Nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps lies Sion, the capital of the Valais Canton in Switzerland. Known for its historical riches, spectacular landscapes, and some of the highest vineyards in Europe, the town is a hub of culture, history, and natural splendor. Sion boasts numerous castles, churches, museums, and charming old town streets, making it an irresistible destination for travellers with an appetite for discovery.
Sion’s history dates back more than 6,000 years, making it one of the oldest towns in Switzerland. Since the prehistoric era, the town has been coveted by different cultures and empires due to its strategic location and fertile lands. It emerged as an ecclesiastical center in medieval times. Although much development occurred during the 20th century, one can still marvel at the town’s history through the preserved architectural marvels and local folklore.
1. Valere Basilica: Dominating Sion’s cityscape, the Valere Basilica is home to the world’s oldest playable organ dating back to the 14th century. The castle also houses the Valais history museum.
2. Sion Cathedral: The iconic Cathedral of Our Lady of Sion is worth a visit for its impressive architectural style and the panoramic view over the old town and the Rhone valley from its tower.
3. Tourbillon Castle: Tourbillon Castle, one of the most important historical sites in Sion, is known for its stunning chapel painted with medieval murals.
4. The Great Dixence Dam: A tour to the world’s highest gravity dam is not to be missed. It offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
5. Maison Supersaxo: A unique example of late Gothic residential architecture, the Maison Supersaxo is located in the old town and it attracts with its trefoil windows and cultural richness.
6. Museum of Art: Boasting an extensive collection of contemporary Art, the Museum is a must-visit for Art lovers.
7. Archaeological Park: Here you can explore ancient Roman ruins that tell a fascinating story about Sion’s past.
8. Natural History Museum: This museum offers a wide-range collection from alpine fauna to minerals and is perfect for a family outing.
9. Montorge Lake: This lake located on the hill above Sion offers peace and tranquility, worth a visit for nature lovers.
10. Old Town: The charming narrow streets, colorful houses, and old-world allure of the old town are not to be missed.
1. Le Mont-Blanc: Known for its traditional Swiss cuisine- particularly the fondue, this restaurant offers you a true taste of Valais on a plate.
2. Didier de Courten Restaurant: Offering the sophisticated dining experience, Didier de Courten offers innovative culinary interpretation of local ingredients.
3. Le Bisse: Le Bisse is a haven for foodies with a preference for organic, locally-sourced ingredients crafted into innovative dishes.
4. Restaurant le Belvédère: Known for its stunning view over Sion’s landscape, their specialty is modern Swiss and international cuisine.
5. Hostellerie du Pas de l’Ours: A rustic yet elegant restaurant offering fine dining, with highlights
including foie gras and truffle dishes.
6. Brasserie Le Ritz: This laid-back brasserie offers a place to unwind with a menu that includes tapas, beef tartare, and local beers.
7. Le Tsaté: Specializing in Valais dishes, this dining place is loved for its cozy atmosphere.
8. Le Dönerie: For those who crave for Turkish treats in Sion, this place with its generous portions is a must-visit.
9. La Pergola: Serving Italian cuisine, it’s known for pizza, pasta and the cozy ambiance.
10. Les Vieux Remparts: Awesome views, friendly service, and scrumptious steak – this place is highly recommended.
1. Guillaume Tell: A perfect place for beer enthusiasts to enjoy local and international varieties.
2. Le Farinet: Known for live music and DJ evenings, this place has an electrifying atmosphere.
3. La Grande Marmite: This laid-back pub offers a variety of beers and wines and a pool table for entertainment.
4. Duchesse: For cocktail enthusiasts, this bar offers inventive concoctions in a trendy setting.
5. La Suite Lounge Bar: The place for premium drinks and sophisticated decor making it an ideal spot for a night out.
6. Bar à Vins Le Verre à Pied: Focusing on regional wines, this bar offers an authentic Sion night-time experience.
7. Eldorado Bar: Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and a wide range of drinks in this popular local spot.
8. Baramix: The place to go if you are a fan of rock music and cheap beer.
9. L’Apocalypse Bar: A popular dance club where you can dance the night away.
10. Bar Le Drink: A laid-back spot with a pool table and a fun-loving crowd is always a good choice.
1. Le Nouvo Bourg: A popular venue for performances ranging from classical concerts to contemporary dance.
2. Médiathèque Valais: This venue offers various types of workshops, exhibitions and cultural events for all age groups.
3. Sion Summer Festival: A renowned event showcasing local talents in music, dance, and theatre.
4. Bains de Saillon: Relax in thermal baths with wellness activities.
5. Sion Wine Tour: Sion is wine country. A wine tour is the best way to explore local vineyards and enjoy wine tastings.
6. Caprices Festival: A music festival famous for showcasing mainstream and emerging artists.
7. Golf Club Sion: To relax, enjoy a round of golf while soaking up the breathtaking view of the mountains.
8. Marché du Vendredi: Experience the local market for some of the freshest produce, local cheeses, and home-made crafts.
9. Winter Sports: Sion offers access to many ski resorts to enjoy winter sports activities.
10. The Old Town Tours: The old town holds many secrets and surprises. Embark on a walking tour to explore the historical richness of Sion.
Living in Sion
1. Vieille Ville: Living in the Old Town imbues daily life with a historical charm. Its narrow cobbled streets and traditional style houses offer a unique ambiance.
2. Plantzette: It’s perfect for families, offering green spaces and modern apartments.
3. Malacotta: Known for its cultural diversity, Malacotta has a blend of new apartments and traditional Swiss-style homes.
4. St-Guérin: The area is known for its calm atmosphere and close proximity to quality schools.
5. La Sitterie: Home to young professionals and students, this vibrant area boasts modern condos and a selection of eateries and shops.
From its undeniable historical charm, a thriving food and drink scene, to active outdoor pursuits, Sion is a must-visit destination. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, foodie or wine connoisseur, Sion offers a distinct and different experience for everyone. Come and immerse yourself in the Swiss charm, history, culture, and picturesque views of Sion, where every season unveils a different appeal and warmth.
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