Located in the Alpine region of central Europe, Switzerland is a mountainous and landlocked country known for colorful villages, snowcapped peaks, pocketknives, private banking, and, of course, chocolate.
Since its founding in the 13th century, this oft-overlooked country is now comprised of 26 cantons (or states). Surrounded by Austria to the east, Germany to the north, France to the west, and Italy to the south, it's no surprise to find that Switzerland's neighbors have had an influence over the previous centuries. In fact, Switzerland is made up of four distinct cultural and linguistic regions: German, Italian, French, and Romansh.
On top of the fairytale castles, vineyard-lined valleys, and postcard-perfect towns, Switzerland is packed with one-of-a-kind outdoor pursuits. Home to world-class ski resorts, hiking trails, and adventure outfitters (paragliding at 10,000 feet, anyone?), the country has instant appeal to a wide range of honeymoon couples.
So whether you intend to explore the country’s picturesque alpine terrain or meander down its romantic cobblestone streets, perhaps even both, this is one honeymoon destination sure to deliver the getaway of a lifetime.
Walking Tour of Zurich — Start at Lake Zurich and begin your stroll along Zurich’s famous Bahnhofstrasse, one of the country’s most beautiful (and expensive!) shopping districts. The entire area is closed off to motor vehicle traffic aside for city trams. Be sure to walk through Zurich’s Altstadt (or Old Town), meander along the Limmat River, and stop for a romantic dinner along one of the city’s many historic cobblestone streets.
Take your time as you stroll through Kreis 1 and the Old Town (known as the heart of Zurich) with its preserved medieval and 20th-century architecture. For the best views, walk south along the western bank of the Limmat River and hike up to the Lindenhof (the nearest tram stop is Renneweg), site of a former Roman customs house that sits at the highest point of the Old Town and overlooks the water with views of the Alps.
Eating and Drinking Experiences — A favorite of locals, Restaurant Volkshaus offers affordable café fare in Langstrasse, Zurich’s fashionable red-light district. The interiors are elegant and the prices are quite affordable, too.
Also, check out Café Schober on the right bank to get your chocolate fix before visiting HoferWeine to pick up a bottle of local vino. Cap your night at Oepfelchammer Wine Tavern for a glass of Swiss wine and a taste of regional cuisine. Don’t leave without carving your initials into the wall of this historic bar!
Galleries and Museums — Zurich retains some of the world's most famous – and fanciest – art galleries. Many can even be found in a converted Löwenbräu brewery in Kreis 5 called the Löwenbräuareal, just northwest of the city center.
Meanwhile, Basel is also a hotspot for art museums. Must-visit spots include Kunstmuseum Basel, Fondation Beyeler, and Museum Tinguely. Themes range from classical modern art to regional painters of the Upper Rhine Valley.
Best of Lucerne — The largest town in Central Switzerland, Lucerne is situated on the western shore of a sparkling lake sharing the same name. Simply, the town is charming and irresistible, perfect for exploring its compact central area. The medieval Old Town lies on the north bank of the River Reuss. Be sure to cross over to the south bank by taking the medieval Chapel Bridge. The south bank is home to many shopping areas and historic churches, plus the main train station.
Next, head back to the Altstadt by crossing Spreuerbrucke, a beautiful wooden covered bridge dating back to 1408. While exploring the old town by foot, take time to soak in the neighborhood’s colorful and historic houses (many with brightly painted frescoes) while hanging out at one of the many restaurants and cafes.
In the afternoon, head over to the Swiss Transport Museum for a tour of nearly every mode of mechanized transportation, from vintage cars to steam locomotives and railway cars. This stop is a must for transport and travel enthusiasts.
Seek Out Adventure in Interlaken — The breathtaking resort town of Interlaken lies on a narrow strip of land between the Brienzersee and the Thunersee and is famous as being a home base for mountaineers, hikers, and adventure enthusiasts all over the world. Use Interlaken as your gateway to the awe-inspiring Lauterbrunnen Valley, featuring classic Swiss alpine scenery such as green meadows, colorful villages, waterfalls, massive cliffs, working farms, snow-capped peaks, and fantastic hiking. Notable villages in this region include Grindelwald, Murren, Wengen, and Lauterbrunnen.
Get your adventure on via Paragliding Interlaken. Take off from one of four altitudes (including a 10,000 ft. launch site) and see this incredible alpine region from a completely different perspective.
Hotel Ambassador — This highly-regarded property features modernized baroque décor, top-notch service, and one of the finest restaurants in the city. Take advantage of Hotel Ambassador's convenient location being adjacent to the Zurich Opera House. Meanwhile, guest accommodations are spacious, boast high-quality Treca mattresses, and have free Internet access. Some rooms even feature with a balcony, while top floor rooms enjoy breathtaking views over the city.
B2 Boutique Hotel — Housed in a former brewery, B2 Boutique Hotel is one of Zurich’s most unique and stylish properties. Despite its historic location, the hotel is quite contemporary and noted as one of the city’s hippest properties. Junior suites feature open bathrooms, rain showers, and parquet floors, while Hurlimann Suites have bedrooms on the second floor of a two-floor plan.
Other notable on-site amenities include a cathedral-like library with over 33,000 books. The library also serves daily breakfast and turns into a wine bar later in the day. The Thermal Bath and Spa Zurich is connected to the hotel and features a rooftop pool with views over the entire city.
Art Deco Hotel Montana — Talk about an entrance. In order to reach the property's front door, guests at this 62-room hotel in Lucerne hop aboard a private funicular departing from the edge of a lake. The interior bedrooms are modern, clean, and well appointed. In fact, each room is completely different than the next.
Thanks to its hilltop location, you can soak in the incredible views of the city, lake, and nearby mountains throughout your stay. Meanwhile, all public areas feature remarkable Art Deco styling. Other notable on-site amenities include a fantastic day spa, two restaurants, two lounges, and a swanky bar.
The Hotel Luzern — Although its roots date back to 1907, this exquisite property in Lucerne has transformed into one of the top designer hotels in the region. The property features 30 luxury guest rooms, including five one-bedroom suites with private terraces and views of the city and Swiss Alps.
Hotel D — Located in Basel, this fabulous boutique hotel boasts minimalistic design, modern furnishings, and first-rate service. The four-star property features 48 rooms and suites, free Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs, rain showers, continental breakfast buffet, a lounge, fitness center, sauna, and much more. Rooms are clean, trendy, and very comfortable. Use this excellent and affordable hotel as your home base for exploring the city and region.
Old Swiss House - This wonderful restaurant stands out with amazing ambiance and some of the best schnitzel in the city. A must-visit dining spot when in lovely Lucerne.
Restaurant Volkshaus - A favorite of locals, Restaurant Volkshaus offers affordable café fare in Langstrasse, Zurich’s fashionable red-light district. The interiors are elegant and the prices are quite affordable, too.
Cafe Schober - Head to the right bank to get your chocolate fix. Cafe Schober’s confines date all the way back to the 14th century and is now home to a beautifully renovated cafe, featuring pastries, cakes, and its signature hot chocolate.
Oepfelchammer Wine Tavern - A perfect spot for a glass of Swiss wine and a taste of regional cuisine. Oh and don’t leave without carving your initials into the wall of this historic bar!
Zurich International Airport (ZRH) and Geneva International Airport (GVA) serve as Switzerland's two main airports. While Geneva Airport serves as a gateway to the western and southern parts of the country, Zurich Airport is an ideal landing spot to check out places like Lucerne, Basel, and other western mountain destinations.
Zurich Airport is just 8.1 miles from the city center. Trains run directly from the Zurich airport to the center of town and only take about 10 minutes. The airport also features a number of public transportation options, including taxi service, buses, and car rentals.