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6 day Trip to Switzerland - Appreciate any thoughts on this itinerary


Travelling for the first time to Switzerland with older kids - 20 and 13 yr old.

Day 1 - Arriving early 8am in Zurich; Head to Lucerne during the day and over to Berner Oberland for stay (will this be a killer?)

Day 2 - Trip to Schilthorn or Jungfrau during the day, spend evening in the valley (we plan to visit only one of this and would like some thoughts as to which is better) - Stay in Berner Oberland

Day 3 - Hike/spend time in the valley - Stay in Berner Oberland

Day 4 - Head to Lausanne, Olympic Musuem during the day and over to Zermatt - Stay at Zermatt

Day 5 - Chillon Castle, Zermatt/Neighboring places - Stay at Zermatt

Day 6 - Drive back to Zurich - Stay at Zurich, FIFA Football museum

Day 7 - fly back in the morning

Is this do-able? We plan to take the 4day (4+1) Swiss Travel pass. Wondering if not the Swiss Travel Pass, would a combination of Saver Day Passes and Swiss Half Fare card be a better option?

Alternatively - will we be able to visit these places from staying in one central location for all 5 days - say stay in the Berner Oberland area for 5 days and then head out to Zurich on the 6th day and stay there before flying out?

Any input on this itinerary would be helpful!! Thanks so much!!

Posted by
182 posts

Your alternative suggestion is what we did four years ago. We based ourselves in Interlaken in an AirBnB that was a five minute walk from the train station. It was a perfect location for daily day trips around the country. We returned to Zurich the day before we flew home to the US.

Posted by
20332 posts

Where are you getting a car in Zermatt, a car-free village? And why would you want a car in the first place after traveling all over Switzerland by train?

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks AbbyO ! If I may ask one more question - Which pass did you purchase for the daily trips? Trying to see which one would be better - Travel Pass versus a combination of Saver Day Pass and Swiss Half Fare.

Posted by
4 posts

Hi Sam, thank you, just realized and modified the question. The 4+1 pass would cover for 5 days and we might have to get a Day pass for the 6th day of travel or Reach Zurich by day 5. Still working through the options. Would you have any recommendations?

Posted by
20332 posts

Why bother staying in Zermatt, a very remote location to visit Lausanne and Chillon Castle? It is 2 1/2 hours train ride there and 2 1/2 hours back. You will not have any time to see the sights 99% of all the other people go there, the Matterhorn and ride the lifts up into the high mountains.

Posted by
24 posts

Hi there,

For your Day 4 and 5, I would make a small adjustment and I base my recommendation on the fact that I live between Lausanne and Chateau de Chillon, so I know the area as the back of my hand:

Day 4 - Visit the Olimpic Museum, the Ouchy port and the old town of Lausanne. Head to Montreux via Vevey (maybe you are interested in visiting Charlie Chaplin's mansion in Vevey) and spend the night in Montreux. Btw, if you are a Queen fan, their recording studio can be visited, it is inside Montreux Casino, open from 9 am to 9 pm every day.

Day 5 - Visit Chateau de Chillon (9 am to 7 pm, with the last entry at 6 pm in June-August) in the morning (that is 5 minutes driving from Montreux direction Zermatt) and continue your drive to Zermatt afterwards.

For me, this makes more sense in terms of using time efficient and cost wise too. Zermatt is more expensive than Montreux and also this plan would allow you to avoid going back and forth on the same route to visit Chillon when in fact you will be just right next to it if you stay one night in Montreux or even Vevey.

Please feel free to ask me any questions about the Lausanne - Vevey - Montreux leg of the trip.

Posted by
2733 posts

I think your itinerary needs some work.

Day 1) If you will be flying in from North America, this day is likely to be a killer. It’s way too much if you haven’t slept well on the plane. And you will probably have jet lag. Go straight to Berner Oberland.

Days 2 & 3) I don’t think you are allowing enough time for this gorgeous area. You can’t count on the weather, so you need to allow for a potential rainy day(s). If you love hiking and nature, you should consider spending all your time here, perhaps allowing for a day in Lucerne at the end.

As to Schilthorn vs. Jungfrau, it’s a tough call. I enjoyed both and can’t pick a favorite. If money is an issue and you are James Bond fans, then go with Schilthorn. All I can say is read a lot about them both and see which one sounds more appealing.

Days 4-5) I don’t think you have time for another location. With such a short visit, you want to keep transportation to a minimum. That said, I do love the area on Lake Geneva. But…

I didn’t think the Olympic Museum was all that great. It’s not bad as a rainy day option, but definitely not worth going out of your way for.

Also, staying in Zermatt makes no sense to me. You are planning to visit Chateau Chillon (which is an easy 40 minute train ride from Lausanne) the next day and then travel back to Zermatt to sleep. Are you aware that it takes three hours to get from Lausanne to Zermatt? It’s a bit shorter by car, but I see no advantage to renting a car for this trip — take the train.) For such a short time in Switzerland, you don’t have time for Zermatt. I assume you would like to see the Matterhorn, but the weather in Zermatt is notoriously iffy, and there’s no guarantee you will see it.

If you must go to Lake Geneva, plan on two nights, which is enough to see the two sights you mention. I would suggest staying in Vevey, a delightful small town in between Lausanne and Montreux. If you opt to skip this area, you could go to Lucerne on day 5 or 6. You could go right to the Zurich airport from there on the morning of your flight; it’s a quick train ride. But since you want to visit the FIFA museum in Zurich, that might not work.

You do not have enough time to travel to Lucerne, Berner Oberland, Lake Geneva, Zermatt and Zurich in 6 days. Pick two. Three if you like really fast travel and want to gamble on the weather.