The gorgeous country of Switzerland is rich both with natural and human-made heritage. Here the most amazing wonders are:
- Historical abbeys – there are several very old and once influential monasteries with immense art values. Especially rich is Abbey of St. Gall – once an important center of knowledge.
- Urban planning monuments – Switzerland is rich with well preserved historical villages, towns and cities. Here are many interesting medieval towns (Bern Old City, Murten, Stein am Rhein) but of great value are early industrial cities La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle.
- Waterfalls – some of Europe’s tallest and most spectacular waterfalls are found here. Most waterfalls here are thin streams falling over multiple cascades and flowing down along nearly vertical cliffs but one stands out – the powerful Rhine Falls, one of the widest waterfalls in Europe.
Map with the described wonders
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Top 25 wonders of Switzerland
Very long cave system, total length of explored passages – 200.421 km, depth 938.6 m.
One of the largest waterfalls in Europe, formed on the Rhine River. The waterfall is some 150 m wide and 23 m high, with water flow fluctuating between 250 and 650 m³/s.
Grotte aux Fées
Well known show cave, known since the Roman times at least. Contains an impressive, 77 m tall underground waterfall. 3,620 m long.
One of the most impressive springs in Europe. It beats from the cliff face, forming a very tall waterfall with three steps. The upper step is 40 m tall. The medium output is 2,650 l/s. Spring cave has been explored up to 1920 m far, but most of it is underwater.
Group of three closely located caves, interesting monuments of history. In these caves have been found some 90 thousand years old remnants of cave bears. Later, some 50 – 30 thousand years ago there lived Neanderthals. In the 17th – 19th centuries caves were inhabited by hermits.
Abbey of Saint Gall
A very old monastery, started in 719 AD (or even 613 AD) and gained much influence. It contains one of the richest medieval libraries in the world – the Abbey library of Saint Gall, with a beautiful interior in Rococo style. Another beautiful structure is St. Gall Cathedral (1681 – 1766) – an enormous church in Baroque style, with a wonderful interior.
170 m long covered bridge, made from wood. The oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe and the oldest existing truss bridge in the world. Most of the bridge was lost during a fire in 1993 but in some parts, the interior paintings from the 17th century have been preserved.
One of the most beautiful castles anywhere, located on the island of Lake Geneva. Constructed in the 10th – 13th centuries.
CERN Large Hadron Collider
World’s largest particle collider. It is located in a specially made tunnel – ring that has a circumference of 27 km. Scientific experiments here are expected to bring very important discoveries regarding the basic rules of the Universe. Constructed in 1998 – 2008, initially used for the electron-positron collider. Contains two parallel beam pipes made in extremely high precision – these pipes intersect in two places, where the collision takes place and is documented.
Bern Old City
Historical city on a peninsula formed by a loop of Aare river. This city has remained almost unchanged since the 15th – 18th century, with numerous valuable buildings. Many great buildings are in the Renaissance style. Many streets have arcades.
Stein am Rhein
Beautiful town with numerous historical buildings, many covered with frescoes. Most of the old town is off-limits to cars.
Well preserved medieval town at Doubs River, with a Romanesque church, historical bridge, and other old structures.
St. John Abbey in Müstair
Well preserved early medieval monastery with great examples of Carolingian art. This abbey was founded circa 780 AD, frescoes were painted around 800 AD.
A gorgeous historical town at lake Lugano, with densely located historical buildings lined along the lake. Mountain scenery and almost subtropical plant life add to the beauty of the site.
Spectacular mountaintop castle, its construction started in 1040.
Enormous Benedictine monastery with its history starting in the late 9th century, a pilgrimage site. Contains important Baroque and Rococo artworks.
St. Maurice’s Abbey
Enormous monastery encompassing the whole town. Started to develop around 515 AD.
An old wooden bridge, originally built in 1408, rebuilt after 1566. 81 m long bridge contains 45 paintings of Danse Macabre and other motives.
Impressive, well preserved castle, rebuilt over an older castle in the 13th century.
Emblematic structure – railway viaduct with six arches. Constructed in 1901 – 1902, 65 m high and 136 m long.
Large, ornate church, built from red sandstone in Romanesque-Gothic styles between 1019 and 1500. The building is ornate, with numerous art values.
Impressive viaduct – amazing achievement of structural engineering for its time, built in 1912 – 1914. The first large railway bridge from concrete, the longest railway bridge in the world at its build time, 284 m long.
Luzerne Jesuit Church
The first large Baroque church in this part of Europe, built in 1667 – 1673 and later.
Fribourg Old City
One of the largest and best preserved medieval cities in Switzerland with numerous Gothic structures. Most buildings were built before the 16th century, city for the most part is surrounded by city walls with 14 towers.
Nearly intact medieval city at Lake Murten encircled by city walls, and with a castle.
Cross the Alps in a cable car, cruise Lake Geneva, and visit a medieval château: with Rick Steves on your side, Switzerland can be yours!
Ski the Alps, explore the idyllic countryside and take in the alpine scenery when you travel to Switzerland. See history, art, and more in this unique and vibrant country.
From top restaurants, bars, and clubs to standout scenic sites and walks, our insider tips are sure to make your trip outstanding. Whether you’re looking for unique and interesting shops and markets, or seeking the best venues for music and nightlife, we have entertainment and hotel recommendations for every budget covered in our Eyewitness Travel Guide.