Amazing Switzerland: a small country in Western Europe

Countries in Europe. Switzerland

Switzerland is a small but very beautiful country located in the center of Europe. Usually the first thing that comes to mind when mentioning it to most average citizens is banks, chocolates and watches. However, those who have visited this beautiful corner of Europe, will always remember the unique alpine scenery, crystal clearness of numerous lakes, unique monuments of ancient history and architecture. Every year thousands of tourists from all over the world come to enjoy all the charms of recreation in this country.

Features of

What is so attractive about Switzerland? The secret of the popularity of this country is that on its small territory wonderfully concentrated the most beautiful natural landscapes and outstanding against its background of human creations. The nature of Switzerland is magnificent and very diverse. The country is divided into three main geographical regions – the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura Mountains. No traveler will remain indifferent to the majestic mountain slopes and peaks, which occupy more than half the territory of the country. In addition, in Switzerland there are about 1500 picturesque lakes, on the shores of which are located the most famous resorts. It should be mentioned that the tourist service here is at the highest level and is one of the best in the world.

General Information

The Swiss Confederation is located in Western Europe on an area of 41.3 thousand square kilometers, with a population of 8 million people. Officially recognized languages in Switzerland are: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Currency is the Swiss franc (CHF). 100 CHF = $CHF:USD:100:2. The time in Switzerland is 1 hour behind Moscow in summer and 2 hours behind Moscow in winter. The time zone is UTC+2 in summer and UTC+1 in winter. Mains voltage 230 V at 50 Hz, types of sockets C, J. Phone country code +41. Internet domain name is .ch.

A short excursus to history

Switzerland was a place of human habitation in the cave period. Switzerland’s independence and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and Switzerland has not been involved in either of the two world wars. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland’s role in many UN and international organizations, has strengthened the country’s ties with its neighbors.

Climate

Switzerland has a continental climate, which varies according to altitude. Depending on the climate, each region of Switzerland has its own distinctive landscape. In the north and central part of Switzerland, the Atlantic influences the weather, while the south enjoys a milder climate, characteristic of the Mediterranean. Average temperature in summer +18…+20 degrees, in the mountains the temperature is lower. Winters are cold, the temperature is around 0 degrees, in the mountains the average is -10 degrees. In the spring, there is less rainfall.

Switzerland

Switzerland

Visa and customs regulations

To travel to Switzerland, citizens of Russia and Ukraine must obtain a Schengen visa. Customs requirements meet generally accepted international norms.

How to get there

There are daily direct flights from Moscow to Zurich and Geneva, as well as flights to Zurich from St. Petersburg. Transit flights through European countries are possible. In winter charter flights from Moscow to Geneva, Basel and Sion are organized. Train is quite popular and economical way to get to Switzerland is the train, and the trip by bus is less comfortable.

Transport

Transport system in Switzerland is developed at the highest level. The system of universal passes Swiss Travel System applies to all modes of transport, including intercity.

Regions

Cities and resorts

Information

The most interesting

In the central part of the country, among green valleys, Alpine meadows and clear mountain rivers there are waterfalls of the Bernese highlands. In the old castles and palaces as if the inexorable time turns back and gives everyone the opportunity to feel the spirit of ancient times.

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This is also where the capital of Switzerland, the city of Bern, is located. A walk through the historic city center will take you to the Gothic cathedral with the highest bell tower in Switzerland (100 m) built in 1421-1573, the Clock Tower (1191) with chimes with moving figures, the Prison Tower (1256) and the famous street fountains. Bern has interesting collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Postal Museum, the house-museum of A. Einstein, the Swiss Alpine Museum.

The city of Lucerne deserves attention, where besides the ancient churches, the town hall and the Government Palace there is the saddest monument – “The Dying Lion”. The Ice Palace, located in the Glacier Garden, is also very interesting here.

In the city of Lugano, travelers will find Palazzo Civico palace in the beautiful Parco Civico park, and in the ancient churches can explore the frescoes painted by Bernardo Luini and Discoli.

The neighbors around Lugano – small towns Locarno, Ascona, Bellinzona, Mendrisio are also rich in ancient monuments of culture and architecture, mainly Italian style. All of Switzerland in miniature (scale 1:25) can be seen in the town of Melide. Not far from Lugano (2 km) there is a large gambling center enclave of Campione.

The eastern regions of Switzerland, perhaps, are the most picturesque not only in the country, but also in all Europe. Motley carpet of alpine meadows, small crystal lakes, luxurious mountain resorts neighboring with quiet pastoral villages – all this charming eastern Switzerland. Here is the largest Rhine waterfall in Europe with a width of 150 m and a height of 23 m.

In the west of Switzerland there is a beautiful nature park of the Jura mountain ranges with deep canyons, vineyards on green slopes and beautiful lakes Biel, Neuchâtel and Leman (Lake Geneva). The area of Lake Geneva is not called the “Swiss Riviera” for nothing, because of its excellent mild climate, thanks to which this resort area is popular among tourists from all over the world.

The city of Yverdon-les-Bains on the shore of Lake Neuchâtel has a prestigious resort well-known for its magnesium and sulphurous thermal waters, which are especially beneficial for orthopaedic diseases and diseases of upper respiratory tract.

It is worth visiting the university town of Neuchatel with its medieval St. Nicholas Cathedral built in 1490 and Lausanne with its ancient St. Francis Cathedral and the modern Olympic Museum.

The resort town of Vevey will delight you with its winemaking traditions and the annual Wine Festival.

The ancient and beautiful city of Geneva charms with its elegant and graceful parks and gardens. It is here that the unique flower clock, the second hand of which is the largest in the world, is located. Here is situated the huge palace of the UN. Museums in Geneva will amaze you with the variety of expositions and cultural monuments. Spa cities of Nyon and the pearl of Switzerland – the city of Montreux, also will not leave tourists untouched.

In the northern part of Switzerland there is the largest financial center of Europe – Zurich, which is known not only for its many banks, but also for the ancient narrow streets and interesting sights, majestic architecture, a variety of museums.

The city of Basel, founded by the Romans in 44 BC, amazes with its cathedral of Munster (1019), the Franciscan church, the famous fountain with a statue of the Virgin Mary (1390) and the collections of twenty museums.

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Switzerland’s calling card is its ski resorts. Switzerland is truly one of the world leaders in their number and level of services provided there. It is not surprising that at the Winter Olympics Swiss skiers often compete for the podium, leaving behind representatives of other countries. There are plenty of ski resorts that cater to both advanced and beginner skiers. All the ski resorts, both elite and more modest, are characterized by high quality of service and beauty of snow-covered mountain landscapes. The resorts of Zermatt, Davos, Crans-Montana, Nenda, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Leukerbad, Interlaken, Grindelwald, Flims, Laax, Champery, Ovronna, Gstaad, St. Moritz, Engelberg are paradise for an active vacation.

Thermal springs, mineral waters, pure mountain air and an abundance of sports and recreational facilities at health resorts in Switzerland, make these places real health resorts.

Unique local sights add interesting and unforgettable impressions to your rest. Going to this wonderful country, you can be sure that Switzerland will give many pleasant surprises and surprising discoveries, and its unforgettable landscapes will conquer the heart forever.

Accommodation

Switzerland offers a wide range of accommodation for every budget Hotels in Switzerland are priced high, especially in the popular ski resorts. The star category is given by the Hotel Association, all members of which must pass regular quality tests to confirm the category.

Cuisine

Despite the strong influence of neighboring countries, Swiss cuisine deserves special attention from gourmets around the world. The basic and most common components of Swiss cuisine: milk, cheese, potatoes, butter, vegetables, small amounts of meat and herbs and spices. Cheese deserves special attention and is an important part of many traditional dishes based on it, such as cheese fondue, raclette, “cholera” pie, and Swiss cheese soup.

Shopping

In addition to the aforementioned cheese, an original and pleasant souvenir brought from Switzerland will be a packet of chocolate money – a box, designed in the form of banknotes of 1000 Swiss francs. The famous Swiss watches are better to buy in the workshops of famous brands.

Precautions

Switzerland is one of the safest countries in Europe, but still this rich country attracts pickpockets no less than inquisitive tourists. It is also worth paying attention to receipts, when paying with credit cards, it often shows full information about the customer and card details, so it is worth destroying them before throwing them away to avoid card hacking. The police are very unobtrusive, but always ready to help if necessary. Traffic rules here are very strict and violations are punishable by serious fines.

The most beautiful cities in Switzerland – Top 12

Switzerland is a small country in the center of Western Europe. It is a symbol of reliability and is associated with banks, the famous Swiss watches and delicious Swiss chocolate. Despite the small size, it is also famous for its many attractions and beautiful architectural monuments. Each medieval town of Switzerland has its own unique features and history, deserving special attention. This country is famous all over the world for its marvelous nature: the most beautiful crystal clear lakes, massive mountain ranges – high and majestic Alps, which occupy almost half of its area. In this article we present the most beautiful cities of Switzerland, a visit to which will be remembered for a lifetime.

1. Geneva

The most beautiful cities in Switzerland

Let’s start our review of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland with Geneva. The second-largest city in the country, spread out in the south-west of the country, near the border with France, on the shores of the legendary Lake Geneva. The splendid fountain Geo-Do is considered the visit card and the pride of Geneva. The water jets of this grandiose creation soar to a height of 140 meters, sparkling in the sun with all the colors of the rainbow. You can watch this beauty from anywhere in the city.

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Another attraction is the Flower Clock, located in the exquisite English park. On a massive 5-meter dial the time of day is shown not only by the hands of the clock, but also by the plants themselves, which bloom one by one throughout the day. The florists keep an eye on them constantly, renewing the beds at night. Plant lovers will appreciate the botanical garden of Geneva, with its 12 thousand species of plants, collected from all over the world, several orangeries, comfortable pavilions and a surprising zoo with pink flamingos.

2. Zurich .

Beautiful cities in Switzerland

This city, situated on the shores of a lake in a picturesque valley surrounded by mountain peaks, is the largest in Switzerland. The architectural face of Zurich has developed over many centuries, and some old medieval mansions built in the XI century. The Gothic-Romanesque Grossmünster and Fraumuenster Cathedrals and St. Peter’s Church, with its enormous clock tower, stand majestically above the historic city. Not far from Großmünster is the Baroque town hall. Its interiors are splendid and luxurious, reminiscent of a palace.

Natural landmark of Zurich is Utliberg mountain, which reaches a height of 870 meters above sea level. From its top you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city, the lake and the Alpine valleys. An unusual attraction is the Chinese garden. Against the background of Swiss nature this unique corner of the East looks especially bright and spicy. All these places make Zurich one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland!

3. Lucerne

Another beautiful fairytale town, a real gem of Switzerland in the northeast of the country, on the shores of Lake Lucerne. The city’s architecture, reminiscent of a fairy-tale gingerbread town, with its old painted houses, wooden bridges, medieval churches, and massive fortress wall, makes an indelible impression. The splendid baroque 17th century Lutheran church and the beautiful Hofkirche with its enormous organ deserve particular attention.

A magnificent example of the highest sculptural skill is the monument “Dying Lion”, carved in the wall surrounded by an artificial reservoir, an outstanding work by Danish sculptor Trwaldsen. Among the natural attractions Lucerne symbol of Switzerland – Lake Lucerne (Firwaldstätzte) with a turquoise shade of water, formed on the site of an ancient glacier and consists of four, divided by straits basins.

4. Fribourg

The beautiful town of Fribourg is situated in the western part of Switzerland. It is endowed with an ineffable atmosphere. In the old quarters of the city the traveler does not leave the feeling that he has found himself in the Middle Ages – so well preserved the appearance of the city. The patron saints of Fribourg are St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, in whose name the city’s Cathedral is erected. This temple belongs to the Catholic Church. Its main decoration are the stained-glass windows and the ascent to the tower, the height of which is 76 meters.

You can enjoy fascinating views of the city from the observation deck on the Alpine Road as well as from two bridges – the Middle Bridge (Millau) and the Bridge of Bern. Among other attractions the town hall of the early sixteenth century with its beautiful covered porch and the clock tower attracts special attention.

5. Bern

Beautiful cities in Switzerland

In the valley of the river Aare, north of the Alps, lies the wonderful Swiss city of Bern. It is a typical medieval city with old narrow streets, frozen in XIII-XIV centuries, majestic castles and romantic atmosphere of the Middle Ages. Bern’s symbol and everyone’s favorite is the bear, whose image is adorned by the city clock.

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Bern has many magnificent palaces and churches, beautiful gardens and parks, museums and galleries. The old part of the city is virtually untouched by time. Among its highlights are Bern Cathedral, built in late Gothic style, the Clock Tower and eleven beautiful fountains, decorated with allegorical figures of the Renaissance. To the south of Bern rises Mount Gurten, from whose height you can admire a stunning view of the entire city with a chain of Alpine mountains.

6. Lausanne

This city, which lies on the shores of Lake Geneva, is famous for the amazing nature of the mountainous Alps and its interesting sights. The most striking of them – Paloux Square in the city center. Here you can see many old buildings with unusual facades, a beautiful fountain, spectacularly decorated with a statue of the goddess of justice, as well as the City Hall, the first floor of which is decorated with an exquisite arcaded gallery.

At the top of the hill stands the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, the most beautiful Gothic structure in Switzerland. One of its towers offers a stunning panorama of the surrounding countryside. One of the most romantic places in Lausanne is the promenade of the Uschi with the castle of the same name on it. The lake shrouded in a mysterious blue haze, the port, the whitewashed yachts and the shrill cries of the seagulls attract not only the citizens but also many tourists.

7. Stein am Rhein

One of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland, located on the Rhine River. Its main highlight are the painted facades of buildings with a variety of subjects, half-timbered houses and bay windows. Most of the buildings in this small town can be considered a work of art. Each of them has its own history and unique architectural features. Many houses have names, depending on the artistic paintings or figurines that adorn them. For example, “By the white eagle”, “By the pelican. Status of the most famous building of the city has a town hall, built in the middle of the XVI century on Town Hall Square. There is also a fountain Stadtbrunnen with a statue of a Stein warrior, established in the 16th century.

8. Basel

A very beautiful city in northern Switzerland, spread out on the banks of the Rhine River. Basel is justly called the cultural center of the country. There is a huge number of historical and cultural sites, so the city is of great interest to fans of architecture and museums fans. One of the most beautiful and brightest sights of the city is the Spalentor Gate, consisting of two side round towers, reaching 28 meters in height, and a beautiful central tower with a bright pyramid-shaped roof. Another interesting tourist attraction in Basel is the town hall of rich cherry color, which was built in the early 16th century and stands out for its brilliance and richness of decorations. It ranks among the most beautiful buildings in Europe. On the Old Town Square stands Münster Cathedral with its towering spires, one of the most beautiful in the country.

9. Lugano

The Most Beautiful City of Switzerland

The city is situated near the Italian border on the shore of the beautiful Lugano Lake, between two high mountains. One of its main attractions is the Cathedral of St. Lorenzo with a majestic bell tower, decorated with a large number of frescoes and sculptures. Another attraction is the central square of Lugano, built in the Italian style – the Reforma Square. On its perimeter there are low old buildings. Here is also the city administration building, the facade of which is decorated with four allegorical sculptures.

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Residents and numerous guests of the city are fascinated by the most beautiful promenade of Lugano. Near the lake stretches one of the most beautiful parks of Switzerland – Parco Civico Cianis with a magnificent carved gate, which serves as a symbol of the door to Italy, which lies on the opposite bank, and a lot of flowering exotic plants.

10. Montreux

Montreux is an amazingly beautiful city in the southern part of Switzerland, called the Swiss Riviera. It is surrounded on one side by a chain of majestic Alps and on the other by Lake Geneva. This romantic place is often visited by famous actors, singers and other celebrities. There are many bright and colorful festivals. Especially popular with guests enjoy a beautiful promenade with flower beds, benches and cozy cafes, where famous sculptors and artists often hold exhibitions of their works. On the coast of Geneva Montreux grows a real botanical garden, with more than 400 species of plants.

The fullest view of the city and its surroundings can be obtained from the top of the Rocher de Ne, which offers a stunning panorama of the lake, the Valais and the chain of Alpine mountains. The road from the city to the Rocher de Naye runs over an ancient crenellated bridge, starting at the foot of the mountain and ending at its top. Up the mountain a special tourist carriage, which will take tourists to the most interesting places and allow to admire the dizzying beauty of the views.

11. Gruyere

Beautiful cities in Switzerland

Gruyere is one of the most beautiful small towns in Switzerland. It stands out with its medieval image and is a tiny town in one street with old houses, above which on a high hill above the castle, built in the XI century. Next to the castle laid out a French garden.

This city looks like a picture out of a book. The atmosphere and scenery of Gruyere is fascinating. A local mountain lake is one of the most picturesque in Switzerland. On the shores of this crystal-clear body of water, herds of cows graze. The cows give excellent selected milk, which is later used to produce cheeses and delicious desserts. The traditional Swiss Gruyere cheese is renowned worldwide for its quality and taste.

Schaffhausen

The most beautiful cities in Switzerland

The most northern city in the country, lying in the upper reaches of the Rhine, between the beautiful Lake Constance and the mysterious Black Forest. It is well known in the world because of the famous Rhine Falls, located near the city, and the factory “IWC Schaffhausen”, engaged in production of luxury Swiss watches. The “highlight” of this small town are the bay windows, decorated with original sculptures and other exquisite elements of decor, of which there are more than 170. Each of them can be safely regarded as a work of architectural art.

The facades of the city buildings, artistically painted with frescoes, are particularly beautiful and bright. The most famous one was the “Knight’s House”, built at the end of the XV century. It became famous thanks to the unique frescoes that cover its walls. Another Schaffhausen attraction is the 16th century fortress Munot. From her powerful toothed walls offers a picturesque panorama of the surrounding scenery.

Also among the most beautiful cities in Switzerland are Winterthur, Biel, Locarno, Solothurn, Bellinzona, Sion, Thun.

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