10 most popular city breaks as chosen by travellers from Switzerland
After it was revealed that people in Switzerland were ready to splash the cash on holidays this summer, the latest data from Booking.com has shown which cities are top of people’s bucket lists. The figures suggest a resurgence of many of the most popular destinations before the pandemic, with every single one being in Europe.
10 most popular summer city trips from Switzerland
While the Swiss often dream of booking holidays further afield, more and more people are choosing to ditch the airport, long-haul flights and scorching sandy beaches in favour of a more cultural excursion in European cities. With this in mind, here are people from Switzerland's most popular city destinations for the months of July and August 2023, according to the latest booking data from Booking.com.
1. London, England
While good weather is not guaranteed - although you will certainly have to endure conversations about how rainy it is while you are there - the British capital London was found to be Swiss people's top pick for this summer. With countless famous attractions and sights to see, it’s perhaps not a surprise.
After an afternoon tea at one of the many tea rooms dotted around the city, a walk along the Thames towards Parliament and the London Eye is a must-do. Sadly, for the eco-minded among us, until the Switzerland to London direct train comes online, a meandering train and change at Paris, or a direct flight, are the only options.
2. Paris, France
Speaking of Paris, a simple direct train from Zurich, Basel or Geneva takes Swiss travellers right into the heart of the bustling metropolis. It appears as though tourists from the alpine nation haven’t been afflicted by “Paris Disappointment Syndrome”, with the French capital taking pride in place as the second most popular city break.
Situated on the banks of the Seine, Paris is a feast for anyone who wants lashings of art, history, great food and culture. The Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Arc de Triomphe are just a few of the hundreds of attractions you have to see. Who says the “city of love” has lost its allure?
3. Hamburg, Germany
Taking home the bronze medal is Hamburg in northern Germany. One of the largest cities in the country, the so-called “Gateway to the World” owes its grandeur to its role in opening up trade routes around the globe. The old Hanseatic city is filled to the brim with culture and fascinating history - not to mention the largest miniature railway in the world.
With over 50 museums, 45 theatres and 100 music venues, the city has something to offer from morning till night. What’s more, it can be reached either by flying or via direct Intercity or night trains that leave Zurich three times every weekday.
4. Barcelona, Spain
From the chilly north to the warm banks of the Mediterranean: Barcelona, Spain was ranked as the fourth most popular city break for Swiss people. The Catalonian capital is well known for its artistic heritage and is home to interesting architecture (Las Ramblas, Sagrada Familia and Gothic Quarter to name just three), and a vibrant music and food scene.
For people in Switzerland, a laborious multi-connection train or bus journey to Barcelona will likely be a step too far, especially for families, so a quick flight over there is the still best option. Once you are there though you can take in the city, or take a quick journey to see the beach or the mountains.
5. Copenhagen, Denmark
Bouncing from south to north once more, Copenhagen, Denmark took fifth in the ranking. The city is the epitome of Scandinavian charm and architecture, as showcased by the colourful buildings that line the city's canals.
Those visiting should check out the fairy-tale old town and the number of great palaces and castles dotted around the city. For travellers from Switzerland, either change trains in Hamburg to get to Copenhagen - although this does take over 17 hours - or just fly from Zurich, Basel or Geneva.
6. Lisbon, Portugal
From the neighbourhood of Alfama to the Praca do Comerico and the Bairro Alto, the city of Lisbon is a fantastic place to explore. The capital of Portugal was first settled over 3.200 years ago, so it is full of interesting places to see.
What’s more, Lisbon makes for a great base to explore other stunning locations in the country like Sintra and Cascais. It’s also easy to get to, with direct flights offered from all Swiss airports.
7. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Arguably the European capital most associated with "city breaks", a visit to Amsterdam seems like a right of passage for any young person who has just been flung into adulthood. Despite its reputation as a party town, there are many fantastic museums and cultural activities to enjoy - not surprising then that it's the seventh most popular city break for Swiss travellers.
After taking a canal cruise - one of the top things to do in the world - maybe hop off and see the Rijksmuseum before meandering around the streets of the old town and Jordaan. With a recently opened night train from Zurich and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport close by, getting there is also a breeze.
8. Berlin, Germany
Often described as one of the "coolest cities in the world", it seems as though people in Switzerland have a real soft spot for Berlin - and a weekend there will certainly show you why. Along with the well-known historical sites dotted around the city, the German capital is also known for its grungy and bohemian party, dance and art scene.
A trip to Berlin doesn’t have to break the bank either, as there are many cool things to do for cheap or for free. Along with having low-cost flights from all airports, travellers can also take advantage of the regular rail services between Zurich and Berlin.
9. Edinburgh, Scotland
Another British city on the list is the Scottish capital Edinburgh in ninth. Famous for its castle, Arthur’s Seat, the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the city has been regularly voted as the UK’s top city break.
Once you are done gorging on delicious food and characterful whisky, the city acts as the gateway to the Highlands and Northumberland. While it is possible to reach Edinburgh from Switzerland by train, the quickest solution is to take a flight straight there.
10. Rome, Italy
Finally, what list of top city breaks would be complete without Rome - although according to Booking.com, it’s only the 10th most popular city break for the Swiss this summer. The City on Seven Hills has some of the most awe-inspiring architecture and historical sites - including the Vatican, Colosseum and Pantheon to name a few.
Travellers from Switzerland can reach Rome by flying or taking a train to Milan and changing onto the super-fast Frecciarossa all the way to the capital.
Where are you headed this summer?
Well there we are, all the metropolises that people in Switzerland really want to visit this summer. Have a city break that you want to share? Let us know in the comments below.