dr ashok kolluru | Flickr

About Author

Jeremiah Patrick
Jeremiah Patrick

A journeyman wordsmith wandering the creative lexicon, looking to craft a masterpiece. The only thing on par with Jerry’s love for a good story is the time he spends playing dauntingly difficult video games, reading works of fiction, and listening to horror podcasts. His mood shifts between dark brooding and cheery quips, depending on how much caffeine swirls in his system.