There are a million reasons why you should visit Switzerland. It is certainly one of the most beautiful countries that I’ve ever seen. Here I have compiled a list of my favorite experiences in Switzerland to give you serious wanderlust and inspiration to buy that plane ticket.
1. Swiss Countryside
On your way (to anywhere really) from Zürich you are bound to pass through the Swiss countryside. The green valleys, picturesque villages, and sparkling turquoise lakes are every photographer’s dream.
Switzerland has some of the most serene landscapes that I’ve ever seen. The calm that washes over you in this area is almost unbelievable. The countryside is dotted with many small villages and tourist destinations. Some of my favorites are listed below.
Interlaken is a small, but popular resort town in the region of Bern. An incredibly popular paragliding spot, the real star of Interlaken is the “Glacier Milk”.
When temperatures start warming up during the summer, (and by warm I mean 70 degrees if you’re lucky) the snow on the Alps begins to melt. As the snowmelt cascades down the mountains, it meets tiny particles of rock resulting in a green, cloudy appearance by the time it enters rivers and streams. This is where the name “Glacier Milk” is derived. It has become so popularized that you can now actually buy it.
Grindelwald is another small, but popular resort town in the region of Bern. It sits at the base of many mountains, but most notably The “Eiger”. The Eiger has the biggest north face in the Alps (perhaps you’ve heard of “The North Face”?). Although its nick name is “Nordwand” (North Wall), the Germans dubbed it “Mordwand” which literally translates to “murder(ous) wall”. Those Germans with their jokes.
It is a dangerous climb and many have died trying, but looking at it safely from the ground in Grindelwald is where I’d rather view it. If you take the cog railway train (see below), you will descend down the other side of the mountains into Grindelwald and witness some of the best displays of nature that you’ve ever seen. With lush hills and looming mountain peaks, you could probably take a picture of anything with your eyes closed and come out with something worthy of National Geographic.
4. Cog Railway Train
The route to the Swiss Alps is both beautiful and terrifying. You have two options when visiting the Jungfrau region to reach Jungfraujoch. One is by cable box and one is by old school cog railway train.
Both end at the same destination and offer beautiful views. Both are feats of engineering. Both will test your fear of heights, but the cable box is pretty much 2,000 feet straight up the side of a cliff while the cog railway train winds up the mountain. The train is slightly less intense and you get to pass through amazing scenery like this. This is Lauterbrunnen. The experience is insane because even in June the temperatures will be mild and you’ll see wildflowers growing everywhere, but in less than 30 minutes it will be snowing.
I told you it would be snowing. This is Jungfraujoch which essentially translates to “Virgin Yoke”. It is a saddle that sits between the mountains of “Jungfrau” and “Mönch”. It has been dubbed “The Top of Europe” because its railway station is the highest in Europe at over 11,000 feet.
I’m also not going to pretend that we didn’t spend a significant amount of money at the Lindt Factory at the “Top of Europe” building. Of course there are other awesome activities and food there as well, but Swiss chocolate is a priority for me. If you want to talk about places that will take your breath away, this is surely one of them. Partly from lack of oxygen, but mostly from these amazing views. Some say that this experience is out of their way, but I think that it’s well worth the trip for anyone visiting Switzerland.
Meet you there! I’ll be the one eating chocolate.