If you ask the first person you meet what they know about Switzerland, their answer will likely feature chocolate, yodeling, Alpine valleys, mountains, and a reference to cows. Predictable, right? But apart from all of these world-famous stamps, Switzerland provides even more amusement, culture, experiences, and unforgettable adventures.
Switzerland is faithful to its long-standing traditions and values. It is also rich in historical landmarks and UNESCO Heritage sites, delicious food, and family-run farms. To put it simply, you might never have enough time to visit all the exciting places in Switzerland because every time you explore something new you want to stay longer and see more.
However, your 7-days Swiss itinerary can still be comprehensive and an excellent way to discover the country.
Table of contents: ()
- When is the best time to travel to Switzerland?
- What to pack
- 7-day Itinerary to Switzerland to make your holidays unforgettable
When is the best time to travel to Switzerland?
Switzerland is pretty capricious weatherwise, and the best seasons are spring and summer. Winter is windier, and you shall pack more warm clothing if you plan to visit the mountains. Also, see What to Pack for Europe.
What to pack
Depending on the season you are traveling, you can pack either light or warm clothing. But please, keep an umbrella in your backpack, as it can start raining even if this is a perfect sunny day in July.
The train system is perfectly developed in Switzerland. Therefore, even if you spot a train change from one destination to another on your ticket, don’t worry; it’s always fast and convenient. You can get tickets online or from the vending machines located at the railway stations, but not on the train.
7-day Itinerary to Switzerland to make your holidays unforgettable
To enjoy Switzerland and see the most famous places, you can start in Zurich – a very modern and vivid city. The most significant advantage of Zurich is its very convenient international flight options which makes it a perfect starting point. There are direct flights to Zurich or comfortable layovers without many-hours-waiting connections from many destinations.
After Zurich, proceed to magnificent Lucerne, which is deservedly on the bucket list for many tourists worldwide. Here you witness the ancient beauty of Switzerland represented in churches and towers, wooden bridges, and cobbled streets.
Later on, when you better understand Switzerland and its cities, it’s time to see something unexpectedly beautiful and inspiring – Interlaken and the Jungfraujoch mountain.
Day 1: Arrival in Zurich
Upon arrival at the airport, be sure you bought train tickets to the city. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to buy them on the train, and you can get a fine. It will take you about 15 min by train to reach the city center. On the first day of your trip, you can relax or have a leisurely walk. Don’t miss Fraumünster Church, an outstanding example of architecture famous for its stained glass. Later on, have a nice dinner at a local restaurant.
If you didn’t have a long flight and feel full of energy – go ahead with a guided tour with a local guide. Take this unique chance to see the city with the local eyes and learn something you will never find online or in the books. During the guided tour, you see the Old city and cover all of the main highlights the business capital of Switzerland is famous for.
Zurich is also an ideal destination for nightlife and beer culture. If you would like to feel street vibes, visit Rheinfelder Bierhaus, where Cardinal beer is served – the famous beer in Switzerland.
Address: Rheinfelder Bierhaus, Marktgasse 19 | 8001 Zürich | Telefon 044 251 29 91.
Day 2: Lake Walen Discovery or Lake Zurich Cruise
Depending on your travel style, you can choose something active or leisurely for your second day in Zurich.
Just 1.5 hr away from Zurich is the beautiful mountain area with Lake Walen right in the middle. This region is ideal for spending a day admiring gorgeous views, cycling, hiking, and learning about earth’s geological history. For many years, scientists researched the area from a geological perspective, as this region is unique for its rocks. In addition, the Lake Walen area is one of the most exciting places for spending time with family, alone or with friends. The close location to Zurich makes it easy to reach and return for by nightfall.
If you would like to stay in Zurich and explore more of its sights,
don’t skip Zurich Lake Cruise – on a sunny day, this is one of the best ways to see the city and enjoy a pleasant breeze. After the cruise, you can visit the Lindt Home of Chocolate, one of Switzerland’s most famous and biggest chocolate shops, a real paradise for all sweet tooths out there.
Day 3: Zurich – Lucerne
After a thorough Zurich exploration, it’s time to move on and see a different life in Lucerne. Take the train, and in one hour, you will arrive at a true Swiss fairytale.
Lucerne is something unusual for everybody. The city itself is like a masterpiece drawn by a talented but a bit chaotic artist. Please be careful if you arrive by car – the city has a minimal number of parking lots, and it can take hours to find a free spot. The best way to move around the town is actually by walking or cycling.
Right in the middle of the city, you see the historic wooden bridge built in the 14th century. Three centuries later, the bridge was decorated with paintings that are still present today. Although a significant part of the bridge was destroyed because of an enormous fire, the government renovated the wooden monument to keep the memory and history alive.
One more significant highlight you definitely can’t miss is the Dying Lion monument. None of the pictures can express how beautiful and tragic this monument is when you see it with your own eyes. “The Dying Lion” was created in 1820 and dedicated to all Swiss Soldiers who died during the French revolution in 1792.
After visiting the main highlights, have a good dinner in a local restaurant, observing the Reuss river.
Day 4: Mount Pilatus
To be in Lucerne and to skip Mount Pilatus is a crime. Switzerland is all about mountains and picturesque views from above, and here is one more spot where you feel like a grain of sand and forget how to breathe.
Please note that you need to dedicate the whole day to see the Pilatus. However, this is worth it. If your trip takes place during a warm season, don’t miss a chance to take a cruise, observe Lucerne from the water, and arrive at Alpnachstad. From there, the real adventure begins! Taking one of the famous red Swiss cogwheel trains, you enjoy the scenic ride to Mount Pilatus. You pass by Alpine fields, gorgeous rocks, and dramatic cliffs. Travelers not used to heights might feel a bit dizzy, as the mount is at 2,132 m (6,995 ft) altitude, but you get used to new conditions very fast and can enjoy fantastic pictures, exactly like Jules Verne described in his books.
On top of the mountain, you can expect to see the enormous complex, allowing you to have your break. Following tourist trails, you walk around and see the stunning panorama, breathtaking views over the area, mountains, lakes, and even small churches and farms existing nearby. All of these inspire and make you understand nature’s power and the importance of being in balance with it. On your way back, you experience the cable car ride and see the scenic landscape from a birds-eye view one more time.
To make your day trip hassle-free, you could check services from touristic companies organizing Switzerland tours and clarify if they include guide services and transport tickets for Mount Pilatus.
Day 5: Bourbaki Panorama, Fondue Tasting and depart to Interlaken
Today you can dedicate to Swiss culture as you further explore Lucerne. The stunning city is famous for its museums, monuments, historic sites, and cultural attractions. However, even if you are not a big fan of visiting something like that, you will love the Bourbaki Panorama. This 112-meter (367 ft) by 10-meter (32 ft) size circular painting presents the story of Bourbaki, almost 90,000 French soldiers, fighting during the German-French war in 1871.
The unique feature of this masterpiece is realistic sculptures implemented so professionally in the painting, so you feel like being inside the action among all of these people. For a more immersive experience, use the audio guide with a story told by professional actors in your language.
On the floor below, you have constantly changing exhibitions and performances – big fun for families and kids, but also solo travelers or couples.
After the Bourbaki Panorama, take advantage of being in the city of fondue and try this dish at a local restaurant. You can’t go wrong selecting a restaurant with a beautiful view. If you asked locals for recommendations, chances are you will hear them say Fondue House du Pont, as it meets all of the criteria.
After lunch, board your train and depart to Interlaken. In 2.5 hours, you arrive in the city and can have a wonderfully relaxing walk to meet the town.
Address: Fondue House du Pont, Falkengasse 6, 6004 Lucerne.
Day 6: Visit Jungfraujoch
Interlaken has a unique vibe. This charming small town is located right in the middle of the valley and is surrounded by majestic mountains. Nobody here is in a rush, looking for a parking lot and checking the time for the business meeting. Instead, life here is calm and measured, making Interlaken perfect for a couple of days’ getaway.
One of the most popular reasons for coming over here is the Jungfraujoch. The mount is 3,463 meters high and is the highest point in Europe. Thousands of tourists want to see the peak and take a picture right on top. You might say that after Mount Pilatus, nothing could wonder you. And you will be wrong.
Jungfraujoch is not only the mount itself but also the way you go there and the history and attractions you see on the top. And, of course, the best thing about this ‘package’ is the view you see, staying at the very top of the mount and observing villages and rivers, valleys and cable cars.
To reach this awe-inspiring destination, first of all, you need to take a train to Grindelwald. This stunning destination is worth a separate exploration, as from here, you can go to the waterfalls of Lauterbrunnen or the iconic Eiger Mountain. From Grindelwald, you change the train and go to Kleine Scheidegg and enjoy the marvelous view over the valley and tiny villages harmonically located among the waterfalls, cliffs, and streams.
The last part of your way to the highest point in Europe is also by train from Kleine Scheidegg. What’s unique about your journey is the tunnel you have to go through. It was built one century ago across the Eiger rocks at an altitude of 3000 meters. You have a short stop to see the snow plateau during the ride.
On the top of Jungfraujoch, there is a large complex dedicated to the peak’s history that offers authentic activities. For example, you can visit an Ice Park or taste the famous Swiss chocolate Lindt with a cup of tea.
To have a different experience on your way back, you can take a cable car and “fly” over the mountains and forests, see wild animals and skiing paths. Then, with a heart filled with inspiration, the feeling of unity, and love, you return to Interlaken.
Please note: If your trip is in spring or summer, don’t take too many warm clothes with you, as the majority of the time you spend is inside the complex or onboard the train.
Day 7: Departure to Zurich
The best way to return home is from Zurich airport. Another opportunity to enjoy a train ride; in just 2.5 hours, you arrive at your destination.
If you have more time before departure and would like to see something else, you can take a train from Interlaken to Montreux – a Pearl of Switzerland. This fancy city is an attractive point for anyone who loves the perfect lake-mountain backdrop. You can stay here for a couple of hours to see the promenade, have lunch and, later on, take a train to Zurich for your departure.
As you can see, Switzerland can surprise you and can make you feel like a part of nature or the king of the world. This 7-day Switzerland itinerary is a perfect starting point for your great vacation and country exploration. If you have more days, consider extending your trip to Bern, experience Glacier express, or visit Zermatt to see the Matterhorn or hike in Randa. We hope you got inspired to travel to Switzerland and will start planning your trip soon!