Share adventures with friends in Switzerland’s diverse cities

Share adventures with friends in Switzerland’s diverse cities
After a long period of time in which travel and seeing friends has been difficult, there’s a great desire to meet up and share adventures and special moments together. Switzerland’s cities, in all their diversity, offer exactly the kind of escape that groups of friends are looking for.

Switzerland’s cities are a constant source of surprise and are best discovered on foot. That’s because, in Switzerland, both well-known tourist sites and lesser-known ‘insider’ spots are more easily accessible within walking distance than pretty much anywhere else. This is true whether you’re looking for natural beauty right in the heart of the city or on its outskirts, nightlife, or a wide spectrum of art and culture.

Inspired by the American hit TV series (1998–2004) Sex and the City and to coincide with the revival series releasing December 2021, Switzerland Tourism has released its own ‘Six in the City’ trailer showcasing how Switzerland’s cities provide the ideal places to meet up with your best friends. Just as New York plays a central role in the hit TV series, it’s Switzerland’s cities that serve as the playground of the six friends, with six different personalities – who decide to go on a group trip to Switzerland’s cities together. So where will you travel with your friends?


Nikki, a yoga teacher, cannot imagine a trip away with friends without encouraging them to be active. What better location than Switzerland’s cities to fulfil her calling? It’s so easy to combine fun discoveries with sporting activities here. In her programme, Nikki includes an urban bike trip in Locarno, a fast-paced guided tour of Geneva, and a tour of Zurich by stand-up paddleboard. For a spot of relaxation after all this hard work, she chooses beaches and swimming pools in the heart of cities like Bern, where you can swim in the River Aare with breathtaking views of the seat of the Swiss Parliament, or in Locarno, where you can soak up some latesummer sunshine on the magnificent 600m-long sandy beach of Lido Locarno. She also suggests escaping for a night or more to hotels in the mountains or surrounded by countryside, but still right next to cities, such as at the Pilatus Kulm on the Pilatus, which overlooks Lucerne, or the Hotel & Lounge Lago Maggiore, which overlooks Lake Maggiore, above Locarno.


For Inès, a busy businesswoman, enjoying shared experiences with friends means great food. She notes a few places to try all the flavours of Switzerland’s cities, including some of the most popular bars with a nice terrace for an aperitif, such as Ta Cave in Lausanne, Switzerland’s leading wine bar, set up after a crowdfunding campaign. Her personal bucket list includes urban hotels – 12 locations that reflect their city’s particular way of life, such as the very cool Nomad Design & Lifestyle Hotel in Basel or the romantic Grand Hôtel du Lac in Vevey. But Inès’ top tip for an urban culinary stroll is to book a tour with ‘Taste My Swiss City’. Over the course of a single meal, participants head from one restaurant to another and take the time to taste the good things in life in 13 Swiss cities.


Amber, a young architect, is keen on travelling through time and Switzerland’s architecture with her friends. She takes them to districts where leading names in contemporary architecture, such as Herzog & de Meuron or Richard Meier in Basel have left their mark. Modernity and aesthetics are ever present as you discover the buildings to which major Swiss museums have recently moved, such as the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts (MCBA) in Lausanne, the LAC Arte e Cultura in Lugano and the Grisons Museum of Fine Arts in Chur.

But Amber is not just fascinated by contemporary architecture. She also wants to understand the cities’ history over the centuries by visiting key historical locations, such as the three Castles of Bellinzona, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or tracing the textile industry on a walk through St. Gallen or the watchmaking industry in La Chaux-deFonds. Her heart also flits between past and present: it’s a difficult choice between a stay at a Swiss Historic Hotel or one with a much more modern, artsy design.


For Manon, a painter and designer, the trip offers an opportunity to find new sources of inspiration in all the forms of art found in Switzerland’s cities. In her notepad full of sketches, she notes all the places and experiences that make a mark: street art in Lugano and Basel, and bike trips through Zurich to see some of the 1,300 pieces of outdoor art – from graffiti to sculptures – scattered throughout its streets. She is particularly struck by the harmony between architecture and nature in museums, such as at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern and the Fondation Beyeler in Basel. Even at the hotel, before going to sleep, she can look at works by famous Swiss and international artists from the comfort of her own bed and plan a return visit to see some of the exhibitions featured in the Swiss Museums calendar.


As a DJ, Chiara is used to a nocturnal lifestyle. More than anything, she loves partying and, during the day, strolling through flea markets in search of vintage pieces. She has tracked down the trendiest bars for her friends, with the most stunning city views at night, such as the Sky Terrace at the Hotel Schweizerhof in Bern or Rooftop°42 in Geneva. And if you really have to rest, you might as well choose a hotel that also has breathtaking views, such as from the whirlpool on the terrace of the suite at Hôtel Anker in Lucerne – perfect for six – or over Lake Maggiore and the surrounding mountains at Locarno’s Hotel Belvedere. There’s also time to try out the nightlife in all of Zurich’s little open-air bars, to dance and – who knows! – maybe even meet someone.


A married mother of three, Rose wants to use this getaway to rest and recharge her batteries. In fact, after all their urban adventures, all six friends will need to top up their energy levels. Rose has chosen some of the best rejuvenating spas and hotels, such as the spectacular Termali Salini & Spa in Locarno and Zurich’s Thermalbad & Spa, with its infinity pool on the top floor and a 360-degree view of the city’s rooftops. From Ayurveda to treatments based on Alpine plants, the range of therapies is so varied that she knows her friends will find it hard to choose. For her, a massage using honey produced by the bees at the Hôtel Schweizerhof in Bern is top of the list.


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