Switzerland is famous for its fondue and good-quality chocolate, but most of all, for its absolutely breathtaking landscapes. Sion (also known as Sitten) is a town located in the southwest of Switzerland. It is the capital of the canton of Valais, in the valley of the Rhône. This particular part of the region shares a border with France, thus making French its main language and German its second. It is the perfect destination for a trip in the midst of nature which is also rich with history. Being Switzerland’s third-largest wine-producing region and home to many historical castles and ruins, Sion is a beautiful getaway waiting to be explored. Read about the best things to do in Sion, Switzerland below.
1. Admire the views from above at Château de Tourbillon
Built approximately between the 11th and 12th centuries, Château de Tourbillon (Tourbillon Castle) has been through several rebellions, revolutions, as well as a fire, but maintained its status as an important military location for several centuries before being deemed a Swiss national heritage site. Its restoration was completed in 1996, and today the site can be accessed by a healthy hike from the town centre.
Château de Tourbillon
Address: Chemin de la Poudrière 24, 1950 Sion, Switzerland
Website: Bourgeoisie de Sion
Opening hours: 11am - 5pm (daily)
2. Explore Sion through the ages at Basilique de Valère
On your way up (or down) from Château de Tourbillon, you can stop by Basilique de Valère (Valère Basilica). These two are arguably the most famous and important landmarks in Sion and they sit on hills facing each other. The basilica is a fortified church and the earliest records of it date back to the 9th century. Here, while you explore the Romanesque-style architecture and the Gothic vaults, you can also take a peek at the Valère organ. This organ is thought to have been made in the 13th century, making it one of the oldest functioning organs in the world. Be sure to stop by the Museum of Archaeology inside the basilica as well.
Basilique de Valère
Address: Rue des Châteaux, 1950 Sion, Switzerland
Website: Basilique de Valère
Opening hours: 11am - 6pm (daily)
Price: Basilica: Free; Museum: 8 CHF (8 USD) for adults, 4 CHF (4USD) for children and seniors, 16 CHF (16 USD) for families
3. Try the famous Sion wine at Les Fils de Charles Favre
If you consider yourself to be even a little bit of a wine connoisseur, Sion’s wine is something that cannot be missed. At Les Fils de Charles Favre, you can visit the cellar and have a taste of some of the finest Swiss wines. If you are a fan of white wine, you’re in luck because their 2018 vintage wines Johannisberg Hurlevent and Dame de Sion Fendant du Valais won gold medals in the 2019 Swiss Wine Grand Prix. The red wine is also notably good; the Pinot Noir de Sion and Pinot Noir de Sierre are two top-selling wines here. Les Fils de Charles is a big crowd favourite as it offers quality wine at affordable prices. When visiting the winery you can try the wines with a tasting board or with Swiss chocolate.
Les Fils de Charles Favre Winery
Address: Avenue de Tourbillon 29, 1950 Sion, Switzerland
Website: Les Fils de Charles Favre
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7:30am - 12pm, 1pm - 5:30pm; Sat: 9am - 12:30pm, 1:30pm - 5pm (closed on Sun)
4. Take a stroll around Maison de la Nature
http://siontourisme.ch/index.php/fr/sports-et-loisirs/montorge-maison-de-la-nature Lac de Montorge Photo Lumiere.chPosted by Sion, ma ville on Saturday, 18 March 2017
Maison de la Nature (Nature House) is situated right on the banks of the lake, Lac de Mont d'Orge. Abundant with flora and fauna, you can take a moment to appreciate all the beautiful Swiss wildlife here. This year, Maison de la Nature is celebrating its thirtieth year, and so they have a special exhibition including a short film about its history as well as a treasure hunt around the lake. It is something perfect for all ages!
Maison de la Nature
Address: Rue de St Guérin 3, 1950 Sion, Switzerland
Website: Maison de la Nature
Opening hours: Tue - Thu, Sat - Sun: 2pm - 6pm; Fri: 11am - 6pm (closed on Mon)
5. Dine in paradise at La Sitterie
In the north part of Sion, you can find La Sitterie, a small house that has been refurbished into a restaurant. Known for its lovely garden, you can enjoy your meal amidst the beautiful flowers and plants surrounding the terrace. La Sitterie prides itself on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients from the Alps, and therefore is constantly changing its menu in accordance with the season. Do note that you will need to call to make a reservation.
Address: Route du Rawyl 41, 1950 Sion, Switzerland
Website: La Sitterie
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 11am - 3pm, 6pm - 12am (closed on Mon & Sun)
6. Have fun and get active at Domaine des Îles
A family-friendly park, Domaine des Îles is stocked with a camping area, barbecues, picnic areas, and restaurants. It also hosts a huge amount of activities. From slack-lining to mini-golf, beach volleyball to tennis–there’s sure to be something for everyone. During the summer, you can swim in the lakes, and in winter you can even go cross-country skiing; truly, it is a wonderful park that can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
Domaine des Îles
Address: Route des Iles, 1950 Sion, Switzerland
Website: Domaine des Îles
Opening hours: 7am - 12am (daily)
7. Taste some local brews at Valaisanne
Although Sion is first and foremost known for being a wine region, the award-winning beers from Valaisanne have been satisfying beer lovers for over 150 years. Founded by a Dutch pharmacist in 1865, Valaisanne is the oldest brewery in the canton of Valais. In recent years, a microbrewery was created to allow visitors and regulars to try limited edition and experimental brews.
Address: Route du Rawyl 30, 1950 Sion, Switzerland
Opening hours: Taproom (for tastings): Thu - Fri: 5:30pm - 8:30pm; Sat: 2:30pm - 8:30pm (closed from Sun - Wed); Brasserie (restaurant): Tue - Sat: 10:30am - 8:30pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
8. Reach new heights at RealFly
Want to do something adventurous but stay indoors? Created in 2013, RealFly is Switzerland’s first indoor skydiving simulator. The 24-metre (79 feet) free-fall simulator is one of the biggest in the world and can accommodate up to eight people at once so you can fly with your friends and family. There is also a bar on site where you can take a break while your friends fly. You can now also experience absolute immersion and add a virtual reality headset to your flying experience.
RealFly Indoor Skydiving
Address: Rue de la Drague 58, 1950 Sion, Switzerland
Opening hours: Mon, Wed - Fri: 2pm - 7:30pm; Sat 10:30am - 7:30pm; Sun: 10:30am - 6:30pm
Price: From 75 CHF (75 USD)
9. Discover the hidden gem of Sion, Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Sion
Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Sion, also known as Cathédrale de Notre-Dame du Glacier (Sion Cathedral), is tucked away in the town centre. While often overshadowed by the fame of the basilica, the cathedral is something that cannot be missed. Its beautiful stained glass and simple yet elegant architecture make it an unforgettable landmark. It is a perfect place to take a moment that’s peacefully quiet.
Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Sion
Address: Rue de la Cathédrale 13, 1950 Sion, Switzerland
Website: Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Sion
10. Tee off at Golf Club de Sion
Located just outside of the city, Sion Golf Club is surrounded by exceptional scenery. The castle, the basilica as well as vineyards create the perfect environment to practice your swing. Sion Golf Club is one of the only golf clubs in Switzerland that is open year-round. It was designed by renowned Swiss golf architect, Peter Harradine in 1995. It is a great field if you’re a seasoned golfer, or even if you just want to give it a whack. The club hosts several competitions a month for all ages and these have open applications. After your game, you can relax and have a meal in the restaurant or visit the pro shop to see what you can stock up on.
Golf Club de Sion
Address: Route de Vissigen 150, 1950 Sion, Switzerland
Website: Golf Club de Sion
Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)
Price: From 70 CHF (70 USD) for 9 holes, 5 CHF (5 USD) for the driving range
A holiday for everyone in Sion
Sion is a beautiful town waiting to be discovered! Although often overshadowed by larger Swiss cities, what Sion has that other places may not, is the lovely balance of calm nature and exciting activities. Boasting its beautiful landscapes, architecture, and gastronomy, it has a bit of everything for everyone. Try these things to do in Sion and see for yourself!
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