Switzerland Itinerary | 14 Day Guide from a Travel Expert

Chez Vrony in Zermatt on switzerland itinerary

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You might be browsing the web to see if Switzerland would be a good vacation spot for you. Along with that, is figuring out what you want to do and where to go. This Switzerland itinerary is here to guide your 14-day trip, or to provide examples of places to stay and things to do in certain regions.

Now let’s start with choosing where to go within Switzerland. Followed by transportation information, what to pack, where to fly, and more!

Choosing the Best Switzerland Itinerary FOR YOU

Before going to Switzerland I was looking at all of the blog posts, Switzerland websites, photos, AllTrails hikes, and more. Some of the posts covered a lot of leisure activities, but some were meant for more active people, and other blogs took photos that sold me on certain locations in a heartbeat.

The dilemma I have with Switzerland is that the entire country is beyond beautiful. It is a picturesque country anywhere you look. This makes it a difficult destination to create an itinerary when you want to see, eat, and experience it all.

This itinerary is one that I created for my trip to Switzerland. I have included relaxing activities and ones that were a bit more adventurous. Let’s jump into the details!

5 Lakes Hike in Zermatt on switzerland itinerary

14-Day Switzerland Itinerary

Embarking on a 14-day journey through Switzerland is like stepping into a dreamland where every corner reveals a stunning panorama. This enchanting country, nestled in the heart of Europe, is a symphony of alpine landscapes, charming villages, and cosmopolitan cities.

Get ready to be captivated by the magic that awaits in every Swiss moment.

Day 1: Zurich

Most travelers, especially ones that are flying internationally will fly into the Zurich airport (ZRH). Since you have been probably flying for a day or close to it, once you land take a moment to relax. No need to hit the ground running the moment you land in Zurich (I know it is hard not to). Zurich is a wonderful city to walk around, eat good food, and drink wine after a long travel day.

*If budget is something to be mindful of on your trip, Zurich is known to be an expensive city so take a look at the prices of items before you purchase*

Zurich is known for a lot of the architecture that has been dated back to the 16th century. It is a fascinating city if you like to know a little more about a country’s history.

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… Walk to the Grossmunster and walk around the area
βœ… Swiss National Museum
βœ… Lake Zurich
βœ… eTukTuk Fondue and Wine Tour in Zurich

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• Wine Lovers: Zweifel
πŸ«• Vegetarian: Hiltl
πŸ«• Expensive Foodie: Clouds (Michelin)
πŸ«• Pizza: La Fonte
πŸ«• Coffee: MAME and Boreal Coffee Shop Talacker

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 Meininger Zurich Greencity: Great stay for solo or budget travelers
🏠 Hotel Bristol Zurich: 5-minute walk from the train station
🏠 Motel One Zurich: Eclectic Vibes in Zurich Old Town
🏠 Gasthaus zum Guten Gluck: Free cancellations and centrally close to top attractions, ski lifts, and walking around the city

Birds eye view of Zurich on switzerland itinerary

Day 2: Merlischachen

Merlischachen is a small village located on the shores of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. While it may not be as well-known as some larger cities or tourist destinations, this was one of the most serene stops on my trip. If you love downtime, relaxing, walks around villages, kind people, and stunning scenary, I would highly recommend a night in Merlischachen.

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… Walking around the village
βœ… Reading a book by the lake
βœ… Embracing the tranquility of all Merlischachen has to offer

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• I ended up eating breakfast at the yurt and hotels I stayed in and grocery store food
πŸ«• Expensive: Atelier
πŸ«• Cocktails: Chalet Bar

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 Yurt in Merlischachen: Silvia is a superhost, and deserves every bit of that. A girl’s getaway, a couple’s stay, this yurt comes with a Nespresso and an adorable fridge. Open the door, and you see one of the most beautiful panoramic views of Lake Lucerne. This Airbnb is located on a farm with cute cows, and they have a cafe at the main house.
🏠 Swiss-Chalet Merlischachen: A historical farmhouse bed and breakfast. You can truly embrace the history of this stay built in the 17th century.
🏠 Schloss Hotel: This stay includes a sauna, pool, private beach access, and free breakfast. This hotel is directly located on Lake Lucerne.

Inside a yurt on switzerland itinerary

Day 3: Lucerne

Lucerne is a destination that combines the natural beauty of the Alps and lakes, a charming historical old town, and diverse cuisine. Lucerne is a prime spot for traveling to other cities or taking transit for an adventure.

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… Chapel Bridge
βœ… Jungfraujoch Top of Europe – Day Trip from Lucerne
βœ… Swimming in Lake Lucerne
βœ… Mt.Pilatus by Cable Car, Train, & Boat Cruise

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• Coffee: Cafe Lacuba Neustadt
πŸ«• Fondue: Fondue House Du Pont
πŸ«• Atmosphere: Grottino 1313
πŸ«• Outdoor seating: Antons Restaurant
πŸ«• Lake Views: Scala Restaurant

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 Young Backpackers Homestay – Amazing view of the Alps and Hills of Lucerne. This is the perfect location for young travelers who love to socialize and maybe work. There are beds in a shared room for guests.
🏠 Hiking Biking Ski Recreational Paradise – This stay comes with a fitness room, pool, outdoor grill, and sauna, and is located near a ski lift.
🏠 City Centre Gem: 0.2 miles from the center of Lucerne in a spacious flat. A perfect place to stay for those who want to enjoy the city’s charm.

switzerland itinerary birds eye view

Day 4: Interlaken

One of my absolute favorite cities on this planet. Known as the adventure capital of Switzerland. If you are an outdoorsy individual, I would HIGHLY recommend spending quality time in the mountains and at the lake. I ended up going back to Interlaken for a few more days on my trip because I loved it so much.

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… Skydive Switzerland – Tandem Skydiving or Licensed Skydivers
βœ… Swimming & Picnic at Lake Brienz
βœ… Harder Kulm

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• Burgers: Husi Bierhaus
πŸ«• Pizza & Pasta: Ristorante Pizzeria Arcobaleno
πŸ«• Cocktails: Barracuda Cafe & Bar

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 Hotel Interlaken: Perfect spot for individuals, couples, or a group.
🏠 Metropole Hotel Interlaken: The biggest building in Interlaken with phenomenal views of the mountain range.
🏠 Hotel Royal St Georges Interlaken McGallery: This hotel will give you views of the city and includes wifi, a restaurant, and a wellness area with 2 saunas.

Skydiving in Interlaken on switzerland itinerary

Day 5: Interlaken

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… Canyoning & Rappelling
βœ… Free festivals and events
βœ… Hiking

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• Coffee & Vegan: Velo Cafe & Bar
πŸ«• Gluten-Free: Pizzeria Horn
πŸ«• Bar: Jamming Corner

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 Balmer’s Hostel: Interlaken is known to be the adventure city of Switzerland. Balmer’s Hostel is a lively stay with a bar and jacuzzie. A playful stay that has unique vibes. I will stay here every time I visit Interlaken.
🏠 Balmer’s Campground: Balmer’s also has a separate campground that has tents on it. If you like to go out at night, this stay has a nightclub that you can tear up the dance floor at.
🏠 River Front Studio Apartment: Private balcony with fantastic views of Interlaken. This apartment is a great stay for 2 travelers.

Balmer's Hostel in Interlaken on switzerland itinerary

Day 6: Grindelwald

Grindelwald is nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Another mesmerizing destination that will take your breath away with its breathtaking landscapes and alpine charm. Surrounded by towering peaks, lush meadows, and cascading waterfalls, Grindelwald offers an immersive experience of nature.

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… Mount First Gondola Ride from Grindelwald
βœ… First Cliff Walk by Tissot
βœ… Glacier Canyon – Gletscherschlucht

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• Coffee: EigerBean The Coffee Roastery
πŸ«• CafΓ© & Bar: C und M CafΓ© Bar Restaurant
πŸ«• Pub: Avocado Bar

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 Modern & Cozy Apartment: 0.5 miles to the nearest ski lift and an apartment that sleeps 5 people. This apartment has modern furniture, a fully equipped kitchen, wifi, and a covered parking space.
🏠 Apartment Chalet Smaragd: Walking distance to the Grindelwald Station, restaurants, cable cars, and ski areas.
🏠 Hotel Spinne Grindelwald: Stunning views of Mt.Eiger and the Grindelwald Valley from the pool and sauna are included with this stay.

Birds eye shot of Grindelwald and lake on switzerland itinerary

Day 7: Lauterbrunnen

You have probably seen or heard of Lauterbrunnen for its 75 stunning waterfalls. Lauterbrunnen is encircled by massive peaks of Jungfrau, Eiger, and MΓΆnch. Take a look at AllTrails and hit the ground with some hikes or walks to your fancy. There is a cable car that you can ride in to take in more of the panoramic views of the intense Alps.

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… Waterfalls E-Bike Tour & Picnic
βœ… Explore Lauterbrunnen’s village and surrounding areas
βœ… Take one of the local cable cars up to Murren for a couple of hours

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• Fine Dining: Restaurant 1903
πŸ«• Swiss: Restaurant Baren
πŸ«• Pizza: Silberhorn Restaurant & PizzerΓ­a

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 Penthouse w/ Spectacular Views: Sleeps 8, an easy walk to the museum, cable car, and village of Lauterbrunnen.
🏠 Valley Hostel: Nestled in the heart of the village is this charming hostel. One of the cleanest and kindest hostels to stay at with over 70 waterfalls surrounding the greater area. This is a great place to stay for individuals or travelers who are traveling with friends.
🏠 Hotel Stabbach: A family-run hotel that has simple rooms and more of a homey atmosphere.

Chalets and restaurants in Lauterbrunnen on switzerland itinerary

Day 8: Zermatt

You have more than likely seen pictures of Zermatt if you have seen photos of the iconic mountain, The Matterhorn. Zermatt is a rad place for those who are adventure lovers, adrenaline seekers, and nature enthusiasts. The village does not allow cars which was nice and refreshing so you aren’t stuck in traffic or at stop lights. If mobility is a little difficult, electric taxis and horse-drawn carriages are modes of transportation within the village.

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… FlyZermatt – Tandem Paragliding
βœ… Hornli Hut (also has a restaurant)
βœ… The Matterhorn (many different tours)

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• Swiss: saycheese!
πŸ«• Indian: Golden India Zermatt
πŸ«• French: L’Atelier Grandsire

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 Hotel Zermama Zermatt: This is a more luxurious stay with a lot of amenities. If you are looking to pamper yourself or another traveler, stay here for a night. You won’t regret it. 😊
🏠 Wellness Hotel Alpenhof: This hotel is what we would call a “treat yoself” stay. A complete spa with massages is located at this hotel. You will also get an on-site restaurant that has vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options.
🏠 Schweizerhof Zermatt – A chic hotel with excellent views of the Matterhorn. If you like to grab a cocktail, try international dishes, experience a live DJ, indoor swimming, and a fitness center. This is the place for you!

Hiking in Zermatt on switzerland itinerary

Day 9: Zermatt

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… Hiking (5 lakes was my favorite!)
βœ… Gorner Gorge – Waterfalls & formations
βœ… Walk around the village

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• Bakery: Fuchs Bistro and Bakery
πŸ«• Healthy: Zermana Bistro
πŸ«• African: Bazaar by Cervo

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 Hotel Taescherhof: One of the more budget-friendly hotels in Zermatt. A welcoming and kind staff with a convenient location are huge bonuses with this stay.
🏠 Hotel Derby: If you want to stay here, book it early due to availability being a bit tough during some parts of the year. If you enjoy a round or 2 of golf, there is a course within 2 miles.
🏠 Zermatt Budget Rooms: Modern rooms with one side as a window. These rooms are located in the basement of the 4**** Alpen Resort Hotel & Spa. The guests of Zermatt budget rooms are allowed to use the amenities at the hotel & spa. An included breakfast buffet every morning is offered with food for everybody.

Paragliding with Matterhorn in background

Day 10: Zermatt

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… Private Ski & Snowboard Lessons – 3 hours
βœ… Matterhorn Museum – Zermantlantis
βœ… Gornergrat

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• Cafe: Petit Royal Cafe
πŸ«• European: Findlerhof
πŸ«• Michelin: Restaurant Chez Vrony (the first photo on this post is the meal I ate here)

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 Check out previous days’ recommendations.

Hiking in Zermatt with the Matterhorn in background

Day 11: Geneva

A beautiful city located right on Lake Geneva and known for its international organizations, cultural diversity, and shopping. The United Nations’ headquarters is here and Geneva is also the home of the Lindt Chocolate Factory. Both of these are great spots to take a tour and a taste of chocolate at Lindt. Geneva hosts many special events and festivals, check out their schedule before or during your trip.

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… Rent a boat at Les Corsaires
βœ… Visit the famous Jet d’Eau water fountain
βœ… International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• Coffee: Birdie Food & Coffee
πŸ«• Indian: Le Darshana
πŸ«• Fondue: Cafe du Soleil (offers gluten-free bread, you can see my happiness in the photo below that I get to eat bread with cheese finally haha)

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 citizenM Geneva: Upscale lakefront hotel within walking distance of many shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
🏠 Furnished Room near Cornavin: Traveling solo and traveling on a budget? This is a great stay, with a great host, and a great location.
🏠 Entire Rental Unit in Geneva: Located in a building from the late 1800s and the heart of Geneva is this modern rental unit.

Eating cheese fondue in Geneva

Day 12: Geneva

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… Swimming in Lake Geneva
βœ… Shopping in rue du Marche, rue du Rive, and/or rue du Rhone.
βœ… Botanical Gardens

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• French: Woods (the macarons… YUM)
πŸ«• Italian: Pizzeria Ristorante Molino, Molard Geneve
πŸ«• Cocktails: Little Barrel

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 Geneva Hostel: Located close to Lake Geneva in a peaceful neighborhood. There are large common areas to play games, meet new people, read, or hang out with some friends.
🏠 Hotel Royal Geneve, Suisse: A classic hotel with French dining and a gym and spa.
🏠 Hotel Rotary Geneva – MGallery: Right in the center of Geneva you will get a hotel with city views, free wifi, a fitness center, a sauna, and a free city ticket for public transport.

Rented a boat in Geneva and picture on the lake

Day 13: Bern

The capital of Switzerland is known for its UNESCO World Heritage Site and its medieval architecture. By this point in your trip…you have done a lot, seen a lot of breathtaking views, and eaten all the good food. A fun fact about Bern is the quality of life is ranked highly due to its well-maintained infrastructure, healthcare, education, and overall livability.

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… International Jazz Festival and other festivals throughout the year
βœ… Eat Swiss chocolate (a little…or a lot)
βœ… Walk around Old Town

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• Historical Cafe: Kornhauskeller Restaraunt & Bar
πŸ«• Swiss: Klosterli Weincafe
πŸ«• Chocolate: Sprungli

Favorite Accommodations:

🏠 Best Western Plus Hotel Bern: In the center of Bern between the French Church and the Zytglogge Tower. With a short stay in Bern, this hotel is only a 5-minute walk from the Bern Main Station.
🏠 NH Bern The Bristol: If you like the Old Town area more, this is located in the heart of Bern. The NH Bern The Bristol allows guests to hire bicycles free of charge to explore Bern’s World Heritage-listed Old Town.
🏠 Capsule Hotel: (If you need to go back to Zurich for an earlier flight.) This hotel is located in Zurich if you want to be back in the city and maybe shop a little before your flight.

Clock tower in Bern and Old Town

Day 14: Zurich

Your last day of the trip…well…maybe, it is so tempting to stay in Switzerland longer. If you have the extra time, visiting Rheinfall is one for the books. If you want to stay around

Favorite Activities/Attractions:

βœ… Rheinfall (largest waterfall in Europe!)
βœ… Tour the home of Lindt Chocolate
βœ… Walk around and get those legs stretched out before traveling

Favorite Restaurants:

πŸ«• Coffee: Babu’s Bakery & Coffeehouse
πŸ«• Burger: Holy Cow! Gourmet Burger Co.
πŸ«• Vegan: roots

Favorite Accommodations:

Safe travels home or on your next adventure! 😊

Photo from a bridge in Zurich looking out at the town and river

Is Switzerland Worth Visting?

From the moment I landed in Switzerland, I already wanted to visit again. So in short, yes.

Switzerland has so much to offer travelers. The natural beauty, cultural richness, delectable fondue and wine, adrenaline sports, and the friendly Swiss locals.

Check out my post below about 21 reasons to visit Switzerland and why it’s worth visiting.

Is Switzerland Worth Visiting? 21 Reasons to Visit

The Matterhorn and cottages

How to Travel Within Switzerland

There are multiple different ways to travel within Switzerland. I primarily used the train for the majority of my travels. It gave me the option to take a moment to relax and either take a short nap or look up the next town/city I was going to and make sure all of my reservations were in order. The trains also have wifi which helps look at the itinerary and do any research or get some work done.

Swiss Travel Pass: Consider getting a Swiss Travel Pass, which offers unlimited travel on the Swiss Travel System network, including trains, buses, and boats. It also provides free or discounted entry to many museums and attractions. This was what I used for traveling a lot via the train system.

Car: Renting a car is a good choice if you want the flexibility to explore remote areas or if you prefer a self-paced journey. Switzerland has well-maintained roads, but some mountain roads can be a little narrower.

Train: Switzerland is famous for its extensive and punctual train network. The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) connects major cities and towns, offering scenic routes through the Swiss Alps. Trains are a comfortable and popular way to travel between destinations.

Bus: Buses complement the train network and provide access to areas not covered by trains. Regional and local bus services connect smaller towns and rural areas. Traveling by bus is a convenient option for exploring specific regions.

Traveling by train throughout switzerland

Where to Fly In and Out of Switzerland

Switzerland has several international airports that you can consider flying into, depending on your travel itinerary and preferences. The main international airports in Switzerland are:

  1. Zurich Airport (ZRH): Zurich Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Switzerland, located in the city of Zurich. It is well-connected to major cities worldwide and serves as a major hub for international flights.
  2. Geneva Airport (GVA): Geneva Airport is situated near the city of Geneva and is another major international gateway. It serves the western part of Switzerland and is well-connected to various European and intercontinental destinations.
  3. Bern Airport (BRN): While smaller than Zurich and Geneva airports, Bern Airport is an option that may be more expensive to fly in and out of.

Choose the airport that best suits your travel plans and desired destinations within Switzerland. Zurich and Geneva airports are the most commonly used for international travel to and from Switzerland due to their extensive flight networks.

What Language Do They Speak in Switzerland

Switzerland has four official languages which vary by region. German, French, Italian, and Romansh are the official languages. English is a widely understood language and I never had any issues or barriers with speaking English while traveling throughout the country.

⭐ German: Mainly in Zurich, Bern, and Basel

⭐ French: Mainly in Geneva and Lausanne

⭐ Italian: Mainly in Ticino and Graubünden

⭐ Romansh: Mainly in Graubünden

What to Pack for Switzerland

Some of us get really excited to pack (hi, it’s me), and others dread the moment that they have to decide what to bring for a limited amount of days…and how to fit it all into a suitcase!

Take a moment to think about what you are planning on doing during your trip and assess if you actually need 3 purses, 5 pairs of shoes, or whatever else your weakness is. If you stay at a hotel, most accommodations also have laundry services.

For me, it’s like my own weird game. I am the girl who refuses to check a bag anywhere I go, no matter how long of a stay. This is beneficial for this type of trip, especially if you are traveling via trains. However, I saw plenty of people with larger suitcases on trains and even walking around each city to get to their next destination.

Packing List:
1. Comfortable shoes: chacos or tevas, walking shoes, boots if hiking (wear the bulkiest shoe on the plane)
2. Swimsuit (let’s be honest…you only really need one)
3. Packing cubes (helps organize clothes and allows you to pack for in a stuff sack
4. Reusable water bottle (saves you $$$ and is environmentally friendly)
5. Portable charger (great for travel in general, the one linked has built-in cables that make it much easier to travel)
6. Camera + charger (if you like to take photos, this is an amazing place)
7. Undergarments (you know what you need)
8. Socks (depending on what shoes you bring, make sure you bring the socks you need too)
9. Tops: Weather-dependent tops (check temperatures & weather predictions before packing)
10. Bottoms: Shorts, pants, comfortable travel clothing (weather and temperature dependent)
11. Outerwear: Winter, warmer jackets. Summer, a light jacket or sweatshirt if you like to be cozy
12. Hiking: H2O, backpack used while traveling, first aid kit
13. Skiing: Probably need to check a bag if you are bringing all your gear OR rent
14. Switzerland Travel Adapter (unless you don’t feel like charging electronics, more power to ya
15. Travel documents: (passports, etc.)
16. Toiletries (medications, sunscreen – protect that skin folks, other items you use)
17. Small backpack (easy to carry everything you need while embracing Switzerland each day)
18. Kindle or book

Airport photo of what I packed

5 Switzerland Fun Facts

  1. Tap water is drinkable (and tasty). Bring a water bottle to fill up at one of the many convenient water spigots.
  2. Switzerland has 7000 lakes.
  3. The Alps make up almost 60% of the country.
  4. Switzerland has the world’s longest tunnel.
  5. Switzerland recycles about 53% of its municipal waste, compared to the OECD average of about 35%. 

The 14 Day Switzerland Itinerary Wrapped Up

A 14-day journey through Switzerland promises an unforgettable experience.

From the charming streets of Zurich to the serene shores of Lake Geneva, each destination offers a unique glimpse into Switzerland’s diverse landscapes and traditions. Whether exploring the snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps, savoring delectable Swiss chocolates in Lucerne, or cruising the pristine waters of Lake Lucerne, this itinerary allows for a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration.

As the journey comes to an end, the memories of panoramic vistas, historic towns, and cultural encounters will linger, inviting future returns to this enchanting and hospitable nation.

Toblerone photo with the Matterhorn in the background

Happy Trails,
Mindful PNW Travels