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Politically, Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons, but the traveler will find the following regions more useful:

 Western Switzerland
From the northern shores of Lac Léman(Lake Geneva) and the Alps to the Jura.
 Region Berne
The core region of traditional Bernese influence
 Bernese Highlands
The majestic Bernese Alps
 Central Switzerland
The birthplace of the Swiss Confederation and the legends of Wilhelm Tell
 Northwestern Switzerland
Culture, arts and home of the Swiss pharmaceutical industry; neighbouring Germany and France
The country's largest city with a sprawling metropolitan area
 Eastern Switzerland
Between the Alps and Lake Constance, Abbey of St Gall, and home to many scenic dairy farms on rolling hills in Appenzell
Switzerland's highest peaks and Europe's largest glaciers
Officially trilingual, the region is very mountainous, lightly populated and home to many great tourist destinations and includes the ancient Romansh minority language and culture (in English also known as The Grisons)
Italian-speaking region including famous alpine lakes

The Swiss Alps stretch through the regions of the eastern part of Lake Geneva, Valais, Bernese Highlands, the southern part of Central Switzerland, almost the entirety of Ticino except for the most southern part, the southern part of Northeastern Switzerland, and Graubünden.


  • Berne (Bern) — as close as this highly devolved nation gets to having a capital with an amazingly well preserved old-town, with arcades along almost every street; great restaurants and bars abound
  • Basel — the traveller's gateway to the German Rhineland and Black Forest and French Alsace with an exceptional medieval centre on a bend of the Rhine river
  • Geneva (Genève) — this centre of arts and culture is an international city home to around 200 governmental and non-governmental organisations, birth place of the World-Wide-Web at CERN and the Red Cross organisation (ICRC)
  • Lausanne — scenery, dining, dancing, boating and the Swiss wine-country are the draws
  • Lucerne (Luzern) — main city of the central region with direct water links to all of the sites of early Swiss history
  • Lugano — a gorgeous old-town, a pretty lake; much Italianatà combined with Swiss seriousness
  • St. Gallen — main city of north-eastern Switzerland, renowned for its Abbey of St. Gall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it also functions as the gate to the very special Appenzellregion.
  • Zurich (Zürich) — Switzerland's largest city and a major centre of banking with a thriving nightlife

Other destinations

  • Bellinzona — renowned for its medieval castles, world UNESCO heritage, pretty centre and capital of the canton of Ticino, overlooking one of the few flat rural areas of Switzerland towards Lake Maggiore.
  • Davos – large ski resort where the annual meeting of the WEF takes place
  • Chur — capital of the canton of Graubünden (The Grisons) it is the only trilingual Swiss canton, in the east-south of the country; gate to several glitzy ski and hiking resorts
  • Grindelwald — the classic resort at the foot of the Eiger
  • Interlaken — the outdoor and action sports capital of Switzerland; anything from skydiving, bungee jumping, hiking, white-water rafting, to canyoning
  • St. Moritz – glitzy ski resort in the Engadine valley in south-eastern Switzerland
  • Zermatt — famous mountain resort at the base of the mighty Matterhorn

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Switzerland - Travel guide