The cities in Switzerland are all attractive. Zurich is the largest and most cosmopolitan and it’s very clean and walkable. Geneva is the most international – home of the UN – and sits on the shores of a beautiful lake. Bern is the capital, a riverside city known for its arcaded shopping district. Montreux is a beautiful lakeside city with the nearby Chillon castle and a famous music festival. Lugano is the main Italian-Swiss city with a palm-tree studded, distinctly Mediterranean flavor. Basel is filled with many interesting museums. Lucerne is my personal favorite for all around enjoyable culture, walkable streets, and variety of things to do. They all have something interesting and fun to offer.
Of all Switzerland’s main cities, I like Lucerne the best. It’s probably the most mountainous of Switzerland’s main cities, and is certainly one of the most beautiful.
Zurich is easily Switzerland’s largest city, but really, it’s not all that big. The city is tidy, attractive and walkable, and sits on a pretty lake. Zurich’s center is filled with stylish shops, great restaurants, walkable streets, and lively nightlife.
The sun-splashed Italian-speaking region of Switzerland is known as Ticino. This is where the Alps meet the Mediterranean. Ticino doesn’t have the huge mountains that you’ll find in other parts of Switzerland, but offers up beautiful lakes, forested hills, and a perfect, sunny reason to slow down and relax for a day or two, much like the lake Como region of Italy.
Tours & Other Resources
The Scenic Trains tour includes Zermatt, Pontresina, Lugano, Lucerne, Wengen or Mürren, and Zurich. If you want to get see a lot of country in a short period, this 11 day tour will take you there!
For a shorter stay, the Best of Switzerland tour forgoes the stay in Lugano and Pontresina, concentrating 8 spectacular days in the best of the best locations.
The Swiss Sampler tour combines stays in three of Switzerland’s prettiest and most interesting cities – Lucerne, Lugano and Montreux – with visits to three of the most incredible mountain areas anywhere – Zermatt, Mürren, and St. Moritz. Travelling on every 2nd day lets you enjoy a sensible pace with enough time to soak in the sights at each stop.