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3 Days Switzerland Itinerary

Switzerland Itinerary for 3 Days - 2021 Travel

Jun 09, 2021
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Spending 3 Days in Switzerland may not be enough, but if that’s all one has, it would be wise to make the best of it. So follow this power-packed 3 days Switzerland itinerary and see your vacation stretch farther than you could imagine.

Luckily Switzerland’s small size allows you to cover a lot of it even with a minimal time frame. And the amazing Switzerland Train Pass that has a 3-day version ties in perfectly with this.

This itinerary is done with staying in Lucerne and moving around from there so that there is no time wasted in check in-check outs whilst transiting from place to place.

The 3 days Swiss Itinerary is as:
  • Day 01: Lucerne - Mount Titlis, City Tour, and Lake Lucerne
  • Day 02: Interlaken - Jungfrau, Top of Europe
  • Day 03: Zurich City Tour and the Rhine Falls

Now let’s see in detail what to do with our 3 days in Switzerland.

Day 1: Lucerne - Mt Titlis, City Tour, Lake Lucerne

Arrive early morning into Zurich or Basel and head straight for Lucerne. Your transfer will barely take you 60 to 90 minutes. Check in to your Lucerne apartment or hotel, freshen up and head back out.

Today, you visit one of the many mountains that surround Lucerne. You can choose from Mount Pilatus, Mt. Titlis, Mount Rigi or the Stanserhorn. I prefer Mount Titlis here since it is the most popular and also my favourite.

To get to Mount Titlis, you need to travel to Engelberg (45 minutes by train from Lucerne) so make sure you have your Swiss Travel Pass handy.

Next, you need to have purchased the excursion ticket (which comes at a discounted price with the Swiss Travel Pass). Again, it’s a good idea to have bought your Mount Titlis ticket in advance.

On arrival at Engelberg, take a leisurely 10-minute walk to the Titlis valley station (some buses depart from just outside the station). Once you have your tickets exchanged, you will take the first gondola, the Titlis Xpress, from the base station to Trubsee and on to Stand.

Then change over to the next gondola Titlis Rotair - The rotating cable car - which will give you a 360-degree view of the Alps as you make your way to the peak.

Mount Titlis is a fun mountain and has snow throughout the year. Once on top, enjoy the Cliff walk (you get to walk on the highest suspension bridge in Europe!), Ice Flyer chair lift and Glacier Park.

For adventure lovers, there are also various activities, including a zipline at Trubsee.

If the activities have had you build up an appetite, head for one of the many restaurants. There is a choice of restaurants with different cuisines (even an Indian menu that includes tea).

Once you have had your fill of the mountain, head down and make your way back to Lucerne.

Some of the main sights of Lucerne are located close to the station. You can start your walking exploration of Lucerne from here.

The Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) - A symbol of Lucerne city and the oldest wooden pedestrian bridge is visible from the station itself.

The bridge has several paintings under the roof. A part of it also has the Water Tower (Wasserturm) standing 34 meters in height.

The Lion Monument (Löwendenkmal), another symbol of Lucerne, is a dying lion carved out of sandstone rock in memory and honour of the Swiss soldiers.

A small glacier garden is located nearby. Then, time permitting, make your way to the Clock tower (Zytturm), the city’s oldest colourful clock or walk towards the pier to take a cruise on Lake Lucerne.

You can either take one of the public boats (one of the free Swiss Rail Pass benefits) or take a Dinner Cruise on Lake Lucerne and enjoy the scenery as you have a sumptuous meal.

After you enjoy the views on this cruise, it’s time to head back to your accommodation, marking the end of the first day of your 3 days Switzerland itinerary.

Tips:
  • 1. The city tour will take about one and a half hour.
  • 2. The dinner cruises depart at 7 pm, so plan accordingly.
  • 3. Both Zurich and Lucerne stations have several stores, eating outlets and grocery stores, so you can always have a meal or pick up some groceries from there.

Day 2: Interlaken - Jungfrau

Head to Interlaken this morning. A significant part of the day will be spent visiting the Jungfrau, popularly known as "The Top Of Europe".

Interlaken lies between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and is the perfect combination of lakes and mountains. Other than the mountain excursions, Interlaken is also a hub of adventure sports. If you are interested in paragliding, sky diving, white water rafting or kayaking, it would be best to make your bookings in advance, though.

The journey from Lucerne to Interlaken OST station is approximately 2 hours by train so ensure you have an early start.

The journey to Europe’s highest railway station at an altitude of 3454 metres used to be entirely by train. However, effective the end of 2020, Jungfrau has also introduced the Eiger Express. This brand new cable car route takes you part of the way and effectively cuts down travel time to the top.

Train buffs can still continue to travel the old train route if they wish. If you have purchased your Jungfrau tickets in advance, all you have to do is exchange your voucher at Interlaken OST station (Jungfrau counter) and proceed towards the first leg of the journey from Interlaken OST

If you have opted for the train route (2 hours), you will make the journey to the top via 2 changes - Lauterbrunnen and Kleine Scheidegg. The way gives some spectacular views of the glaciers and the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

The train also makes a few stops for you to get off and enjoy the sights and acclimatize yourself to the rarer air as you ascend higher.

If you choose the new Eiger Express cable car route, you can take the train from Interlaken to Grindelwald, then the cable car from Grindelwald to the Eiger Glacier Station and lastly the train to the peak.

This route has cut down the journey time by a significant 47 minutes (I don’t think the Swiss would like anyone rounding up the times and saying close to 50 minutes)!

Once you arrive on top, walk to the iconic Sphinx, which contains restaurants, souvenir stores, the ice palace, and Lindt chocolate heaven.

You will also have access to the viewing platforms from where you can see the Aletsch Glacier- the longest glacier in the Alps. Try a few snow activities and then proceed to one of the restaurants for lunch (there is self-service, fine dining and even an Indian restaurant).

Making your descent after lunch will give you some time to explore the town of Interlaken. Take a walk along the famous Hoheweg promenade, a street filled with cafes, hotels, stores and the Interlaken Casino. For Bollywood fans, this Casino’s garden has a bronze statue of Yash Chopra too. Make your way back to Lucerne.

Tips:
  • 1. You can either stop at Grindelwald and explore the town or else stop in Lauterbrunnen and visit the famous Trummelbach Falls on the descent from Jungfrau.
  • 2. The train journey between Interlaken - Lucerne or vice versa is on the Lucerne Interlaken Express panoramic train, a part of the Golden Pass Line. Reservation is not compulsory on this route. The Swiss Pass takes care of it.
  • 3. Leave Lucerne no later than 8 am to make the best of this day.
  • 4. If you have the Swiss Pass, you can avail yourself of the Jungfrau ticket price. On its own, Jungfrau is one of the more expensive mountains.

Day 3: Zurich and the Rhine Falls

Make your way to Zurich (1 hour) for a day in the city. You can cover the city with your Swiss Travel Pass.

Start with Bahnhofstrasse – a very popular street in Zurich flanked by boutiques, coffee shops, stores that sell jewellery, watches, chocolates, and many big brands.

This is “The shopper’s paradise”. From there, walk towards the Old Town. On your way, you will see Zurich’s landmarks – The Fraumunster Church, Zurich Lake (Limmat) and the Grossmunster. You can also cover one of the points that offer views of the city from an elevation.

Lindenhof hill offers breathtaking views of the Old Town, the lake, the churches, and the city hall. And serves as a public park and picnic spot (They have GIANT chess sets here).

Alternatively, go to Üetliberg, a small mountain that offers Zurich's panoramic views, the lake, and the alps from the top. It’s a short train ride from the central station and a steep walk to the top.

Next, head for the Rhine falls, which is easily accessible by train.

You can take the train to Neuhausen or Schloss Laufen and then follow the signboard and walk to the Rhine Falls.

If you are visiting in summer, try a boat ride to the centre of the waterfalls (at a nominal cost).

Since Zurich is a big city, you can also opt for a guided city tour to make the most of the limited time. Some tours range from 2-hour city tour to almost 8 hours (combining city tours with the Rhine Falls or the medieval village of Stein Am Rhein).

These day tours are top-rated and best purchased in advance. Some of these tours even drop you at the airport on completion.

You may think this seems like a lot to do in 3 days Switzerland package. Still, the public transport system of Switzerland is just so easy to use. Of course, it works with Swiss precision, so if you have a well-planned itinerary, you will cover everything suggested here with ease and comfort.

So get ready for a power-packed 3 days in this beautiful country and return with memories of a lifetime!

General tips:
  • 1. Always check the last train back to the city you’re staying at. This way, you won’t miss your connection and will also make it a point to rule out things you’re not interested in.
  • 2. If you’ve decided to stay at an apartment, remember to stock up some groceries or eatables for the rest of your trip from the nearest supermarket on Day 1. That way you will not waste time doing some shopping each day.
  • 3. If you think heights will make you light-headed or dizzy, chew on some sour sweets on the way up to the mountains.
  • 4. If you have missed out on your shopping, make sure to reach the airport early. Zurich airport shopping centre and its duty-free shops offer a fantastic choice of retail outlets for clothes, accessories, apparels, chocolates, cheeses and of course, watches.
  • 5. Carry a water bottle with you. There is no need to purchase water in Switzerland. Every town has water fountains from where you can fill up on super clean alpine water.

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