A boutique hotel in Switzerland offers everything from alpine adventures to palm-tree lined lakeshores. Not only can you revel in the world-class art, architecture and culture of several stunning Swiss cities, but you have hassle-free access to neighboring countries as well. From exciting networks of bars, clubs, art galleries, and museums to expensive shopping streets and world-class cuisine, boutique hotels in Switzerland will delight you for as long as your wallet will allow.
From Basel to Zurich: Best urban boutique hotels in Swizterland at a glance
Arts & Culture in Basel
Basel is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Switzerland, so don’t make the mistake of overlooking it, too. Located in the tri-national or so-called ‘Dreiländereck’ region, Basel is the gateway to the Swiss Jura mountains, the neighboring French region of Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Basel’s unique position at the juncture of three borders adds to its multicultural and international appeal. Spend a day strolling along the mighty Rhine, wandering the cobbled streets of the medieval Altstadt and enjoying riverside al fresco dining. If you love contemporary art, combine your stay at a boutique hotel here with the world-famous annual ART Basel festival that attracts art and architecture lovers from around the world. Overnighting in a boutique hotel in Basel is a great way to soak up the wealth of museums and art galleries that adds to the city’s rich artistic and architectural heritage. The Toy Worlds Museum (Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel) possesses the world’s largest collection of teddy bears – a whopping 2,500! Children will enjoy all the fascinating things to see and adults will feel young again. Other highlights are the Kunsthalle Basel, Vitra Design Museum, Symphony Orchestra Basel and the Basler Papiermühle, a working paper mill with staff on hand to demonstrate paper making, printing and binding.
Swiss with an Italian twist in Lugano
Palm trees in Switzerland? You better believe it. You’ll find them around the picturesque Lake Lugano, along with astonishing views of the twin peaks of Monte Brè and Monte San Salvatore. Needless to say, the lakeside city of Lugano in Ticino isn’t the first city that springs to mind when people think of Switzerland, but it should be on everyone’s list of places to see. If you like Italian cuisine with a Swiss twist, you won’t go hungry here. All of your luxury shopping and designer brand needs will be fulfilled in Via Nassa in the walkable city center, where you can also pick up the usual Swiss souvenirs like cuckoo clocks and Swiss army knives. The city’s close proximity to Italy makes a day trip to Milan feasible. But the real drawcard of the city is the ample outdoor opportunities it offers from boating and swimming to mountain biking and hiking. The Olive Tree Trail describes the history of olive trees in this region as it winds along the streets from Gandria to Castagnola. To enjoy the sunny side of Switzerland look no further than a boutique hotel in Lugano.
A taste of alpine flavor in Zurich
The largest city in Switzerland and often mistakenly thought to be the capital, Zurich is the portal to the Alps. Like the rest of the country, Zurich seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor spaces giving visitors a huge variety of things to see and do. From ogling designer goods in Bahnhofstrasse to hip all-day dining in the edgy urban atmosphere of Viadukt, a boutique hotel in Zurich caters to all tastes. Framed by alpine mountains on the banks of a shimmering lake, ascend the Uetliberg by train for the best views of the city. You can either walk down one of the numerous hiking trails or take the cable car from Felsenegg. Hike up Lindenhof to overlook the Old Town, Limmat river and cathedral while exploring the historic centre, and get your cultural fix at Helmhaus gallery which displays contemporary art with a strong focus on local and Zurich-based artists. In wintertime, you can take a train out to the ski resorts from the main station and be back by the evening. From Chnöpfli (soft noodles) and Zopf (Swiss bread) to fondue and grilled ‘würste,’ Zurich’s cuisine is as diverse and eclectic as its boutique hotels. Cheeses, chocolates, cakes, pastries, and all manner of bread varieties, you might leave the city with a slightly tighter belt buckle. Or you can go vegetarian instead. Established in 1898, the Hiltl is the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant according to the Guinness Book of Records. The spacious restaurant spreads over two floors and houses a bar, cooking classes, shop and even a nightclub.