25 Famous Landmarks in Switzerland That Can't be Missed

12 min read

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A bright blue river with boats on it and buildings, churches, and trees on both sides
Zurich has many Swiss landmarks, like the churches of Grossmünster and Fraumünster

Located in Central Europe, Switzerland is a travel bucket list destination with amazing natural landscapes, historical sites, and much more.

Due to the country's rich history and breathtaking scenery, it's no surprise that you can find an array of famous landmarks in Switzerland.

Iconic places to visit include Grossmünster Cathedral and Fraumünster Church in Zurich, the beautiful Chillon Castle, and the fascinating Swiss National Museum.

Of course, there are also many natural landmarks to see, from the Swiss Alps to Lake Geneva and Rhine Falls. Keep reading to discover 25 famous places in Switzerland to visit!

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25 Famous Switzerland Landmarks

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Famous Landmarks of Switzerland

A red train on a track through alpine trees next to a snow-covered mountain
Riding the Bernina Express offers a unique way to see the Alps

Bernina Express

A fantastic way to see the Alps is by taking the Bernina Express from Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland. On the journey, you will travel through the mountain range to reach Tirano, Italy.

The train primarily runs along the Rhaetian Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you travel, you will get to admire the natural scenery through large glass windows.

An audio guide is also available in multiple languages, which will give you more information on all the sites you see. Guests can book first or second-class seats, and there is a bar on board.

Lindt Home of Chocolate

If you have a sweet tooth, Lindt Home of Chocolate is one of the famous places in Switzerland you have to visit! The unique museum in the town of Kilchberg is dedicated to the Swiss chocolatier.

Visitors can see exhibits on the production and history of Swiss chocolate and learn more about the Lindt brand. You can also see a large chocolate fountain and attend chocolate-making workshops. Of course, there is also a gift shop where you can pick up delicious Lindt chocolates.

A red train on a track next to the grass and a snow-covered mountain
The Jungfraujoch Railway goes through the Alps from Jungfraujoch to Kleine Scheidegg

Jungfraujoch Railway

Jungfraujoch Railway is another of the famous Swiss landmarks that allows you to enjoy views of the Alps. The Jungfraujoch Railway Station is also the highest railway station in Europe, sitting at 3,454 metres above sea level.

The railway connects the Jungfraujoch, one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps, to Kleine Scheidegg in the Bernese Oberland. Construction of the railway began in 1896, and it opened in 1903, with additional sections opening over the next few decades.

In 2008, a cable car system known as the Eiger Express also opened around the railway, which offers a quicker way to see the Jungfraujoch.

☂️ Visit Jungfraujoch with an experience

Anna Göldi Museum

The Anna Göldi Museum is one of the most fascinating museums in Switzerland. The museum is dedicated to the story of Anna Göldi, one of the last people in Europe to be executed for witchcraft.

Born in 1734 in Sennwald, Switzerland, she was executed in 1782 in Glarus, Switzerland, after being reported for witchcraft by her employer. Anna was exonerated in 2008, and a memorial to her was placed in Glarus in 2014. In addition, the Anna Göldi Museum was opened in 2017.

At the museum, you can learn more about Anna and her life and witch trial. You will also learn more about the European witch hunts in general, and there are exhibits on human rights from the 18th century to today.

A chateau-style building next to a small square with greenery and a sign
The Swiss National Museum has beautiful architecture and interesting exhibits

Swiss National Museum

The Swiss National Museum is one of the famous places in Switzerland that offers background on the country's history and culture. Opened in 1898, the museum in Zurich has exhibits on significant events and historical periods, and you can see paintings, artefacts, sculptures, and more.

In addition, the building itself is regarded as an architectural work of art by many and resembles a French Renaissance chateau. Admiring the architecture and viewing the exhibits at the Swiss National Museum has to be on your Zurich itinerary!

☂️ Visit Swiss National Museum with a tour

A wooden bridge next to a lake with swans, a building, and a snow-covered mountain
Chapel Bridge is the only European wooden footbridge to feature paintings

Chapel Bridge

Kapellbrücke, or Chapel Bridge, in Lucerne, is a world-famous landmark that was constructed in 1333. The Swiss National Landmark stretches over the River Reuss and is 205 metres long.

Having been built over 600 years ago, it is no surprise that Chapel Bridge is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, as well as the oldest truss bridge in the world. Due to these accolades, it is one of Switzerland's top tourist attractions.

Interestingly, the bridge also features paintings, most of which were commissioned in the 17th century. This unique feature cannot be seen on any other European wooden footbridge.

☂️ Discover Chapel Bridge on a tour

A tower next to alpine trees and a snow-covered path
The Leaning Tower of St. Moritz was built in the 1500s and has a structural lean

Leaning Tower of St. Moritz

Most people will think about Pisa in Italy when they hear "Leaning Tower." However, there is also a Leaning Tower in the Swiss resort town of St. Moritz.

The Leaning Tower of St. Moritz was constructed in the 16th century. By the 18th century, issues with the tower's structure due to earth pressures were being recorded.

Despite efforts across the last few centuries to stop the tower from leaning, only so much could be done. However, the structure's signature lean has helped to make it one of the most famous monuments of Switzerland!

Natural Landmarks in Switzerland

One of the famous landmarks in Switzerland is the Aletsch Glacier
Aletsch Glacier is one of the famous landmarks in Switzerland

Aletsch Glacier

Switzerland has many natural landmarks, one of which is Aletsch Glacier, also known as the Great Aletsch Glacier. This glacier is notable as it is the largest glacier in the Alps.

You can see the landmark in the Swiss canton of Valais within the Bernese Alps. Interestingly, Aletsch Glacier and the area around it are on the UNESCO World Heritage List, making it a protected site. However, visitors can explore parts of the glacier and see it from various locations within the Alps.

☂️ Visit Aletsch Glacier with an experience

A vast lake next to trees, a castle, and mountains on a clear day
Lake Geneva is one of Switzerland's largest lakes

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva sits within France and Switzerland and is surrounded by the Alps. This world-renowned lake is one of the largest in Switzerland and is the largest alpine lake in Europe.

It has an area of 580 square kilometres and, interestingly, is split into three parts: the Upper Lake, the Large Lake, and the Small Lake. Visitors to the areas around Lake Geneva will find many chic hotels, boutique shops, and waterside eateries.

You can also head out on the lake to boat, and sports events, like yacht racing, are held here frequently. In addition, the lake has a rich wildlife habitat and is home to marine life like rainbow trout, Northern pike, and white bass.

☂️ Experience Lake Geneva with a tour

A body of water with mountains in the background on a clear day
Lake Lucerne is the fourth largest lake in Switzerland and spans across ten cities

Lake Lucerne

Another famous lake in Switzerland is Lake Lucerne. Unlike Lake Geneva, which is shared with France, Lake Lucerne sits solely in Switzerland. This lake is the fourth largest in Switzerland and covers an area of just under 114 square kilometres.

Located in Central Switzerland, the lake crosses through ten cities, including Lucerne. This lake is an important passenger boat waterway and is popular with tourists. As you sail along the lake, you can take in views of mountains, green forests, and other stunning scenery.

If you want to be based near the lake, you can find some accommodations around it. Alternatively, book accommodation in the trendy Bruchquartier. This is one of the best places to stay in Lucerne and is also only 30 minutes from Lake Lucerne.

☂️ Visit Lake Lucerne with an excursion

A body of water next to trees and a building, with a mountain in the background
Monte San Giorgio is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that sits on the border with Italy

Monte San Giorgio

Found in Ticino on the Italy-Switzerland border, Monte San Giorgio is a mountain that is part of the Lugano Prealps mountain range. The mountain has UNESCO World Heritage status and even features some ancient archaeological sites, like the Tremona-Castello Archaeological Park.

When in the area, you can hike or cycle around the mountain and spot plants and wildlife. Notably, Monte San Giorgio is the only known Swiss habitat of the Savi's pine vole.

Snow-covered mountains next to a viewing platform with a swiss flag and people on it
The Swiss Alps cover about 60% of Switzerland

Swiss Alps

The Alpine region of Switzerland is referred to as the Swiss Alps and covers 41,285 square kilometres. The vast Swiss Alps cover approximately 60% of the country, making them a major natural landmark.

Within the Swiss Alps are individual renowned mountains and ranges, like The Matterhorn, the Liskamm, and Dufourspitze. Notably, the Swiss Alps are home to almost all of the highest mountains in the Alps.

A mountain with snow on it next to some greenery and a lake on a clear day
The Matterhorn is one of the highest mountains in the Alps

The Matterhorn

As one of the highest mountains in the Alps, The Matterhorn is another of the top natural landmarks in Europe. The Matterhorn is part of the Swiss Alps and stands at 4,478 metres high.

This mountain sits on the border between Switzerland and Italy and is a popular mountain for snow sports enthusiasts. You can ski and snowboard on the mountain, along with enjoying other winter activities. In addition, you can dine at mountainside restaurants, explore ski villages, and hike trails in the warmer months.

☂️ Discover Matterhorn on a tour

Mountains with snow on them next to a lake and some plants and greenery
The Bernese Alps are one of the highest subranges in the Alps

Bernese Alps

The Bernese Alps are a renowned natural landmark in Switzerland. The mountain range in western Switzerland has an elevation of 4,274 metres, with the mountain of Finsteraarhorn being the highest point. Notably, the Bernese Alps are one of the highest subranges of the Swiss Alps and the Alps as a whole.

Luckily, it is quite easy for visitors to explore and admire the Bernese Alps. In fact, Bernese Oberland on the Northern side of the range is one of the most visited places within the Alps.

A river with a bridge and buildings and trees along it on a clear day
The Rhine River passes through six countries, including Switzerland

Rhine River

The Rhine River is one of Europe's largest rivers and passes through six countries, including Switzerland. The 1,233-kilometre river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden within the Swiss Alps and flows all the way to the North Sea.

You can see the river from various places in the country. Many landmarks also sit on the river, like Rhine Falls and Augusta Raurica.

A bridge over a river with a waterfall next to a greenery-covered hill with a house
Rhine Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe

Rhine Falls

Rhine Falls, or Rheinfall, is often referred to as the most powerful waterfall in Europe when looking at average flow rate. As the name suggests, the waterfall sits on the Rhine River between Schaffhausen and Zürich.

This renowned fall stretches 150 metres across and has a height of 23 metres. Visitors to the area can take boat tours around the falls to admire the landmark's beauty. There are also some viewing platforms for those that want to see the waterfall from land.

☂️ Experience Rhine Falls with a tour

A tall waterfall flowing down a cliff next to greenery and small houses
Staubbach Falls in the Bernese Highlands has a drop of 297 metres

Staubbach Falls

Another famous waterfall in Switzerland is Staubbach Falls. The fall is found in the Bernese Highlands near Lauterbrunnen and has a drop of 297 metres.

When seeing the waterfall, you can also follow a few trails that take you around the scenic Lauterbrunnen Valley. Visiting the beautiful town of Lauterbrunnen is recommended as well.

Famous Buildings in Switzerland

A large stone building with columns next to the grass, a bush, and a globe statue
Palais des Nations is one of the world's largest diplomatic conference centres

Palais des Nations

Located in Geneva, within Parc de l'Ariana, Palais des Nations is one of the most important buildings in Europe. The building houses United Nations offices and was built to be the headquarters of the League of Nations in the 1930s.

Additionally, Palais des Nations is one of the world's largest diplomatic conference centres, hosting approximately 5,300 meetings annually. Those that visit the building can admire the unique Stripped Classicism design and take fascinating guided tours.

☂️ Explore Palais des Nations with a tour

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A stone cathedral with two towers next to a bridge, other buildings, and trees
The Grossmünster Cathedral is a renowned Romanesque cathedral in Zurich

Grossmünster Cathedral

The Grossmünster, or Grossmünster Cathedral, is a famous place in Switzerland that is located in Zurich's Old Town. The renowned Romanesque cathedral is thought to have been constructed in 1110 and inaugurated in 1200.

However, other elements have been added over the last nine centuries. The church's most notable features, the Grossmünster twin towers, were added at the end of the 1400s and renovated after a fire in the 1760s.

Additionally, many of the stunning stained glass windows that the cathedral is known for were added in the 1930s and were created by Swiss artist Augusto Giacometti. Admiring the church's exterior and interior design is a must when in Zurich!

☂️ Join a tour to see Grossmünster

A bridge over a river with a tower and other buildings on one sign
Fraumünster Church dates to 853 AD and has stained glass designed by Marc Chagall

Fraumünster Church

Fraumünster Church is another renowned religious building located in Zurich. It sits on the banks of the Limmat River, opposite Grossmünster Cathedral. This church dates all the way back to 853 AD and is designed in a Gothic architectural style.

One of the most famous features of this landmark is the stained glass windows. There are five main windows that were designed by Marc Chagall and added in 1970. Each window represents a biblical story. You can also see a stained glass work by Augusto Giacometti, who designed the stained glass in Grossmünster.

Historical Places in Switzerland

A castle with orange rooves next to trees and surrounded by water
Chillon Castle dates back to the Romans who used it as a military site

Chillon Castle

Located on Lake Geneva, Chillon Castle, or Château de Chillon, is a fascinating attraction that houses exhibits on its history. The castle you see today has been added to across centuries, with the site first dating back to the Bronze Age and the Romans, who used the area as a military site.

Links to the Savoy, Bernese, and Vaudois periods have also been made. In addition, the castle was used as a prison in the 16th century during the Wars of Religion.

Along with seeing exhibits, visitors can take informative guided tours and admire the breathtaking architecture. Of course, the castle also offers beautiful views of Lake Geneva.

☂️ Visit Chillon Castle with a tour

A castle next to trees and a greenery-covered hills and surrounded by water
Oberhofen Castle is a 13th-century castle with architecture from various periods

Oberhofen Castle

Oberhofen Castle is another of many historical landmarks in Switzerland. This 13th-century castle has had various additions since its initial construction, including the addition of a chapel in 1473 and a lake tower around the same time.

In 1700, more renovations took place, and Bernese Baroque-style buildings were added. Finally, in the mid-1800s, it was again added to and redeveloped in a Romantic style.

Tourists today can explore the unique castle, which has architecture in various styles from numerous periods. Visitors can also explore the beautiful grounds, learn more about the castle's history, and take in the views of Lake Thun from viewing platforms in the gardens. You can even rent a room within the castle or plan an event there, like a wedding.

Oliver Foerstner/Shutterstock.com
The ruins of an amphitheatre surrounded by grass and trees on a clear day
A Roman amphitheatre is one of the ruins to see at Augusta Raurica

Augusta Raurica

Sitting on the banks of the Rhine, Augusta Raurica is a fascinating archaeological site that today is an open-air museum. The site dates back to the Romans and is thought to have been initially constructed in 44 BC.

While also an approximation, it is believed that the site was abandoned in 260 AD. This landmark is additionally the oldest known site along the Rhine that relates to a Roman colony.

Visitors to the site can see a range of ruins, including those of temples, an amphitheatre, and a basilica. You can also see statues and some recovered artefacts, like pottery and silver pieces.

Famous Monuments in Switzerland

A monument with ornate carvings surrounded by grass and trees
The Brunswick Monument in Geneva was constructed for Charles II, Duke of Brunswick

Brunswick Monument

Constructed in 1879, the Brunswick Monument stands at 20 metres tall and is a must-visit landmark. You can find the monument in Geneva within Le Jardin Des Alpes. The monument was built to honour Charles II, Duke of Brunswick, who passed away in 1873.

It was requested by the Duke that the monument resemble the 14th century Scaliger Tombs found in Verona, Italy, and viewing this unique piece of architecture has to be on your Switzerland to-do list!

☂️ Visit Brunswick Monument with an experience

A lion carved into a rock face next to a pond and trees
The Lion Monument honours members of the Swiss Guard killed in the French Revolution

Lion Monument

Another unique monument in Switzerland is the Lion Monument in Lucerne. Also called The Lion of Lucerne, the monument features a wounded lion carved into a rock cliff next to a pond. The artwork was designed in the 1820s to honour the Swiss Guards who were killed during the French Revolution.

Today, tourists flock to see the lion, with approximately 1.4 million people visiting annually. As the monument is a much-loved and important national landmark, it was placed under Swiss monument protection in 2006.

☂️ Visit Lion Monument with an excursion

In Conclusion

Switzerland is a stunning country with an array of landmarks. Whether you want to learn about the natural, cultural, or historical sites in Switzerland, this list should have given you an idea of all the fantastic places to visit in this European country.

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell FORMER WRITER Currently based in Canada, Alli has also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and traveled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She loves finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever she goes.

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