Best Swiss cities

upd 4 April 2024

Switzerland is a country that has a lot to offer but due to its size, many of the places can be visited in one-two trips. Among the most beautiful Swiss places are not only mountains, lakes and other nature attractions. There also wonderful cities with rich history, amazing promenades, Gothic cathedrals, interesting museums and stunning promenades. Here’s a list of the best towns you should include in your trip to Switzerland.


The largest Swiss city hasn’t lost its coziness. The center has many well-preservered medieval buildings and stunning cathedrals. The walk along Lake Zurich offer many breathtaking views. There are also a lot of activities: boat cruises, history tours, old and new museums, zoo. Each year Zurich is ranked as one of the cities with the highest quality of living – and yeven a short visit would make you understand why. A lot of tours start from here: Glacier Express, trips to Alps… See more on Tripadvisor.

Don’t miss: promenade along Lake Zurich, beautiful architecture and narrow steets of the Old Town, Grossmunster (photo), Opernhaus, Art museums.


Geneva is located in the French-speaking part of the country. France and Italy had a big influence on the architecture, which resulted in a unique look that differs from other Swiss cities. You should walk along Lake Geneva, visit parks and gardens, go to the well-preserved Old Town and at least one museum. Plenty short trips can be done from Geneva: Annecy, Chamonix (France), Lausanne, Montreux. There are buses to Lyon, Dijon and trains to Milan and other Italian destinations.

Must-see in Geneva: a big fountain Jet d’Eau, Cathedral Saint-Pierre, Old Town, park des Bastions. A full guide here.


Perfectly preserved architecture, picturesque Lake Firwaldstätt, visible mountain peaks – Lucerne is called the most cozy Swiss city. Its symbol is the wooden Kappelbrücke (Chapel) bridge with a tower. It is also worth taking a walk through the center and seeing medieval houses, churches and cathedrals. Lucerne is also surrounded by mountains with cable cars taking you on top. See options to explore here.


Bern is the capital of Switzerland, and even it’s smaller than Zurich and Geneva, you can’t miss this destination. The Old Town is UNESCO World Heritage Site with many architectural gems. Museums offer a deep dive into history and culture, and Bern Minster – the cathedral of the 15th century, is one of the most impressive Gothic buildings in the country. Also, there’s a Bear park where you can see bears – the symbol of Bern.

Main attractions in Bern: a Gothic Bern Cathedral, Clock Tower, Albert Einstein museum.

Also read: Best places in Switzerland: nature and activities.


The proximity to both France and Germany had a great influence on the appearance of Basel and made it quite unique. For a small town, there is an amazing number of architectural monuments: the town hall, the Gothic cathedral, the Franciscan church.


The capital of the Italian-speaking canton is influenced by neighboring Italy. Narrow streets and the romantic atmosphere of the city attract tourists, who often come here for music festivals and on the way to Como. The main attraction of Lugano is nature: Lake Lugano and the mountains around it.


Montreux is the pearl of Lake Geneva that inspired a lot of artists and musicians, including Freddy Mercury, Deep Purple and Stravinsky. Unlike other small towns, Montreux is a lively city, and events happen throughout the year: Jazz music festival, Flower festival, Christmas market. Here you can book a boat trip to France, or go to the famous Chillon castle.

A guide to Montreux – read here.


Lausanne is located on the hills, so to see all the sights you will have to climb and descend all the time. You should visit the embankment, the main cathedral, the Olympic Museum, the town hall, and Usha Castle. There are also many concerts, exhibitions and other events held here.

St. Gallen

St. Gallen is a very old town with impressive architectural monuments: the Abbey Cathedral of Saint Gall, the Abbey Library, St. Laurenzen church and many more.


Nyon is located on the shores of Lake Geneva. It is known for its rich history, charming old town, and stunning views of the lake and the Alps. The most interesting attraction here are Roman columns from the Roman Empire. Nyon Roman museum is dedicated to the Roman heritage. Also the medieval castle was reconstructed, now it’s an interesting history museum.