Northern Switzerland

Travel Guide

Walk around the lake in the country’s largest municipality and visit the Old Towns of this region’s historic and cultural cities.

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.

Where to stay in Northern Switzerland

Holiday Inn Express Zurich Airport, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express Zurich Airport, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
Hofwisenstrasse 30, Ruemlang, ZH
The price is $74 per night from Dec 18 to Dec 18
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) from Kart-Bahn Zurich Ruemlang and within 6 mi (10 km) of Hallenstadion and Halle 622. MFO-Park and ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (955 reviews)
"Very convenient hotel to stay at for a layover in Zurich. Staff was very helpful and accommodating. Easy to get a shuttle scheduled to the airport. Would highly recommend for a night in Zurich."

Reviewed on Dec 2, 2021

Holiday Inn Express Zurich Airport, an IHG Hotel
Radisson Blu Hotel Zurich Airport
Radisson Blu Hotel Zurich Airport
4.5 out of 5
Zurich Airport, Kloten, ZH
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $193 per night from Dec 19 to Dec 19
Set in Kloten, this family-friendly hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Hallenstadion, Shopping Center Glatt, and MFO-Park. Halle 622 and University of Zurich are ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (1,167 reviews)
"The best thing is the fact that this hotel is located directly at the airport. What I appreciated especially this time was the fact that they were very flexible and helpful. They brought in an extra bed at no cost so that our daughter could spend the night there as well."

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2021

Radisson Blu Hotel Zurich Airport
Zurich Marriott Hotel
Zurich Marriott Hotel
5 out of 5
Neumuehlequai 42, Zürich, ZH
The price is $255 per night from Dec 24 to Dec 24
Located in Zürich Center, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Swiss National Museum and Bahnhofstrasse. Beckenhof Tram Stop and Stampfenbachplatz ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (988 reviews)
"Excellent location. Close proximity to train station and major city center landmarks. Everything was within walking distance. Coming back again to this hotel next time I’m in Zurich"

Reviewed on Aug 5, 2021

Zurich Marriott Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Residence Appartements
Residence Appartements
3.5 out of 5
Letzigraben 177, Albisrieden-Altstetten, Zürich
The price is $92 per night from Dec 12 to Dec 12
Located in Albisrieden, this aparthotel is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Letzigrund Stadium and within 3 mi (5 km) of Uetliberg and Bahnhofstrasse. Lindenhof and Tonhalle ...
3.9/5 Good! (361 reviews)
I recommended this apparthotel
"Good stay"

Reviewed on May 8, 2021

Residence Appartements
The Residence La Cittadella
The Residence La Cittadella
3.5 out of 5
14 Rathausgasse, Baden
The price is $189 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 7
Situated in Baden, this apartment building is steps from Baden Teddybear Museum and Baden Historical Museum. Swiss Children's Museum and Grand Casino Baden are ...
4/5 Very Good! (18 reviews)
Great location, some things can be improved
"The studio flat is exactly as shown in the photos. However, if you travel during summer, consider that it gets quite warm as there is only one window and air does not circulate a lot. The room was not ready by check-in time. Also, although they said the cleaning service was every 3 days, this only ..."

Reviewed on Aug 27, 2021

The Residence La Cittadella
JOYN Zurich - Serviced Apartments
JOYN Zurich - Serviced Apartments
3.5 out of 5
Thurgauerstrasse 116, Opfikon, ZH
The price is $138 per night from Dec 13 to Dec 13
Located in Glattbrugg, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Zurich Exhibition Centre and Hallenstadion. Halle 622 and MFO-Park are also within 2 mi (3 km). ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (20 reviews)
"Overall, it’s a very nice and clean apartment space. Would definitely come back."

Reviewed on Aug 23, 2021

JOYN Zurich - Serviced Apartments
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Northern Switzerland

Cities near Northern Switzerland