10 most popular spring destinations to visit in Switzerland
For many people, the arrival of spring presents an ideal time to leave work or school behind and go on a minibreak somewhere in Switzerland. If you aren’t sure where you should go this springtime, here are the top 10 destinations to visit in Switzerland, according to people living in the country!
Most popular Swiss destinations during spring and Easter
The coming of warm weather gives locals, expats and tourists alike the opportunity to visit some of Switzerland’s most beautiful cities, cantons and historical sites. According to an analysis by Booking.com, here is where the residents of Switzerland like to visit in the spring, in the country they call home.
According to the study, Lugano is by far the most popular destination for locals during the spring. Canton Ticino has been a prime holiday destination for the Swiss for many decades, thanks to its comparatively warm climate near the border with Italy.
Situated on the picturesque Lake Lugano, the city itself is an ideal base from which to explore the local countryside and mountains. If swimming and hiking are not for you, why not take in a concert or exhibition at the LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura centre? Once you've finished your grand day out, perhaps begin your evening by taking a leisurely stroll along the Olive Grove Trail, before returning to the old town to enjoy some local Swiss Italian delicacies.
The ski season may be over, but that doesn’t make Swiss ski resorts any less appealing, with the town of Zermatt placing second on the list. Situated below the imposing Matterhorn, the town has a number of interesting things to see and do.
Travellers wanting to get a better glimpse of the mountain can take the Gornergrat Railway up to the nearby observatory, or perhaps join a hike to the Stellisee. While the adrenaline junkies enjoy paragliding and helicopter touring, the more sedate visitor can take in the old town and local museums.
What’s more, getting to Zermatt can be an adventure all in itself, as you aren’t able to drive there. Instead, why not end your trip in style by boarding the Glacier Express, before taking regular public transport home?
Much like Zermatt, Crans-Montana boasts a number of interesting things to do, which is why it’s the third most popular destination for the Swiss! After taking the funicular from Sierre, the local area has a number of great walking and hiking routes, which can be seen on the official SwitzerlandMobility website.
Along with the excellent scenery, the town also has a number of museums like the Hameau de Colombire - a living museum that shows a faithful reconstruction of what life was like in the Alps in pre-modern times - and the Fondation Suisse des Trains Miniatures - a fantastic model railway museum.
With our fourth entry, it's back to Ticino and to Lugano’s sister city Locarno. Despite being smaller, Locarno arguably has more sites to see like the Piazza Grande, the old town and the Castello Visconteo - the local castle. It also plays host to a number of great events, most notably the Locarno Film Festival and Le Corte in Canto.
Like many areas of the Swiss mountains, walking and hiking routes are plentiful. For the best view of the city and surrounding countryside, take the cable car up to the nearby hill: Cardada.
Image credit: Shutterstock.com / elitravo
As the largest city in Switzerland, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Zurich finds itself as one of the Swiss' top 10 destinations for spring. From the Grossmünster to the Landesmuseum, the “Swiss metropolis” has a number of excellent things to do, even on a rainy day.
The city is also easy to get to, with great public transport connections to the airport and the rest of Switzerland. Want fun things to do in the city that won’t break the bank? Check out our guide to 14 free or cheap things you can do in Zurich.
A piece of France in Switzerland: Geneva is a must-see for any traveller or new expat in the country. Dubbed the “international city”, the area is a melting pot of different cultures and activities.
Knowledge-nuts among us will enjoy Geneva for its many engaging museums, some of the highlights being CERN, the Patek Philippe Museum, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum and the Museum of Art History. If you can, a tour of the Palais de Nations - one of the main headquarters for the United Nations - is also well worth it.
Sitting on the border of three countries, Basel is an excellent place to visit for a long weekend. Along with having a pretty old town with an enchanting cathedral, the city is home to excellent museums relating to art and culture.
Other attractions include the Dreiländereck - the point where the borders of Switzerland, France and Germany meet, the Art Museum and the local Zoo.
If you want a snapshot of what French-speaking Switzerland has to offer in terms of food, architecture and culture, Lausanne is an ideal place to start. The city on the hill overlooking Lake Geneva has a myriad of places to explore and is a fantastic base for excursions to Montreux, the castle at Chillon, Nyon, the vineyards of the Lavaux and the highlands of Vaud.
Within the city itself, Lausanne is perhaps most famous for the Olympic Museum and the old town. Another top activity is to take a boat cruise on the lake as it is a great way to see the city in all its glory.
The last of the Ticino trio, just across the River Maggia from Locarno is the top tourist spot of Ascona. The area remains a popular destination for Swiss people, with the wealthy residents of Zurich and other northern cantons known for owning summer houses in the city and along the lake’s coastline.
After a quiet walk along the shoreline of the lake, the town itself has a charming array of small cafes, bars and restaurants. Situated on Lake Maggiore, people staying in Ascona are within easy reach of Italy. One of the best day trips from Ascona is to the Brissago Islands further down the lake, home to castles and subtropical plants.
Now, you may be wondering why Kloten, a small town in Canton Zurich, is 10th on the list. According to the official data, it is the 10th most popular destination for people in Switzerland to visit in the spring, despite its size and - compared to the previous entries at least - lack of things to do.
However, Booking.com explained that practically all the hotel reservations from Kloten relate to people staying a night before flying out from Zurich Airport - arguably the biggest attraction Kloten has to offer. Want to know where they are flying to? Check out our piece on where people in Switzerland are planning to fly to this year.
Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Keena ithar
Indulge in everything Switzerland has to offer this spring
Well there we have it, the 10 most popular destinations in Switzerland, as chosen by local residents. Have a top Swiss destination that we have missed out on? Let us know in the comments below!