Scenic rail journeys. The Swiss take great pride in their railways, and we don’t blame them. The Glacier Express ranks among the best scenic rail journeys in the world, passing no less than 291 bridges, 91 tunnels and beautiful Swiss towns like St Moritz, Zermatt and Andermatt. The panoramic windows afford the best views of Switzerland’s dreamy landscapes over 7.
Christmas Markets. Switzerland boasts some of the best on the continent, with romantic cities and towns that make the perfect backdrop for magical Christmas vacations. Stroll along cobbled lanes, past timbered merchants’ houses and ornate churches, and treat yourself to aromatic mulled wines and ginger biscuits from stalls illuminated by twinkling lights. The markets of St Gallen, Basel, Zurich and Lucerne are particularly enchanting.
Zurich’s art scene. The youthful, student-heavy population here thrive on Zurich’s burgeoning arts culture, particularly in the hip Zuri-West neighbourhood, the former industrial district now transformed with cool rooftop bars and clubs. Don’t miss Kunsthaus, where you’ll encounter works by Van Gogh, Monet and Giacometti, or Kunsthalle for cutting-edge art.
Cheese and chocolate. It may be a cliché, but when it comes to producing the world’s best cheese and chocolate, Switzerland makes an excellent case for the crown. It boasts around 450 varieties of cheese and is the birthplace of the delicious fondue - usually made with melted Gruyere and Vacherin Fribourgeois, or Gruyere and Emmental. Heaven. And you’ll likely be familiar with leading chocolatiers Lindt and Teuscher, but there are countless other producers, too, and of course the chocolate tours are educational – and totally tantalising.
Thermal spas. Europe’s most mountainous country, Switzerland cradles countless natural thermal springs blessed with therapeutic properties, so you can combine adventure with wellness in the mountains. One of the most scenic bath complexes is the Walliser Alpentherme & Spa found at the St. Laurent Spring in Leukerbad, encompassing steamy natural baths, chalet-style saunas, stone baths and a dramatic Alpine backdrop.