Switzerland Travel Guide
Looking to hike some of the world’s most beautiful mountain landscapes, stroll through colorful old towns, and dine on some fondue? Then Switzerland is the perfect place for you! Visit the Bernese Oberland, a hikers paradise filled with towering mountains, alpine meadows, historic cogwheel trains, and quaint villages. Or, relax at Switzerland’s gorgeous cities and stock up on some famous Swiss chocolate.

Switzerland Stats

Official Languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh

Population: 9 million

Capital City: Bern

Currency: Swiss franc

Power Outlet: Types C and J

Matterhorn

Switzerland Itinerary

Whether you have one, two, or even three weeks, learn how to plan the perfect Swiss itinerary. In this article, we list five sample itineraries for Switzerland. These range from 7 to 21 days, with suggestions on how to use the Swiss Travel Pass and public transportation.

Switzerland by Region

Bernese Oberland

Located in central Switzerland, the Bernese Oberland is home to some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in all of Europe. For many visitors (ourselves included), this region is the highlight of a trip to Switzerland. The alpine views, the cozy, charming villages, and the soaring cable cars create a magical destination.
Featured image for “15 Great Hikes to do in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland”

15 Great Hikes to do in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

The Bernese Oberland is a hiker’s paradise. Alpine trails crisscross their way through the towns, valleys, and the mountain peaks…
Featured image for “20 Amazing Things to do in the Jungfrau Region of the Bernese Oberland”

20 Amazing Things to do in the Jungfrau Region of the Bernese Oberland

Towering mountains, alpine meadows, soaring cable cars, historic cogwheel trains, scenic walking trails, quaint villages and hamlets…this is the Jungfrau…
Featured image for “Bernese Oberland Travel Guide: Focus on the Jungfrau Region”

Bernese Oberland Travel Guide: Focus on the Jungfrau Region

The Bernese Oberland, this is where mighty, snow-capped mountains tumble down into lush, green valleys. Waterfalls spill over the cliffs,…
Featured image for “Everything You Need to Know to Visit Schilthorn and Birg”

Everything You Need to Know to Visit Schilthorn and Birg

Schilthorn is one of the highest peaks in the Jungfrau region and it is one of the best places to…
Featured image for “How to Hike from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First, Switzerland”

How to Hike from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First, Switzerland

The hike from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First is a big day hike in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland,…
Featured image for “How to Hike the Eiger Trail in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland”

How to Hike the Eiger Trail in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

If you are looking for a short but sweet hike in the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland, the Eiger…
Featured image for “How to Visit Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe…and Is It Worth It?”

How to Visit Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe…and Is It Worth It?

A trip up to Jungfraujoch is one of the most popular things to do in the Bernese Oberland. Stand on…
Featured image for “Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn: Which One Should You Visit?”

Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn: Which One Should You Visit?

If you are planning a visit to the Bernese Alps and only have the time, or the money, for Jungfraujoch…
Featured image for “One Day in the Jungfrau Region: Jungfraujoch & the Eiger Trail”

One Day in the Jungfrau Region: Jungfraujoch & the Eiger Trail

Combining Jungfraujoch and the Eiger Trail is one of the best ways to spend one day in the Jungrau region…
Featured image for “The Mürren Via Ferrata: One of Switzerland’s Most Thrilling Experiences”

The Mürren Via Ferrata: One of Switzerland’s Most Thrilling Experiences

Does the idea of dangling 2000 feet above the Lauterbrunnen Valley floor interest you? How about walking across a tightrope,…
Featured image for “Walking from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg on the Panorama Trail”

Walking from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg on the Panorama Trail

The walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is one of the most popular hikes in the Jungfrau region. This easy,…
Featured image for “Walking the Northface Trail in Mürren, Switzerland”

Walking the Northface Trail in Mürren, Switzerland

The Northface Trail in Mürren has a little bit of everything…stunning mountain views, small hamlets and chalets tucked away amidst…
Featured image for “Where to Stay in Jungfrau, Switzerland: Best Towns & Hotels”

Where to Stay in Jungfrau, Switzerland: Best Towns & Hotels

If you are making a decision about where to stay in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland, you have a lot…

Lucerne & Zürich

Lucerne and Zürich are two neighboring cities in central Switzerland. They are a joy to visit and make a good home base for exploring the sights in this part of Switzerland.

Zermatt & the Valais

Zermatt is an idyllic mountain village tucked away in the Swiss Alps. The mighty Matterhorn dominates the skyline, creating one of the most unique alpine landscapes in Europe.

The Walker's Haute Route

The Walker's Haute Route is a 14-day trek from Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland. It's a challenging walk through the Swiss Alps. Along the way, you visit Swiss towns and hamlets, cross 10 mountain passes, and have extraordinary views of this part of Europe. It's a beautiful journey and one of our favorite travel experiences.

We did this trek in July and August 2022 and will be updating this section with more guides as we publish them.

Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 1: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc to Argentière”

Haute Route Stage 1: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc to Argentière

Stage 1 of the Walker’s Haute Route is the shortest, easiest day of the entire trek. It’s a mostly flat…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 2: Argentière to Col de Balme to Trient”

Haute Route Stage 2: Argentière to Col de Balme to Trient

After an easy, somewhat unexciting walk from Chamonix to Argentière, the hike gets to be a lot more interesting on…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 3: Trient to Fenêtre d’Arpette to Champex-Lac”

Haute Route Stage 3: Trient to Fenêtre d’Arpette to Champex-Lac

Stage 3 of the Walker’s Haute Route is the most challenging stage yet, but also one of the most rewarding.…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 4: Champex-Lac to Le Chable”

Haute Route Stage 4: Champex-Lac to Le Chable

After two long, strenuous climbs and steep descents offered by the last two stages of the Walker’s Haute Route, Stage…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 5: Le Chable to Cabane du Mont Fort”

Haute Route Stage 5: Le Chable to Cabane du Mont Fort

Hopefully you are feeling well rested, as Stage 5 of the Walker’s Haute Route includes one of the largest climbs…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 6: Cabane du Mont Fort to Cabane de Prafleuri”

Haute Route Stage 6: Cabane du Mont Fort to Cabane de Prafleuri

On very tired legs we started Stage 6 of the Walker’s Haute Route. Today’s hike is a quintessential day on…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 7: Cabane de Prafleuri to Arolla”

Haute Route Stage 7: Cabane de Prafleuri to Arolla

Stage 7 is one of our favorite stages of the Walker’s Haute Route. This is a beautiful walk from start…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 8: Arolla to Les Haudères”

Haute Route Stage 8: Arolla to Les Haudères

Stage 8 is both the easiest and shortest of the 14 stages that make up the Walker’s Haute Route and…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 9: Les Haudères to Lac de Moiry”

Haute Route Stage 9: Les Haudères to Lac de Moiry

Stage 9 of the Walker’s Haute Route starts in Les Haudères or La Sage and from these two villages, it…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 10: Lac de Moiry to Col de Sorebois to Zinal”

Haute Route Stage 10: Lac de Moiry to Col de Sorebois to Zinal

Having completed a segment of Stage 10 on yesterday’s hike, we found ourselves with another short day today. However, that…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 11: Zinal to Forcletta to Gruben”

Haute Route Stage 11: Zinal to Forcletta to Gruben

Stage 11 of the Walker’s Haute Route is another challenging mountain climb and descent. Yet, it is a great and…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 12: Gruben to Augstbordpass to St. Niklaus”

Haute Route Stage 12: Gruben to Augstbordpass to St. Niklaus

Today’s stage marks the beginning of the end of the Walker’s Haute Route. With only three stages to go, things…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 13: St. Niklaus to the Europahütte”

Haute Route Stage 13: St. Niklaus to the Europahütte

As you enter one of the final stages of the Walker’s Haute Route, you will most likely be sore, a…
Featured image for “Haute Route Stage 14: Europahütte to Zermatt”

Haute Route Stage 14: Europahütte to Zermatt

From bridges, caves, hamlets, and impressive views of the finish line, the final stage of the Walker’s Haute Route has…
Featured image for “Walker’s Haute Route Stages: An Overview of All 14 Stages”

Walker’s Haute Route Stages: An Overview of All 14 Stages

The Walker’s Haute Route is a multi-day trek from Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland. On this walk, hikers will cross…

Lake Geneva & Fribourg

Lake Geneva and the Fribourg canton are located in western Switzerland. Visit the picturesque city of Lausanne and day trip to Gruyères.

Lugano & the Ticino Canton

Located on the southern, sunny side of the Swiss Alps, it feels as if you left Switzerland and entered Italy. Visit beautiful Lake Lugano, visit the Bellinzona castles, and even day trip to Lake Como, Italy. 

Europe Travel Inspiration & Practical Info

Do you dream of visiting world-class cities like Paris, Barcelona, or Venice? Or would you rather hike the Alps, go on a scenic train ride, explore the beautiful beaches and coastal towns in southern Europe, visit fairytale towns and castles, island hop in Greece, or go on an unforgettable road trip in northern Europe?

In this article we list 25 ways to spend one week in Europe. 

Top Experiences in Switzerland

Bernese Oberland. For many visitors, the Bernese Oberland is the highlight of a trip to Switzerland. Towering mountains, alpine meadows, soaring cable cars, historic cogwheel trains, scenic walking trails, quaint villages and hamlets…this is what most people think of, when they think of Switzerland.

Jungfraujoch. A trip up to Jungfraujoch is one of the most popular things to do in the Bernese Oberland. Stand on one of the highest points in the Swiss Alps, walk through an ice cave, play in the snow, get panoramic views over the Alps, and hike out to Mönchsjochhütte.

Schilthorn. Schilthorn is one of the highest peaks in the Jungfrau region and it is one of the best places to go for panoramic views of the Swiss Alps. While you are here, enjoy the view as you dine at Piz Gloria, learn a little James Bond history at Bond World, and add on the thrilling Cliff Walk in Birg.

Spend some time in Bern. Enjoy the humble and medieval city of Bern! With its pretty river views, quaint streets, and cozy shops, this city is a delight to wander. Enjoy Bern’s museums, see Einstein's home, and climb to the top of the 13th century Zytglogge tower to look out over the city.

Lucerne. Lucerne is a gorgeous Swiss city that sits at the foot of the Alps. The best things to do are to wander the old town, eat, drink, shop, and enjoy the views of the lake.

Mt. Pilatus. Mt. Pilatus is a jagged mountain that overlooks Lucerne. Cable cars and a cogwheel railway whisk visitors to the top, where you can go hiking, ride Switzerland’s longest summer toboggan, and take in the view from a handful of viewpoints. 

Zürich. Zürich, with its colorful old town and handy public transportation network, is a great city to add on to your tour of Switzerland. Wander the picturesque old town, dine on fondue, go shopping, and take a boat tour of Lake Zürich.

Zermatt. Zermatt is an idyllic mountain village tucked away in the Swiss Alps. The mighty Matterhorn dominates the skyline, creating one of the most unique alpine landscapes in Europe. Explore the hiking trails, journey up higher into the mountains by cable car and train, stroll the scenic streets of Zermatt, and go skiing all year long. 

Visit St. Moritz. This small resort city surrounded by large mountains and gorgeous lakes. Enjoy the city’s fine dining and exquisite shopping, paddle board on Lake St. Moritz, or look down on the city from the top of a mountain.

Lausanne. Sitting on the shore of Lake Geneva is Lausanne, a charming city that is located in French-speaking Switzerland. With a colorful old town and numerous world-class museums, this is a delightful city to add to your tour of Switzerland.

Gruyères. Located in the idyllic, rolling hills of French-speaking Switzerland sits Gruyères, a picture-perfect medieval town. Cheese, chocolate, and beautiful cobblestoned streets attract visitors all year round.

Geneva. Geneva is a common gateway into Switzerland for many travelers. It’s a large and bustling city, yet ancient architecture, old cathedrals, and cobblestone streets still remain. Explore the city’s old town, sail on Lake Geneva, and savor Swiss fondue at local restaurants. 

Visit the Appenzell District. Visit the quaint and historical villages in the Appenzell District, set amongst green pastures and soaring mountains. Here, you will be able to experience traditional Switzerland, taste freshly-made Appenzell cheese, and admire remnants of the Middle Ages.

How Many Days Do You Need in Switzerland?

At minimum, plan on spending 7 days in Switzerland. This gives you just enough time to visit Lucerne, Bern, or Zürich and then spend a few days in the Swiss Alps.

With 10 days in Switzerland, you have enough time to tour Lucerne, Zürich, the Bernese Oberland, and Zermatt.

With even more time, you can add on Lugano, Lausanne, St. Moritz, or spend more time in the Swiss Alps.

If you only have a few days in Switzerland, we recommend visiting Lucerne and day tripping into the Jungfrau region from here.

Best Time to Visit Switzerland

You can visit Switzerland all year round.

The best time to visit, in my opinion, is during the summer months, especially if you want to go hiking. Many of the hiking trails do not open until the end of May or early June, and then close in October, when the snow begins to fall. So, if you are a hiker, the best time to visit is during the summer months.

Summer is peak season, especially in the Bernese Oberland. It will be more crowded and expensive to visit at this time, so you will need to make your hotel reservations far in advance (ideally 4 to 6 months before your visit). But the weather is warm, the flowers are blooming, and the days are long.

If you want to hike the trails and have lower crowds, plan your visit for the end of September to early October.

But Switzerland certainly does not lose its charm during winter months! Swiss cities are filled with Christmas celebrations and markets, and Switzerland has some of the best snow sports in Europe. Meanwhile, the Bernese Oberland is a snow-covered wonderland. Ride the cable cars to Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch for spectacular views, go skiing, and spend the evenings in a cozy hotel with views of the snow-capped mountains.

Most of the trains and cable cars operate year round, although some will close for a short period of time for maintenance, either during the winter, spring, or fall months.

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