germany-bavaria

Switzerland Cities


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Appenzell, a charming village with colorfully painted buildings, is located in an idyllic region of rolling hills, lush pastures, picturesque farmhouses, and splendid mountains. The area is famous for its delicious cheeses and handicrafts—especially fine embroidery. Folk customs are prevalent... more

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Ascona, nestled on the shore of Lake Maggiore, is located in the southern part of Switzerland in a canton called Ticino. With the Italian border so close, it is no wonder that Ascona reflects the romantic ambiance of Italy. This is a gem of a small town with colorfully painted houses, great foo... more

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Avenches

The town of Avenches is just a couple kilometers from the larger town of Murten.  It is hard to believe as you look at this sleepy little hamlet of about 2,000 inhabitants that in the 1st and 2nd centuries it was a powerful Roman city boasting a population of over 20,000. You can grasp the moo... more

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Because Basel is a major commercial center, it is sometimes forgotten as a tourist destination. However, it is a delightful city. Particularly charming is the old part of the town with its many historic buildings, colorful squares, and excellent museums. Basel is located in the northwestern cor... more

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Bern, a charming medieval city brimming with colorful buildings, whimsical fountains, and arcaded walkways, is justifiably a favorite tourist destination. Beautiful churches, fascinating museums, and excellent shopping make the city even more enticing.... more

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Blatten

Traveling through the Lotschental Valley you pass through ancient little villages, untouched by time.  One of the prettiest of these is the town of Blatten, where there are several simple (but very nice) hotels with spectacular views. If you have the luxury of a few extra days, this would make... more

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Brienz is a beautiful village with a stunning setting at the eastern tip of Lake Brienz. Boats glide up to the dock, picking up passengers for fun excursions. In addition, there is a little red train, the Brienz Rothorn, which chugs up to the top of the mountain where the views are glorious.... more

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Approximately 15 kilometers beyond Stampa, you come to the village of Cassaccia, which was in the medieval times an important town due to its strategic location at the foot of the Maloja Pass. Traders on horseback stopped here before going over the mountain. Ruins of a small church stand above ... more

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Castagnola is a tiny village on Lake Lugano, just a few kilometers east of the town of Lugano. Castagnola (only accessible by boat or foot) is made up of a strip of small hotels and restaurants that line a trail that runs along the hillside above the water.... more

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Located about 5 kilometers north of Saint Moritz, Celerina is famous for its jazz festival. This is a particularly picturesque Engadin village with many wonderful old houses that nestle in a meadow. The Inn River flows through the center of town, further enhancing its charm. Though so very clos... more

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Dating back to medieval times, Chur is the largest city in eastern Switzerland. Because it is a major rail terminal, linked by expressways to Zurich and Lucerne, many people start their sightseeing excursions from here. Cobbled streets with historic houses and colorful squares add an old world ... more

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Clarens is a pretty lakefront suburb just north of Montreux. A romantic promenade, enhanced by gardens, stretches along the edge of the lake. Many of the hotels (some of which have been converted into small hotels and restaurants) are very attractive. The views across the lake are spectacular.... more

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Located about 12 kilometers from Geneva, Coppet is the first quaint lakeside town you come to after leaving the city. Picturesque, 16th-century, arcaded houses flank both sides of the road that runs through the middle of town.... more

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One of the most peaceful places along Lake Geneva is the medieval village of Cully. Its setting is particularly appealing since the town is off the main road. The town is very attractive with picturesque old buildings and cobbled streets that lead down to the waterfront where a pretty park stre... more

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Another excursion from Lucerne is to the town of Einsiedeln to see the home of the famous Black Madonna. The Monastery of Einsiedeln was founded by Meinrad, a Benedictine monk, who built a small chapel for the Black Madonna (a statue of the Virgin Mary), which had been given to him by Zürich p... more

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Although you might never have heard of Flüeli-Ranft, the tiny village is very well known to devout Catholics, many of whom come on pilgrimage to pay homage to Saint Nicholas of Flüe, who was born here and spent many years in a hermitage nearby. Even if you are not drawn to Flüeli-Ranft for i... more

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Fribourg is a charming city that makes a convenient stop en route between Montreux and Bern. The Sarine River forms a loop around the town, adding to its romantic appeal. The newer part of Fribourg (which isn't that "new" since it has many outstanding historic buildings) sits high... more

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Gandria is a tiny village on Lake Lugano, just a few kilometers east of the town of Lugano. It is a colorful old fishing village snuggled on a steep hill above the Lake. Gandria is linked by a scenic path to Castagnola.... more

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Geneva is one of Switzerland's most elegant cities with pretty parks, fine museums, splendid gardens, gorgeous views and a superb lakeside setting. The Rhone River splits the town in two- the section to the north of the river is newer, the section to the south of the river is the historic heart... more

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There is no finer spot to enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Geneva than the small town of Glion, which is perched in the hills above Montreux. You can drive up to the village or take a tram from Territet (located just south of Montreux). Combine a trip up the hill with lunch at the Hotel Victori... more

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Gottlieben is a small, picturesque village hugging the water’s edge on the Unter See, a small lake linked to Lake Constance by a canal. The town is as an excellent base from which to explore the region by water rather than by road. From Gottlieben you can take ferryboats to Stein am Rhein and... more

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For a picturesque, off the beaten path destination, nothing can surpass Grimentz, which is located at the end of a box canyon accessed via the d’Annivieres Valley. With its cluster of weathered, age-darkened farmhouses clinging to the edge of the mountain, Grimentz seems lost in time.... more

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Perched on a mountain ledge high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Grindelwald bustles with activity. Many come to hike and enjoy the glorious mountain scenery.... more

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Located just a short drive north of Lake Geneva, the enchanting medieval village of Gruyères is easily accessible by either train or car. Its setting, cresting the top of a small hill, is something out of a fairy tale and the surrounding mountains and lush rolling hills add to the picture-perf... more

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The village of Gstaad, which exudes a charming country ambiance, is not only one of Switzerland’s most attractive ski towns, but is equally enchanting as a summer resort for hiking and mountain climbing. Gstaad is centrally located and easily accessible by car or train.... more

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gsteig

After leaving Les Diablerets on the way to Gstadd, when the road flattens and you arrive in the quaint village of Gsteig, look to your left where there is a richly decorated, Oberland-style chalet that oozes old world charm with its darkened wood façade, brilliant red geraniums, and tables on ... more

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The Lower Engadine Valley is glorious and features many picturesque towns. One of the most stunning of these is Guarda, which enjoys a breathtaking perch high on a mountain shelf. The main recreation here is simply being out of doors exploring the beckoning mountain paths and soaking up the sen... more

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Just a short distance southeast of Geneva you come to the quaint medieval village of Hermance, which is tucked right on the edge of the lake. This is one of the last towns in Switzerland before you arrive in France. The town is accessible by bus, boat, or car. Many people from Geneva come here ... more

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Interlaken, which sits on a thread of land that separates Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century. The views of the mountains are sensational, plus the town offers shopping and romantic excursions on the lake.... more

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If you are exploring the towns around Lake Brienz, one of the cutest of all is the tiny village of Iseltwald, located on the south shore of the lake. This would make a good stop one day for lunch or a cup of tea.... more

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Kandersteg is a lovely small town set in a meadow wrapped by majestic mountains.... more

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Located above the timberline, Kleine Scheidegg is just a cluster of buildings hugging the windswept plateau. The wide, sweeping vistas of the rugged peaks of the Eiger, the Mönch, and the Jungfrau are overpowering. If the day is sunny, it is great fun to sit out on the open terrace with a beer... more

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The architecture in some of Switzerland’s famous ski areas is quite modern with high rise buildings replacing the original chalets. Happily, this is not the case with Klosters, where the buildings (both new and old) reflect charming, old world flair. Popular both in winter and summer, Kloster... more

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Küssnacht am Rigi, located on the north bank of Lake Lucerne, is an especially pretty village and makes a great place to stop for lunch when you take a boat ride from Lucerne. The ferry pulls up right in front of the Hotel du Lac Seehof where you dine on a treeshaded terrace overlooking the la... more

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Lausanne is one of the most popular towns that dot the northern shore of Lake Geneva. The oldest part of the city, with its fabulous churches and many historic moments, lies on a crest of a hill, quite a hike up from the waterfront. Most tourists stay along the lake in an area called Ouchy, whi... more

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Lauterbrunnen, a popular place to leave your car and climb aboard the train for the Jungfraujoch excursion, is nestled on the floor of the valley. Before parking in Lauterbrunnen for the train trip, drive south for a few more kilometers, watching for a sign on the left side of the road for the ... more

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Lucerne, which in spite of its size has the enchanting ambiance of a small town, is one of our favorite places in Switzerland. Its location, snuggled on the banks of Lake Lucerne, is stunning. The River Reuss cuts through the center of town, crisscrossed by a series of intriguing bridges. The h... more

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Lugano is an enchanting village on the shore of Lake Lugano. The weather here is milder than in the rest of the country and the flavor is delightfully Italian. Pastel-hued houses line the square that is fronted by a lakeside promenade. The scene is so romantic that it could be the stage set for... more

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If as a child you were enchanted by Johanna Spyri’s book, Heidi, stop in Maienfeld to visit the re-creation of what was supposedly Heidi’s village, located in the scenic mountain area that inspired the story.... more

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Montreux is a sophisticated city at the eastern end of Lake Geneva. Its setting is superb and its view across the lake to snowcapped mountains memorable. There are many grand hotels in town plus a casino. One of Montreux’s sightseeing highlights is a visit to the Castle of Chillon, which is t... more

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Morcote, a tiny lakeside village south of Lugano, is a photographer’s dream with its colorful, arcaded houses clinging to a wooded hillside that rises abruptly from the water. Morcote is a great destination, either for spending the night, or as a place to come for lunch at one of the charming... more

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Morges, a tranquil town snuggled on the edge of the lake is enveloped by beautifully manicured vineyards.... more

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Mürren, tucked high on a mountain ledge overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley, is so precipitously perched that its only access is by cable car. The views from here are incredible and the hiking superb. Mürren has no direct access to the Jungfraujoch, but offers its own adventure—a trip by a... more

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Murten is a picture-perfect walled village that snuggles next to Lake Murten. As you enter through the gate, you step back into medieval times. Colorful 15th-century buildings, small squares, cobbled streets, clock towers, and ramparts add to its fairy tale charm. Boat rides around the lake are... more

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Müstair is a small village that lies at the eastern end of the Müstair Valley, just before the road runs into Italy. This is a very historic town with some of its buildings dating back to the 12th century. There is little in the way of commercialism to spoil the old world charm of the town.... more

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In the southeastern corner of Switzerland, the Bernina Pass goes over the mountains and drops down into the beautiful Poschiavo Valley. The only significant town along the way is Poschiavo, which is a gem. This medieval town, unspoiled by time, has many historic buildings, fine churches, and be... more

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If romantic walled villages enchant you, there is none finer in all of Switzerland than Regensberg. Surprisingly few tourists have discovered this jewel—perhaps because it’s so tiny. The hamlet (which is about a 20-minute drive north of Zürich) crowns the top of a small hill that is adorne... more

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If you want to add another stunning picture to your Swiss photo album, visit the Island of Rheinau that sits on a loop of the Rhine, 6 kilometers south of the Rheinfall. What makes this island so exceptionally picturesque is its stunning Benedictine Monastery (highlighted by with twin bell towe... more

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The highlight of the small village of Rollet, which is beautifully situated on the waterfront in the center of the wine-growing region, is its handsome, 13th-century, moated castle that stretches to the edge of the lake. Built by the Duke of Savoy, the castle is very picturesque with a proper m... more

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From Scuol a small, single-lane, somewhat intimidating, road (part of which is unpaved) twists up into the mountains, dead-ending in S-Charl, a hamlet that lies in a splendid meadow adjacent to the Swiss National Park, a totally protected, natural paradise. There are but a cluster of buildings ... more

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