The Corona virus period made millions of people to change their traveling plans. No airplanes, no open borders and a extreme health situation confined everybody at home. Now the situation is getting better and everybody is wondering what to do this summer. It might not be the year to cross the planet to spend summer holidays in a very exotic location. The virus situation has also brought a very tough economic situation and your local businesses have suffered a lot. That is why you should maybe consider to spend your summer holidays not far from home. This will:
- Pollute less
- Help your local communities
- Make you discover unknown wonders
- Preserve your country patrimony
For all these reasons, and being based in Switzerland, here are 10 exciting Swiss places to spend your summer holidays this year (and maybe for the incoming years as well).
1- Saint Gallen: Swiss Craftsmanship
Saint Gallen is a Swiss town and the capital of the canton of St. Gallen. It evolved from the hermitage of Saint Gall, founded in the 7th century. Today, it is a large urban agglomeration (with around 167,000 inhabitants in 2019) and represents the center of eastern Switzerland. The town is home
The region is beautiful and you can experience Switzerland from a very authentic ambiance. Germany and Austria are not far away and the city of Saint Gallen itself provides beautiful experiences. One of the main points of interest is the Abbey Cathedral. Built-in the 8th century it is a unique architectural style and its library has books from the 9th century! With more than 160’000 books, the library is a fantastic experience to live if you are interested in history and culture.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Eastern Switzerland developed true know-how for embroidery and became an important center of excellence. The textile activity continues and we would advise you to visit the Textile Museum and the Arts museum in the city center. Other activities like the botanical garden, the animal park, and even a zoo are also very interesting to do. Last but not least, you can experience Lake Constance, one of the biggest lakes in Europe representing a natural border between Switzerland and Germany. Click here to learn more about St. Gallen.
Basel: City of Arts
Basel is known for its many internationally renowned museums, ranging from the Kunstmuseum, the first collection of art accessible to the public in Europe (1661), and the largest museum of art in the whole of Switzerland, to the Fondation Beyeler. The University of Basel, Switzerland’s oldest university (founded in 1460), and the city’s centuries-long commitment to humanism, have made Basel a safe haven at times of political unrest in other parts of Europe for such notable people as Erasmus of Rotterdam, the Holbein family, Friedrich Nietzsche, and in the 20th century also Hermann Hesse and Karl Jaspers.
The Basel museums cover a broad and diverse spectrum of collections with a marked concentration in the fine arts. They house numerous holdings of international significance. The over three dozen institutions yield an extraordinarily high density of museums compared to other cities of similar size and draw over one million visitors annually.
By far my preferred museum is the Fondation Beyeler. It has a fantastic collection since it opened on 18th October 1997. It presents 140 works of modern classics, including 23 Picassos! The overall collection of 200 works of classic modernism reflects the views of Hildy and Ernst Beyeler on 20th-century art and highlights features typical of the period from Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, and Vincent van Gogh to Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Francis Bacon. The paintings appear alongside some 25 objects of tribal art from Africa, Oceania, and Alaska. A third of the exhibition space is reserved for special exhibitions staged to complement the permanent collection.
For the past 700 years, Basel has been famous for one product, Läckerli, a kind of hard gingerbread that was originally only made in the New Year. Now you can buy them anywhere in Switzerland anytime, but a visit to the Läckerli Huus in Basel is always worth it. The cookie is a mixture of honey, nuts, candied fruit, and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. In addition, the word “Läckerli” does not exist in another language, but is translated more or less by “small and delicious”. The address: 57 Gerbergasse. You can see more by visiting this website: https://www.basel.com/
Schwyz: Enjoying Central Switzerland
If you are interested in history, you need to visit Central Switzerland at least once. Land of William Tell (the legend) and the place where you can find the Rütli: the famous meadow by the lake of Four cantons in which Switzerland was created.
Central Switzerland is the region of the Alpine foothills geographically the heart and historically the origin of Switzerland, with the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Lucerne, and Zug. If you wish to experience an amazing journey, you can stay in the city of Schwyz and you will see history with your own eyes. Most buildings in Schwyz are listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance. The entire old city of Schwyz is part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.
- The Bundesbriefmuseum (Museum of the Swiss Charters of Confederation)
- The Dominican nuns Convent of St. Peter am Bach, the entire medieval and early modern settlement, the Hermitage and chapel
- The Forum der Schweizer Geschichte (Forum of Swiss History)
- The Ab Yberg im Grund House, the BethlehemHouse at Reichsstrasse 9
- The Ceberg im Feldli house at Theodosiusweg 20
- The house at Gotthardstrasse 99 in Ibach
- The Grosshus at Strehlgasse 12, the Immenfeld house
- The house at Langfeldweg 14 in Kaltbach
- The house at Oberschönenbuch 79 in Ibach
- The Catholic Parish Church of St. Martin
- The Palais Büeler
- The Rathaus (Town council house)
- The Reding House
- The State Archives of Schwyz and the Köplihaus house
The 18th century and the 19th century brought many people to Mountains landscapes. For some people was because of medical reasons, others because living in the mountains or closer to Mountains was an idyllic life, completely translated into the Romantic trend at that time. The end of the 19th century was also a very interesting period in literature as authors like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Felix Mendelssohn, or Lord Byron, gave a romantic vision of the mountain landscape and way of life. At that time tourists started visiting many regions in Switzerland, searching the ideal landscape. From the Bernese Oberland up to the top of Jungfrau, Mountaineering got trendy.
If you are looking for a nice, friendly, and cozy hotel, you can choose the Wysses Rössli Schwyz. Located in the main hauptplatz, you will be amazed by the history of the place. In this beautiful 4 stars Hotel, you will discover a journey between Gastronomy and culture. The first tracks about the Rössli in Schwyz take us to the 17th century when a great fire destroyed almost the entire city of Schwyz, including the Gasthaus zum Rössli. Rebuilt, it crossed the centuries under the possession of different rich families. It was also the place in which several prominent guests decided to stay like the German writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe and General Guisan.
On the way between Schwyz and the famous Lake of Four Cantons (or Lake Luzern), there is the small city of Ibach, the homeland of an amazing success Swiss story: Victorinox. You can visit the factory store and buy the original Swiss Army Knives. By the lake, in Brunnen, you can also visit the Victorinox visitor’s center and even build your own Pocket knife. Please visit the Swiss Tourism website to learn more about the amazing region of Schwyz: https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/destinations/schwyz/
Grindelwald: The Jungfrau Region
The famous mountain village of Grindelwald is embedded in a unique Alpine landscape at the foot of the Eiger north face. It is the diversity of the glacier village that makes it so attractive. A wide range of activities and recreational opportunities amidst unspoiled nature is waiting to be discovered. Grindelwald was first mentioned in 1146 as “
We tend to say that Grindelwald is the open door to the Jungfrau (4,158m) and the Eiger (3,967m) region. Many scenes of the documentary film The Alps were shot in the region of Grindelwald, particularly on the north face of the Eiger. The James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service includes a chase through a skating rink and Christmas festival in Grindelwald. Grindelwald’s mountains were used as the basis for the view of Alderaan in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Some of the action scenes in The Golden Compass were also shot in Grindelwald. In the 19th century, Richard Wagner, the German composer, spent some time in Grindelwald.
If you are looking for an amazing hotel to experience Grindelwald, one special address: The Boutique Hotel Glacier. This hotel combines over 150 years of Swiss heritage, the history of the lower glacier of Grindelwald, and contemporary sustainable designs. Indulge in the newly remodeled comfort of this boutique hotel in Grindelwald, and start your outdoor adventure with stunning views of the Eiger North Face just outside your window.
Meiringen: Elementary my dear Watson!
Meiringen is famous for the nearby Reichenbach Falls, a spectacular waterfall that was the setting for the final showdown between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis Professor Moriarty. The village is also known for its claim to have been the place where the meringue was first created.
The falls are located in the lower part of the Reichenbachtal, on the Rychenbach, a tributary (from the south bank) of the Aare. They are some 1.5 km (0.93 mi) south of the town of Meiringen, and 25 km (16 mi) east of Interlaken. Politically, the falls are within the municipality of Schattenhalb in the canton of Bern. The falls are made accessible by the Reichenbach Funicular. The lower station is some 20 minutes walk, or a 6-minute bus ride, from Meiringen railway station on the Brünig railway line that connects Interlaken and Lucerne.
In popular literature, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave the Grand (or Great) Reichenbach Fall as the location of the final physical altercation between his hero Sherlock Holmes and his greatest foe, the criminal Professor Moriarty in “The Final Problem”. At Meiringen, you can also visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum and get caught in the exciting atmosphere of the novel. You can check more about Meiringen by clicking here:
Arosa – The Heart of Grisons
To get to Arosa, we tend to say there are as many turns as there are days in a year. And when you get there, you have the feeling to be in paradise. No matter if it is summer or winter, there is always something to do in Arosa. Whether airy mountain peaks, panoramic routes with panoramic views
Zermatt: Swiss Alpine Experience
The name of Zermatt, as well as that of the Matterhorn itself, derives from the alpine meadows, or
Zermatt is at the foot of Switzerland’s highest peaks. From Monte Rosa (4,634 meters) to the famous Matterhorn (4,478 meters), Zermatt is an amazing city, no matter if it is winter or summer. Hiking, mountain biking, or summer skiing? All of that in the cool and fresh air of the mountains. 38 four thousand-meter peaks can be reached from Zermatt. On tours, by climbing, by crossing, while engaging in snow sports in the highest ski area in the alps. A mountain summer can be experienced and enjoyed in over 100 different ways. One interesting place to stay in is the Riffelalp Resort in Zermatt. You will enjoy an amazing view of the Matterhorn, even from the swimming pool (please note this hotel will not open until December 2020).
Diablerets: Summer mountain freshness
Les Diablerets is a village and ski resort located in the municipality of Ormont-Dessus in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. It is surrounded by the Diablerets Massif, its peak (Sommet des Diablerets at 3,210 meters) is the highest point in western Switzerland. It is a very important place for sports. Winter or summer, you will always find different activities to do. The name Diablerets derives from the French name of the devil: “Diable”. In the middle age, people tended to believe that the tremendous mountain rock wall surrounding the village was cursed and dominated by the devil. Many centuries later, Diablerets is a relaxing place to enjoy outdoors with friends and family. No matter if it is for a sportive week or simply a romantic weekend, Diablerets will surprise you.
Skiing and snowboarding until well into the early summer in the glacier ski region of Glacier 3000 offer competition to a wide range of adventure sports: canyoning, hydro speed, paragliding, dirt monster biking (a cross between mountain biking and motorcycling), tyrolienne traversing, or the highest Alpine Coaster (toboggan run on tracks) at the Glacier 3000 mountain station. The «Indiana» fun obstacle course and fixed rope routes round off the activities.
If you are looking for a hotel, The Eurotel Victoria Diablerets. The hotel is ideally located and offers great features like an indoor nice swimming-pool. It is a four-star hotel with 101 rooms, junior suites, and apartments.
Lausanne: The Olympic Capital
Lausanne is one of the most exciting cities around the Leman lake. It has been the headquarters for the International Olympic Committee since 1894. Called the Olympic capital, Lausanne is a city with a lot of energy thanks to prestigious educational institutions like EPFL, the Lausanne Ecole Hôtelière, and the university (UNIL). Night-life is intense, the lake shores are beautiful and perfect for relaxing moments. Here are some of the things you can do in Lausanne while spending some days within the city:
- The Olympic Museum
- The Lausanne’s Cathedral
- The Lavaux vineyard region
- Leman Lake beaches
- The Flon night-life
The natural history museum in Palais de Rumine is a fantastic place, free entry, you can spend hours in the different sections. More recently, Lausanne saw the creation of Aquatis. Considered as the biggest freshwater aquarium in Europe, visitors are invited to immerse themselves in a journey on the five continents to discover the main freshwater ecosystems. Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and South America. It is an exceptional journey made of aquarium-vivarium, a hotel, and two restaurants.
If you want to stay in a nice hotel, there are many interesting places to stay inside the Olympic capital. Here is a list of the main hotels, there are many more and you will always find the perfect match to your purse.
- Beau-Rivage Palace
- Lausanne Palace
- Hotel Angleterre & Résidence
- Mövenpick Hotel
- Château d’Ouchy
- Hôtel de la Paix
- Alpha-Palmiers by Fassbind
- Hotel Victoria
A special hotel I really like is the Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa. Ideally located between the lake and the city center, there is always something happening in this hotel. The restaurants, the spa, and the beautiful rooms are all made to please you and make you spend a fantastic and relaxed moment.
Locarno, The Swiss Mediterranean City
We often consider Switzerland as a small Europe on its own. In the Ticino, the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland, you can experience a true Mediterranean sea ambiance. My preferred city in this region is by far Locarno. The town is known for hosting the Locarno International Film Festival which takes place every year in August and involves open-air screenings at the main square, the Piazza Grande.
In January 2004, the Italian historian Marino Vigano speculated that Locarno’s castle may have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci. In 1342 the Visconti of Milan, for whom it is now named, attacked the castle from both the land and the lakeside and took it. It first came into the hands of the Eidgenossen in 1503. Today, only a fifth of the original structure remains. Only the foundation remains from the original structure.
I can recommend a beautiful hotel in Locarno. It is called the Hotel Villa Orselina. The five-star hotel has a privileged position above Locarno with panoramic views over Lake Maggiore. Just 50 meters from the Madonna del Sasso church, the cable car to Cardada-Cimetta, and the funicular railway which connects Orselina with Locarno. Locarno railway station is only 10 minutes away, while the nearest bus stop is right in front of the hotel.
As you could read on this page, Switzerland is very diversified and has numerous places to visit and you just need to come and discover these hidden treasures. At LuxuryActivist, we wish you a great summer and hopefully, you will be able to spend good times with your family or friends in beautiful places… in Switzerland.
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