Switzerland! Mountains and City Life in Zermatt and Lausanne
Switzerland is the best of both worlds: amazing mountain towns with some of the best views you have ever seen, and bustling cities with fantastic museums and eateries.
In this post I will be focusing on the experiences you can have in Zermatt in Lausanne.
1. Take the cog railway to Gornergrat summit
I can promise you this will be the most beautiful train ride you have ever taken. I recommend sitting on the right side going up in the morning so you have views of the Matterhorn the entire way. Then, get off on the last stop and take in the views! At the top there is an amazing museum and plenty of hiking opportunities. If you don't want to do a full hike, at least walk the ten minutes down to Riffelsee lake and get photos of the Matterhorn reflected in the calm water.
On the way back down you can get off at any/all of the stops to see additional attractions. If you get off at Rotenboden, you can see another beautiful lake and the Zermatt Igloo Village in the winter. Or, if you're feeling like spending an entire day in the mountains, you can hike all the way back down to Zermatt.
2. Explore Zermatt's shops
You're not going to find designer shops like Louis Vuitton here; instead, expect many outdoor retail shops, watch stores (such as Swatch, of course), and one-of-a-kind local shops for gifts and souvenirs.
3. Watch the sun go down behind the Matterhorn
Seems like something I shouldn't have to say, but watching the sun set behind the mountains and the river was super special.
I was actually super impressed by the food options in Zermatt. Below are some of my favorites / recommendations:
Vegistube: Great if you are vegan / vegetarian or just enjoy eating that way. Classic German/Swedish food.
Seilerhaus Pizzeria: Sooooo good, and really creative options. I got a cheesy risotto with sprouts and melon.
Myoko: Surprisingly good sushi in central Europe.
Findlerhof: Great views and classic dishes that the locals love.
1. Go to some museums!
This city has some of the best museums I've ever been to. Here were my favorites, but make sure to look up what else is in the city so you can cater your own tastes:
The Olympic Museum: I easily could have spent double the time in here. It goes through all the history, the athletes, the community and arts culture that are built when a city hosts, and much more.
Musee de l'Elysee and Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts: An incredible photography museum with rotating artists and a full library that you can browse, connected to a space upstairs for explorative contemporary art pieces.
Collection de l'Art Brut: This one-of-a-kind space hosts "outsider" artists.
MUDAC: Applied and contemporary arts museum in the center of the city.
2. Visit Lausanne Cathedral
See some beautiful gothic architecture in the center of the city with amazing views of the water and the rooftops.
3. Visit Port d'Ouchy
This is a great place to take a dip, get some amazing ice cream or crepes, or even rent a boat or paddle board to explore Lake Geneva some more. Often there are events going on here in the summer too.