Château de Chillon, Montreux
Located on the edge of Lake Geneva, this excellently preserved thirteenth century castle is one of the most visited attractions in Switzerland. Used by the once famous Counts of Savoy as a watch out point over the road leading from Italy, the castle as it stands today allows you to walk through the dungeons, prison cells and the weapons room as well as its infamous torture chamber. You can also stroll through the inner courtyards, the huge storage rooms and the magnificent halls. And, as if the building itself wasn’t impressive enough, its location and the scenery which surrounds is even more so making it a thoroughly worthwhile trip if you are anywhere near it during your Swiss adventure.
St. Peter’s Church, Zurich
Dating from the early 13th century, St. Peters is Zurich’s oldest church. But it is the clock which wasn’t actually added to the building until 1534 that it has become such a popular attraction. This is the largest clock face measuring almost nine metres indiameter. The second hand alone, is almost four metres long. As well as the addition of the clock, however, the church was constantly being improved and the nave was completely rebuilt in the eighteenth century. As well as visiting this immense clock, however, keep your eyes peeled for advertisements for free classical music concerts which take place in St. Peters on a regular basis. The setting makes them really special and even those of you who don’t think you could sit through a recital run the risk of being very surprised.
The Glacier Garden (Gletschergarten), Lucerne
Offering a unique opportunity to see the deep glacier potholes which have revealed so much about the country’s twenty million year old history, the Glacier Garden is also home to the much loved ‘Mirror Maze’. The largest pothole is about thirty two-metres deep and twenty-seven metres wide and contains some really fascinating rock formations and the like. And, while it may not sound like the most exciting attraction in the world rest assured you won’t leave the gardens disappointed. Also located nearby is the well-known Lion Monument which was carved to commemorate the Swiss mercenaries died in the French Revolution.
Located in the centre of the old part of the city, the Zytglogge has long being a symbol of the Swiss capital. A thirteenth century clock tower, a fire almost completely destroyed the structure in the fifteenth century. The tower was rebuilt but the clock broke shortly afterwards and remained broken for over one hundred years until one Caspar Brunner designed a new one. Today you can see this remarkable timepiece which has remained fully intact and in perfect working order since 1530. The main feature which attracts people, however, is the display of mechanical figures which appear four minutes before the hour but even more impressive is a tour inside the tower to see the inner workings of this remarkable clock.
Jungfraujoch Railway, Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch
While taking a train ride may not seem like the most appealing way to spend an afternoon, rest assured that you will not regret this trip. The Jungfraujoch Railway is Europe's highest train system travelling through the Bernese Oberland and climbing to a destination over two miles above sea level. It is a true rollercoaster of journey where you climb and plunge enough times to make your head spin but totally worthwhile when you do feel brave enough to look out the window. Once you reach your destination you will find plenty to occupy your time there. There is an ice palace which is free with your train ticket, ski lessons, dogsled rides, an observation post and if your stomach is not churning too much, there is also a restaurant where you can sample local cuisine. One thing you should bear in mind is that it is an expensive excursion but you cannot really put a price on the once in a lifetime experience that this is.
Ski Centres, Throughout Switzerland
And finally, of course no reference to attractions in Switzerland is complete without mentioning some of the more popular ski centres around the country. Verbier is the top ski resort in the French speaking part of the country, the atmosphere in this place is what makes it so special. It’s laid back, fun and generally an excellent place to test your skills on the slopes. It also serves as a gateway to some smaller resorts including Beysonnaz and La Tzoumaz. Zermatt, located at the foot of the world famous Matterhorn is located in the south west of the country and is renowned for its parties which go on until the early hours. Arosa, in the east, is a relatively new resort and attracts a younger crowd, just what you need. Finally, St. Moritz is the glitzier of all the resorts but is still a really good location and well worth visiting if you are in the eastern region of the country.