Best of Switzerland In A Week - Flexible Itinerary

  • Post by Apoorva Shetty
  • Mar 03, 2020
Best of Switzerland In A Week - Flexible Itinerary Header Image

What to do in Switzerland?

This Itinerary Contains

Awesome Daily Plans

Timed Visits

Selected Ticket Links

Daily Costs (Per Person)

Interactive Map

Variable Days

βœ… The Perfect Swiss Itinerary- Flexible, day to day itinerary of the best things to do when in Switzerland

Zurich is the largest and busiest of Swiss cities, and is well-connected with the rest of the world. If arriving by flight or train, Zurich is most often the port of entry. This itinerary takes into consideration that you would arrive in Zurich and depart back from here again.

Depending on your travel arrangements, if you have less or more time, make changes to your plan as necessary. Sections highlighting itinerary for flexible days are provided in the end covering most of the famous places to visit in Switzerland.

How to Travel Around?

The best and suggested way of travelling in Switzerland is via trains. Running on a timely schedule, Swiss trains run by SBB are a class apart. Wonderful views coupled with the interconnected framework of rails make it the ideal choice. Switzerland is a small country and most places are easily accessible at an average of 1.5 hrs.

❕ Few words you need to know before you visit to ease your travel:

  • Bahn - Train
  • Bahnhof - Railway station
  • Hauptbahnhof (HB) - Main (Central) Railway Station
  • Straße (strasse) - street or road

If you are planning a trip for 7 days

Day 1 : Arrive in Zurich, Head to Lucerne

Zurich

Zurich the biggest city in Switzerland, is one of the most posh places in the world. There are lots of things to see here like museums, churches, parks and lakes. It is famous for its Bahnhofstrasse which is one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues.

Spend some time here if you want (you will come back and explore Zurich during the end of your trip) and head over to the next destination:

🚩 Places to visit: Bahnhofstrasse

Lucerne

Arrive in Lucerne. You are welcomed by the arch outside the Lucerne main station. Take in the views of the city and head to your hotel and check-in. The day is at leisure to explore this lovely city or visit some of the famous landmarks in Lucerne. Enjoy the evening by the Lake Lucerne with the company of swans and ducks. There is a nice area called Europaplatz where you can relax with some food by the lake and watch the town and people pass by.

🚩 Places to visit:

πŸ“ The Chapel Bridge (KapellbrΓΌcke): The oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe as well as the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge.
πŸ“ The Lion Monument: The Lion Monument, or the Lion of Lucerne commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution.
πŸ“ Swiss Transport Museum: The Swiss Transport Museum or Verkehrshaus der Schweiz in Lucerne exhibits all forms of transport, including locomotive, automobiles, ships, and aircraft as well as communication technology. It is Switzerland’s most popular museum.
πŸ“ The IMAX Theatre: Exploring a strange world in cinema, seeing the very small in close up, the very large in its true size and experiencing a whole new film dimension.

πŸ›Œ Stay overnight at Lucerne.

Day 2 : A splendid day in Lucerne/Interlaken

You have 2 options for the day- both are equally good. I would suggest Option 1.

Option 1: Stay in Lucerne and take the majestic round trip to Mount Rigi

Wake up early and take in the morning vibes of Lucerne. After getting ready, and checking the live webcam feed of the mountaintop, head over to the Lucerne Pier and take a cruise to Vitznau. From there head over to Mount Rigi via mountain railway. Enjoy most of the day there. Have some food at the mountaintop restaurant with killer views of Lucerne. Explore the hiking trails around Mount Rigi. You can also take some snacks to enjoy a picnic in the green pastures.

Take the entire day to feel the mountain air. When you are done, return to Lucerne via Arth-Goldau. Once back in Lucerne, explore the streets around and stroll around.

If you want to explore other amazing mountaintop options nearby, feel free to do so. There are a couple of other mountains nearby such as Pilatus and Titlis. Find the right mountain for yourself: Titlis, Pilatus and Rigi compared , and choose the one that best suits your liking.

πŸ›Œ Stay overnight at Lucerne.

Option 2: Head to Interlaken and cruise over Lake Brienz

If you would like to head over to Interlaken right away and start exploring the mountains there, then proceed to the station and take your train to Interlaken. Arrive at Interlaken and check-in.

You can take the rest of the day to explore Interlaken or take a cruise on Lake Brienz to the town of Brienz and head over to Aare Gorge in Meiringen. The Aare Gorge (German: Aareschlucht) is a section of the river Aare that carves through a limestone ridge with a walkway open to the public. Spend some time there and return to Interlaken.

If you have less time, just hop on the cruise in Lake Brienz or Lake Thun. The cruises will take you around the lake while stopping at small towns on the lakeshore. Lake Thun has a couple of Castles around and you can check them out from the cruise.

Note: The cruises stop operating by early evening, so it is suggested that you head over to the pier early during the day.

⚠️ Interlaken has 2 major train stations Interlaken Ost (towards Brienz) and Interlaken West (towards Thun). Most of the trains generally are from Ost. But always be mindful. There is bus service between Ost and West. Both Ost and West have ports for ferry.

πŸ›Œ Stay overnight at Interlaken.

Day 3 : Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe

Interlaken

Jungfraujoch is the highest railway station in Europe and provides excellent views of the Monch and Jungfrau mountains. At an amazing 3,454 metres, Europe’s highest-altitude railway station awaits you. The trip takes you via Kleine Scheidegg and through the Eiger North Wall up to the scenic splendors of the Jungfraujoch in the heart of a wonderworld of glaciers and eternal ice. Here snow and ice are guaranteed all year round. Attractions include the beautiful Ice Palace, the Sphinx, Observation building overlooking the Aletsch Glacier, husky–drawn sled rides and the Snow Disk Run. Also, adventure activities such as Flying Fox, Glacier Trek and Kiss The Glacier are extremely popular.

Return to Interlaken. During the evening, explore Interlaken’s Hoheweg- an inviting 700-meter long boulevard with hotels, cosy cafes, fashion boutiques, watch and jewellery stores. You can also head over to the Interlaken Casino and take a picture with the bronze statue of Yash Chopra.

πŸ›Œ Stay overnight at Interlaken.

Day 4 : Interlaken – Zermatt: Relax in Zermatt

Check out of Interlaken and take the train heading towards Zermatt. You might have to switch trains in Visp or Brig. Keep a note of that.

Zermatt

Zermatt is a car-free town and a ski resort famous for the Matterhorn peak. Enjoy the day by relaxing in the cafes around town and fill yourself with some swiss cuisine. Explore the town by taking a walk around and drink some beer. Zermatt is one of the best swiss villages and you would be able to spot the Matterhorn if the clouds are light.

Alternatively, if you want an adventurous day, you can try paragliding or take a bike trip (rental bikes available) around Zermatt. If you love trekking/hiking, you should definitely check out The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge in the next town of Randa. There are many trails around Zermatt as well. Check them here.

πŸ›Œ Stay overnight at Zermatt

Day 5 : Matterhorn - The most iconic mountain up close

Zermatt

Wake up and arrive in time for the gondola lift either at 0927 hrs or 1011 hrs to Furi with a connection by cable car to Trockener Steg and on to Klein Matterhorn.

Don’t miss the impressive offerings at Matterhorn glacier paradise, at 3,883 metres above sea level. The mountain cableway to Matterhorn glacier paradise is the highest in Europe and largest summer snow-sports destination. There is a Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Restaurant & Shop available at the top.

Return the same way at connections most convenient and spend the evening strolling around in the town of Zermatt. You can check out The Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis (note: closes at 6 pm) while you are there.

πŸ›Œ Stay overnight at Zermatt

Day 6 : The Glacier Express - the most scenic train ride in Europe

Zermatt

Check out and head to the Zermatt Station for the Glacier Express train departing at 0852 hrs. to Chur (there’s another one departing at 0952 hrs). The Glacier Express is one of the most famous railways in the world. It travels from Zermatt to Davos or St. Moritz in around seven hours. It is a day trip through untouched mountain landscapes, glamorous health resorts, deep gorges, delightful valleys, 91 tunnels and across 291 impressive bridges. You do not travel all the way but go only till Chur.

Chur

Arrive at 02:34 pm. Chur is situated at the right shore of the Rhine-River and is known as the oldest town of Switzerland. The modern part of the city is to the west, but the old portion, with all the historical buildings, is to the east which has a lot of heritage buildings, including the cathedral church of St Luzius. Explore the town and take a convenient train back to Zurich.

Zurich

Check-in at Zurich and explore Zurich with ZΓΌri-rollt (a free bicycle renting agency). Leave a CHF 20 deposit at one of the ZΓΌri-rollt containers and enjoy the city on two wheels. You might want to cycle down part of either side of the lake or just use the bike to get around Zurich a bit quicker. There are several rental stations in town, but only two of them are open all year round.

πŸ›Œ Stay overnight at Zurich

Day 7 : Back to the Start

Neuhausen am Rheinfall

The Rhine Falls is only 23 metres high but has an impressive width of 150 metres and an average of 25'000 cubic feet of water per second (700m3/sec). This makes it the most powerful waterfall in Europe.

There are a couple of castles around the area namely WΓΆrth Castle (water castle) and Schloss Laufen. These lie on a cliff directly above the falls.

You can also explore northern Switzerland close to the German border where you can visit Schaffhausen, the capital of the canton with its famous Munot Fortress, dating from the 16th century.

Zurich

Proceed on a Trolley Experience. Discover the sights of Zurich aboard the unique ‘Classic Trolley’ - the first of its kind in Switzerland, styled on those of yesteryears, but with all the comfort for today’s discerning traveller. Commentary is provided by a headset in English. In 2 hours you will see the business and financial centre, Bahnhofstrasse, the most important museums, a section of the Old Town, Fraumunster Church with its famous Chagall windows, historical Limmatquai, the University district, beautiful hillside villas on the Zurichberg and views of the Alps from Zurich’s vantage point on the lake.

πŸ›Œ Stay overnight at Zurich

✈️ This marks the end of your 7-day trip and you take the return journey home.


Map

πŸ“Œ Use the below interactive map for directions:

βœ” Clicking the top right button opens the map in a new tab showing the different sections. Click on view map legend if browsing on phone
βœ” Save the map in your Google Maps for easy access later: Click the ⭐star button beside the name of the map. You can access the map later from Google Maps > Saved > Maps


If you only have 5 days

πŸ“Œ Day 1 in Lucerne

πŸ“Œ Day 2 in Interlaken take a mountain experience (eg Jungfraujoch)

πŸ“Œ Day 3 take the train to Zermatt and relax in one of the best Swiss villages.

πŸ“Œ Day 4 take the Glacier Express from Zermatt to Chur and then train to Zurich

πŸ“Œ Day 5 explore Zurich and head to Rhine Falls.

If you only have 4 days

πŸ“Œ Day 1 in Lucerne

πŸ“Œ Day 2 in Interlaken (stroll around / take a cruise / visit Lauterbrunnen)

πŸ“Œ Day 3 take a mountain experience (eg Jungfraujoch)

πŸ“Œ Day 4 take the train to Bern and explore the Bear pit and the Bern old town and then head back to Zurich.

If you only have 3 days

πŸ“Œ Day 1 in Lucerne

πŸ“Œ Day 2 in Interlaken (take a cruise and/or mountain experience)

πŸ“Œ Day 3 take the train to Bern and explore the Bear pit and the Bern old town and then head back to Zurich.

If you less than 3 days

πŸ“Œ Best to stay in the place you arrive at and head over to any of the scenic sites as you please. Most mountain trips are available from Zurich and there are tour packages that take you on excursions and drop you back to your hotel.


Gueti Reis! :)
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