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By Sarah Chin A Sen - 14 min read

Cities in Switzerland that you must visit

Zurich Cities In Switzerland Cover

Switzerland has an amazing collection of landscapes. Lakes, valleys, mountains and plains populate the country and give locals and tourists very different types of experiences. Cities in Switzerland all have something different to offer. Not to mention the four official languages of the country (French, Swiss German, Italian and Romansh), which come with very diverse cultures and atmospheres!

In this blog post, I’ll share with you the cities in Switzerland that you must visit when exploring the country. I will also tell you about my personal favorite places in each of these cities in Switzerland.

Table of contents

      Bern: river city on the Swiss plateau

      When talking about cities in Switzerland, we must start with the Swiss capital! Although Bern is the federal city in Switzerland, it is far from being the busiest of cities in the country… It is a fairly quiet place compared to more populous cities in Switzerland, but it is one of the most charming ones if you ask me!

      The Aare river beautifully wraps the city in a soothing water ribbon, and the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a true medieval jewel. Graceful series of arcades frame the main streets and offer a cool shelter on hot summer days.

      Bern cities in switzerland

      Places to check out

      Toi et moi restaurant – Bahnhofpl. 2, 3011 Bern
      Open all day long, Toi et Moi welcomes you for every type of meal: from breakfast, lunch and brunch to a quick sweet break and dinner! The restaurant has a very comfortable cozy décor and friendly vibe, and the food is truly delicious. 😋


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      Kornhauskeller – Kornhauspl. 18, 3011 Bern
      This place is something out of a dream! It is over a century-old, and dining there makes you feel like you are royalty. The historic café serves delicious Swiss and Bernese specialties. With its high vaulted ceilings, the restaurant displays a grand and graceful architecture that offers the perfect décor to taste the delectable food served at Kornhauskeller.


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      Adrianos – Theaterpl. 2, 3011 Bern
      Pure happiness awaits coffee-lovers at Adrianos… they roast their own coffee and sell their products at their shop. They also have very original beers and soft drinks that you won’t find elsewhere. They often serve local products, so it’s a great way to discover the region! If you ask me, this place is really worth a visit.


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      Rösterei – Güterstrasse 6, 3008 Bern
      At Rösterei, the coffee bar is where the owners and employees communicate the passion they have for coffee. The staff loves to share their coffee knowledge and advise you on all things caffeinated! With a specialized shop and the coffee roasted on site, the place is like a coffee heaven…


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      Kurt&Kurt – Aarbergergasse 28, 3011 Bern
      As soon as you enter Kurt&Kurt, the long line of exposed alcohol bottles will immediately make you feel like you’re in the right place for excellent cocktails! The drinks in this restaurant bar are quite unique and the cocktail menu is constantly updated with new creations. It’s a really great place if you’re tired of the classics and want to discover something new.


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      Volver – Rathauspl. 8, 3011 Bern
      I love a good tapas place and Volver always does the trick when I’m in Bern! If you need a change of scenery, something different from the Swiss chalets, cheese and dried meat, this place makes it so easy to just chill and enjoy the evening. The tapas are amazing, the wine selection is great, the atmosphere is delightful, you can’t ask for more.


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      Geneva: lake city in Swiss Romandie

      In the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Geneva is popular for its gigantic Jet d’Eau, this huge fountain on Lake Geneva. This city has this luxurious, elegant vibe that is enhanced by the tranquil water of the lake. In summer, you can easily rent a boat to roam the waters and have a nice refreshing swim in the lake. The Old Town and its cobbled streets are also worth a visit!

      And let’s not forget about the strong presence of different cultures that contribute a lot the liveliness cities in Switzerland. Geneva in particular is one of the cities in Switzerland where many international political and non-governmental organizations establish themselves. Therefore, although French is the official language, don’t be surprised if you constantly hear countless other ones when wandering the streets!

      Geneva cities in switzerland

      Places to check out

      Au Vieux Carouge – Rue Jacques-Dalphin 27, 1227 Carouge
      This place is amazing for the delicious fondue it serves. For having tasted it myself, I can say that it is indeed an excellent one. Some even say it’s the best fondue in town!
      The staff is very friendly and the wooden décor with a chalet vibe gives the restaurant a very home-like atmosphere. A great place for a nice evening with friends or family.


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      Cafe Remor (vintage) – Place du Cirque 3, 1204 Genève
      If you want to get a feel of how Geneva looked like at the beginning of the 20th century, just go to Café Remor… This historic café serves delicious, freshly made pastries and hot beverages, and their homely food warms the coldest of hearts. I just love the vintage atmosphere of this place! For sure one of my favorite cafés in Geneva.


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      Boreal – Rue du Stand 60, 1204 Genève
      With several locations in the city, the Boréal café is often described as the Starbucks of Geneva. In addition to having this chill, comfortable and young atmosphere that I love in cafés, they have amazing coffees, teas and hot chocolate! If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, their pastries are also really good.


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      Rooftop 42 – Rue du Rhône 42, 1204 Genève
      A very trendy place to have great cocktails and foods! Although the menu might appear a bit pricey, you cannot put a price on the lave view the terrace offers. It’s a really cool place for a nice evening in Geneva.


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      Qu’importe – Rue Ancienne 1, 1227 Carouge
      This bar is coziness incarnated! The wooden furniture and the beautiful fireplace make it an ideal place to have a drink. They have a great selection of finger food to accompany their amazing wines and cocktails. I highly recommend this place for a nice apéro to start off your evening.


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      Chez Philippe – Rue du Rhône 8, 1204 Genève
      This restaurant is one of several Philippe Chevrier has in the city. The 2-Michelin starred chef born and raised in Geneva offers in this grill restaurant exquisite meat and fish dishes. The place has a modern New York vibe and is a little more expensive than average, but trust me, it is worth it!

      Little piece of advice: make sure you leave some space for a dessert. The sticky toffee pudding is to die for…
      If you want more recommendations on places to try out in Geneva, follow Philippe Chevrier, who’s one of our Ambassadors, on the TWISPER app.


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      Gruyères: medieval village overlooking the valley

      Destination of many tourists, the museum town of Gruyères manages to remain authentic and is definitely one of the must-see cities in Switzerland. The medieval castle overlooking the village is one of the main attractions. As you may have guessed, the region is known for its Gruyère cheese, a very important ingredient of the local fondue. You can even witness the production of this famous Swiss cheese on site!

      Gruyères is a truly delightful little Swiss town and I highly recommend taking the time to visit it. It should definitely be on your list of cities in Switzerland to visit!

      Gruyère cities in switzerland

      Places to check out

      HR Giger Bar – Rue du Château 2, Château St-Germain, 1663 Gruyères
      H.R. Giger was a Swiss painter famous for his design work on the Alien movie. Located next to the HR Giger Museum, this bar is very representative of his art. The place looks like the skeleton of a creature from outer space. The furniture is modeled after the artist’s biomechanical style. It can somehow feel like you are seated in a weird alien space shuttle! It’s a very fun place to visit to add an eerie twist to your visit of Gruyères.


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      Restaurant Le Chalet – Rue du Bourg 53, 1663 Gruyères
      As the name of this restaurant indicates, you’ll have a meal in a Swiss chalet! I love this place for its typical atmosphere, although many tourists stop there to have a fondue… And who can blame them? The chalet is so charming and is the best place to taste a good fondue “moitié-moitié” (meaning “half-half”), which is 50% made of the regional Gruyère cheese (the other 50% being the Vacherin cheese of Fribourg).


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      Auberge de la Halle – Rue du Bourg 24, 1663 Gruyères
      This very cute restaurant is overflooded with conviviality! They sell all things Swiss (fondue, raclette, röstis, dried meat, and local specialties) and will make you feel at home in their warm wood-paneled rooms.


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      Zürich: experience the Swiss urban life

      Zürich, the financial center of Switzerland, is as urban as it gets in the country! But somehow, the city still manages to communicate the charm of Swiss villages. This is mostly thanks to the beautiful Lake Zürich and Limat River near which the city is located, and the stunning Old Town that is very well preserved.
      As the city in Switzerland with the highest number of inhabitants, it is very dynamic, and it is the place with the most activities and nightlife. As soon as you get out of the main train station, you’ll be welcomed by the animated Bahnhofstrasse where shops, boutiques, cafés and restaurants abound!

      Zurich cities in switzerland

      Places to check out

      Haus Hiltl – Sihlstrasse 28, 8001 Zurich
      I visited Haus Hiltl every single time I was in Zürich. Their brunch is a real favorite of mine! You can either choose to order à la carte or to enjoy their amazing buffet (all you can eat or priced according to your plate’s weight). And best part about it: all dishes are vegetarian (or vegan)! The restaurant gives you the opportunity to discover another kind of cooking and it is just delicious. I really recommend trying it out, even if meat is your preferred choice. You’ll be surprised at how delectable and filling their dishes can be!


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      Frau Gerolds Garten – Geroldstrasse 23/23a, 8005 Zürich
      The cozy hut of Frau Gerold Garten makes a perfect winter refuge! The wooden pavilion and its crackling fire will transport you to the mountains while you relish delicious typical Swiss dishes. I’ve only been there in winter, but the place seems to be great for a summer outing as well: you can fully appreciate their urban garden and shop at their market where designer and independent labels sell their products.


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      Sprüngli – Paradeplatz, Bahnhofstrasse 21, 8001 Zürich
      Sprüngli is a Swiss classic! The famous café is owned by the even more famous Swiss chocolatier and confectionery company, Lindt. As can be expected, their chocolate truffles are to die for, and their tartlets and cakes are delicious! It is an ideal place for a tea, coffee or hot chocolate with a view on the Bahnhofstrasse, Zürich’s main street.


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      Schwarzenbach – Münstergasse 17, 8001 Zürich
      Schwarzenbach is a tea and coffee reference in the city. Located in the heart of the Old Town, the vintage-looking place has its own grocery store and coffee roastery. The café offers a large choice of tea and coffee flavors that perfectly complement their freshly baked goods! Having a drink there feels like being in another time.


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      Jules Verne Panoramabar – Uraniastrasse 9, 8001 Zürich
      Jules Verne Panoramabar is an amazing place to have a few cocktails and eat in front of one of the most spectacular views of Zürich, its lake and the surrounding Alps. I recommend going there for sunset to capture the view of the city in daylight AND under the night sky.


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      Bar am Wasser – Stadthausquai 1, 8001 Zürich
      This place is a real gem! With its trendy, chic, elegant New York vibe, it is where the cocktail genius Dirk Hany artfully mixes heavenly drinks. He is the 2008 “Bartender of the Year”, so I can assure you that you’re in for the cocktail evening of your life!
      If you’re looking for more recommendations on places to try out in Zürich, follow Dirk Hanny who’s one of our Ambassadors, on the TWISPER app.


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      Zermatt: paradise mountain village

      Last but not least, a trip to Switzerland wouldn’t be complete without a stay at a beautiful, dream-like mountain and ski resort in the Swiss Alps! In the canton of Valais, the beautiful chalets of Zermatt lie at the foot of the famous Matterhorn (that you may also know as the Toblerone Mountain). The small town has an extremely charming main street where horse carriages will make you feel like you are in a fairytale… In my opinion, it’s one of the dreamiest cities in Switzerland.

      Zermatt is popular with mountaineers and winter sportsmen, but there is so much more to this place. You can go for a hike and explore the mountains, lakes and forests of the region, or hop on a husky sleigh. Or simply enjoy the incredible wellness centers and spas the town has to offer!

      Zermatt cities in switzerland

      Places to check out

      Restaurant Ferdinand by CERVO – Riedweg 156, 3920 Zermatt
      The restaurant Ferdinand is part of the CERVO complex, a luxury hotel composed of 6 beautiful chalets. Separate from the hotel with a chalet on its own, the place serves excellent traditional Swiss dishes, including fondue and raclette, in a very modern décor that oddly fits the surrounding nature and the typical Swiss village of Zermatt very well. They also have an amazing barbecue menu!
      I can promise that you won’t regret having dinner there.


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      Chey Vrony – Findeln, 3920 Zermatt
      Chez Vrony radiates such coziness that it is hard to pass by without stopping to check out the menu of this warm, rustic and welcoming chalet. Located at 2100 meters altitude, the restaurant displays a magnificent view of the Matterhorn. A great place to spend a quiet moment eating great food surrounded by relaxing nature.


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      Harry’s Bar – Hinterdorfstrasse 53, 3920 Zermatt
      I love Harry’s Bar for a good après-ski with friends. The place provides great entertainment to end the day on the slopes on a high note. When the slopes close and the skiers come back to town, Harry’s Bar becomes a real party!


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      Findlerhof – Findeln, 3920 Zermatt
      Their terrace is a great place to soak up the sun while watching the stunning view of the Matterhorn. The restaurant serves a mix of really good Italian and Swiss dishes, and is accessible directly from the slopes, or by foot! If you’re looking for the authentic ski resort atmosphere, this place is the one for you.


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      Le Gitan Grill – Bahnhofstrasse 64, 3920 Zermatt
      The dimmed lighting at Le Gitan Grill (“The Gipsy Grill” in French) creates the perfect, romantic atmosphere to savor high-quality meat and fish cooked over wood fire. The meat is tender, the fish melts in your mouth, you cannot go wrong with any of their dishes. The place is often packed, so make sure you book in advance to enjoy the amazing experience that is a dinner at Le Gitan Grill!


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      Bergrestaurant Blatten – Postfach 66, 3920 Zermatt
      The warm, wooden hamlet of the Bergrestaurant Blatten will make you feel welcome and at home for a delicious traditional Swiss meal. Accessible via the slopes or the hiking trails, the chalet has been passed down from generations to generations in the Taugwalder family. It has kept its authenticity and will make you travel back to the 19th century, when it was built.


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      Bergrestaurant Simi – Furi 4, 3920 Zermatt 
      In the cute chalet of the mountain restaurant Simi, all kinds of Swiss and Austrian specialties are served. It’s the perfect comfort food for the winter season. Located just next to the cable car station Furi, this restaurant is an ideal place for a lunch break before heading back to the slopes!


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      Hotel Matterhorn Lodge – Englischer Viertel 11, 3920 Zermatt
      In the heart of Zermatt, the Hotel Matterhorn Lodge makes you feel at home away from home. It’s an amazing place where simplicity and authenticity meet, and where hospitality is at its best. It’s like the calming atmosphere of the surrounding nature and mountains has invaded the hotel, charming and warming the hearts of the residents. The hotel also has a cozy bar, a comfortable lounge and a very relaxing spa.


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      This list of cities in Switzerland is far from being exhaustive… Of course, the country has many other wonderful places to visit, but these cities in Switzerland are the ones I would prioritize if you are short on time. I hope this article helped you get a better picture of this beautiful country and that you’re now ready to go live your Swiss adventure 😉

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      About the author Sarah Chin A Sen

      Sarah works in digital marketing and content creation at TWISPER. Travel and food are some of her passions and she shares her favorite spots and tips with you on our blog and on our app. Follow her on TWISPER to see her place recommendations around the world!