The Essentials of Switzerland

With its four national languages and twenty-six cantons, Switzerland is an exciting and surprisingly diverse country. The snow-covered mountains, the wooden chalets but above all the chocolate and fondue, are all reasons to discover this small territory in central Europe. In Switzerland, life is good and the inhabitants, according to their different accents, will love to tell you. Petit Futé therefore takes you on a discovery tour of the ten must-see spots on Swiss soil.

Bern, the capital city

Bern is often the unknown capital of Switzerland, but it is worth a visit! Its old town is surrounded by the Aar River, the longest in the country. Take the time to walk its 6 km of arcades before going up to the Bear Park. From here, you will have a panoramic view of the whole city. In Bern, ursides are found everywhere: it is the symbol of the city. According to legend, the bear was the first animal to be killed by the founder of Bern, Duke Bertchold V of Zähringen. You can admire these charming little animals in the Bear Park, open all year round

Zurich, the surprising

As one of the most expensive cities in the world, Zurich is certainly not open to all scholarships. However, his charming charm can seduce those who venture there. In the heart of Switzerland, at the foot of the Alps and surrounded by hills planted with vineyards, Zurich is a small jewel. Its characteristic houses of the area, its well-maintained churches, but especially its lake, give it an undisputed charm. From day to night, Switzerland's largest city is animated by concerts and exhibitions of all kinds. Here, not the time to get bored!  

Geneva, the opulent

Bordering France, easily accessible, Geneva is the ideal stopover for a first weekend on Swiss soil. In addition to the jewellers, luxurious hotels and banks that have made its reputation, you will find charming 18th century buildings and St. Peter's Cathedral. Of Gothic architecture, it was built in the 11th century, in the heart of the city. But the symbol of Geneva is this famous jet of water in Lake Geneva. It projects water 140 meters higher than the second floor of the Eiffel Tower! A walk along the shores of the lake will give you a taste of the Swiss way of life.

Zermatt, the ski resort

On the Italian border of the Valais, Zermatt is, with its high, robust and majestic Alps, a strong symbol of Switzerland. Its ski area is not only the highest in the Alps but also the best equipped in the world. The activities are varied, throughout the year, and aimed at everyone. Hiking, skiing, snowboarding, sledging but also heliskiing, you will never be bored! A car-free village, Zermatt stands out for its hushed atmosphere, ideal for those seeking relaxation and nature, in one of the most picturesque places in the country.

Chillon Castle, the Swiss fortress

On the shores of Lake Geneva, at the foot of the mountains, lies one of Switzerland's treasures: the Château de Chillon. This building, which has seduced and inspired many artists such as Rousseau, Hugo or even Delacroix, was built in the 10th century but relics from the Roman era have been found there, suggesting an even older history... From the fortress, you can admire a splendid panoramic view of the facing Savoyard coast. But the most impressive thing is still the interior. From rooms to courtyards, you will discover a monument steeped in history.

Ascona, the dolce vita

On the northern shore of Lake Maggiore, a short distance from Italy, Ascona is a very pleasant resort. Borgo, the historic centre, is a charming district that focuses around the Basilica of San Pietro e Paolo, built in the 16th century. Its winding streets lead to the long walk along the lake where cafés and restaurants follow one another. The perfect place for a late night drink! A few kilometres north of Ascona, don't miss the Maggia Valley either. Its hiking trails will make you discover a preserved nature where Lake Maggiore reigns supreme.

Gruyères, medieval

Located in the canton of Fribourg, west of the country, Gruyères is part of the French-speaking area. Its remarkable position on a rocky spur offers magnificent views of Fribourg's Fribourg Alps. In this fairy tale decor you will also find a museum on the fascinating Tibet. Multicultural, Switzerland, we told you! But the must is, of course, the gruyère. It is tasty or with bread, it is succulent. N.B. The gruyere has no holes!

Lucerne, the picturesque city

Located on the shores of Lake Lucerne, Lucerne is surrounded by the Rigi Mountains, Stanserhorn and Mount Pilate. This former fishing village is today an unmissable stopover to discover Switzerland, which is one of the most visited cities in the world! The Chapel Bridge, a 14th century wooden building, is one of the country's great symbols. It crosses the Reuss River, it is nice to stroll there before attending one of the many cultural activities offered by the city. Between lake and mountain, Lucerne is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful landscapes in Switzerland!

Jungfraujoch, the roof of Europe

Located in the Interlaken region and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Jungfrau Railway is certainly the most impressive stopover during a stay in Switzerland. After a 2.5-hour journey during which you will admire splendid views, especially when you pass through the glacier gallery, you will discover the highest station in Europe, perched at an altitude of 3,454 metres. The 360° terrace is a recognized observatory. You can also practice winter sports all year round thanks to the many facilities

Lauterbrunnen, restful

Nestled in an impressive alpine valley, Lauterbrunnen is Switzerland, as we imagine! This postcard decor has 72 waterfalls, the unfailing fall of Staubbach. It is one of the highest in Europe. Water flows from the top of a rock wall of almost 300 meters. In summer you can also see in the heart of the mountains: " Schwarzer Monch ". Behind impressive mountains, this 20,000-liter spectacle of water that rushes along ten waterfalls of glacial origin is a wonder of nature.  

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