In this article, we present to you the most beautiful villages in the Swiss Alps, in case you are indecisive about where to go for this year’s holiday.
Switzerland is probably one of the most beautiful countries, offering a combination of modern and natural.
When you are tired of the city and crowds, a holiday in one of the villages in Switzerland will be so refreshing and soothing for you and your family. Time spent there will enrich you and give you the best scenery and adventures ever!
How to travel to the Swiss Alps?
Nowadays, most international visitors fly to Zurich or Geneva, then use the car, bus, train, or limousine service in Switzerland.
This is our list of the most beautiful villages in Swiss Alps.
- Stein am Rhein
The perfect location makes Andermatt one of the most beautiful and picture-postcard places in the world.
It is situated in the Urseren Valley, right in the spot where eight mountain passes are joint. It also connects two alpine roads: the St. Gotthard highway and the road to Oberalp and Furka.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast consumed by natural beauty, this is your place. In the center of the Gothard Massif, Andermatt will bomb you will picturesque scenery!
You can travel on your own, or you can try a more traditional manner and travel by a five-horse drawn post coach, or on a steam railway to speed up a little bit. If you take a cable car from the top of Gem stock, you can catch the view of 600 alpine peaks.
With its vast lifts that expand from the village to Gemsstock and Natschen, Andermatt is extremely popular for winter skiing.
In the summer months, Andermatt is ideal for hiking, climbing, mountain biking, fishing, photographers, and nature lovers who can enjoy the panorama while riding in the Glacier Express, the slowest express train in the world that goes all the way to Zermatt.
On the main street, you can feel the vividness and vibration of the town, which most parts are still covered with granite stone.
Gimmewald is a farming community situated in the Bernese Oberland.
If you are headed to this pretty alpine village, do not expect roads. It is completely pedestrianized, which makes it a perfect escape from the modern and fast world. So, no cars, the only access to it is by foot or cable car.
It is surrounded by outstanding mountains and hay bales, without any sign of urban life.
The village doesn’t have a school, students have to travel to the closest place – Lauterbrunnen. The locals build their houses with very famous Schindlers stones, placed on the top to protect them from strong winter winds arriving from Jungfrau Mountain.
To acquaint yourself with the Gimmewald fully, take the cable car from Stechelberg and indulge yourself with the spectacular scenery on your way down to Gimmelwald.
Sion is the capital of Valois, inhabited by 34,000 people. This number and its form don’t make it a complete small village, but it is certainly a base for escape to smaller villages in the canton.
Sion is an old Roman town, in the shadow of famous ski resorts such as Zermatt and Verbier. But, this French-speaking area has its charms.
It is famous for its Sun and castles. Its two castles, the Castle of Valeria and Castle Tourbillon, capture the view of one of Switzerland’s oldest cities.
In its glorious days, Sion’s bishops dominated on the medieval stage. Its gloomy spirit, dotted with melancholy, was an inspiration to great writers such as Goethe, Rousseau, and Rilke.
Also, in Sion, you can visit the Old Town and enjoy at a café sipping Verdant, where the white wine once has grown.
Interlaken is a retreat to mountain villages in the Swiss Alps, positioned in the plains of the valley. To be more precise, Interlaken is positioned on the edge of three regions: the Jungfrau region, Lake Thun, and Lake Brienz. Its name is clearer now: Interlaken – in between the lakes.
It has been a tourist attraction in Switzerland since the early 1800s, as an inspiration for painters like Franz Konig. It is also famous for its music festivals.
Interlaken is popular among paragliders who like to enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains.
Also, being located on Lakes Thun and Brienz, it offers a soothing paddleboat cruise on those beautiful lakes.
The Jungfrau can be spotted from the town center, and those who would like to explore this region can take the Jungfraujoch express from Interlaken train station to the Top of Europe.
Besides the Jungfrau region, you can have other scenic visits to explore the surrounding areas, such as a visit to Harder Kulm, or a boat trip on Lake Thun or Lake Brienz.
Wengen is a small village in the Swiss Alps that offers fascinating views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains.
Besides that it gives an abundance of beautiful sightseeing, it is also a place for those who are in pursuit of great adventures.
It has only 1,300 permanents residents, which seems quite unbelievable since it is always crowded with tourists.
In the winter months, around 10,000 come to ski, while in the summer months 5,000 people come to hike on 310 miles long trails.
No cars are allowed in this alpine paradise, and great panoramas will astound you on each turn. When watching sunsets over waterfalls in Wengen, it deserves to be called the paradise on Earth!
Wengen is a popular venue for ski races. It hosts the Ski World Cup, with the longest and one of the most dangerous downhill races in the world. It also has historic homes dating to the Belle Epoque era.
You can use the mountain railway up from Lauterbrunnen to reach Wengen. The ride takes 14 minutes with a succession of outstanding views. Or you can travel by train, and watch how persistent climbers give their best to reach the north face of Eiger Mountain.
Wooden chalets, sunny terraces, and a relaxing atmosphere make Wengen one of the most popular villages in the Swiss Alps.
Amazing panoramas with long walks will make this alpine village one of your favorite mountain holiday resorts.
Morcote is a picturesque village in the Swiss Alps 11km (7 miles) south of Lugano, at the tip of the Ceresio peninsula.
It is built in the Lombard style, with arcade houses from the 16th century, usually clay-colored, facing the water, and with cypresses and vineyard in the background.
In 2016, Morcote was named the most beautiful town in Switzerland.
Furthermore, it is home to several architectural wonders listed as Swiss heritage sites of national importance. Among them are many Greek sculptures, the ornate Church of Sant’Antonio Abate, and an Egyptian temple.
Morcote’s beauty reflects in the Chiesa di Madonna del Sasso, a church that dates from the 13th century. To its visitors, Morcote also offers the Botanical and Art Park, where you can enjoy the world of plants and soak the beauty of displayed artworks.
Appenzell is known as one of the most unique and therefore most beautiful villages in the Swiss Alps. It preserves traditional architecture, followed by colorful facades everywhere on the street and the main square.
The village is embellished with a beautiful castle, a mural-covered town-hall, a Catholic church. Visiting them and enjoying the architecture is always a delight.
This place also cherishes folklore and the ancient values, embroidering them in the green foothills of the Alpstein, and cowmen who still wear traditional clothes. People from other parts of Switzerland tend to call the locals “hillbillies”.
Strolling down the old-fashioned streets of Appenzell and eating bread and honey cakes will be the most authentic experience ever.
Murren is located at the base of the Schilthorn, easily reached from Murren by cable car up to 3,000m above sea-level. There on a sunny and clear day, you can see as far as the Black Forest and Mont Blanc.
Visitors accommodated at the Hotel Alpenruh can have breakfast up in the Schilthorn restaurant, which would be a perfect way to start the day!
Its revolving Piz Gloria restaurant became famous for a James Bond film that was shot at Murren.
If you once have read Heidi’s books, this alpine village in Switzerland will take you back there with a feeling that you are in her home.
From Murren, you’ll face spectacular views, from magnificent mountains like Eiger and Jungfrau to meadows dotted with flowers.
This traffic-free village can be reached by a cable car and mountain railway from Lauterbrunnen or cable car from Stechelberg. It is also a Swiss Alps paradise for those who love to take long walks, nestled in beautiful mountains and a vast valley.
In the heart of the mountains, Murren is a delightful escape from city crowds. Its flower-decorated restaurants and bars will provide you breathtaking landscaped and panoramas.
Nestled at the edge of Lake Thun, Spiez is a tranquil Swiss Alps village inhabited by 12,000 and decorated with a charming medieval castle.
It is accompanied by a 1,000-year-old early Romanesque church whose ceiling paintings date back to the Middle Ages.
The castle chimney, which arises on the shield walls, was carved by tournament knights. It also has a museum, and besides the tall stone tower, it can easily be regarded as a giant white chalet.
Many visitors choose to visit the castle and cruise on Lake Thun at the same time.
Probably the main attraction in the summer months is a 14-mile circular hike that guarantees breathtaking views of mountains and bright blue lakes.
Spiez is located in forests and vineyards, so make sure to try the local wine at the impressive winery. After a long hike, end your day with a glass of wine, and sleep content and at the greatest ease.
10. Stein am Rhein
Stein am Rhein is a small village in the Swiss Alps, lying on Lake Constance.
It is famous for its architecture – half-timbered buildings, vivid facades, and frescoes in an well preserved Old Town.
Stein am Rhein was a Roman fortress back in the 13th century, but now the village has plenty of buildings that came afterward.
There is a museum Lindwurm that portrays Stein am Rhein’s village life from the 19th century, the 11th-century monastery of St. Georgen, and an early church dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
This alpine village will intrigue you with its splendid shores, where Lake Constance faces the Rhine. That moment will feel like an alive Swiss folk tale, telling stories right in front of you.
What are the best ski villages in the Swiss Alps?
We already mentioned some ski villages, such as Murren, Wengen, Interlaken, Grindelwald, but probably the best one is Zermatt.
In Zermatt, mountains are the highlight. Whether you feast your eyes on them or ski on the high slopes, mountains are the dominant element in this village.
Also, one of the most famous peaks in Europe Matterhorn is located in Zermatt, which draws tourists from all over the globe.
This car-free village is the best area for skiing in the Swiss Alps. It has three main ski areas, the Sunnegga, the Gornergrat, and the Klein Matterhorn, offering all levels of skiing.
The ski areas around Zermatt offer 250 kilometers (156 miles) of trails with 71 lifts to transport skiers.
Probably not the best place for beginners, but Zermatt is Mecca for intermediates.
There are 15 trails made for beginners, mostly in the Klein Matterhorn and Gornergrat regions.
Around 50 percent of Zermatt’s trails are perfect for intermediates with a variety of wide-open terrain and scenic forest trails.
28 percent of Zermatt trails are for experts, but there is also possible astonishing off-trail skiing.
Where should you stay in Switzerland to see the Alps?
Switzerland has fascinating places to stay with mind-blowing views. Your choice of the hotel will depend on which mountain or lake you want to see. Here, we will recommend accommodations that are considered for each budget.
For example, if you are visiting Grindelwald, we recommend the following:
- Eiger Selfness Hotel, rated 9.1
- Downtown Lodge Hostel, rated 8.5
- Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof, rated 8.3
If you are visiting Interlaken, we recommend the following:
- Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, rated 8.9
- Interlaken Youth Hostel, rated 8.8
- Hotel Interlaken, rated 8.6
If you are visiting Appenzell, we recommend the following:
- Hotel Hecht Appenzell, rated 9.2
- Romantik Hotel Santis, rated 8.8
- Guesthouse Forrenhusli, rated 8.4
If you are visiting Zermatt, we recommend the following:
- The Omnia, rated 9.7
- Hotel Walliserhof Zermatt 1896, rated 9.1
- Zermatt Youth Hostel, rated 8.2
There are plenty of options that you can choose from, but we suggest you consider the arrival in Zurich, then to go Luzern on the same day. You can spend 2 or 3 days in Luzern, then go to Zermatt via Bern and Thun.
Or, you can go from Luzern to the Oberland and visit Wengen or Grindelwald. Whatever you choose, you’ll get to Zermatt in a day. Also, it will take 90 minutes to get to Jungfraujoch.
Swiss Alps location
The Swiss Plateau or the northern part of Switzerland is the ground of many Swiss cities, such as Zurich, Basel, and Bern. To the south of the Swiss Plateau lies the Swiss Alps.
The boundary between the Alps and the Plateau starts from Vevey on the shores of Lake Geneva and expands to Rorschach on the shores of Lake Constance.
Opposite the Swiss Alps to the south lies the cities of Thun and Lucerne. The hills and mountains in the foothills of the Alps are called the Swiss Prealps.
In small villages in the Swiss Alps, winter is not just a season, it is living the dream. With its picturesque villages, wooden chalets, gigantic peaks, snowy days and nights by the fireplace, Switzerland is the creator of breathtaking frozen art.
Everybody deserves such an experience at least once in a lifetime.
Pick your favorite village and start living the dream!