Towns in the Swiss Alps: 15 Charming Villages in Switzerland

Nothing compares to a place where there are scenic mountains at our sight, green grass beneath our feet, and fresh air inside our lungs. It is a place where people gain unprecedented peace of mind and awe – two of the best things we can earn from traveling.

If you’re (like me) looking for that place, then you are on the right page. Because in this blog post, you will find the towns in the Swiss Alps – the places on earth where you can have the best retreat of your life!

Towns in Swiss Alps, Switzerland

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And if you want adventure and you’re looking for unique things to do in the towns in the Swiss Alps, this post is good for you too. You will find the following information for each place that’s included in this post:

  • A brief introduction – To make it even “MORE” compelling to visit, I added a short town’s history and some interesting facts.
  • Unique Things to do – May the unique things to do for each town help you decide which town is to visit next. I no longer mention usual things to do like hiking, skiing, etc. We all know that these activities are “common” in these towns. (Section: Unique Things to do in <town name>?) 

I want to sort this list of towns in the Swiss Alps according to the level of beauty. I’ve watched videos and browsed hundreds of photos all day just to decide which comes first and last.

But I realized it’s not reasonable to rank them. Because, in the first place, I haven’t been to all of them. And if I were, it’s just impossible to compare one to another. Each just has its unique appeal.

Traveling for a week or more in Switzerland? Save a lot of money using the Swiss Travel Pass (click here to learn more). With it, you can have an unlimited ride on public transportation (Bus, Trains, and Boats) and free entry to more than 500+ museums in the country. Cable cars, funicular, and cogwheel train rides are discounted by 50%. IMPORTANT: before you buy a Swiss Travel Pass, check first where it is valid or where it applies 50% on STP’s official website.

Need help in planning your trip to Switzerland? I prepared a 3-day, 7-day, 10-day, 14-day Switzerland Itinerary to guide you. I discussed each destination to visit (things to do, how long to stay, map, and other tips). Check it out!

So, the towns are sorted alphabetically:

Town #1: Bettmeralp

Bettmeralp is a village of 450 people, one of the most unspoiled countryside towns in the Swiss Alps. It is located in the district of Raron in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. 

There are no cars in Bettmeralp, and people come here only through a large cable car. That’s one of the reasons why this town stays immaculate – a perfect place to visit.

Bettmeralp, Valais, Switzerland
Bettmeralp

Bettmeralp is beautiful whatever season it may be. This town boasts 300 sunny days a year. You won’t have to worry much about staying indoors frustrated by bad weather or spending a day seeing nothing but fog.

Two good reasons why you should come to Bettmeralp are:

  • Bettmeralp is the doorway to the impressive Aletsch Glacier. The biggest glacier in Europe and the first UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Alps. Aletsch Glacier is a 23-kilometer long glacier near the Bettmerhorn (2643m) and Eggishorn (2926m). Together with the peaks, they create an indescribable spectacle seen from the site’s vantage point.
  • Bettmeralp has good weather and is an excellent family destination. That title was given by the Swiss Tourism Federation to Bettmeralp for the enjoyable activities for kids it offers. It even has pushchair-friendly hiking trails, perfect if you want a vacation in the mountains together with your toddler.

Here are the Google Map Coordinates if you want to create your own shot similar to the image above once you visit Bettmeralp. During summer, at that point, you’ll see these beautiful houses and hotels facing the stunning mountains:

I got curious about what Aletsch Glacier looks like from space. So I searched for it on Google Earth. Here is how Bettmeralp from outer space:

Bettmeralp, Switzerland, Google Earth
Bettmeralp and the biggest glacier in Europe

INCREDIBLE! Can you see the beautiful glacier that crawls out of the ice-capped mountains to the vicinity of Bettmeralp?

Unique things to do in Bettmeralp

Here are the most unique things to do in Bettmeralp (aside from hiking and snow activities): 

  • Pumptrack Bettmeralp. Check out the currently the highest asphalt pump track in the world! Situated at 1,970 meters above sea level, you can glide with your rollers on banked curves while enjoying the sights of the stunning mountains.
  • Indoor pool Bachtla. Take a rest after hiking or climbing, and avail yourself of Shiatsu and craniosacral therapy! There is also a swimming pool, whirlpool, and dry and steam sauna here. They can be your alternative activity if bad weather strikes.
  • Aspi-Titter suspension bridge. Get a thrilling trekking experience on the 160-meter long Aspi-Titter suspension bridge over the 120-meter deep Weisswasser gorge.
  • Aletsch Glacier. See Europe’s largest glacier that’s 23-kilometer long! You can either use the vantage point from the town to see this or hike Bettmerhorn to Eggishorn trail for really stunning scenery.

The closest city in the alps to Bettmeralp is Brig. It’s only one train ride and cable car ride away from Bettmeralp, 40 minutes travel time. Learn more about this city from my article about Brig (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Town #2: Champery

Champery is one of the oldest tourist destinations in Switzerland. It is the town in the Swiss Alps, a destination of the early alpinists dating back to the beginning of the 20th-century.

We can find Champery at the foot of the Dents Blanches and Dents-du-Midi in the Chablais region. It is one of the westernmost towns in the canton of Valais, near the Swiss-French border.

Champery, Switzerland
Champery

Here in Champery, we can find one of the last bell-foundries production businesses in Switzerland. This old industry is matched with numerous charming traditional chalets with carved balconies along Champery’s street – making the stroll in the town a bit special.

Champery has an excellent destination for winter and summer. Here are my best two reasons why you should visit Champery regardless of the season:

  • During winter, you can go to Portes du Soleil recreational area to try playing with the snow in one of the world’s largest international ski areas.
  • Champery is a town between two majestic peaks, Dents-du-Midi and Dents Blanches.
Dents-du-Midi, Champery, Switzerland
Dents-du-Midi

Here’s the view of Champery after a cable ride to Croix de Culet peak from the town center. Up there, we can see the rugged summits of Dents-du-Midi. It’s no wonder why the first Alpinist loved hiking from Champery.

Unique things to do in Champery

Here are the most unique things to do in Bettmeralp (aside from hiking and snow activities):

  • Escape Room. It is an indoor activity best to do with your friends and family. Here, you will solve puzzles and escape gripping scenarios under a ticking clock to escape the self-contained world and get back to reality.
  • Organic Adventure Park. Bond with your friends and family with an outdoor park with zip lines, a suspension bridge, etc. Climbing nets and walking over tree trails are a part of their 5 courses with different levels of difficulties.
  • La Petite Cavagne. Buy yourself and your friends fresh homemade jams created by the local farmers. There are also authentic Swiss cheese and fresh-cut dried meat for dinner.
  • Champéry-Morgins bikepark. Seek adventure aside from hiking! Try the different level downhill tracks and test your cycling skills. There are 1 green, 1 blue, 7 red, and 2 black level tracks to select from.

The two closest cities in the alps to Champery are Montreux (a 40-minute drive or 2 train rides away) and Sion (50 minute-drive or 3 train rides away). They are both excellent destinations! Learn more about these cities from my articles about Montreux and Sion (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Town #3: Ernen

Ernen is a town in the Swiss Alps with ~500 people located in the district of Goms, in the canton of Valais. It is a well-known musical village where international artists come to join the annual musical festival.

Ernen, Valais, Switzerland
Ernen

Another recognition Ernen gained throughout the years is the Henry-Louis-Wakker Prize, an award given to the town for the superb upkeeping of its landscape and architectural heritage. The preservation is evident in the houses and the village square at the center of the Ernen. Here we can see structures that were constructed as early as the 15th-century.

The appearances of the charming houses in Ernen are complemented by their location, overlooking the Fiesch valley basin. There are also lush gardens surrounding the settlement that add to the town’s overall beauty.

Aside from the architecture and natural spectacle, here are the historical gems or the reason why you should visit Ernen:

  • Tellenhaus (Tell House). It is one of the oldest houses in Switzerland. You can find it in the village square together with other prominent buildings.
  • Church of Saint George. It is the iconic structure of Ernen that was built in the early years of the 16th-century. It must be the first structure that everyone can notice by the time they arrive in Ernen because of its elevated position. Inside, we can find a series of late Gothic statues and the winged altarpiece called Nothelferaltar.
  • Hanging Bridge. Do not forget to check out the lengthy suspension footbridges! It’s a breathtaking experience hanging above deep gorges near Ernen.
Ernen, Hanging Bridge, Switzerland
Hanging Bridge in Ernen

Check how does it feel to be in one of Ernen’s hotels. Look at the view! Isn’t that fantastic?

Unique things to do in Ernen

Here are the unique things to do in Ernen (aside from hiking during summer and skiing during winter):

  • Goms Bridge. Conquer the longest suspension footbridges in the canton of Valais. Goms Bridge has 280 meters, hanging 92 meters over the Lama gorge, Rhone river, and some century-old trees.
  • Trusera. Discover Trusera, one of the Bisses, the historic irrigation channels in Valais. You can find it running through the shady forest to the gardens with blooming helleborine, a native orchid plant.

The closest city in the alps to Ernen is Brig. It’s only 1 bus ride and 1 train ride away from Ernen, 55 minutes travel time. Learn more about this city from my article about Brig (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Town #4: Gimmelwald 

Gimmelwald, a village in the Swiss Alps of 100 inhabitants, is a part of the inventory of Swiss heritage recognized for its exceptional townscape. It is a preserved mountain farming village, where all you can mostly hear are the sound of the cowbells and the breeze of fresh air.

Gimmelwald is a village located in the Bernese Oberland in the Canton of Bern, situated at an altitude of 1363 meters on the hillside of Lauterbrunnen Valley. It is the town very near to Jungfrau-Aletsch Protected Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gimmelwald, Bern, Switzerland
Gimmelwald

Gimmelwald also has chalets decorated with flowers with breathtaking views of the Jungfrau mountains. No cars roam around the village since it can only be reached by foot or cable car. Because of that, strolling in Gimmelwald will resemble a walk in an idyllic place like heaven on earth.

Considering Gimmelwald is only a tiny village, we can expect there are only simple things we can do here. Like, strolling and sightseeing all day. But in Gimmelwald, they are the activities that we should never underestimate – actually, they are the reasons we would want to visit this place.

Just look at this view! Even if I don’t stroll around, I can already make my day complete on the balcony of my hotel in Gimmelwald. I can stare at the mountains forever while drinking hot tea or coffee. ( I sound very old, right? But Nah, I’m still under 30! Haha)

Unique things to do in Gimmelwald

Aside from strolling and hiking in Gimmelwald, here are the other simple but fun and thoughtful activities you can do here:

  • Schwarzmonch beer. Try the specialty beer available in the Mountain Hostel and Pension Gimmelwald.
  • Shop in Honesty Shop. Experience the incredible trust of the Gimmelwald people. Here, you buy things without a cashier. You get your goods and put the money in the cash register yourself.
  • Historic sawmill Gimmelwald. Discover how a 150-year-old sawmill can cut three trunks without using electricity but by water power only. 

Thun and Lucerne are the two cities in the Swiss Alps you can see after visiting Gimmelwald or  Lauterbrunnen Valley. These are two beautiful lakeshore cities with castles and historic sites. Learn more about these cities from my articles about Thun and Lucerne (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Town #5: Grindelwald

Grindelwald is one of the most famous alpine mountain towns in the Swiss Alps. It is known for many activities visitors can do regardless of the season.

Grindelwald belongs to the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the canton of Bern. It is situated at an elevation of 1034 meters above sea level, surrounded by several mountains. Some of these mountains are Mannlichen, Lauberhorn, Schwarzhorn, Wellhorn, Faulhorn, Monch, Eiger, Wetterhorn, and other more.

Grindelwald, Bern, Switzerland
Grindelwald

The town of Grindelwald is blessed with the majestic mountains that surround it. Two of the notable peaks observed from Grindelwald are the Eiger north face and the Wetterhorn. The views of these mountains alone are enough to complete your day.

Here are the three best reasons why Grindelwald is really worth a visit:

  • Fun outdoor activities. The developed tourism industry in Grindelwald allows tourists to enjoy fun outdoor activities with a view of the stunning mountains. Some of the best adventures that you can do in Grindelwald are the First Cliff Walk, First Flieger, First Glider, First Mountain Cart, and Trotti bike.
  • Thrilling outdoor activities. If you are looking for a life-changing adventure, Grindelwald has something for you. Try the 50-meter free-fall canyon swing and let your adrenaline saturate your system.
  • Grindelwald Glacier Canyon. If you want just a relaxed experience in the canyon, there is something for that too. You can trek the kilometer-long walkway inside the ravine and see impressive tunnels and rock galleries carved by million-year erosion.

Here are the 360-degree views of Grindelwald to give you an idea of how amazing it is to be there. Here’s what it looks like when you’re just walking in the town. Imagine the view in person… the mountain and the lush green fields complement each other, right?

Then, after you take the cable car to First, here is the view that you’ll see. You can observe the same scenery as you come to the start of the First Sky Walk.

Thun and Lucerne are the two cities in the Swiss Alps you can see before/after visiting Grindelwald. These two beautiful lakeshore cities offer scenic destinations in their lakes you must see! Learn more about these cities from my articles about Thun and Lucerne (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Unique things to do in Grindelwald

There are a lot of things to do in Grindelwald. But these are the most unique activities you avail yourself in Grindelwald:

  • Jungfraujoch Ice Palace. Walk inside a tunnel of ice under a glacier. There are several ice chambers with ice sculptures to see. It is an excellent thing to do, especially if you have your family.
  • Grindelwald museum. Discover the artifacts inside a wooden house Talhhaus near the church. The museum is an initiative of the locals wanting to collect and preserve their heritage. We can find stuff they use for alpine farming, mountaineering, mountain railways, and old photographs.
  • Explore the First. As stated in the introduction of Grindelwald, there are lots of fun and adventurous things to do here. Conquer your fears and scream your fright away! Live the life you deserve 😀
  • Glacier Canyon Walk. Exploring the canyon is like going into another world. See the rock formations shaped by the retreating glacier and other works of a creative nature. 

Also, I have written a separate article about Grindelwald. I mention the 10 worthy things to do in Grindelwald which make Grindelwald worth visiting. I tell you, it’s not only scenic but also full of fun adventures too! Here’s the link to my article about Grindelwald (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Town #6: Interlaken

Interlaken is a well-known tourist destination and a town in the Swiss Alps, the gateway to more stunning towns and villages further into the Bernese Alps. Though there are other beautiful mountain towns ahead, it does not mean that we should skip Interlaken.

We can find Interlaken in between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in a flat alluvial land called Bodeli. It is almost in the middle of Switzerland, belonging to the canton of Bern.

Interlaken, Bern, Switzerland
Interlaken

In Interlaken, you can see a different alpine landscape compared to the other towns in the Swiss Alps listed in this post. With the lakes in the east and west of Interlaken, Lake Thun, and Lake Brienz, you can expect to see more stunning scenery from Interlaken.

The three majestic peaks, Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau, which we can see from Interlaken, blend beautifully with the lakes on both sides of the town. This is a good reason you should stop in Interlaken and spend a day here. Aside from that, here’s why you should visit Interlaken:

  • Castles. Interlaken is the crossroads of everything you might be looking for in Switzerland, including the historic and beautiful structures. Interlaken has tours that will bring you to magnificent Oberhofen Castle.
  • Landscape. You won’t only see lakes, rivers, and mountains. A cave can also be accessed from Interlaken (St. Beatus caves) – a natural wonder to behold.
  • Water sports. Unlike other towns in the Swiss Alps, Interlaken offers the most watersports you can enjoy! When it’s time for a break after splashing around, you can sit back and relax while looking at the majestic mountains nearby.
  • Lakes Lakes Lakes. Interlaken is the best spot to watch sunrise and sunset. Imagine the glittering lake turned to gold by the setting sun (with spectacular mountains in the backdrop). Besides, there are also cruise and boat rides from Interlaken – for a very romantic date. 

Use the 360-degree-image above as your inspiration to visit Interlaken. Isn’t it lovely and super relaxing just to stare at this lake? The sound of the softly crashing water to the shore will make the moment of sightseeing even more pleasing.

Thun and Lucerne are the two cities in the Swiss Alps you can see after visiting Interlaken. Thun is really close to Interlaken, though! But Lucerne is more charming. Learn more about these cities from my articles about Thun and Lucerne (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Unique things to do in Interlaken

Here are the most unique activities to do I found in Interlaken (aside from hiking and snow sports):

  • Have a journey to Interlaken farms. See the everyday life in the countryside in Interlaken by visiting the local farms. Here you will get interesting insights about life on the farm and learn facts about milk, meat, and cheese making.
  • See Kunsthaus Interlaken. See works of art and attend musical performances in Interlaken. There will be bands playing different genres, from jazz to folk to blues to reggae! 
  • Visit the castles. Discover the story and the exquisite beauty of these Swiss castles around Lake Thun. Take a cruise to get to one of each castle in a more romantic way. You can enjoy the scenic mountains from afar as you travel on water.

Hey, I have written a separate article about Interlaken. There I mention the 10 reasons why Interlaken is so much worth visiting. Actually, it is dubbed the adventure capital of Europe! Here’s the link to my article about Interlaken to learn more (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Town #7: Kandersteg

Kandersteg is the town in the Swiss Alps in Switzerland where we can find a mountain coaster – a super fun ride that lets us slide the sled over a concave track down the hill. It is a must-do activity to add to your bucket list! If you are not yet familiar with a mountain coaster, here’s a sample video:

I discovered this slide when it got viral on Facebook. Who would not get excited about this? LOL. Sliding the sled down the track with sights of the beautiful mountains is so fun to do! This is the reason why you should visit Kandersteg.

But maybe before we hop on the mountain coaster, we explore first the town center of Kandersteg. There we can find wooden chalets, cozy restaurants, and our ever-desired view of the alpine meadows and ice-capped mountains.

Kandersteg is located in the Kandervalley in the Bernese Oberland region, canton of Bern. It is surrounded by towering mountains that are more than 3000 meters in height:

  • Balmhorn – 3,698 m or 12,133 ft (south)
  • Bluemlisalp – 3,663 m or 12,018 ft (east)
  • Gross Lohner – 3,049 or m 10,003 ft (west)
Kandersteg, Valais, Switzerland
Kandersteg

This traditional yet modern town is also the gateway to Lake Oeschinensee, one of the most beautiful lakes in the Swiss alpine world! Going to this lake without a camera would feel like a grave sin to yourself for missing photographing one of the scenic places in the Bernese Alps.

Oeschinensee, Kandersteg, Valais, Switzerland
Oeschinensee in Kandersteg

Lucerne and Thun are the two cities in the Swiss Alps you can see before/after visiting Kandersteg. Lucerne, like Kandersteg, is also a beautiful destination for vacation too (this city has a beach!). Learn more about these cities from my articles about Thun and Lucerne (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Unique things to do in Kandersteg

Kandersteg is known by many as a lovely vacation destination in the Swiss Alps. Here are the unique things you’ll experience in Kandersteg:

  • Mountain Coasting with Panorama. Sliding the sled down a 750-meter track gives you a 150-meter elevation difference and an unforgettable experience suitable for all ages. 
  • Enjoying the lake. Row the boat, catch a fish, and make barbeques. Lake Oeschinensee in Kandersteg will allow you to have a quality moment with your family and the stunning views of the lake mountains.  
  • UNESCO-Ice Walk (Winter). Explore the mountains and walk over the frozen Lake Oeschinensee. The trails are groomed before the site opens. You won’t have to worry about trekking on deep snow.
  • Mountain Tubing (Summer). Get another adrenaline-pumping activity after Mountain Coasting! Ride on a tube and slide down the smoothened path down the hill.

You can check my other article about Kandersteg to see if it’s worth a visit or not. There I’ve listed and explained all the beautiful and fun activities you can have in this town. Here’s the link to my article about Kandersteg to learn more (click to open a new tab and read later).

Town #9: Lauterbrunnen

Legends say Lauterbrunnen is the town in the Swiss Alps in Switzerland where the book/movie The Lord of the Rings got its inspiration. With the snow-capped mountains, towering cliffs, and magnificent waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen, no wonder why the Lord of the Rings turned out so beautiful to watch.

Lauterbrunnen is located in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the canton of Bern. It is surrounded by towering peaks such as:

  • Schilthorn
  • Bietenhorn
  • Schwarzmonch
  • Silberhorn

Lauterbrunnen is also a municipality that comprises several villages:

  • Lauterbrunnen
  • Wengen
  • Murren
  • Gimmelwald
  • Stechelberg 
  • Isenfluh
Lauterbrunnen, Bern, Switzerland
Lauterbrunnen

Look at this Streetview of Lauterbrunnen. See how beautiful the Staubbach Waterfall glows with the sun?

Lauterbrunnen’s name means “many fountains,” derived from the town’s natural landscape. There are just 72 waterfalls found here, and the most notable one is called Staubbach Falls.

Staubbach Fall is the waterfall you can immediately see as soon as you enter Lauterbrunnen. Its waters fall from a nearly 300-meter tall cliff, one of the highest in Europe, and one of the most beautiful that you can see, especially on a sunny day.

Lauterbrunnen, Bern, Switzerland
Lauterbrunnen

The falls plus scenery of the vibrant meadows, wooden houses, and ice-capped mountains are just some of the heavenly things you can find in Lauterbrunnen. Here are more reasons to visit Lauterbrunnen:

  • Waterfalls. Aside from Staubbach and Spissbach Falls, you can visit the roaring Trummelbach Falls in the Black Monk Mountain, a gem hidden in the rock faces. It is a waterfall that dumps 20 thousand liters of water every second from a 200-meter cliff – a true spectacle to see. 
  • Gateway to the most epic places and places in the Swiss Alps. When you come to Lauterbrunnen, you gain access to cable cars and train rides that can bring you instantly and directly to the most beautiful locations in the Alps:
    • Sphinx Observatory – located in the Jungfraujoch, the top of Europe
    • Piz Gloria – gives you a 360-degree view of the mountains of the Bernese Alps.

If you like to visit Lauterbrunnen, you can check my  Lauterbrunnen Itineraries (click to open in a new tab) to give you an idea of how you can spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Lauterbrunnen. That post has 9 sample itineraries to help you visit the three best attractions in Lauterbrunnen: Mannlichen, Schilthorn, and Jungfraujoch.

Here’s a quick glimpse of what’s inside one of the observatories you can access from Lauterbrunnen:

Lauterbrunnen is closest to Lucerne and Thun, two cities in the Swiss Alps nice to visit next. If you want to see more castles, go to Thun. Then if it’s more scenic spots you like to visit more, try Lucerne. Learn more about these cities from my articles about Thun and Lucerne (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Unique things to do in Lauterbrunnen

There are so many things to do in Lauterbrunnen. But here are the unique ones that you would want to try (aside from hiking and skiing):

  • Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe. Enjoy the jaw-dropping sight of the mountain peaks from Sphinx viewing building or feel awe by visiting the Ice palace and the eternal snow plateau.
  • Piz Gloria. Dine-in at one of the highest restaurants in Europe. There, you can eat while enjoying the 360 panoramic views of the Alps.
  • Birg. See a panoramic view of Eiger & Jungfrau peaks on a Steep, glass-floored sightseeing path around a cliff.

People often call Lauterbrunnen a piece of heaven on earth. If you check my article about Lauterbrunnen, you will know why. In that article, I listed the things to do in Lauterbrunnen and why it is so unmissable. Here are my articles about Lauterbrunnen (click to open in a new tab and read later) and How to Visit Lauterbrunnen.

Town #10: Leukerbad

Leukerbad is the best town in the Swiss Alps to visit if you seek therapeutic warmth after hiking or having outdoor activities in the mountains. There are 65 thermal hot springs in this mountain spa town resort, which were used even by the ancient Romans who sought relief after a day of work.

Leukerbad is located in the district of Leuk in the canton of Valais. It is situated between the famous Gemmi Pass and Torrenthorn.

Leukerbad, Valais, Switzerland
Leukerbad

The discovery of these hot springs led to the development of tourism in Leukerbad. Now they are utilized in many wellness resorts and spas in the town. It attracted many tourists who desire the three-in-one package Leukerbad offers: awe, adventure, and wellness.

Look at one of the resorts here in Leukerbad. Warm water + beautiful mountains = perfect!

With the hot springs in town, strolling around the beautiful Leukerbad or climbing the stunning mountains won’t end in painful joints and muscles anymore. It is a good reason why we should visit Leukerbad, but here’s more:

  • There are gorges to explore. Visit Gala Gorge and learn “interesting” facts about the thermal waters in Leukerbad.
  • Leukerbad has services and facilities promoting wellness. There’s just a wide range of spas to visit in Leukerbad. Some offer a super delicious and nutritious breakfast in the spa hot springs! Feel healthy!
  • Leukerbad has epic viewing platforms and adventures. Leukerbad brings you the opportunities to enjoy nature at its best, from awe-inspiring mountain views to thrilling adventures!

Unique things to do in Leukerbad

There are many things to do in Leukerbad. Here are the unique activities I think we can do in Leukerbad:

  • Dala Gorge. Explore Dala Gorge using the 600-meter footbridge situated 4 meters above the river bed. Discover things about the thermal waters in Leukerbad that took 40 years to reach the earth’s surface.
  • Viewing platform Gemmi. Dine-in at Wildstrubel Restaurant, located in the Gemmi Pass, and come to the viewing platform next to the restaurant. It is an excellent place to observe the mountains and the town of Leukerbad from the sky.
  • Adventure via ferrata. Test your climbing skills with a range of rope courses. There are challenges to give you goosebumps, like the twisting 20-meter-high ladder that turns 540 degrees!

Leukerbad lies between two cities in the Swiss Alps, Brig and Sion. Sion is the capital of Valais, famous for wines and two scenic castles on two hilltops. Brig is the gateway to the dramatic Simplon pass to Italy. Learn more about Sion and Brig here (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Town #11: Murren

A village of not more than 500 inhabitants, Murren is a charming town in the Swiss Alps, free of cars. It offers stunning alpine scenery and mountain culture for us to discover. Murren is kinda the larger version of Gimmelwald, where you can really enjoy the natural beauty of Switzerland.

Murren sits on the west clifftop in the Lauterbrunnen Valley overlooking the village of Stechelberg below. It is in between the Schilthorn peak and the Jungfrau mountain range.

Murren, Bern, Switzerland
Murren

Murren sits over a flat clifftop in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, facing the spectacular Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau mountains to the east. It has authentic wooden and flower-bedecked chalets that really match the views of the mountains from afar. Without the presence of cars, strolling in Murren should feel really idyllic, heavenly.

Look at a drone shot from Murren. The view is stunning! It seems I would be able to stroll all day in Murren with that! Or I can just lay down on the grass and stare at the mountain for a day.

Aside from the heavenly atmosphere of Murren, here are some other reasons why Murren is worth visiting:

  • When you are in Murren, you have easy access to Birg and Schilthorn (Piz Gloria) through cable cars. They are one of the places where you can see the entire Bernese Alps in one spot.
  • It is also near a playground/funicular called Allmendhubel-Bahn with a stunning view of Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau.
  • There are also other “cool” outdoor activities such as Tobogganing or exploring Trummelbach falls.

Murren is a village in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and the two cities in the Swiss Alps closest to it are Thun and Lucerne. In Murren, you get the stunning view of Jungfrau massif. For Thun, it’s mount Niesen you’ll see, and for Lucerne, it’s Mount Pilatus. Learn more about these cities from my articles about Thun and Lucerne (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Unique things to do in Murren

Murren is a small village but never underestimate it for its size. Here are the unique things that you can do when you are in Murren:

  • Piz Gloria. Go to the peak of Schilthorn and eat your snacks in Piz Gloria. It may not be as high as the neighboring peaks, but the spot will let you see jaw-dropping scenery of other mountains.
  • Almendhubel. If you have your kids with you, bring them to Almendhubel. It is a playground with scenic views of the Jungfrau mountain range.
  • Birg. See a panoramic view of Eiger & Jungfrau peaks on a Steep, glass-floored sightseeing path around a cliff.

See my article about Lauterbrunnen (click to open in a new tab and read later) to learn more about Murren. 

Town #12: Obergoms

Obergoms, a quiet town in the Swiss Alps with fewer than 1000 inhabitants, is home to chapels and churches with slim white spires and Valaisian style wooden houses. Like the other villages in the Swiss Alps, The chalets and landscape in Obergoms deeply captivate the heart of travelers.

Obergoms is located at the easternmost reach of the Rhone Valley, where the Rhone Glacier feeds the Rhone River. It is also the easternmost municipality/town in the canton of Valais, surrounded by towering 3000+ meter mountains.

Obergoms, Valais, Switzerland
Obergoms

Obergoms is also where we can find some of the most scenic passes in Switzerland. Not only that, the iconic Belverede Hotel and the nostalgic steam train are here as well!

If you’re looking for natural wonders, Obergoms got something for you. You can find the Rhone Glacier, the birthplace of the Rhone river at the northeastern portion of Obergoms, up to the mountains. It has an Ice Cave which you can enter and explore!

Obergoms, Train, Valais, Switzerland
Obergoms Nostalgic Train

By knowing these, I think we now know the reason why we should visit Obergoms.

Unique things to do in Obergoms

I found many things to do in Obergoms. Here are the unique activities that I found (aside from hiking and skiing):

  • Burli-Schiirli. Enter a charming rustic food shop that sells local delicacies of Obergoms. They also sell homemade bread and typical farm cuisine.
  • Furka Pass. Come and see one of the most scenic passes in Switzerland and the third-highest pass in the country. It is where we can see the iconic and most photographed hotel, Belverede Hotel.
  • Ice cave in the Rhone glacier. Enter a 100-meter long ice cave with all blue chambers and tunnels. You can also hike to the Rhone Glacier to see what it’s like from above.
  • Steam Railway via Furka. Join the daily trip of an early 20th-century nostalgic train, starting from Realp to the Furka crest tunnel to Gletsch in the Upper Goms.

The closest city in the alps to Obergoms is Brig. It is only 1 train ride away from Obergoms, 1 hour and 20 minutes travel time. Learn more about this city from my article about Brig (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Town #12: Saas-Fee

Saas-Fee, a village in the Swiss Alps with ~2000 people, is the one that we call “Die Perle der Alpen” (The Pearl of the Alps) because of its location surrounded by 4000-meter mountains in the Alps.

Saas-Fee is located in the district of Visp in the canton of Valais, near the Swiss-Italian border. Its location is close to famous hiking peaks like Weissmies, Nadelhorn, and Lenspitze. Saas-Fee is also close to Dom and Allinhorn Glaciers, allowing visitors to play winter sports all year round.

Saas-Fee, Valais, Switzerland
Saas-Fee

Saas-Fee is a village characterized by well preserved Swiss wood architecture, lush meadows, and stunning mountain ranges. The overall scenery plus the car-free environment makes Saas-Fee a very idyllic place to visit.

Check out how beautiful your stroll in Saas-Fee can be:

The village features lots of things to do, from dining to indoor activities and outdoor fun. Saas-Fee always has something to offer you. But above all, there are the best reasons why you should visit Saas-Fee:

  • Highest Funicular Railway. A check to your bucket list. Ride the highest funicular railway in the world. It leads you to the skiing area and to another item on your bucket list, the highest revolving restaurant in the world.
  • Highest revolving restaurant. Located at 3500 meters or 11500 feet above sea level, “threes!xty” on the Mittel-Allalin, is Switzerland’s highest restaurant AND the world’s highest revolving restaurant. 

Unique things to do in Saas-Fee

There are so many things to do in Saas-Fee, especially during winter. But here are unique ones we can try:

  • Manage a hotel. Try a unique experience with your friends. In Panoramahotel Alphubel, they will let you manage a hotel. Don’t worry about screwing up… The hotelier couple will always be there to help! 😀
  • Allalinhorn. Though this might require hiking, the experience of standing over a 4000-meter peak is once in a lifetime. Enjoy the panoramic views from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn to the Jungfrau massif.
  • Ice Pavilion. Enter an ice-frozen grotto at 3500 meters above sea level in Fee Glacier. There are glowing ice sculptures inside to behold. There is also an avalanche simulation here to add to your adventure experience.
  • The Hannig show dairy. See the goats in the Hannig alpine goat pasture. There is also goat cheese to try as well!

The two cities in the Swiss Alps nearest to Saas-Fee are Sion and Brig. Brig is usually the home base of people exploring the Swiss Alps. Sion, however, is the place to learn some fascinating history about the region. Learn more about Sion and Brig here (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Town #13: Verbier

Verbier is an enchanting town in the Swiss Alps with slate-roofed chalets in a spectacular mountainous environment. It is situated on a sunny, south-facing plateau at 1,500m with a beautiful view of the Massif des Combins.

Verbier is perched on a plateau in the western part of the canton of Valais. It is in the vicinity of Mount Fort, which on the top, gives you views of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.

Verbier, Valais, Switzerland
Verbier

It is also a holiday resort nestled in the skiing region, regarded as one of the world’s top backcountry ski destinations. The high elevation areas near Verbier are fully blanketed in snow throughout the year – giving winter sports enthusiasts enjoyment regardless of the season.

Travelers and winter sports enthusiasts call Verbier the gateway to the 4 Vallées ski area. Skiers are the luckiest as Verbier features vibrant resort culture, steep slopes, and fantastic weather.

Before going to the skiing area, don’t forget to enjoy the pleasant Verbier village with beautiful meadows, charming houses, and stunning mountains. See this 360-degree view of the town:

Unique things to do in Verbier

There are wellness, indoor, and sports activities to do in Verbier. Here are the unique activities I found in Verbier (Aside from hiking and skiing):

  • Equestrian sports. Discover Verbier and surrounding villages while horseback riding. There are lessons and courses to try! 
  • Golf. Verbier offers you not only winter sports but also golf. Here, a newbie or a pro is welcomed. Take a swing and then relax with the views of the beautiful alpine scenery.
  • Have a thermal bath and other wellness activities. There are many relaxing things to do in Verbier, perfect to have after a day of hiking and other sports.

The closest city in the alps to Verbier is Sion. It is only 2 train rides and 1 bus ride away from Verbier, 1 hour and 20 minutes travel time. Learn more about this city from my article about Sion (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Town #14: Wengen

Wengen is another scenic town in the Swiss Alps with 1,300 inhabitants in Lauterbrunnen Valley that will take your breath away. It was an alpine farming settlement two centuries ago until tourism skyrocketed and transformed this village into an idyllic heavenly mountain resort town.

Wengen is perched on a flat clifftop at the foot of Jungfrau, 400 meters above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Located southeast of Wengen is the three giant mountains, Jungfrau, Eiger, and Monch.

Wengen, Bern, Switzerland
Wengen

Wengen is a car-free village with nostalgic timber houses and flower-decked chalets. These, together with the lush meadows, and stunning mountain views, create an image of heaven – a place on earth we all desire to see.

Wengen is the perfect viewing spot of the Lauterbrunnen town down the valley. This is a shot of Lauterbrunnen town taken from Wengen on a perfect sunny morning:

View of Lauterbrunnen from Wengen, Wengen, Switzerland
View of Lauterbrunnen from Wengen

This picture-perfect mountain village is also the gateway to the many epic mountain destinations like Kleine Scheidegg, Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe, and Mannlichen. All of these are the reasons why you should visit and never skip Wengen when you visit Switzerland.

Here is the 360-view in Mannlichen. It’s just heaven, isn’t it?

Wengen is a village in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and the two cities in the Swiss Alps closest to it are Thun and Lucerne. Wengen will transport you back to the past because of the traditional houses everywhere. Thun and Lucerne will do the same because of their medieval town centers. Learn more about these cities from my articles about Thun and Lucerne (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Unique things to do in Wengen

The things to do in other villages in the Lauterbrunnen Valley can also be easily accessed from Wengen. They’re very close to each other. Regardless, here are the unique things to do in Wengen (aside from hiking and skiing):

  • Maanlichen Royal Walk. Go to the Instagrammable crown-like viewing point in Maanlichen’s peak. Enjoy the sights of the Swiss Alps!
  • Sphinx Observatory. Take a cable car ride to Jungfraujoch – The top of Europe and visit the Sphinx Observatory. There, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding mountains without obstruction.
  • Ice Palace. Just beside the Observatory, explore the Ice Palace. Walk into the blue tunnels and check out some cute and marvelous ice sculptures. 

See my article about Lauterbrunnen (click to open in a new tab and read later) to learn more about Wengen. 

Town #15: Zermatt

Zermatt is a mountaineering town in the Swiss Alps and ski resort in the canton of Valais, known for the views of the picture-perfect Matterhorn. This town isn’t only for adults, but for the whole family. Zermatt is labeled by the Swiss Tourism Federation as one of the Family Destinations in Switzerland.

Zermatt, Valais, Switzerland
Zermatt

Zermatt is one of the towns in Switzerland that enjoys fair weather all year round, boasting 300 days of sun. It is also a car-free town, so you can expect absolutely fresh air all the time.

The village is a mixture of old and new. Despite the newly constructed hotels built after the tourism boom, Zermatt never loses its traditional touch.

We can still see up until now ~30 buildings in Zermatt built with the style of the original Walser residents. There are also barns and grain stores that reveal the daily life of the mountain farmers who lived in this village. 

Here’s the view of the Matterhorn from the town center of Zermatt:

Aside from the beautiful village and marvelous mountains near Zermatt, here are the other reasons why you should visit Zermatt:

  • Matterhorn. See the ultimate icon of Switzerland.
  • Photogenic Lakes. You can hike to several lakes that reflect Matterhorn. They create spectacular scenery to behold.
  • Zermatt gives a slash to your bucket list. You can get a ride on the highest cable car station in Europe (3,883 m) from Zermatt.
  • Culture. During summer, you can watch the procession of the goats or folklore with music.

The closest city in the Alps to Zermatt is Brig. It is only 2 train rides away from Zermatt, 1 hour and 24 minutes travel time. Learn more about this city from my article about Brig (click to open in a new tab and read later).

Unique things to do in Zermatt

Zermatt is a well-developed tourist destination, and it offers many things to do. From everything that I saw, here are the most unique activities I think we can have (aside from hiking and skiing):

  • Explore Zermatt Village. For an hour or two, you can already make a loop within the village. Don’t forget to see the portion of Zermatt where the centuries-old houses are.
  • Glacier Palace. See and explore the highest natural glacier palace in the world. Walk inside the tunnel that’s 15 meters below the glacier’s surface. Inside, you’ll see hidden lighting and ethereal sounds – a surreal place to be.
  • Zermatt Bier. Taste Zermatt’s special beer brewed on the slopes of Monte Rosa and Matterhorn. It is a soft, balanced amber beer identified by its fruity and sweet character. 
  • Matterhorn glacier paradise. Ride the highest cable car ride in Europe and get the best views of the Swiss Alps. It stretches 25 kilometers from Matterhorn glacier paradise station to Zermatt.
  • Gorner Gorge. See a natural wonder, a ravine eroded by the Gornervispe River after the last Ice Age. Discover rocks that are already Hundred of millions of years old! 

Zermatt and Matterhorn is the ultimate destination in Switzerland, together with the Jungfrau region. It’s full of panoramic views – the reason why it is so much worth it to visit. I have another article about  Zermatt (click to open in a new tab and read later); in this article, you’ll find all the scenic spots that you would not want to miss when you visit Zermatt also some times for your visit.

The Swiss Alps is one of the most beautiful places on earth! Discover the best places to visit in the Swiss Alps from my articles: Inspiring Photos of Swiss Countryside and Things That Make The Swiss Alps Famous and Special. (Click to open in a new tab and read later)

Bonus destination: Gruyeres – a preserved medieval city/village with picturesque landscapes like these 15 towns in the Swiss Alps. It’s one of the most liked destinations in Switzerland for the scenic, historical, and unique experiences found in it.

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Towns in the Swiss Alps
Towns in the Swiss Alps

2 Comments

  1. Hi, Thank you for this beautiful post. I am hoping to travel to Bern in July 2022 to attend a conference, at the University hospital Bern. It was been my dream from childhood to visit the Swiss Alps. Could you please advise on the closest destination to Bern please? I am not living in Europe, so the goegraphy is a bit confusing. Thank you so much.

    1. I’m so happy for you that you’ll be finally visiting the Swiss Alps soon! If you will be coming from Bern, I suggest you go straight to Lauterbrunnen. It has the most beautiful landscape in the entire swiss alps, in my opinion, and it’s just 2 train rides away (Bern to Interlaken then Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen). 🙂

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