Switzerland is a great destination for the whole family. It’s considered one of the safest countries in the world. It’s also small enough to be explored in a couple of days. With one of the world’s most efficient transport system, hopping from one city to another will never be a problem. There is also an unending list of things to do in Switzerland, and everyone will have something to look forward to.
Whether you’re travelling with toddlers, teens, grandparents, or all of the above, here are some of the ways to see Switzerland that the whole family will enjoy.
Take advantage of Train Passes
The best way to travel in Switzerland is by train. The routes are easy to follow and the trains are always on time. The whole country is postcard-perfect, too, and train rides always give amazing panoramic views.
Travelling by train is a great way to take in great views even if they’re not necessarily your destination.
While Switzerland is beautiful, it’s also a very expensive country, and this applies to train rides, too. Nevertheless, there are several ways to take advantage of discounts and off-peak fares.
Of course, it all depends on your itinerary, but here are some general tips for getting around Switzerland:
- Swiss Travel Pass – This is great if you’re covering a lot of ground. You get unlimited transportation via rail, bus, or ferry, plus free or discounted passes to attractions such as museums and gardens. Children up to 5 years old get to travel for free as long as there is an adult Swiss Travel Pass holder. For those under 26 years old, there’s the Swiss Travel Youth Pass with the same benefits as the Swiss Travel Pass but at a discounted price
- Swiss Half Fare Card – As the name suggests, you get half off all transportation. Children under 5 years can still tag along for free. It’s only valid for one month and if you have a short trip, then this might be more cost-efficient than the Swiss Travel Pass
- Swiss Family Card – This is for children aged 6 to 15 accompanied by parents holding a Swiss Travel Pass or a Swiss Half Fare Card. This is also free of charge
Find current ticket pricing for Swiss travel passes HERE.
There are many different kinds of cards, passes, and discounts you can take advantage of, but most of them depend on your destination or region. So plan your itinerary and look for the best discount options.
Enjoying Mealtime In Switzerland
One of the best things to do in Switzerland with kids is dining out, since happy tummies make for happy kids!
As with any city, eating out can be very expensive, especially in Switzerland. An average dish at a sit-down dinner restaurant will cost around EUR 10-20 at small, casual fast-food chains and eateries.
Proper sit-down restaurants will easily set you back at least EUR 30 per dish. Do check out lunch menus as these options tend to be cheaper.
A great alternative are supermarkets. Most Swiss supermarkets and groceries are well-stocked with ready-made food and a wide variety of breads and snacks.
Of course, you could always make a meal yourself, but taking food out from supermarkets and having a picnic in any of the beautiful gardens makes for a perfect day in Switzerland.
Family-Friendly Swiss Destinations
There are lots to see in this small country, and here are some of the best places that will have something for everyone in the family. We have included some of the best things to do in Switzerland with kids:
Dubbed as the adrenaline-capital of Switzerland, Interlaken is a beautiful place surrounded by Alpine peaks. It is known for outdoor activities like cliff diving, paragliding, bungee jumping, and skydiving, but there are a lot more on offer for families who may not be looking for something too intense.
Interlaken is relatively small so it’s easy to explore. A popular activity is a visit to the Harder Alpine Game Park to see marmots strolling in the wild. Nearby is the Harder-Kulm Cableway that brings you up to Harder-Kulm viewpoint to see Lakes Brienz and Thun from above.
Things to do in Interlaken with family:
- City walking tour
- Winter kayak tour on Lake Brienz
- Night sledding in Swiss Alps
- Jetboat ride
- Winter snowshoe trek
- 3D Blacklight mini golf
- Seilpark High-Ropes Adventure Park admission
Check out our guide on family-friendly Interlaken activities.
Get up close and personal with Alpine peaks at Jungfraujoch. Also known as “Top of Europe”, it’s the highest train station in the continent and is as scenic as it gets.
Depending on where you’re coming from, the train ride can be long, passing through Grindelwald and Interlaken, and up to Klein Scheidegg before reaching Jungfraujoch. Once there, however, you get to see 360-degree views of snowy peaks. There are also several stores, museums, and exhibits to visit.
Getting to Jungfraujoch:
- Interlaken to Jungfraujoch return train trip
- Zurich to Jungfraujoch return train trip
- Lucerne to Jungfraujoch return trip
For families with curious kids, Basel is a great place to visit. It may not be surrounded by peaks and mountains, but it’s home to amazing kid-friendly museums.
One of the best museums to visit with children is the Tinguely Museum, filled with work by Jean Tinguely that feature kinetic machines. It’s highly interactive and will surely be a great hit with kids.
Things to do with family in Basel:
Bern is a great combination of city and nature without the strain. The Old Town is beautifully surrounded by the Aare River, and nearby excursions like Reichenbach Falls and the Aare River Gorge are great trips to be awed by nature.
Things to do with kids in Bern:
- 90 minute guided Old Town tour
- Bern clock tower tour – Zytglogge
- Schilthorn 007-James Bond World day trip from Bern
- Schloss Thun – skip the queue castle admission
You can’t go to Switzerland and pass up Zurich. As the country’s largest city, there is definitely a lot to do. There’s the Old Town, museums and art galleries, picnics by the lake, swimming in the lake itself, and the Zurich Zoo.
Plus, when the kids are asleep, Zurich has an amazing nightlife for adults to enjoy.
Things to do in Zurich with kids:
- Visit the thermal baths and spa
- 4-hour city tour by cablecar, ferry & coach
- Mount Titlis day tour & revolving cablecar – We loved our visit
- Albert Einstein’s City exploration quest game
- Tuk-tuk city tour
- Swiss cheese fondue and wine tour (Ages 8+)
- Grindelwald First Mountain Adventure day trip (Ages 10+)
Enjoying Switzerland as a Family
There are so many great experiences and things to do with kids in Switzerland that you won’t want to miss.
Taking the entire family on a trip can be quite stressful, but the effort is always worth it. However, with careful planning and a bit of room for flexibility, family trips can turn out to be valuable experiences for everyone. With Switzerland as a destination, it’s very hard to go wrong!
Mike is addicted to both adventure and travel, so decided to combine the two to form TheAdventourist. There he shares his journey from one adrenaline rush to another, always exploring new places as he goes. You can find him sharing his travels on Facebook.
For more family-friendly European destinations, check out these:
- Budapest with kids
- Bialystok with kids
- Must-do Paris attractions
- Best family attractions in the UK
- Best places to visit in Poland