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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Regarded as one of the best Italians in Basel, Aroma is an upmarket trattoria that offers a romantic atmosphere and excellent Italian cuisine.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Advertising itself as "the height of love", couples can book a one-night stay in a luxury yurt at the top of Rochers-de-Naye mountain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere is situated on the promenade in Davos. The hotel combines a rich history with up-to-date luxury.
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.
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.
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.
Located in the spa town of Baden, around 30 minutes from Zurich, this classy hotel's main claim to fame is its extensive range of wellness treatments in the Novum spa.
The Hostellerie du Pas de l'Ours is set in a beautiful location high up in the Alps in Switzerland's Valais region. Book a suite and it comes complete with your own fireplace, a jacuzzi and a south-facing balcony to take in the magnificent mountain scenery.
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.
Enjoy five-star luxury, a huge spa area and private winter ice rink, five restaurants and bars as well as uninterrupted lake views at La Réserve. The hotel is located just outside Geneva.
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.
Spa venues to create a spark
This stylish and modern hammam, spa and sauna inside the Volkshaus offers treatments from thalassotherapy to Ayurvedic massage.
The view over Zurich from the rooftop pool of this spa is almost worth the entrance fee alone.
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.
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.
This famous luxury hotel includes a huge spa with stunning indoor and outdoor pool overlooking Lake Geneva. In the colder months head to the Winter Lodge to skate on its private ice rink.
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.
Combining an oriental hammam with two steam rooms and massages, the Dampfbad is an oasis of calm in northern Basel’s St Johann district.
This large wellness facility offers three saltwater pools, a fire and ice pool, themed showers and saunas, and numerous treatments.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More of a day-time date location, on a clear day, the views from Uetliberg - the peak of Zurich - are simply breathtaking.
Step into centuries of intrigue and romance when you explore this historic catle, which inspired the likes of Lord Byron, Rousseau, Delacroix and Courbet.
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!
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.
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.
Discover more unique experiences in Switzerland
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.