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The cities of Switzerland


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Federal Palace Bern

The Federal Palace in Bern is the seat of the Swiss Parliament.

Why would you visit the cities in Switzerland?

The cities offer a lot of variety because of the many cultures and languages in Switzerland. Most Swiss cities have a well preserved historical center and are small enough to explore on foot. Often, there are great views of the mountains, a lake or a river.

A city walk is the best way to explore

A city walk allows you to get to know a Swiss city within a few hours. Highly recommended self guided walks:

Short walks in smaller towns:

You'll find guided city tours and packages here.

Our top historical Swiss town centers

Nearly all city centers in Switzerland are worth a visit. If we had to choose though, this would be our top 5 (in random order!):

  • Basel: a varied picturesque city center, plus great views from the river Rhine boulevard.
  • Bern: packed with history, and the river Aare winding around the center makes it very special.
  • Lucerne: a medieval city wall, a historical town center crossed by the river Reuss, plus a long lakefront with great views.
  • Geneva: a relatively small historical city center, beautifully located on a hill, and with Lake Geneva and it's famous fountain always nearby.
  • Zurich: river and lake views, a wonderful city center and various options for city views from the surrounding hills.

Other activities in the Swiss cities

  • Shopping for watches, chocolate and much more.
  • Museums (see our city pages for suggestions).
  • A lakeside stroll and boat trip.
  • Nearly all Swiss cities have one or more places with great views of the city, the mountains or a lake. This can be a terrace on a hill, a castle or a cable car up to a mountain top. Be sure not to miss the best views, and visit our city pages and city walk suggestions for details for eacy city.
  • In November and December you can visit Christmas markets in many cities in Switzerland.

Cities on the Swiss lakes

All of these cities have a boulevard for a relaxed stroll along the lake:

Cities on a river

A historical city center with river views can be found here:

BROWSE THE SWISS CITIES

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Lucerne

Lucerne is ideal for first time visitors. It's compact and lively, and close to many attractions for both good and bad weather.

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Zurich

Plenty of museums, luxury shopping in the Bahnhofstrasse and a lively town center with a wide choice of restaurants.

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Geneva

Lakeside cosmopolitan city, base of the UN and CERN.

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Lugano

The city of Lugano is sitting on a lake in a very scenic area in southern Switzerland. Lugano is well connected to the entire region by trains, buses and boats.

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Montreux

Enjoy the Swiss Riviera, the best of gastronomy, music and nightlife.

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Bern

The historical world heritage town center of Bern is well worth a visit.

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Basel

Modern city with a historical town center and many interesting museums.

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Lausanne

The Olympic city of Lausanne is one of the largest cities in Switzerland. The pretty historical town center sits on a hill, so there are lots of views on Lake Geneva and the mountains.

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Thun

The Bernese Oberland begins in Thun. It's an atmospheric town on the lake and a perfect base for all kinds of day trips.

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