Switzerland Itinerary - 7 Days / 9 days
Who doesn’t dream of visiting Switzerland? Snow-capped mountains, emerald meadows, shimmering lakes, melting glaciers, fairytale castles, and lakeside towns – Switzerland lives up to the hype and will leave you spellbound with its incredible beauty. You can go for spectacular hikes, gorge on the luxurious Swiss chocolates, savor the hand-crafted cheese, buy quality watches and engage in some thrilling adventure activities – everything needed for a perfect vacation. Planning a 7-day or a 9-day itinerary in Switzerland should not be difficult as it is a small country. But when you have so much to see and do, deciding on a perfect itinerary can be tricky. The itinerary decided will depend on the season, starting point, and interests. Check this ultimate 7-day / 9-Day itinerary for an amazing vacation in Switzerland.
Suggested 7-Day Switzerland Itinerary
Switzerland Itinerary, Day 0-1:- Zurich & Rhine Falls
Most visitors start their trip to Switzerland from Geneva or Zurich as these two are big cosmopolitan cities and very well-connected to all parts of the world. Our itinerary starts in Zurich and ends in Geneva. If you arrive early in Zurich, spend the day exploring the city. Zurich is a picturesque historical town with a river running through it. Walk around the old town, do some window-shopping in Bahnhofstrasse (shopping street), or just relax in your hotel room. The 7-Day itinerary starts from the next day.
Today we are going to Schaffhausen, a small historic town in Northern Switzerland. You can reach Schaffhausen from Zurich in less than an hour, by road and by train. Schaffhausen has beautiful Renaissance buildings and a charming riverside location, but travelers visit the town primarily to explore Switzerland’s largest fall – Rhine Falls. The sheer power of the falls is really impressive, especially in summers when water flows in the Rhine Falls basin at the speed of 600,000 liters per second.
The quaint villages and the surrounding forested areas are gorgeous. You can explore the region and admire the Rhine falls from various viewing platforms, cliff-top castle, and the pedestrian bridge. Another popular way to experience the falls (April-November) is by taking a Rhine Falls Cruise. Head back to Zurich and, if you have the energy, enjoy Zurich’s famed nightlife. Stay overnight in Zurich.
Switzerland Itinerary, Day 2:- Travel to Interlaken
By Train: 2 hours / By Car: 1 hour 40 minutes
Two places that manage to find a spot in every Switzerland itinerary are Interlaken and Jungfraujoch. Interlaken is nestled between two crystal-clear emerald lakes – Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The popular Swiss resort town is surrounded by three majestic mountains (Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau) making it an ideal location for countless adventure sports. Para-gliding, skydiving, mountain biking, hiking are some of the activities that give you perfect vantage locations to admire the awe-inspiring, spectacular Swiss Alps. If you are not interested in adventure activities, you can check the local attractions. Visit the Oberhofen Castle, Harder Kulm & Beatus Cave, take a boat ride on Lake Brienz, or wander about soaking in the gorgeous views surrounding you. Stay overnight at Interlaken
Switzerland Itinerary, Day 3:- Jungfraujoch
Home to the highest railway station in Europe, Jungfraujoch is located at 3454 meters above sea level. You can reach Jungfraujoch either by cable car or cogwheel train. The train cuts its way through the Jungfrau and Monch mountains, and the journey will leave you awe-struck with stupendous views of the mountains and countryside. The sight that unfolds at the top will take your breath away as you stand surrounded by snow, mountains, and glaciers. Many snow activities like sledding, toboggan rides, skiing & snow tubing can be enjoyed in Jungfraujoch. There are multiple restaurants, chocolate shops, and an Ice Palace exhibiting ice sculptures. One can easily spend the day there. Take the train/cable back to Interlaken and stay overnight in the pretty town.
Switzerland Itinerary, Day 4:- Travel to Zermatt
By Train: 2 hours 40 minutes / By Car: 2 hours 15 minutes
Leave early morning for Zermatt via train. There is no point traveling by private vehicle as no cars are allowed in the charming mountainside town. In fact, Zermatt is so small that you can walk almost anywhere. Skiing is the major attraction in Zermatt but the pretty town is worth visiting in all seasons. Roam around the town from where you can get some of the best views of the Matterhorn. But if you want to have a closer look at the Alps, you have to reach higher altitudes. Take a cogwheel train ride to the top of the Gornergrat – a rocky ridge alongside the Matterhorn. The scenic 30-minute ride is absolutely stunning with tantalizing glimpses of the picturesque Matterhorn. You can enjoy the gorgeous panorama of the majestic Alps from the Gornergrat Lookout. Hop on the train back to Zermatt or walk down to the town. If you are interested in hiking or skiing, there are multiple options and you can choose according to your skill-set. Stay overnight in Zermatt.
Switzerland Itinerary, Day 5:– Matterhorn Glacier
You cannot leave Zermatt without taking a cable car ride to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (Klein Matterhorn) as some of the best sights of the area can be seen from there. The world’s highest cableway takes you 3883 meters above sea-level for some incredible 360° perspectives. The Alpine wonderland will leave you mesmerized with pretty ski slopes, ice carvings, and incredible views of Matterhorn. Glacier Palace looks magical with its colorful frozen sculptures, ice slides, and photo-points – a must-visit for kids of all ages. You can head back to Zermatt if you had your fill of the Glacier Paradise. Stay in Zermatt for the night.
Switzerland Itinerary, Day 6:- Travel to Montreux
By Train: 2 hours 40 minutes / By Car: 2 hours
The lakeside town of Montreux near Geneva offers elegant views of Lake Geneva against the background of the iconic Chillon Castle and the unspoiled Alps. You will love the slow and peaceful vibes of the city as you roam around the charming town. The sleepy little town wakes up in the summers when the tourists and locals gather to take part in the yearly two-week-long Jazz Festival and other summer activities. After exploring the lake promenade and the town center, make your way to Chateau de Chillon – the 11th-century medieval castle that offers striking views of the elegant lake and majestic mountains. Spend the night in Montreux
Switzerland Itinerary, Day 7:– Travel to Geneva
By Train: 1 hour 5 minutes / By Car: 1 hour 15 minutes
Geneva is the capital of the UN and a globally recognized city. This is the last day of your vacation and you can spend the day exploring Geneva. Geneva is known for its beautiful lakes and taking a cruise on Lake Geneva is a good idea. Old Town, City Centre, St. Piere’s Cathedral, Flower Clock, Treille Promenade, Jet d’Eau, UN Building are some of the attractions worth visiting. Geneva is the best place to shop for fancy Swiss watches and delicious Swiss Chocolates, so you can indulge yourself in some last-minute shopping. Take a flight back to your next destination.
PS: Our itinerary starts in Zurich and ends in Geneva, but you can try this itinerary backward also. If you want to fly back from the same city, you can easily and quickly reach your port of arrival at the end of your trip. Whatever route you choose, it should take about the same amount of time.
Suggested 9-Day Switzerland Itinerary
If you can extend your visit to 9 days, you can also visit Lucerne and Mt. Titlis. Check the 9-day itinerary for Switzerland
Day 0-1: Zurich and Rhine Falls.
Day 2-3: Reach Lucerne. Train: 50 minutes / Car: 45 minutes
A picturesque town located on the banks of Lake Lucerne. Spent one day in Lucerne and take a day-trip to Mt. Titlis the following day. Mt. Titlis is a popular mountain peak that can be reached by a revolving cable car.
Day 4: Reach Interlaken. Train: 2 hours / Car: 1 hour
Day 5: Jungfraujoch
Day 6: Reach Zermatt. Train: 2 hours 40 minutes / Car: 2 hours 15 minutes
Day 7: Matterhorn Glacier
Day 8: Reach Montreux. Train: 2 hours 40 minutes / Car: 2 hours
Day 9: Reach Geneva. Train: 1 hour 5 minutes / Car: 1 hour 15 minutes
Things to know before you travel to Switzerland:
- Switzerland is a very small country. It has an area of 15,940 sq mi extending 220 miles north to south and 216 miles East to West
- The official currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc. The currency is abbreviated as CHF. Merchants may accept Euros but the change given back will usually be CHF. One Euro = 1.1050 CHF and One USD = 0.9300 CHF
- Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Food, hotels, trains, shopping everything is pricey.
- Switzerland is one of the safest countries in the world with a very low crime rate. Swiss people are reserved but not unfriendly.
- It is very safe to drink tap water in Switzerland.
- Most people in Switzerland speak English. French, German, and Italian are also used in the country but they are confined to specific regions.
- Switzerland is a stunning destination that can be visited year-round. Each season has something unique and beautiful to offer. The best months are from April-August when the weather is warm and pleasant. During the winter months, thousands of people flock to Switzerland to enjoy skiing and water-sports. Depending on what you want to see and do, you can decide the best time to visit Switzerland. The above-mentioned itinerary is best suited for summer travel.
- Weather in Switzerland can be unpredictable with frequent storms, so keep some alternative activities lined up.
- The country has a very efficient and wide-spread network of on-time high-speed trains that makes traveling around the country very easy and convenient.
- It is a good idea to buy a Swiss Travel Pass. It is expensive but it covers not only inter-city travel but also some free scenic trains, boat cruises, cable cars, public transport, and museum access.
- It is easy to drive in Switzerland but they are very strict about the speed limit. Road trips in Switzerland are a life-time experience as every turn will reveal more jaw-dropping views. It also gives you the flexibility to stop anywhere and take your fill of the lush landscapes.