1. Spiez Castle
Spiez is among the oldest of Switzerland’s historic castles. Originally built in 933, the castle has undergone many changes and additions throughout the ensuing centuries, as can be seen in the wide variety of architectural styles with which it has been constructed. Spiez actually started out its life as an Italian castle, when this western region of modern day Switzerland was owned by its southern neighbors.
2. Castello di Montebello
The old Swiss canton of Ticino was protected by three castles, one of which is this glorious Montebello fortress. You can enjoy some wonderful panoramic views of the Bellinzona hills as you stroll along the beautifully maintained paths. The castle itself was built during the 14th century, before being expanded in the 15th and renovated in the 20th.
3. Vufflens Castle
This amazing 15th century castle dominates the village of Vufflens. Its tall central tower can be seen from all around. The castle was originally constructed during the late Middle Ages. Unfortunately, the castle is not open to the public, since it's privately owned. However, you are free to stroll close to the nearby vineyards to take in some stunning views of the chateau.
4. Rapperswil Castle
Although this Swiss castle is surrounded by Lake Zurich, it is now maintained as the Polish National Museum, thanks to a curious recent history that saw the once dilapidated castle restored by a Polish émigré. Inside you can get a close look at the old medieval dungeons.
Castelgrande is another of the three fortresses of Bellinzona. It’s striking black and white towers jut out proudly over the town center below. You can access the castle by stairs or elevator, which make this such an easy to explore place. The castle is open all year, and features two restaurants and a lush green courtyard.
6. Tourbillon Castle
A steep climb may be required, but the views from this Middle Age masterpiece are surely worth it. Although the castle is now mostly ruins, thanks to a terrible fire that lay waste to the old fortress during the late eighteenth century. Miraculously, a tiny 15th century chapel did survive the fire unharmed.
7. Aigle Castle
In the middle of the vineyards located close to Lake Geneva lies Aigle Castle, which was built by Knights during Medieval times. This 12th century castle has only been open to the public since the 1970s, being used as the Vine and Wine Museum. Inside you can view original paintings from the 16th and 17th century.
8. Oberhofen Castle
Lake Thun is made all the more fairytale by the appearance of this 13th century castle. Oberhofen, though, has been augmented throughout the years, and this shows in the various styles, which include Romanesque frescoes and a Turkish smoking parlor. The rooms and gardens have all been carefully restored to their original grandeur.
9. Tarasp Castle
Tarasp castle, in the village of the same name, sits atop a hill, providing lucky visitors with sensational views of the lakes and Alpine mountains that make Switzerland so rightly famous. However, the 11th century castle was originally part of Austria. Although the citadel is privately owned and, thus, off-limits, you can still visit lots of other rooms, including the chapel, by attending a scheduled tour.
10. Chateau de Chillon
Chillon is Switzerland’s most visited and celebrated castle, and it’s not hard to understand why. The castle sits on a rocky islet in the midst of Lake Geneva. It was originally used between the 12th and 16th centuries by the Counts of Savoy to control the sea traffic of the lake. Although you might be bedazzled by the story book charm of the castle, you may be surprised to learn that this was once a fearsome state prison.