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A week in Switzerland, help!

Hi everyone!

I'm meeting a friend in Geneva and we have 5-6 days to experience Switzerland. Problem is, there's so much I want to see and do, I'm overwhelmed.

We want to spend a day in Geneva and from there, we're open. We'd love to see Jungfrau, Zermatt, and have some awesome adventures. Can you help? I saw wine tours outside Lausanne, train rides up to Zermatt... where to start? Help!

Posted by
915 posts

If you haven't read it yet, the Rick Steves Switzerland book is very helpful. We only have a couple of days in Switzerland so we are doing 1/2 day in Bern and 1 1/2 days in the Berner Oberland (staying in Murren). We will also briefly walk around Zurich on our way out of the airport there. I will tell you that RS does not cover or recommend Geneva in his guidebook. (Not knocking you or your friend's choice, just letting you know you won't find anything about it in that book.)

Posted by
533 posts

I'm also planning a week-long trip to Switzerland, and I can certainly identify with your feeling of having so much you want to do and so little time to do it.

One thing that helped me narrow down the options was deciding (rightly or wrongly) that a lot of the sights in Switzerland look fairly similar - mountainside resorts, cable cars up peaks, lakeside medieval towns - so there's no need to run myself ragged going to every single one.

Another thing that helped was watching a lot of youtube videos. In particular, there's a poster named denniscallan who has some extremely detailed videos of some of the most famous Swiss places and experiences. Some of them look fantastic, while others don't appeal to me at all, so I could cross those off my list.

Posted by
7257 posts

Look at the map on google Pick either Zermatt or Jungfrau first. I doubt you will want to do both after you see where they are located and what it takes to get to both in 5-6 days

Posted by
7205 posts

If you've got lots of things you want to see in beautiful Switzerland then don't waste a day in Geneva. There are vastly more interesting and beautiful places in Switzerland than Geneva.

Posted by
1118 posts

Next year I will be spending 5 nights in Switzerland (4 in Murren & 1 in Luzern) before I head to Paris. The 4 nights (3 full days) in Murren offers me the chance to enjoy Murren itself, Lauterbrunnen Valley, the other surrounding hillside towns and depending on weather the Jungfrau & Schilthorn. 1 full day in Luzern (Lucerene) before my train to Paris.

Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
16883 posts

If you want to spend a night or two along Lake Geneva, then consider going to Lausanne or Montreux from the airport, about 1 hour by direct train. From there you can visit Lausanne's museums, the Chateau de Chillon, cheesemaking near Gruyere, or vineyards around Chexbres. Then I'd take the Golden Pass train route via Zweisimmen to Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen and spend a couple of days of quality mountain time around that valley. No real need to move on to Zermatt or a different mountain.