Switzerland is full of memorable sights, sounds and tastes: sapphire lakes; the resonant tones of alphorns; cobblestone streets; snow-capped Alps; luscious handmade chocolate.
This landlocked jewel borders Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Lichtenstein. Walk along any street and you are likely to hear one or all of the country’s four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Experience the country’s renowned high standard of living by visiting its diverse locales.
Set alongside Lake Zürich and bisected by the Limmat river, Zürich is Switzerland’s cultural center. The city is chock-full of historic buildings and art galleries. There are more than 50 museums, in fact, including one for clocks and one for toys. Stop at the 181-year-old Confiserie Sprüngli for coffee and cake, and line up with locals at the chocolate counter. (The Swiss eat more chocolate than any other people in the world.)
The medieval old town of Bern, the Swiss capital, is tucked into a bend in the Aare river. In the fountain-dotted center, find the Zytglogge, a clock tower with mechanical figurines, and the Cathedral of Bern, a Gothic cathedral topped by the country’s tallest bell tower. Over the cathedral’s main portal, some 200 carved figures depict the Last Judgment.