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  • Writer's pictureRach Stewart

TOP 7 MUST SEE PHOTO SPOTS IN SWITZERLAND


Top 7 Must See Photo Spots in Switzerland

Switzerland photography and the Swiss Alps had been on my landscape photography bucket list for as long as I could remember .. it is one of those places I had seen so many incredible mountain photos from and my Instagram saved folder was full of dreamy Switzerland photo spots I just had to visit.


In September 2022 I finally realised my dream when my partner and I found ourselves on a plane to Europe with Switzerland being the main destination. We had a full road trip planned and we were going to make the most of every minute we could while we were there for just one week. It was an absolutely mind blowing experience .. Swiss mountains are so different to the mountains here at home in New Zealand .. add in beautiful glacially fed lakes, the open road in our little bubble rental car and wonderful people, it was perfect.


We visited some of the most incredible photo spots in Switzerland on the week long trip through the Swiss Mountains and listed here are my Top 7 Must See Photo Spots. As always it was very hard to narrow it down to just seven, but these are the ones where they left me thinking how much other people must see these beautiful sights.


Although I didn't get to visit all the locations I had planned due to the weather, because the Switzerland landscape is so diverse I did see a lot of incredible locations and these are my favourites in no particular order:


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THE TOP 7 MUST SEE PHOTO SPOTS IN SWITZERLAND

 

CONTENTS



 

ZERMATT VILLAGE AND THE MATTERHORN SWITZERLAND


Zermatt is an absolute must-visit destination for any photographer who loves the mountains, outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery, and that is why it should be on everyone's Must See Photo Spots in Switzerland list.


This picturesque car-less city is perched right under the incredible Matterhorn Mountain and has a stunning view of the mountain and surrounding scenery on every corner.


I fell in love with the feel and vibe of Zermatt straight away .. however I should just mention briefly, that prior to arriving in Zermatt we didn't realise how expensive the food was, and literally everything else. Prepare to pay a lot more than usual if you're not bringing in your own supplies.


NOTE: Zermatt is a car-free village, so if you are travelling by car, you’ll need to park in Tasch which is a village close by and take a train into Zermatt (about a 15 minute train ride).


ZERMATT MATTERHORN LOOKOUT


Just above the town of Zermatt you will have the most perfect view of the Matterhorn and the beautiful village lights from a small lookout called the Riedweg Viewpoint that only takes around 20 minutes to walk to by following the Riedweg all the way up.


I took these images just after sunset as I wanted to photograph the Matterhorn with the village lights lit. There were only a few other photographers at the viewpoint and it was easy to get a spot to put the tripod down without anyone obstructing the view.

 

SCHAFLER RIDGE HIKE SWITZERLAND


Schafler Ridge Hike Switzerland
From the summit of the Schafler Ridge Hike Switzerland

Out of all the places I visited in Switzerland, this was the one that truly left me speechless and in absolute awe. From all the research I had done and all the incredible locations I'd sought out, the Schafler Ridge was the one place I really wanted to see and the Schafler Ridge Hike was the one trail I really wanted to complete.


Schafler Ridge Hike Switzerland
Views on the way up to the Schafler Hut on the Schafler Ridge Hike

The Schafler Ridge in Appenzell has one of the most dramatic ridgelines I've ever seen and for landscape photography you just can't ask for a better view. The conditions we were blessed with were out of this world and I really did capture the dream Switzerland photo for my portfolio. Trust me when I say If you are going to hike anywhere in Switzerland please make sure it is this place! I had never seen anything like it and I doubt I will ever see anything like it again. The entire hike was all about taking in the views and the magical 360 degree scenery wherever you looked.


Schafler Ridge Hike Switzerland
Views on the way up to the Schafler Hut on the Schafler Ridge Hike

HOW TO GET THERE AND THE PHOTOS


To get to the Schafler Ridge Hike you will need to drive or train to the small town of Wasserauen which is around 2 hours from Zurich. You can park overnight in the Wasserauen train station (make sure you have cash/coins with you if you're not from Europe and don't wish to purchase a parking card) which is where we took the cable car up to Ebenalp and where we started the hike from.


We booked a nights stay at the Schafler Hut so that we could have best opportunity to shoot golden hours both at sunset and sunrise. We had taken the cable car up to Ebenalp just after lunch so began the 3km hike to the hut in the early afternoon and got there in just over an hour.


Sunset Schafler Ridge Switzerland
Sunset at Schafler Ridge Switzerland

These photos were all taken in the early afternoon, sunset and at sunrise.


 

SEEALPSEE LAKE SWITZERLAND


Seealpsee Lake in the Appenzell region of Switzerland (right next door to the Schafler Ridge Hike) is another absolutely stunning lake that doesn't require too much effort especially when the reward is being nestled amongst mountains and reflections on a windless day.


The hike to Seealpsee is just under 3km one way on a well-graded road most of the way. There are a few steep inclines as you climb to 1150 metres from Wasserauen (871m) but nothing too strenuous with all ages giving it a go when we were on the trail. The views along the way are incredible as you walk side by side with towering mountains, Larch trees changing colour (we were there in September - Autumn) and green meadows.


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HOW TO GET THERE AND THE PHOTOS


If you're planning on doing the Schafler Ridge hike mentioned above in this blog, or want to check out Seealpsee Lake first, the two locations leave from the same area at the Wasserauen train station . To get to Seealpsee just follow the road all the way up to the lake. When you get there be prepared for the incredible views and also quite a lot of people. The Berggasthause Seealpsee restaurant serves beer and chips and it's a great way to take in the amazing scenery.


We chose to hike to Seealpsee during the day due to our schedule, and were very lucky to have still conditions and a beautiful day. There are plenty of options for photography opportunities. I particularly liked the small area in front of the Restaurant where there were some trees framing the lake.

 

BACHALPSEE LAKE HIKE GRINDEWALD FIRST


Lake Bachalpsee is one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland and another one of those Must See Photo Spots in Switzerland that I had bookmarked over and over as a bucket list landscape location.


The reflection photos I had seen online with the surrounding mountain ranges were just so beautiful and I made the plan to make sure I saw this dreamy Swiss Alp location with my own eyes.


HOW TO GET THERE AND THE PHOTOS


The Bachalpsee Lake hike starts with the cable car ride from Grindewald to First. Tickets are available from the Firstbahn Station and then you can just enjoy the views from there as your ride the cable car up to First (or not a lot of views in our case as it was pouring with rain).


We booked accommodation at Berggasthaus First as we had planned to visit Bachalpsee Lake for both sunset and sunrise.


We left for Bachalpsee Lake in the early afternoon so that we could arrive before golden hour and sunset and also have time to scout the location and find compositions for that perfect Switzerland landscape photo. Although it was raining, we had hopes it might clear in time for sunset.


Bachalpsee Lake Hike Switzerland
Views from the trail to Bachalpsee Lake Switzerland

The walk to the lake is 3km one way and took us about an hour and a half over a relatively flat trail most of the way. Unfortunately the weather didn't ease for us but I was so happy to see The Schreckhorn mountain pop out of the clouds every now and then and get some beautiful moody long exposure images.


The weather progressively got worse overnight so we didn't end up seeing Lake Bachalpsee for sunrise, but feel lucky to have had reflections and mountain peeps so we left happy!

 

RIFFELSEE LAKE ZERMATT SWITZLERLAND


I had seen many photos from Riffelsee Lake prior to visiting Switzerland and I knew I wanted to see this Swiss photo spot with my own eyes no matter what.


Riffelsee Lake Switzerland
Riffelsee Lake Switzerland

I didn't quite get the conditions I had dreamed of, but none the less it was an incredible sight to see the Matterhorn so close. I actually found the surrounding mountains and glaciers to be just as beautiful so to me if felt like a landscape photographers paradise up there.


Gorner Glacier Riffelsee Zermatt
The Gorner Glacier in Zermatt as seen from Riffelsee

HOW TO GET THERE AND THE PHOTOS


To get to Riffelsee Lake you will need to take the Gornergrat Bahn mountain train up to Rotenboden, and then the lake is just a 5 minute walk from the train stop. No hiking needed! The Gornergrat Bahn ticket station is location just across from the Zermatt train station.


Gorner Glacier Zermatt Switzerland
Gorner Glacier as seen from Riffelsee Zermatt

Due to timing and our schedule, we visited Riffelsee during the day and spent the afternoon up there exploring the area and then came back down in time to visit the Zermatt Matterhorn lookout for sunset and blue hour. If we had more time I would have liked to have been there for golden hour, however you need to check what time the last train leaves and make sure you don't miss it!


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Gorner Glacier Riffelsee Zermatt
Clouds blow past the Gorner Glacier from Riffelsee Zermatt
 

LAUTERBRUNNEN VALLEY SWITZERLAND


Lauterbrunnen Viewpoint Switzerland
The Lauterbrunnen village taken from the famous Lauterbrunnen Viewpoint Switzerland

Lauterbrunnen is the stunningly picturesque Swiss village that lies at the foot of the Bernese Alps in southwest Switzerland. You may have already seen pictures of it before as it has become quite an Instagram sensation for Swiss Tourism. It is of course Instagram where I first saw photos of beautiful Lauterbrunnen village with the giant waterfall and towering mountains on either side of the quaint little town, and I knew I just had to see it for myself.


Staubbach Falls Lauterbrunnen Switzerland
Staubbach Falls in Lauterbrunnen Switzerland

We only had one day and night in Lauterbrunnen and it just happened to fall during that rainy weather pattern we experienced, but I honestly think that it was perfect timing as the mood just added so much drama to the mountains and landscape scene in general.


HOW TO GET THERE AND THE PHOTOS


We drove to Lauterbrunnen in our rental car from Grindewald which only took around 30 minutes and there are also bus and train options.


Once there we headed to one of the more famous Lauterbrunnen viewpoints of the village and Staubbach waterfall, which was the scenic view directly infront of the Chalet Pironnet. This view takes in the iconic Lauterbrunnen Church, quaint village houses and of course those incredible mountains. It was absolutely breathtaking and with only a few other photographers there, a beautiful way to exploring Lauterbrunnen.


Lauterbrunnen Valley Switzerland
Elevated view of the Lauterbrunnen Valley Switzerland

With the weather being not so great we decided to take the cogwheel train from Lauterbrunnen to the carless town of Wengen to see if we could get any elevated views along the way. This was such a great experience and it was amazing to see the mountains and village from above. The train ride only takes 15 minutes and trains leave every 30 minutes during the day.

 

ROSENLAUI SWITZERLAND


Rosenlaui Valley in the Jungfrau region was one of the first locations we visited on our trip to Switzerland and it was such a beautiful little place to get a real taste of rural Switzerland. For that reason I really wanted to add it to this Must See Photo Spots in Switzerland because it was so different to what we had experienced at the Schafler Ridge Hike.


HOW TO GET THERE AND THE PHOTOS


We woke up early to capture the sunrise at Rosenlaui, with the river in the foreground and the incredible Bernese Alps and Rosenlaui glacier in the background. We found a spot just down the road from the Rosenlaui Hotel near a small bridge that crossed over to a few village houses. The River acted as the leading line to the mountains and honestly they were huge as we stood in front of them.


The Rosenlaui alpine valley offers such stunning view of the glacier among the peaks of the Bernese Alps. We found ourselves pulling over in our rental car quite a few times to take photos of the mountains and surrounding forest. It is well worth a visit and definitely a Switzerland landscape photo to add to your portfolio.


You can either drive or bus to Rosenlaui and it takes around 1 hour 45 minutes from Zurich.


 

Thanks so much for taking to time to read my Top 7 Must See Photo Spots in Switzerland. I hope it helps with your planning of an epic adventure for Switzerland Photography and inspires you to visit this beautiful country soon.


If you are interested in prints of any of the Landscape Photography seen in this blog, please feel free to head on over to my Photography Print Store and have a little look around.



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