Even if Switzerland is a small country it is fairly named one of the most beautiful ones. With its pristine lakes, green meadows and white peaks it looks during summer months like a fairytale. And most of all, it is super accessible, because to get to all the best Instagram and photo spots you will need a car or a cable car ticket.
So you decided to visit the country of cows, chocolate, mountains and banks. The one that is known for precision, neutrality and cheese. And you want to get most of it, squeeze the travel lemon, put checks on your bucket list and above all: get some awesome photos. Here is the list of "must-see" spots. Though it might be hard to do everything in just a few days, you can try.
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7. Lavaux - the best views in the french-speaking part of Switzerland
This is all about wine, chill and views on Vineyard Terraces. Just buy a bottle (or at least a glass) of cold Dézaley and sit for a while on a bench to admire the scenery.
St-Saphorin, Rivaz or Epesses are villages to visit - and there is a spectacular walking trail between them. Lake Geneva (or Lac Léman) is truly spectacular and if you stay here a little bit longer, you can enjoy a spectacular sunset with red peaks and an alpine glow.
Montreux is nearby, so you have also a wide selection of hotels and top restaurants in the area. Don't miss Chillon Castle!
Tip: This location works the best in late summer and autumn when grape bushes are full of leaves. Though in early spring you can also take good shots.
6. Engadin and St. Moritz - the most expensive place in Switzerland with super easy to access (and free) locations
St. Moritz is known among millionaires as a winter sports destination, with the most expensive hotels, splendid food and best SPAs. This is the place where winter tourism was born and hotels like Survetta House, Kulm Hotel, Kronenhoff have been providing the best services to the richest for more than a century.
But you do not need to have a platinum credit card with you to visit Engadin and take some photos here. Mountains and walking are free, and here you need just a train or bus ticket to get to the best locations: Sils's peninsula, Morteratsch Glacier, Bernina Pass and Lake Silvaplana. There are many hiking trails around. Some of them are super easy (like Morteratch) and some can be very challenging (Piz Languard). Even if there are no famous peaks around (Matterhorn is in a different part of the Swiss Alps), Piz Bernina is spectacular.
Tip: Engadin are is the best destination for October. This is the time when larches (a dominating tree in the landscape) are turning gold. There is no better place to see it in Switzerland.
5. Fronalpstock - the best panorama walk in Switzerland with multiple Instagram spots
From a landscape photographer perspective - it is truly magical. You have splendid vistas with snow-covered peaks, views on S-shaped Lake Lucerne, meadows, cows and leading lines of ridge-walk. This photography location works the entire year (during wintertime, the ridge walk is closed) and thanks to Stoos funicular it can be a destination for astrophotography as well.
The walk is rather short, not challenging and supported by two chair lifts. Just remember to start at Klingenstock for the best experience.
4. Lucerne - the most picturesque old town of Switzerland
Business-wise, Lucerne is not so important as lively Zurich or cosmopolitan Geneve. Travel-wise, every minute here with a camera is worth an hour of time spent in the two cities mentioned above. And to walk around the old town of Lucerne, visit the historic wall and bridges, you will need just two, max four hours.
However, I recommend taking a break and spend some time on a promenade. There is no better place for a chillout.
Tip: flowers on the Chappel Bridge are planted in June, though the full colour of them can be seen in early July.
3. Oeschinensee - the most spectacular alpine lake in Switzerland
While there are for sure bigger lakes or ones with splendid reflections, if I am to name the best one, it will be Oeschinen Lake. Simply - it has beautiful turquoise colour, it is surrounded by 3k peaks with glaciers, it is not too big and from vertical walls, multiple waterfalls supply it with clear water. A true jewel of Bernese Oberland.
It is rather easy to access it - just take a cable car from Kandersteg and walk approx 30 min to reach the shore.
Tip: Though the lake is spectacular at the shore, the best photography locations and spots for Instagram are located higher up on the northern trail. It is not an easy walk, so take hiking shoes, water and food.
2. Lauterbrunnen and Wengen - the best photography location for summer holidays in Switzerland
If there is only one place you should visit in Switzerland, it is Lauterbrunnen.
This valley of waterfalls, in early July turns into a green, fairytale mountain paradise. In my humble opinion, if Tolkien had visited it, his Hobbiton would look way more spectacular than the hilly place from New Zealand.
Take a car and drive the valley (or walk along the stream and come back by Post Auto) first. Then go to Wengen and stroll around cottages and huts in its upper, northern part. You will find multiple, ultra spectacular locations with flowers, meadows and the valley surrounded by white peaks there. And the peaks are one of the highest in the Swiss Alps: Jungfrau is 4158m in height.
Just remember, that Lauterbrunnen is deep and narrow so the best time for photos is short and starts more or less after 12:00. Only then you will have no shadows, but also you will be shooting against the sun.
I recommend spending the morning on Jungfraujoch and Sphinx since tickets are cheaper before 12:00.
Tip: if you are visiting Wengen, do not miss Grindelwald First - it is not so far away, and you have there also a spectacular photo location. And for it here is a free ebook guide:
Free eBook about photographing in Grindelwald First and Bachalpsee.
1. Zermatt and Matterhorn - the most epic Instagram and photography location in Switzerland
Matterhorn is the most beautiful mountain in the Alps. Not the highest (height of 4478 m gives it 6th place), but the most spectacular one. Especially if viewed from Zermatt, since the Italian part is less nice. And while you are in Zermatt (remember - car-free town), you simply can not miss it.
All the best spots and viewpoints are super easy to access: there is a train going to Gornergrat (3000m), funicular for viewing platform at Sunegga and a walks to famous lakes Riffelsee and Stellisee are super easy, even in winter. Though, to check all of these spots you will need at least two full days.
Tip: there are hotels with good and bad views, check our guide to Zermatt to know, which one you should pick.