Switzerland is one of the stunning places on earth. With a high quality of life, gorgeous mountain views and clear lakes and modern amenities, the Swiss landscape will surely win you over. In this best Switzerland Itinerary 7 days we will discover some of the most beautiful places to explore in 7 days in Switzerland.
Area wise Switzerland is not huge, it’s like 4 times smaller than the size of Michigan in the US. And a smart way to explore Switzerland in 7 days is to keep 1 or 2 cities as your base and then venture out to the countryside with day trips. That will also help to keep accommodation costs low as you save on multiple night stays, stock up on groceries and take public transportation to explore.
This one week in Switzerland itinerary can be done without a car as well. We hope you enjoy these handpicked beautiful places in Switzerland for your itinerary.
Best Switzerland Itinerary 7 days – Visit beautiful places in 7 days in Switzerland
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For the purposes of this 7 days in Switzerland Itinerary, we will use Zurich as the starting point. Zurich and Geneva are the two popular cities for arriving in Switzerland. If you are arriving in to Geneva, read our modified day 7 of the Switzerland itinerary which includes sightseeing activities and tips for the city.
Before we proceed with the Switzerland itinerary, here are some important items to keep in mind as you start planning your trip.
Travel documents and visa
Switzerland is not part of the European Union, but they follow the Schengen agreement for non-visa exempt countries. So if you are traveling with an Indian or any other non visa exempt passport, apply for Schengen visa ahead of time from your country of residence. Read our detailed guide to applying to Schengen visa.
Passport holders from US and Canada can stay up to 90 days in Switzerland visa free. From 2021, they are required to apply for eTIAS – online entry authorization prior to arrival in Switzerland.
Currency and Credit Cards
As Switzerland is not part of the EU, they use their own currency which is Swiss Francs. Euros are accepted but change will be provided back to you in Francs. Currency exchange/conversion for Euros and Francs are almost at par. Well, almost – when we were in Switzerland, francs were stronger than euros.
Credit cards are widely accepted especially in high end boutique stores and restaurants, including train stations.
Packing Tips for Switzerland
Depending on your month of travel and the activities you will be indulging in Switzerland, your packing list will differ. But here is what you MUST carry.
- Comfortable walking shoes – If you are planning a lot of city exploration and shopping, carry comfortable shoes. Both Zurich and Geneva’s old town are best explored on foot. Click to shop this my favorite walking shoe
- Light jacket – A light, all weather jacket is a MUST for all times of the year. You will find this super handy during cross over or shoulder seasons when temperatures suddenly drop in the evenings or early mornings. Buy my lightweight travel jacket here
- Universal adaptor – Our North American or Asian electronics won’t charge in Switzerland without a universal adaptor. Invest in one today. Buy this universal adaptor – convertor duo that works in over 150 countries.
- A day pack – Carry a day pack with your travel essentials and camera as you embark on sightseeing. Anti-theft bags are not a necessity here. Instances of theft are very rare (reminds me of my good ol’ Canada – It’s true, Switzerland reminded me so much of Canada, but that’s another story, another post). So yes, take a good day pack or travel purse. Click here to view my favorite travel bag.
- Travel Insurance – No matter where you go, get travel insurance. We get insurance in all of our travels. Get insurance travel quotes for your trip to Switzerland here.
Swiss Travel Card
To explore all of the beautiful places in Switzerland in 7 days – purchase the Swiss Travel Card. The Swiss Travel Card allows you to take unlimited train rides across the country (for a set duration of time) and also comes with discounted entry fees to many iconic landmarks in the city.
Without a Swiss travel card, for a week in Switzerland you will end up spending up to $600+ USD on train/ public transportation alone. Buy your Swiss Travel Card here.
Day 1 of Switzerland Itinerary 7 days – Arriving in Zurich and city sightseeing
On day 1 of your Switzerland itinerary, arrive in to Zurich. Zurich International airport is 25 minutes away from the city center (by tram). Here are some options to get to the city center or to your hotel.
- Public Transport – Trains are very efficient in Switzerland and Zurich is no different. You have to pay for tickets at the station (credit cards accepted, cash accepted in some).
- Private transport or taxi – If you wish to arrive in luxury, you can book a chauffeur driven transport to your hotel. This is a good option if you have tons of luggage and are traveling in a big group. Book a taxi here
Recommend hotel in Zurich:
We stayed near the airport in Zurich. Hotel rates are expensive in Zurich regardless of the area or time of travel. Their low range starts at $120 USD. You might be able to find hostels for cheaper, but when we booked our trip even hostels were averaging $100 USD+.
- Storchen Zurich (Luxury) – This is a lifestyle boutique – 5 star hotel, located in the old town. A central location, it is perfect for exploring the prime attractions in the city and take day tours. A riverfront hotel, it also offers free breakfast.Book your stay here
- Zurich Marriott Hotel (Mid range hotel) – This is a 5 star hotel, with good accessibility to the city center. Nightly rates for this hotel is a little bit cheaper then the ones in old town. Zurich Marriott Hotel is located in district 6. The hotel is within a 15-minute drive from Zurich Airport, and is quite accessible to the Central area via tram. Book your stay here
- Ibis Budget Zurich Airport (budget option) – This is a 2+ star local located near the airport. The benefit of staying here is that trams are located right outside the hotel. They have a laundry and a restaurant on-site. Book your stay here.
READ: Hotels guide to Zurich
For your one day in Zurich, we recommend heading straight to the downtown area. Take the tram and get down at the Central station. Here are a few highlights of Zurich city that you should explore
Walk the Altstadt aka the old town center of Zurich – The old town of Zurich is filled with cobble stoned lanes, pretty cafes and shopping areas that you shouldn’t miss. Put on your comfy walking shoes and join in and explore the old town.
In the old town, you will see important churches in Zürich that keeps following you everywhere in the city center. One of them is the Fraumünster church which was built on the remains of a former abbey for aristocratic women. The church is very beautiful with its stained glass windows – a characteristic trait of any medieval European church.
The second and probably the most iconic one is the Grossmünster, which is a Romanesque-style Protestant church.
There is a bridge located near Grossmünster called the Münsterbrücke. Standing at the Münsterbrücke bridge, you can capture some amazing views of the river Limmat.
Admire the Limmat River and join in the activities near it – The Limmat River flows through the city of Zurich and it makes the city center even more picturesque with its presence. Stroll the river banks and if you are visiting during summer months, go on a river cruise.
Lindenhof Hill is located a few minutes away from Altstadt and it is an amazing place to relax whilst soaking in the river and the city views. This spot also makes for great instagrammable photos. Lindenhof hill is free to explore.
In the evening head to one of the most expensive street in the world – the Bahnhofstrasse – take a stroll, window shop or shop in this street. Some of the world’s finest luxury brands can be found here – Cartier, Rolex, Chanel, YSL, etc.
For dinner, you will find a lot of options near the river side in old town. Our favorite was Niederdorfstrasse lane near the Steakhouse. The area is touristy, but oh so pretty! All the restaurants here take credit cards and serve local and international cuisines. Read 2 day Zurich itinerary if you are extending your stay in the city.
Day 2 of Switzerland Itinerary 7 days – Spend a day in Bern – the Swiss capital
On day 2 of your 7 day Switzerland itinerary, explore the capital city of Bern in a day trip.
Bern is the capital of Switzerland. This European capital city is unlike any other in the continent. Bern has stood the test of time and has remained still since the 12th century – when the city was laid out.
Bern is also known as the city of fountains due to the existence of a myriad of fountains – sprinkled across town. Being the capital, a visit to the Parliament Building is a must. Spend an hour or so and take a guided tour if interested.
Also don’t miss out the Zytglogge – an Astronomical Clock from the 15th century. It is Bern’s famous clock tower, which features an intricate clock face and mechanical figures which ‘perform’ every hour.
After that head to the Old Town – Altstadt of Bern – which is filled with cobblestone lanes. As you wander the cobbled streets of Bern’s Old Town (Altstadt in German), you’ll find many covered arcades that house the shops, cafes and galleries. There are about six kilometres of covered arcades here, making this the longest covered shopping arcade in Europe.
Stop to shop at any of the medieval arcades in old town or head to the Kirchenfeld bridge (at south end of the city) to admire the city skyline.
For more wonderful views over the city, head to Berner Munster, the city’s cathedral that was built in the 15th century. This landmark cathedral is impressive with its 12-metre-high stained glass windows inside the cathedral. You can climb up the church tower for amazing views.
Remember Einstein’s theory of Relativity? Bern is home to Einstein’s House.This was Albert Einstein’s residence when he developed the theory
In the evening, pop by a Bernese rooftop restaurant to see some of the amazing views of the city and the Aase River.
You can also take a day tour to Bern from Zurich, which includes round trip transportation, sightseeing guided tour and free time to explore on your own. Book your day tour to Bern from Zurich here.
RECOMMENDED HOTEL: If you wish to spend the night in Berne, consider staying at Hotel La Pergola located close to old town.
Day 3 of Switzerland Itinerary 7 days – Explore Lucerne
On day 3 of Switzerland itinerary, take a day trip to Lucerne from Zurich.
Lucerne, also known by its local German name as Luzern, is located at the Lake Lucerne and on the river Reuss. It is a compact, lively town with 80,000 inhabitants.
There are lots of things to do in Lucerne. With its location at the lake, the place is an ideal starting point for boat trips, including the Gotthard panorama tour. The nearby mountains of Rigi, Stanserhorn, Bürgenstock, and Mount Pilatus attract thousands of visitors every year. As the town is not big, you can explore it on foot doing your own Lucerne walking tour.
Lake Lucerne defines and makes this compact city, very picturesque. You can enjoy an hour cruise on Lake Lucerne (seasonal) and ride the world’s steepest cog railway. Iconic landmark places of Lucerne include the Chapel Bridge or Kapellbrücke, which is named after the St. Peter’s Chapel, dating back to the 14th century and the Spreuer Bridge which is also a must visit to explore the 67 paintings dating from the 17th century and representing the “Dance of Death”.
Lucerne has many military structures in the city. There is a monument of the Dying Lion of Lucerne – which is carved out of stone and it commemorates the fallen Swiss guardsmen who died in 1792 while serving the French king Louis XVI during the French Revolution.
Bourbaki Panorama is another important military attraction in Lucerne, depicting General Bourbaki’s Eastern French Army entering Switzerland in the winter of 1871 to save their lives.
Other important attractions include the Lucerne Town Hall; a defensive Musegg Wall from the 15th century and a majestic Jesuit church from the 17th century.
If you wish to extend your stay, take a day tour from Lucerne to the 1,900-meter mount Stanserhorn and because it has a double-decker cable car with an open upper deck it allows you to take the best pictures. The “CabriO” cable car is the world’s first cable car with a roofless upper deck.
The guests can enjoy 360° panoramic views as well as fresh mountain air. The ride up to Stanserhorn has two parts: first, you take the old-time funicular from Stans to Kälti, then the new CabriO will bring you to the mountain for stunning views.
Another option is to take the Golden Round trip to see Mount Pilatus and back. You have to start from the Lake Lucerne – take a steamer and then get on cog railway to the top. This is perfect for people who love to hike and enjoy scenic views! (This trip is included in the Swiss Travel Pass).
Or here is a day tour which includes Mount Pilatus and Lucerne.
RECOMMENDED HOTEL: If you decide to stay in Lucerne, here is a recommended hotel: Hof Apartments by Keyforge on 16 Hofstrasse. This hotel is close to all the attractions in Lucerne.
SCENIC TRAIN: The Golden Pass is a train route that starts here, in Lucerne. In this train route, you will see Montreux, Brünig Pass, the lakes of the Bernese Oberland, the Simmen valley, upper class Gstaad and Lake Geneva. The duration is for a day. You can start in Lucerne, switch trains in Interlaken and end in Montreax (located 75 minutes away from Geneva) – all in a day.
Golden Round Trip: The Golden round trip is different from the Golden Pass. The Golden Round trip takes you to Mount Pilatus’s scenic spots from Lucerne.
Day 4 of Switzerland Itinerary 7 days – Explore Interlaken
Head to Interlaken from Zurich, on day 4 of Swiss Itinerary.
In Interlaken itself visit the “house mountain” – Harder Kulm. Whether you hike up or take the cable car to get up – the views from there are stunning! It is also a great spot to watch the sunset.
Also make sure to do at least one boat tour – since Interlaken is located in between two lakes (Lake Brienz and Lake Thun), it is almost difficult to decide which boat tour is better.
RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Stay at Hotel du Nord in Interlaken so you are close to the main attractions.
Day 5 of Switzerland Itinerary 7 days – Head to Basel
For city lovers like us, visiting Basel is a must. It is Switzerland’s third largest city in terms of population and it is also the last navigable city on the river Rhine. However, very often visitors overlook Basel, as it is sort of“unswiss”, due to the lack of mountains near by.
But did you know, it is ONE of the most beautiful historic centres in the country and, as far as art is concerned, it boasts over 40 first class museums. We are SOLD on the historical gems, I mean why not? Nature and history = LOVE!
Basel is divided in two parts: the large town (Gross Basel) where you will find the railway station, and the small town (Klein Basel), on the other side of the Rhine.
It can be visited in a day if you decide to stick to the main sights, but we assure you that you won’t be disappointed.
As you soon as you arrive in Basel from Zurich, from the railway station (Centralbahn Platz) head towards Barfusserplatz, taking a small detour to admire the fountains created by the eclectic local artist Jean Tinguely (Tinguely Brunnen). His bizarre iron sculptures are located in Theatervorplaz and they move gracefully in the water.
From Barfusserplatz, walk to the Spalentor Gate Tower, which in the 15th century was the main entrance to the city. This is perhaps one of the most impressive monuments, with its square main tower, flanked on each side by two round towers.
Next stop is the market square (Marktplatz) where, today like in the past, you will find flower, fruit and fresh vegetable merchants. This market is only open on weekdays.
The last stop in the Old Town is Münster, Basel’s large Romanesque cathedral. Behind it you will find the Pfalz, a large panoramic terrace from where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city.
After exploring the old town, head to the St Albans Gate. The gate itself is nothing to drive home about, but the area is particularly quiet and charming. People call it the little Venice of Basel, because it is crossed by a small canal. For those with a romantic soul, this is a place not to be missed.
After St Albans Gate, make your way down to the river and cross it by Färi, an old wooden boat without engine that movies using only the current of water. Färis are a symbolic to the city. Tickets for the Fari ride are available on board.
Once you reach the other side of the river Rhine, you are not too far away from the city’s most bizarre museum, the Jean Tinguely Museum. The musuem is home to strange looking, huge mechanical machines – all created by using recycled materials – and it a treat to explore. There are kinetic sculptures and can be activated with a press of a button.
With a day full of sightseeing, its time to head back to the old town to take the train. Of course you can travel by bus, but here’s an alternative… do it like many local people do: swim back!
Yes, that’s right! In order to do that, you need to have one of those floating and watertight bags that you can buy from anywhere in the city. Change into your swim suit inside the (Jean Tingueley) museum’s toilets, walk down to to the river, by the museum’s restaurant and just wade into the Rhine.
Relax, let it float… and within minutes you will reach the city center without any effort.
RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel Teufelhof, an old but finely restored hotel in the heart of the Old Town. Each room of the hotel is uniquely painted by different artists.
Day 6-7 of Switzerland Itinerary 7 days – Explore Zermatt & back to Zurich
For many travelers, exploring Switzerland means checking off the Matterhorn. Now because one way trip to Zermatt city, which is the base to explore Matterhorn is about 3-4 hours, we recommend staying in Zermatt for the night with 2 days of sightseeing.
Zermatt is the highest ski resort in Europe and boasts of 365 days of ski activities. Whether you are visiting Zermatt in summer or winter, this fairy tale charming town will win you over.
To reach Zermatt, we highly recommend taking the train using Swiss Travel Card, as Zermatt is a car free town. This resort town is located on the southern part of Switzerland.
Once you arrive in Zermatt, head to the Gornergrat which is located at an altitude of 3,089 metres to soak in panoramic views of the mountains. Gornergrat Bahn which is Europe’s highest open air electric clog railway, transports visitors from Zermatt to Gornergrat in 33 minutes.
Panoramic views are everywhere as you reach the summit and if you love mountains like we do, you will be welcomed by 29 mountain ranges snow capped and all pretty, including the Matterhorn.
The Gornergrat’s observation platform is open all year round. You can stay here for the evening if you like – enjoying fine dining on mountain top (known as sunset dinners in the summer and moonlight dinners in the winter).
Or you can explore the old town and dine in their finest restaurants whilst enjoying the views of Matterhorn.
If you are visiting in winter, you can enjoy the many outdoor rinks in the city, with natural and picturesque backdrops.
RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Stay at a laid back alpine hotel located close to ski lifts, with breakfast and free wifi included for nightly stay – Best Western Hotel Butterfly.
For day 7 of your Switzerland itinerary, ride the Matterhorn’s glacier cableway to get into the cradle of the mountain range. This is a newly opened cable way (2018) with gondola style cabins to transport to the observation platform, which provides a very different view then the Gornergrat.
Adventurous hikers and mountaineers choose the Matterhorn to scale the Brithorn. But if you prefer soft adventure like us, you can visit the ski resort that is open 365 days and go snow tubing (also open in summer).
The Glacier Palace, which is one of its kind in Europe, is also located here and is accessible all year round.
The cable way to the viewing platform only takes 9 minutes.
After taking in those panoramic views, finish the day by shopping at the Bahnofstrasse – shopping street filled with Swiss souvenirs and high end retailers, to take something back home.
In the evening, hop on a train to return to Zurich for your return flight.
SCENIC TRAIN ROUTE OPTION: The Glacier Express is a popular train route in Switzerland, starting from Zermatt to St. Moritz. The journey takes about 8 hours, making its through the Swiss Alps and stunning landscapes and bridges. You can take the train in the morning on day 7 and arrive in St. Moritz. St. Moritz to Zurich is about 3.50 hours by train.
Alternative Option: Day 7 to Geneva & a modified 7 days in Switzerland Itinerary suggestion
If you wish to add another city to your 7 days in Switzerland Itinerary, then consider returning to Geneva from Zermatt on day 7 and skip the Matterhorn cable way. You will be able to see the Matterhorn on day 6 using the Gornergrat railway.
On day 7, take the train to reach Geneva. Geneva is located an hour closer to Zermatt than Zurich.
Geneva to Zurich is only 3 hours away by train or drive.
There are many reasons why you should visit Geneva. Straddling the French border on the shores of Lac Leman, Geneva is packed with a colourful history and is a lovely place to spend one or two days exploring.
With buildings dating back to the Roman times and many remnants to the city’s medieval past being still visible, no visit to Geneva is complete without witnessing the modern water jet fountains shooting high above the city’s skyline. The Water Jet aka Jet d’Eau is a 140 metre high water fountain over Lake Geneva. These Jet d’Eau fountains have become synonymous with the city itself and are a MUST visit.
Alongside the English Garden lies a huge working Flower Clock, displaying the time as accurately as the much-loved Swiss watches exported globally from the country.
The charming old-town square of Place du Bourg-de-Four is an unmissable spot to explore (and grab a bite to eat). Standing tall beside the St Piere Cathedral for many centuries, there are colorful narrow buildings that have witnessed countless events throughout the Swiss history. It’s amazing to think St Piere’s has been a grand icon of Geneva since the 10th century!
While you’re in this area, don’t forget to take a look at the lovely frescos painted within the Old Arsenal.
Inside today’s grounds of Geneva University stands the Reformation Wall. The 16th century structure showcases sculptures of important figures during the city’s Protestant Reformation. A short stroll from the Reformation Wall lies a number of huge chessboards in Bastion’s Park – worth a visit if you fancy a game of human-sized chess.
Geneva is home to many international headquarters. Venture into the city’s north to see the United Nations headquarters – Palais des Nations – and the League of Nations Museum. Time permitting explore the Broken Chair sculpture nearby. It’s said the missing leg on this chair is a tribute to honour landmine victims around the world.
RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Being one of the more pricer cities to stay in Switzerland, you will get your money’s worth by staying at Hotel des Alpes, on the northern side of Pont du Mont Blanc bridge.
Map of Switzerland – Places to Visit in Switzerland Itinerary 7 days
Most beautiful places in Switzerland Itinerary 7 days – Zurich – Bern – Lucerne – Interlaken -Basel – Zermatt – Zurich/Geneva
Planning a trip to Switzerland Travel Guide
Did you know – Switzerland was originally called Helvetia. Its official name is Confoederatio Helvetica in Latin.
We have covered travel documents and currency related information above. This section is additional information on seven days in Switzerland like budget, souvenirs, tour packages, and other frequently asked questions like sightseeing in Switzerland for different seasons.
When should you visit Switzerland summer or winter?
Switzerland is amazing at any time of the year. In both seasons, you can explore the outdoors in different ways – so whether it is sun bathing in the summer or skiing in winter (or even summer). So here is what to expect in Switzerland in summer and winter.
Switzerland in the winter – Switzerland does get snow in the winters and it is a beautiful time to visit. With so many medieval old towns in the country, you will be walking into a fairy tale book – when Switzerland rings in the festive season, which is usually from late November. Definitely Christmas Markets should be on your itinerary, if you are heading to any of the Swiss towns in the winter. And not to forget the obvious, snow related activities and skiing resorts should be visited in the winter months.
Switzerland in summer – Switzerland is a great place to spend your summer holidays. Just like winter, summer is a popular time to visit. June- July might be too hot for city day trips (also you will see a lot of people outside), but it is perfect for hiking, picnic, sunbathing, water sports,etc.
Is Switzerland expensive?
That’s a million dollar question in itself. Switzerland over all is expensive. It can be compared to Iceland for hotels and day to day food, travel and tour costs. Although flights to Iceland were cheaper from Canada, your return ticket to Switzerland may not be that cheap. We cover that in more detail below.
But keep in mind, after flights ensure you book your hotels sooner (or book then with flights). Hotels in peak season will be pricey and on an average it will be $100-$150 for 2-3 star hotel and $300+ USD and upwards for 4 or 5 star hotel in a prime location in Zurich – based on this itinerary.
Other cities mentioned in the itinerary are not behind, but those towns are small, so even if you book/get a cheaper place outside the old town you will be fine in terms of sightseeing.
Food is where you will have the most control over. The grocery stores in Switzerland sell amazing baked goods and salads to choose from, to keep budget under check. When you are exploring via day trips, carry food with you or eat at fast food joints – they will be there too.
But go out every now and then to treat yourself in this beautiful place. So set aside some moolah for that.
Transportation budget for one week in Switzerland –
Swiss Travel Card –
The Swiss Travel Pass provides you with unlimited travel throughout Swiss travel network of rail, bus and boat on consecutive days available for 3, 4, 8 or 15 days. If you are planning to use local trams and trains extensively (and no day tours), then opt for the 8 day pass. This will cover your transport back to the airport as well.
BUY: Swiss Travel Card.
Note: The Swiss Travel Card is different from Swiss Half Fare, which offers 50% off on train, bus, boat rides and mountain railways. Its validity is for one month (which is beyond the scope of this itinerary). Unless if you love Switzerland so much and wish to extend the stay from one week to a month, check out the Swiss Half Fare card here.
Combination of tours and Travel Card –
You can certainly combine 2-3 day tours (from the ones listed in the itinerary) and add a 3 day or a 4 day Swiss Travel Pass. Use the pass either at the start of your trip or towards the end so that you are using the pass on consecutive days.
Budget (3 day Swiss pass and 3 day tours & 2 return tickets for the airport, itinerary 1, departing from Zurich): $650 – $1000 USD
Only Tours –
- If you follow our 1st itinerary sample and arrive and depart from Zurich – you will need $120 – 200 USD a day for day tours (No sightseeing on day 7) with guided sightseeing and transport. Budget: $700 -$850 USD
- For second itinerary with a day in Geneva, day tours will be the same, but factor in added costs for traveling to Geneva from Zermatt on day 7 as well as stay and sightseeing. Budget: $800 – $900 USD
BUY> Swiss Travel Card.
Best of Switzerland tours – Scenic Train Routes in Switzerland
Here are the 3 MOST popular train travel routes in Switzerland. They are also part of the Swiss Travel Pass, but a seat has to be reserved prior to departure.
- The Golden Pass – This is a train route from Lucerne to Montreux. The train route is a easy one and PERFECT for those short on time. Lucerne is one hour away from Zurich and Montreaux is 75 minutes away, making it easy for transportation. The entire route can be done in 5.50 hours to a day. There 3 sections of the train – Lucerne to Interlaken Ost to Zweisimmen and Zweisimmen to Montreux.
- The Bernina Express – This is a direct train from Chur in Switzerland to Tirano in Italy in just 4 hours, followed by a bus service from Tirano to Lugano.
- The Glacier Express – This is one of the most popular train route in Switzerland. A direct route from Zermatt to St. Moritz – this train journey takes about 8 hours, making its through the Swiss Alps, narrow valleys, and stunning landscapes and bridges.
What is Switzerland famous for? What souvenirs should you buy?
Switzerland offers a ton of things that are Swiss made and should be bought back home (or had/eaten/stuffed) while you are in the country.
Did you know – Switzerland produces the most chocolate in the world.
And the Swiss eat more chocolate compared to any other country.
- Swiss Chocolates – Like heaven. Eat them, bring them home and visit workshops if you have time. Walk a store, even a grocery store and you will be welcomed with chocolates galore.
- Swiss cheese – Swiss cheese is popular all over the world. Give them a try!
- Swiss knives – As the name suggests, these are the popular Swiss knives found all over the world and made in Switzerland. You might see a great variety here – as it’s the land where it’s made. (If you are traveling just with a carry-on, skip the knives)
- Swiss Watches – Swiss watches are equally popular. Brands include – Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer
- Luxury brands – For all of my luxury goods lovers (bags, belts, clothing), you will find everything in Switzerland’s major cities. Think Chanel, YSL, Louis Vuitton, Gucci – but the prices are not a steal. London Heathrow still has the best bang for your buck when it comes to luxury brands for less.
Coco Chanel is buried in Switzerland.
Set aside some money to enjoy what the country is famous for and take back souvenirs.
Planning a trip to Switzerland from North America, Europe or India
North America: Switzerland trip cost from USA & Canada
Traveling from major cities in USA to Switzerland’s Zurich or Geneva is easy.
There are non-flight flights leaving from New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles everyday. Return trips from New York to Zurich will be 7+ hours long (one way) and the fares start at $720 USD. Add 1-2 hours of extra flying time for San Francisco and LA.
Swiss Air flights are available from all the major cities. However we recommend looking at IcelandAir’s stopover program for cheaper flights (not non-stop).
For transport, take the Swiss Travel Card. And for some of the days you can also do a few day tours that cover a guided walk and includes entry into attractions. (We covered that in our budget section).
Traveling from Canada
Traveling from major cities in Canada to Switzerland’s Zurich or Geneva should not be a problem. The connectivity with Air Canada and Swiss Air is great. We hoped on a direct flight from Zurich to Canada. Return trips from Vancouver to Zurich will be 12+ hours long (one way) and the fares start at $1080 CAD.
Toronto has non stop flights to Zurich for around the same price, but flight times are a bit better – 8.50 hours+ of flying time. After flights hotels and food will account for the most of your budget. For simplicity of math, if you stay in Zurich for 7 days and take day trips out, which is completely doable you are looking at $1070- 2100 CAD double occupancy for a mid range hotel. Food, although expensive, is under your control – for 7 days, allot $100 CAD a day.
For transport, take the Swiss Travel Card. And for some of the days you can also do a few day tours that cover a guided walk and includes entry into attractions. (We covered that in our budget section).
Traveling from European cities to Switzerland
We arrived in Switzerland – Zurich from Morocco and at one time also flew from Zurich to Barcelona. Our flight from Fes Morocco was via Lisbon Portugal. So that means, flight connectivity from within Europe is great. TAPPortugal, Vueling Airlines, and other budget airlines all have flights to and from Switzerland.
One way fares from Zurich to the near by countries like Spain, France, Italy, Germany will be anywhere from 2- 3.50 hours and about $100 USD per person.
Remember Switzerland takes Euros, but their official currency is Swiss Francs. The currency exchange is almost at par with Euros. Traveling from Morocco to Zurich and comparing the expenses there or with Barcelona and Lisbon – tells you how expensive the country is.
Switzerland trip cost from India – Switzerland packages from India
Flights from major cities in India to Switzerland will average around 40 thousand Indian rupees. Traveling within the country with day tours or discounted passes, plus staying in a 3 star hotel, will roughly cost around 50-60 thousand rupees (just an average. Will be higher for 5 star hotels).
Many tour companies in India have an organized group tours with 3 star hotel stay for a total of 1.20 to 1.50 lakhs (no meals or shopping, just limited sightseeing plus flights and hotels). Only thing to keep in mind here is that you will be restricted to set itinerary of the provider.
If you are planning a trip on your own, you will be spending around the same amount, with a more flexible schedule and control on budget.
Why Indian movies aka Bollywood love Switzerland?
For most Indians (count me in), we LOVE gooey romantic heroes singing love songs on snow covered mountains. Well, that explains why we got married in the mountains in Banff Canada. Swiss villages and mountain peaks have been a TOP movie location for so many love story and sagas in India. And no Euro dream is complete without a visit here.
We have been to quite a few countries in Europe, it does it make to the list of our favorite places. And the entire country although located in Western Europe is not the same as its counterparts – it is not overcrowded, not dirty and scenic landscapes everywhere!
It does remind me of Canada in some ways and it felt like home.
We hope you enjoyed this one week itinerary to Switzerland. Remember to book your hotels, tickets and Swiss Travel Pass as you plan your trip.
Additional Travel Tips – 7 days in Switzerland Itinerary
Planning your trip to Europe – If this is your first ever trip to Europe, consider reading our Europe 101 guide.
Schengen Visa – If you require a visa to travel to Europe, most likely it is the Schengen Visa (for those belonging to the Euro Zone or EU, doesn’t include the UK). Read our guide to applying for Schengen Visa.
Packing List – Read our in-depth guide to packing for Europe for all seasons and regions.
Europe Itinerary & Travel Guide – Read our itineraries from Europe
- Europe – Get our 27 Europe in one week itinerary samples
- Spain: Best of Spain in 7 days
- Central Europe in 2 weeks – Visit Munich, Budapest, Prague and Vienna in 14 days
- Winter Destinations – Get the TOP destinations to visit in Europe winter for Christmas markets, skiing or winter sun
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