Travel to Switzerland – Episode 687

categories: europe travel

Travel to Switzerland | Switzerland Itinerary | What to do in Switzerland (Podcast)

Hear about travel to Switzerland as the Amateur Traveler talks to Zack Best about this beautiful country where he has studied and worked.

Zack says, “Switzerland is beautiful, but there’s a lot of places in the world that are beautiful. So, I think there are a few additional things that make Switzerland a very good destination to go to for vacation. It’s a very small country which makes it so that there’s a very high density of destinations to get to and it’s very easy to get to all of them because there’s a lot of infrastructure in terms of trains and buses, and also cable cars to get to places high up in the mountains… even if you are not someone who hikes all the time. It’s very safe. While the main language isn’t English, and I don’t speak any German or French or Italian, I was able to get around fine.”


Zack starts us in Zürich. Zürich has better plane connections than anywhere else in the country. He then lays out what to do in Zürich, day trips from Zürich, Luzern for a few days, Interlaken Area for a few days, Bern for a day on the way back to Zürich. Along the way, Zack tells os some of the best hikes that he found in the region.

In Zürich, besides the main churches, floating down the River Limmat, sailing Lake Zurich and some beautiful gardens we also talk about some great festivals including Züri Fäscht and Zürich Openair.

Züri Fäscht

Visit Zurich in Switzerland with the Amateur Traveler: This video shows the Züri Fäscht festival which is held every 3 years in Zurich on the first weekend in July. This video is from July 2007. Join the 2 million people who made their way to Zurich for this festival with 80 stages for bands, food booths, beer tents, and many other performers.

For day trips from Zurich, Zack recommends Stein am Rhein, S?ntis hiking (including the Äscher Mountain Restaurant, Seealpsee, Saxer Lücke, and Fahlensee), Glarus hiking (including Mettmen/Elm, Murtchenstock/Schilt, and Walensee), the Abbey at St. Gallen, and Pizol hiking (especially the 5 Lake Hike).


Lucerne is best known for its old medieval bridges and beautiful old town, but Zack found some great hikes in that area as well including Mt. Rigi, Mt. Pilatus, Stoos, Mt. Titlis / Engelberg, Jochpass (including 4 Lake Hike & Alpen Tower), and the Stanserhorn.


Interlaken is a great center for outdoor activities. There are a couple of nearby castles but most people come for the mountains and Zack guides us to Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen hiking, the Jungfraujoch, the Niederhorn, Brienzer Rothorn (with its cogwheel train), Oeschinensee, and the Aletsch Glacier.

Through the entire trip, Zack gives us some advice on the best way to use a Swiss Travel pass to save money. Switzerland can be expensive, but it is a country with some beautiful scenery. You can enjoy it from a hike or just from a gondola or train, but it is a country to get outside.

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Show Notes

Zack’s blog
Zürich Botanic Gardens
Zürich Zoologischer Garten
NA081 Pizza
Zürich Opera House
Gelateria di Berna
Frau Gerolds Garten
Züri Fäscht
Zürich Openair 2020
Limmat Swim
City Backpacker
Swiss Travel Pass
Mount Säntis
Aescher Mountain Restaurant
Stein am Rhein
Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge)
Lion Monument
Mount Rigi
Stoos Railways
Mount Titlis
Joch Pass
Lake Lungern
Sherlock Holmes Museum Meiringen
Oberhofen Castle
Spiez Castle
Aare Gorge
Shilthorn 360°Restaurant Piz Gloria
Grindelwald First
Aletsch Glacier
Brienzer Rothorn Cogwheel Train
Oeschinensee (Oeschinen Lake)
Älplermagronen (Swiss Alpine Macaroni)
Bündnerfleisch (air-dried meat)



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Travel to Switzerland | Switzerland Itinerary | What to do in Switzerland (Podcast) #travel #trip #vacation #switzerland #interlaken #zurich #lucerne #hike #hiking #alps #things-to-do-in

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

6 Responses to “Travel to Switzerland – Episode 687”

Ali Banner


Quick correction – I think he meant “Harder Kulm” rather than “Niederhorn” at the end. Harder Kulm has views of both lakes and Interlaken itself, whilst Niederhorn can only see the one of the lakes. However Niederhorn I would argue has much better views overall and is a far better spot to visit than Harder Kulm.

Also to clarify on the Aletsch visit I guess he meant the Aletsch Arena area where Riederalp, Bettmeralp, and Fiescheralp are the villages to look to as the starting points.

Amy Morrison


Absolutely loved this episode! As an avid outdoors person I really appreciated all the hiking spots that Zack was able to mention plus all the info on how to get around to them without a car. Also loved that he mentioned lots of day hikes as that’s the type of hiking we prefer on our vacations so that we can also enjoy some of the towns in the evenings. Thanks again for this episode.

Chris Christensen


I also loved all his practical tips!

Jay Schreckenhofer


We just returned from Switzerland and followed a lot of Zack’s recommendations. The detail in his podcast makes his one of the best I have listened to on the Amateur Traveler.
Thanks Zack for helping make our visit to Switzerland so memorable

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