The most awaited blog post is finally here – The Ultimate Switzerland Itinerary with Swiss Travel Pass.
As the train weaves its way into the Swiss Alps, the view from the window pretty much changes from rolling hills carpeted with forests and vineyards to snow-capped peaks peeping out in the distance, chocolate box houses laden with flowers to glistening lakes and glacier-fed streams. Every nook and corner of this country makes you feel like you’ve just stepped into a pretty postcard.
There is so much to take in – be it the nature trails, hiking trails, breathtaking panoramic views as the train maneuvers from one idyllic Swiss village to another.
While planning our trip to Switzerland we were overwhelmed with so many options; we had a tough time finalizing our itinerary as there were too many places we wanted to add to our list.
To help you get started, we’ve listed our itinerary recommendation, when and where to go in Switzerland. You can spend months exploring pretty little Swiss villages, taking detours, crossing cute bridges, chasing waterfalls or just stumbling upon Swiss villages which are only accessible by cable cars.
Since we were in Switzerland for 11 days, we opted for the Swiss Travel Pass for 8 days for unlimited travel in Switzerland.
Swiss Travel Pass is one of the most convenient ways to travel length and breadth of the country. You don’t have to worry about renting a car, car parking fees, insurance, and fuel charges.
BENEFITS OF SWISS TRAVEL PASS
The entire country is well-connected by public transportation.
The Swiss Travel Pass covers all trains, buses and boat transfers in Switzerland.
You can also request for a free Family Card for children up to the age of 16. They can travel for free if accompanied by at least one parent
It covers mountain excursions like Rigi Kulm, Schilthorn, and Stanserhorn. You get a 50 % discount for all other Mountain Excursion and 25% discount for Top of Europe – Jungfrau.
It also covers public transportations, museums visits and train to/from Liechtenstein ( neighboring country.
You can just hop in and out of any regional trains, you don’t need to book anything in advance. But make sure, you see the availability and timings of trains before being adventurous 😉
Other Attractions entirely covered by Swiss Travel Pass –
The train route till Wengen and Grindelwald are entirely covered. Post that you get 25% discount on the ticket to the Top of Europe – Jungfrau.
Golden Pass line ( Lucerne <-> Interlaken <-> Montreux ) is entirely covered by Swiss Travel Pass. It is advisable to reserve seats if you want to experience the best view of the Alps. The train journey can be broken into three legs –
- Montreux to Zweisimmen
- Zweisimmen to Interlaken
- Interlaken to Lucerne
You can visit car-free villages like Zermatt, Murren, and Wengen
Uetliberg and Rhine falls from Zurich
Chillon Castle in Montreux
Free access to over 500 museums
Mount Stanserhorn from Lucerne ( 15 minutes train ride). It has the first open-air cableway in Switzerland.
Cruises on the <Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne), Lake Brienz
Note: If you are under the age of 26 the prices are less, find the list and exact fares at the Swiss Travel Pass official website. You can also opt for half price card where everything is half priced or Super Saver Card depending on your itinerary.
Swiss Pass ( Consecutive Days )
|Product||Price in CHF in
|Price in CHF in
|Swiss Travel Pass 3 days||225||358|
|Swiss Travel Pass 4 days||270||429|
|Swiss Travel Pass 8 days||398||631|
|Swiss Travel Pass 15 days||485||765|
You can also avail Flexi card if you are not planning to travel every other day.
Switzerland is utterly expensive if you factor in the cost of transportation, accommodation, mountain excursion tickets, food expenses as well as the exchange rates. If you are planning to visit on a shoestring budget, you might definitely struggle. Just to give you a rough idea.
Coffee – 3-5 CHF
Burger King Veg Meal – 8-9 CHF
Decent meal at a fancy restaurant for two – 25-50 CHF
Bottle of water – 2-4 CHF
The best thing you can do is to visit supermarkets like COOP, MIGROS, and LIDL and stock up on food, snacks, and water for your journey.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Switzerland is a year-round destination but the landscape varies drastically with every season. So, pick and plan based on what you want to see else it might not meet your expectations.
Best Time to Visit – May End to October
Busiest Months – July & August ( Long days with sunsets around 21:00, rolling meadows, snow-free trails )
Ski Season – Dec-March ( Ski towns like Zermatt, Davos, Gstaad, Murren, Wengen, St. Moritz are super expensive and crowded)
Note – Early April to mid-May you might find some ski towns completely dead and shops/hotels closed for the spring break. During this time the prices of hotels drop too and the weather is also unpredictable.
CURRENCY – Swiss Franc but Euro is also accepted in almost all the places.
TOURIST VISA – You need a valid Schengen Visa.
Switzerland Itinerary with Swiss Travel Pass
Depending on the length of your trip, here are our recommendations:
3 days: Lucerne, Interlaken & Jungfrau Region ( Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Murren, Top Of Europe, Kleine Scheidegg, Gimmelwald ) [ Note: You could be based out of Interlaken/ Lauterbrunnen /Grindelwald and explore the entire area.]
5 days: Add Zurich: Visit the Giessbach falls, Arse Gorge, Lake Brienz, Engelberg, Spiez and Lungern which is an hour away from Lucerne
8 days: Add Lausanne, Bern, Montreux, Gstaad, Geneva, Gruyères. Take the Golden Pass scenic rail journey. You can also add lake Blausee to your list, the Spa town of Leukerbad and the Goms Bridge in Bellwald.
10 days: Add Zermatt, Chur, Brig, Visp and St. Moritz
15 – 20 days: Add Appenzell, Lausanne, Lugano. You can also board the famous Bernina Express and Gotthard Panorama Express.
You can also club other countries – Lake Como or Milan in Italy from Zermatt/ St. Moritz, visit the Bavarian region and Austrian Tirol region from Appenzell, Visit Liechtenstein from Zurich, Visit Colmar in France from Bern, the Black Forest in Germany from Zurich
You can obviously mix and match based on the length of your stay and the places that may pique your interest.
Few things to consider before planning your Swiss Itinerary
- Lenght of Stay
- Very Important: Season / Month you are traveling
- Places you want to see and taking their geographic proximity from each other into account.
- Things to do
- Public Transportation vs Renting a Car
- Accommodation Option – ( Hotels vs Airbnb vs Chalets )
Our Switzerland Itinerary with Swiss Travel Pass
( in April )
Here we share our 11 days Switzerland itinerary with Swiss Travel Pass for 8 days.
- Day 1 – Fly into Zurich
- Day 2 – Board the train to St. Moritz via Chur from Zurich.
- Day 3 – Explore the beautiful town of St. Moritz and visit the famous Engadin mountains.
- Day 4 – Board the famous Glacier Express from St. Moritz to Zermatt ( You can board the glacier express from other towns as well as like Chur, Brig, Andermatt, Visp, Zermatt )
- Day 5 – Explore the beautiful town of Zermatt. ( Since the weather was not favorable and it was raining we headed to Brig and visited the Spa town – Leukerbad. )
- Day 6 – Board the train to Interlaken, explore Interlaken, visit the beautiful town of Spiez and take a boat ride on Lake Thun.
- Day 7 – Explore the Jungfrau Region – Murren, Gimmelwald and Schiltorn Summit.
- Day 8 – Explore Wengen and Lauterbrunnen. You can also visit Top of Europe- Jungfrau and return via Grindelwald to Interlaken.
- Day 9 – Board the famous Golden Pass line that connects Lucern via Interlaken to Montreux. (We boarded the train from Interlaken to Lucerne. ( Lucern to Interlaken and Montreux to Zweisimmen is touted as one of the most scenic train rides). We highly recommend to stop at the beautiful Swiss town of Brienz and do a boat tour and also visit Giessbach falls. If you have time also do visit the beautiful village of Lungern. The glistening lake of Lungernersee is worth the stop.
- Day 10 – Explore Lucerne in the first half and take a train to Mt. Titlis/ Rigi /Pilatus. ( The mountain excursion to Rigi is completely covered by Swiss Travel pass, so we opted to go to Rigi but it entirely depends on you.) For other two mountain excursions, you get a 25% discount if you have the Swiss Travel Pass.
- Day 11 – Back to Zurich/ fly back home. Do visit Rhine Falls if you have more time at hand, make the best use of Swiss travel pass and tick off the neighboring country — Liechtenstein from your list.
( PS: If you are not interested in visiting Ski towns, you can skip and instead include Montreux, Geneva, Bern, Gstaad and Basel to your itinerary. )
Day 1- Fly into ZURICH
Zurich was our jumping off point to the pretty Ski town of St. Moritz. We visited the old town of Zurich on our very first day. Unfortunately, the moment we arrived, it started pouring and we could not explore much.
After arriving in Zurich, if you have time on hand, we recommend that you take a day or two to explore the beautiful town of Zurich and discover all that awaits you before embarking on your Swiss sojourn.
- Explore the old town ( Fraumünster, Swiss National Museum, Grossmünster )
- Art lovers can visit Zurich’s Kunsthaus
- Eat at Hiltl which is the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant or drink Beer at El Lokal or Zueghauskeller
- Take a cheese fondue cruise along the lake
- Pamper yourself at Thermalbad & Spa Zurich
- Explore Zurich west
- Shop at Bahnhofstrasse ( Prime shopping street )
- Hop on a train to Uetliberg or Adlisberg for the amazing views.
- Visit Rhine falls
- Head to Felsenegg for a spectacular view of Zurich.
- Day Trips option – Lucerne, Jungfrau Region, Interlaken, Engelberg, Bern, Black forest in Germany, Liechtenstein ( Neighbouring country )
Where to stay: We stayed at Hotel Welcome Inn, Kloten which was quite close to the airport.
Options: Hotels ( Booking.com ) | Chalets and Homestay on Airbnb ( Get 30$ off on your first booking ) | Compare Prices before booking. Prefer staying close to the city center if you are planning to explore the city.
Day 2-3: St. Moritz
Nestled within a picturesque setting in the Swiss Alps. The famous ski town is home to some of the best luxury resorts in Europe and is quite popular among skiers.
We boarded the train from Zurich Central station to St. Moritz. We had to change our train in Chur. The train ride from Chur to St. Moritz was one of the most scenic routes as it passes over viaducts and through helical tunnels. We highly recommend doing this train journey during winter. The train line from Thusis to St. Moritz has a UNESCO world heritage status.
We arrived in St. Moritz around noon and had the entire day to ourselves. We walked around the village, went for a spa and pretty much did nothing on our first day. If you, like us, don’t have any expertise in skiing still you can head to the Engadin mountains and take in the 360 degrees panoramic views while sipping in some beer.
- Take In The View: You can head to Muottas Muragl, Corviglia, Corvatsch. If you don’t ski, there are restaurants to sit and eat while enjoying the mountainous backdrop. There are also hiking trails.
- Activities like hiking, Skiing, Toboggan, Paragliding, Snowboarding, Cresta run, Ice Hockey
- Pamper yourselves at Ovaverva Spa
- Visit Segantini Museum
- Board the famous panoramic trains like Bernina Express and The Glacier Express.
( Do read our post on St. Moritz – Places to see in St. Moritz )
Where to Stay: We stayed at a beautiful property – Hotel Reine Victoria in St. Moritz. The hotel is at a stone’s throw distance from the Ovaverva spa and the location was perfect for a leisurely walk to the city center and back.
Explore the beautiful Zermatt
( Day 4 -5 )
Zermatt is one of the countless charming villages in the Swiss Alps and famous for one and only the famous Matterhorn mountain. This car-free village is quite popular during winter months, skiers from all around the world flock into Zermatt for their ski vacation. It might get a bit crowded over long weekends though.
- Take In The View: Hop on the train to Breithorn (4,000 m) or Gornergrat (2883 meters), Klein Matterhorn, Hörnli Hut ( Basecamp for Matterhorn ), Sunnegga
- Explore the Zermatt village
- Matterhorn Museum
- Walk the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge or Europe Bridge
- Catch the cable car up to Schwarzee (2583 m), Trockner Steg (2939 m) and then the Glacier Paradise, at an altitude of 3883 meters.
- Gorner Gorge
- Hiking Trails are quite popular during summer months.
- Helicopter Tours and Paragliding
- Stay in an igloo: If you are planning a trip in between December to April, you can also spend an overnight stay at the Igloo- Durf.
Where to Stay – We stayed at the hotel Hotel Couronne Superior which is quite close to the museum and railway station. It also has rooms with impressive views of Matterhorn.
Interlaken & Jungfrau Region
( Day 6-8 )
Interlaken is a perfect base to explore the Jungfrau region and Geneva area. The river snaking its way throughout the city, snow-capped mountains peaking from one side, glistening lake and the rustic Swiss charm makes it an ideal base to explore the stunning Jungfrau region and many other pretty Swiss villages. We stayed at Wilderswill in Interlaken.
You can also stay at Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen and explore the region.
We’ve listed down everything you can do or visit in and around Interlaken below.
- Explore the town in Interlaken
Visit St. Beatus Caves: Legend has it that St. Beatus chose this cave for his hermitage after driving a fire-breathing dragon to Lake Thun. The limestone caves offer a stunning view of the stalactites and stalagmites. There is also a cave museum and guided tours are available every 30 mins. ( Covered by Swiss Travel Pass )
The Oberhofen Castle: Situated on the shores of Lake Thun, this 13th-century castle boasts of some amazing architecture. A great place to explore the lifestyle of the bygone era. A short boat ride on Lake Thun lands you in this beautiful castle.
- Funicular ride to the top of Harder Kulm
- The Sigriswill suspension bridge
- Visit the Weissenau Nature Reserve
- Mystical Aare Gorge
- Visit Thun Castle and cross the impressive Panoramabrucke Sigriswil near Lake Thun
- Visit Giessbach Falls situated on the southern shore of Lake Brienz. You can also stay at Grand Hotel Giessbach which is right next to the fall.
- Adventure activities like skydiving, paragliding etc.
- Top Of Europe Jungfrau– One of the most popular tourist attraction in the Jungfrau region. The train journey till Wengen or Grindelwald is covered by Swiss Pass, post that you need to pay to visit the Top of Europe (you get 25% discount on the remainder of the journey). You can book the tickets online or on the spot.
Explore the Jungfrau Region
Jungfrau region is a place where you want to slow down, pause, or linger at points of interest. If you want to cover more grounds, we would suggest starting early as there is much to see and chances of getting distracted and spending way too much time at one place are guaranteed.
Lauterbrunnen ( 15 minutes train ride from Interlaken )
Nestled within a valley in the Jungfrau region, Lauterbrunnen gave J.R.R. Tolkien the inspiration for his Elven City of Rivendell in his Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It is one of the prettiest villages in the Jungfrau region and is known as the valley of waterfalls.
- Visit Trummelbach falls ( Price – 11 CHF per person ), Staubbach Falls, Mürrenbach falls, Talmuseum (To learn about the local life and history of the valley ).
- Murren ( 20 minutes cable car + train ride from Lauterbrunnen) – This pretty car-free village is another favorite and is a perfect place to spend 1-2 nights admiring the stunning mountains.
- Gimmelwald ( 5-7 minute cable car ride from Murren )
- Visit Schiltorn ( Piz Gloria ) ( 10 min cable car ride from Murren ) – Home to the first revolving restaurant at the height of 2970 meters and the James Bond Museum. The view from the top is breathtaking.
- Note: To Visit Piz Gloria you need to buy complimentary tickets from Stechelberg ( Covered by Swiss travel Pass ) which is just 10 minutes away from the Trummelbach waterfall ) You can do the entire circle in a day – Once you get out of the station, board the bus for Trummelbach waterfall, visit Trummelbach waterfall ( Price 10 Euro per person ), board the bus to Stechelberg, buy a ticket for Piz Gloria, you can stop at Gimmelwald, Birg and on your way back, get down at Wengen and walk to the train station. It will hardly take 10 minutes to cross the village and reach the train station. Take a train & cable car from Murren back to Lauterbrunnen. )
- Wengen ( 15 minutes train ride from Lauterbrunnen) – At the foot of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau mountains. Wengen is another pretty car-free resort town. You can view the entire Lauterbrunnen valley from the top.
- More adventurous travelers also have the opportunity to go on skydiving and paragliding tours for some of the most awe-inspiring views of the mountainside.
Another popular town to be based out of and explore the Jungfrau region.
- First Cliff Walk for amazing views
- Ziplining with The First Flyer in First Grindelwald – ( Price – 29 CHF )
- Eiger Trail
- Hike to stunning Bachalpasee Lake. It takes about 1.5 – 2 hour to reach the lake.
- Visit Sphinx Observatory
- Aare Gorge ( 1,400m-long limestone alpine river gorge )
- Reichenbach Falls
- Visit Schynige Platte
Other nearby places you might consider visiting-
- Visit a Spa Town ( Leukerbad ) – Truly a one-of-a-kind destination. The village is peppered with thermal pools/spas all around. Where to Stay – Hotel Le Bristol
- Lake Blausee ( 29 minutes from Spiez ) and Oeschinensee in Kandersteg
- Oberstockensee and Hinterstockensee in Erlenbach ( Two beautiful lakes which are quite easy to reach )
- Engstligenalps falls in Adelboden and the suspension Hostalde bridge Frutigen
- The suspension Trift bridge in Gadmen ( 43 Km from Interlaken )
- Goms Bridge, Bellwald ( Entrance fee – FREE )
- Gstaad – A beautiful Alpine village which is quite popular for winter activities
- Nearby Cities – Brig, Visp, Spiez, Isletwald, Bern
Where to Stay: We stayed at Alpine-Inn by Jungfrau Hotel at Wilderswill. There are beautiful hotels and chalets in and around Interlaken.
( Day 9-10 )
From Interlaken, the scenery gets even better as you inch towards Lucerne. Lucerne is a charming town and can be easily covered in a day. The main attraction that Lucerne has on offer is the Chapel Bridge. It is the oldest covered bridge in Europe. The interiors are adorned with paintings that date from the 17th century.
We explored the old town on our first day and Mt. Rigi on the second day.
- Stroll around the historic Town: Buildings are adorned with beautiful facades so keep an eye on the walls as you explore the old town.
- Boat ride in Lake Lucerne ( Covered by Swiss Travel Pass )
- Church of St. Leodegar which is quite close to Lake Lucerne
- Lucerne Townhall ( Lucerne Rathaus ) is also a beautiful piece of architecture.
- Swiss Museum of Transport ( Covered by Swiss Travel Pass )
- Tour a nuclear bunker – Sonnenberg Bunker
- Another covered bridge – Spreuerbrücke
- Mountain Excursion to Mt. Rigi ( Entirely covered by Swiss Travel Pass) / Mt. Pilatus ( board the world’s steepest cogwheel railway) / Mt. Titlis ( You get 25% percent discount on the other two. The tickets can be booked online or on the spot.
- Visit Stans ( Covered by Swiss Travel Pass )
- Visit Museum Bellpark ( Covered by Swiss Travel Pass )
- Visit Lungern – The charming town which is just an hour away
- Take in the amazing view of Lake Lucerne from Morshach
Where To Stay: We stayed at Ibis Styles, Lucerne. There are other lovely properties in and around Lucerne as well.
Day 11 – Fly out from Zurich / Bern
You can also do a quick stop at the capital city of Switzerland and fly out from Bern depending on your flight timings. We had a flight from Zurich so we boarded the morning train from Lucerne and headed straight to Zurich airport.
This concludes our 11-day tour around Switzerland! There is so much beauty and charm that we can’t wait to revisit and explore more.
If you have any other queries, feel free to drop an email or comment below.
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Disclaimer – We would like to thank Swiss Travel System for providing us with complimentary passes for our adventures around Switzerland. The content of this post is solely our personal opinions/experiences and we were not financially compensated for this post.