Off the Beaten Track in Switzerland

Switzerland will forever be associated with the story Heidi, and in the minds of many all there is to Switzerland is the Alps. While the Alps are magnificent and certainly are an important part of Switzerland, there is much more to this delightfully neutral country than just yodeling and the Matterhorn. Wonderful food, exceptional art and charming cities and towns await the adventurous traveler. Going off the beaten track in Switzerland will give you a better picture of the real Switzerland.

Am Romerholz Winterthur

One of the finest private art collections in the world is located overlooking the city of Winterthur. Winterthur is the 6th largest city in Switzerland and also one of its most artistically rich. Oskar Reinhart was a businessman who was also a very serious art collector. What he managed to accumulate in his lifetime is quite astonishing. The house is still set up like a home with an art gallery added. There are works from the old masters such as Lucas Cranach, Matthias Grunewald and Pieter Bruegel. An exceptionally deep collection of French Impressionists completes the collection including works by Monet, Manet and Cezanne hung alongside works by Van Gogh, Goya and Poussin.

This is the perfect place to spend an afternoon and stop at the cafe for a bite to eat after or enjoy lunch before you begin, it is a very good choice and in spite of being a captive audience, you will be happy that you chose to dine there.


Fribourg is a delightful medieval city with wonderful museums and facades to enjoy. The city is on two levels, there is an upper city and the older lower city. It is a feast for the eyes, there are so many beautiful old buildings. Strolling through the streets, stopping to enjoy a cup of coffee or a delicious pastry, are all part of the entire appeal of the city. This is primarily a French speaking part of Switzerland. The Art and History Museum is a treasure and is a delight to wander through though English subtitles are noticeably missing. I came here because my one Swiss ancestor, Pierre Miville was born here.


The tiny village of Gempen is high up in the Alps. It has stunning views out over the valley below. The reason to come all this way up is to eat in the restaurant that is perched on what seems to be the edge of the earth. Gempen is located in the north of Switzerland, not too far from the city of Basel. The menu reflects this heritage and is German in inspiration. The food, however good, isn’t the main attraction, it is the view. Sit and eat and enjoy the spectacular scenery that is Switzerland. We came here to have fondue and excellent fondue it was.

Switzerland is full of famous places to visit but sometimes the traveler prefers to choose the road less traveled and absorb all the atmosphere, the history and the food that an area has to offer. Switzerland is a country that inspires just this sort of a visit. Going off the beaten track in Switzerland will provide enough memories to last a lifetime.



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