Vast open skies, rolling hills of green, castles steeped in ancient history, snow-capped mountains so high they look as though they could pierce the heavens. When was the last time any of us got to experience that for ourselves?
As home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, a sightseeing road trip across Switzerland would be the most perfect way to settle that extreme wanderlust. Now that quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Switzerland is available, we can!
1. Bern Cathedral
The Bern Cathedral, or The Münster of Bern, is the tallest Cathedral in Switzerland and one of the country’s Cultural Property of National Significance.
Its most outstanding attraction is its main portal — where 47 large free-standing statues and 170 smaller figures depict the Last Judgement from the Bible. If that sounds familiar, you might be thinking of the painting by Renaissance painter Michelangelo in Vatican City. While their subject is the same, the statues in Bern Cathedral are considered the best depiction of the story in all of Europe.
After snapping pictures of the statues, don’t forget the climb to the steeple, where you’ll be blessed with the magnificent view overlooking the city and the snow-covered mountains of the Bernese Oberland.
Do take note of the time when you do though, as you’ll be right next to the largest church bell (it’s a whopping 10 tonnes!) up there. Let’s just say it won’t be quiet when the clock strikes 6 pm.
Address: Münsterpl. 1, 3000 Bern
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday — 10:00am to 5:00pm, Sunday — 11:30am to 5:00pm
Getting there: Take bus 12 from Bern station to Rathaus and walk to the Cathedral.
This lake looks so impossibly blue, you probably won’t believe it unless you see it for yourself. Legend has it that the lake got its colour from a beautiful maiden who died of a broken heart. While we now know the water comes from deep within the subterranean springs, that doesn’t make the lake any less magical.
Travel guides have lauded Blausee as a “jewel of a landscape immersed in magical forest solitude” and if that isn’t enough of a reason to put a trip to Blausee on your bucket list, we’re not sure what will.
There’s also a hotel with a spa just by the banks of the lake if you’d like to stay to get some shots during the golden hour or at night.
Address: Blausee Naturpark, 3717 Blausee, Switzerland
Opening hours: 9:00am to 9:00pm
Getting there: Take a train from the Interlaken to Kandersteg. From there, a bus will take you directly to the entrance of Lake Blausee.
3. Chillon Castle
Located off the banks of Lake Geneva is one of Europe’s most well-preserved medieval castles and also Switzerland’s most visited historical site: Chillon Castle.
Before you run out of memory space from taking photos of the castle exterior (its medieval frescos overlooking Lake Geneva is truly something else), save some bandwidth and time for a trip inside the castle too. Once inside, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported back in time — paintings dating back to the 14th-century line the walls of the castle, while the vaults, parade halls and bedroom have been preserved in their original form from the time of the Bernese rule.
As an added bonus, you can also get really impressive shots of the Swiss Alps from the castle balconies. As with most places, come by during golden hour for the best lighting.
Address: Av. de Chillon 21, 1820 Veytaux
Opening hours: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Getting there: Take a scenic boat ride from Montreux, Lausanne or Villeneuve. The path from the boat dock takes you straight to the castle.
4. Zentrum Paul Klee
Switzerland might be known for its historical architecture, but they’ve got some stunning modern buildings too!
The iconic Zentrum Paul Klee was designed by Italian star architect Renzo Piano (the same guy who designed The Shard in London) and holds a collection of Paul Klee’s masterpieces.
The geometrical lines of the wave-shaped steel and glass structure of the building create an interesting dichotomy with the surrounding greenery — it blends in, yet stands out with how it “grows” right out of the grassy field. Regardless of whether you’re taking photos of the building from inside it or from the outside, it’s a wondrous sight to behold.
Planning your trip and looking for an educational vacation spot for your family? Zentrum Paul Klee is also a great place to go if you're visiting Switzerland with kids. From interactive exhibits to creative workshops, there's something for everyone at Zentrum Paul Klee.
Address: Monument im Fruchtland 3, 3000 Bern
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday — 10:00am to 5:00pm
Getting there: The Zentrum Paul Klee is the final stop along Bus 12’s route. Alternatively, tram no.7’s final stop is near the south entrance of the museum. Both are available within the town of Schaffhausen.
Located right in the heart of the Swiss Alps, yet with skies and fields so open and wide — that’s Kandersteg for you.
It’s a popular tourist attraction that has retained its traditional cottage-core vibe thanks to the wooden village houses dotting the landscape. Coupled with Alpine meadows in the background, it feels as though you’re on the set of Heidi.
And if you thought it looked stunning in the summer, when the hills are alive with fauna and flora, wait till winter. With a thick layer of glistening powdery snow, the area transforms into a winter wonderland filled with enthusiastic skiers. Can’t decide between taking photos of Kandersteg in summer or winter? Guess that just means two getaway trips to Switzerland.
Address: Kandersteg 3718 Switzerland
Getting there: Kandersteg station is accessible via train from any major airport.
6. Äscher Guesthouse and the Seealpsee Lake
We’re not sure what’s more amazing; the breathtaking Alpstein region or the fact that there’s an inn precariously tucked under a massive rock outcrop. Either way, you’re sure to get some amazing shots to show off to your friends.
The steep rock slabs surrounding the Säntis mountain are impressive as they are, but they look even more majestic from the Seealpsee Lake. It’s a tough hike from Wasserauen railway station all the way past Seealpsee Lake to Äscher Guesthouse, but the beautiful mountainous scenery is definitely worth working up a sweat.
In rural spots like this, connection may not be good. Consider staying connected with a Wi-Fi device from Changi Recommends.
You’ll probably be worn out after that hike and taking photos for the ‘gram. Fret not, there’s a cable car that’ll take you back down to Wasserauen railway station in minutes.
Address: Äscher, 9057 Schwende
Opening hours: 7:30am to 11:00pm
Getting there: Take the train to the Wasserauen railway station from Zurich HB, then hike along the path till you reach the guesthouse.
7. Matterhorn Mountain
Can you truly say you’ve been to Switzerland if you haven’t snapped photos of the famed Matterhorn Mountain to prove it? The pyramid-shaped mountain is one of the most photographed mountains in the Swiss Alps and in the world, so it goes without saying that it should be on your bucket list too.
Considering its fame, there’ll be plenty of other like-minded tourists hoping to grab a shot of the mountains too. For the best views (and the smallest crowd), we’d recommend taking a train to Rotebboden station and walking down to Riffelsee lake. Here, the Matterhorn Mountain is reflected on the calm surface of the lake, which makes for a great photo op.
The best time to get the perfect shot is during sunrise, so make sure to make your way there beforehand.
Address: 3920 Zermatt
Getting there: Take the train from Zermatt to Rotenbboden station. A short 10-minute walk along a trail labelled “Riffelsee Hiking Path” will bring you right to the lake itself.
8. Verzasca Valley
Hidden on the Southern side of the Swiss Alps are numerous valleys running through the Italian side of Switzerland, and most stunning of all is Verzasca Valley.
The untamed alpine rivers are an extraordinary feast for the eyes. Ridiculously clear, as green as jade and surrounded by nature, it’s almost impossible to believe the area doesn’t see throngs of tourists.
Don’t forget to grab photos of the double arches of the Ponte dei Salti bridge stretching over the river! After snapping more photos than your memory card can store, you’ll find some natural jacuzzis around the river trail waiting for you to soak and relax in.
Address: Oviga 9, 6633 Lavertezzo
Getting there: The best way to get there is by taking the train to Tenero, which can be taken from anywhere along the Swiss Federal Railways, then a bus to Lavertesso.
Things to note while travelling overseas to Switzerland
Travellers are advised to download the Swiss Travel Admin App on their smartphones to allow the relevant Swiss embassy to contact them in an emergency.
All persons are required to keep their masks on when in public indoor spaces as well as in enclosed areas. They are also required to socially distance themselves.
A Covid-19 pass is mandatory for all persons who wish to enter restaurants and indoor spaces. Vaccination certificates issued in Singapore can be converted into a Swiss Covid-19 certificate online.
While Singapore has plenty of Instagram-worthy photo spots, you definitely won’t be able to find sights like these on our sunny shores.
Travelling is a great way to experience new cultures and see beautiful sights overseas. If you're looking for a luxurious travel destination that offers stunning natural scenery and historic charm, look no further than Switzerland.
As the country is so big, remember to do some route planning, lest you get lost. Don’t forget to check out some of the cool things to do in Switzerland while planning your routes and itinerary as well!
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Best time to visit
Winter in Zurich, Switzerland, starts from December to March, and temperatures will go as low as -1ºC and as high as 6ºC.
The official currency of Zurich, Switzerland, is the Swiss Franc (CHF).