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Small towns in Switzerland: 10 charming places you obviously should visit




Switzerland is a unique country that resembles one big artwork. From border to border, there are magnificent mountain views with picturesque villages in the valleys. It is perfect for hikers in summer and skiers in winter, but the most memorable to visit are the small towns in Switzerland, which are the gateway to this alpine paradise.

Small towns in Switzerland: Soglio

The village of Soglio is very small. According to statistics, only 176 indigenous people live in it, but it is always packed with tourists. Mark Twain loved this place, and the landscape painter Giovanni Sergantini called the village “the threshold of paradise”. It is worth coming here to stay for night in an interesting 17th century Palazzo Solis hotel, to taste all the delights of local cuisine and enjoy a leisurely lifestyle.

Soglio
Soglio. Photo: pxhere.com (CC0 Public Domain)
Soglio
Soglio. Photo: By Adrian Michael, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Soglio
Soglio. Photo: By Hansueli Krapf, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Morcote

Morcote is a picturesque village located just ten kilometers from Lugano. Former fishing village, it has perfectly preserved its architecture from the late Middle Ages. In 2016 Morcote received the title of the most beautiful village in Switzerland after a vote of 31’000 visitors to the website of the Swiss TV and radio company SRF.

Morcote
Morcote. Photo: By Francesco Piraneo G., from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Morcote
Morcote. Photo: By Guérin Nicolas, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Morcote
Morcote. Photo: pixabay.com (CC0 Creative Commons)

Small towns in Switzerland: Interlaken

This picturesque Swiss city in the canton of Bern is located in the floodplain between the Thun and Brienz lakes and is surrounded by the high Swiss Alps. This place is amazingly picturesque, which, together with the clean mountain air and developed infrastructure, attracts tourists.

Interlaken
Interlaken. Photo: By Broguybro at English Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)
Interlaken
Interlaken. Photo: Gregorini Demetrio, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Interlaken
Interlaken. Photo: By Andrew Bossi, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Wengen

The village of Wengen in the Bernese Oberland region (Canton of Bern) is one of the most famous ski resorts in Switzerland and one of the most beautiful villages in the country. The use of cars is prohibited here in order to preserve the environment. Situated at 1,274 above sea level, Wengen is part of the Jungfrau region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Wengen
Wengen. Photo: By chensiyuan, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Wengen
Wengen. Photo: By Kevin Hadley, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Wengen
Wengen. Photo: pixabay.com (CC0 Creative Commons)

Small towns in Switzerland: Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein is a small town nestled on the banks of the Rhine River. It is called one of the most beautiful in Switzerland because of its fantastic views and unrivaled medieval charm. A huge number of half-timbered houses and painted facades have survived in the Old Town, and the most important attraction of the city is Hohenklingen Castle, which dominates the historic center. It offers fantastic views of Lake Constance, the Rhine River and the surrounding landscapes. In addition to the castle, you should definitely see another important architectural monument of Stein am Rhein – the monastery of St. George, whose foundation dates back to the distant 11th century.

Stein am Rhein
Stein am Rhein. Photo: pixabay.com (CC0 Creative Commons)
Stein am Rhein
Stein am Rhein. Photo: By Franzfoto, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Stein am Rhein
Stein am Rhein. Photo: Luca Casartelli/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Murren

A dazzling village of Murren in the Bernese Oberland is one of the traditional Swiss resorts, every corner of which reflects the beauty of Switzerland. If you’re a fan of James Bond, you will be pleased that On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was filmed here.

Murren
Murren. Photo: By chensiyuan (chensiyuan), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Murren
Murren. Photo: By Svein-Magne Tunli – tunliweb.no, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Murren
Murren. Photo: akunamatata/flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Small towns in Switzerland: Grindelwald

The small resort of Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland is located in a picturesque green ravine surrounded by majestic mountains. From here you can see the northern slope of the Eiger and the Wetterhorn. Wonderful mountain landscapes and a wide variety of outdoor activities make Grindelwald one of the most popular holiday resorts in Switzerland. It attracts both ordinary travelers and sports tourism lovers. In winter, it is the largest ski area in the Jungfrau region.

Grindelwald
Grindelwald. Photo: By Cristo Vlahos, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Grindelwald
Grindelwald. Photo: OrcaTec / pixabay (Pixabay License)
Grindelwald
Grindelwald. Photo: pxhere.com (CC0 Public Domain)

Guarda

Despite the fact that the village is small and there are no prominent attractions, each building is special. Here you just need to walk, take impressive photos of the surroundings and even shoot video clips. The houses of the village are originally painted and their windows are decorated with flowers. Most of the houses were built in the first half of the 17th century.

Guarda
Guarda. Photo: StefanRohrbach/flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Guarda
Guarda. Photo: By JoachimKohlerBremen, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Guarda
Guarda. Photo: By Manuel Schmalstieg, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Small towns in Switzerland: Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen can be found in central Switzerland. This lovely alpine village is located at an altitude of 802 meters near Interlaken. This is one of the most beautiful places in the whole country – Lauterbrunnen is surrounded on all sides by mountains and picturesque meadows. Majestic cliffs create a unique atmosphere, and developed infrastructure, mountain hotels, cozy cafes will help you to have a good rest in this fabulous place. The main attraction of the village is the Staubbach waterfall. Water rushes down noisily from a height of 300 meters, it is not for nothing that Lauterbrunnen means “Loud Falls” in German. The natural wonder is one of the highest in the country. Not far from the village, there is another famous object – the 200-meter Trummelbach Falls. It is located inside the rocks, so it can only be seen in the summer, taking the elevator through the illuminated tunnel.

Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen. Photo: Kosala Bandara/flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen. Photo: By Noel Reynolds (Flickr: Lauterbrunnen), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)
Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen. Photo: Todd Petrie/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Small towns in Switzerland: Zermatt

Zermatt is one of the most famous ski resorts in Switzerland, located at the foot of the country’s highest mountain – the Matterhorn. It is a favorite destination for those looking for glamorous and expensive outdoor activities. Although the town is located close to the Italian border, most of its inhabitants speak German. You can go hiking or take the cable car up the mountains for breathtaking views of the famous Matterhorn.

Zermatt on map

Zermatt (Zermatt)
View over Zermatt to Matterhorn. Photo: Roger W/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Zermatt (Zermatt)
Zermatt. Photo: Dennis Jarvis / flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Zermatt (Zermatt)
View over Zermatt to Matterhorn. Photo: qwesy qwesy, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)