Swizz cheese or Swiss chocolate may be the first two things you think of when someone mentions Switzerland, but it’s much more than cheese and chocolate. Switzerland may be a small country, but there’s plenty to see, including castles, museums, lakes, mountains and more. Here are some of the top reasons you might want to add Switzerland to your bucket list.
1. The Swiss National Park, which is the oldest national park in the Alps, is 169 square kilometers filled with mountains and woodlands. Visiting the park will get you an up close and personal look at the amazing wildlife roaming the park, including marmots, red deer, chamois, and ibexes.
2. The low-crime rate makes it easy to visit without fear of being robbed. Not to mention, the Swiss are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet on vacation.
3. The Bourbaki-Panorama (a giant panoramic painting). A breathtakingly real portrayal of the German-French war of 1870-1871, it’s a “witness to the history of the media and of war in the 19th century” (MySwitzerland.com).
4. Mt. Pilatus. Located near the city of Lucerne, a 2,120-meter mountain stands lakeside. Tourists can take a cable car to the top, but a trail is also available for those who want to hike it. Either way, the view is beyond spectacular.
5. Lake Lugano. Located in fairly laid-back area filled with trees, walking along Lake Lugano is the perfect post-outdoor-café-lunch activity. Stroll hand and hand with your sweetheart and enjoy the beauty of the Swiss “Little Italy.”
6. If you’re a book nut like me, you’ll want to check out the Abbey Library of Saint Gall. Its’ the oldest collection in Switzerland and is one of the most important monastic libraries in the world. The books date back as far as the 8th through the 15th centuries. You may flip through some, but books printed before 1900 have to be read in the Reading Room. The building itself is one to behold. It’s amazing ceiling paintings by Josef Wannemacher and stucco work by the Gigi brothers…simply breathtaking.
7. The Lavaux Vineyards. Head to the shore of Lake Geneva above Lac Leman between Lausanne and Vevey and explore the marvelous vineyards. Sample wine and wander the countryside as you enjoy the picturesque surroundings.
8. The Top of Sphinx observatory. Completed in 1937, the observatory is located atop one of the steepest hills you’ll ever ascend, that is, if you’re not too chicken. It’s the highest altitude on the entire continent, but it’s also thrilling to be up so high and the view is astounding. If you’re afraid of heights, you might want to forgo this one.
9. The Castle of Chillon. Located near Montreux at the foot of the Alps and next to the shores of Lake Geneva, this beautiful old castle looks like something straight out of Game of Thrones. At night, the water shimmers under the moonlight and in the winter, the snow-capped hills captivate and awe. Enjoy guided tours of this magnificent treasure along with entertainment, wine tastings and events.
10. The Rhine Falls. Take a boat to the rock in the middle of the largest falls in Europe. Located between Neuhausen am Rheinfall and Laufen-Uhwiesen, the falls are open 24 hours. Take your sweetheart and explore all there is to do at the falls, including taking a trip on the Rhyfal Express, taking a boat ride on the River Rhine, visiting Adventure Rope Park, and exploring the Medieval Schaffhausen.
And there you have it. The top ten reasons to visit the beautiful country of Switzerland. It’s pretty small, too, so you should have enough time to explore all of the attractions named above during a one week stay. Enjoy all the Switzerland has to offer with your loved one or your family. Either way, it’ll be worth the money.