Visiting a Swiss castle is like waltzing into a fairytale. After all, the castles in Switzerland are exceptionally gorgeous, and most of them boast centuries-old histories and jaw-dropping views.
If you’re looking for a quick introduction to the country’s prettiest castles, you’ve come to the right place! From châteaux to fortresses, and riverside locations to mountain settings, these are the castles in Switzerland that loom larger than life in our minds.
Of all the castles in Switzerland, Thun Castle (above) offers one of the best views. Overlooking the Aare River, it’s only a few thousand feet from Lake Thun, and it dates back to the 12th century. It’s a beautiful stop in the Bernese Oberland, so remember to bring your camera!
In Sion, you’ll find two castles crowning adjacent hilltops. In the above photo, the Château de Tourbillon appears at left, and the Basilique de Valère appears at right. Tourbillon is a former bishop’s residence, whereas Valère is actually a cathedral. Both are lovely — so don’t hesitate to plan an excursion to see them!
At Laufen Castle, the nearby Rhine Falls are both audible and visible. Being that close to the largest waterfall in Europe means that the castle enjoys incredible views!
What’s more, Laufen Castle dates back to at least 858 AD, making it one of the oldest castles in Switzerland. It’s well worth a visit on your next trip!
This castle occupies the highest point in Gruyères, a medieval town that’s best known for its cheese. And while you should definitely sample that cheese while you’re passing through the area, you should also check out the castle. Its impressive art collection includes stained-glass windows from the Middle Ages and capes that once belonged to a famous group of knights, setting it apart from all of the other castles in Switzerland.
Located on the shores of turquoise Lake Thun, Oberhofen Castle is extremely scenic. The oldest parts of the structure date back to about 1200 AD; today, the castle is a living museum designed to simulate life from the 16th to 19th centuries.
If you’d rather skip the museum, make sure you visit the castle grounds! The beautiful gardens house many beautiful flowers and plants.
Venture to the canton of Ticino, in Italian-speaking Switzerland, and you’ll find three castles in Bellinzona. Now registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites, Castelgrande, Castello Montebello, and Castello Sasso Corbaro were medieval strongholds in their earlier days.
Castello Montebello and Castello Sasso Corbaro are two of the best-preserved medieval castles in Switzerland, and Castelgrande’s two towers are iconic symbols of Bellinzona. Don’t miss a day trip to this city!
Of all the castles in Switzerland, the Château de Chillon is probably the most famous. Located on a rocky outcropping on Lake Geneva, this castle is easily accessible from nearby Montreux. It’s very popular with tourists, so visit early in the day if you can!
Dreaming of Swiss castles? Join us on a guided trip! We explore these beautiful buildings on many of our tours, including Engadine/St. Moritz Inn to Inn, Swiss Bliss, Alps Photo Workshop, Plein Air Painting, and Scenic Alps by Rail, as well as our food tours. We can’t wait to see you there!