towns in switzerland

18 Most Beautiful Villages and Mountain Towns in Switzerland (You Must See!)

Cosmopolitan cities in Switzerland like Geneva and Zurich are packed with historic and cultural gems that make this country one of the most desirable destinations among travelers headed to Europe. However, for many travelers, the lush, green hillsides and valleys studded with quaint mountain towns in the Swiss Alps are the true highlight of a trip to Switzerland.

If you’re looking to discover the charming beauty of the tiny mountain towns in the Swiss Alps, look no further than these 18 most beautiful towns in Switzerland. These fairytale destinations are the places to visit in Switzerland that you won’t want to miss.

switzerland mountain town

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Most Beautiful Towns in Switzerland

From tiny outposts hidden along glacier-fed lakes to incredible Switzerland mountain towns that feel straight out of The Sound of Music, the fairytale towns and villages sprinkled across the Swiss countryside can be some of the most idyllic destinations in the country.

Looking for the destinations you can’t miss? Check out this interactive map of the most beautiful villages and towns in Switzerland before exploring more about what these fairytale towns in the Swiss Alps have to offer visitors. Visiting any of these stunning destinations is one of the best things to do in Switzerland.

Towns in the Swiss Alps

1. Grindelwald

Nestled in the shadows of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks – considered among the most beautiful mountains in SwitzerlandGrindelwald is among the most beloved towns in Switzerland. While this town was once known mostly as a ski resort, it’s now a year-round destination offering the very best of the Swiss Alps.

For a relatively small town, there are so many things to do in Grindelwald. Travelers should consider spending at least three to five days in Grindelwald to see the town and use it as a base for exploring the rest of the Jungfrau Region.

Highlights of staying in this stunning town in the Swiss Alps include the Grindelwald-First cliff walk with its stunning views of the north face of the Eiger, visiting picturesque Lake Bachalpsee, and hiking from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg for incredible mountain vistas.

Where To Stay in Grindelwald

Courtesy of Jungfrau Region

2. Mürren

The car-free mountain village of Mürren in the heart of the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland is a must for the ultimate Switzerland mountain town experience you’re dreaming of after watching Heidi or The Sound of Music.

Flowers tumble from window boxes along Mürren’s tiny streets, lined with classic Swiss mountain architecture for the ultimate picturesque Swiss experience.

Just wandering the streets of Mürren and taking in mountain views is the perfect way to enjoy this charming town in the Swiss Alps, but for those looking for more to do, there’s plenty to enjoy here. Take in spectacular views from the Allmendhubel viewpoint, or walk across on the cliff-hugging Thrill Walk at Birg station on the way to the famous Schilthorn mountain.

Where To Stay in Mürren

lauterbrunnen swiss alps
Courtesy of Jungfrau Region

3. Lauterbrunnen

Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably seen photos of the iconic Switzerland mountain town of Lauterbrunnen; it’s among the most famous and most photographed towns in the Swiss Alps for its abundant natural beauty and historic charm.

The picturesque Lauterbrunnen Church, set against the dramatic Staubbach Falls tumbling nearly 975 feet (300 meters) over the cliffside, is just the start of the beauty that awaits.

Despite being quite a small town, Lauterbrunnen can be an excellent destination for those looking to enjoy the best of the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland. Paragliding excursions take visitors soaring over the valley, endless hiking trails, skiing slopes, and even breathtaking Via Ferrata crisscross cliffs and mountains, and cogwheel trains link it to some of the nearby towns in Switzerland that also make this best-of list.

Where To Stay in Lauterbrunnen

Jungfrau Travel Pass

If you’re heading to the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland, you’ll need the Jungfrau Travel Pass. Purchase passes online for unlimited access to the region’s trains, cable cars, and funiculars – trust us, you’ll need it!

4kclips / Shutterstock

4. Gimmelwald

Nestled above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, the tiny town of Gimmelwald is often confused for nearby Grindelwald, though these two towns in Switzerland couldn’t be more different. Just a small village with less than 200 permanent residents, Gimmelwald is a car-free town and a popular stop along the Schilthorn cable car route that runs from nearby Mürren. Make sure to add a visit to your itinerary – it’s one of the best things to do in Switzerland.

One of the best things to do in Gimmelwald is embark on the hike north to the town of Mürren. The views over the Lauterbrunnen Valley are spectacular, and the route is punctuated with waterfalls along the way. Gimmelwald isn’t located on the famous Northface trail, it’s a popular nearby destination that trekkers will want to visit.

Where To Stay in Gimmelwald

Oliver Foerstner / Shutterstock

5. Zermatt

Home to the iconic Matterhorn, easily the most distinguishable and famous mountain in Switzerland, Zermatt is among the most famous towns in the Swiss Alps. While only a select few conquer the summit of the Matterhorn, its dramatic pyramidal peak is one of the most famous landmarks in Switzerland, visible from the many trails and minor mountain peaks in the area.

In addition to being the gateway to the Matterhorn, Zermatt is a well-known ski resort in Switzerland that draws countless visitors every winter. Riding ski lifts provides stunning Matterhorn views, though taking the Gornergrat Bahn railway to the summit of nearby Gornergrat also allows for incredible Matterhorn views. Summer or winter, Zermatt is a destination that should be at the top of any visitor’s itinerary for visiting towns in the Swiss Alps.

Where To Stay in Zermatt

9MOT / Shutterstock

6. Andermatt

Nestled in a beautiful green valley in the canton of Uri, Andermatt is a Switzerland mountain town to compete with the beauty of the best of them.

Andermatt is first and foremost a haven for winter sports enthusiasts and is a favorite ski resort town in Switzerland. While it’s a smaller town in the Swiss Alps and doesn’t have the name recognition of comparable ski destinations like Zermatt and St. Moritz, it boasts world-famous attractions, like Gemsstock Mountain perfect for advanced skiers.

There’s plenty to see and do in this town in Switzerland, both in winter and summer. Breathtaking hiking destinations include the Gotthard Pass and Schöllenen Gorge, home to the so-called Devil’s Bridge. Local lore says this dramatic bridge was built by the devil himself.

Where To Stay in Andermatt

DaLiu / Shutterstock

7. Spiez

Nestled along the southern shore of Lake Thun, the small town of Spiez boasts the best of both Switzerland mountain towns and lakeside havens.

Impossibly blue, glacier-fed lake waters are a stunning backdrop for this historic destination, home to the beautiful Spiez Castle (Schloss Spiez). A boat trip across the lake and a tour of the castle are a must for visitors. Nearby vineyard trails are a memorable trekking spot to enjoy before stopping for lunch along the lake.

Located at the eastern edge of Lake Thun, Spiez is just a quick 20-minute journey from nearby Interlaken. However, for those looking for a more relaxed lakeside retreat, consider spending a day or two based in Spiez for a memorable experience in one of the most picturesque towns in Switzerland.

Where To Stay in Spiez

towns in the swiss alps

8. Interlaken

Among the rest of the villages and mountain towns in Switzerland on this list, busier, larger Interlaken feels much more like a city. However, Interlaken’s irresistible historic charm, fantastic location in the Bernese Oberland region, and stunning mountain views make it worthy of an addition among the most charming towns in the Swiss Alps.

Many travelers immediately gravitate towards Interlaken for its abundance of adventure sports activities like paragliding, canyoning, and more. On any given day you’ll see dozens of colorful smudges in the sky, the sails of paragliders enjoying what is surely the best view in the Swiss Alps.

These breathtaking activities are certainly popular, but travelers looking for a more laid-back trip will find plenty to do as well. Lakeside strolls along Lake Thun and Lake Brienz or taking in the view from the Harder Kulm Panorama Trail are activities that anyone will enjoy.

Use Interlaken as a base for exploring well-known Switzerland mountain towns in the area, including Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, and more. Or, choose from among one of these smaller towns for even more of that indescribable Swiss mountain town feel, while enjoying a day trip to Interlaken.

Where To Stay in Interlaken

Courtesy of Jungfrau Region

9. Wengen

One of a number of beautiful Switzerland mountain towns in the Jungfrau Region, Wengen sits perched above the Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most charming towns in this mountainous area. Alpine charm abounds in this small town, which is easily connected to the rest of the region by train, just one train stop past Lauterbrunnen.

A quaint village center and endless hiking trails in the hillsides make Wengen a favorite with travelers. Hike to Kleine Scheidegg and Männlichen or embark on an excursion to visit the dozens of nearby waterfalls that make this valley so famous.

Most travelers to the nearby Jungfraujoch travel via Grindelwald Terminal and the Eiger Express cable car, but travelers can also start the journey in Wengen, taking the train to Kleine Scheidegg and then journey to Jungfraujoch from there. For visitors looking for a less hectic travel day, this can be a great place to stay before heading on to the Top of Europe.

Where To Stay in Wengen

Eva Bocek / Shutterstock

10. Gstaad

An Alpine resort town the stuff of legends, upscale Gstaad is a town in the Swiss Alps that is known for its interesting mix of luxury and adventure, along with a distinctly quaint village feel.

Famous visitors like Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Diana, and Madonna put this tiny town on the map years ago, helping to transform Gstaad into a bonafide shopping mecca with shops like Louis Vuitton and Cartier lining historic streets. Meanwhile, locals that jealously guard the town’s architectural charms and size means it has never lost its small-town feel.

There’s plenty to do in Gstaad even for travelers who don’t gravitate toward trekking, winter sports, or other outdoor adventures. Visit Gstaad Palace, a stunning 5-star hotel that is itself a destination even for those who aren’t staying here, complete with an impressive spa and culinary options.

Take-Off Balloon based in Gstaad also offers hot air balloon ride experiences that rival even those of Cappadocia.

Where To Stay in Gstaad

Maksym Ketsmur / Shutterstock

11. Wilderswil

Wilderswil may not be as well-known as other mountain towns in Switzerland, especially in the breathtaking Jungfrau Region, but its charm is undeniable.

Wilderswil is perhaps best known as the point of departure for the journey to Schynige Platte, one of the most beautiful vantage points in the Jungfrau Region – grab the Jungfrau Travel Pass to get there.

The journey to reach Schynige Platte is all part of the experience: the historic railway is complete with bright-red vintage train cars that dramatically pop against lush green landscapes. Easy hikes like the Schynige Platte Panorama Ridge Trail offer a huge payoff with views over Interlaken.

Adventurous travelers can also depart from Schynige Platte on the six-hour hike to Grindelwald First for even more breathtaking views. We heard over and over from locals that this is one of the most beloved hikes in the region and should be at the top of every trekker’s bucket list while visiting Jungfrau.

Where To Stay in Wilderswil

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12. Grimentz

Located in the picturesque Val d’Anniviers region of southwestern Switzerland, Grimentz is about as charming of a Switzerland mountain town as you can imagine. A population of less than 400 permanent residents means this village is truly quaint, though it offers a surprising amount for travelers passing through to experience its beauty.

The Grimentz ski resort is one of the long-standing pulls for visitors that makes the town a true destination. However, excellent trekking in the area and delicious Swiss cuisine also make for a memorable trip. Visit the Moiry Glacier, try some Via Ferrata to get your adrenaline pumping, or hike to Lake Moiry – though it’s a six-hour journey, the views are stunning.

Where To Stay in Grimentz

YueStock / Shutterstock

13. Bettmeralp

Hidden between the UNESCO-protected Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn region and the Swiss-Italian border, the car-free mountain village of Bettmeralp is home to less than 500 permanent residents.

Bettmeralp is accessible via cable car from the nearby Betten train station, affording visitors spectacular mountain views even before arrival. Numerous 4,000-meter peaks are visible from Bettmeralp, including iconic Swiss mountains like the Matterhorn, Weisshorn, and Dom.

A must for visitors includes taking the cable car up even further toward the summit of the Bettmerhorn mountain, which towers above the Aletsch glacier. In the winter, thirty-five ski lifts in the Bettmeralp and Alestch ski region transform slopes into a skiier’s paradise, though even visitors in summer will be impressed with all there is to do in this charming town in the Swiss Alps.

Where To Stay in Bettmeralp

2p2play / Shutterstock

14. Champéry

Located in the legendary Portes du Soleil ski area, Champéry is one of the tiny towns in the Swiss Alps that offers an impressive combination of both quaint village life and an unending array of things to see and do for visitors.

First and foremost, Champéry is a destination for winter sports enthusiasts. The Portes du Soleil area is among Europe’s largest ski regions, home to twelve impressive ski resorts located in both France and Switzerland. Spend a few days skiing the slopes in Champéry before heading on to the next resort on your bucket list.

Even non-skiers will fall in love with the beautiful Champéry and its impressive surroundings. The famous Tour des Dents Blanches trail cuts across the border twice during its 27.5-mile (44.4-kilometer) course, winding across green pastures and rocky faces and visiting hidden mountain towns in Switzerland and France.

Where To Stay in Champery

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Florian Muharremi / Shutterstock

15. Leukerbad

Nestled among the mountains in Valais north of the Matterhorn, Leukerbad has long been a favorite destination with travelers who journey from far and wide to enjoy its historic charm and natural beauty.

Leukerbad is best known as the largest spa and wellness resort town in the Swiss Alps, with a centuries-long history of welcoming visitors to its naturally heated springs and spas. Today, there are numerous public and private spa options to choose from. Therme 51° Hotel Physio & Spa is a more upscale favorite, though Leukerbad Therme is a massive thermal bathing destination that has plenty to offer as well.

Travelers looking for more of a thrilling trip will love the Gemmi Circular Trail, which is easily accessibl and showcases beautiful mountain landscapes. Leukerbad is also home to the Daubenhorn Via Ferrata route, currently the longest of its kind in Switzerland.

Where To Stay in Leukerbad

Artistic Ahry / Shutterstock

16. Montreux

Among lakeside towns in Switzerland, few have as much to offer as Montreux, perched along the shores of Lake Geneva. Year-round, travelers will find plenty to do here: a particularly impressive Christmas market, the decades-old Montreux Jazz Festival, and even the Montreux Comedy Festival draw visitors from around the globe.

Home to the stunning Château de Chillon (Chillon Castle) – itself one of the best places to visit in Switzerland – Montreux is a popular day trip destination from Geneva at the western edge of one of Switzerland’s most beautiful lakes. Savvy travelers know that Montreux makes a fantastic escape from the hustle and bustle of Geneva and provides a laid-back stay.

Where To Stay in Montreux

Read More: 15+ Best Things To Do in Geneva, Switzerland

Patrick Pimienta / Shutterstock

17. Iseltwald

The lakeside village of Iseltwald on Lake Brienz is as idyllic as they come, nestled between turquoise, glacier-fed waters and the soaring peaks of the Jungfrau Region. It’s a popular destination for travelers passing through Interlaken who are looking for an experience in fairytale villages or towns in Switzerland.

Just a stone’s throw from Interlaken, Iseltwald can be a lovely retreat for travelers looking for a more laid-back experience than larger Interlaken can provide. Lakeside lodges and historic hotels offer the charm of a Swiss mountain town with impressive views to match.

Spend time exploring Iseltwald and taking in the views before embarking on nearby hikes to the Giessbach Falls or Aare Gorge and indulging in a lake cruise. Make sure to marvel at the Iseltwald Castle, also known as Schloss Seeburg, which is unfortunately not open to visitors.

Where To Stay in Iseltwald

Marco Curaba / Shutterstock

18. Weggis

Nestled along the shores of Lake Lucerne, Weggis is one the most beautiful lakefront Switzerland mountain towns in the country. Weggis is nestled in the heart of an area known as central Switzerland’s Riviera for its unmatched beauty and idyllic climate. Mark Twain even wrote in 1897 that Weggis was the “loveliest place” he had ever visited.

Towering mountains like Rigi and Pilatus surround Weggis, providing both beautiful views and endless recreation options to visitors of this laidback lakefront hamlet.

Take the cable car from Weggis to Kaltbad before transferring to the train to Rigi Kulm for panoramic views. Along the way, enjoy a stop at Mineral Baths & Spa Rigi Kaltbad. Pools, steam rooms, and spas at this award-winning spa await for Swiss bathing traditions amidst Alpine views.

Where To Stay in Weggis

Switzerland Mountain Towns

Whether your travels in Switzerland take you to the Mediterranean-like Italian border a stone’s throw from Lake Como or the soaring mountains of the Jungfrau Region, the picturesque Switzerland mountain towns that dot the countryside are sure to be a highlight of your trip. Add these towns in Switzerland to your itinerary for a memorable, small-town experience you won’t forget.

carley rojas avila

Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.