Discover the Charm of Switzerland by Train
Take time to unwind and recharge by visiting Switzerland. Beautiful hills, clear lakes, and evocative corners frame this country and make it so quaint. All its natural colors and fauna will bewitch you. A great way to see unique views is by train. I suggest buying a Swiss Pass or renting a car to travel easily around the country.
DAVOS & HEIDILAND
Start your Swiss vacation by heading over to Heidi Village for countryside fun. I recommend submerging yourself in the daily way of life by visiting one of many animal farms around Heidiland. You can jump right in and experience sheep shearing, milking cows, and horseback riding. Stop by Walen Lake for a picnic with a view, or hike through the Taminaschlucht thermal grotto for a glimpse into history.
Liechtenstein is one of the smallest European microstates, famous for its stamps, fairy-tale castles, and picturesque hiking trails. Although it is not part of Switzerland itself, I highly suggest taking a day trip here. Start in Balzers, and head to Gutenberg Castle. Take a walk around the rose garden and visit the chapel.
Next, visit the Schloss Vaduz, which is the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein in the capital, Vaduz. Last but not least, stop by the Postage Stamp Museum to learn all about the local postal service and admire intricate stamp designs.
Enjoy a day exploring the St. Gallen area including the Abbey of Saint Gallen, The Library of St. Gallen, and the Saint Laurenzen Church. These three attractions have been named an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. If the weather is favorable, savor a local pastry called Biber in the gardens surrounding the monastery. If temperatures are low, warm up with a tasty asparagus soup at Gallus Pub.
Lake Constance lies within Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. The most characteristic towns in the area are Meersburg, Mainau, and Lindau.
Meersburg is famous for its windmills and architecture. Take a walk downtown from Marktplatz to Alte Burg, the oldest inhabited fortress in Germany. Be sure to tour the Neues Schloss (New Castle) which replaced the medieval fortress. While visiting, try the Silserli, a Swiss pretzel roll.
If you fancy a sweet escape, take a trip to Lindau, for a delicious piece of Apple Pie or Sacher Cake at Theatre Cafè Lindau. Walk through the historic Maximilian Street which is home to vividly-colored medieval houses. Stop by the Haus Zum Cavassen and the City Museum, and then watch the sunset from the romantic New Lighthouse.
Next stop, Schaffhausen! The must-see attractions here are the Munot Tower, a 16th-century fortification that hosts concerts and events, the Munsterkirche, previously a Romanesque Church, and the amazing House Zum Ritter, known for its frescoes by Tobias Stimmer.
After Schaffhausen admire the breathtaking Rhine Falls, the largest waterfalls in Europe. Jump aboard a boat trip or walk up to Schloss Laufen, a castle overlooking the falls. If that’s not enough, visit the Kirche Laufen, Worth Castle, and Miniatures Museum before finishing up at Schloss Laufen Restaurant for dinner.
Last, but not least, discover the French-influenced part of Switzerland, called Romandy. Start the day at the Parc des Bastions, climb beyond the park to the Vielle Ville, the largest historical center in Switzerland. Make sure to admire Maison Tavel, the oldest private estate in Geneva. Another popular attraction is the St. Peter Cathedral. After enjoying the cathedral, head to the lake to view the Jet D’Eau, a huge fountain that shoots water up to 140 meters. Spend the afternoon in the bohemian De Grottes neighborhood, where you will find cafes and boutique shops. Reward yourself at the end of the day with a delicious fondue at Le Gruyerien. Make sure to reserve a table in advance! Do not leave without trying their homemade desserts – meringues are a local specialty. If you have time, visit the quarter of Carouge for chocolate at Philippe Pascoët before departing.
Switzerland is an amazing country to explore by train – I hope my tips have inspired you to start dreaming of your own Swiss retreat!