Zürich is a city whose reputation precedes it - and does it a complete disservice, trashes its name, gives it a good kicking. A boring banking capital? 'Zu Reich' (too rich), business-minded and uptight? The spotless Singapore of Europe? If Switzerland's largest metropolis once lived down to those dull descriptions, it certainly no longer does.
With museums galore, a scenic setting on the Rhine and one of Europe's best winter carnivals, Basel makes an appealing stopover, especially for lovers of art and contemporary urban design. The city's year-round attractions, including the engaging Old Town, are mostly concentrated in Grossbasel (Greater Basel) on the south bank of the Rhine.
This hilly city (pronounced loh-san), Switzerland’s fourth largest and the capital of the canton of Vaud, enjoys a blessed lakeside location. The medieval centre is dominated by a grand Gothic cathedral, while the rest of the city boasts unique museums devoted to interests as diverse as Art Brut and the Olympics.