1. Bern, the capital city of Switzerland, is built around a crook in the Aare River. It traces its origins back to the 12th century, with medieval architecture preserved in the Altstadt (Old Town).The City of Bern is the political centre of Switzerland. It is well-known for its high quality of life, good cultural offering and tourist attracions. Bern is also home to international organisations and enterprises. It has gained itself a reputation as a place of research and science.The Old City of Berne, federal city of Switzerland and capital of the canton of Berne, is located on the Swiss plateau between the Jura and the Alps. Founded in the 12th century according to an innovative foundation plan, and located on a hill surrounded by the River Aar, Berne has experienced an expansion in several stages since its foundation. This development remains visible in its urban structure, mainly tributary to the medieval establishment and its clearly defined elements: well-defined wide streets, used for the market, a regular division of built sections, subdivided into narrow and deep parcels, an advanced infrastructure for water transportation, impressive buildings for the most part dating from the 18th century mainly built from sandy limestone, with their system of arcades and the facades of the houses supported by arches. Public buildings for secular and religious authorities were always located at the periphery, a principle also respected in the 19th century during the construction of the large public monuments confirming the function of Berne as the federal city from 1848.
  2. Zurich has a unique position in Switzerland. It is the country’s largest city and home to an internationally reputed financial centre as well as being the focus of an economic region which acts as the motor of Switzerland, and along with Geneva is the most important gateway to the country.The wide variety of cultural activities and educational institutions define Zurich’s character as a diverse, open city with a passion for life. Zurich is the capital of the canton of the same name and the centre of a number of regions which together have some 1.9 million inhabitants. It is famous for its lakeside location and green, densely wooded chain of hills which run through the city from north to south.Zurich’s place on the world stage does not come down to its size but to its strong international networks. The high standards of living, working and accommodation are regularly confirmed in surveys of the local residents, and Zurich consistently finds itself at the top of international rankings of cities in terms of quality of life.In Zurich, numerous references and memorial sites bear witness to the Reformation – such as the most important churches, statues or places where the Reformers lived or preached. A guided tour through the historical Old Town is an absolute must for anyone interested in the subject.
  3. Lucerne, a compact city in Switzerland known for its preserved medieval architecture, sits amid snowcapped mountains on Lake Lucerne. Its colorful Altstadt (Old Town) is bordered on the north by 870m Museggmauer (Musegg Wall), a 14-century rampart. The covered Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), built in 1333, links the Aldstadt to the Reuss River’s right bank.Lucerne is situated where the Alps begin. There are hills in the north and mountains in the south. The town lies along the banks of Lake Lucerne. Scenic boat trips can be made directly from the town center.Lucerne is one of the towns that is ideal for first time visitors to Switzerland. Also, it’s a good place to start or end your visit to Switzerland, as Lucerne is easily accessible from Zurich and Zurich airport. The town has a lot to offer: a picturesque and compact town centre, museums, boat cruises, and a generous choice of hotels, shops and restaurants.Many attractions can be reached easily from Lucerne. The Pilatus mountain is right next door. A short trip gets you to the Rigi railways, or the famous cable car up the Titlis.Lucerne allows you to be very flexible in choosing your activities, as there are plenty of good and bad weather options. The town has lots of facilities, it’s lively, but not as big as Zurich or Bern for example.
  4. Lausanne is a city on Lake Geneva, in the French-speaking region of Vaud, Switzerland. It’s home to the International Olympic Committee headquarters, as well as the Olympic Museum and lakeshore Olympic Park. Away from the lake, the hilly old city has medieval, shop-lined streets and a 12th-century Gothic cathedral with an ornate facade. The 19th-century Palais de Rumine houses fine art and science museums.Along the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman in French), there are hiking and biking paths, as well as picnic areas. On the lake itself, summer is a popular time for sailing, fishing and boat tours. Lausanne’s historic marina district, Ouchy, has parks, cafes and a busy port with steamers linking Lausanne to destinations such as Evian, France. The city’s Flon quarter is a revitalized warehouse district with an avant-garde feel, known for chic shops and nightlife. Sauvabelin Forest is a park that’s home to a small lake and a tower with panoramic views. To the east of town are the terraced vineyards of Lavaux.Situated at the heart of the Lausanne-Morges agglomeration, the capital of the canton of Vaud is in the throes of development, with business, urban planning, public transport and mobility all sectors undergoing transformation. The fourth-largest city in Switzerland, Lausanne is set apart by its vocation as an Olympic city, a sustainable city and a place of training and culture. A very popular tourist destination, the city is also home to many international companies, particularly the headquarters of multinationals. Quality of life and economic attractiveness combine to multiple effect!Whether by bus or by bike, on foot or on skates, discover Lausanne, Olympic Capital: museum visits, a stroll in the parks and gardens or along the floral quays, excursions on the lake or in the vineyards, sporting and cultural activities, a relaxing spa break, shopping and nights out. So let’s get exploring Lausanne and make sure we don’t miss anything!
  5. The car-free village of Zermatt offers a rich variety of mountain romance 365 days a year. Zermatt (1,620 m) pulses with life. Shops, cafés, bars and noble hotel lounges offer variety. But Zermatt is also a Walser village with houses dating back more than 500 years. Everything within a walk – even romantic neighbourhoods and quiet corners. And all paths eventually lead directly to the peaceful and yet wild mountain world at the foot of the Matterhorn.The town, at an elevation of around 1,600m, lies below the iconic, pyramid-shaped Matterhorn peak. Its main street, Bahnhofstrasse is lined with boutique shops, hotels and restaurants, and also has a lively après-ski scene. There are public outdoor rinks for ice-skating and curling.Cable cars, cogwheel trains and gondolas serve Zermatt’s interconnected ski areas, with more than 350km of pistes below mountain peaks like Klein Matterhorn. Renowned for its high-altitude ski conditions and pistes which lead into Italy, Zermatt also offers summer skiing and snowboarding on the Theodul Glacier. There are over 400km of hiking and mountain-biking trails in the area, including mule traders’ routes dating back to the Middle Ages. Climbers planning to ascend 4,478m-high Matterhorn use Zermatt as their base. The Glacier Express train travels from Zermatt through the Alps to St. Moritz, with panoramic views en route.
  6. Arosa is an Alpine resort village in the Schanfigg Valley, in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. It’s known for its lakes, ski slopes and trails like the Squirrel Path. Boat-dotted Obersee Lake has a seasonal water display with fountains, lights and music. Untersee Lake has a sandy beach. West of Arosa is Weisshorn, a mountain peak accessible by cable car. It has views toward the city of Chur and Piz Bernina Peak.Arosa alone boasts more than 200 km of different hiking and walking trails. A hiking tour to be especially recommended is the 10 lakes hike, a tour of 15 km leading from one crystal-clear mountain lake to the next. Then there’s the Schanfigg circuit from Chur to Arosa and back with its many traditional cozy mountain cabins, nicely cultivated stretches of land and alpine pastures. Arosa has mild to warm summers (Jun–Aug) and cold winters (Dec–Feb). The most popular time to visit is Dec–Mar, during the ski season. The Arosa Humor-Festival (Dec) encompasses comedy and cabaret performances. IceSnowFootball (Jan/Feb) is an international football tournament in the snow. The water display on Obersee Lake takes place 3 days a week Jun–Oct. The Arosa ClassicCar (Aug/Sep) sees period cars racing on a winding track road from Langwies to Arosa.
  7. St. Moritz is a luxury alpine resort town in Switzerland’s Engadin valley. It has hosted the Winter Olympics twice, has the Cresta Run, a world-championship bobsled run made of natural ice, and an outdoor Olympic ice rink. St. Moritz is one of the most famous holiday destinations in the world, was twice host city for the Winter Olympics, and belongs to a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its name is a trademark and synonymous worldwide with style, elegance and class.Some places on earth are simply unlike anywhere else. The mere mention of their name is strangely compelling and brings to mind all manner of stunning imagery. St. Moritz is one such place. And, that’s not just because this is where James Bond dashed down the ski slopes in «The Spy Who Loved Me». For it was here, 1,856 metres above sea level, in the heart of the spectacular Upper Engadin lakes district, that the notion of winter holidays and present-day winter sports were born, and where Olympic Winter Games were held on two occasions. The first electric light, the first skiing school, and Switzerland’s first electric tram are among the pioneering feats in St. Moritz’s long list of achievements. And yet: St. Moritz originally rose to prominence due its mineral springs, which have been attracting visitors for more than 3,000 years, and lay the foundation for its spa tradition.
  8. Lugano is a city in southern Switzerland’s Italian-speaking Ticino region. Its Swiss-Mediterranean mix of cultures is closely related to that of Italy’s northern Lombardy region. This mix is reflected in its architecture and cuisine. The city stands on the northern shore of glacial Lake Lugano, surrounded by mountains. Its main square, Piazza della Riforma, is ringed with pastel-colored, neoclassical palazzi.The medieval Church of St. Mary of the Angels is renowned for its frescoes by Bernardino Luini. San Lorenzo Cathedral has Renaissance doorways, a baroque interior and views over the red-tile roofs of Old Town, where chic boutiques line pedestrian streets. The Museo Cantonale d’Arte displays regional 19th- and 20th-century art, along with works by masters like Renoir and Degas. A lakefront promenade, the Lungolago, is flanked by trees, sculptures and gardens. Funiculars ascending Monte Brè and Monte San Salvatore lead to panoramic views and a network of hiking and mountain-biking trails.Lugano has mild winters (Dec–Feb). A steady influx of visitors arrive during the warm sunny period May–Sep, with Jul–Aug being the high season. Classical music performances are held in the city’s historic buildings during the Lugano Festival (Apr–Jun). Estival Jazz (Jul) is held outdoors, in Piazza della Riforma, the city’s main square. Swiss National Day (Aug 1) sees fireworks explode over Lake Lugano.
  9. Basel is a city on the Rhine River in northwest Switzerland, close to the country’s borders with France and Germany. Its medieval old town centers around Marktplatz, dominated by the 16th-century, red-sandstone Town Hall. Its 12th-century Gothic cathedral has city views, and contains the tomb of the 16th-century Dutch scholar, Erasmus. The city’s university houses some of Erasmus’ works.With their themed collections, the 40 museums of Basel have something for every taste and many have reputations that stretch far beyond the Swiss border. On top of that, there are countless galleries scattered liberally throughout the city.And that’s not all, by any means. In Basel you will find art not only in the numerous museums but in many other locations throughout the city. You will expericence a great deal of culture otherwise as well. Basel lies at the heart of the three-country-triangle where Switzerland, France and Germany meet. Cross-border relations have always been a part of life here. Basel collaborates closely with its neighbours on all sides of the borders on issues such as transport, environment, education and culture.A major junction on the North-South transit routes, Basel serves as a stepping-stone into the European market for many international companies. The binational EuroAirport, just three kilometres from the city centre, offers direct flights to most European cities as well as connections to airports with intercontinental flights. The Rhine port of Basel is one of Europe’s most significant inland ports. Finally, Basel lies at the intersection of the French, German and Swiss rail and road networks. High-speed trains connect the city with Paris, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Milan.
  10. Situated along the banks of Lake Geneva at the foot of the Alps, Geneva sparkles as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Home to the European headquarters of the United Nations, Geneva has a long history of diversity and tolerance dating back to the Protestant Reformation. Today, the city of Geneva is a cultural center second to none featuring world class entertainment, top rated restaurants and unlimited opportunities for recreation.French influence is widespread, from the language to gastronomy and bohemian districts like Carouge.A signature site is the Jet d’Eau fountain, which shoots up 140m above Lake Geneva. On the Rhône River’s Left Bank, the cobbled Old Town features the Jardin Anglais’ landscaped Flower Clock, the Reformation bastion St. Pierre Cathedral and cafe-lined square Place du Bourg-de-Four. High-end Swiss watches and chocolate are staples of the city center’s luxury shops. The river’s Right Bank is home to parks and museums such as the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, with an expansive collection of European art and archaeological objects. Les Pâquis is a neighborhood with funky bistros, nightclubs and boutiques.Geneva is the perfect home base for exploring the surrounding countryside. Whether you enjoy boating, hiking, biking, wine tasting or are looking for the ultimate Switzerland ski vacation, Geneva offers easy access to paradise as well as numerous organized tours. Day trips to the nearby towns of Montreux, Chamonix and Lausanne are also popular.
  11. Lauterbrunnen is a small village in the Lauterbrunnen valley. It’s ideally situated for excursions throughout the Jungfrau region. The village is sitting in between the mountain villages Mürren and Wengen, which are the obvious areas for day trips, although the valley itself is very attractive as well.Lauterbrunnen is small but offers everything you need to enjoy your holidays: several hotels and restaurants, a camping and a supermarket. Perhaps the biggest advantage is its central location on the valley floor. If you want to explore the Jungfrau region, traveling from Lauterbrunnen is convenient as you can quickly reach Interlaken, Mürren and Wengen. The Lauterbrunnen valley is famous for its 72 waterfalls. There are smaller and larger waterfalls. You’ll have to look hard to find all of them, but some are impossible to miss, like the famous Staubbach Fall just outside the village.Huge rock walls rise up hundreds of meters from the valley floor, particularly on the west side of the village. On the east side you’ll find forestry slopes going up to Wengen, and again rock walls. You can see quite some peaks, but not as many as from Mürren, Wengen or Grindelwald because these towns are located at higher altitudes and offer wider views.


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