Leysin American School Blog

11 Best Day Trips from Leysin

Posted by Veronika R. '15 on 08/05/17 13:43

Leysin, Switzerland is located within the Alpine region of the Canton of Vaud. Situated high above the eastern tip of Lake Geneva, Leysin is the perfect base location to reach many popular destinations within just a day. 

Students at Leysin American School and Summer in Switzerland have many opportunities to visit these cities on the weekend through many cultural trips!

Check out our recommendations for the top 11 day trips from Leysin!


Photo by: Jeremy Grasset

1. Montreux

On Lake Geneva sits Montreux, a town most notable for the number of rock star residents who’ve lived here including David Bowie, Freddie Mercury and Shania Twain. During an excursion to Montreux discover the Chillon Castle, which is a medieval monument. Thanks to the castle’s colorful history it is one of the most visited castles in all of Europe. If you are into music, the Montreux Jazz Festival, held each July, is the world’s second largest jazz festival. Each year at the Mercatino di Natale di Montreux, translated as the Montreux Christmas Market, 150 chalets line Lake Geneva in full holiday regala.


Photo by: Lonely Planet

2. Lausanne

Take a weekend trip to Lausanne where the Olympic Museum showcases more than 10,000 artifacts. More than a quarter million people visit the museum annually. Lausanne, which has been host of the International Olympic Committee for more than 20 years, is called the Olympic Capital, so it’s fitting that the Olympic Museum be located there. While in Lausanne make your way to the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne, built in Gothic style in 1275. If you are a nature lover, check out the Cantonal Botanical Museum and Gardens located in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland, including Lausanne. Shopping is a major draw for tourism in Lausanne, featuring designer clothing stores, luxury watchmakers, open-air markets and more.


Photo by: World All & Details

3. Vevey

Located on Lake Geneva in the town of Vevey is the Alimentarium Food Museum, the first in the world. Be ready for gastronomical delights, food tastings, cooking classes and tours of one of the world’s best vegetable gardens. Continue the museum tour with a visit to the Swiss Museum of Games where you can rent games to play as a group. If you want to enjoy the summer sun rent a paddle boat and take a tour of Lake Geneva. Before you leave Vevey purchase some chocolate from Confiseur Laderach’s Chocolate Experience.

Download our 2017 SIS Brochure Information on dates, cultural trips, and more!


Photo by: World All & Details

4. Interlaken

One of the most picturesque resort towns in the Swiss Alps is Interlaken. This mountain town attracts annual visitors from all over the world. Visitors indulge in a variety of outdoor activities including paragliding, kayaking, canoeing and white water rafting. You can also go on cave excursions that carry you far beneath the Alps and deep within caves with names including Grindelwald, Spiez and Beatenberg-Niederhorn. Lauterbrunnen Valley nearby offers cable car runs featuring views of the Bernesse Alps, as well as Trummelbach Falls with its glacier waters, which is quite the outdoors experience.


Photo by: Reddit

5. Sion

A 7,000 year old city, Sion, Switzerland is easy to identify thanks to its twin peaks topped with the Castle of Valeria and high towers of Castle Tourbilllon. Explore both castles. While in Valere Castle take a look at one of the oldest playable organs in the world at the Castle Church of Valeria. For a historical perspective go to the Museum of Archaeology where you will discover more about the medieval days of the city. If you’re feeling extra adventurous go zip lining through the Alps with Parc Adventure.


Photo by: Paradise in the World

6. Geneva

A trip to Geneva, Switzerland and the United Nation headquarters, is a course in history itself. Explore the Gothic style of the St. Pierre Cathedral. belonging to the Reformed Protestant Church of Geneva. This is a sacred holy site where John Calvin was a member. You can still see his wooden chair inside of the cathedral. While you are in a historical jaunt check out the Jet d’Eau water fountain in Geneva, one of the most memorable landmarks of this great European city. At the Patek Philippe Museum you can dream about your next professional timepiece with this famous Swiss watchmaker’s exhibits. Finish up your history lesson with a trip to the Museum of Art and History, aka Musee d’Art et d’Histoire, which is Geneva’s largest art museum. After a jam packed day of exploring Geneva, finish the fun with one of five room escape games. Names like the Secret Chamber and Trip Trap include maze-like rooms that you are trapped in until you figure out the secret exit.


Photo by: myswitzerland.com

7. Gruyères

When you first hear the name Gruyeres, your taste buds might salivate at the idea of creamy Gruyères cheese. Yes, you must try the cheese and what a finer establishment for cheese tasting than the Fromagerie d'Alpage de Moleson. If you are feeling rather brave take a ride up a funicular, or cliff side cable car, along the Funiculaire Moleson sur Gruyeres for a bird’s eye view of the town. Include a tour of the 13th century Gruyeres Castle. While this structure is not made from cheese it is one of the most famous castles in Switzerland. Mark this medieval times castle into your must-see list.


Photo by: myswitzerland.com

8. Neuchatel

In Neuchatel canton of western Switzerland you will experience the natural beauty and historic charm of this French site. Begin your tour at the Creux du Van, a semi-circular shaped rock cliff that looks to be a naturally formed amphitheater. The interesting landscape is the perfect home for ibex, which climb the eroded rock wall with ease. At The Collegiale church, explore a 12th century Gothic style church with outstanding acoustics. If you are in luck you will be able to enjoy a concert at the Collegiale church. The Chaumont Panoramic Funicular Railway will carry you far above the lake of Neuchatel with an ascent up the mouth of the Neuchatelois. Continue the scenic experience with a stroll through the Botanical Garden Neuchatel. The garden presents the prime opportunity to discover local flora and fauna, while learning about the environment.


Photo by: Paradise in the World

9. Bern,


In the Swiss capital of Bern you can expect to see all sorts of interesting things. Start your adventures with the Bärengraben, which translates literally as Bear Pit. This is a major tourist attraction featuring an enclosure of brown bears and it is actually a Swiss heritage site with national importance. The bear is featured on the Bern coat of arms and is a symbol of the city. For a less daring excursion make your way over to the Swiss Alpine Museum. The museum is famous for its changing exhibits on mountain themes. If you are interested in modern or contemporary art, pencil in a tour of Kunsthalle Bern, a contemporary art venue offering tours. Plan to kick back and relax at Moossee, a lake in Bern that is popular for golfing and camping.


Photo by: yvoire-france.com

10. Yvoire,


Yvoire is a medieval village located along Lake Geneva, most famous for its Labyrinth Garden of Five Senses. One of the most well manicured and stocked gardens in all of Europe, the Labyrinth Garden of Five Senses allows you to use your five senses to experience nature among more than 1,300 different species of plants. Inhale the fragrances, listen to the local fauna call, touch plants without recourse, and taste fruits and vegetables processed into jams and jellies. At Yvoire castle the enchantment continues. Here is a fortified medieval village free of modern day traffic. Take a ferry into Yvoire for the complete experience. While in Yvoire check out the Church of Saint Pancras and the House of Yvoire’s history. Savor fish from Lake Geneva and enjoy numerous other possibilities to feed your appetite.


Photo by: eiski.net

11. Chamonix,France

Chamonix is the location of the first ever Winter Olympics from 1924. It is most famous for being one of France’s oldest ski resorts also known as the getaway to the European Cascades. The most impressive peak of Aiguille du Midi begs your attention. Enjoy helicopter tours, parasailing and paragliding from the mountains, or take a saunter along Lac Blanc where hiking is pristine. If you are feeling more adventurous, go for a ride at the Parc de loisirs de Chamonix. Finish your trip with a tour of the Musee des Cristaux, followed by a fantastic meal at the La Tablee. 

Topics: Travel

Why Leysin American School?

Welcome to Leysin American School, a school with “family” values. Located in the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps, Leysin American School has a history of nurturing talent and motivating students to succeed in education, sports and arts. We bring together students from around the world to create a campus community with a global perspective and a family atmosphere.

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