Switzerland itinerary

Are you planning a trip to Europe and wondering how many days you should spend in Switzerland? This is a tricky question, but probably also the most important one. So let us help you out with that by saying: there’s no one correct answer to this.

Let’s get started with the main issue here. A lot of people get confused because Switzerland is such a small country and they think they can just breeze through in a day. Lucerne in the morning, Jungfraujoch in the afternoon and then onward to Paris. But don’t be fooled. Even though Switzerland is only half the size of Lake Superior, there’s more than enough to see and do for several weeks. And rushing through in a day would be such a shame.

We’re fully aware that not everyone has weeks available. Everyone’s time budget is different. Which is why the question should not be: “How much time should you spend in Switzerland?” but more: “How much time do you have and what can you see in this time available?”

To help you find your perfect Switzerland itinerary, we’ve put together a whopping collection of over 100 itineraries for you. Including a day-by-day rundown, a map, inspiring photos to wake that travel spirit as well as a highlight section for each one of these 105 itineraries. The time budgets they cover a range from 2 days to 14 days. The itineraries all have their starting point in Zurich or Geneva, which is where our two main airports are situated. But with Switzerland being so well connected by public transport, you can easily adjust your itinerary and start in a different place for full flexibility.

So whatever amount of time you have available, be that just a long weekend of two full weeks, your options to plan your Switzerland itinerary are plentiful. Let us guide you through the library that will help you plan your trip.

2 days in Switzerland from Zurich or Geneva

Let’s be honest, two days isn’t going to be enough time to visit Switzerland. But sometimes, it’s all you got. Luckily, with Switzerland being such a small country that’s very well connected to a public transport system, you can reach almost every corner within one day. You choose whether you want to:

  • visit a city like Bern, Lucerne or St. Gallen
  • travel into the Alps to see some impressive mountains like for instance the Matterhorn in Zermatt or Jungfraujoch near Interlaken
  • or if you prefer cruising across Lake Thun or Lake Geneva on a passenger ship

If you start your 2 days in Switzerland from Zurich, we have a collection of 12 itineraries that all include one night away from Zurich. In case you enter Switzerland in the west and start your 2 days in Switzerland from Geneva, we’ve also got you covered with 9 itineraries.

Swiss Activities Tipp for your 2 days in Switzerland itinerary: To save yourself some time on figuring out your transport options, check out our collection of pre-organised day trips from Zurich or Geneva. With these tours, all you need to do is jump on the comfortable bus and let your guide take you where the wind blows.

3 days in Switzerland from Zurich or Geneva

Still not too much time, but three days in Switzerland give you some more options to explore our beautiful country. You can combine several highlights of Switzerland in one trip. Like the Alps, some stunning mountain lakes and a visit to our most popular cities with their museums.

It also means you get to travel to a place and spend some time there, like for instance in our itinerary that takes you to the Italian part of Switzerland in the Canton of Ticino. It’ll give you some extra time to factor in a longer hike or an exciting activity like canyoning, skydiving or kayaking once you get there.

While it is possible to spend only two days in Switzerland, the minimum amount we recommend is definitely three days. The more the better, but in our opinion, we think you should opt for at least three days.

If you start your 3 days in Switzerland from Zurich, our collection contains 13 itineraries. In case you enter the country in the west and start your 3 days in Switzerland from Geneva, we’ve got you covered with 5 itineraries.

Swiss Activities Tipp for your 3 days in Switzerland itinerary: Since you’re spending two nights in Switzerland, you have the option to include one of our world-famous scenic train rides into your journey. This way, the time you spend travelling on the train won’t feel like wasted time just getting from one place to another. It’ll rather be a part of your trip. Find out more about these extra scenic journeys in our article about the 5 best scenic train rides in Switzerland.

4 days in Switzerland from Zurich or Geneva

With four days in Switzerland, your options to combine several highlights and places grow. It opens up the possibility to spend two nights in one place and explore the area to its fullest without constantly having to pack your bags.

In our itineraries, you often find suggestions with free days in places like Interlaken, Zermatt or the Canton of Ticino. This way, you get more of an in-depth insight into a region and can work up a longer bucket list of things you want to see. You’ll appreciate this if you don’t want to spend your holiday constantly weighing up your options because you don’t have enough time to see more than the absolute minimum.

In case you enter the country in Zurich and start your 4 days in Switzerland from Zurich, our collection contains 13 itineraries. However, if you start your 4 days in Switzerland from Geneva, we’ve got you covered with 3 itineraries that are specifically focusing on the French part of Switzerland.

Swiss Activities Tipp for your 4 days in Switzerland itinerary: Now that you’re spending a couple of days in Switzerland, buying a travel pass of some sort might work out cheaper for you than buying single tickets as you go. Whether a Swiss Travel Pass or another Rail Pass makes sense for you depends on the itinerary you choose. But we recommend you do the maths once you decide on the places you’re going to include in your trip.

5 days in Switzerland from Zurich or Geneva

With five days in Switzerland, you have the opportunity to travel across the whole country from east to west and still see plenty of things along the way. We don’t recommend this for any shorter duration. But with five days, you have the option if this is something you’re interested in.

The density of highlights you get to tick off your bucket list increases with each day you add to your trip. And five days in Switzerland is perfect to get a good idea of just how versatile this little country is. It also means you don’t have to choose between a trip into the Alps with some time-consuming outdoor adventures or a city trip. You can do both and still not have to rush.

Several of our itineraries include a ride on one of the scenic trains as they make your trip extra special. Which also means that buying a Rail Pass or even the Swiss Travel Pass might make sense for you.

Starting your 5 days in Switzerland from Zurich, we’ve put together 10 itineraries for you. If you start your 5 days in Switzerland from Geneva, you have a choice of 4 itineraries.

Swiss Activities Tipp for your 5 days in Switzerland itinerary: Try not to plan out every minute of your trip. Since you have almost a week to discover Switzerland, you might want to leave some time for flexibility and spontaneity. So if you find yourself walking past a museum you want to visit or find a hike you’d like to go on, you’ll be glad you didn’t knit your schedule too tight. Plus you might like some time to just relax without rushing from one place to another, which these itineraries should allow for.

6 days in Switzerland from Zurich or Geneva

Almost one week in Switzerland. This is a fantastic time to, well, not see it all but certainly see more than most people coming to Switzerland ever will. Make sure you grab your Swiss Travel Pass for this one, either for six days straight or for a flexible amount of days. But chances are you’re going to need it with all the travelling you’ll be doing.

The beauty of these itineraries is that almost all of them have one or more free days in one place somewhere along the way. That way, you can discover a region in depth and take a break every now and then. You can also travel off the beaten track for a bit and go where most tourists never go when they come here. Like for instance Switzerland’s only Nationalpark in the Engadine or Switzerland’s biggest stork colony near Solothurn.

If you start your 6 days in Switzerland from Zurich, our collection contains 9 itineraries. In case you enter Switzerland in the west and start your 6 days in Switzerland from Geneva, we’ve got you covered with 3 itineraries.

Swiss Activities Tipp for your 6 days in Switzerland itinerary: Six days is almost long enough to try and get familiar with some of the languages spoken in Switzerland. Did you know, for instance, that there are four official languages spoken here? Not that you’d need to be able to speak them all if you come, of course. None of us do! But if you know how to say “hello”, “goodbye” and “thank you” in each one of the languages, you might get a long way in making friends with some locals.

8 days in Switzerland from Zurich or Geneva

With eight days in Switzerland, you have the luxury of putting together a sizable bucket list to work on during your trip. We have itineraries for deep-divers focusing on one specific area, like for instance eastern or western Switzerland, where you get to discover a certain region in depth. And we have itineraries for I-want-to-see-it-all travellers including all corners of the country. This way, you can get a great overview of just how versatile Switzerland is. Without having to get yourself into a crazy rush like you would if you only had four or five days.

Regardless of the itinerary you choose, a Rail Pass of some sort definitely makes sense here. Be that a regional, national or even an international one. Our 8 days in Switzerland itineraries all include free days along the way to give you a chance to relax and really get to know a place.

Swiss Activities Tipp for your 8 days in Switzerland itinerary: Depending on what time of the year you plan your trip, you might encounter a rainy day or two. Switzerland has plenty of outdoor activities to offer that require sunshine, or at least no rain. But if you happen to be faced with a rainy day, take a look at our bad-weather ideas for Switzerland.

10 days in Switzerland from Zurich or Geneva

With ten days in Switzerland, it’s entirely up to you if you want to work up a long bucket list and race through the country ticking off all the points. Or if you’d like to set your focus on one specific area and spend a couple of days there. Our itineraries include free days in places like Zermatt, Interlaken, Lucerne, St. Gallen, Engelberg, Lugano or Bern. Just to name a few.

If you opt for one of our 10 days in Switzerland itineraries, you’ll be spending roughly four times longer than the average visitor coming to Switzerland does. Most tourists enter and leave within 2-3 days and will never get the experience you will if you stay for ten days.

It probably goes without saying here that buying a Swiss Travel Pass is almost a must. With the amount of travelling you’ll be doing, it’ll make your life significantly easier and it’ll also save you plenty of money.

Swiss Activities Tipp for your 10 days in Switzerland itinerary: Train lovers, listen up. Did you know that there are 5 scenic train rides in Switzerland, some of which are world famous? Like for instance the Glacier Express or the Golden Pass Line. And with one of our 10-day itineraries, you can include them all in your trip. Check out itinerary No. 3 for more information.

14 days in Switzerland from Zurich or Geneva

With two weeks in Switzerland, the world is your oyster! You can see everything you want, and then some. You don’t even have to choose between cities, museums, lakes, mountains, waterfalls, adventure activities or scenic train rides. Just do it all. You can travel to dozens of places and still not spend hours in the car or on the train because Switzerland is such a small country.

With a Swiss Travel Pass in your pocket to open the doors to all public transport and many more benefits, you can discover Switzerland like hardly anyone else does. The advantage of our 14 days in Switzerland itineraries is that you won’t be rushed at all. Your friends and family back home might think you’re crazy for spending so much time in a country that is ten times smaller than California. But we’re confident you won’t regret it.

Swiss Activities Tipp for your 14 days in Switzerland itinerary: We’re fully aware that spending two weeks in one of the most expensive countries in the world comes at a cost. Which is why we’re sure you’re going to love our article with 100 free things to do in Switzerland.

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