Ride the Bernina Express
This little red train is the link between the cold north and the warm south of Switzerland. The Bernina Express travels along a viaduct that is constructed from roughly hewn stone, set amidst a backdrop of mountains and high Alpine fir trees.
In 2008, the Bernina Express between Tirano and Thusis was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, making it only the third train route to be honored as such.
The route of the Bernina Express takes guests through 55 tunnels and over 196 bridges. An end-to-end ride of the train takes passengers from Chur, the oldest city of Switzerland, to the charming Veltin valley.
It is mandatory to have your seats reserved if you wish to board the Bernina Express. You may do so at any train station in the country – but before boarding the train, make sure that you have your travel documents with you, as you will be entering Italy somewhere along the route. (Of course, you will be reentering Switzerland on the same route as well.)
Go skiing in the Alps
Switzerland is a paradise for skiers. The picturesque slopes of the Alps are more than enough to entice both novice and expert skiers to visit Switzerland for a skiing adventure.
The many faces of the Alps cater to all levels of skiing skill. Smooth slopes make it easy for first-timers to learn, while the jagged slopes consistently offer a thrilling challenge for those who have been skiing for years.
Some of the favorite skiing destinations in Switzerland are in Zermatt, St. Moritz, Gstaad, Interlaken, and Davos.
On the Matterhorn is the highest skiing destination for summer in the Alps. It is also one of the largest snow parks in Europe – 36 square kilometers (14 square miles) of fields for snow activities, ranging between altitudes of 2,900 and 3,900 meters (9,514 and 12,795 feet) above sea level.
Skiing is not the only popular thing to do on these snow-covered slopes, though. Other winter sports such as snowboarding are also popular in the country.
Visit the Swiss Museum of Transport and Communication
The Swiss Museum of Transport and Communication, located in the bright city of Lucerne, is one of the most popular museums in the whole of Switzerland. Tourists from all over the nation and the world flock to this complex to be amazed at the technology and history it has on display.
The Museum of Transport and Communication consists of the Museum of Transport, an IMAX theater, the Hans Erni Museum, the St. Gotthard Tunnel multimedia show, and the Zeiss Longines Planetarium. Also inside the complex are several restaurants and a conference center.
One of the more popular attractions of the museum is a helium balloon that can take 25 passengers up to a height of 110 meters (360 feet) over the building. Once at the top, tourists get to marvel at the beauty of the surrounding Alpine panorama. The IMAX theater, on the other hand, gives guests a world tour of nature, science, and technology through a 40-minute presentation.
Of course, one of the biggest reasons why people go to this museum is to see the cars. Car models from both the past and present are lined up in the Museum of Transport, showing just how far the technology of transportation has gone through the years – and hinting at how much further it will go in the future.
Explore a subterranean lake
Underground exploration is always a near-otherworldly experience, as it brings you to a place where people usually don’t go.
In Switzerland, you can get this otherworldly experience by exploring St. Leonard, one of the biggest subterranean lakes in Europe.
St. Leonard is located between Sierre and Sion. It is very accessible to tourists. Boat tours are available right at the entrance, and each tour comes with a guide to tell you all that you wish to know about St. Leonard.
Ten-meter-high stone formations decorate the underground lake, which covers an area of 6,000 square meters (64,583 square feet).
Tourists have been visiting St. Leonard since 1949; around 80,000 guests take the tour into the subterranean lake annually.
Visit the bears
The Bern Bear Pit is a world-famous attraction in Switzerland. The pit allows guests to watch the bears from a safe distance, observing how they live, play, and feed.
And then, in 2009, Bern decided to provide a better habitat for these animals, by creating for their especial use a 6,000 square kilometer (2,317 square mile) bear park.
In the new park, the bears are free to live in their natural habitat. The green terrain of the park is filled with hills and caves that serve as living grounds and homes to the bears. The bear bath in the nearby Aare River is the animals’ main water source.
Nonetheless, the old bear pit still exists; it is connected to the new park via tunnel.
Today, the Bern Bear Pit is on the list of Switzerland’s federal cultural objects of national significance, and it is under the highest preservation category.
A bear keeper can take visitors on a guided tour of both the old bear pit and the new bear park.s