Northern Switzerland is a cultural haven, comprising some of the country’s most cosmopolitan cities and picturesque countryside. While its southern counterpart is renowned for ski resorts, this area contains several of the nation’s largest cities, with some of the country’s most impressive architecture.
Spend time in the industrial, economic and cultural hub of Zurich. Snow-capped mountains surround Switzerland’s largest city, which has an Old Town that is among Europe’s greatest treasures. Gaze up at the Charles Tower of Grossmünster church, visit the Helmhaus gallery along the river and see Marc Chagall’s stained-glass windows in the Fraumünster church.
Follow the Limmatquai riverside promenade and stroll along the main shopping strip, the Bahnhofstrasse. Try the Lake Promenade for views of Lake Zurich. Dress warm for freezing winters and expect pleasant, warm summer days.
At the lake’s southeastern end is the enchanting village of Rapperswil-Jona. Admire the majestic architecture of the Rapperswil Castle and visit the Rapperswil-Jona Municipal Museum.
Northeast of Zurich is the multicultural former industrial town of Winterthur. Visit some of its many museums and galleries, such as the Winterthur Museum of Photography and the Winterthur Natural History Museum.
Continue north to the town of Schaffhausen, where you will find the Rhine Falls. The cascades are 490 feet (150 meters) wide and 75 feet (23 meters) high.
Drive west from Zurich for about 1 hour to reach Basel, known for its many galleries and museums. It has a wonderful Old Town, with highlights such as the Basel Cathedral and its plaza, Münsterplatz. The city has an exciting atmosphere and great food. Try local cheese-and-onion tarts and gingerbread biscuits. Hike through the picturesque terrain of Arlesheim to see churches and castles.
The region makes up the northern part of this relatively small Western European country. It shares borders with Germany, France, Liechtenstein and Austria. Fly to international airports in Bern or Zurich and travel around the country via excellent rail links.
Visit Northern Switzerland to find some of Europe’s most cultured and historic towns.