There are many words to describe Switzerland. With perfect harmony between the city and nature, the country has a lot to offer for any kind of traveler. It’s a popular destination for couples and adventurers, and also an excellent country to explore with the entire family.
Switzerland is a relatively small country, so it’s easy to hit several spots in one trip. Traveling with kids can be stressful at times, but the fresh Swiss air and awe-inspiring views are enough to keep even the most restless toddler wonderfully distracted. At the same time, families traveling with older kids have endless parks and attractions to explore without too much of a physical strain. Not to mention, Switzerland is probably one of the safest cities in the world. Check this post on Europe winter destinations, if you are considering Switzerland for a fairytale winter holiday.
Family Fun in Switzerland
You really can never go wrong with a trip to Switzerland. Despite its relatively small size as a country, experiences here are very diverse and always memorable. Family trips can sometimes be stressful, but there will always be something in Switzerland that will make every member of the family happy. Here are a few things not to miss on your trip to Switzerland –
A quintessentially Swiss experience, the Jungfraujoch shows the best that the country has to offer. It’s fairly accessible from any city in Switzerland. The train ride itself is a must-do experience on its own. From Lauterbrunnen, the train does a quick stop at Klein Scheidegg for amazing views just below the Eiger mountain.
From here, a cog train brings passengers to a height of 3,454 meters, the highest station in all of Europe, earning Jungfraujoch its nickname “Top of Europe”.
Obviously, the views at Jungfraujoch are spectacular. There are several lookout points for visitors to see a panoramic view of the Jungfrau, Eiger, and Monch peaks all in one sweep. Visitors can also spend time at several exhibits, including the Ice Palace, with walls of ice carved into works of art, and the Alpine Sensation, a memorial for all the workers that opened up the Jungfraujoch railway.
There are shops and restaurants to sit in, and many walking trails to explore. Every member of the family, from kids to grandparents, will have a grand time at Jungfraujoch.
2. Indulge in Chocolate
Switzerland is known for many things, and most especially it’s chocolate. Some of the world’s best chocolate makers come from this country. Bringing home chocolate is already a given, but there are more ways to enjoy this heavenly confectionery.
At the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne is the Swiss Chocolate Adventure, a multimedia attraction in partnership with the Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation. It shows the journey of a humble cocoa bean to one of the best chocolates in the world. Families can also hop aboard The Chocolate Train that runs between Montreux and the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory at Broc. Chocolates and croissants are served onboard, followed by a trip to Maison Cailler to discover the process of making Swiss chocolates.
Several chocolate factories also open up tours for visitors. Take a look around Läderach Chocolate Adventures, Alprose chocolate’s Schokoland in Caslano, and, of course, Maison Cailler in Broc.
3. City-Nature Tour in Lucerne
Lucerne is a beautiful city that has perfected the right mix of city, history, and nature. Seated at the heart of the Alps, mountain peaks tower everywhere, giving many opportunities for outdoor excursions.
For a more relaxed trip, a leisurely walk around Lucerne’s Old Town is a full day’s worth of historical immersion that reveals how this German-speaking city’s culture was formed.
The Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, one of Switzerland’s most iconic landmarks, is also the country’s most impressive historic bridge. The inside panels have been turned into a gallery, displaying 17th-century paintings.
Of course, there’s Lake Lucerne that provides an endless list of activities. Families can take ferry tours across the lake, ride a bike or stroll along the shore, or sit at one of the many parks surrounding the lake. In the summer, swimming and water activities are also great ways to spend the day with the family.
4. Animal Encounters
What kid doesn’t like animals? There are around 25 zoos all over Switzerland, and there’s one bound to be near where you’re staying.
The largest zoo can be found in Zurich, with Zoo Zurich housing over 360 animal species. Both local and foreign species make up the impressive roster of Zoo Zurich, including tigers, snow leopards, gorillas, and penguins. Within the zoo are various exhibits, too. There’s the Masoala Rainforest where visitors follow walkways on treetops, and the Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park to see these majestic beasts roaming freely around their habitat.
Some of Switzerland’s most famous museums might not be too interesting for kids, but there are many interactive museums and experiences designed especially for kids and kids-at-heart.
With the many types of exhibits to choose from, dinosaur museums are some of the popular ones to visit. The Aathal Dinosaur Museum, found in Aathal near Zurich, has one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in Switzerland. They also have life-sized dinosaur models and a gift shop with educational books and toys. The Jurassica Museum in Porrentruy is situated in a beautiful structure built within lush gardens. Its exhibits also feature different creatures and species during the Jurassic era.
Another family hit is Science museums, which Switzerland has absolutely no lack of. CERN in Geneva is a must-visit for future scientists as the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. Winterthur has the Swiss Science Center Technorama, combining physics, chemistry, and biology to create a highly interactive and engaging experience.
For the ultimate Swiss museum experience, head to the Swiss Open-Air Museum in Ballenberg. This museum displays traditional buildings and architecture from all over the country. It’s a great way to see all of Switzerland’s iconic chalets in one go.
6. Historical Trip to Bern
If you’re visiting Switzerland, you might as well visit the capital. Bern is a relatively small city with a lot of character.
Unlike many capital cities in the world, Bern boasts of calm energy hanging over well-preserved medieval buildings. The city is very endearing, making it a fascinating place for families to visit and be transported back in time.
Bern’s Old Town is unique as it’s flanked on both sides by the River Aare. It’s a very small-town feel that only amplifies the magnificence of its beautiful medieval structures and arcades. There are also several water fountains around the city where kids love to play.
Bern has several parks for families to stroll around in and have a picnic as well. The Rose Garden is beautiful with over 200 kinds of roses. The city also has a bear park, in honor of its symbol, where live bears roam around.
7. Ski Adventures at Zermatt
Skiing is a popular activity in Switzerland, but having the famous Matterhorn in the background makes the experience all the more special.
Zermatt is a small town at the base of the Matterhorn. The city itself is beautiful, but most travelers take a trip up to the Matterhorn for a lot of fun in the snow. It’s popular for skiers and snowboarders, but also a great place for kids and beginners. While there are many experienced skiers here, the atmosphere is not competitive or intense, making it a great place for families to simply have fun in the snow.
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This is a guest post by Mike Jensen. Mike is addicted to both adventure and travel, so he decided to combine the two to form TheAdventourist. There he shares his journey from one adrenaline rush to another, always exploring new places as he goes. You can find him sharing his travels on Facebook.
Have you visited Switzerland? If yes, any activity or place that you would recommend? Share with us in the comments below.
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