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What are the most beautiful places in Switzerland?

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One beautiful trip is via train from Geneva to Zermat. Simply glorious climbing the Alps and being a passenger and able to gawk.

The Jura in the Alpine region; Interlakken and Miniature Switzerland ( I believe it is the canton of Lugano) ; Geneva is very pretty but expensive--arrive by train early in the morning and leave by night. The hotels are very expensive because a lot of diplomats go back and forth to and from Geneva. There are many 5 star hotels. Most beautiful is the Bernese Oberland. From the spring to Autumn you can enjoy Lakes Thun and Brienz and in the wintertime you can visit famous mountains like the Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, Kleine Scheidegg, Schilthorn, Lauberhorn and Männlichen --all have have skiing on top-flight downhill runs in the higher reaches of the Alps. More gentle skiing can be found in the Simmental, Saanenland, Frutigland regions and on the sun terraces of Hasliberg, Axalp and Beatenberg. Mountain railways afford spectacular panoramic views that you have seen in james Bond films. Other activities in the region include Ice climbing in glacier crevices and Ski sailing. Guided ski tours take you to the top of many of those famous mountains. Also in the region are famous holiday resorts and traditional destinations such as Interlaken or Gstaad. They are very family freindly. Switzerland is my new home and it is very beautiful. For more information check the web addresses listed below.

Lauterbrunnen valley.
this is where i'm preparing to go when i die

How much time do you have? If a month, get a train pass and take all the tourist trains: the Glacier Express , etc. (A train pass gives you 1/2 price train travel and you can get an «abonnement» for a month, a year or longer.) There are innumerable Web sites on Swiss trains; here's one: and here's the official SBB site:

The Alps are fantastic, and if you have only a little time, see them. But keep moving; places like Zermatt are excessively touristy and when we were there last week (after an absence of some years) found it like some shopping mall. Except for the view of the Matterhorn, a 1-km. walk from the train station.

As for cities and towns, what can I say? We had lunch in Vevey, which is always nice, as you'd expect for a home of wealthy celebrities. The previous week we had taken a mini-cruise on Lac LĂ©man from our home at the east end of the lake to St-Gingolph (the French border bisects the town; I was there ten days ago to collect information regarding the situation of the town during the Nazi occupation of the French half), Montreux, Vevey and other ports.

But beautiful is in the eye of the beholder: all I can do is to repeat: keep moving. Ideally, get the Sierra Club book of Alipine walks and do it on foot. Or do it on a bicycle. Or by train. But see a lot and have fun. And, when you are enjoying a glass of nice Swiss white wine from Valais, think of James Joyce sitting in those Zürich cafés doing the same.

The Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps are among the most beautiful mountains in the world. Although you will be surrounded by mountains wherever you are in Switzerland, we urge you to head for the high country when you have a chance. Two areas that offer great vistas and wonderful touring are:

The Berner Alpen
Considered by many to be the "Top of Europe" this mountain range in the Bernese Oberland is "must see". Its main attraction is the

The Jungfrau holds a special place in the heart of the Swiss and if you visit it, you will understand and appreciate their admiration.

Pennine Alps
Sitting at the foot of the Matterhorn, Zermatt is a place that beckons the visitor and fills the role of the quintessential Swiss mountain resort.

You have seen it in pictures, but you will not be prepared for its grandeur when you see it in its natural setting.

In 1991, Bern celebrated its 800th anniversary: the Old City of Berne is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a wonderful place to wander. Bern is both beautiful and interesting. See the MĂĽnster Cathedral for an attractive church and great views of Bern and the countryside from the church tower. The Bundeshhaus, the site of the country's Parliament, is open to the public and its Square host markets and has an attractive series of fountains representing the Cantons of Switzerland. In addition, Bern offers great restaurants (with some of the best breads in Europe).

Zurich blends the old and the new in a manner that makes the combination seem natural. The city with its narrow winding streets is delightful and compact: its streetcars make it easy to get most places of interest to tourists. The Old Town area of the city is most enjoyable, but you may want to spend some time shopping on the Bahnhofstrasse or exploring one of Zurich's fine museums. Be sure to see the Schipfe (fine arts area), the FraumĂĽnster Church, the Zurich Opera House and, of course, Lake Zurich.

Many tourists consider Lucerne and its mountains to be one of Switzerland's most beautiful cities. Its lakeside setting is among the best in Switzerland. The well-preserved Old Town is a treat to explore. Be sure to see the Chapel Bridge and Water Tower. The Wagner Museum, Picasso Museum and the Rosengart Collection are the highlights of the city's collection of fine museums.

The "city between the lakes" offers great shopping, wonderful scenery, and a number of villages that are worth a visit. Interlaken may be "tourist" Switzerland but it does it so well that even the Swiss like the area. Surrounded by the Jungfrau, Eiger, and Mönch, Interlaken is a great base for touring one of the best sections of Switzerland.

Situated on the northern edge of Lake Geneva, Lausanne is considered the ideal base to tour the Lake Geneva, Geneva, and Montreux.

Lugano is a good town to base your explorations of the Ticino, the Italian speaking southern segment of Switzerland. This scenic town is situated on the northern bank of Lake Lugano and the Lake is the real reason to visit. In addition, be sure to see The Madonna degli Angioli Church (and its magnificent fresco). Tour the city on the tourist tram the Red Arrow (La Freccia Rossa), which runs from March through October. The Parco Botanico San Grato, about six miles from Lugano is an attractive place to visit, especially in the Spring. Click here to visit Lugano Tourism's official travel site .

Located near the headwaters of the Rhine, Basel is the point of disembarkation for many Rhine River cruises. This well-preserved city offers a blend of the traits of Germany and Switzerland. Basel offers several interesting museums and is worth a visit, if you have just ended a holiday cruise.

Geneva is the home base of many international organizations and that role has given it a cosmopolitan bearing mixed with a distinct international flavor. Its Old Town is worth a visit, but Geneva's popularity is based more on its role in world affairs than its attractiveness as a tourism destination.

Extraordinary Train Journeys

The Glacier Express
Switzerland's Glacier Express train between St. Moritz or Chur and the Zermatt (or the reverse) is an unsurpassed rail ride through the Alps and some of Switzerland's most scenic vistas. The ride takes 7 1/2 hours, crosses 291 bridges, 91 tunnels and is breathtaking.

Since the ride takes the entire day, you will need reservations at your destination.

Only the first class cars are "panoramic", featuring large windows and very comfortable seating. First class is worth the extra cost.

Meals are available in the Dining Car, but reservations must be made in advance of the trip (there are not enough seats to accommodate all passengers).

Snack and drinks are available from the Railbar.

For more detail visit the Glacier Express web site.

The Bernina Express

The Bernina Express runs between Chur and Tirano, Italy. It is a shorter run than the Glacier Express, features beautiful mountains and is an engineering marvel. In summer, a bus connects with Lake Lugano. For more information, see this web site.

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