The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary for Switzerland

Switzerland – the land of the enchanting alps, adorable cows, remarkable yodelers, scrumptious cheese, and delicious chocolate!

At least those were the things I was looking forward to the most when my boyfriend told me that he bought us tickets to travel to Switzerland for 7 full days!

One week did not seem like enough time once we started looking in to all the whimsical towns and breath-taking scenery we could be blessed to explore! Thankfully, Switzerland is a very small country and the train system is incredible!

Swiss Travel Pass

Before we began our journey, we did pre-purchase the Swiss Travel Pass online. This was a life-savor! With this pass, we were able to travel by train to almost every location we wanted to go! It also provides you discounted prices for the smaller railways that would have otherwise cost a fortune! Boats and buses are also included in the Swiss Travel Pass. Was it worth the price? ABSOLUTELY! And it saved so much time from having to purchase each ticket at the station individually; you can literally just hop on any train (or boat and bus) without a problem! The other perk is that it allows you free entrance to over 400 museums across the country. I would highly recommend purchasing a Swiss Travel Pass!

Day 1: Lucerne –

Our flight landed in Zurich around 8am. Navigating this airport was a breeze! We were out of the airport and into the transportation station in no time at all! After a quick breakfast in the food court area, we boarded our first Swiss train to take us to Lucerne! It was only a 45-minute train ride to Lucerne from Zurich. We were amazed at all the beautiful views already! Everything was so green! A tip for the train: the stops are QUICK! Pay attention to the names of the stations as you pull in so that you are ready!

Read about our day spent in Lucerne.

Day 2 – 4: Interlaken Area –

We took the train from Lucerne to Interlaken which was about a 2-hour train ride. Once again, the scenery was incredibly breathtaking! We decided on staying in Interlaken for 3 days to explore the Jungfrau Region.  We also included Bern as a ½ day trip since it was only 45-minutes from Interlaken. This part of our trip was my favorite, I loved being in the Alps!

Read about our stay in the Jungfrau Region.

Day 5: Chillon Castle and Geneva –

Everyone loves the movie the Little Mermaid, right? I know I do! Which is why I HAD to visit the Chillon Castle! This is the castle that inspired the castle design for the movie. Our train route was Interlaken – Bern- Laussane – Montreaux. The trains run like clock worth so we were able to just hop from one to the other without having a long wait in between! So convenient!

Once we arrived in Monteaux, we boarded the city bus that dropped us off right at the castle’s entrance. Here’s another perk to the Swiss Pass – free entrance to the castle! There thankfully was an area to keep our bags in a locker for only $1 deposit. It was very interesting walking through the castle! It’s astonishing to think that people used to live there! We explored the castle for at least an hour if not a little more!

Afterwards, we ate a quick lunch before boarding a bus to take us back to the train station. We then took the train from Montreux to Geneva. The entire ride you are along Lake Geneva! Make sure to get a window seat on the lake side!

It was around 5pm when we stepped off the train in Geneva. Our hotel was right near train station so we did not have to walk far. We dropped off our bags and walked around for a bit and found a bite to eat. We did not stay out long. Once it began to get dark out we started to notice groups of young men just standing around watching the tourists and it was a little un-nerving. This was the first time in Switzerland that I did not feel comfortable. We called it an early night so that we could get a good night’s sleeps before exploring the city the next day. If I were to return to Geneva, I would more likely stay in the ‘Old Town” instead of right near the train station. It did not seem like a safe area once night fell.

Day 6: Geneva –

Today we explored the beautiful city of Geneva! We liked it much more during the day! We crossed the bridge to the “Old Town” which we loved! So much charm and history!

Our first stop was to visit the St. Pierre’s Cathedral (or St. Peter’s Cathedral). This Cathedral held a special place in my heart and was the main reason I wanted to visit Geneva. My father recently passed away due to a horrible disease called ALS. A dear friend of his lives in Geneva and before ALS took over his body he made sure to visit Europe. They stopped in Geneva and my Dad had a chance to wander around the city. A place that became special to him was this Cathedral. Stepping inside of the sanctuary was spectacular! We paid 5 cfh to enter the towers. The start of this journey begins with 157 stairs leading you to the top of the Cathedral where you then get to explore the Cathedral from above! It was amazing! You get an incredible 360 views of the city! I noticed that at one of the tips of a tower, a small rainbow was illuminating around the sun. It made me think of my Dad 😊

After visiting the Cathedral, we stopped and got fondue before finding the Reformation Wall. The Reformation Wall is located in Bastion’s Park. The wall represents the major events and important people involved in the Protestant Reformation. Bastion’s Park was a neat area for us to relax for a bit. As you enter the park, the first thing you’ll notice is the large game pieces for playing chess and checkers!

After exploring the park, we made our way back towards Lake Geneva where we admired the Jet d’Eau! This jet shoots water 140-meters! We walked along the water and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at the promenade.

Day 7: Zurich –

Our last full day! We hopped on the train from Geneva to Zurich – our starting point! The train ride was a little less than 3 hours. We found our hotel right away so we could drop our bags off. The hotel we stayed at was the Hotel Du Theatre. It is located in Old Town so provides great access to all you’ll want to see in Zurich! We left our bags at our hotel and began to walk toward Grossmunster which is one of the most famous landmarks in Zurich! Along the way, we enjoyed the beautiful views of the city as we walked along the river. The Niederdorf is a lovely promenade with a lot of shopping and restaurants. I was fascinated with all of the stunning architecture this city had to offer!

The Grossmunster Cathedral was so beautiful inside and out! Similar to the St. Pierre’s Cathedral in Geneva, you can climb up the towers to get an amazing view of the city!

Afterwards, we crossed the river and enjoyed seeing all the sites! We spent the whole day just wandering around the city in “awe”.

We were sad to be leaving on our flight back home the next morning. Switzerland was such a fairy-tale country to visit! I hope to come back one day!!

Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region

During our stay in Switzerland, we wanted to visit the Swiss Alps and explore all the cute little picturesque alpine towns! Looking at the map, we knew that we really wanted to be in the Jungfrau Region.

We chose to stay in Interlaken and have that be our central location while we visited this area which ended up working out flawlessly! We used Interlaken to explore and visit Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, and Bern! All of these cities were no longer than 1 hour from Interlaken by train so it was perfect to visit the other towns as day trips!

We decided to stay 3 nights in Interlaken at the Hotel Toscana.

Day 1

Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe

We arrived in Interlaken by train around 10am. There are two train stations in Interlaken – Interlaken Ost and Interlaken West. Interlaken Ost is the main station. The Hotel Toscana is near Interlaken West so we just jumped on the train for the quick 5-minute ride. Once we got familiar with the town we always just walked to Interlaken Ost – it’s just a 10 – 15-minute walk between the two stations!

Our check-in time for our hotel wasn’t until later in the afternoon but thankfully we were able to leave our bags at the front desk.

We were really anxious to jump on the train to go to Jungfraujoch aka the Top of Europe! This was the only full day that the weather called for clear skies and we wanted to see the beautiful views that awaited us at Jungfraujoch! READ MORE ABOUT THE TOP OF EUROPE.

Lauterbrunnen

 

On our way back down the mountain after visiting Jungfraujoch, we decided to get off the train to walk around and explore Lauterbrunnen. It is such a cute little town! Warning – since it is a small Swiss town places close around 6 or 7pm! First thing that we HAD to do was to see the Staubbach Falls! It was so beautiful! Lauterbrunnen is known as the Valley of 72 Waterfalls! In the summer months, you can actually hike up and around Staubbach falls. We were there in early May so it was too early in the season to get the pleasure of hiking around the waterfall.

After enjoying the Staubbach waterfall, we thankfully were able to find a restaurant that was still open called the Restaurant Oberland which is located at the Oberland Hotel. We shared a delicious pizza and a few glasses of wine before heading back to Interlaken for the night. Out of all the Swiss towns we visited during our stay in Switzerland, I would say that Lauterbrunnen was the most beautiful!

 

Day 2

Grindelwald

We found the perfect little café to get coffee and breakfast at in town.  It is called The Sandwich Bar and it was located near Interlaken West. The family that owns it are so nice! There isn’t very many places open for breakfast so we were happy that we found this place!

Today we decided that we wanted to head back up in to the mountains! This time, we went to Grindelwald! It was about a 45-minute train ride. The town itself is pretty small. We walked down the main street and soaked in all the amazing views. Pictures do not do this area of Switzerland justice! This town is perfect to go to if you are planning activities such as skiing, big hikes, etc. Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side today and it was very windy and was drizzling on and off. We ate lunch at a hotel restaurant close to the train station called Derby Hotel. The sign out front said that it had the best fondue in town so that’s what we ordered! Our first fondue meal on our trip! It was delicious!

 

Harder Kulm

In Interlaken we kept seeing this train track that looks as if it is almost vertical going up the side of the mountain! It is near Interlaken Ost right across the beautiful river. That evening, we decided to check it out and I am so glad that we did!

We discovered that the train take you up the side of the mountain to Harder Kulm aka the Top of Interlaken. It is open from April – October. The tickets were 16CHF per person but, with our Swiss Pass, we got 50% off! It seemed as if the railway was leaving about every 30 minutes so we did not have to wait long for it to be our turn to ride up!

Once you get to the top, it is just a short walk to the view point! The Two Lake Bridge platform gives you an incredible view of Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region. You also see both Lake Thun and Lake Brienz as well as Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau! We also read that we were 1,322 meters above sea level! There is a restaurant at the top that we decided to have dinner at. I finally got to try Alplermagronen which is basically macaroni and cheese with potatoes and onions mixed in it. They give you apple sauce on the side. It was pretty delicious! After looking out at the view point once more we headed back towards the railway to go back down.

The other option to get to the top besides the train was to hike all the way up! If it were earlier in the day it is something that we would have considered. It looked like a fun hike!

 

Day 3

Bern

Today we wanted to explore the city of Bern! We, of course, stopped at our favorite little café for coffee and muffins before walking to Interlaken Ost. It was about a 45-minute train ride to Bern. Right when we got off the train in Bern we could see the iconic Old Munster Church peaking up through the buildings! We simply just walked that direction which lea up to the Old Town. Once we arrived at the church, we sadly discovered that there was construction being done  so were not able to go inside. Usually, you are allowed to go inside and even walk up one of the towers to get an amazing view of the city of Bern!

We wandered around and explored this area of the city and ended up walking right towards Einstein’s old apartment! They have it well labeled and there is even his picture in the window. But once again, we were too much of early birds arriving that it was not quite open yet for us to go inside and take the tour. If you are interested in taking the tour, I did read that it was around 16 CHF. Just a few more steps from his apartment though is the famous Clock Tower (Zytglogge)! We had great timing and were there right at noon to watch it go off! The show begins just a few minutes before the hour so make sure to arrive about 5 – 10 minutes early to get a good view!

After we got a quick bit to eat, we walked across the Aare River bridge which leads you by foot right to the Einstein and Historical Museum. With our handy dandy Swiss Travel Pass we were able to go in to the museum for free! The museum is 5 stories tall and had so much history! One floor is dedicated solely to Einstein. I learned a lot of about his life that I did not previously know before!

Once we had walked through the museum, we went back towards the train station to head back to Interlaken where we enjoyed the rest of the evening strolling around the beautiful city.

 

 

Tips

  • If you want a cheaper place to stay, there is an amazing Youth Hostel near Interlaken West (the main station). They also have great prices on food if you want a quick, cheap meal!
  • When the weather is nice, there are two beautiful lakes on either side of the city of Interlaken you can visit – Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
  • Ever wanted to go paragliding? Here’s your chance! You can find it at the Hohematte Park in the middle of the city. It was fun to sit in the park and watch all the para-gliders come down from the mountain! It seems that people are flying down in to town all day long! It’s pretty neat to see!
  • Alpine towns open late and close early! I would estimate that most restaurants and stores open around 11am and close around 7pm.
  • Best quick breakfast if you are having an early start in Interlaken? The Sandwich Bar!

Jungfraujoch

The best views in Switzerland? My opinion: Jungfraujoch!

How To Get There?

By train! We started our journey from Interlaken and it took around a total of 2 hours until we reached the top! Before we left for our trip to Switzerland, we purchased Swiss Travel Passes for our entire stay. These tickets got us as far up the mountain as Wengen. Once you arrive in Wengen, it is an additional charge to continue up the mountain. We thankfully got 25% off of the tickets since we had the Swiss Travel Pass. It ended up being $132 per person round trip to Jungfraujoch and back.

How High Up Are You?

Once you reach your destination to the Top of Europe, you are at 11,333 feet!

Sphinx Observatory

Once you step off the train there are a lot of signs showing you where to go. We wandered to the main floor then took the elevator to the Sphinx observatory deck! The views were absolutely breathtaking! You could see forever! There were a lot of people on the observatory deck but we finally found a place where we could look out without being completely crowded! And yes, this is where my fiancé proposed to me! 😊 Let’s just say that this was my favorite day in Switzerland!

Alpine Sensation

After we were on the observatory deck for a while, we went inside and wandered our way to the Alpine Sensation. This hallway connects you to the Ice Palace. The Alpine Sensation is dedicated to the miners who gave their lives buildings the caves and the railway leading to Jungfraujoch.

Ice Palace

We had so much fun sliding around and exploring the little caves and pathways in the Ice Palace! We even found the squirrel from the movie Ice Age!

 

Main Complex

We ended our stay back at the beginning – the main complex. Here you can find a snack, eat at a restaurant, purchase souvenirs, and even stop in at the Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven! It can get a bit crowded in the main complex.

Other Places to Visit

We did not make it to these areas at the top but one place that I would have enjoyed going was the Plateau! It is a walk out on the mountain where you get another great view point! Another activity that is offered is the “Snow Fun Park” open for people to go sledding, skiing, and snowboarding. You can rent most equipment there.

Best Time Of Day To Go

We began our trip around noon. If I were to go again, I would leave so soon as possible in the morning! It does get pretty crowded as the day goes on. We left around 5pm and the line to get back on the train to go down the mountain was pretty long!

Overall, we really enjoyed our visit to Jungfraujoch! Definitely a must-see when travelling to Switzerland!

24 Hours in Lucerne Switzerland

The first city that we got the honor to explore during our 8-day trip to Switzerland was the city of Lucerne (also known as Luzern).

We flew in to the Zurich International Airport and immediately hopped on the train to head to Lucerne! It was about a 45-minute train ride.

When we arrived, we were already right in the city! It was just a quick walk to the iconic Chapel Bridge from the train station.

Chapel Bridge and the Old Town

We walked across the Chapel Bridge in to the “Old Town”. The streets were lined with beautiful buildings filled with many restaurants and stores. It was nice walking around and exploring the city. Our first meal in Switzerland was at a cute Italian restaurant named Valentinos’s Pizzeria. Both the wine and food were fabulous! After filling our stomachs, we walked back across the river and went to find our hotel for the night. Thankfully they allowed us to store our bags until check in. We stayed at the Baslertor Summer Pool Hotel.  It was really easy to find and was  just a block away from the River Reuss.

Mill Bridge

We walked back across the river using the Mill Bridge. It is also known as the Spreuerbrucke. As you walk across the bridge there are multiple paintings above you! They all depict how we are all the same before death. It was a pretty interesting bridge and it was much less crowded to walk across than the Chapel Bridge.

Museggmauer

We then took a 15-minute walk north up to the Museggmauer (Musegg Wall). You can climb all the way up to the old lookout towers and the clock tower! This wall was built back in the 14th century. It was a pretty interesting walk/climb and the views were so very worth it!! And it was free to do!

Lion Monument

Next, we walked east to find the famous Lion Monument. The walk was only about 10-minutes to the monument from the Musegg Wall. It was a lot larger than I was anticipating! The monument shows a lion dying with an arrow piercing through his shoulders. It is in memory of the Swiss regiment.

Glacier Garden Museum

Right near the monument is the Glacier Gardens Museum. It is also free with your Swiss Travel Pass! We explored this a little before starting to head back to the direction of our hotel. We had a lot of fun exploring the mirror maze!

Tip: Right next to the museum is a super fun slide that is built in to the wall! A must- do 😊

For dinner, we shared pizza at Mamma Leone’s which was so delicious! We made sure to walk back across the River Reuss using the Chapel Bridge; it was so beautiful lit up in the evening! We got drinks at a bar named Cheers near our hotel before calling it a night!

 

Side Notes:

  • No need to rent a car, you can literally walk ANYWHERE in Lucerne.
  • Predominately German speaking.
  • Restaurants along the canal are pretty pricey! Walking in the town even just a block the prices lower and the food is incredible!
  • Take time to enjoy watching all the swans in the river! At night, you can see a lot of fish near the bridges as well!