For centuries, Switzerland has been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Fairy tales, legends, and movies have brought this part of Europe to people all over the world. Switzerland is a country of magical beauty, and nothing exemplifies this more than the Alpine region that is home to the magnificent Swiss Alps. However, there’s so much more to discover about this region, its culture, and history with a visit to the country’s most beautiful cities.
Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and one of the most beautiful on the European continent. This metropolis is a major financial, cultural and art center in addition to some 50 museums and 100 art galleries. The city has a flourishing nightlife featuring some of the best restaurants, cafes, bars, and cinemas.
The city is also blessed with a number of attractions that include the Gothic Fraumunster, Zürich’s famous blue-spired church, the Fluntern Cemetery also known as Friedhof Fluntern, the resting place of James Joyce the famous Irish writer. The Bahnhofstrasse is not to be missed; it is home to one of the world’s most exclusive shopping outlets. Even if you can’t afford the items, it’s well worth checking out the displays.
Finding accommodation won’t be a problem with a variety of hotels offering discounts. Hotels such as the Widder Hotel, The Baur au Lac Hotel, Arabella Atlantis Sheraton Hotel provide tourists with some of the best amenities.
Geneva is situated among nearby Alpine peaks and the shore of Lake Geneva and is often referred to as the world’s smallest metropolis with a big cosmopolitan flair. The city is the European seat of the UNO (United Nations Office) as well as The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The city boasts a number of outstanding museums and galleries such as the Musée international de l’horlogerie, exhibiting a collection of clocks, watches, the International Museum of the Red Cross, International Museum of the Reformation, Musée ARIANA, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, and the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle.
The city is also home to a number of excellent theatres that include the Grand Théâtre a resemblance of the Paris Opera House. Notable attractions worth visiting include Jet d’eau, the world’s tallest fountain pumping water some 140-meters into the sky. The Cathédrale St-Pierre (St. Peter’s Cathedral) dominating the skyline in the Old Town was initially designed in Romanesque style and completed a hundred years later in a Gothic style. A wooden chair used by John Calvin, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation can still be seen inside the church.
Many of the more prominent hotels and restaurants are located on the right side of the lake. Place du Bourg-de-Four is the oldest square in the city featuring wharfs, lakeside promenades, numerous parks, lively neighborhoods, and fashionable shops. Grand-Rue, the street where Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born is one of the best-preserved streets in the city. Visitors can board one of the water taxis to explore other parts of the lakeshore or take a cruise on Lake Geneva.
Lucerne is Switzerland’s enchanted little city blessed with beautiful surroundings set in a natural environment comprised of quaint villages and majestic mountains. The city is often referred to as the gateway to Central Switzerland with access to hiking and ski destinations a short distance away in the Rigi and Pilatus mountain region. Today, Lucerne is a city with a booming tourism industry, where the new and old live side by side. There is a great deal that the city has to offer such as attractions and activities.
The Chapel Bridge, constructed in the 14th century, is a famous landmark in the city and considered to be the oldest wooden pedestrian bridge in Europe. The Swiss Transport Museum features a large collection of trains, planes, automobiles, and motorcycles. The museum caters to people of all ages providing a fun time to spend an afternoon. The museum also features a model railroad with a miniature working steam train. The old city wall (Musegg Wall), features a number of towers most notably the clock tower that visitors can climb up to. The Richard Wagner Museum was the former residence of the world-renowned composer. The estate situated on Lake Lucerne was where the composer worked for six years producing his notable works of music. The museum features photographs, paintings, letters and musical scores. The Erard grand piano that Wagner used for his works is displayed inside the museum and still used to this day for live concerts.
One of the most visited sections of Lucerne is the Old Town, attracting visitors from all over. The old town is well preserved and made up of a maze of streets, passageways, and numerous squares. Visitors can take the world’s steepest cogwheel railway up to the peak of Mount Pilatus that overlooks the city. For those that have plenty of stamina can walk up on foot which takes approximately four hours from Kriens. Lake Lucerne is best experienced by boat. Visitors can enjoy stunning mountain views from aboard a one-hundred-year-old restored paddle-steamer.
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