Things to do in Switzerland
Basel - see imposing Munster Cathedral
The doors at Munster Cathedral in Basel are magnificent and have to be seen to be believed. So to are the views from the top of either of the 2 towers that reach up above the surrounding buildings. This is not an easy climb due to the age of the building. The interior of the cathedral is full of engravings and carvings as well as stained glass windows and catacombs. The cathedral is open every day and is free of charge.
Basel - vist the gardens and animal section od Basel Zoologischer Gartens
Basel Zoo is an oasis of fun, and is set in the middle of the city. It hosts a range of wild animals from all around the world. Of special interest to kids is the children’s zoo where they can get up close to many of the animals. Only domestic animals from different countries are used and after a day helping cleaning out and feeding there is an opportunity sometimes to take one for a walk. The zoo is open daily.
Bern - visit the Einstein Museum
Some of the world’s greatest scientific ideas started their life whilst Albert Einstein was living in Bern. Although here for only 2 years the building is still of great importance and is well worth an hour to look around the apartment and see the conditions he lived under. Renovation work is continuously taking place so check for opening times. Guided tours are available but must be booked 5 days in advance.
Bern - wander the Rose Garden and its impressive views
Rose lovers flock to the Rose Garden in Berne to see over 220 varieties of roses as well as 200 types of iris. The gardens have been open to the public since 1913. As the garden is located on the top of the hill over looking the city it is a great place to take in views of the city. A favorite pastime of locals is taking coffee in the restaurant in the garden and looking over the city.
Geneva - view the Jet d'Eau Fountain at Lake Geneva
There has been a Jet d’Eau in Geneva since 1886 but the current fountain was installed in 1951 and is still one of the largest in the world. Water leaves the nozzles at 200km per hour and can reach heights of 140m. The jet is so high it can be seen from all around the city as well as from planes coming in to land at the airport. Go out to the jetty for a better look but watch out for wind changes. Also a great place to visit at night when the fountain is floodlit.
Geneva - visit the CERN the European Organization for Nuclear Research
If you want to know the secrets of the universe you need to visit CERN, home of the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. Guided tours are free of charge and are available Mondays to Saturdays lasting about half a day. They are available in several languages but need to be booked in advance. Different parts of the laboratory are visited each time depending on what experiments are taking place at the time. Alternatively just visit the 2 permanent exhibitions to learn more about the universe.
Interlaken - go hang gliding
Possibly the best way to see Interlaken and its countryside is suspended under a hang glider alongside your pilot. The trip lasts around 20 minutes and can be tailored to meet your needs with a smooth ride for the faint hearted or aerobatics for the brave. This is one of the highest commercial take-off sites in the world and provides possibly some of the best views in Switzerland.
Lucerne - take a boat trip and Cogwheel train to Mount Pilatus
The ride to the top of Mount Pilatus is nearly as spectacular as the views you get when reaching the summit. During the summer it is possible to take a boat across Lake Lucerne and travel up to the summit on the world’s steepest cog railway. There is over 4.5km of track and the journey takes around 30 minutes so plenty of time to take photos. The original railway opened in 1889 as steam and was electrified in 1937.
Zurich - relive childhood memories at the Zurich Toy Museum
The toy museum in Zurich is only small but hosts a fine collection of dolls and toys from the 18th to 20th century. The museum opened in 1896 and now has over 20 rooms of exhibits and there is an opportunity to play with some of the games and exhibits. This is an excellent place to visit for children and adults alike, it is only open in the afternoon and closed on Sundays and bank holidays.
Zurich - view the Rhine Falls and walking along the Rhine River
The walk from the nearest train station takes about an hour and sets the scene for the Rhine Falls, which are sited just outside Zurich. The largest falls in Europe at 150m wide and 23m high, it has an observation platform , built in 2010 which offers wonderful views. The best views however are from one of the boats that cruise around the base of the waterfall. Once you have finished visiting the falls try taking a relaxing walk along the Rhine River.
Introduction to Switzerland
The little country of Switzerland owes its fame as a visitor destination to its plethora of ski resorts, large and small, but has much to see and do in the warmer months of the year. Geographically, it is one of the most stunning spots in the world, with the snowy and stark massifs of the Swiss Alps rearing over the central plateau's plains, rolling hills and magnificent lakes. Its three sectors are home to Swiss-German peoples, laissez-faire French speakers and laid-back Italian Alpine dwellers. This unique mix of cultures set in a small region gives the country its fascinating flavour and ambiance. Must-sees here include: beautiful Lake Geneva; the Eiger and Matterhorn massifs; the majestic Jura Mountains and Bernese Alps; historic Zurich, the country's largest city; beautiful Berne, its capital and home to a quaint Old Town; and Geneva, the cultural hub. Ecotourists and winter sports fans are in heaven here, with everything from diverse, protected eco-systems to white-water rafting, canyoning, climbing and skydiving. Switzerland hotels, although not cheap, welcome travellers from across the planet and provide clean, comfortable accommodation even in tiny mountain villages.