The small fishing village of Iseltwald, Switzerland, is home to just about 400 people. Located on the southern shore of Lake Brienz, it’s long been quiet and uneventful, rarely visited by outsiders — until a popular South Korean TV show put it on the map for global travelers, practically overnight.
Since September 2022, Iseltwald has been hosting massive numbers of Asian tourists, mostly from South Korea and Southeast Asia. The volume of day-trippers has become so intense — sometimes outnumbering locals — that the village launched a double-decker bus service this month to ferry them to the scenic spots they come to see.
That’s thanks to the popular K-drama "Crash Landing on You," which Nielsen Korea ranks as South Korea’s fourth-most-viewed TV show in history. After it debuted in 2019, a steady international rollout on Netflix Inc. snowballed the show’s audience. The show’s narrative is set in North Korea, where production was not possible; instead, many scenes were shot in Switzerland. A particularly pivotal scene takes place at Lake Brienz, whose stunning turquoise waters, flanked by mountains, are now etched in viewers’ minds.