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: Switzerland - Much More Than the Euro 2008 As I am sure, all football fans know that one of the co-hosts of the Euro 2008 is Switzerland. The matches will be played in Bern, Zurich, Geneva and Basel. I also think that some


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Switzerland - Much More Than the Euro 2008
As I am sure, all football fans know that one of the co-hosts of the Euro 2008 is Switzerland. The matches will be played in Bern, Zurich, Geneva and Basel. I also think that some of you will want to look around these cities and visit some beautiful places, except the football stadiums. That’s why I am writing this article – I want to point out some places in Switzerland, worth visiting.

Berne is perhaps the most popular city in the country and also its capital. Its Old Town is a protected heritage site by UNESCO and both its parts (western and eastern) are very beautiful. One can visit the Cathedral of St. Vincent (The Münster) from the 15th century. There you can see an outstanding tympanum over the main door, which depicts the Last Judgment and has more than 200 figures. Also interesting is the Bundeshaus – the Federal Palace in Renaissance style. A landmark of the town is Zytgloggeturm (Clock Tower), dating back to the 12th century. Four minutes before every hour, lost of mechanical puppets make a great show for the crowd around the clock. Other places worth visiting are Kunstmuseum (Fine Arts Museum), Botanischer Garten (Botanical Garden), Nydegg Castle, Kindlifresserbrunnen (Ogre Fountain) and more.

Zurich is also a very popular place in Switzerland – the largest city and the capital of the Zurich canton. Its Old Town is very beautiful, located on the banks of the Limmat River with lots of medieval buildings and narrow streets. If you like nature you can go to the Zoologischer Garten (Zoological Garden) and the Botanischer Garten (Zurich Botanic Garden). The Botanical Garden contains more than 15 000 living plants and its herbarium has the amazing 3 million plants. One should not miss the beautiful Grossmünster Cathedral – some parts of it dating from the 11th century. Its 3 storey towers also offer some gorgeous views of the city. Schloss Kyburg is also a recommended place – the biggest castle in the eastern part of the country. It now houses a museum with art and armor from the Middle Ages. You can also visit the Urania Observatory, Landesmuseum (Swiss National Museum), Uetliberg and many more.

Geneve yet another important centre in Switzerland, located in its south-western part. The city is near Lake Geneva, between the Alps and the Jura Mountains. Palais des Nations houses the headquarters of the United Nations and is the second largest building in Europe. It is open for visit and there are guided tours available. Just across the entrance you will find another interesting place – the Musée International de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge (International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum). There you will experience the history of the Red Cross from its founding in 1863 till present times. Maison Tavel is the oldest house in Geneva (14th century) and is now open as a museum. From Mont Salève and Mont Blanc one can enjoy some amazing views of Geneve and its surroundings.

Last but not least, Basle is another city from the Euro 2008. The settlement is very old and is still the most important cultural centre of Switzerland. It is located on the Rhine River, surrounded by the Jura Mountains. In Basel there are numerous galleries and museums, but you can go to Kunstmuseum (Fine Arts Museum), Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Museum for Contemporary Art), Foundation Beyeler (a gallery of modern art), Historisches Museum Barfüsserplatz and Kunsthalle (also a gallery). Spalentor (Spalen Gate) is a gate from the 15th century which marks the end of the medieval part of the city. Münster (Basel Cathedral) is also very popular, built in the 11th century. It offers some beautiful views of the Rhine River, Germany and Pfalz (the palace).

This is where my list of nice places to visit in Switzerland ends. Of course, there are numerous other interesting sites in the country – one could say that every corner of Switzerland is beautiful. I do hope I was helpful to those who would like to see more than the football games.

Ivaylo Yordanov is the author and can provide you with additional tourist info about Switzerland - use the Contact Us page of the site below. Additionally, more comprehensive information is available at and

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