Top Experiences in Switzerland
Soak Up Soulful Sounds at the Montreux Jazz Festival
From Miles Davis to Prince and everyone in between, this world-renowned festival hosts both jazz fixtures as well as up-and-coming pop acts. With numerous free concerts and a waterfront brimming with food and drink stalls, this is a must-do on every music fan's list.
Take a Hike
Some of the world's loveliest trails await you in Switzerland. You'll see it all here: herds of grazing cattle, Swiss grannies with gams of steel, and a vast range of glaciers and wildflowers. With 30,000 miles of trails, there are options for slowpokes and the fleet-footed alike.
Ride the Rails of the Bernina Express
With its 55 tunnels and 196 bridges, this spectacular train ride is not for the faint of heart. The section linking Thusis and Tirano is exceptional; UNESCO recently classified it a World Heritage Site. Forget the first-class reservation and take in the pristine Alpine air in one of the rear open wagons.
Better than Brazil: Basler Fasnacht
After a year of moderation, the Swiss try to make up for lost time in three days of wild revelry at Basler Fasnacht. Watch expertly costumed cliques wander through the city's Old Town in a (usually politically motivated) theme voted upon by the residents. One highlight of the carnival is the 4 am "darkening." All lights are extinguished except for the eerie glow of lanterns, while the haunting echo of piccolos draws you further into this strange, alcohol-soaked world.
Summer Ski in Saas-Fee
Even when the mercury rises, you can descend this foreboding glacier above the resort village of Saas-Fee. Here the ice never melts, leaving you a wide range of year-round skiing at every level. No wonder Olympic greats train here in the summer months.
Eat Fondue in Canton Fribourg
Known for being the home of the best fondue, here this specialty is made with deliciously creamy—and piquant—Vacherin cheese. Washed down with a traditional glass of slightly sparkling Chasselas or Fendant, count on tripling your day's calorie intake and enjoying every bite.
Study Chagall's Stained-Glass Windows at Zürich's Fraumünster
The year 1970 was good one for pet rocks, platform heels, and even stained glass. High in the choir of Zürich's Minster of our Lady, Marc Chagall's five magnificent stained-glass windows add sparkle to this stately gem. Many tourists choose to stay for an unforgettably beautiful mass.
Go for the Green at Golf Club Crans-sur-Sierre
Frequently described as one of the world's most beautiful, this 18-hole golf course is set on a high Alpine plateau in Crans-Montana. The European Masters is hosted here, as well as a series of other competitions; with the sublime backdrop of sky-high summits like the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc, concentrating on the hole may prove challenging.
The Biggest Little Film Festival
Every August, the Ticinese town of Locarno rolls out the red carpet for some of the world's best and brightest filmmakers. You can join 8,000 movie lovers in the lovely little town's Piazza Grande and feast your eye and ears on provocative, moving, and eclectic films from a wide range of countries.Updated: 09-2013
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