Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit West Europe are in spring (April-May), summer (June-August) and fall (September-October). In general, West Europe countries enjoys mild temperatures, although there are regional variations e.g. there’s a Mediterranean climate in the south and wetter weather in the north. In August, most of the countries closes down to chase the sunshine in the south. For budget travels, winter is one of our preferred times to explore West Europe, as the crowds are fewer, yet the restaurants are still lively with locals.
Spring (April to May) is considered one of the best seasons to visit West Europe, as temperatures start to rise and life pours back into the towns and countryside. Markets tend to reopen or double in size. Although the Easter school break can increase domestic tourism, West Europe during springtime is still relatively peaceful in terms of crowds.
In summer (June to July) across the countries, many visitors either head to the sea or to the swimming pool. June is considered one of the best months to visit, as schools are yet to break up for the summer and temperatures are just right for exploring the cities.
Some businesses throughout the countries close in August, as this is when many of the locals take trips of their own and the schools take their long summer break. However, it’s still a very popular month for travel. Temperatures are at their warmest, so you can spend your days soaking up the sun and dining alfresco.
Autumn (September to October) is one of the best times to visit West Europe. Temperatures are still warm but not too hot, creating ideal conditions for exploring both the cities and the countryside. The crowds have thinned, families have returned to school, and landscapes are illuminated with vibrant reds and golds.
In Winter (November to December), although the weather is cooler, it is still great to visit West Europe. Museums and sites are quiet, while restaurants in the cities are still lively. Christmas markets open up across the cities, where vendors sell mulled wine, cheese, charcuterie and seasonal arts and crafts. Rural areas can be quiet during these months.
Points of Interest
Switzerland offers a surprising amount of cultural variety. It’s divided into three regions, which are determined by the countries they border, and has four official languages. The German region of the country, the central and eastern part of Switzerland, is the largest and includes cities such as Zurich, Bern, and Basel. The western part of Switzerland is considered the French region and includes cities such as Lausanne and Geneva.
Switzerland is not the kind of place where tourists fear using public restrooms; in fact it’s just the opposite. The bathroom you find in a train station is probably going to be just as clean as the bathroom you find in your hotel room. And it’s not just the public restrooms, it’s the country’s public transit, streets, water fountains — you can drink from most of them, and much more.
Switzerland has some of the most incredible scenery in Europe, thanks to the majestic Swiss Alps. Even if you’re not skiing or hiking in the Alps, just looking at them is life-changing enough. Probably the most well-known of the Swiss Alps is the Matterhorn.
There are castles throughout all three of Switzerland’s regions, and they’re all breathtaking. Visiting them is like being transported to a different time period. If castles and mountains weren’t enough, Switzerland also has incredible waterfalls. First and foremost, there’s the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen, the largest plain waterfall in all of Europe.
The Fraumünster and Grossmünster churches
The churches are landmarks of Zurich. The convent once held great power in Zurich. The Fraumünster was built from the middle of the 9th century on the opposite side of the river to the Grossmünster. Today, many visitors are attracted by the five stained glass windows prepared by Marc Chagall in the 1960’s as well as by the the rosette in the south transept. Another significant glass window is “The Heavenly Paradise” (1945) by Augusto Giacometti, the uncle of the famous Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, in the north transept. With 5793 pipes, the organ in the Fraumünster Church is the largest in the Canton of Zurich. A cycle of frescos by Paul Bodmer depicts the legend of the founding of the monastery and of the city’s patron saints Felix and Regula.
Downtown and Old Town Zurich
Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and a financial and tourist hub. Located on the river Limmat and the northwestern tip of the Zurich Lake with the Alps on the horizon, this city has so much to see and do that there is something special all year round, and no season is a bad season to visit.
With its picturesque old town, the famous Bahnhofstrasse with its extravagant shopping, and the scenic waterfront, you can spend your time simply meandering through the streets, stopping off regularly in the many cafes and restaurants. Shopping in Zurich, and the rest of Switzerland, is a delight, but it is pricey; indeed, it is so pricey that the Swiss usually take a day trip to Germany to fill their cupboard and wardrobes. So beware of your travel budget.
Heidi Village, the original site of the world-famous Heidi story. One of Switzerland’s best-loved exports, the little mountain girl Heidi, was a cult figure in her younger years but she disappeared from public life decades ago. Johanna Spyri’s heart-warming story was based on the real-life adventures of Heidi Schwaller, 92, who grew up near Chur in the Swiss Alps.
St. Moritz Lake
Lake St. Moritz is an enchanting basin in the heart of a picturesque valley. Green hillsides overlook the placid water, which is known for its connection to the traditional equestrian sport of polo. Admire the spectacular sporting displays on the ice in winter, with a stunning backdrop of white mountains. The resort is widely considered the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism, beginning in the 1860s. It has hosted the Winter Olympics on two occasions. Consider the area’s rich history, first becoming popular as a spa town for its mineral springs.
After Lake Geneva, Lake Neuchâtel, Lake Constance and Lake Lucerne, Lake Zurich is one of Switzerland’s “Big Five” in terms of lakes. In the past, it was mainly used as a traffic and transportation route, but today it is a popular excursion destination for swimming, sailing, boating, and picnicking on the shore.
Lake Geneva is a deep lake on the north side of the Alps, shared between Switzerland and France. It is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe and the largest on the course of the Rhône. Sixty percent of the lake belongs to Switzerland and forty percent to France.
Once used as one of the shooting locations for the drama series Crash Landing on You (2019), the Lake Brienz tour in the canton of Bern, Switzerland practically immediately attracted the curiosity of the audience of the hit K-drama. Having water that looks turquoise, the charm of this 29.8 square kilometer lake is truly captivating.
Blausee has a maximum depth of 10 meters, but yet you can spot individual rocks and logs at the bottom of the lake. The lake is crystal clear because it consists of mineral-rich mountain spring water from an underground source. And shockingly, this lake looks like a painting.
The fourth-largest lake in Switzerland, beautiful Lake Lucerne stretches from the eponymous picturesque city right up to the gorgeous Swiss Alps. It was formed 12,000 years ago during the shrinking of the River Reuss’ glacier, the evidence of which can still be observed in the fascinating Jardin des Glaciers de Lucerne. It is well worth taking advantage of the boat rentals and boat tours here to get the full experience of this breathtaking lake.
Landquart Fashion Outlet
The Landquart Fashion Outlet offers 7 days a week, 160 premium brands from the fields of fashion, sports, outdoor, and lifestyle offer here their collections at least 30% cheaper than the usual retail price. Shop in the open air in a beautiful village center, which is modeled after a Grisons village in chalet style, and relax in one of our cafes or restaurants.
United Nations Headquarter
The United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) in Geneva, Switzerland, is one of the four major offices[a] of the United Nations where numerous different UN agencies have a joint presence. The main UNOG administrative offices are located inside the Palais des Nations complex, which was originally constructed for the League of Nations between 1929 and 1938.
Chillon Castle (French: Château de Chillon) is a medieval fortress celebrated for its beauty and is widely regarded as one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Europe. Situated in Canton Vaud, Switzerland and only 3 km (2 miles) from the modern city of Montreux, Chillon Castle sits on a rock along the banks of Lake Geneva.
Bern Clock Tower
Every hour, on the hour, something unique happens in Bern: medieval figurines appear from the Zytglogge (Clock Tower). The dancing bears, the cheeky fool and the crowing rooster have been a joy for the public every day for centuries.
Broken Chair Geneve
Broken Chair is a monumental sculpture in wood by the Swiss artist Daniel Berset, constructed by the carpenter Louis Genève. It is constructed of 5.5 tons of wood and is 12 metres (39 feet) high. It depicts a giant chair with a broken leg and stands across the street from the Palace of Nations, in Geneva. It symbolises opposition to land mines and cluster bombs, and acts as a reminder to politicians and others visiting Geneva.
Zermatt is famed as a mountaineering and ski resort of the Swiss Alps. Until the mid-19th century, it was predominantly an agricultural community; the first and tragic ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865 was followed by a rush on the mountains surrounding the village, leading to the construction of many tourist facilities. The name of Zermatt, as well as that of the Matterhorn itself, derives from the alpine meadows, or matten (in German), in the valley. The name appeared first as Zur Matte (“at the meadow”) and became later Zermatt. It does not appear until 1495 on a map or 1546 in a text, but may have been employed long before.
This old fishing village has only 400 inhabitants and a perfect location on the peninsular halfway along the aforementioned southern shore of Lake Brienz. Driving into the Iseltwald is only allowed for locals or guests in one of the four gasthauses.
Lauterbrunnen is situated in one of the most impressive trough valleys in the Alps, between gigantic rock faces and mountain peaks. With its 72 thundering waterfalls, secluded valleys, colourful alpine meadows and lonely mountain inns, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is one of the biggest nature conservation areas in Switzerland.
The famous mountain village of Grindelwald is embedded in a unique Alpine landscape at the foot of the Eiger north face. It is the diversity of the glacier village that makes it so attractive. A wide range of activities and recreational opportunities amidst unspoiled nature is waiting to be discovered.
Chapel Bridge Lucerne
Lucerne’s landmark is considered to be Europe’s oldest covered bridge. It was built in the 14th century and was originally a part of the city fortifications. The pictorial panels, which were incorporated in the 17th century, contain scenes of Swiss history as well as the Lucerne’s history.
Lion Monument Lucerne
The Lion Monument in Lucerne is a giant dying lion carved out of a wall of sandstone rock above a pond at the east end of the medieval town. It was designed as a memorial for the mercenary soldiers from central Switzerland who lost their lives while serving the French king Louis XVI during the French Revolution.
Travel from Zurich to Interlaken by train
Just two hours away by train, this gorgeous Swiss resort is one of the shining jewels of the country, and there is no better or more relaxed way to get there than by train. SBB trains will see you arrive in comfort and style, ready to unwind surrounded by nature.
Interlaken to Jungfrau Cogwheel Train
The cogwheel train goes through a 7 km tunnel that was dug through the rock of the Eiger and Mönch Alpine peaks and then reaches Jungfraujoch. The total time for the trip is roughly 2 hours and you need to change trains three times. An unforgettable Alpine tour to the majestic world of the Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe at 3’454 m /11’333 ft. A scenic cogwheel train for the most interesting mountain train trip via Kleine Scheidegg at the foot of the famous Eiger North Face to Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest railway station.
The Ice Palace can be visited by every guest, even in the most stormy and Arctic weather conditions. Every year, a talented ice artist creates shiny new ice sculptures including eagles, penguins and polar bears.
The Sphinx Observatory
The new observation building on the Sphinx rock was inaugurated in summer 1996. The Sphinx building and observation terrace at 3571 mamsl stand 117 metres above the Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe and provide stunning 360° views. The facility is reached by a spacious double lift carrying up to 1200 persons per hour. The Jungfraujoch is not only a spectacular vantage point but also an excellent location for a wide range of scientific research projects. Astronomers, geologists, physicists, meteorologists and hydrologists contribute to environmental research.
Titlis is a mountain of the Uri Alps, a mountain range in Central Switzerland and part of the Western Alps. It is located on the border between the cantons of Obwalden, which is a canton of Switzerland, and Bern, which is the second-largest of the 26 Swiss cantons by both surface area and population. The height of Mount Titlis is 3,239 metres above sea level.
Mount Titlis is mainly accessed from Engelberg on the north side and is famous as the site of the world’s first rotating cable car. The cable car system connects Engelberg to the summit of Klein Titlis through the three stages of Gerschnialp, Trübsee and Stand.
Mount Titlis Cliff Walk
The Titlis Cliff Walk is a pedestrian bridge along the cliff of Mount Titlis in the Swiss Alps. Built at around 3,000 m (9,800 ft) above sea level, it is believed to be the highest-elevation suspension bridge in Europe.