Switzerland


Switzerland has beautiful landscapes all around and some pretty unique attractions and sites of interest.

In Geneva you'll find CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory and its Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest particle accelerator with energy up to 13 teraelectronvolts and a 27 km-long tunnel. You cannot visit the tunnel or the accelerator's equipment due to radiation and other safety hazards (unless the accelerator is powered down for upgrades); but there are tours to see CERN's first particle accelerator (the scifi-sounding Synchrocyclotron), LHC's ATLAS experiment control center and two very cool exhibition centres, full of equipment, models and detailed explanations (including the world's first webserver on display - CERN in Geneva is where the web got started). As one of the most complex scientific projects of all time, the LHC is unmissable. Tour details here. There's a 40km-long bike route roughly following the LHC tunnel (above ground), details here. Geneva also hosts the second largest office site of the United Nations, which can be toured.

The delightful medieval town of Gruyeres is home to the museum of surrealist Swiss artist H R Giger, involved in the production of creatures and sets for the Alien movies. Located in a medieval castle, the place looks more like a natural history museum from another planet than an art museum; in other words, extremely cool (no photos allowed inside the museum, unfortunately). Next to the museum there's a Giger Bar for another otherworldly experience. Don't miss the larger Gruyeres Castle while in town (also home to some interesting non-Giger works of art). There's a second Giger Bar located in the city of Chur.

Zurich, Geneva and Berne, while not the liveliest places on earth, are all nice and quiet cities. Enjoy relaxing walks and great food - fondue, raclette and quality chocolate (Cafe du Soleil in Geneva is a good start for fondue). One cool thing to see while in the capital city of Berne is the bear pit - check it out on your way back to Zurich from Gruyeres.

The country's real beauty lies outside the big cities - just driving around the scenic mountains and green valleys and stopping in any of the delightful towns or villages is all you need to unwind. The Interlaken area features some very scenic bike routes exploring the region's two lakes.

Additional info:
- country entry on Wikipedia
- country profile on Wikivoyage

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Switzerland

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