Palais des Nations

Switzerland’s top attractions

From grand buildings to stunning natural wonders, here's our checklist of the essential Switzerland attractions and sights

Written by
Time Out editors
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Lavaux vineyards
  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • Lavaux-Oron

A short ride from Lausanne you can find this UNESCO World Heritage site which dates from the 12th century.

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Chillon Castle
  • Things to do
  • Montreux

Explore one of Switzerland's top historic tourist attractions, which inspired the likes of Lord Byron, Rousseau, Delacroix and Courbet. 

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  • Things to do
  • Rive Droite / Right Bank

Don’t fight it: as possibly the most recognisable image of Geneva (you can even see it from the plane), it’s practically the law to get your photo taken in front of the city’s giant water fountain. Originally built as a pressure release valve for Geneva’s water supply, rather than for any aesthetic reason, the jet d’eau spurts 500 litres of water per second some 140m (459ft) into the air, before thundering back into Lake Geneva. You can get up close to the refreshing spray by walking the path to the fountain from the lake’s left bank. The jet really comes into its own during the city’s annual August fireworks display, when the colours are reflected and refracted in the spray. The fountain is occasionally switched off in high winds.

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Palais des Nations
  • Museums
  • Servette/Petit-Saconnex/Sécheron

This huge 1930s houses the European headquarters of the United Nations

CERN - Geneva
  • Museums
  • Specialist interest
  • Meyrin

Straddling the Franco-Swiss border is the world’s largest physics lab 

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Cathédrale de Lausanne
  • Things to do
  • Cité / Old Town

Perched atop a hill in the Cité, Lausanne’s 13th century gothic cathedral is the largest in Switzerland. 

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  • Things to do
  • Ouchy

Making the most of its position on one of Europe’s largest lakes, Lausanne’s ferry port at Ouchy offers cruises to many destinations around the lake in both Switzerland and France. 

Discover more great things to do in Switzerland

Inspiring ski-in and ski-out hotels across Switzerland
  • Things to do

Make the most of skiing in Switzerland during winter with a ski-in and ski-out hotel. These venues are the ideal getaway for skiers wanting super-easy access to the slopes, because they’re located right by those very slopes – metres away, in some cases, meaning you can spring out of bed and straight on to the piste. Time Out has chosen some of the very best venues from around the country – in association with Switzerland Tourism – which boast even more than superb slopes by your door.

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