September 06, 2018
If you like history, architecture, good food, and luxury shopping, these Switzerland points of interest are for you. Take a break in Bern, Zürich, Geneva, or Lucerne and visit medieval town centers, Gothic cathedrals, museums and galleries, taste some of the best chocolate and cheese in the world, and shop in luxury boutiques. Swiss cities have efficient public transport systems that are easy to use, and most city centers are small enough to walk around.
Bern, Switzerland's capital, is a small and picturesque city with a well-preserved medieval old town. The cobblestone streets and medieval arcades are surrounded by coffee shops, restaurants, antique shops and bookstores. Some of the main attractions in the old town are the Gothic cathedral Münster and the creatively decorated old clock tower, Zytglogge. In the summer both locals and visitors swim in the River Aare and sunbathe on the riverbanks. You can easily visit most of the main tourist attractions in Bern by foot, and the old city is just a short walk away from the main railway station.
Switzerland has four official languages, and Geneva is the French-speaking region's capital. The Red Cross, the United Nations and other organizations that are based here give the city an international atmosphere. Geneva is located on the shores of Lake Geneva, close to the mountainous Jura region. The old town has picturesque streets and town squares, cathedrals, museums, art galleries, coffee shops, and restaurants. The Bourg-deFour square is an old Roman marketplace and the oldest place in Geneva. Most major hotels and famous restaurants are located on the right shore. There are excellent restaurants on the lakeside and visitors can also join a boat trip on the lake.
Zürich is Switzerland's main financial hub, but it also has a beautiful old town, interesting museums and art galleries, a vast selection of luxury shops, and a vibrant nightlife. Here you can walk around the old town and admire its medieval churches and town squares, take a boat trip on Lake Zürich or shop in the high-end boutiques on the famous Bahnhofstrasse shopping street. Many visitors and locals also hike to the top of the Uetliberg mountain to admire stunning views over Zürich and the Swiss countryside.
Lucerne is a small city in central Switzerland by scenic Lake Lucerne. It is most famous for the Chapel Bridge, a covered wooden bridge that was built in the early 14th century. The old town is a car-free zone and perfect for a walking tour. Lucerne has a reputation as one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland, and the old town is known for its colorful buildings that are covered with frescoes. Walk on the Chapel Bridge, explore the shops and take a break in the restaurants in the old town, join a sightseeing trip on a steamboat on Lake Lucerne or hike to the nearby mountains.
Traveling around Switzerland is easy because distances are short and public transportation is efficient and fast. Switzerland has a modern national train network, and public transport in most cities is affordable and punctual. Many city centers are even small enough to walk around. If you visit Switzerland in the weeks leading to Christmas, remember to explore the traditional Christmas markets that start at the end of November.
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