Things to See and Do

If you are reading this page then you're probably interested in reading more about what my adopted country has to offer. Good on you! Switzerland is a beautiful country of stunning landscapes, mountains, lakes, rivers, forests and glaciers, not to mention it's range of cities and towns ranging from chic places to be (such as Gstaad) to traditional Swiss towns and villages in rural parts of the country.

Since living in Switzerland I have visited many of the sights that this country has to offer, and the goal of this page is to share my thoughts and experiences of those sights with the world. I aim to give you an honest view of towns, cities, villages, regions, tourist attractions, events and many other subjects, in the hope that my wisdom can help you choose things you would like to visit for yourself.

Everytime I write an article in the main blog where I describe a city, town, area, etc that I visited, I'll add a link to the article and add a brief summary on this page.

Bimbadaboum Festival, GE
Type:  Festival for families, circus, entertainment, activities
Pros:  Activities, shows and pony rides
Cons:  Kids from 2+ years pay full entry price
Blog:  Bimbadaboum!
An excellent day out for the family, this festival in Geneva has plenty of shows for kids ranging from singers to comedians to circus acrobats. There are also a wide variety of hands-on activities for children such as finger painting, gym, face painting, pony rides and musical instruments. Might be tough if it rains due to it being an open air festival, but a good way to spend a summer's day out.

Carnaval, Bussigny, VD
Type:  Annual event (part of carnaval traditions in Switzerland)
Pros:  Fun for kids; can play "guess the tune"
Cons:  Very loud drums; confetti sticks in long hair
Blog:  Carnaval
The annual Carnaval in Bussigny consists of a parade of musicians and others wearing costumes (some just colourful outfits, others wearing grotesque masks dating from years back when these were worn to scare off winter spirits), playing guggenmusik on drums, trumpets, and other loud instruments. Part of carnaval includes throwing confetti at onlookers, either by the handful or through a canon. There are also fairground rides (e.g. dodgems), churros, burgers and a music stage in a dedicated site.

Circus KNIE (various locations)
Type:  Circus, animals, show
Pros:  Animals and pony rides to keep kids quiet
Cons:  Show not suitable for restless kids like Lydia, elephant rides a bit pricey
The Circus KNIE travels around Switzerland each year, stopping in various locations. We saw it at Nyon in mid-September 2012. It has a wide variety of animals such as ponies, zebras, elephants, camels, llamas and horses, and entry is fairly cheap at 6 CHF per adult. If you go to see the show that's an additional cost (not sure how much as we didn't go). A nice way to spend a couple of hours.

Evolène, VS
Type:  Traditional small town in Valais
Pros:  Pretty buildings, peace and quiet, countryside
Cons:  A bit far from the nearest large town (with shops, etc.)
Blog:  A Week in Nax
Evolène is a traditional, Valaisan town filled with old buildings that show the visiter how little the town has changed in the last 50 years or so. The scenery is very easy on the eye as the town is surrounded by mountains and has a river running next to it. The drive to get to Evolène is also enjoyable (as long as you don't suffer from car-sickness), as you wind your way along the hillsides.

Lac Noir, FR
Type:  Pretty lake surrounded by moutains
Pros:  Good for photos, calm, relaxing, toboggan, chairlift
Cons:  Limited choice of food
Blog:  Lunch at the Lac Noir
A small lake in the Canton of Fribourg, surrounded by mountains and green spaces. Very picturesque, calm and quiet. A nice little café/restaurant and the possibility to go on a downhill toboggan or up to the top of the mountain on a chairlift (additional charges apply). Space next to the lake on arrival is limited if you want to sit on the grass. Good place to feed the ducks!

Les Pyramides d'Euseigne, VS
Type:  Natural phenomenon, tourist attraction
Pros:  Interesting, good photo opportunities
Cons:  Not much parking nearby (you might be disappointed during peak season)
Blog:  A Week in Nax
Remarkable rock formations that took their current form as a result of erosion after a glacier receded at the end of the last ice age. They are a unique natural phenomenon and present an excellent photo stop while driving through the mountains in Valais.

Nax, VS
Type:  Traditional mountain village
Pros:  Stunning views, peace and quiet
Cons:  Tricky to drive to in winter if it has snowed; not for action-seekers
Blog:  A Week in Nax
Nax is a picturesque little village perched on the plateau of a hillside in Valais, with stunning views of Sion and the surrounding moutains. I had a week's holiday in a rented chalet, and was certainly not disappointed.

Signal de Bougy, VD

Type:  A big park with childrens play areas, farm animals, restaurant and adventure park
Pros:  Great for kids, adventure park for adults too; food is good (but expensive); great views of the Alps and Mont Blanc
Cons:  Restaurant very busy in peak season
Blog:  A Bit Too Much Sun
The Signal de Bougy is a large park with both woodland and open grassy areas, with large playground areas for children and a restaurant. It also has an outdoor ampitheatre for shows (such as childrens entertainers) and a tree-top zipline adventure park at one end (charges apply). There are also farm animals and the park benefits from excellent views of Lac Léman and the French Alps, with Mont Blanc visible on clear days. If planning to go there at the weekend in July-August, bring a picnic as the restaurant gets very busy.

Swiss Football Cup Final

Type:  Annual sports event
Pros:  Good day out, great atmosphere, football!
Cons:  Not great if your team loses!
The final match of the Swiss Cup football tournament. This is the culmination of the knockout tournament that is contested by teams from the various tiers of Swiss football. I went to watch the final in 2010 when my local team, FC Lausanne-Sport, were beaten 6-0 by FC Basel. The fact that my team lost didn't make it a great outing, especially as it also rained heavily all day. The ticket wasn't too expensive (I think it was around 50.- CHF), but the return train ticket from Lausanne to Basel cost me 120.- CHF. If you can book in advance, do it!

Torrent-Neuf, VS
Type:  Bisse, walking
Pros:  Exercise, nature, interesting
Cons:  Suspension bridges not good for those with vertigo!

Blog:  A Week in Nax
A nice walk in Valais through a forest and along the side of a mountain, including passing over a couple of suspension bridges. Interesting to see how the bisse was originally built to bring water down from sources in the mountains to the land below. Peaceful and scenic, but go early in the day to avoid peak times when too many walkers make it less peaceful (and crossing the bridges much more difficult).