Switzerland’s western region includes the cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Neuchatel, Fribourg and Jura. Thanks to all the cantons except Fribourg sharing a border with France, French is the official language.
Popular destinations in Western Switzerland
Geneva – a truly international city, Geneva is home to numerous global organisations including the United Nations, the Red Cross and the World Health Organisation. Sitting on the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman in French), Geneva boasts a host of things for the visitor to see and do.
For more information about Geneva, read our Geneva Travel Guide here >>
Montreux – at the opposite end of the lake to Geneva, Montreux is known as the Swiss Riviera thanks to its temperate climate and pretty flower-lined lakeside promenade.
Many famous people have called Montreux home over the years and visitors flock to the town to pay homage to Freddie Mercury and Charlie Chaplin, who both have significant sites named in their honour, and to visit Chillon Castle which left a lasting impression on Lord Byron.
Lausanne – another of Lake Geneva’s lakeside cities, Lausanne was founded in the 4th century and is home to numerous squares, magnificent churches and a late-14th century chateau.
In more recent times it became home to the International Olympic Committee. The Olympic Museum can be visited at Ouchy, a pretty lakeside resort town on the edge of Lausanne.
Gruyeres – famous for its cheese, and also home to chocolate producer Nestle Cailler, Gruyeres is an attractive medieval village that also boasts a castle and is surrounded by an idyllic rural landscape.
Three Lakes area – the lakes of Biel, Murten and Neuchatel combine to create what is known as the three lakes area. Extremely popular with water sports enthusiasts, this part of western Switzerland also offers an abundant variety of hiking and biking opportunities, and is ideal for foodies and wine connoisseurs.