Europe’s alpine countries – Germany, Austria and Switzerland – are home to some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. Here are our top five favorite picturesque places to visit in this region:
Lucerne, Switzerland: The city, the lake, the mountains… Need we say more? As one of central Switzerland’s most famed cities, Lucerne is a well-preserved medieval metropolis. Highlights include Lake Lucerne, the famed Lion Monument, the Chapel Bridge and accessibility to the stunning peaks in the Jungfrau region.
Salzburg, Austria: The hills truly do come alive in Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and the setting for the well-loved film The Sound of Music. But there is so much more to love about Salzburg than these claims to fame. Nestled just north of the Austrian alps, the city wows visitors with its elaborate Baroque architecture, elaborately manicured gardens, notable museums and breathtaking scenery. It is the perfect city to enjoy a coffee and classical music in a quaint café.
Berlin, Germany: The German capital of Berlin is a contradictory blend of rich, oppressive history and modern-day opportunity, artistic expression and autonomy. It is an unpredictable and ever-changing city, only consistently maintaining its pristine green spaces, iconic monuments and museums and electric energy. We love the opposition found in Berlin – enjoying a historical tour of the remnants of the Berlin Wall in the daytime, then sipping a night cap at a trendy bar in the evening. Berlin is diverse enough to meet the wants and needs of even the choosiest traveler.
Innsbruck, Austria: Known as the site of the Winter Olympics in 1964 and again in 1976, Innsbruck is an ideal destination for mountaineers, skiers and outdoorsmen alike. But what truly makes Innsbruck a unique, must-see destination is the diverse range of attractions that the city has to offer. Wander through the labyrinth of medieval lanes in the Old Town, passing candy-colored shops and uncovering rich history of the Tyrolian rulers who called Innsbruck home.
Geneva, Switzerland: Geneva is perhaps one of Europe’s most sophisticated cities, culturally influenced by the presence of many prominent international organizations including the United Nations and the Red Cross. The city lies on the shores of Europe’s largest alpine lake, Lake Geneva, and is surrounded by mountain peaks. Its scenery (and abundance of the world’s best chocolate) makes it easy to see why Geneva is such a desirable destination. Although be warned, a trip here will cost you a pretty penny.