Romantic Switzerland: restaurants, hotels, spas and activities

From romantic mountain retreats to luxurious spas and fine dining in Zurich, Geneva and beyond, here are some top spots for your Swiss love affair

Panorama Resort & Spa
©Panorama Resort & Spa The infinity pool boasts romantic views across Lake Zurich
By Time Out contributors and Claire Doble |
Advertising

Who says romance is dead? Certainly not us, as we’ve put together the ultimate guide to romantic Switzerland. Maybe you’re looking for somewhere great to go on Valentine’s Day or perhaps you’ve even seeking a unique place to pop the big question – or maybe you just want to treat that special someone in your life, because why not?

Whatever you need, we‘ve got you covered with our ultimate list of restaurants, hotels, spas and romantic activities and things to do, to ensure you and your beloved have an unforgettable day with the romance factor cranked right up to 11.

The best romantic restaurants

Restaurants, Swiss

El Paradiso • St.Moritz

icon-location-pin Graubünden

The stunning views, and stylish sun deck, are almost enough to make this one of the most fun restaurants in the country. You can dine on a light lunch, or a gourmet evening dinner or just have a drink and get cosy under the blankets on the sun deck and enjoy the blue skies and mountain setting.

Time Out says
Restaurants, Italian

Kornhauskeller • Bern

icon-location-pin Zähringerstadt

The Kornhauskeller in Bern is highly recommended for a special occasion, thanks to the beautiful dining room created from a former granary. The kitchen serves up unpretentious reinterpretations of Italian cuisine accompanied by hearty Swiss classics and Bernese specialties. 

Advertising
Jules Verne Bar, Zuerich, Juni 2014. Photo by Elisabeth Real
Elisabeth Real
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Jules Verne • Zurich

icon-location-pin City

Sitting here with 360° views of the city, sipping on a cocktail and holding your significant other's hand might be as close to a perfect date as it can get in Zurich.

Time Out says
Restaurants, Modern European

Anne-Sophie Pic • Lausanne

icon-location-pin Ouchy

France’s first female chef to be awarded three Michelin stars, Anne-Sophie Pic's second restaurant is in Lausanne. Drawing on the flavours and seasonal ingredients of her childhood home as well as local Swiss produce, Pic creates imaginative, beautifully presented dishes that have earned the restaurant two Michelin stars and 18 Gault Millau points.

Advertising
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Clouds • Zurich

icon-location-pin Kreis 5

You won't fail to impress your lover with the views here from the 35th floor of the Prime Tower, and the food might actually exceed your expectations. David Martinez Salvany creates dishes inspired by his Catalonian heritage, and there is even a full tasting menu for vegetarians. 

Time Out says
Restaurants

Château de Pleujouse • Jura

icon-location-pin Northwestern Switzerland

Wind through lush, Jurassic mountains, to find this hidden castle of gastronomy with majestic views of the Ajoie valley. Britain-born chef Gérard Praud and his wife Catherine, a native of Porrentruy, are known for their artisanal cuisine and passion for delighting guests through culinary surprise.

Time Out says
Advertising
Restaurants, Haute cuisine

Der Teufelhof • Basel

icon-location-pin Altstadt Grossbasel (central Grossbasel)

A cosy and unusual hotel, restaurant and cultural venue, Der Teufelhof offers several possibilities for creative or traditional date nights with activities including wine tasting, theatre and cabaret performances, and fine dining. 

Time Out says
Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville
Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville
Restaurants, French

Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville • Crissier

icon-location-pin Lausanne

Serving classic French food, Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville, has a long reputation for world class dining after holding onto three Michelin stars since 1998. Even though the menu changes throughout the seasons, the quality doesn't.

Advertising
Izumi, Geneva restaurant, Time Out Switzerland
Izumi, Geneva © Will Pryce/Four Seasons
Restaurants, Japanese

Izumi • Geneva

icon-location-pin Rive Droite / Right Bank

The newest restaurant from the luxury Four Seasons Hotel is this Japanese-fusion affair from the Nobu stable. Drawing on Nikkei cuisine, a selection of beautifully prepared sashimi, tuna tartar and tempura gives way to larger fusion dishes. It’s an intimate, cosy kind of place, so in winter it’s best to book early to secure one of the few tables indoors. 

Time Out says
Restaurants, French

Schauenstein • Graubunden

icon-location-pin Chur

Situated 650m high up in the mountains of Graubunden lies the three Michelin star Schauenstein restaurant, which was recently rated the fifth best restaurant in the world by French publication La Liste.

Advertising
Eat Me, Lausanne bar, restaurant, Time Out Switzerland
Anne-Laure Lechat
Restaurants, Global

Eat Me • Lausanne

icon-location-pin Ville Marché

This cocktail bar and tapas restaurant takes inspiration from all over the world to produce an intriguing menu with diverse flavours. Cocktails are pricey but classy with no Sex on the Beach in sight. Instead try the Black Pearl, a sweet-sharp mix of rum, ginger, lime and cardamom.

Time Out says
Aroma Basel
www.a-roma.ch
Restaurants, Italian

Aroma • Basel

icon-location-pin Altstadt Grossbasel (central Grossbasel)

Regarded as one of the best Italians in Basel, Aroma is an upmarket trattoria that offers a romantic atmosphere and excellent Italian cuisine.

Time Out says
Advertising
Restaurant Seerose
©Restaurant Seerose
Restaurants, Seafood

Restaurant Seerose • Zurich

icon-location-pin Wollishofen

Located right on the lake, in summer Seerose is Zurich's answer to St Tropez, while in winter it's a romantic spot to dine. Service is attentive, while the Mediterranean-inspired menu is seasonal and varied. Although it doesn’t come cheap, the food’s quality matches the prices.

Restaurants

Gondolezza at Hotel Walther • Pontresina

This cozy converted cable car makes for a quirky romantic dinner-setting. Gondolezza serves up Swiss specialties of cheese Gletscher fondue or raclestte, and other traditional dishes including Grisons barley soup, sausages and salads. 

Advertising
Le Cinq chefs Michael Rochat & Théotime Bioret
© 2016 Lecinq
Restaurants, Contemporary European

Le Cinq • Lausanne

icon-location-pin Ville Marché

There’s quite some pedigree behind owner-chef duo Michael Rochat and Théotime Bioret, who between them have worked in some of the finest kitchens around. Drawing on seasonal, local ingredients, the food is delicate, original and classy without being over fussy. 

Time Out says
L'Atelier Cocktail Club, Geneva bar, Time Out Switzerland
Roxypunx / Sarah Dos Santos
Bars and pubs, Wineries

L’Atelier Cocktail Club • Geneva

icon-location-pin Eaux-Vives

One of the best places for a cocktail in Geneva, the drinks in this small neighbourhood bar are a cut above. The copious menu includes both classic cocktails and more inventive creations (aperol, chilli-pepper and kumquat is one).

Time Out says
Advertising
Restaurants, Swiss

Chäsalp • Zurich

icon-location-pin Zurich

Tourists rarely stumble upon this cosy restaurant way up on the Zürichberg. Popular with locals for its wide variety of cheesy dishes, try the 'sparkling' fondue with champagne on a romantic night out!

Time Out says
Bars and pubs, Sports bars

Les Boucaniers • Lausanne

icon-location-pin Ville Marché

A relative newcomer on the Lausanne bar scene, this smart pub is a classy affair. A small outside terrace leads into a stylish interior – all muted colours and dark wood furniture – where you can partake of an artisan beer from a vast range of local and international tipples. 

Time Out says
Advertising
Restaurants

Maison Manesse • Zurich

icon-location-pin Alt-Wiedikon

This modern, Michellin-starred brassiere makes for an unusual eating experience that, like marmite, you either love or hate.  Based on set menus which feature a series of small tapas style dishes that are fixed around the themes of veggie or meat, it makes for an interactive gourmet pick ‘n’ mix experience. 

Time Out says
Restaurant du Cerf
©sifon
Restaurants

Restaurant du Cerf • Jura

icon-location-pin Northwestern Switzerland

If you’re picky about what you eat and looking for bespoke gastronomy, Chefs Jean-Marc Soldati and Christian Albrecht have your best interest at heart. Set at a crook in a road that winds through the celebrated Watch Valley this is one of the most beloved restaurants in the Jurassic Arc.

Time Out says
Advertising
Die Waid restaurant Zurich
Thomas Joachim
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Waid • Zurich

icon-location-pin Wipkingen

Restaurant Die Waid has two eateries that offer some of the best views of Zurich. Couples will enjoy the classy Jahreszeiten, while those on a casual night out might prefer the more down-to-earth Wok-Beiz.

Time Out says
Restaurants, Swiss

Manger & Boire • Basel

icon-location-pin Altstadt Grossbasel (central Grossbasel)

As the name suggests, this cosy pub-restaurant is dedicated to the finer things in life and celebrating time to enjoy them. On the menu are classic Swiss dishes and a pronounced Italian influence – there’s nothing overly fancy, but Manger & Boire specialises in doing simple things well.

Time Out says
Advertising
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

La Verre à Monique • Geneva

icon-location-pin Quartier des Bains

This is the sort of place that makes you forget you’re in Geneva. A self-proclaimed speakeasy, it evokes the dirty glamour and clandestine excitement of prohibition-era America. 

Time Out says
Le Hall
©JeremyMasonMcGraw
Restaurants, Tea rooms

Le Hall - Baur Au Lac • Zurich

icon-location-pin City

Everything is done to a high standard at this hotel, making it a consistently excellent all-rounder, yet it manages to remain relaxed and unstuffy. 'Le hall', as the lounge is called, features a huge Art Deco glass dome, which overlooks a dazzling Empire period chandelier. It’s an enchanting location, which is only enhanced further by indulging in their afternoon tea service.

Time Out says
Advertising
Restaurant - generic
ViktorHanacek.cz
Restaurants, Seafood

Restaurant Le Furet • Geneva

icon-location-pin Charmilles/Saint-Jean

For a more casual, seafood-lovers night out, treat your date to the best garlic prawns in Switzerland at this unassuming Geneva restaurant. The gambas are all-you-can eat and are served with piles of golden fries.

Bergrestaurant Spielboden
©Bergrestaurant Spielboden
Restaurants

Bergrestaurant Spielboden • Saas Fee

icon-location-pin Saas-Fee/Saas Valley

As far from self-service ski dining as you can get, the skilled team at Spielboden serves up Swiss specialities such as Alpine cheese soup, braised water buffalo and lamb tenderloins in an unbeatable location at 2,450 metres above sea level overlooking “Pearl of the Alps”, Saas-Fee, and a basin of 4,000-metre summits.

Advertising
Helvetia hotel restaurant
© WAC
Restaurants, Contemporary European

Hotel Helvetia • Zurich

icon-location-pin Werd

This brassiere restaurant, awarded 15 points by the Gault-Millau gourmet guide, attracts a bohemian and lively crowd. This is partly due to the cooking skills of the charismatic Swiss star chef Françoise Wicki and her menu which is built on a fusion of gourmet cuisine with down-to-earth Swiss fare.

Time Out says
Restaurants, Contemporary European

L’Eléphant Blanc • Lausanne

icon-location-pin Cité / Old Town

Tucked away in Lausanne’s medieval Cité is this lovely little bistrot serving the food of chef Anthony Macé. Much loved by locals in the know, the intimate surrounding of the small interior make for a great place to spend a romantic dinner.

The best romantic hotels

Hotels

Hotel Saratz • Pontresina

icon-location-pin St Moritz

Hotel Saratz is a winning combination of elegant grown-up attractions, with some fantastic, family-friendly features including a range of sport and relaxation options. 

Advertising
Carlton Hotel
A family suite at the Carlton Hotel in St.Moritz
Hotels, Luxury hotels

Carlton Hotel • St Moritz

icon-location-pin St Moritz

The Carlton Hotel offers a mix of old-world luxury and contemporary features. All suites have their own private butler and the restaurant is under the direction of three-star Michelin chefs Enrico and Roberto Cerea.

Hotels, Guest houses

Grimsel Hospiz • Valais

icon-location-pin Canton of Bern

For those who want to get away from it all, this hotel is perched above the Grimsel reservoir on the high alpine Grimselpass which connects the cantons of Bern and Valais. It's a journey to get here but once you arrive, you'll be well rewarded. 

Advertising
Waldhotel Fletschhorn
©Switzerland Tourism
Hotels, Luxury hotels

Waldhotel Fletschhorn • Saas Fee

icon-location-pin Saas-Fee/Saas Valley

While popular ski resort Saas-Fee buzzes with holidaymakers and sounds of après ski, you don’t have to travel far for a romantic escape. Most guests come here to sample the gourmet cuisine of chef Markus Neff, served in a wood-panelled room with gentle spotlighting and cosy corners.

Hotels, Boutique hotels

Montagne Alternative • Valais

icon-location-pin Martigny

This concept hotel aims to give visitors a real flavour of life in rural Valais, but without roughing it. Spread over several sympathetically converted barns in the tiny village of Commeire, the hotel’s rooms are simple yet luxurious, rustic yet modern. 

Advertising
Berghaus Bort, Grindelwald hotel, Time Out Switzerland
©David Willen
Hotels, Guest houses

Berghaus Bort • Grindelwald

icon-location-pin Grindelwald

If you’d enjoy being stranded in beautiful isolation half way up a mountain, then the Berghaus Bort is the place to stay. In winter it’s only accessible by skiing down a black run or by taking the cable car. Luckily, it’s a gorgeous place to be stranded. 

Private spa suite at the Victoria Jungfrau Hotel

Indulge yourself and your partner this Valentine's Day by booking an exclusive spa suite at this luxury hotel. The suite comes with a private steam room, your own sauna and an elegantc double bathtub filled flower-infused waters and surrounded by flickering candles.
Advertising
Hotel Helvetia in Zurich
© Zimmer
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Hotel Helvetia • Zurich

icon-location-pin Werd

For a romantic urban retreat in Switzerland's largest city, look no further than Hotel Helvetia. Dapper striped wallpapered bedrooms and retro white-tiled bathrooms showcase a quirky interior design attitude. And the the gentrified brassiere restaurant attracts a bohemian crowd of local literati and financial wheeler-dealers.

Advertising
Aspen Alpin Lifestyle Hotel
©Philippe Hahn
Hotels, Luxury hotels

Aspen Alpin Lifestyle Hotel • Grindelwald

icon-location-pin Grindelwald

Set above the village of Grindelwald right on a ski run, this luxurious hotel is a wonderful base for exploring the huge ski area under the shadow of the Eiger. Be sure to make time to visit the hotel’s spa and take a dip in the outdoor whirlpool (nude only, so beware passing skiers) which in winter is accessible directly from the slopes.

Hotels, Guest houses

Berggasthaus • Davos

icon-location-pin Davos

Set at 1,800 in the mountains west of ski resort Davos, this hotel is a rural escape in the picturesque wilderness of Graubunden. Around 300 years old, this former farmhouse has been a hotel for the last century, so its simple, rustic, wood-filled rooms have plenty of history.

Advertising
Advertising
The Dolder Grand is a luxury hotel and spa in Zurich
© Heinz Unger
Hotels, Luxury hotels

The Dolder Grand • Zurich

icon-location-pin Hottingen

Really push the boat out by booking a stay at Zurich's Dolder Grand hotel. It has hosted celebrities such as Sophia Loren, Albert Einstein and the Rolling Stones and offers some of the most exquisite accommodation in town. 

Advertising
Chalet Berghof Sertig, Davos hotel, Time Out Switzerland
©RUPA/Destination Davos Klosters
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Chalet Berghof Sertig Davos • Davos

icon-location-pin Davos

The Alps are a pinnacle of natural beauty and there's nowhere better to experience them than out in the wilds - with, of course, lots of creature comforts thrown in. 

Show more

Spa venues to create a spark

Things to do

Stadtbad • Zurich

icon-location-pin Aussersihl

This stylish and modern hammam, spa and sauna inside the Volkshaus offers treatments from thalassotherapy to Ayurvedic massage. 

Advertising
Things to do

Hammam Basar • Zurich

icon-location-pin Seefeld

With its little café and shop and airy feel, this place primarily aims to attract female visitors - men are only allowed in on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

Things to do

Bains des Pâquis • Geneva

icon-location-pin Pâquis

A popular meeting place in summer, these outdoor baths remain open for swimming throughout winter – if you’re that nuts – though the indoor sauna, Turkish bath, hammam and massage service might be more preferable. 

Advertising
Things to do

Solbad & Spa • Schönbühl

icon-location-pin Bern-Mittelland

Less than half an hour from Bern, Solbad Schönbühl boasts the largest natural brine spa in Switzerland. Depending on how much you need reviving, you might also fancy the ‘Experience Spa’ with its detoxifying salt scrubs.

Advertising
Dampfbad Basel
©Dampfbad Basel
Things to do

Dampfbad Basel

icon-location-pin St. Johann

Combining an oriental hammam with two steam rooms and massages, the Dampfbad is an oasis of calm in northern Basel’s St Johann district.

Things to do

Sole Uno Wellness • Basel

icon-location-pin Basel-Stadt

This large wellness facility offers three saltwater pools, a fire and ice pool, themed showers and saunas, and numerous treatments.

Advertising
Health and beauty, Spas

Mineralbad & Spa Rigi-Kaltbad • Lucerne

icon-location-pin Vitznau

Built by star-architect Mario Botta, this super-slick mountain spa allows you to luxuriate in the waters of the Kaltbad spring, while taking in some superlative Alpine views.

Health and beauty, Spas

Walliser Alpentherme & Spa • Leukerbad

icon-location-pin Leukerbad

Set in a pretty alpine village, this features a thermally heated outdoor pool with gorgeous mountain views, while inside there’s another large pool, a delightful ‘sauna village’ and treatments. 

Advertising
Things to do

Les Bains de Lavey • Lavey-les-Bains

icon-location-pin Saint-Maurice

Drawing on the hottest thermal water in Switzerland, its large outdoor pool area is equipped with massage jets, waterfalls and a rather addictive whirlpool, while inside you’ll find saunas and hammams. 

Centre Thermal Yverdon-les-Bains, Yverdon spa, Time Out Switzerland
©Centre Thermal Yverdon-les-Bains
Health and beauty, Spas

Centre Thermal Yverdon-les-Bains

icon-location-pin Yverdon

This draws on the area’s famed sulphur-rich water to provide a complex comprising one indoor and two outdoor pools, plus two saunas, three hammams, Japanese bath, whirlpool and tropical shower.

Advertising
Panorama Resort & Spa
©Panorama Resort & Spa
Hotels, Spa hotels

Panorama Resort & Spa • Feusisberg

icon-location-pin Central Switzerland

It’s all in the name when it comes to Panorama Resort & Spa. Situated at 700m above sea level in Feusisberg, the resort features floor-to-ceiling windows that frame romantic vistas of Lake Zurich and the hills beyond. 

Health and beauty, Spas

Thermes Parc • Val d’Illiez

icon-location-pin Champéry/Val d'Illiez

A relaxing stop-off after a day’s skiing in the Portes du Soleil region, these baths consist of indoor and outdoor pools drawing on 34°C thermal water, a fun thermal river and numerous treatments.

Advertising
Health and beauty, Spas

Bains de la Gruyère • Charmey

icon-location-pin Alpes vaudoises

Hang out in the bubble beds and massage jets in the indoor and outdoor pools, sample the hammam and Turkish baths or head to the Nordic Pavilion to try a trio of saunas followed by an icy bucket shower.

Health and beauty, Spas

Thermalbad Brigerbad • Brigerbad

icon-location-pin Brig

In winter only the thermal (outdoor) pool and the indoor pools are open. The Brigerbad also offers a full range of spa treatments along with a sauna and hammam.

Other romantic things to do

Lindenhof, Zurich place, Time Out Switzerland
Gian Marco Castelberg & Maurice Haas

Soak up the views from Lindenhof

The historic centre of Zurich is up on this hill. Overlooking the Old Town, Limmat river and cathedral, the elevated spot of Lindenhof is the former site of a Roman castle, around which the city of Zurich grew. There are still remnants of Roman and medieval settlements, earning its status as a site of national importance. But these days people come here to relax rather than ruminate on history. As an established recreational area it’s a good place to head with a book or for a stroll, while giant chess boards provide entertainment for players and spectators alike.

St-Luc
www.valdanniviers.ch/
Things to do

Saint-Luc • Val d'Anniviers

With its modern François-Xavier Bagnoud astronomical observatory and planet walk, contrasted with splendid Belle Epoque guesthouses and 18th century flour mills, a visit to the village of St-Luc offers a romantic blend of the old and new.

Advertising
Rhine Falls
©Rheinfall
Things to do

Rhine Falls • Schaffhausen

icon-location-pin Schaffhausen

At 150 metres wide and 23 metres high and with up to 600,000 litres of water rushing over the rocks per second, the Rhinefalls are an impressive sight. There's a range of date ideas around here - from hikes to cozy meals to a tour of the magestic Schloss Laufen situated right above the falls.

Monté Bré, Lugano place, Time Out Switzerland
Andreas Gerth

See Lugano from up high at Monte Brè

Since 1912 the people of Lugano have been escaping the city on a sunny day and heading to the hills. Specifically, they’ve been catching the funicular railway from the lakeshore at Cassarate, which trundles at an impressive angle up to the summit of Monte Brè, the city’s local mountain. At the top, active types can follow a number of hiking trails or race down the 30 mountain bike runs. Have lunch in one of the mountaintop restaurants or explore the pretty village of Brè, a short walk down from the summit. Those who’d rather not move at all can just sit and ogle Lake Lugano and the mountains beyond. 

Advertising
See Promenade, Zurich place, Time Out Switzerland
Swiss Tourism

Take a walk along the Zurich Horn

The best way to get to know any city is to people-watch, and the promenade in Lake Zurich’s Seefeld district, known as the Zurich Horn, allows plenty of opportunity for that. It’s here that people come to stroll, cycle, skate, lounge on the shore and have a dip in summer. Watch street artists gather crowds, pick up handmade jewellery at street stalls or just sit on a bench and scoff an ice cream. At the end of the promenade there’s a Chinese-style garden complete with colourful pagodas, gifted to the city from the Chinese town of Kunming, twinned with Zurich. A bit further on, stop at Tiefenbrunnen beach for a swim in the lake and use of its water slides and diving boards.

Uetliberg Zurich
© Christof Sonderegger
Things to do

Uetliberg • Zurich

icon-location-pin Friesenberg

More of a day-time date location, on a clear day, the views from Uetliberg - the peak of Zurich - are simply breathtaking.

Advertising
Things to do

Chillon Castle • Montreux

icon-location-pin Montreux

Step into centuries of intrigue and romance when you explore this historic catle, which inspired the likes of Lord Byron, Rousseau, Delacroix and Courbet. 

Jet d'Eau Geneva
© Olivier Miche
Things to do

Jet d’eau • Geneva

icon-location-pin 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. Perfect for second-date selfies... if things are going well!

Advertising
Glacier Express
©Glacier Express
Things to do

Glacier Express • Zermatt to St Moritz

icon-location-pin Switzerland

Amp up the romance with the ride of a lifetime. Zooming along the south of Switzerland, this 7.5-hour route goes through 91 tunnels and crosses 291 impressive bridges, with mesmerising scenery of Switzerland’s natural wonders, such as the Swiss National Park and the Matterhorn pass along the way.

Bellinzona
hotel-paladina-tessin.ch
Things to do

The Castles of Bellinzona • Ticino

icon-location-pin Bellinzona

Among the most famous monuments of Ticino are the impressive collection of medieval castles at Bellinzona, the capital of the canton, just north of Lugano. Visit one or more for a romantic day out.

Show more

Discover more unique experiences in Switzerland

Do not reuse. Aletsch Arena for best ski resort report feature.
Flickr/Aletscharena
Things to do

Discover Switzerland’s top-ranked ski resorts this winter

Switzerland is spoilt for choice when it comes to great places to hit the slopes, so how do you know which ones are worth your precious time, money and effort? Thanks to the ‘Best Ski Resort’ report, which surveys skiers to discover which resorts they rate highest. 

Show more

More to explore

Advertising