Are you searching for the best small towns in Switzerland to add to your bucket list? We’ve got you covered!
From gorgeous mountain villages to small towns near large cities, these are places you’ll want to put on your Switzerland itinerary!
Did we miss any of the best Switzerland small towns and villages? Let us know in the comments!
Best Small Towns in Switzerland (+ Villages!)
Spiez is an opulent town that is untarnished by urbanization, located in the center of Switzerland along Lake Thun.
Visit the Spiez Museum, which, from the 13th to the 15th centuries, served as the site of all royal ceremonies. It consists of a Baroque banquet room, a home and courtroom, and a Renaissance room with wood paneling.
Spiez Vineyard Sensory Adventure trail is a wine route that reveals the art of winemaking and has its home in the Spiez area’s mountains.
This one-hour walking track is an excellent place for adventure seekers to test their level of fitness. With the 12 information boards positioned at specific intervals, one may learn about each step of the winemaking process.
Explore the Lake Thun Canoe Route, which offers the ideal fusion of nature and excitement. From May through September, the southern shore of Lake Thun is at its most beautiful. Canoeing is another activity available here.
Gimmelwald’s main thoroughfare is bordered by farms, cowbells, farm animals, and overflowing flower boxes. Every part of Gimmelwald is charming, with sweeping vistas of the Alps from every angle.
Visit the Honesty Shop, which is managed by Pension Gimmelwald. It is, without a doubt, the most well-known landmark in Gimmelwald.
The Honesty Store operates completely on the honor of its customers to manage their own purchases. It is unmanned and has no cameras, workers, or cash registers.
Even though Switzerland’s Honesty Store is without a doubt the most well-known example, it’s not the only one.
A few other farms in the area have stocked refrigerators with cheese, sausage, and other locally produced goods that are definitely worth exploring.
Gimmelwald has a fairly limited selection of eateries, but with selections like these, you only need a few possibilities.
Pizza, brunch, fondue, and other meals are available at Mountain Hostel on their patio and on a covered terrace with views of the Alps.
The next-door Pension Gimmelwald has a lovely patio where they serve their full meal.
Gruyères, a medieval town, is a little place. You can walk from one end of the town’s main street to the other in only a few minutes because it is only 300 meters long.
This cobblestone strip is lined with inns, cafes, galleries, and restaurants. It is a lovely stroll, made lovely by the vistas of the mountains and hills that surround Gruyères.
The historic Gruyères Castle is situated at the highest point in the city. One of Switzerland’s most renowned castles, it dates back to the 13th century.
Beautiful stained-glass windows and breathtaking vistas may be found inside the castle.
You can visit a small part of medieval walls by walking along The Ramparts. They are located close to the town’s main entrance.
The walls are modest, exactly like the village of Gruyères, but they are open to the public, enjoyable to explore, and only need a short amount of time.
See the Santa Maria del Sasso Church, which is Morocote’s top tourist destination. You won’t have to climb the 404 steps to get to the church if you hike down the San Salvatore, which is a pleasant discovery.
You can simply descend to the church. This is definitely one of the best day trips from Lugano for active travelers!
Little signs pointing you up to “The Swing” can be found along the journey. It provides lovely vistas of the community.
You can get a great view of Lake Lugano by strolling along the Promenade of Marcote. Along the Promenade, there are other historical structures from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The structures, which belonged to royals, have been repaired.
Visit the Scherrer Garden, which has an Italian feel as well. Built in 1930, the “Garden of Wonders” has more than 15,000 square meters.
This is Italy at its finest, as seen by the statues, the artwork, and the architecture.
Lauterbrunnen is one of Switzerland’s most famous traditional mountain towns.
There is undoubtedly no lovelier village in Switzerland than this one, which is dotted with chalet-style homes and flanked by verdant fields and high, snow-capped mountains.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you arrive in the settlement is the enormous granite faces that surround it.
The Lauterbrunnen waterfalls are an actual feature of the community and a stand-alone tourist destination.
The highest free-falling waterfall in Europe is the Staubbach waterfall, which is located directly at the end of the main street.
From June through October, the Staubbach Waterfall walkway and viewing area are accessible. In the peak season, they are lit up every night.
The swimming pool and the mini-golf course are two of the most well-liked summertime activities in Lauterbrunnen if you’re wondering what to do there away from the main street.
Tennis courts and the Talmuseum, a museum that displays historical and cultural items from the Lauterbrunnen Valley, are located nearby.
6. Stein am Rhein
Explore the old town and cross the Rheinbrücke Bridge to reach the other side of the city.
On one side of the bridge sits Stein am Rhein’s historic old town, which features vibrant half-timbered homes covered in vibrant Fresco paintings.
It serves as a jumping-off place for local swimmers who jump off bridges and swim down the Rhine River in inflatable boats and floating pool noodles.
Visit the Museum Kloster Sankt Georgen, which features a sizable collection of beautiful Renaissance frescoes and historical objects devoted to Roman history, to enter the Medieval era.
At St. George’s Abbey, Travel Through Time. The St. George’s Abbey is a tiny monastery honoring Stein am Rhein’s history and architecture, located close to the museum and with a view of the Rheinbrücke Bridge.
The structure has nothing of other well-known cathedrals or basilicas around the world.
Andermatt is a skier’s paradise. The village has many ski lifts that are accessible on foot from the village center and is adjacent to several tall mountains.
Due to its wide variety of black and red ski courses, Gemsstock is the most well-liked resort among experienced skiers.
The bottom station of the Gurschen Gemsstock ski lift is conveniently located near Andermatt’s main camping areas, making it simple to access from the village’s core.
If skiing isn’t your thing, you can see a lot of Andermatt on foot.
The community has over 70 kilometers of trails that are passable even in the winter, and it is well renowned for its great winter hiking prospects. In the winter, trips to Nätschen are quite popular.
The best way to avoid the crowds on Andermatt’s ski slopes and winter walking trails is to go snowshoeing. Both straightforward and difficult trails may be found throughout the village, and they are all clearly marked.
Visit the Harder Kulm mountain, which is located above Interlaken and provides breathtaking panoramic views of Interlaken and its surrounding lakes.
Either a funicular near the Interlaken Ost station or a brief hiking trek makes it simple to reach the peak.
For anyone looking for an adrenaline rush, Interlaken, a town famed for its adventures, is the ideal location in Switzerland.
Due to the town’s location between two lakes and its mountainous surroundings, there are numerous enjoyable outdoor activities that adventurers can partake in.
Interlaken offers recreational activities like skydiving, kayaking, bungee jumping, and even cross-country skiing.
Furthermore, because of the bizarre tint its glacial waters have given it, Lake Brienz is frequently referred to as Switzerland’s turquoise gem.
The lake can be explored by boat (or kayak!) as well as on many of the trails that run alongside its beaches. From vantage points above Interlaken or from one of the many lidos, you may also take in its splendor.
Take the gondola from Grindelwald to an unassuming peak on the Schwarzhorn, where an adventure awaits. The First Cliff Walk is something that will appeal to anyone who like heights.
This footbridge is made of metal and extends 45 meters over a sheer drop while hugging the cliff’s edge.
The views of the distant lakes, waterfall, Alpine pastures, summits, and sheer rocky slopes are truly breathtaking.
The Eiger trail is a six-kilometer route that takes you directly to the base of the Eiger’s north face.
Since the 1930s, climbers have utilized this route to begin their arduous ascents of the 1,600-meter-high concave slab of rock.
Visit Jungfraujoch, a destination that offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience that can only be found in the Alps.
You can take the train to Kleine Scheidegg from Grindelwald Grund and change there for the highest railway in the world. You’ll soon reach the 3,454-meter-high Jungfraujoch saddle.
Located on the northern side of Lake Geneva, Lutry is a beautiful village. It is about 5 km east of Lausanne. The community boasts spectacular greenery because it is located at the base of the Jorat highlands, which are heavily forested.
Lutry, a medieval settlement, has a portion of the Lavaux wine-growing region in the west.
The old patrician homes from the 15th to the 18th century are registered as historical monuments, and visitors can stroll through the old town’s winding streets.
On the western outskirts of the town are the remains of the 13th-century Tour du Bourg-Neuf, which can be visited by those with an interest in history.
Furthermore, there is also a 14th-century castle available to view located on the northeast edge of the old town.
Above the northwest shore of Lake Neuchâtel, in the middle of a tranquil vineyard, is where you’ll find Auvernier. West of the village is where you’ll find the Auvernier Castle vineyard.
The wine made from this vineyard is exceptional because of its ideal exposure to the sun on a hill that tilts slightly towards the northeast.
The same family has possessed the castle, which is surrounded by two little towers, since 1603. In its 17th generation, the current owner is carrying on the 400-year-old history of making wine at the castle.
By scheduling tours of the wine cellar and tasting sessions in advance, visitors can obtain insight into this rich tradition.
After strolling around the old city, visit the “Restaurant Du Paission” for some tasty meals. The restaurant is listed in the Michelin Guide and offers unpretentious cuisine.
Gornergrat, which is a must-see while in Zermatt, is at 3,089 meters above sea level. It has been a popular vacation destination in Switzerland since 1898. The sunny observation platform is open all year round.
The world’s first completely electrified cog railway was the Gornergrat Bahn.
Visitors can travel directly from Zermatt station (1,620 m) to the summit of the Gornergrat on Europe’s highest open-air cog train 365 days per year.
The route requires a 1,469 m vertical climb and lasts 33 minutes.
Europe’s highest hotel, the 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat, is located at the summit station on the Gornergrat. A café, an astronomy observatory, and lovely stores are available.
The Rothorn is another popular site (3,103 m) that offers a panoramic perspective of the Valais Alps’ tallest peaks. It is a well-liked starting point for a number of challenging walks in the summer.
A visit to Mount Eggli is among the easiest and most enjoyable things to do in Gstaad.
Mount Eggli, which is 1,557 meters above sea level, is reachable by cable car, so you may take in the panorama of the snow-covered mountains even while you go there.
One benefit of Gstaad and Switzerland is the variety of methods to take in the breathtaking surroundings. The best excursion out of all of them is probably a ride on an old train.
Everyone enjoys the GoldenPass Belle Époque train excursion because of its unique charm.
The Mirage Gstaad, sometimes referred to as the Mirror House, is another intriguing location to check out. It is a sculpture installation in Gstaad and was made by the artist Doug Aitken.
This sculpture, which resembles a full-sized house, stands out since it is entirely made of mirrors.
Wengen village has a lot of picturesque vantage spots that are close to the city and easy to get to. Superb views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Swiss Alps may be had from Wengen.
Hikers can spend many hours ascending a trail that is sporadically signposted and typically ascends a persistently steep slope of the Bernese Alps while hiking in Switzerland.
With breathtaking vistas and a strong sense of success, the hikes to Kleine Scheidegg (2 hours), Eigergletscher (3.5 hours), or Maanlichen (2.5 hours) are all well worth it.
Mountain karts are available in the summer to ride down the mountain from Maanlichen to Grindelwald. They are a fun way to travel through the countryside and resemble a turbo tricycle with excellent breaks.
The route is roughly 10km long and costs 19 CHF. The time required varies based on your speed.
Wander around the Piazza Grande, which is regarded as the center of Locarno’s historic district.
The charming main square of Locarno is situated on a lovely cobblestone path that was constructed in 1825 using river stones.
The Lombard architectural design and the vibrant building facades beckon you to explore and let the town enchant you.
If you’re in the mood for an Italian supper with Swiss friendliness, the surrounding eateries are the best option.
The 10-day Locarno Film Festival takes place in August during the sweltering summer months. It has developed into a significant custom that attracts movie buffs from all over the world and from the Switzerland region.
Only a short stroll separates the magnificent Visconteo Castle from the Piazza Grande. The oldest elements of this municipal and archaeological museum date to the late 12th or early 13th century.
A portion of this castle, often referred to as Leonardo’s Rivellino is a Renaissance stronghold that Leonardo da Vinci planned and constructed in the 16th century and is still standing today.
A little lake called Lac du Mont d’Orge is encircled by a beautiful natural landscape. It is situated over Sion. The remnants of old castles tower over this lake, which was developed in the late 19th century.
You may enjoy the breathtaking view of the Rhone Valley while strolling around the Lake du Mont d’Orge.
An underground lake is called Saint-Léonard-Lac Léonard’s Souterrain. This subterranean location, which is found in the Rhone Valley, was found in 1943.
It is over 300 meters long and is one of Europe’s biggest underground lakes. During a 30-minute boat tour of the underground lake, you can learn all the fascinating details about the lake’s origins and history.
Those who love nature should visit the Valais Nature Museum, a natural treasure of Valais, which is situated at 12, Rue des Châteaux.
The Jesuits founded this museum in the 19th century, and today it features over 200,000 artifacts, 80,000 insects, lynxes, and brown bears.
Even just exploring Grimentz is a terrific experience. Beautiful wooden buildings and vibrant geraniums line the streets.
The town center is attractive and floral, with old wooden houses that are immaculately preserved and contemporary structures that detract from the mood.
The Burgher House from the sixteenth century is the stroll’s high point. It is not only pleasing to the eye, but it is also a pleasure for wine enthusiasts.
It is the origin of white glacier wine, which is solely produced in the Anniviers area.
Visit Maison de Grand-Maman to learn about the rich cultural and architectural history of Grimentz. On Rue du Paramont Street, right in the center of the community, you can find it.
The historic family home, which dates back to 1529, is preserved mostly in its original state.
The spectacular natural beauty in and around the village includes expansive mountain views, verdant valleys, and lovely spring flowers.
You should go to the Adelboden adventure park if you want to have fun, climb some rocks, and jump off a bridge. This is by far the ideal location in Adelboden for you if you’re constantly seeking the next adrenaline sensation.
From May through October, the park is accessible in both warm and wet conditions.
Trottiland Trotti bikes are designed for exploring the network of trails in Adelboden.
Trottiland is one of Adelboden’s top summer attractions, with seven unique tracks totaling 45 kilometers in length. Without getting too exhausted, ride the bikes down the mountains while exploring the beautiful landscape.
Hike lovers can enjoy paths in the Adelboden region that are accessible year-round. In Adelboden, the most well-liked trail for winter hiking is the loop to Tschentenalp.
The moderately challenging trek leads to the Tschentenalp ski resort, where you can take in the breathtaking scenery, swing on the Giant Swing, and dine at a mountainside restaurant while taking in the local cuisine.
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More Switzerland Travel Guides
- Best things to do in Interlaken
- Top day trips from Zurich
- Zurich in winter
- One day in Zurich
- Interlaken in winter
- Where to stay in Lugano
- Day trips from Lugano
- Best attractions in Bern
- Winter in Bern
- Geneva in winter
- Day trips from Lucerne
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Aram is a travel blogger and writer from Armenia who spends his time between Spain and his home country. He is passionate about music and football (the European kind) and covers a lot of Western European destinations on the blog. Aram is a laidback traveler who enjoys meeting new people and finding the best food in each city that he visits (hence his frequent trips to France, Italy, and Greece!). He has been featured in (or written for) Forbes, BBC, The Guardian, Fodor’s Travel, and more.