Discover The Unexpected in Gruyères, Switzerland

Gruyères, Switzerland: One of those delightful place that I completely adore after visiting this medieval town. Gruyères is in in the French-speaking canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. It’s famous for, you guessed it… Gruyère cheese!

This medieval town is one of the most scenic areas in Switzerland and is filled with museums, restaurants, a 13th century castle and much more. This whole town will make you feel like you have stepped back into the  Medieval past. The town is named after a founder, Gruerius. He captured a crane and made it his symbolic animal (in French, the bird is called a “grue”). This town is small so it can easily be explored on foot.

How did I find this town?

I was visiting Bern for our summer vacation and wanted to visit a medieval town. I was so elated when I discovered, not only Gruyères but ‘Mid-Summer’s Day Festival at the Castle’ happening that weekend.

‘Mid-Summer’s Day Festival at the Castle’ 

On the grounds of the fairytale castle of Gruyère, this place was transformed into a medieval playground for midsummer fun on St John’s Day ( June 22nd and 23rd). Tailors, potters, bakers, blacksmiths and weavers were a sight to see while acrobats, jugglers and musicians entertain the crowds. Sadly, we didn’t have time to stay for the evening dance in the square, where costumed duos take to the floor. In addition, a bonfire that couples jump over three times to bless their union.  The admission for adults is 15 CHF equivalent to $15 but if you have a Swiss Travel Pass, it’s free.

Gruyères Castle is a classic landmark and this fortress from the Middle Ages currently holds a museum, art exhibitions, and theatrical showings. You are welcome to explore the castle on your own or discover its history with a fascinating multimedia show as wells as special tours based on your needs. Wander through the French garden and the majestic views of the surrounding town.

Gruyères Castle
The garden of Gruyères Castle
Behind me is St. Theodul’s church (Église Saint-Théodule), which dates back to 1254

Inside Gruyères Castle


The tour of this facility is self-guided. A great way to spend an hour or so to find out how cheese was made. People found this fascinating and interesting facts about the whole cheese-making process. You’re given a headset in your chosen language and walked through the facilities with a narration by “Cerise”, a friendly Swiss cow.

Marvel at HR Giger Museum and Bar

The HR Giger Museum is a museum created by the Swiss artist/sculptor/set designer Hans Ruedi Giger. He was part of the special effects team that won an Academy Award for design work on the film Alien. Here you will find his “largest and most impressive collection” since 1998. The floor devoted to Alien is magnificent. It’s so great to see his Academy Award.

HR Giger Museum

Across the street from the museum there is also an “Alien Bar,” a rather otherworldly creepy interior design (based on Giger’s works) of a bone throne, and visitors are inside the womb of a mythical beast.

Stop by Tibet Museum

A small museum with an excellent collection of old Tibetan artifacts (mostly life collection of Buddhas and other Tibetan iconography. The museum houses around 300 fascinating collections. Once you enter, you will feel at peace,  very serene with classical music playing in the background.

Enjoy Swiss traditional dishes: Fondue and Raclette

There are several restaurants and cafes that leads up to the castle where you can have lunch or dinner. We chose Restaurant des Remparts. It was a Swiss gastronomic experience in this lovely restaurant served by staff dressed in medieval costume. The views out the windows were exceptional. If you sit out in the patio, a great place to people watch.

view from Restaurant des Remparts.

Thanks for reading!


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