Switzerland is a country is full of surprises and it is a little known fact that it has some of the biggest, tallest, and highest landmarks in Europe…if not the world. Whether you are moving to the country or visiting, here we take a glance at the amazing sights that have put Switzerland into the record books.
Highest Suspension Bridge in Europe
The Titlis Cliff Walk has been dubbed one of the world’s scariest bridges to cross. The bridge is an adrenalin-fuelled 3,000 meters high and 100 metres long, and the braver among you can find it at the ski destination of Engelberg. Thousands of people have already crossed the bridge since it opened at the end of 2013. Although, you might feel a little hesitant at first, the bridge has been declared 100 per cent safe.
World’s Highest Rotating Restaurant
The Threes!xty revolving restaurant is an amazing 3,500 metres above sea level. The restaurant, at Saas-Fee, takes an hour to rotate full circle and offers diners spectacular mountain views as they eat. It offers an internationally led menu with dishes from all over the world.
The World’s Longest Tunnel
If you are fascinated by tunnels and have plans to cross Europe by rail, The Gotthard is a remarkable feat of engineering which lies under the Swiss Alps. Set to open in just three years time, it is 35.4 miles long and will link north and southeastern Europe. Once open, it will be a huge timesaver for business people and travellers to this part of Europe as it will give rail passengers the chance to get to and from Milan and Zurich in less than three hours. The tunnel cost 7 billion euros to build and will take both freight and passenger trains.
Biggest Waterfall in Europe
Switzerland does not only play host to man-made constructions, but also natural phenomena too as it has the biggest waterfall in Europe. Rhine Falls it is not quite on the scale of Niagara Falls but it is still an impressive 23 metres high. You can find it near the city of Schaffausen, just 50 minutes by rail from Zurich, in a picturesque location overlooked by two castles: Schloss Laufen and Schlössli Wörth. It offers a great day out as there are look-out platforms and restaurants on either side of the waterfall, a visitors’ centre, and an adventure park nearby. Visitors can take a boat trip to enjoy some great photo opportunities – just make sure you take a waterproof camera with you!
Building at the Highest Altitude
The Sphinx Observatory is the highest elevated building in Europe and stands at an incredible 3,571 metres above sea level. It’s listed as a world heritage site and attracts meteorologists, geologists and astronomers from all over the globe. However, you don’t have to be an expert in science, geography or star-gazing to visit the observatory as it is also open to the public. You can find it on the Jungfraujoch mountain which lies between the Cantons of Bern and Valais, and if you are visiting the observatory, head to the viewing platforms where you will be rewarded by spectacular views.
Highest Railway Station in Europe
If you are visiting the observatory, the chances are you will stop off at Jungfrau Railway Station, which is the highest railway station in the world. This is because a lift from the station will take you to the Sphinx and its viewing platforms. The station is 3,454 metres high and connects to various tourist attractions including the Ice Palace, where you can see a fascinating exhibition of ice sculptures created by artist Karl Neuhaus. The exhibition changes every year and the sculptures are lit up by coloured lights, to make your visit even more memorable. Just wrap up warm, put on your best walking shoes, and follow the signs from the railway station to get there!
World’s Longest Natural Labyrinth
If you and your family enjoy the excitement and discovery offered by mazes, then you won’t be disappointed if you visit the world’s biggest natural one, the Evionnaz Adventure Labyrinth. It’s 3 km long and is lined by 18,000 Thuja trees and visitors can enjoy activities and find treasures as they explore. It makes a great family day out, and once you get to the end, your children can burn even more energy at the playground where they will find all sorts of fun-filled activities including trampolines, long slides and a climbing wall.
Highest Bungee Jump off a Suspended Footbridge
OK, this isn’t a landmark but we thought it was still worth including in the list. If you love extreme sports, you can make the most of it by visiting Niouc Bridge, otherwise known as the Spider Bridge, which is the highest cable wire bridge to bungee jump from in Europe. The bridge, at the Maxi-Fun Sports and Adventure Park, is a hair-raising 190 metres high and, if you keep your eyes open before you jump, you can see some scenic views from the top.
- Official Swiss tourism website packed with information and advice for travellers
Michael Sawyer writes for Hamiltons Removals who specialise in removals to Switzerland as well as a full range of UK, European and worldwide destinations.