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Geneva - View from the cathedral over the town and the lake basin with the famous water jet

Panoramic view of Bern, showing the cathedral and the snow covered Alps

Panoramic view of the city of Lausanne

Zurich - View of the Old Town, taking in Lake Zuerich and the Alpine panorama

Early morning in Basel

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Combine your Swiss countryside vacation with exciting city impressions in Switzerland


When thinking of Switzerland, pictures of snow-topped mountains, fantastic ski resorts, blooming meadows with cows, Heidi, cheese and watches come to mind. That’s the stereotypical picture of Switzerland. But you’ll be surprised how much more there is to see and to explore; especially in regard to the Swiss cities such as Zurich, Bern, Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Lucerne. They are the perfect destinations to complement your countryside vacation with beautiful city impressions and top cultural activities.


Swiss cities are rather small - Zurich for instance, Switzerland’s largest city, has less than half a million inhabitants. And Bern, the country’s capital, is smaller in size and population compared to Zurich. However, Swiss cities are modern and full of contrasts. On the one hand, there is modern architecture, vibrant cultural life, traffic, multiculturalism and bustle. On the other hand, most Swiss cities have well-preserved Old Towns with beautiful medieval and renaissance architecture, arcades, churches, fountains, historic market places and gorgeous house fronts. What is best and unique about Swiss city life, you are never far from the mountains and forests. Within minutes, you can indulge in a fantastic landscape and outdoor activities.


In addition to the small picturesque towns in Ticino, with their Mediterranean flair, or Davos, located in the mountainous valleys of Graubuenden, make sure to visit the Swiss “metropolises”. Zurich is the financial centre of the country, a university town and Switzerland’s lifestyle capital with a unique mix of culture with its countless museums, art galleries and architecture. Even though the actual capital Bern is much smaller than Zurich, it is just as fascinating and worth a visit. Bern is known for its medieval city centre, beautiful park resources and a vibrant cultural life. The fact that the Swiss capital ranks among the world’s top ten cities in regard to having the best quality of life, gives you an idea of how special it is. Geneva, lovingly called “the world’s smallest metropolis”, is a major centre of international diplomacy. Geneva welcomes you to stroll through the cobbled streets, relax at the lakeside promenades, or enjoy a cruise on Lake Geneva. And Lausanne, known as the Olympic capital of the world, combines a mix of a soothing holiday feeling and dynamic commercial energy. Of course, there is also a picturesque Old Town, consisting of small alleyways and steep streets - perfect to stroll around and experience the unique city atmosphere.


This is just a glimpse at the many sides of Swiss cities. To find out more about the Swiss cities and their sights and distinctions, check out the individual pages for each city.


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