Five Swiss Storybook Villages

For being such a small country, Switzerland is big on jaw-dropping, picturesque scenery that is just as fun to explore as it is to see. And for postcard-perfect moments among gorgeous rugged mountains, a visit to these five charming Alpine villages is truly enchanting. Each is easy to access, thanks to the abundance of Swiss public transportation.



Situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps in a valley where eight mountain passes converge, Andermatt keeps visitors busy with activities such as hiking, mountain biking, climbing, fishing, skiing and more. Enjoy the mountain air and picturesque views, as you stroll through the narrow cobblestone paths in this charming village. Admire the architecture and beauty reminiscent of the town’s golden age in the late 19th century. Or for truly panoramic views, take a ride on the Glacier Express, which gives you plenty of time to gawk at the epic mountain scenery, because it’s the slowest express train in the world.

Nature lovers will enjoy exploring stunning mountain lakes, glaciers and valleys, while ski lovers will appreciate the ski lifts that run from the village to Gemsstock and Nätschen.



For an off-the-beaten-path destination with breathtaking scenery and a slower-paced energy, travelers should seek out Gimmelwald.

The pedestrian Alpine village is perched high on a cliff’s edge halfway up a mountain and is one of the last car-free villages in Switzerland. Flower-decorated chalets, grazing cattle and spectacular waterfalls viewed from the aerial cable car make this reality a fairytale vision. Some say it’s among the most beautiful villages in Switzerland, and it’s only reachable by foot or cable car.

Wengen food spread


At the foothills of the Eiger-Mönch-Jungfrau mountain range and easily accessible by train, the views alone are enough to put Wengen on your Alpine village must-see list. Those seeking adventure will be pleasantly surprised as well, as Wengen has some of the best long skiing possible and offers more activities and excitement than most of the region’s other villages.

Though small and classy with only 1,300 permanent residents, thousands of visitors trek the 310 miles of trails in the summer, and thousands more congregate upon the village in the winter for the skiing. Luckily, the locals are welcoming, and the food is delicious, making Wengen an amazing vacation destination all year round.



Just a hike away from Wengen, the ‘Glacier Village’ of Grindelwald is popular with adventurers of all kinds and has been receiving tourists since the 18th century. The charming main street in the center of town (Dorfstrasse) is straight out of a storybook, with wooden chalets with pointed roofs and windows full of colorful flowers beckoning to visitors below.

Today, travelers can take in the beauty of the Alps with a ride on the First Flyer, a seated zip- wire ride that allows four people to fly side by side at speeds up to 52 miles an hour. Or hop a ride on the Pfingstegg toboggan run or on a Trottibike scooter.

In summer, hikers will love the fresh air in the small and stunning Grindelwald, with trails starting right in town and winding past reflective lakes, glacial gorges, cascading waterfalls, flowered meadows and pastures ringing with cowbells. Or take a ride up the mountains on the gondola and stare out at 13,000-foot peaks.

Home to world-class ski slopes and the largest ski resort in the Jungfrau region, winter is also a popular time to visit Grindelwald. Snowboarding, sledding and snow-shoeing are also prevalent, and the scenery is just as beautiful, if not more so, than in the warm season.



Just 20 minutes by car or 40 minutes by train from Grindelwald is the fairytale village of Lauterbrunnen, which is instantly loveable. Like Grindelwald, visitors will find traditional Swiss chalets and lush meadows full of wildflowers towered by snow-capped mountains. Plus, a 1,000-foot spectacular waterfall—one of 72 in the area and Europe’s highest free-falling waterfall— flows from a cliff at the edge of town. Imagine waking each morning to the soothing sounds of water rushing over the cliffs. Is this paradise?

The village is quaint and magical, full of hanging baskets and welcoming cafés. Signs point in all directions to the various hiking trails that can be discovered. Lauterbrunnen is also a popular destination for paragliding, which if you don’t have the stomach to try yourself, is fun to watch each morning, as colorful parachutes descend from the sky.

Lauterbrunnen village