Top photography spots across Switzerland’s cantons
We’re all thinking the same thing: this year we’ll be spending our holidays in Switzerland. The coronavirus has certainly put a spanner in the works when it comes to planning this year’s holidays. This is a real shame – but it also gives us a great excuse to do things a little differently this year. Because isn’t it high time that we finally get round to exploring what’s on offer right on our doorstep? Switzerland has so many amazing places to discover, and for me it’s one of the most beautiful travel destinations. So it’s high time we finally get to know our own country that little bit better!
And it’s for this very reason that we’re taking you with us on a tour across Switzerland. Each canton has so much to offer, and we are delighted to share a particularly beautiful corner of each of Switzerland’s cantons with you, together with a whole host of tips for great photography spots. Are you ready? Then have fun reading, exploring and taking some great photos!
Top photography spots across Switzerland
Canton of Bern: Let’s explore wonderful Emmental
There’s no question about it – the canton of Bern is one of the most beautiful cantons in Switzerland. It has a ridiculous number of sights just waiting to be discovered – from the mountain ranges in the Bernese Oberland to its magical lakes, such as Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, right through to its numerous pretty towns and villages.
And then of course there’s picturesque Emmental. It’s not only its famous cheese that makes this region worth a visit, but above all its beautiful hilly landscape. A particularly beautiful photography spot can be found at the 40-metre-high Chuderhüsi observation tower in Röthenbach, which is surrounded by forest. As the sun slowly disappears over the horizon, the soft lines of the hilly landscape really come into their own. Simply beautiful!
Canton of Zurich: Bruno Weber Park in Dietikon is a real insider’s tip
Deciding on just one location in the canton of Zurich is anything but easy. And this prompted us to share a real insider’s tip: the Bruno Weber Park in Dietikon.
This place is sure to excite any photographer! In the fantastic fairytale world of artist Bruno Weber, who died in 2011, there’s something to discover around every corner, and the story behind the sculpture park is really exciting too. But be sure to take note of the opening times! Because the park isn’t open every day.
Canton of Ticino: Classic photography spot Lavertezzo
Lavertezzo in the Verzasca Valley is one of THE top photography spots in Ticino – and for good reason. The tiny village on the Verzasca River has a beauty that is unrivalled. The most popular subject here is probably the little village itself, taken from the entrance of the village at the start of the bridge. Most people will have already seen this picture on Instagram. But there are plenty of fantastic photography spots down at the Verzasca as well, looking up at the Ponte dei Salti. But in the summer you’ll have to get there early in the morning if you want your pictures free of people.
Canton of Neuchâtel: Whispers of times long past in Neuchâtel and the Utopie pier
In Neuchâtel, you’ll feel a little as though you had jumped into a time capsule from the time of the Belle Époque. Neuchâtel exudes charm from ancient times like almost no other city in Switzerland. But its location is fantastic too, right on Lake Neuchâtel. A particularly beautiful photography spot can be found here at the Utopie observation pier, right by the promenade.
Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden: Switzerland at its most authentic at a traditional cattle show
Nowhere is quite as Swiss as a traditional cattle show in Appenzell! You can find one of these in a number of different places, such as the little village of Gais in Appenzell Ausserrhoden.
Once the cows have been splendidly decorated and the villagers emerge in their traditional Swiss garb, then it’s time to get into the festive spirit. Definitely a little paradise for all those who enjoy taking photos!
Canton of Basel-Stadt: Sunset over the Rhine
Basel has plenty of beautiful spots just waiting to be discovered, but the most beautiful of all is down by the Rhine. And the only way to top this is by being there at sunset. This gives you a wonderful view of the left bank of the river, for example, where the fishing huts are situated.
Canton of Aargau: Echoes of a time gone by in Hallwyl Castle on Lake Hallwil
The canton of Aargau definitely has more to offer than just the delicious carrot cake for which it is known! One highlight can be found by peaceful Lake Hallwil: the wonderful Hallwyl Castle. Many happy couples have tied the knot here, and other visitors too have been enchanted by the venerable old walls. The best way to experience it is with a stroll by Lake Hallwil. If you have the time, you could even walk around the entire lake!
Canton of Vaud: A fork in Lake Geneva
By Lake Geneva, or more specifically in Vevey, you’ll find a rather surprising piece of art. “La Fourchette” – an oversized fork in the middle of the lake – fascinates visitors to the pretty promenade and also makes for a fantastic subject for your photographs. But the former home of Charlie Chaplin has much more to offer besides that!
Canton of Thurgau: Sunset by Lake Constance in Romanshorn
The canton of Thurgau is often somewhat underrated – and has much more to offer than you might think. It’s particularly beautiful here by Lake Constance, for example. Standing by its shore, you’ll often feel as though you could be right by the sea! And of course the view is particularly beautiful at sunset – looking out from Romanshorn, for example. One last thing: The little town by the lake also looks fantastic when photographed by a drone!
Canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden: The top photography spot of Seealpsee
Even if it’s (unfortunately) no longer much of a secret, the Seealpsee has definitely earned a place in this list to represent the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden. Because the idyllic mountain lake in Eastern Switzerland is simply one of the most beautiful of its kind.
Here you’ll find great subjects for your photos wherever you look. No matter whether that’s of the cows grazing by the side of the road, the mirror-like mountain lake or the breathtaking mountain panorama surrounding it. You won’t be short of inspiration here.
Canton of Graubünden: Panoramic views at 3,000 metres up
Deciding on just one location in Switzerland’s largest canton is practically impossible. Those who enjoy venturing into the mountains will find dozens – no, hundreds! – of uniquely beautiful photography spots here.
But to get the most impressive views, it’s always best to journey high up into the mountains. Like on Piz Nair in the Engadin, at more than 3,000 metres above sea level. From the top, which can be easily reached by cable car, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Engadin mountain ranges, and all the way down into the valley.
Canton of Zug: A small town feel by the idyllic Lake Zug
Small but perfectly formed – that’s the perfect way to describe the little city of Zug. A pretty promenade, cosy restaurants by the lake, a picturesque old town and – who could forget! – the wonderful Lake Zug all make the city of Zug a destination worth visiting. A boat trip across Lake Zug is also highly recommended!
Canton of Luzern: Luzern, the city between mountains
Luzern may be one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. When it comes to its location at least, you could scarcely ask for anything more from this city in the heart of Switzerland. Tourists and photographers from around the world travel here to get a look at the Chapel Bridge, the old town, the lake and the surrounding mountain landscape. There will be far fewer tourists from abroad in Luzern this year because of the coronavirus. So it’s the perfect time to visit the city on Lake Lucerne again yourself. But don’t forget your camera!
Canton of Geneva: Big city life in the city of Geneva
In Geneva, you’ll find no shortage of international flair and somewhat of a big city feel, right on Lake Geneva. Geneva has so many sights to offer. So grab your camera and set off on a spontaneous expedition through the city. Because it’s not only by the lake that you’ll find beautiful views; the old town has plenty to offer too.
Canton of Schwyz: A holiday feel on Ufenau Island
The canton of Schwyz plays in the top league with respect to mountains and fantastic views. You only have to think of the Fronalpstock or parts of the Rigi. But who would have guessed that the largest island in Switzerland can also be found here?
Ufenau Island on Lake Zurich exudes a holiday feel and is a wonderful getaway destination in Schwyz. It is most easily reached by the scheduled boat service from Rapperswil or Zurich. Having arrived at the island, you can simply sit back and relax.
Canton of Uri: At the spot where Switzerland was founded
Where is it said that Switzerland was founded? That’s right, near Rütli in Uri! A sweeping view over Rütli Meadow and parts of the canton of Uri can be enjoyed from the Fronalpstock, for example, which for its part is in the canton of Schwyz. Rumour even has it that one of Switzerland’s most beautiful views can be enjoyed from here. And you can take particularly fantastic photos as the sun’s going down. To enjoy this spectacle to its fullest, we recommend spending a night in the mountain inn at the summit. By doing so, you’ll also be able to catch the sun rise!
Canton of Basel-Landschaft: Trip along the Rhine through the locks
A truly exciting excursion to Basel-Landschaft starts off in the city of Basel, embarking on the Rhine boat for the lock trip towards Rheinfelden. Every weekday, visitors can choose between the short (1h45m) or long lock trip (3h45m), which take passengers down the Rhine and through the Birsfelden power plant lock. A truly exciting experience!
Canton of Solothurn: Impressive St. Ursus Cathedral
In the heart of the canton of Solothurn, the city of Solothurn is a fantastic getaway destination with plenty of potential for beautiful photographic subjects. Aside from the beautiful location of the city, which is right on the River Aare, another particularly impressive feature is St. Ursus Cathedral. The Roman Catholic church, which was completed in 1773, rises up over the city centre and unmistakably dominates the city’s skyline with its 66-metre-high onion dome.
Canton of St. Gallen: A picturesque wine-growing village on the Walensee
The Walensee invites visitors to take a stroll, hike or boat trip, and boasts an impressive location at the foot of the Churfirsten. The tiny municipality of Quinten is a unique place by the lake that can only be reached on foot or by boat. The climate here is also quite special thanks to the sheltered location at the foot of the mountain, and as a result it is often much warmer here than it is just a few kilometres away. That’s why grapes and other plants, such as kiwis, also grow particularly well in Quinten!
Canton of Glarus: Klöntalersee
As travel bloggers, we have already discovered a lot, but while writing this article we realised to our horror that we barely knew much about the canton of Glarus at all. The wonderful Klöntalersee has been right at the top of our list of places to visit for some time already! So we’re going to include it as a reminder to visit, and – who knows! – maybe it’ll inspire you to take a trip to the Klöntal valley too?
Canton of Valais: The Matterhorn – a real classic
Possibly the most photographed mountain in the world is in the canton of Valais, and you’re sure to know its name: the Matterhorn. No matter how many times you’ve seen the imposing mountain with your own eyes – it will move you every time. That’s why the Matterhorn easily takes this list’s number one spot for the canton of Valais. It just couldn’t be anywhere else, right?
Canton of Obwalden: Family excursion to Engelberg
Anyone planning time away with the family will be in good hands on the Brunni in Engelberg. For the little ones, it's all about Globi and his friends. So the adults are free to make the most of Engelberg’s mountain panorama. For a beautiful place to visit that is also very popular with kids, try the Härzlisee lake.
It’s the perfect place to take a few shots for the family album!
Canton of Schaffhausen: The imposing Rhine Falls
While you’ll find a city that is absolutely worth visiting in the canton of Schaffhausen, the highlight of the canton is definitely the Rhine Falls. It’s one of the three largest waterfalls in Europe and impresses not only because of its size, but also because of the imposing water mass that winds its way around the rocks. A great subject for your photos and excursion destination in one!
Canton of Nidwalden: The Bürgenstock
The 1,127-metre-high Bürgenstock in the Uri Alps right by Lake Lucerne is a real jewel in the canton of Nidwalden. When seen from Lucerne, the mountain has the shape of a “Stock”, the name given to a mountain whose summit is clearly set off from the bulk.
The view from the Bürgenstock is just stupendous, and the panorama extends across the Alps and Lake Lucerne. Just as impressive is the Hemmetschwand Lift, Europe’s highest exterior elevator!
Canton of Jura: Off to Switzerland’s own version of the Grand Canyon
The Creux du Van in the Swiss Jura, on the border between the cantons of Neuchâtel and Vaud, is also known as Switzerland’s Grand Canyon. It is 1,200 metres wide and 500 metres deep, and at certain points its sloping rock faces are 160 metres deep. It’s not for the faint-hearted! Everyone should see it with their own eyes at least once. It’s insanely impressive!
Canton of Fribourg: Picturesque Murten
Murten has gone down in the history books for the Battle of Murten in 1476. Fortunately you’ll find a much more beautiful setting here today, however. Since the medieval little town founded by the House of Zähringen, with its ring wall from the 13th to 17th century and its historic old town, is not only of national significance – but also very pretty. The historic buildings and the ring wall both offer countless photo opportunities. And it’s incredibly scenic by Lake Murten too!
Those were our photography spots and tips for fantastic excursions across Switzerland. We hope that they have provided you with some inspiration for the summer ahead. All that’s left for us to do now is to wish you lots of fun exploring, travelling through Switzerland and taking some great photos!
By the way, do you know about our “My Summer” photo competition? Take part and you could win some great prizes!