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switzerland itinerary 8 days by train

This Swiss itinerary will help you check Switzerland off your travel list while seeing all the highlights. You’ll visit the most beautiful cities, hike in spectacular Swiss mountains, travel on panoramic trains, and enjoy the Swiss culture to the fullest.

I made this itinerary by myself using the Swiss Travel Pass when I came to Switzerland for the first time. After, I moved to the country and lived in Switzerland for 3 years. During that time, I explored all the Swiss beauties, so this itinerary includes the best places.

Ready for the exciting journey? So here you have it to convince you that traveling in Switzerland is much worth it and doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Travel Resources For Your Trip

Here are some of my favorite travel resources I use for my travel adventures.

Book your hotel on BOOKING.COM
Best bank account & cards for travel (low fees, free withdrawals)WISE
Get the best travel insurance deals with SAFETY WINGS
Do the best activities with GET YOUR GUIDE
Mobile Data – use this eSIM CARD to stay connected

Switzerland Itinerary 8 Days: Overview & Map

Here is an overview of what you can expect from this Swiss itinerary each day:

DAY:DESTINATION:
1.Lugano & Bellinzona
2.Lugano ⇒ Panoramic Train Gotthard Express ⇒ Lucerne
3.Lucerne ⇒ Brienz Lake Cruise ⇒ Interlaken Grindelwald
4.Jungfrau Region & Mountain Excursions
5.Grindelwald ⇒ GoldenPass Express Panoramic Train ⇒ Montreux
6.Montreux ⇒ Zermatt
7.Zermatt ⇒ Glacier Express Panoramic Train ⇒ St. Moritz
8.St Moritz ⇒ Engadin Valley ⇒ Zürich

How To Get To Switzerland: Where To Start Your 8-Day Switzerland Itinerary

Switzerland is a small country in Europe. It has 2 major international airports in Zurich and Geneva. Most people fly to Zurich and other Swiss cities by train or private car.

Alternatively, flying to Milan in Italy is also great if you’re visiting Switzerland. Milan is very close to Switzerland and has excellent international connections.

Milan has 2 airports: Milan Malpensa (International Airport) and Milan Bergamo (where European low-cost airlines fly, such as Ryanair).

This 8-day Swiss itinerary starts in Lugano. It’s located in the Italian part of Switzerland, only 75 kilometers from Milan. So the best option is to fly to Milan Malpensa Airport and take a train to Lugano to start your trip.

Check out great flight deals via Skyscanner here.

How To Get To Lugano From Milan

After you land at Milan Malpensa Airport, you can take a train directly to Lugano, Switzerland. But there are other options for getting to Lugano, check them out below:

Getting To Lugano By Train

There is a direct train from Milan Malpensa Airport to Lugano. It takes 1 hour & 35 minutes and runs each hour throughout the day. So, it’s very convenient and fast to take a train to Lugano.

Book your train ticket from Milan to Lugano via Trainline here.

Getting To Lugano By Bus

There is no direct bus from Milan Malpensa Airport to Lugano.

However, if you want to explore Milan first and get to Lugano from the Milan center, you can book a direct bus with Flixbus. It’s my favorite budget-friendly bus company in Europe. It’ll take you to Lugano in 1 hour & 45 minutes.

Check out the best bus connections to Lugano by clicking here.

Getting To Lugano By Taxi/Private Transfer

Alternatively, you can book a private transfer with Welcome Transfers company from Milan Malpensa Airport to your hotel in Lugano. The prices for a taxi or a private transfer start at $150.

Book your private transfer with an English speaking driver here.

How To Get Around Switzerland & Make This Itinerary

The best and most enjoyable way to get around Switzerland is with the Swiss Travel Pass. It’s a rail pass you can buy for 3, 4, 8, or 15 days and travel through Switzerland unlimitedly.

With this pass, you can travel by train, take buses, boats, and public transportation in cities ”for free”. Additionally, you have included 500 museums across Switzerland and 2 mountain excursions (Rigi Mountain near Lucerne and Stanserhorn).

Swiss Travel Pass Flex For Your 8-Day Swiss Itinerary

I’ve designed this itinerary to travel exclusively with the Swiss Travel Pass Flex. That means you can travel for 1 month in Switzerland using everything included (trains, buses, boats). You can use this pass for 8 days within 1 month.

You’ll have to validate the pass for the day you use it. On the day when you’re in the Swiss Alps (e.g., doing hiking and activities in the Jungfrau region) and you don’t need to use the pass, you can save the day.

Throughout this Swiss itinerary, I’ll tell you each day whether you’ll use your Swiss Travel Pass and have to validate it.

👉 READ ALSO: Swiss Travel Pass Flex: Unlimited Travel In Switzerland

me traveling in Switzerland using the Swiss Travel Pass Flex
Me traveling with Swiss Travel Pass Flex in Switzerland

SBB: Swiss Trains & National Railway System

For all train connections in Switzerland, always check SBB. It’s the national railway system in the country. The SBB App provides accurate information about train departures, platforms, delays, and timings.

Travel Itinerary Planning Services

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👉 LET ME HELP YOU – I’ll design a travel itinerary based on your needs and interests (fill out the form below 👇).

0. DAY: ARRIVE IN LUGANO

Our Swiss adventure starts in Ticino, the southeast part of Switzerland. Arriving in Lugano, you still feel the Mediterranean atmosphere, where Lugano Lake will greet you with stunning views. The local shops with hotels, markets, cafes, and promenades make you think you are on holiday somewhere in Italy.

No wonder. This region is on the border with Italy. Locals even communicate in Italian, one of Switzerland’s four official languages.

Check in to your accommodation and enjoy the evening in the center, having a nice Italian-style dinner and gelato. Then, walk alongside the lake and get the first impression of Lugano.

Lugano and Lake Views
Lugano & Lake Views

Where To Stay In Lugano: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

LUGANO SAVOSA YOUTH HOSTELbudget-friendly option
LUGANODANTEmid-range hotel
HOTEL SPLENDIDE ROYALluxury hotel

1. DAY: LUGANO & BELLINZONA

Good morning to Lugano. I hope you slept well because we officially start our 8-day itinerary today.

Lugano is often called the Monte Carlo of Switzerland. Today, we’ll see why and explore its beautiful places.

In the morning, you can explore Lugano. In the afternoon, you can make a half-day trip to Bellinzona or San Salvatore Mountain. Or you can skip the excursion and stay the entire day in Lugano.

You’ll NOT use your Swiss Travel Pass Flex today. So save it. Go to the SBB website to book tickets for Bellinzona and San Salvatore mountain (scroll down for more information).

Sightseeing In Lugano

🔅 Cathedral of Saint Lawrence
🔅 Centro Storico (Lugano Old Town)
🔅 Via Nassa (historical street)
🔅 Parco Ciani & Best Gelato
🔅 Lake Lugano
🔅 San Salvatore Mountain

First, take a funicular from the old town to the main train station and go to Parco del Tassino to see the city from the top. Then, walk towards the Cathedral of Lawrence and return to explore the old town and the rest of Lugano.

🔅 Cathedral of Lawrence 🔅

If you choose to go to the train station in the morning to see views of Lugano and its beautiful lake, you’ll walk by the cathedral. You can go inside and check it out. It’s a Roman Catholic cathedral that dates to the Middle Ages.

🔅 Centro Storico (Lugano Old Town) 🔅

Walking down from the cathedral, you’ll reach the beautiful old town of Lugano. It’s worth walking through its tiny street, seeing different shops, and getting lost there. It has a special atmosphere.

My favorite activity is to go to the shopping mall Piazza della Manor (-1 floor) to its grocery store and admire all those delicious and fresh Italian products and food such as mozzarella, prosciutto, bread, and all you can think of. So go there, you’ll be amazed.

🔅 Via Nassa 🔅

Then, walk through one of the most historic streets. Via Nassa is one of the world’s most luxurious streets, combining fashionhistory, and culture. So don’t miss out on walking through and seeing its shops and architecture.

🔅 Parco Ciani 🔅

Parco Ciani is my favorite place in Lugano. And now, it’s not just because of the delicious gelato shop at its entrance.

Get one of the best gelato at the entrance of Parco Ciani next to the lake at Gelateria Naturale Chez Guglielm (or the one gelateria opposite is good).

Parco Ciano has spectacular gardens located right next to Lake Lugano. You can admire Villa Ciani, a private residence built by Brother Ciani. It used to be home to Ticino families and nowadays hosts exhibitions.

🔅 Lake Lugano 🔅

Lake Lugano is very old. And while nobody knows the history exactly, it’s one of the oldest lakes in Switzerland. People come here to relax on the beach, kayak, and do sightseeing on the boat.

You can swim in Lake Lugano. The closest beaches are in Parco Ciano or the Lido di Lugano.

Lugano
Lugano

1. Optional Half-Day Trip To Bellinzona

Once you have soaked up the atmosphere in Lugano, let’s head to the train station. In the afternoon, I suggest you visit Bellinzona, a town surrounded by medieval castles. There is a direct train that takes you to this medieval place just within 30 minutes from Lugano.

Bellinzona: The Swiss Medieval Town

Bellinzona is the only Swiss town hosting a medieval military complex with three fortifications still accessible nowadays. Besides the charming center, there are three fortifications to explore:

  • Castelgrande
  • Montebello
  • Sasso Corbano

If you don’t have time, visit one of them, Castelgrande or Montebello Castle. Montebello is less crowded and very interesting, and you’ll get views of the Castelgrande and the entire Bellinzona.

Since you only have half a day in Bellinzona, the best way to explore the city and its castles is by the Artù train. It leaves from Piazza Collegiata (Bellinzona center). You’ll see both castles, Montebello and Sasso Corbano, within just an hour and drive through its historical city center.

After the Artù train ride, you can visit Castelgrande and take photos.

Having explored enchanting Bellinzona, you can take a train back to Lugano to stay for the night.

Castelgrande Castle in Bellinzona
Bellinzona & Castelgrande Castle

2. Optional Half-Day Trip To San Salvatore Mountain

There is an option for mountain lovers in the afternoon (instead of the trip to Bellinzona) to hike up to San Salvatore mountain near Lugano (approx. 2 hours walk). Or to climb up, taking the famous Via Ferrata, if you are an experienced climber with equipment.

But don’t worry; you can also take a funicular to the top of the mountain and enjoy stunning views of Lugano Lake and its surroundings.

How To Get To San Salvatore Mountain From Lugano

First, take a local train from Lugano train station to Lugano Paraiso. Then walk 5 minutes to the funicular station.

Take the funicular to the top of San Salvatore mountain. The views are stunning, so if you have more time in Lugano, don’t hesitate to see this place.

Buy this discounted ticket online for San Salvatore. It’s over 50% cheaper than on the official website or on the spot.

Lugano Lake & views of San Salvatore Mountain from Mont Bre
Lugano Lake & views of San Salvatore Mountain from Mont Bre

2. DAY: LUGANO ⇒ LUCERNE

I hope you slept well because you have your first Swiss scenic train ride today. You are about to travel on the Gotthard Express train. This is one of the 5 Swiss panoramic trains which will take you from Lugano to Lucerne.

Today is the 1. DAY when you’ll validate your Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

Gotthard Express Scenic Train Ride

The Gotthard Express departs Lugano in the morning. You’ll pass through the world’s longest railway tunnel, the Gotthard Base Tunnel. It’s 57 kilometers/35.5 miles long.

Take off at the Füellen stop and hop on a steamboat, which will take you through the Vierwaldstättersee lake to Lucerne. 

For more information about timetable and seat bookings, head to the Gotthard Express website. Similarly, you can check the timetable of the regular train from Lugano to Füellen with SBB. 

Steamboat From Füellen To Lucerne

If you book your ticket on the Gotthard Express website, you can book the entire journey, including the steamboat from Füellen to Lucerne.

NOTE: Your Swiss Travel Pass Flex includes the entire train and boat ride. But you must make a seat reservation on their official website for the Gotthard Express.

If you don’t want to pay extra for the seat reservation on the Gotthard Express, you can also take a regular train. Read my article about the top 5 Swiss panoramic trains to understand the system, seat reservations, and how to book it with your Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

Here is the steamboat schedule for you.

Boat ride on Lake Vierstättersee near Lucerne
Gotthard Panorama Express: Boat ride on Lake Vierstättersee near Lucerne

Lucerne

In the afternoon, you’ll arrive in Lucerne. Take your time to check in at your accommodation. Then, leave the afternoon and the evening to explore this beautiful historical town and see the famous Chapel Bridge from the 14th century. 

Tomorrow, you can continue the itinerary or spend an extra day in Lucerne. If you have the Swiss Travel Pass Flex, you can stay in Lucerne without using it for the day.

Sightseeing In Lucerne

🔅 Old Town of Lucerne
🔅 Renaissance Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)
🔅 Chapel Bridge
🔅 Glacier Garden
🔅 Swiss Transportation Museum

🔅 Old Town Of Lucerne 🔅

Take some time to walk through the historical town of Lucerne. It’s my favorite old town in Switzerland, so stroll through its streets, see some shops, and enjoy a coffee.

🔅 Renaissance Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) 🔅

The Old Town Hall of Lucerne is considered one of Switzerland’s most beautiful public buildings. Take a photo with the River Reuss and Chapel Bridge for some nice memories.

🔅 Chapel Bridge 🔅

This stunning wooden bridge is 204 meters/669 miles long and connects one side of the River Reuss with Lucerne’s old town. In the German language, it’s called the ‘Kapellbrücke‘.

FUN FACT: It’s the oldest covered bridge in Europe. The bridge was built in the 14th century, and nowadays, it’s the icon of Lucerne.

🔅 Glacier Garden 🔅

As an option, you can visit the Glacier Garden in Lucerne. It’s an alpine park, a mirror maze, and a museum where you can learn about the history of Lucerne.

PRO TIP: Entrance ticket to the Glacier Garden is free with your Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

🔅 Swiss Transportation Museum 🔅

You can see trains, buses, boats, cars, and aircraft from Switzerland inside this museum. Learn how the Swiss manage to have the best railways in Europe and how their aircraft are produced.

You’ll get up to 50% discount with your Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

Have a good rest and enjoy some evening walks through Lucerne with its charming atmosphere. Tomorrow, we are going to the spectacular Swiss mountains.

Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
Lucerne Chapel Bridge

Where To Stay In Lucerne: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

BACKPACKERS LUZERNbudget-friendly hostel
HOTEL DES BALANCESmid-range hotel
LAKE VILLA LOTUSbeautiful apartments, 3 km/1.8 miles from the center, at the lake – highly recommend
MANDARIN ORIENTAL PALACEluxury hotel

Best Mountain Excursions From Lucerne

If you are staying 1 more day in Lucerne, you can visit one of these mountains in Switzerland. Don’t use your Swiss Travel Pass Flex on these days; just book one of these excursions:

🔅 Mount Pilatus

🔅 Mount Titlis

 

3. DAY: LUCERNE ⇒ INTERLAKEN GRINDELWALD

You have now woken up in the gateway to the Alps, Lucerne. Having explored a few Swiss towns, we’ll travel to the incredible Swiss mountains today. So let’s go for some adventure.

GoldenPass Route – Zentralbahn Train Ride

We’ll first cover part of the second Swiss scenic ride – the GoldenPass route. Head to the train station in Lucerne and take the Zentralbahn train to Interlaken Ost. Don’t forget to sit on the right side for better views. 

This train ride is entirely included in your Swiss Travel Pass Flex. You don’t even have to make a seat reservation. Just hop on the train and travel to Interlaken.

Today is the 2. DAY when you’ll validate your Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

Zentralbahn train from Lucerne to Interlaken Ost
Zentralbahn train from Lucerne to Interlaken Ost

Optional Boat Trip On Brienz Lake

I recommend you get off in Brienz, from where you can hop on a boat to Interlaken. The train station in Brienz is right next to the port.

Check the boat timetable and enjoy the spectacular boat ride on Brienz Lake to Interlaken. It takes about 2 hours, and you’ll not regret it.

The boat ride is also included in your Swiss Travel Pass Flex. No need to make a reservation; just board the boat and enjoy the ride to Interlaken.

Me on the boat ride at Lake Brienz
Me on the boat ride at Lake Brienz

👉 READ ALSO: How Swiss Cheese Is Mademy adventure on a cheese farm near Lake Brienz

Interlaken: The Swiss Adventure Capital

Welcome to Interlaken, the Swiss adventure capital. Take some time to walk through this town in the afternoon.

Our destination for today is the picturesque town of Grindelwald. So whenever you feel ready, hop on the last train from Interlaken Ost station to Grindelwald (it takes 40 minutes).

👉 READ ALSO: 22 Amazing Day Trips From Interlaken

Grindelwald: Swiss Alpine Town

Welcome to Grindelwald, my second home in the world. When I visited this town for the first time, I fell in love. Ever since I came back, I’ve been enchanted by its beauty and views. It has a special vibe, so get the most out of it.

I spent 1 year living and working in Grindelwald, which has become my second home.

Grindelwald is the best place from which you can explore the Jungfrau region. Tomorrow, you’ll enjoy the region and choose an excursion or an activity you want to do.

Check in to your accommodation, have a delicious dinner, and walk through the village.

Where To Stay In Grindelwald: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

JUNGFRAU LODGEbudget-friendly hotel
HOTEL BELVEDERE SWISS QUALITYbest mid-range hotel with spa
BOUTIQUE HOTEL GLACIERmid-range hotel with Jacuzzi
BERGWELT HOTEL luxury hotel

👉 READ ALSO: Where To Stay In Grindelwald: 9 Best Hotels

4. DAY: JUNGFRAU REGION

The real adventure is just about to start. Today, you’ll explore the most beautiful Swiss region – the Jungfrau travel region.

I recommend you choose among the following three excursions.

Today, whether you validate your Swiss Travel Pass Flex or not, it’s up to you. You’ll have one spare day at the end of this itinerary, so you can either spend it for the Jungfrau region, or somewhere else.

1. Grindelwald – Grindelwald First

Take your adventurous soul to Grindelwald First, where you can enjoy some sports activities, take a thrilling cliff walk, and walk further up to a mountain lake.

Suggested Itinerary For Grindelwald First

Take a cable car from Grindelwald to Grindelwald First Mountain in the morning.

Walk on a cliff path alongside the mountain and check out the stunning viewing point. You’ll get to see Grindelwald from above and half of the Jungfrau region and the glacier on the left side.

If you want, have a coffee on the terrace of the mountain hut before you continue.
After, walk to the Bachalp Lake. It’s an easy 45-minute walk slightly up the hill. You’ll enjoy the beautiful lake and walk in the Swiss Alps. Take some food with you and make a picnic next to the lake.

OPTIONAL: If you’re a hiker, you can hike 2 hours further up to the Faulhorn hut. It offers spectacular views, and you can have lunch inside.

Grindelwald First with Bachalp views
Grindelwald First: Cliff Walk (left side) & Bachalp Lake (right side)

Once you’re done hiking, return to Grindelwald First, where the adventure starts.

If you want, you can do adventure activities: First Glidder, First Flyer, Mountain carts, and Trotti Bike. Doing all 4 activities, you’ll return to Grindelwald.

In case don’t want to do any activities, return in the cable car to Grindelwald.

Grindelwald First adventure activities - mountain cart - first glider - trotti bike
Grindelwald First – Adventure Activities

👉 READ ALSO: 23 Incredible Things To Do In Jungfrau Region

2. Lauterbrunnen – Schilthorn Mountain

Head up to Schilthorn mountain to walk through the steps of James Bond. Besides, enjoy stunning views of the whole valley and the three majestic mountains – Mönch, Jungfrau, and Eiger. In the afternoon, visit the enchanting Lauterbrunnen and its waterfall valley. This is my favorite excursion in the Jungfrau region. And many people don’t even know about it, sadly.

Suggested Itinerary For Lauterbrunnen Valley & Schilthorn Mountain

This is the longest excursion, yet, you’ll see almost everything from this stunning region. So you’ll have to wake up slightly earlier and take the first cable car from Grindelwald.

Männlichen

In the morning, take a cable car from Grindelwald to Männlichen Mountain. Once you’re in Männlichen, take a moment to admire the beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley and Jungfrau glacier.

two girls hiking in Mannlichen
My friend and I hiking on Männlichen

Wengen

After, take a cable car from Männlichen (same station) to Wengen.
Wengen is a cute village on the mountain. Many people come here whether it’s summer or skiing holidays. You’ll walk through the main street to the train station.

Lauterbrunnen Valley
Lauterbrunnen Valley: Switzerland

Lauterbrunnen – Stechelberg

Take a train from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen. Once you’re in Lauterbrunnen, get out of the train station, cross the street, and you’ll see a bu next to a bakery. Take the bus n. 141 to Stechelberg (Schilthorn cable car station).

Once you’re in Stechelberg, you’ll take 3 connecting cable cars.

  1. Stechelberg to Grimmelwald
  2. Grimmelwald to Mürren
  3. Mürren to Birg

There is nowhere to get lost. All these cable cars are interconnected. Just follow the signs and go all the way up to Birg.

Views from Birg & Birg Thrill Walk
Views from Birg & Birg Thrill Walk
views of Monch, Jungfrau and Eiger mountains
Birg views & Schilthorn

Birg & Schilthorn Mountain

Get out of the cable car in Birg and enjoy the views from its terrace. Do you dare walk on the thrill walk? I think you should try it. It’s so much fun, and the views are incredible. You’ll get to see the pride of the Jungfrau region – Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch Mountain.

After, take the last cable car to Schilthorn Mountain. This is where the James Bond movie was shot. Walk on the terrace, and check out the James Bond museum. The views from these mountains are breathtaking. If the weather is good, you can also see the highest European mountain – Mt. Blanc.

Schilthorn mountain

Getting Back From Schilthorn To Grindelwald

On the way back to Grindelwald, I suggest visiting Mürren. Also, stop in Lauterbrunnen to see its waterfalls, or you can even visit the Trümmelbach waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

From Lauterbrunnen, take a train to Zweilütschinen. From there, change to a train back to Grindelwald.

3. Top of Europe – Jungfraujoch

Do you want to experience how it feels to be at the Top of Europe? Then go all the way up to Jungfraujoch. Take the incredible Eiger Express and a train to the Aletsch glacier, where you can learn about the highest train station in Europe and the meteorological staion Jungfraujoch.

Take stunning pictures of the glacier, and walk through an ice cave. Don’t forget to buy some Swiss chocolate at the store to have more energy to walk on the snow up there.

In the morning, take a cable car ‘Eiger Express‘ from Grindelwald to Eigergletscher. From there, take a train to Jungfraujoch.

PRO TIP: I suggest taking one of the first trains, as it’s less crowded and you’ll enjoy Jungfraujoch more.

Jungfraujoch – Top Of Europe

Once you’re at the Jungfraujoch, do a circle around. First, learn about the meteorological station and the things they do here.

Afterward, take the elevator to the terrace to see the Aletsch glacier and enjoy the stunning views. Then finish the visitor circle and walk through the spectacular ice cave.

Finally, you can take a photo with a Swiss flag outside. Remember to buy some delicious Swiss chocolate Lindt (the highest chocolate shop in Europe).

Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe
Me at the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe

Mönchsjoch Hut

If you want to hike, I highly recommend hiking to the spectacular Mönchhut. It’s only a 45-minute walk from the Jungfraujoch station to the hut. But since you’re at a high altitude and walking on the snow, breathing is slightly more difficult. But don’t worry, nothing too bad. So take it easy. It’s not a difficult hike.

Mönchhut is a typical Swiss mountain hut. You can see the Aletsch glacier even more and have lunch inside.

Mönchhut near Jungfraujoch
Me at the Mönchhut near Jungfraujoch

Eiger Trail

On the way back to Grindelwald, I suggest taking the train to Eigergletscher. From there, you can do the beautiful Eiger Trail hike to Alplingen. It’s a 1 hour and 30 minutes hike, mostly downhill. You’ll see Grindelwald from above and enjoy the stunning Swiss Alps.

From Alplingen, take a train back to Grindelwald.

hiking the Eiger Trail near Grindelwald
Me hiking the Eiger Trail

NOTE: Jungfraujoch can seem touristy; believe me, I don’t like any touristy staff. But take the first or the second train in the morning. It’ll be less crowded. So even though it’s tourist, it’s still much worth visiting.

How Many Days Are Enough For Jungfrau Region?

I think 3 days is the minimum number of days to see the Jungfrau region. In 3 days, it’s enough time to enjoy this stunning Swiss region and do the best excursions.

I suggest staying for at least 3 or 4 days for your trip.

The best deal to see the Jungfrau region is to get the Jungfrau Travel Pass.
It’s not worth using your Swiss Travel Pass Flex because it’s not valid for any of these excursions. You would waste your days and have to pay extra for every excursion.

Kleine Scheidegg
Jungfrau region – Kleine Scheidegg
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5. DAY: GRINDELWALD INTERLAKEN ⇒ MONTREUX

I hope you got to enjoy the Jungfrau region to the fullest. Reach out to me on Instagram or email me if you have any questions or need to plan your trip. I’ll be happy to help you with planning.

Today, we’ll leave the Swiss Alps for a while and enjoy the panorama of the stunning Lake Geneva. So let’s take another Swiss panoramic train: GoldenPass.

Today is the 3. DAY when you’ll validate your Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

GoldenPass Scenic Train Ride

Great news! GoldenPass scenic train just got a whole lot better. As of 2023, the Swiss introduced a brand-new train called GoldenPass Express, which now connects Interlaken West with Montreux. And that’s the train we’ll take today.

GoldenPass train used to consist of 3 sections. In the past year, you had to change trains in Zweisimmen, and only in the last section could you’ve ridden the GoldenPass train. Now, you can enjoy the entire journey on the beautiful GoldenPass Express from Interlaken West directly to Montreux.

NOTE: You have to make a seat reservation for GoldenPass Express. Do so on the official website.

Hop On The GoldenPass Express In Interlaken West

In the morning, take a train from Grindelwald to Interlaken Ost. After, you’ll have to get to Interlaken West to take the GoldenPass train. Either walk or take a bus to Interlaken West.

Enjoy the spectacular ride through the French part of Switzerland. See charming green hills, castles, Swiss medieval towns, and forests before the incredible Lake Geneva spreads out in front of you.

Enjoy views of Lake Geneva before you reach Montreux.

GoldenPass Express train
GoldenPass Express

Montreux

In the afternoon, you will arrive in Montreux, a beautiful town famous for its Jazz Festival and the lake promenade.

First, check in to your accommodation and relax. After, head to the city for sightseeing.

Sightseeing In Montreux

🔅 Château de Chillon
🔅 Lake Promenade
🔅 Montreux Mountain Studio
🔅 Montreux Museum
🔅 Saint-Vincent Church (with stunning views of the lake)
🔅 Charlie Chaplin’s World in the Hollywood-style Studio

🔅 Château de Chillon & Lake Promenade 🔅

Take your time to walk through the 3.5km long promenade with stunning views of Lake Geneva. The highlight is Château de Chillon, which became famous thanks to the poem: “The Prisoner of Chillon.” Its author, Lord Byron, describes deep and old Chillon’s Gothic dungeon.

See this historical site on the lake, located 4 km from Montreux center. You can reach it by walking from Montreux on the lake promenade or taking a bus, Ligne N° 202. I suggest first taking the bus and after you visit Château Chillon, walk on the lake promenade back to Montreux.

🔅 Montreux Mountain Studio 🔅

Returning to Montreux, Queen music band lovers should definitely visit Montreux Mountain Studio, where the band created many of its albums. Besides, Freddy Mercury recorded his last song here.

🔅 Saint Vincent Church & Montreux Museum 🔅

If you fancy exploring the city, just walk up the hill through tiny streets until you reach a church, Saint Vincent. You will get beautiful sights on the lake on the way.

Or visit some museums, like the Montreux museum, where you discover how life used to be in Montreux over the past centuries.

Montreux Riviera (Lake Promenade) & Chillon Chateau
Montreux Riviera (Lake Promenade) & Chillon Chateau

Where To Stay In Montreux: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

LA ROUVENAZbudget-friendly hotel
SWISS HISTORIC HOTEL MASSONmid-range hotel
GRAND HOTEL SUISSE MAJESTIC luxury hotel

LE COUCOU HOTELSwiss hotel on a mountain hill with stunning views

My favorite place to stay near Montreux is Le Coucou Hotel. It has a unique location up in the mountains overlooking Lake Geneva. I absolutely love this place. You’ll have an authentic experience. You’ll have to train a train to reach the Coucou Hotel.

How To Get To Le Coucou Hotel From Montreux

You must take the cogwheel train from Montreux main station direction Rochers-de-Naye (mountain excursion) and get off at the ‘Haut-de-Caux’ stop. The hotel is only 200m from the Haut-de-Caux stop. But, again, check the timetable on the SBB website.

Haut-de-Caux is a STOP ON REQUEST! – you have to press the train button to let the driver know you want to get off. The ride is included in your Swiss Travel Pass.

👉 READ ALSO: Do People Speak English In Switzerland? My Experience

6. DAY: MONTREUX ⇒ ZERMATT

Let’s enjoy another train ride, which will take you back to the Swiss Alps. Today, the famous car-free village, Zermatt, awaits you with its spectacular Matterhorn.

Today is the 4. DAY when you’ll validate your Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

Train Ride From Montreux To Zermatt

Take a train from Montreux to Visp (train direction Brig) in the morning. After about an hour and 15 minutes, you will be in Visp.

In Visp, you’ll then have to change to the train direction Zermatt. The train leaves every half an hour, and you will have plenty of time to change. On the way from Visp to Zermatt, you’ll start feeling the mountains and their atmosphere again.

👉 READ ALSO: How To Get To Zermatt From Zurich Airport

Zermatt

Welcome to Zermatt, the only village where cars are not allowed (only for those who work or live there). Take your time to check-in at your accommodation.

You’ll have the entire afternoon to explore this picturesque place with views of the famous Matterhorn.

Zermatt & Matterhorn Mountain
Zermatt & Matterhorn Mountain

Things To Do In Zermatt

I suggest you stay an extra day tomorrow in Zermatt, doing some great mountain excursions or hiking the trail through 5 lakes.

Use your Swiss Travel Pass Flex For 1 Extra Day In Zermatt – you’ll get discounts for the mountain excursions, train, and cable cars. It’ll be your 5. DAY to validate your pass.

Below are the top mountain excursions and things you can do in Zermatt.

Top Mountain Excursions In Zermatt

  1. Gornergrad Cogwheel Train Ticketget the best views of Matterhorn from above
  2. Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Cable Car Ticket Europe’s highest mountain station

5 Lakes Hiking Trail In Zermatt

I highly recommend you to do the 5 Lakes hiking trail. You can enjoy nature and endless views of the majestic Matterhorn.

From Zermatt take a funicular to Sunegga. Then change to the connecting cable car, which will take you to the Blauherd station.

You’ll start your hike at the Blauherd station. Then just follow the signs and walk to all 5 lakes until you reach Zermatt again.

The entire hike takes about 4 hours, and you’ll visit the following lakes:

  • Stellisee – offers the best views of Matterhorn
  • Grindjisee
  • Grünnsee
  • Moosjisee
  • Leisee
5 Lakes Trail near Zermatt
Zermatt & 5 Lakes Trail

Where To Stay In Zermatt: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

HOTEL GARNI TESTA GRIGIAbudget-friendly hotel
HOTEL TANNENHOFmid-range hotel
HOTEL MATTHIOLluxury hotel

KULMHOTEL GORNERGRAThighest hotel in the Swiss Alps – amazing with breathtaking views

👉 READ ALSO: 11 Cheapest Ways To Travel Switzerland On A Budget

7. DAY: GLACIER EXPRESS: Zermatt ⇒ St. Moritz

Yet, the day has arrived.; the best scenic train ride in Switzerland. Take your seat and relax. Because today, the Glacier Express takes you on an unforgettable journey through the massif mountains, Alpine Passes, Swiss Grand Canyon, and the UNESCO train ride through the Grisons canton.

Today is the 6. DAY when you’ll validate your Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

Glacier Express Ride From Zermatt To St. Moritz

Glacier Express is another scenic train where you need a seat reservation. It’s pretty common among tourists, so plan ahead and make sure you book the seat way in advance.

Read more about the Glacier Express route and information about the fee and bookings in my article. You can reserve the seats online on their website. Remember, you only have to make a seat reservation. The ride is included in your Swiss Travel Pass.

Landwasser Viaduct: Glacier Express
Landwasser Viaduct: Glacier Express
Glacier Express ride & Swiss Grand Canyon
Glacier Express ride & Swiss Grand Canyon

St. Moritz

Welcome to St. Moritz, one of the most luxurious towns in Switzerland.

First, check in to your accommodation and relax after the long train ride.

In the evening, you can enjoy a walk alongside Lake St. Moritz. If you are into luxury shopping, visit some stores in the town.

Where To Stay In St. Moritz: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

ST. MORITZ YOUTH HOSTEL – budget-friendly hostel
HOTEL WALDHAUS AM SEE – mid-range hotel
BADRUTT’S PALACE HOTEL ST. MORITZ – luxury hotel

8. DAY: ST MORITZ ⇒ ENGADIN/SCUOL

Eventually, let’s explore the largest Swiss canton, Grisons. You’ll have a chance to immerse yourself in the incredible atmosphere of the Engadin Valley on the last day of your Swiss itinerary.

Today is the 7. DAY when you’ll validate your Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

Scuol Thermal Baths – Engadin Valley

In the morning, hop on a train to Samedan (direction Chur). Then, change in Samedan to another train to Scuol-Tarasp.

I have taken you here to relax and reflect on the Swiss adventure you have just experienced. Spoil yourself in the thermal baths of Scuol and bath in pure Swiss mineral water. No need to book entrance tickets in advance. You can go directly to the thermal baths and enjoy a relaxing afternoon.

Engadin Valley & Scuol
Engadin Valley & Scuol

Scuol Walking Tour

Join this walking tour of Scuol and learn about the history and life of locals. Enjoy an aperitif in an authentic Engadine Parlor.

Where To Stay In Scuol: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

Since this is an 8-day itinerary and it’s our last day, you can also travel to Zurich in the evening and end your itinerary in Zurich. In this case, you’ll still have 1 extra day to use your Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

You can use it during this itinerary, e.g., in the Jungfrau region, to get a discount for your chosen excursion or an extra day in Lucerne and its mountain excursions (Mt. Pilatus, Mt. Titlis).

If you have more time, I highly recommend staying in Scuol for the night and relaxing. In this case, you’ll use the last day from your Swiss Travel Pass Flex tomorrow, traveling to Zurich.

Scuol is one of my favorite towns in Switzerland. It’s calm, the views are beautiful, it has a different culture, and the thermal baths are awesome. So take some time, relax, and stay overnight:

HOTEL BELVEDERE SCUOLincludes entrance to the Scuol thermal baths
ENGIADINA HOTELtypical hotel for the Grisons canton
HOTEL ARNICA SCUOL – ADULTS ONLY

End Of Your Switzerland Itinerary

I’ve left the end of this Swiss itinerary free for you to decide what to do.

If you want, you can travel back to Lugano, where you start this itinerary.

I suggest staying 1 night in Scuol. On the day 9. you can travel to Zurich, from where you can explore other European places.

You still have 1 more day to use your Swiss Travel Pass Flex. So use this to travel to your final destination. Or you can use the extra day during this itinerary, e.g., in the Jungfrau region or for excursions from Lucerne.

Use the 8. DAY from your Swiss Travel Pass Flex to travel to your final destination. Or use it during this itinerary for 1 day in the Jungfrau region or 1 extra day in Lucerne and mountain excursions from Lucerne (Mt. Pilatus, Mt. Titlis).

Zurich
Me enjoying Zurich

Where To Stay In Zürich: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

If you decide to end your trip in Zurich, here are my top hotels to stay in:

HOTEL CITY ZURICH DESIGN & LIFESTYLE
25HOURS HOTEL ZÜRICH WEST
SORELL HOTEL ST. PETER

Zurich Guided Tour

Book this guided tour of Zurich and explore its highlights with a local guide.

Practical Tips For Visiting Switzerland

I’ve got some further travel tips to help you plan your itinerary even in more detail. Find out how many days are enough in the country, the best time to visit, what to pack, and what budget you should count on.

Passport & Visa To Switzerland

Check the expiration date of your passport. Most airlines don’t even take you on board if your passport expires in 6 months. Avoid issues with boarding and on the road. Ensure your passport won’t expire in the next 8 months.

Check if you need a Visa to Switzerland. iVisa will give you detailed information on whether you need a Visa and other necessary documents you might need to travel to Switzerland.

Click here to see what kind of travel documents you need for Switzerland. iVisa will help you with Visa.

How Many Days Are Best For Switzerland?

The best amount of days to visit Switzerland is between 8 to 14 days. 8 days is the minimum I recommend you spend in the country. You’ll see the highlights, but your itinerary will be pretty packed. Yet, you can see a lot.

10 days in Switzerland gives you a perfect time to enjoy more hiking and this country’s stunning nature.

If you can, I recommend spending 14 days as it’ll allow you to fully immerse yourself in each place. You won’t have to rush and will get to enjoy the moments.

👉 READ ALSO: How Many Days In Switzerland Is Enough? Revealed!

What Is The Best Month To Visit Switzerland?

The best time to visit Switzerland is June and September. These monts are less crowded and the weather is usually perfect and warm.

June is the perfect time to visit Switzerland. Everything starts to turn green and beautiful, rivers have clear waters from the melting glaciers, the grass is green with cows on hills, you can still see snowy mountains, and all activities and mountain huts are open. Temperatures in June range between 19°C/66°F to 23°C/73°F.

September is great month to visit Switzerland. The autumn colors start to shine across the Swiss countryside, it’s still warm, and the perfect weather for hiking, adventure activities, panoramic train rides, and the mountain huts are still open.

There is usually no snow in September, but it can snow for a day in the Swiss mountains towards the end of September. Temperatures range between 21°C/69°F to 24°C/75°F

What To Pack For Your Swiss Trip?

I’ve also prepared the ultimate Switzerland Packing list for you. I traveled to Switzerland with 1 backpack and managed to fit everything inside, while being prepared for all kinds of weather and occasions.

For your Swiss itinerary, you need a variety of clothes. You’ll visit cities, hike in the mountains, and ride luxury train rides. So it might be difficult to pack.

Get my Switzerland packing list now for free, save time, and pack your backpack without overthinking.

Budget You’ll Need For 8-Day Switzerland Itinerary

The budget for an 8-day Swiss itinerary per person (mid-range traveler) is $1956. This is a very realistic budget for mid-range travelers who want to stay in nice hotels, get the Swiss Travel Pass and travel conveniently, enjoy mountain excursions, and each location’s activities.

Here is a breakdown of this Swiss itinerary budget for each travel category:

Accommodation: $120 per night in a nice mid-range hotel = $960 per person
Swiss Travel Pass: $436 for an 8-Day Swiss Travel Pass = $436 per person
Food & Drinks: $50 per day p.p. = $400 per person
Activities & Attractions: approx $20 per person per day = $160 per person

So the total budget for an 8-day trip to Switzerland, without restricting yourself too much and enjoying everything the country offers, is $1956 per person.

Budget Breakdown For Different Traveler Styles

Here is a quick overview of the budget for every type of traveler:

➡ 8-day itinerary budget for backpackers and travelers on the budget: $800
➡ 8-day itinerary budget for mid-range travelers: $1956
➡ 8-day itinerary budget for luxury travelers: up to $4000

NOTE: This is an approximate budget based on my calculations and spending during my 8-day trip to Switzerland. The budget will vary based on every traveler’s preferences.

👉 READ ALSO: Is Switzerland Expensive? All You Need To Know

FAQs

To help you plan your itinerary even more, I’ve also answered some of the most frequently asked questions for you:

Are 8 Days Enough For Switzerland?

8 days is the perfect time to explore the highlights of Switzerland. Use this itinerary to do so. However, you can easily spend 2 weeks in Switzerland and still have much to see and explore.

If you have 2 weeks in Switzerland, spend more time in the places such as the Jungfrau region, Lake Geneva, and Zermatt. Go hiking and boat rides on Lake Geneva.

How Can I Spend 8 Days In Switzerland?

If you have 8 days in Switzerland, I suggest you follow this Swiss itinerary. Within 8 days, you can explore Lugano, Lucerne, Jungfrau region, Montreux and Lake Geneva, Zermatt, Scuol & Engadin Valley, and Zurich.

In addition, you can also ride 3 of the Swiss panoramic trains, which are Gotthard Express, GoldenPass Express, and Glacier Express.

Is It Better To Fly Into Geneva Or Zurich?

Generally, the best is to fly to Zurich. It’s closer to all the major attractions in Switzerland and most tourist places people visit.

Yet, it depends on what your destination is. If you only want to visit Lake Geneva and places such as Montreux and Lausanne, it’s better to fly to Geneva. Zermatt is also a bit closer if you fly to Geneva.

So first, choose your destination and check whether Geneva or Zurich is closer to your Swiss destination.

How Expensive Is Switzerland?

Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in Europe. Yet there are ways to make your journey a lot more economical.

Plan to spend between 200 CHF and 300 CHF a day, including hotels, attractions, food, and transportation (mid-range budget).

If you’re a budget traveler, plan to spend around 100 CHF per day in Switzerland.

The best deal is to get the Swiss Travel Pass. It’ll cover all your transportation expenses, trains, buses, and boat rides in the country. You can travel unlimitedly in Switzerland using this pass.

Can EURO Be Used In Switzerland?

Only a few places in Switzerland accept EURO. You can pay with EURO in Switzerland in most hotels and big shops. You’ll always get Swiss Francs back if you pay using EURO in Switzerland.

I don’t recommend paying with EURO in Switzerland. You’ll get a bad exchange rate, so your costs will increase significantly.

How Much Would 10 Days In Switzerland Cost?

10 days in Switzerland for mid-range travelers would cost approx. $2500. This is a realistic budget for a 10-day Swiss itinerary if you stay in nice hotels, get a travel pass, do many activities, and enjoy mountain excursions.

For budget travelers, 10 days in Switzerland will cost around $1000, and luxury travelers can spend up to $4000, where the sky is the limit.

a girl hiking in Switzerland
Me hiking in Switzerland

WRAP-UP: Switzerland Itinerary 8 Days

This is my 8-day Swiss itinerary for you. Take it, skip the planning process, and enjoy the country fully. I know it’s not the cheapest country, but believe me. Save up and travel to Switzerland. It’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and you’ll be leaving with so many experiences and a fulfilled soul. It’s going to be worth it.

If you have any questions or need a customized travel itinerary, contact me at info(at)voicesoftravel.com. I’ll gladly help you.

Happy Travels!

voices of travel about me photo

About the author: Nicoletta is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.

SWITZERLAND: Interested in more articles for Switzerland?
Check out my Switzerland Travel Page.

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Lisa

    This is such a good itinerary! I haven’t been to Switzerland in years, but would love to revisit and spend about a week there!

    1. Nicoletta

      Thank you Lisa. I am glad the itinerary inspired you. I hope you will have a great time once you come back to Switzerland :).

  2. We loved our first visit to Switzerland but your post showed me that we need to go back for many other spots we missed. We really did not spent much time deep in the mountains and missed Jungfrau and Zermatt. We would definitely want to take all the great train rides you covered on your trip. And not miss the charming town of Chur. I will certainly use this itinerary to help plan our next visit.

    1. Nicoletta

      Thanks Linda :). I encourage you to visit mountains, especially the Jungfrau region once you come back to Switzerland. I believe it is the best part in the country. Also Swiss scenic trains: Glacier Express is the best ride ever, check it out. I hope my itinerary can help you with planning your next visit ;).

  3. Lorry

    We took a series of trains to Mt. Santis from Germany and it was delightful. We would definitely travel by train to see these other beautiful destinations.

    1. Nicoletta

      Amazing, let me know when you are on the road :). I will be happy to hear your experience. Train travel in Switzerland is honestly the best choice.

  4. Nicole

    I just love switzerland, no matter how many times I visit I am in awe of the scenery, history and the outdoor experiences available. you’ve chosen some awesome places on here.

    1. Nicoletta

      Thank you Nicole. Switzerland is a stunning country. I have the same feelings, as you described, whenever I am there.

  5. 8 days are just not enough in Switzerland to be honest. I went for 14 days and even that didn’t seem enough to me. Having said that, you have covered a lot in a short span of time in this itinerary and its a good reference for someone who really doesn’t have more time. I could not make it to Zermatt and St Moritz on my last trip but they’re on my list for the next one!

    1. Nicoletta

      Hahaha, you are completely right, Medha. I couldn’t decide for how many days I should create the itinerary… to me, it is also not enough. Still, I was more considering people who go on a vacation and don’t have 2 weeks for that. So I went for 8 days and picked the ultimate highlights. But to see almost all the beauties this country has to offer, I think we would need a month :D.

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    1. Nicoletta

      Thank you, Halley. Really appreciate your comment. I am glad you have a great user experience.

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    1. Nicoletta

      Thank you so much, Nichol. Really appreciate it. I am glad you like it :).

    1. Nicoletta

      You’re welcome 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed it… Happy travels!

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