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5 Days Switzerland Itinerary

Amazing 5 days Switzerland Itinerary for 2022 Travel

Apr 04, 2022
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Europe is a vast continent and very well connected by its modern and efficient public transport. Most travelers including myself would want to cover multiple countries and keep the best-connected ones in mind.

Switzerland with its perfect location will invariably feature in this.The following 5 days Switzerland itinerary was a part of our longer tour to Europe covering Paris, Switzerland and Austria.

What strikes you as soon as you reach Switzerland is the ease of travelling around it.No other country has as integrated a public transport system as Switzerland.And certainly no other country has a transport pass that allows you to just use all kinds of transport.

We’d purchased our Swiss Rail Pass. in advance;so we could just get on our first train on arrival from Paris to Basel.Trying to maximize a 5 day stay in Switzerland while basing ourselves in one place (we rented a short stay apartment in Lucrne), was largely possible due to the pass and the benefits of the Swiss Travel Pass.

Here’s what we did and what you can do with your 5 days in Switzerland.

Day 1:Lucerne Town
  • - Chapel bridge
  • - Lion Monument
  • - Old town
  • - Musegg Wall
Day 2: Mount Titlis
  • - Ice Flyer
  • - Ice Cave
  • - Titlis Cliff Walk
  • - Engelberg town
Day 3: Jungfraujoch
  • - Ice Palace
  • - Observation Deck
  • - Aletsch Glacier
  • - Stores
Day 4: Zermatt or Montreux and Gstaad
  • - Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
  • - Matterhorn Museum
  • - Zermatt Village Tour
  • - Gstaad
  • - Montreux Town
  • - Chillon Castle
Day 5: Zurich and Rhine Falls
  • - Rhine Falls
  • - Zurich City and Old Town

Day 1: Lucerne

Whether entering Switzerland by air,rail or cruise,you will most likely arrive into Zurich or Basel.From here, head straight to Lucerne (1 hour),which is generally well connected with direct trains.

Lucerne is a popular tourist town with plenty of accommodation options from budget to luxury hotels and apartments in Switzerland.

It would be best to take it easy on the first day after a long day of travel so you could just head out to cover the main sights of this lakeside town

Nothing like starting with Lucerne’s most striking Chapel bridge – a wooden covered bridge which has come to be a symbol of the town.

Continue along the cobbled stone streets to make your way to the Lion Monument – a massive and poignant figure of a dying lion carved out of a sandstone rock ledge.

The Old town of Lucerne should be the next stop. Walk along this fairytale-like area with its timber framed buildings and Lucerne’s oldest church St. Peter’s chapel.

The north end of the Old Town has the striking Musegg wall with its 9 different looking towers.Four of these towers are open to the public.If you are ready for a climb, you will be rewarded with an amazing view over the town.

Pro Tip: On your way back to the hotel,make sure to visit some of the famous local chocolatiers.The most tempting window displays of chocolates just tempt you to walk in and try.

Remember that the Swiss Travel Pass will allow you to just hop on to a bus to take you from place to place in case you are tired and don’t wish to walk.

Time to rest well on your first of the 5 days in Switzerland!

Day 2: Mount Titlis – Lucerne

The best way to cover a mountain is to dedicate a full day to it. Today head to one of the most famous mountains of Switzerland – 5-mount-titlis

Take a train from Lucerne train station to Engelberg (45 minutes) a beautiful Swiss village located at the base of Mount Titlis.

From here either walk for 15 minutes to the cable car valley station for Titlis or opt for a bus from just outside the station.The journey to the top is done by 2 cable cars. First, the Titlis Xpress, and then the Titlis Rotair – a Rotating Cable car that gives a spectacular 360-degree view of the surrounding Alpine landscape.

There are tons of activities that can be enjoyed here. Some like the Ice Flyer, the Ice cave and the famous Titlis Cliff Walk are at the peak.But there are also lots of things including a zipline that you can do at the midway point in Trubsee.

After your descent from Titlis,take some time to wander around Engelberg town and also visit he Benedictine Monastery there.We did not have the time for it,but the monastery also has a small cheese making unit where you can see how the local cheese is produced.

Return back to Lucerne to mark an end of the second day of 5 days Switzerland itinerary.

Alternative Day 2 Itinerary

Lucerne is famous for its museums and none more so than theSwiss Museum of Transport.Don’t let the name fool you,it’s an amazing place for adults and kids alike and other than the history of transport,it has a huge arena where kids can enjoy, a planetarium and the interactive Swiss Chocolate Adventure. People, particularly travelling with kids, always include it in their Swiss package.

The Swiss Museum of Transport is partly open-air so please check weather beforehand.

Other mountains near Lucerne: Lucerne is home to other mountains like the Mount Pilatus, Mt. Rigi and Mt. Stanserhorn. Some of these are also totally free with the Swiss Travel Pass.We chose to do Mt Titlis because it is snowbound throughout the year and we wanted to experience the rotating cable car

Pro tip: If you’d like to explore more in this town, read our dedicated blog on things to do in Lucerne.

Day 3: Jungfraujoch – Lucerne

Switzerland is all about heights and superlatives.Get ready to visit the Jungfraujoch – The top of Europe and the highest train station in Europe! Make an early start from Lucerne (latest by 8am) and hop on to the Lucerne – Interlaken Express scenic train to reach Interlaken.

From here one can opt for the old and traditional route with 2 train changes to the top or the new Eiger route that is partly by cableway.

Route 1

Once you exchange tickets for Jungfrau at the Interlaken Ost Jungfrau counter head to Lauterbrunnen by train.Change trains at Lauterbrunnen and proceed to Kleine Scheidegg from where you travel on the final journey to the peak.

The route is very scenic and on the last journey the train stops a couple of times for people to get off for a few minutes and enjoy the scenery.These stops also help to acclimatize yourself to the thinner air as you ascend.This traditional route takes 2 hours

Route 2

Take the train to Grindelwald,then a cable car to Eiger Glacier Station and lastly the train to Jungfrau.A person saves roughly 45 minutes on this route.

At the top of Jungfrau, make your way outdoors into the snow, enjoy sweeping views of the Aletsch Glacier- the longest in the alps,walk into the eerily blue Ice Palace with various ice sculptures and visit the Lindt Chocolate Heaven.

If you have made an early start to the day,you will be able to visit the beautiful town of Interlaken and spend some time on its Hoheweg (main street) before you head back to Lucerne.

Pro Tip: As it’s one of the most expensive mountains in Switzerland,buy Jungfraujoch tickets with Swiss Pass Jungfraujoch tickets with Swiss Pass to avail a discounted price and free entry for your kids.

Day 4: Lucerne to Zermatt or Lucerne to Montreux and Gstaad

Staying in a well-connected place like Lucerne gives you the advantage of doing day trips to almost every place in the country.We had to decide between Zermatt, Basel and Montreux.

In our Switzerland itinerary for 5 days, we decided on Zermatt simply because we could not imagine going to Switzerland and skipping the Matterhorn – the most famous of all mountains!

This choice made it a very long day, but it was worth it.

Zermatt is reached via 2 train changes and a travel time of just over 3 hours.This alpine village is car free – one has to get around by electric buses or horse drawn carriages!

On arrival into Zermatt, you can take a leisurely walk through the center of town to reach the valley station of the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.The Matterhorn is said to be the most photographed mountain in the world (remember this country is all about superlatives).

If you have had your share of Swiss chocolates by now, you will have figured out the connection between the unique shape of the Toblerone chocolate and the almost geometrically-perfect peak of the Matterhorn.

Once on top you get brilliant views of the alps and on a clear day can see as far as the Mont Blanc in France.

If you have some time on the return back to town,the Matterhorn Museum and the historical Hinterdorf area of Zermatt are worth visiting too

In case, you decide to go to Montreux or Gstaad instead of Zermatt,here is what you can do.

Lucerne to Montreux and Gstaad

Leave early morning and head to Gstaad roughly 3 hrs 45 minutes.Gstaad is one of the most expensive and beautiful villages in Switzerland.The rolling hills,green mountains and snowcapped peaks make it a place frequented by the rich and the famous who decide to descend onto the town for their annual vacations.

The village is so small that a walk along the central pedestrian area takes you from one end to the other in just a few minutes!

From Gstaad proceed by train to Montreux, a beautiful village on the shores of Lake Geneva surrounded by beautiful Swiss Alps.

One can walk alongside the lake, visit the statue of Freddie Mercury or visit the Chillon Castle. Later proceed back to Lucerne in the evening.

Day 5: Lucerne to Zurich and Rhine Falls

Today is the day you end your Switzerland tour so the activities mentioned below will largely be dependent on your departure time.

Depart Lucerne for Zurich Airport or Zurich Main Train Station (direct train and time taken roughly 1 hr 15 mins).At Zurich Airport you can deposit your bags at the baggage counter and proceed to Rhine Falls.

Take the train to Neuhausen Rheinfall or the Schloss Laufen train station and make your way on foot to the falls

There is a lift that takes you to an up-close viewing point from where you can actually feel the thunder and spray of the falls.

You can also take a boat ride that takes you up close to the falls.The lift and the boat ride come at nominal costs that range between 5 to 10 Swiss francs.

On return to Zurich,get out of the main entrance of the station and continue walking down Bahnhofstrasse (main street) and walk past the outlets of every major watch and jewelry brand.Now’s your chance to splurge and indulge yourself.

The end of Bahnhofstrasse will lead you to the lakeside and a good view of Zurich City.

On the way back, you can choose to walk through Zurich old town.

If you are departing by flight,collect your luggage from the lockers and make your way to the airport.

If you have the full day in Zurich, it would be wise to opt for a guided sightseeing by coach.There are various city tours to choose from.The ones that cover the city along with the Rhine Falls or the Black Forest area are a good choice.

Doing all of this may seem a bit intimidating but it was all possible in a short span because we had the Swiss Travel Pass and had also pre-purchased some of the mountains (of course at the relevant discounts with Swiss Pass).

You could also choose to move from town to town instead of making a base in one place. Our decision to stay in one place was based on cost (we found a relatively inexpensive apartment) and not wanting to waste time in check-in-check-out procedures

When it comes to spending 5 days in Switzerland, one really does not have to think long and hard. Just start packing and let the country work its magic on you.


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