Switzerland is a great country for your next family vacation— stunning landscapes, delicious food, and plenty of activities to entertain kids.
When planning a Switzerland family vacation or any family trip, we try to visit places that are unique to the country we’re visiting. For that reason, we don’t spend much time in the large cities when there are amazing places to visit in other parts of the country. From the stunning snow-capped Swiss Alps and beautiful valleys of Lauterbrunnen and Bernese Oberland to exploring old town Lucerne or a lake cruise across Lake Lucerne, there is plenty for everyone!
Finding some unique places you can’t find anywhere else is easy in Switzerland. It’s one of our favorite destinations that we keep returning to! We have visited Switzerland twice in the last few years with young kids on family trips, putting a lot of research into both trips. Switzerland and the South Island of New Zealand are among our favorite family destinations.
Top Thing To Do: Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe.
Where To Stay: Swiss Holiday Park. This resort is still one of our kids’ favorite resorts, with its water park and other things to do (complete review here). However, this resort is several hours from the stunning scenery of the Oberland area. Our ideal trip would combine several days at Swiss Holiday Park and more in the Oberland towns of Wengen or Lauterbrunnen.
When To Go: Our favorite time to visit has been the summer when the mountain ski resorts are quiet, and you’ll still have cooler mountain temperatures. Plus, snow is still available to see year-round at places like Jungfraujoch.
How To Get There: Zurich (ZRH) is the closest airport to our favorite destinations below, followed by Geneva (GVA). Check flight prices on Google Flights to find the best deals. The Swiss rail system makes getting around the country easy, with no rental car needed. See more on the rail system below.
Younger children will love the train ride between Swiss destinations past alpine lakes and the incredible Swiss countryside. Swiss public transportation is the best way to get around Switzerland; no rental car is needed. Many trains have features like kids’ play areas! Read more at the end of this article on the Swiss travel system, including the Swiss travel and Oberland travel passes.
Best Switzerland Family Vacation Destinations
Switzerland is a great place for an outdoor adventure; it’s home to some of the world’s most iconic mountain peaks. Lauterbrunnen, It’s a stunning village in the Bernese Alps with breathtaking vistas and amazing waterfalls.
Flying from the United States, your Switzerland vacation to the mountains most likely starts on a train from the large cities of Zurich or Geneva airport, enjoying a panoramic view as you go.
The Zurich airport offers easy access to a train station the airport. Explore one of Switzerland’s many picturesque towns with its cobblestone streets and iconic breathtaking sights – you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime!
Here are some of our top things to see in Switzerland with kids.
#1 Swiss Holiday Park in Morschach
Our first choice, Swiss Holiday Park, is a great vacation destination and resort combined. The Swiss Holiday Park Morschach is the perfect place for a family holiday. This great hotel and resort combine beautiful scenery with kids’ activities above Lake Lucerne in central Switzerland.
Swiss Holiday Park sits in the city center of the small, beautiful town of Morschach, surrounded by mountain peaks.
The resort offers a variety of activities for the whole family. There’s something for young and older kids, from the water park to indoor pools and go-karts. Horseback riding is also available, allowing visitors to explore the countryside on horseback. Our kids loved the horseback riding, which takes you on a loop through the area around the resort and ends up back on the town’s main street.
The resort also offers a variety of restaurants, shops, and other attractions. With its stunning views and various activities, the Swiss Holiday Park Morschach is ideal for a relaxing holiday in Switzerland.
Tip: Like many European properties, air conditioning was unavailable in our apartment. However, it wasn’t needed for our June trip. Swiss Holiday Park has been one of our kid’s favorite destinations. Our ideal trip would be to combine a few days at Swiss Holiday Park with a few days in the Oberland area below.
#2 Take the Cable Car to Mannlichen & Alpine Herdsman’s Playground
Located near Lauterbrunnen and Wengen, which are great Oberland base camps, one of the best ways to experience the country’s beauty is to take the cable car ride up to the Alpine Herdsman’s Playground at Mannlichen.
The cable car leaves the car-free town of Wengen and takes you high up into the Swiss Alps, where you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the beautiful valley of Lauterbrunnen below.
The cable car is modern and has stairs to a rooftop deck for the braver kids to get a view of fresh mountain air! Check out this video we recorded on our 2022 Summer trip:You can also enjoy the views on the way to the top of the famous Instagram waterfalls of Lauterbrunnen!
Once you arrive at the top, you’ll find a ski area with a great playground (or Splietsplatz)you can explore and various activities for visitors to enjoy. This is one of the best outdoor activities if you’re staying in Wengen.
You can also enjoy some high-altitude hiking and cool weather. There is an easy hike (apart from thin air). In June, you may still find snow on the ground. A restaurant is also located at the top, near the cable car station.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon or a hiking adventure, the Alpine Herdsman’s Playground at Mannlichen will surely provide an unforgettable experience.
#3 Schlithorn Mountain
A Switzerland vacation with the kids is incomplete without a fun day riding the cable car to the top of Schlithorn Mountain.
The cable car ride is an experience, with several cable car transfers required to reach the summit and breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps and the surrounding countryside. At the top, you can visit the revolving restaurant where James Bond was filmed for the movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
For the brave kids at the midpoint station, walk across the glass bridge or net bridge high above the ground for an even more spectacular view. We stopped here on our way back down the mountain, where both our kids were brave enough to try the glass bridge and rope bridges!
Kids will love the experience, and you will have a wonderful time taking in the beauty of the Swiss Alps.
Tip: This day trip is a good choice for kids of all ages and a highlight of our trip. The scenery is amazing, and cable car tickets are included if you purchase the Oberland Pass from Swiss
#4 Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe)
The highlight of our stay in the Oberland area was a trip to Jungfraujoch, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Click here to read our complete review of Jungfraujoch.
We took a cog train to Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe at 11,333 ft above sea level. It was an amazing experience and the perfect place for a full-day trip for the entire family from the Lauterbrunnen area.
The train leaves from Lauterbrunnen with a stop in Wengen, then a transfer higher up on the mountain. The whole ride until you get to the tunnel is amazing views. For views of the amazing Lauterbrunnen waterfall, sit on the right side of the train.
The last part of the train journey is in a tunnel through the mountains.
The views at the top of the snow-capped alpine peaks and glaciers are breathtaking. Our kids loved the year-round snow tubing.
We also visited the amazing Ice Palace and the Lindt chocolate store. It was an amazing experience and the highlight of our trip. We highly recommend taking a trip to Jungfraujoch as part of a Switzerland vacation.
#5 Interlaken & Heider Kulm Funicular
Interlaken is a beautiful Swiss town located between two lakes, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. It is a popular destination and transportation hub with plenty of activities nearby.
You will most likely connect on a train in Interlaken when traveling to the Oberland area.
Although it’s a great central location, it doesn’t give you the full mountain experience. We chose to stay in the nearby small town of Wengen (located above Lauterbrunnen).
Harder Kulm Funicular
From Harder Kulm (Top of Interlaken), you can take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain peaks and lakes. A funicular will take you up the mountain, and once at the top, you can explore the terrace, restaurant, and observatory.
Note: We spent some time in Interlaken on our most recent trip but chose Schlithorn and Jungfraujoch over the Harder Kulm.
Interlaken Boat Cruise
An Interlaken boat ride is a great way to explore the beautiful landscape of Switzerland. From the boat, you can take in the stunning scenery of Lake Thun between Interlaken and Thun.
The boat also passes iconic Swiss landmarks like Jungfrau Mountain, the Eiger, and the Mönch. You can also spot the beautiful Thunersee and Brienzersee lakes. The cruise also stops at several charming towns, including Interlaken, Thun, and Spiez.
The cruise is a great way to relax and enjoy the Swiss countryside’s beauty.
Interlaken Jet Boat Ride
Jetboat Interlaken is another popular activity in Interlaken. You can take a thrilling ride with fast turns on the waters of Lake Brienz.
Interlaken Ropes Park / Seilpark
Interlaken Ropes Park, or Seilpark, is an outdoor adventure park in the picturesque Swiss Alps. It offers a variety of activities for all ages, from zip-lining to high ropes courses and more.
The park is divided into four courses, each with unique challenges. There is also a climbing wall and a bungee trampoline. The park is open year-round and is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh mountain air.
Lucerne is a beautiful city in Switzerland full of history and wonderful sights. Click here to read our full guide on Lucerne.
Visiting Lucerne is an unforgettable experience, from its old town with cobblestone streets to its iconic Lions of Lucerne monument. The bridge of Lucerne is a must-see when visiting the city, as it is an impressive structure that spans the Reuss River.
The bridge is decorated with colorful paintings and sculptures, making it a unique and picturesque sight. Visitors can view the lake, the mountains, and the quaint old town from the chapel bridge. Lucerne is a great destination for a weekend getaway, as it offers plenty of activities and attractions to explore.
#7 Zermatt and the Matterhorn
Zermatt is a car-free village that offers stunning views of the Matterhorn, one of the most iconic mountains in the world. The Gornergrat Railway cogwheel train ride takes you to Gornergrat, where you can enjoy panoramic views.
Tip: Zermatt is accessible by train from major cities like Zurich and Geneva. The Swiss Travel Pass covers the journey.
#8 Rhine Falls
Rhine Falls, near the town of Schaffhausen, is Europe’s largest waterfall. A boat ride takes you close to the falls, where you can feel the mist on your face. A playground and picnic area also make it a great spot for a family day out.
Tip: Rhine Falls is just an hour’s train ride from Zurich. Check out the official website for ticket information.
#9 Ballenberg Open-Air Museum
This open-air museum is a great way to learn Swiss history and culture. There are original buildings from all over Switzerland; learn how cheese and bread are made traditionally. There are also farm animals to see and pet.
Tip: The museum is located near Brienz and is accessible by public transport, but it isn’t close enough to visit if you’re staying in our favorite area of Oberland. Visit the Ballenberg website for more details.
#10 St. Moritz
Known for its winter sports, this luxury alpine resort town is another great option.
One of the most scenic train rides in the world, the Glacier Express offers a direct route to St. Moritz. The journey is a scenic adventure through the Swiss Alps.
St. Moritz is renowned for its winter sports, but it’s a year-round destination. There’s skiing, snowboarding, or a horse-drawn sleigh ride in winter. In the summer, hiking, mountain biking.
#11 Arosa Bear Sanctuary
Located in the mountain resort of Arosa, this sanctuary provides a home for bears rescued from poor living conditions. It’s educational and touching, especially for animal-loving kids.
Tip: The sanctuary is accessible by a cable car ride from Arosa. Check the Arosa Bear Sanctuary website for visitor information.
Where to Stay for Kid-Friendly Fun in Switzerland
While Zurich, Geneva, and other cities are great destinations, we focused on the most scenic areas of Switzerland for our trips and offer activities for kids of all ages.
The Oberland area makes a perfect spot for a home base to explore the most scenic area of Switzerland. It’s close to attractions such as Schlithorn and Jungfraujoch. There are great scenic options for active families like hiking and mountain biking in the area. This area has some of the most amazing scenery in the world and is a must-stop location on any Switzerland itinerary, even a short one!
For a more relaxing vacation, the Swiss Holiday Park, located several hours east of the Oberland area, is a great option for a relaxing stay with plenty of activities for kids.
Here are some ideas for the Oberland area.
Interlaken is one of the largest cities in the area. However, it is more of a commercial &transportation hub than a mountain village. We’d recommend staying in one of the following towns that will give you more of an authentic Swiss vacation.
Wengen is a smaller resort town in the mountains with some amazing views because it sits above Lauterbrunnen, giving some great views of its waterfalls. Wengen is a car-free and quiet village, so it may not be the best choice if you have lots to do. The train from Lauterbrunnen passes through Wengen on the way to Jungfraujoch.
Here’s a view from our Wengen VRBO!
Lauterbrunnen is another great option, located in the valley below Wengen. Here you’ll find a larger town than Wengen, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants. Lauterbrunnen will also give you some great views of the huge Lauterbrunnen waterfalls.
Grindelwald is another good choice in the Oberland area, connected to Jungfraujoch by the Eiger Express cable car.
These towns offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains, making them ideal bases for exploring the Jungfrau region.
The Swiss Travel Pass and the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland are excellent options for travelers planning to explore Switzerland using public transportation. Each pass offers a range of benefits and discounts, making it easy to decide which one suits your itinerary best.
The Swiss Travel Pass is a convenient, all-in-one ticket granting unlimited access to Switzerland’s public transportation network, including trains, buses, and boats. It also includes free admission to over 500 museums and discounts on mountain excursions. The Swiss
travelon trains, buses, and boats in Switzerland
- Free admission to over 500 museums
- Discounts on mountain excursions, such as Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi
travelfor children under 16 when accompanied by a parent with a Swiss Family Card
Regional Pass Bernese Oberland
The Regional Pass Bernese Oberland is designed specifically for travelers exploring the Bernese Oberland region, including popular destinations like Interlaken, Grindelwald, and Lauterbrunnen. The pass offers unlimited
travelon select trains, buses, boats, and cable cars within the Bernese Oberland region
- Discounts on mountain excursions, such as the Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn
traveldays within one month
Ultimately, the choice between the Swiss Travel Pass and the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland depends on your
However, if your focus is solely on the Bernese Oberland region, the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland could provide better value for your trip.
Switzerland is known for having one of the world’s most efficient and extensive train systems. The train network is a great way to get around the country and an excellent option for families traveling with kids. One of the main benefits of traveling by train in Switzerland is that it is safe, reliable, and eco-friendly. Additionally, many trains are equipped with features that make them especially kid-friendly.
Switzerland is known for having one of the world’s most efficient and extensive train systems. The train network is a great way to get around the country and an excellent option for families traveling with kids.
One of the main benefits of traveling by train in Switzerland is that it is safe, reliable, and eco-friendly.
Additionally, many trains are equipped with features that make them especially kid-friendly.
For example, some Swiss trains have playgrounds on the upper levels, which provide a fun and safe environment for kids to play and burn off energy during long journeys.
In this picture, the upper deck had a slide that our kids spent the whole two-hour ride playing with other kids on.
These play areas often contain slides, swings, and other toys to entertain children.
Some trains also have family compartments, which offer extra space and privacy for families traveling with young children.
Another great feature of Swiss trains is that they offer stunning views of the countryside and mountains.
Kids will love watching the changing scenery from the comfort of their seats, and parents will appreciate the opportunity to relax and take in the beautiful surroundings.
Additionally, many Swiss trains offer onboard dining options, which are convenient for families traveling with kids who may need to eat or snack during their journey.
On this journey from Interlaken to Lucerne, the train featured a dining car, though full meals weren’t served.
All in all, a Switzerland vacation is an ideal destination for the whole family. Whether you’re looking to explore the bustling city of Zurich or visit the picturesque villages of Grindelwald, there’s something for everyone.
We have visited Switzerland twice recently and would love to go back again. Our most recent summer vacation included Switzerland, Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Switzerland was voted the favorite by the whole family!