Switzerland is a stunning country with so much to offer. With such a diverse landscape, you can do almost anything here – one day you go skiing in the Alps, and the next you can opt for a cruise on the Rhine.
However, there are some experiences that are even more Swiss in nature and absolutely can’t be missed on a visit to Switzerland.
Make Your Own Chocolates
As you probably already know, Switzerland is famous for its outstanding chocolates. So, while spending some time here it is only appropriate that try your hand at chocolate making. The good news is – you can do this in various different regions and cities, including Zurich, Basel and Lucerne.
There are lots of different chocolate tours in Switzerland, so be sure to pick one that includes making your own chocolates. You can learn how to make pralines, truffles and if you are lucky, you even wear a genuine chocolatier uniform! Definitely an experience you don’t want to miss out on, especially if you have a sweet tooth.
And don’t worry, you won’t be doing this on your own. There will be professional chocolatiers to guide you along the way, helping you make delicious chocolates that you can take with you – perfect presents for your loved ones at home.
You will learn about the history of the Swiss chocolate industry, and get to taste a lot of delicious samples during the tour. Sounds like a dream to me!
Build An Igloo
If you are travelling with friends and visiting in winter, why not try building your own igloo? It is not only an experience you will never forget, you will also have lots of fun doing it.
The experience is exactly what it sounds like – you and your friends will build and igloo from pre-sawn ice blocks, with the help of igloo construction experts. Yes, there is such a thing!
And if you think that this is too easy, think again – the challenging part of this adventure is to position the ice blocks properly, so that your igloo stays up, often long enough to sleep in!
Many of the mountain regions have options to do this – Lucerne, Zermatt, Grindelwald and more.
Experience Swiss Watch Making
You haven’t properly experienced Switzerland until you’ve toured one of their watch museums. And the IWC Museum in Schaffhausen is the perfect place to start – it is a state of the art museum located in the place of the original IWC watch factory.
You will learn about the brands history, which dates all the way back to the 1800s. And, with over 230 exhibition pieces spread across three rooms, you will be able to see the most iconic watches IWC has manufactured. The tour appropriately begins with some of the first IWC pocket watches, and ends with their modern masterpieces, including the iconic limited edition Il Destriero Scafusia wristwatch.
You can download a free app on your phone (works for both iOS and Android) that provides you with an audio tour of the museum – perfect for people who are not in the mood for a guided tour. And if you feel like treating yourself with a luxury watch after the tour, just walk over to the IWC boutique – it is connected to the museum.
One thing to note is that the museum has an admission fee of 6 CHF, and they only accept cash.
Dog Sledding is an extremely popular Swiss experience. It is a rather unique way to explore the foot of the Alps and enjoy the stunning views. And it is exactly what you think it is – you’re sitting in a sled while a pack of healthy huskies take you on a ride of your life. Forget train rides and cable cars – if you really want to make your friend jealous, this is the experience you don’t want to skip.
You can do this in pretty much any area of Switzerland, as long as you make your way to the nearest mountain. There are loads of different dog sledding tours, and they can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an entire day. So, it will be rather easy to find a tour length that is good for you.
The best part? You can get to know all the dogs before you get in the sled. Meaning that you can get up close and personal with every single one of the fluffy huskies, and cuddle them as much as you want.
If you are an adrenaline seeker, then this is the perfect Swiss experience for you. And even if you are not – lots of paragliding flights are actually tandem, meaning that you are going on a ride along with an experienced paragliding instructor. This is the option to choose, if you’re a first-time paraglider, or just want to take in the stunning views of the nature below you.
On top of that, some of these Swiss paragliding adventures are suitable even for four-year-old children. If it’s safe for kids, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about!
You can go paragliding in pretty much any Swiss region, but Interlaken has some of the best flights you will experience. That has a lot to do with the region and its landscape – Interlaken is where you should go if you want to be mesmerized by breathtaking nature during your flight.
You can also go paragliding in the Zurich, Bellinzona, Lake Geneva, Valais and many other regions. Wherever you decide to go, one thing’s for sure – this thrilling experience will leave you wanting to go again.
Go To Top Of Europe
Sounds exciting, right? But don’t worry, this is actually a super relaxed activity for you and your friends. It’s easy to reach if you are based in Interlaken, but can also be done as a day trip from Luzern.
Top of Europe is a world of its own on the Jungfrau mountain. People call it a restaurant, but it is so much more than that. The glass and steel building includes a restaurant, shops, an observatory, an ice palace and even more.
You have to experience the Sphinx Observation Deck. There is speedy lift that takes you 105 meters in the air in mere 25 seconds, to the top of the eponymous rock formation on the Jungfrau. From there you can admire the stunning views of the Jungfrau mountain, and snack on a chocolate bar you got at the Lindt Chocolate Heaven.
You can also go check out the Ice Palace, where you can see sculptures of bears, penguins and even Sid from Ice Age trapped in a block of ice! It is truly a unique Swiss experience that will make you feel like you are on top of the world, and not just Europe.
Go For A Hike
While hiking itself might not be a uniquely Swiss experience, there’s no place to go for a hike like the Swiss countryside. There are hiking trails across the entire country, and all of them offer a different experience.
If you prefer shorter hikes, then a castle-themed hike is perfect for you! There are many of these throughout Switzerland, and all of them lead you to one of the country’s historic castles.
The most visited one is castle of Chillon, in the Montreux region on the shore of Lake Geneva. Everything about this hike is enchanting – from the untouched nature that surrounds to the magnificent waters of Lake Geneva. Another popular option is the hike that connects the Habsburg Castle and the Wildegg Castle, ending in the mesmerizing gardens of the latter.
But if you’re looking to spend more time in nature, then you can explore one of the many hiking trails in the mountains. The one in Pizol in particular is stunning, as there are five mountain lakes along the trail. And with a bit of luck, you might even get to see some eagles, ibexes and chamois!