Switzerland is very famous for having a lot of hidden treasures, fairy tale looking villages, cozy cafes, chocolate and cheese fondues, white peaks, huge valleys, old wooden well preserved architecture and many other spectacular things such as charming Swiss villages.
I have traveled in all corners of Switzerland and I am sure that still some things are unknown to me, but let us have a look at 15 most beautiful villages in Switzerland which I highly recommend to visit. Once you are in Switzerland, please visit at least one, you will not be disappointed.
These villages are all over Switzerland, so I will write couple of things for each village: distance from Zürich, how to reach the village and one best thing to do there.
Let us dive in into this list of charming Swiss villages.
Zermatt is probably the most famous Swiss village as it has the most famous Swiss mountain right in their “yard” called Matterhorn. Have you ever seen or tasted Toblerone chocolate? So Matterhorn is on the package. It is one of the highest Swiss mountains.
Zermatt is very special place as you can not go there with your own car, you can reach it two ways: by train or you can hike there from Täsch. I have done once this hike from Täsch to Zermatt. In Zermatt you are going to see some cars, but they are all electric and are used just by local businesses.
Zermatt is not that far from Zürich: 214 kilometers, but all trip can take you almost 4 hours as in the end, as you get close to Zermatt, you will have to drive through small villages, in the valley of mountains – really nice views.
If you come by car: you must park in Täsch and buy a train ticket to Zermatt. Train ride is just 12 minutes. Return ticket will cost you 16 CHF.
Best thing to do in Zermatt: go up to Matterhon glacier paradise. It is the highest mountain station in Europe sitting at 3883 meters altitude! The views are stunning: you get to see even 38 peaks which are higher than 4000 meters, glaciers and much more. Italy is as well right there 🙂 When I was there, I am not going to lie, I really felt the lack of oxygen, I was extra slow up there, but I really enjoyed the views: if the weather is clear, you can see Mont Blanc. You can visit the maze of ice, where you actually walk into the corridors of ice. You can find all the information about this place right here: Matterhorn glacier paradise.
If you come there in winter, you can get into the ski resort which is situated in two countries. Go up and ski to Italy, then go up again and ski to Switzerland.
Zermatt has a lot to offer for fellow traveler: limitless opportunities to hike, experience the old Swiss architecture, many small Swiss goats (maybe you will even see them with a shepherd in the middle of the village), delicious food and spectacular views. All included in your trip to Zermatt.
Guarda is another beautiful small village in Graubünden canton with a very well preserved old town part.
It is situated at 1653 m elevation above sea level and is housing 150 people.
Despite the fact that Guarda is a very small village, it is very very loved by locals and is going to the future with the newest technologies.
Top thing to do in Guarda: you should download their local app and explore the city with its help while getting all the needed information about the village, houses, history, surroundings. It is a very cool experience. Once you are in Guarda, download this app: Guarda app. And follow the instructions 🙂 Easy peasy.
How to get to Guarda: it is just 167 kilometers from Zürich and one the way you will get a lot of fascinating views. You can reach it by car and park it in public parking spot right before the village or go there by train. The train ride from Zürich would take around 2h 30 minutes.
Morcote village is the only one from this list which is so italian. All architecture and the vibe in the village is completely Italian
Morcote is very close to Lugano in Ticino canton, Italy is just few kilometers away if you swim, by car it is a bit further.
Morcote is located in a perfect location: next to the water and mountains. The views from the village higher parts are breathtaking. I loved it a lot.
They speak italian in the village and you can get a perfect pizza over there.
Top thing to do in Morcote: Climb a bit higher, higher than the church bells and you will get fascinating views to Italy and surrounding mountains. These are not very high mountains, not white, but they look amazing. As well, from the top you get a very good overview of the village and its red roofs. It is really an open air museum.
How to get to Morcote: you can get there by car, only 214 kilometers from Zürich, and park it in underground parking right in the beginning of the village or get there by train and bus. Morcote doesn’t have a train station.
Grindelwald oh Grindelwald – a perfect Swiss village with unlimited activities for nature lover.
Grindelwald is situated in the heart of Switzerland, not that far from Switzerland capital Bern and is sitting in a perfect location where mountains are all around. It is the last village on the road and after Grindelwald you can just climb or hike in the mountains. Many famous peaks are there: Jungfrau, Eiger, Monch, Männlichen and many other great places to visit and see. I have the list of best hikes in Grindelwald as well: Grindelwald hikes. There are quite a few
mountain stations around and many many hiking trails. A real nature lover and hiker can spend there weeks exploring different paths.
Best thing to do in Grindelwald: It is really hard to pick the one best thing to do in Grindelwald as there is so much to do, but for me it would be Kleine Scheidegg. It is a mountain station, situated higher than 2000 meters altitude with the views to Eiger glacier and huge valleys on both sides. They have hotels and restaurants up there as well.
I have hiked to Kleine Scheidegg few times and I really loved it (great trails, many cows on the road, few restaurants, amazing views all the time), but if you are in a hurry, you can take a train up and down. There is even a train which can take you even higher to Jungfraujoch – a mountain station with shops, restaurants and the winter is there all year round. It is that high. You can check all the latest prices and time schedules here: Swiss trains.
How to get to Grindelwald: Grindelwald is perfectly connected with trains or you can get there by car and park it in the city center or Grund (a bit lower than Grindelwald) village. Grindelwald is 193 kilometers from Zürich, the whole trip would take you about 2h 30 minutes.
Juf is a very special place in Switzerland. Why? It is the highest village in Europe where people live all year round.
It is situated at 2126 meters elevation and is a home for 30 people.
It is a very small village, the smallest in this list, it has around 15 houses and most of them are pretty old, although very well preserved.
I have visited in winter and people were going there with chains on the tires as all the roads leading up there are full of snow. It is a special place for people who want to visit a special village 🙂
Best thing to do in Juf: I think overall the best thing to do in Juf is just to visit it. I must tell you – there are no big activity centers: just couple of hotels, restaurants and a shop, you can walk through it all in 15 minutes. It is a small, but fascinating location. Oh, by the way, hiking trails – plenty of them. Juf is surrounded by huge mountains.
How to get to Juf – you can get there by bus or by your own car. There is a parking lot right in the beginning of the city – free one. The distance from Zürich is 180 kilometers and the whole trip can take you up to 3 hours.
Indemini is yet another small village which I discovered only by accident. I was looking for places to go in Ticino canton and found this small village hidden in the mountains.
It is a small ancient village which was for a very long time isolated from other cities and got the road just in the middle of 20th century, so it kept a very old village structure. All the buildings are made from cobble stone and it is actually a small maze: the streets are so narrow that you do not really see a lot in front of you, you just wander around.
Best thing to do in Indemini: wander in the streets of Indemini. It is like walking in ancient village which looks almost unchanged for couple of hundred years. If there would be no electricity – it would really look like taken from history books. I really recommend coming there in the morning, so all the locals are sleeping and you can walk there all by yourself.
How to get to Indemini: you can get there by bus or by car. There is a parking right in the beginning of the village on the main road. The distance from Zürich is 210 kilometers and the whole trip will take you about 3 hours.
Lauterbrunnen is probably the most seen village on Instagram. If you have ever seen a village, in the middle of the houses and a huge waterfall is pouring down – it is probably Lauterbrunnen. It is an amazing Swiss location with many things to do.
Lauterbrunnen has it all: mountains, cable car stations, mountain trains, waterfalls, hiking trails, Swiss cows, green meadows and beautiful Swiss architecture. It is a great location to spend your whole weekend.
Top thing to do in Lauterbrunne: that is a hard one as there’s so much to do and I know that many people would choose visiting all waterfalls, but I would choose once again: hiking. And hiking to Mürren – another great beautiful small Swiss village. You can do the hike to ways: hike straight from Lauterbrunnen (the hard way) or use local cable car, get to Grütschalp and head on to the beautiful panoramic way to Mürren (the easy way). The thing is, that the trails which are starting straight from Lauterbrunnen, are pretty steep, so the first part of the hike is pretty hard, but if you go up a bit with cable car, all the hard meters is not your problem any more. The whole hike is full of amazing views and your Instagram will be booming.
How to get to Lauterbrunnen: it has great connections with trains and if you come by car, you can easily park in a huge parking space right in the beginning of the village, next to the train station. The distance from Zürich is 186 kilometers and would take you around 2 hours.
Wengen is yet another small Swiss village which is full of hiking and skiing opportunities, it is especially booming in winter.
I fell in love with Wengen from the first time I visited it – it is pretty isolated (you can reach it only by train or you can hike up there), but at the same time very alive: full of hotels, restaurants, cozy shops and many other things. It is small, yet you feel like in a bigger city. Even though it is not overcrowded or loud.
Best thing to do in Wengen: I would come there in winter as it feels like winter wonderland over there – the Christmas vibe there is extremely strong. And if you come there in Winter – you must go skiing. It has an amazing ski area with more than 100 kilometers of slopes.
Amazing slopes. Beautiful slopes. I loved it. It is my favorite ski resort. You just hop into the cable car, get to Männlichen and spend all day on the snow. In the end of the day you can ski back to Wengen and finish your ski in the middle of Wengen as slopes go through the village. Check the ski resort here: Jungfrau ski resort.
How to get to Wengen: as I said, you can not get there by car, so you must use the train. The ticket is only 6,60 CHF and the ride is pretty fascinating: you get to see Lauterbrunnen from the top and the whole valley opens up. It is probably the best train ride for such a low price in Switzerland. To get to Wengen, you must reach Lauterbrunnen first 🙂
Saint Ursanne village is situated not in the Swiss Alps, but in Jura mountains – another range of mountains in Switzerland. Switzerland is pretty lucky to have that many mountains.
Saint Ursanne village is not that popular, but really worth visiting as it is ancient and actually pretty cool looking.
I have visited Saint Ursanne in the cold months of the year, but really liked the vibe up there. It has many old buildings and the whole structure of the village is well preserved from the old times.
Best thing to do in Saint Ursanne: what I personally liked the most in Saint Ursanne – walking through the old town and all its streets. Saint Ursanne has a museum, old church, old buildings, very friendly tourism center, but I really liked just to walk around it with a cup of coffee. It is a charming location. You can spend there up to 2 hours just walking around, do not forget to get to the higher parts of the village so you get a great overview of all the surroundings.
How to get to Saint Ursanne: you can get there by train or by car. There’re parking lots in the city center, by the Coop shop or outside the old town by the river. The distance from Zürich to Saint Ursanne is 133 kilometers.
St. Moritz is probably very well known as it is the first skiing resort in Europe. It is very popular and is known to be a very posh location for the rich ones, but do not be discouraged, you can have a great time there even if you are not willing to spend 500 CHF for a one night in the hotel 🙂 The whole village itself is very humble and beautiful, no unnecessary luxury is shown.
It is a great location for skiers and hikers as there are great hiking paths and amazing slopes.
Best thing to do in St. Moritz: even though skiing is great there, I would really suggest hiking there. St. Moritz is all surrounded by huge mountains and a very good destination is: Piz Nair. You can either hike there from St. Moritz or get there by cable car and hike over there. It is pretty high, over 3000 meters altitude, so just imagine the views from there. There is a restaurant, so you can have your lunch or dinner in a pretty fascinating location.
How to get to St. Moritz: you can get there by car or train. There are plenty of parking lots over there and the distance from Zürich is 200 kilometers, around 3 hours drive.
Adelboden is yet another location which I was surprised to find – it is actually a very cool village with many restaurants, hotels, spas and all surrounded by mountains.
The drive to Adelboden is as well very beautiful as you spend a lot of time in the middle of the mountains.
I have spend there one night, did a very nice hike and really loved the overall mood in the village.
Best thing to do in Adelboden: you should visit Engstligen Falls, it is a huge waterfall falling from the mountains. There’s a very nice hiking path leading up there, back and forth about 10 kilometers, so if you take it easy it is around 3 hours. The surroundings leading to the waterfall are very beautiful, many meadows with sheep and cows, especially beautiful if the sun is getting down, it gives that special color on the mountains.
How to get to Adelboden: you can get there by train or by car: plenty of places to park. I must note that I have spent a night there in a hotel, so I got parking for free. The distance from Zürich is 186 kilometers and would take you around 2h 30 minutes to get there.
Davos is mostly the most powerful village in all the world. Why? Because it is hosting World Economic Forum where the greatest leaders of the world gather once a year. Name one powerful person now, and he/she probably visited Davos at some time in their career: Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Angela Merkel, Greta Thunberg – all have been there. This village once a year has the most powerful people spending time and discussing the world’s problem there.
On other times Davos is a pretty calm and slow life embracing village with many hiking and skiing options.
Best thing to do in Davos: I have mentioned many other places in Switzerland where you can ski or hike, so let’s do something very interesting in Davos. I think the most interesting and exceptional thing to do in Davos is visit it exactly when World Economic Forum is taking place. Why not? Maybe you get to see some great people which you would never see in your life. Maybe it is Angela Merkel or some great businessmen/businesswoman? You never know. Why not to jump there when the most powerful people are gathered there.
How to get to Davos: Davos is well connected with trains or you can get there with your own car: there’s a parking place right next to the lake once you just get into the village. The distance from Zürich is 148 kilometers and it would take you about 2 hours to get there.
It is a very special small village, because the famous painter Giovanni Segantini once has said that it was the most beautiful village in Switzerland. He said it is “La soglia del paradiso” – the gate to paradise. So why not to visit this place?
Soglio is pretty isolated and located not that far from Maloja Pass next to Italy. Once you head there, you will get a very nice alpine drive and in the end of the road you will bump into this nice small village, which is very well preserved and loved by local people. It is very charming, almost enchanted.
Best thing to do in Soglio: as I said about Juf, I think the best thing to do there is to simply visit it. It is a small cozy village resting in the middle of huge mountains. What I did and loved: I simply walked through the narrow streets of Soglio. I walked a bit out from the village so I could get a great view to all the village. It is a fascinating spectacle. You will spend there up to 2 hours, just wandering around.
How to get to Soglio: you can get there by bus or by car, there’s a pretty big public parking space right in the beginning of the village. The distance from Zürich is 232 kilometers, but it can take you up to 4 hours to get there, it is probably the furthest village from all the list.
Andermatt is located in the middle of Switzerland and has huge mountains all around. It is situated in a very specific location as it has very many famous mountain passes all around it.
Andermatt is a perfect location for hikers and skiers and even golf lovers.
I personally really like visiting Andermatt in summer as it has so many hiking options on all sides.
Best thing to do in Andermatt: I think the best thing you can do there is to visit all the surrounding mountain passes. It is one of the best thing to do in Switzerland: visit a mountain pass. And Andermatt has even four right next to it, with a car, you can visit them all in one day and Andermatt is in the middle of them all. These mountain passes are: Furka Pass, Grimsel Pass, Gotthard Pass, Oberalp Pass. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed to visit them all. These are all very famous mountain passes, especially Furka Pass as James Bond itself visited it in one of the movies 🙂 I really recommend renting a car and visiting them all.
How to get to Andermatt: it is very well connected by trains and you can get there by car. There are multiple locations there you can park it. The distance from Zürich is only 109 kilometers and it would take you around 1h 30 minutes to get there. Be aware that sometimes there are huge traffic jams before Gotthard Tunnel and it can block your way to Andermatt.
The last, but not least is Engelberg. If you translate it from german language, the name of the village means “angel mountain”. Pretty cool, uh :)?
Engelberg is as well in the middle of Switzerland, not that far from Lucerne. It is the last village on the road and after it: only big huge mountains.
It has a very cozy old town and a huge monastery to visit.
Best thing to do in Engelbgerg: I would come there, as to Wengen, in winter as it has a huge skiing resort called Titlis.
It is a great skiing resort especially for people who like speed. On the top there are many more activities as sledging and even snowmobile driving. It has great mountain stations, a cliff walk and even watch shop on the top. And the cable car which takes you to the top spins around as you go up. I have never seen such a thing anywhere else. You can spend the whole day in the resort while trying different slopes and enjoying the views to the white peaks.
How to get to Engelberg: it has great connections with trains and if you get there by car, there’s a huuuuge parking lots right next to the entrance to Titlis ski area. The distance from Zürich: only 85 kilometers.
There are so many great villages in Switzerland to visit that it can easily exceed top 20 or even top 30. But that is mine top 15 most charming Swiss villages.
I would like to note one thing. If you want to spend a bit more time in the village, not just couple of hours, but spend a night, do more hiking or more activities, so better choose the bigger villages with more to offer:
All other villages are more for shorter visits. You can definitely spend there more times as all of them have hotels, restaurants, but then be ready for more calm stay, more time in the nature and maybe do more hiking as pretty much all of them are next to big mountains: exception is probably Saint Ursanne. For all the train tickets, time schedules and prices, please check this place: Swiss trains.
For the longer trips, if you, for example would like to spend a week and visit as many places in this list as possible, I suggest renting a car, especially if you are bigger group of people, so you would save some money.
If you have any questions about most charming Swiss villages, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.
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