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For alpine adventures, cheese-fueled cuisine and captivating culture, spend some time in Switzerland. Nature enthusiasts, look forward to refreshing swims in crystal clear lakes and rewarding hikes to picturesque peaks. Culture fans, explore myriad museums, groovy galleries and medieval old towns. Foodies, discover the famous cheese and chocolate, but also try dishes you can’t pronounce. Switzerland might be small in size, but not in experiences. Be active, be curious, breathe in the fresh air and take in each and every magical moment that awaits. You’ll be bound to fall in love with everything from its ancient traditions to its contemporary coolness. The best part is that you’ll find Radisson Blu hotels in top destinations around the country.
No place in Switzerland has as many museums as Basel. Art and architecture aficionados will be astounded by the wealth of wonders dotted along the Rhine. Join the annual ART Basel festival, revel in works by Picasso and Rothko at Foundation Beyeler, see sculptures move at Museum Tinguely, or visit Vitra Campus for innovative inventions. The list of things to see in Basel is long, but well-worth the effort.
Lucerne, the city of lights, looks, smells and feels like magic. Encircled by mountains, adorned with bridges, and boasting a medieval Old Town, this Swiss gem leaves no one unimpressed. Stroll the 14th-century Kappelbrücke, marvel at the 19th-century Lion Monument carved into a sandstone cliff, or visit Sammlung Rosengart’s collection of Cézanne, Renoir, Matisse, Monet and many other artists.
If you’re looking to spend some relaxing days in a truly historic, cultured and charming city, then look no further than St. Gallen. In addition to its traffic-free old town, oriel windows and half-timbered houses, the city’s UNESCO-listed Abbey District fascinates travelers from around the globe. The Abbey Library boasts 170,000 documents, some of which date back 1000 years.
Once you zoom in on Zurich, you’ll see that it’s much more than Switzerland’s financial hub. It’s art and culture thriving in old factories, 1200 fountains, Grossmünster Church towers, sweeping views and an Old Town with a 3,500-year-old history to tell. Explore the historical corners of Lindenhof and Niederhof, ride the little red Polybahn or spend a night at the Opera House.
Cheese lovers rejoice – in Basel, fondue is a classic. Although the recipe first appeared in a 1699 cookbook, it didn’t gain popularity until the 1950’s. Other specialties include Basler flour soup served with cheese and onion tart, Suuri Läberli - which is basically sour liver strips – and Basler Leckerli, reserved for people with a sweet tooth and a passion for honey-tasting biscuits.
You can’t leave Lucerne without tasting the Luzerner Chügelipastete. Its puff pastry, tender veal and flavorful mushrooms make the dish rightfully famous and highly cherished among locals and tourists alike. Cheese lovers should savor á la cheesemaker consisting of rye bread and melted alpine cheese sprinkled with garlic, pepper and white wine. For desert, indulge in a slice of sweet pear bread.
If you want to eat cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner, go to St. Gallen and revel in its plethora of local cheeses. Have it with bread, grapes and wine, in fondues, raclettes, salads or just on its own. Continue the cheese theme by tasting the Chäschüechli tart or mix it up by trying a fine OLMA-bratwurst sausage. For desert, indulge in a piece of almond-filled heaven – also known as Biberli.
Veal is a dream, when it comes to cuisine in Zurich and Switzerland in general. It’s the main ingredient in classics, you can’t miss out on. Take the famous Zurich Geschnetzeltes, for example: pan-fried veal smothered in creamy sauce served with crunchy rösti potatoes. For desert, treat yourself to a piece of Zuger Kirschtorte: cake with nut meringue and cherry brandy.
Basel boasts a beautifully green Botanical Garden dating back to the 16th century, where you can enjoy a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of the city center. Explore its exciting collection of cacti and orchids or learn about seldom species. Apart from parks, you can enjoy a walk through the Old Town, visit the red Romanesque-Gothic cathedral, or look for souvenirs in boutiques, antique book shops and markets.
Lucerne, located in central Switzerland, is a dream come true for sports enthusiasts. Greet crystal clear lakes and fresh mountain air, as you climb peaks, explore valleys by bike and enjoy refreshing swims with panoramic views of the surrounding Alps. In the winter, you can get your heart pumping on 500 km worth of slopes, go sledging or try cross-country skiing – all against a breathtaking backdrop.
For ultimate relaxation, spend a day at Säntis waterpark near St Gallen. Enjoy everything from thrilling wave and surf zones to soothing jacuzzi corners, massage jets and an entire sauna village. To explore the nature, simply ride the Säntis cable car from Schwägalp to the breathtaking mountain station and observe mindboggling views from a 2502 meters altitude. Popular activities at the top include naming the surrounding mountains, staying the night and taking in the sunrise, the sunset or both.
If you love water, you’ll love Zurich. You can take a swim in Lake Zurich, grab a beer and enjoy a concert in a lakeside Badi-Bar or take a romantic ride in a pedal boat. Find your own favorite spot by one of the outdoor pools. Whether you choose the Tiefenbrunnen Beach, the Upper Letten River Pool or the Seebad Enge, you’ll be surrounded by snow-capped mountain tops. In the winter, simply hop into one of the saunas, appreciate long strolls along the river bank or hike to Uetliberg’s peak for a panoramic view of the city.