Best cities to visit in Switzerland with teenagers

Switzerland is a diverse country in every sense. From the Alps to the lakes, from the cities to the villages, from the vineyards to the forests, Switzerland with teenagers is an ideal destination for a family holiday.

Switzerland is best known for its natural beauty, safety, and quality of life. It has a lot of attractions to offer to tourists that want a vacation that has it all. It is best known for its scenic mountains, lakes and valleys. Switzerland has a population of about 8 million people and is an amazing location for a vacation with teens.

  • Key Takeaways
  • We review the 5 best cities in Switzerland: Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Bern for a holiday with teenagers.
  • You should base yourself in these cities as they have a variety of activities that suit teenagers and parents making them the best places to stay in Switzerland.
  • Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Bern have a wide range of accommodations to suit families and are easily accessible from domestic and international points of origin.

Why should I visit Switzerland with teenagers?

Switzerland is the best country in Europe for teenage adventure seekers. From skiing to hiking, to caving, Switzerland has it all. For those looking for a more relaxed vacation, there are plenty of museums and galleries to visit as well as beautiful lakeside towns which are a must do Switzerland.


Facts about Switzerland for families:

There are a few things you should know when you are planning a trip to Switzerland with teenagers. There are always basic travel tips for Switzerland that will make your vacation a breeze.

  • Switzerland Population: 8.6 Million
  • Capital City: Bern
  • Currency of Switzerland: Swiss Franc
  • Languages: Swiss, German, Italian and Romansh

What are the best cities in Switzerland for teenagers?

Switzerland is home to 5 major cities: Geneva, Zurich, Basel, Lucerne and Bern. These locations are ideal bases for families looking for things to do in Switzerland. You will find plenty of Switzerland’s top attractions in the cities and some incredible day trips in Switzerland that will make your vacation with teens epic.

Zurich Switzerland

Zurich is a beautiful city in Switzerland. It is a perfect destination for tourists and adventure seekers. There are many attractions and sights to explore in Zurich. The city of Zurich has a lot of museums, galleries, theatres, and concert halls while offering fun on hikes and water sports in Lake Zurich.

by the river in Zurich Switzerland with teenagers
A Switzerland family vacation with teens

Zurich is a city that is not only rich in culture, but also in natural beauty. The city has many attractions and sights to offer, as well as plenty of fun activities for teenagers and families. For the teenage adventure seekers in the family, you can go on hiking trips or skiing trips to the Alps. For older teens, they can enjoy the nightlife in Zurich, which offers plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants.

Best things to do in Zurich for young adults:

If you’re looking for things to do in Zurich with young adults, you won’t be disappointed. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re interested in art and culture, history, or natural beauty. Here are just a few of the many things you can do in this Swiss city.

The FIFA World Football Museum, The home of Lindt Chocolate, Go-Karting, Alpamare Water park, Segway tours and activities on lake Zurich. For more great things to see in Zurich, search Trip Advisor, Viator and Get Your Guide.

Best day trips from Zurich for families:

Zurich has no shortage of amazing day trips for families looking to explore different destinations in the Swiss Alps. You can take the Glacier Express up the mountains and see places such as the Matterhorn, Mount Titlis and Interlaken.

Best teenage adventure activities near Zurich:

You can try hot air ballooning, beginners paragliding experiences and white water rafting to name a few activities near Zurich for teenagers.

a teenage gorl skiing in switzerland
Skiing in Switzerland

If you’re looking to hit the slopes in Switzerland near Zurich, your best options are Amden and Sattel-Hochstuckli is only an hour from Zurich by public transport. These two resorts are ideal for beginners wanting to experience skiing and snowboarding.

Best places to stay in Zurich for families:

Zurich has many options when it comes to family accommodation options. For a great all-round hotel for families, we recommend the Leoneck Swiss hotel in the city centre.

For those looking for a bit of luxury, you should try the Storchen Zurich – Lifestyle Boutique and budget travellers can try the EMA House Hotel Suites and Zurich Youth Hostel.

If you’re looking for something a little different, try Expedia for hotels and VRBO for apartments in Zurich.

Tourist passes for Switzerland

  • Swiss Travel Pass3,4,8 or 15 days of consecutive train travel in Switzerland
  • Swiss Coupon Pass50% discount on food, sightseeing tours, entrance fees
  • Geneva PassSave on over 40 attractions and free public transport
  • Swiss Half Fare Pass50% discount on unlimited tickets on trains, buses, and boats
  • Zurich CardFree or reduced admissions, Unlimited public transport and more

Switzerland with teenagers – Basel

Basel is located in the northwest part of the country near where the borders of Switzerland, Germany and France meet. The city of Basel has a population of about 160,000 people and is famous for its beautiful architecture, museums, and parks. Basel is considered the cultural capital of Switzerland.

On a holiday to Switzerland with teenagers, you will make lifelong memories.

The city has a lot to offer for tourists and locals alike with easy day trips to sites in Germany and France. There are many museums, galleries, and theaters that you can visit. You can also take a boat ride on the Rhine River or go on an adventure in the Swiss Alps. There are many things to do in Basel Switzerland for teenagers and families alike!

Best things to do in Basel:

Teens in Switzerland visiting Basel will find many things to do both cultural and exciting. Basel is a great city because it has some great educational opportunities for your teenagers, but also enough fun and interesting activities to keep teenagers visiting Switzerland happy. A visit to The Basel Old Town, taking in the Jean Tinguely Museum, cruising the Rhine River or visiting the Basel Zoo are popular options for families in Basel with teenagers.

Best day trips from Basel Switzerland with teens:

There are a number of exciting tours for families in Switzerland with teenagers wanting to visit the Alps from Basel. Alternatively, you can easily visit the Alsace region of France and towns like Mulhouse and Colmar or Germany and places like Freiburg or Europa Park.

Best places to stay for families in Basel:

Accommodation in Basel for families comes in all shapes and sizes to suit families of all sizes and budgets. Some good choices in Basel are the Odelya Hotel, Ibis Styles Basel City and for a budget option, Basel Youth Hostel.

If you’re looking for something a little different, try Expedia for hotels and VRBO for apartments in Basel.

Discover more: 18 tried and tested tips to make vacations with teens a breeze

Visiting Geneva in Switzerland with young adults

Geneva is the second most populous city in Switzerland and it is located where the Rhône River meets Lake Geneva. The Swiss capital is a beautiful city with many attractions, culture, history, sites and food to offer.

Switzerland with teenagers
The best cities to visit in Switzerland

Geneva is a popular tourist destination for people from all over the world. The city has many attractions and sites that are worth visiting. The city is rich in culture and history that can be explored through museums, galleries, and other historical buildings.

The food in Geneva is also worth trying as it has many types of cuisine to offer visitors. There are also many opportunities for adventure in Geneva with teens, such as hiking or skiing on nearby mountains or exploring the lakeside by boat or kayak.

Best things to do in Geneva:

Like most cities in Switzerland, Geneva is a city on the water, making it Instagram-friendly at every turn. You will find chocolate experiences on taxi bikes and hop on hop-off bus tours to show you the city.

Cruises on Lake Geneva provide a unique perspective while the Geneva city pass will give you discounts all over Geneva. Search for more fun things to do in Switzerland with teenagers with Viator and Get Your Guide for your Geneva visit with family.

Best day trips with teens from Geneva:

Like all cities in Switzerland, day trips to the Swiss Alps locations such as Chamonix and Mont Blanc, Glacier 3000, Interlarken and destinations in France such as Evian and Annecy

Adventure activities near Geneva Swisse for teenagers:

Geneva has plenty of options when it comes to exciting outdoor activities for teens in Switzerland. The Rhone River is great for canoeing and paddleboarding, while nearby you can try rafting, mountain biking and Geo caching just to name a few.

Teenagers in Switzerland wanting to ski can try Chamonix in France. Which is just an hour away from Geneva. Switzerland tourist places do not come any better than Geneva.

Best places to stay for families in Geneva:

The La Reserve Geneva Hotel is located on the banks of Lake Geneva and welcomes families. While Novotel Suites and Holiday Inn Express are good options.

If you’re looking for something a little different, try for hotels and VRBO for apartments in Geneva.

Planning a camping trip with teenagers? Here is the ultimate guide on how to keep teens entertains, engaged and wanting more on your camping trip!

Switzerland with teenagers – Lucerne

Lucerne Switzerland is the perfect destination for a family vacation. It has plenty of attractions, sites, and activities that will interest both teenagers and adults. There are many different vacation sites and attractions to keep everyone happy. The city is also very safe, making it a great choice for a holiday destination.

Lucerne in Switzerland
Cities make a great base for family holidays in Switzerland.

The city is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century. The city is located on the northern shores of Lake Lucerne, at the mouth of the river Reuss which flows into Lake Lucerne, in Central Switzerland. Lucerne is a great family vacation destination, especially if you are travelling with teens.

Best things to do in Lucerne:

Lucerne has a strong culture and history, meaning tourism activities not to miss include city walks, e-bike tours, The Olympic Museum and the Swiss Museum of transport.

For those looking for a challenge, a Lucerne scavenger hunt would be fun while a Swiss chocolate tasting will suit teens in Switzerland on vacation. There are so many great things to do in Lucerne for families visiting Switzerland.

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Day trips from Lucerne:

There are many wonderful day trips that can be taken from Lucerne, Switzerland. Some of the most popular destinations include Rigi Kulm, Lake Lucerne, Mt Pilatus Grindelwald and Interlaken.

Each of these destinations offers something unique and is sure to create lasting memories for families taking a Switzerland vacation. Switzerland family tours are a great option and make sightseeing easy. Search for more amazing day trips from Lucerne.

Adventure activities for teenagers in and around Lucerne:

Activities such as tandem paragliding over the Alps, Canyoning in the Shilere River, exploring caves, taking a scenic helicopter flight, Ice fishing or having fun at the Grindelwald first mountain adventure.

For families looking to take to the slopes for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or tobogganing near Lucerne you can buy day passes at Hoch-Ybrig and The Globi Winterland Klostermatte at Brunni. These ski fields are some of the best places to visit in Switzerland in winter. For more amazing outdoor action and adventure in Switzerland with teenagers, search Manawa.

Best places to stay in Lucerne:

When you are planning a trip to Switzerland with teenagers you’ll never be short of options for your family accommodation in Lucerne. In Lucerne, you find a range of hotels, apartments, and hostels for families on holiday in Switzerland. You will be sure to find something to fit singles, couples, families, and groups on every budget on your family trip to Lucerne.

Places to visit in Switzerland – Bern

If you’re looking for a breathtaking, picturesque European city to take your teenagers on vacation, look no further than Bern, Switzerland. With its stunning Alpine backdrop, quaint medieval Old Town and plethora of activities, Bern is the perfect place to keep your teens occupied – and happy.

Unique places to visit in Switzerland with teens

From hiking and biking in the summer to skiing and sledding in the winter, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful city. Your teens will never be bored in Bern. With its lively nightlife and vibrant culture, Bern is also a great place for adults to enjoy.

Things to do in Bern Switzerland:

Bern is the capital of Switzerland and is brimming with activities to keep teenagers entertained. From exploring the old city to visiting museums and parks, there is something for everyone in Bern. Some of the best things to do in Bern with teens include the Bern Aqua Water Park, The Museum of Communication, a Scavenger hunt and an Instagram tour.

Families looking for a more cultural experience in Bern should consider a Bern Self Guided Audio Tour, a visit to the Einstein Museum and a tour of the Bern Old Town.

Best day trips from Bern:

Some popular day trips include excursions to Jungfraujoch (the highest railway station in Europe), Lauterbrunnen (a picturesque valley with many hotels and activities), Schilthorn Piz Gloria (James Bond), Interlaken (a major destination for tourists), Zermatt Village or Lucerne.

Best adventure activities for teenagers near Bern:

Activities such as hiking and mountain biking are able to be done directly from Bern while rafting and stand-up paddleboarding are accessible nearby. Families looking to ski, snowboard and more near Bern should try out Gantrisch Gurnigel and Axalp ob Brienz.

Where to stay in Bern:

The capital of Switzerland has many business-class hotels for visitors and tourists alike. In Bern, you can stay at Novotel Bern Expo, Hotel 77 Bern or the Bern Youth Hostel.

Have you considered staying in a hostel with your teens when you travel? Read why we love staying in hostels with our teens

How to get to Switzerland with teenagers

The best way to get to Switzerland is by plane. There are many airports in Switzerland, but the most popular one is Zurich Airport. It is located about 15 kilometres from the city centre and it has a train station that connects it to the city. You can search for cheap flights to Zurich with WayAway.

Zurich airport
Zurich Airport is the main entry to Switzerland

The next best option for getting to Switzerland is by train. There are many trains that go through Switzerland, but the most popular one is the Eurostar. It goes through France and Italy before reaching its final destination in Geneva or Zurich. Germany which is north of Switzerland is also serviced by this train

A second option for getting to Switzerland is by bus. Most buses are via the Eurolines bus company and Flix Bus. These companies service the best tourist places Switzerland from all over Europe.

The third best way of getting to Switzerland is by car. The highways in Switzerland are well-maintained and there are no tolls on them, so it’s easy to drive on them without any problems. The only downside of driving on Swiss highways is that they can be quite expensive because of the need to maintain the highways well. Switzerland has some of the most expensive car insurance in Europe, so they need their highways to be well-maintained to offset these costs.

Do you want cheap flights, tours, transfers and rental cars with cashback?

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Use promo code TP-226308 to get 10% off your membership. For more information, search here.

Food in Switzerland for teens

When it comes to food, Switzerland is known for its delicious cheese and chocolate. However, there is so much more to the country’s cuisine than just these two staples. Swiss food is hearty and filling, perfect for a cold winter day. Dishes like rosti (a type of potato pancake) and raclette (melted cheese served with potatoes and pickled vegetables) are popular among locals and visitors alike.

If you’re looking for something sweet, don’t miss out on trying Swiss meringue or pumpkinseed oil cake. And of course, no trip to Switzerland with teenagers would be complete without washing everything down with a glass of locally-produced wine or beer. So next time you’re in the Alps, make sure to sample some of the delicious food Switzerland has to offer.

Read more: 10 of the best cities in Europe for the best vacations for families with teenagers

What should teens expect in Switzerland?

When travelling to Switzerland, there are a few customs that visitors should be aware of in order to make the most of their trip. Firstly, it is important to note that Switzerland is a very clean and orderly country.

As such, visitors are expected not to litter in public places and dispose of their rubbish properly. Secondly, visitors should also be aware that many Swiss people speak more than one language.

English is widely spoken, but it is always appreciated if visitors can attempt to speak some German or French. Finally, it is worth noting that the Swiss take punctuality very seriously.

So, if you have an appointment or meeting, it is best to arrive on time or even early. By following these simple tips, visitors will be sure to have a smooth and enjoyable experience while in Switzerland.

In conclusion, a family vacation to Switzerland with teens can be a great experience. The country has a lot to offer in terms of activities and attractions, and the teens will undoubtedly enjoy themselves. With a little planning and preparation, the trip can be smooth and enjoyable for everyone involved.

We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has inspired you to plan a family vacation to Switzerland with teenagers. As you can see there are some wonderful cities in Switzerland for families with teenagers.

Travel with teenagers and tweens. Travelling with young adults has just as many issues as travelling with young children. Choosing the best teenage vacation destinations can be so time-consuming. Planning a family holiday can be stressful and finding the best tips for travel is essential. 

Use our Travel with Teenagers Destination Guides from all over the world for your next family vacation inspiration to make your family vacations with teens epic.

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Author bio:

Father, husband, traveller, and chief destination manager here at Wyld Family Travel. When Mark is not talking about travel or planning travel you will find him working in disability support. Mark is a family travel advocate, having travelled to over 45 countries with his kids from 10 months old, through to their teenage years. You will find his work here and on other popular websites.

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Mark Wyld

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Best cities to visit in Switzerland with teenagers