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Need help with a 9 day trip to Switzerland and Rome


My husband and I are planning to visit Switzerland and Rome in September. We are coming from India. This is our first time to Europe. I need help with deciding the places and number of days that I need to spend in each place. I know 9 days is not much but our budget doesn't allow us to spend more days on this vacation.

This is the plan I have come up with after reading some forums. We are looking for places in Switzerland where we could take small hikes. Please let me know if this plan looks ok. Thanks in advance!

Land in Zurich
Zurich airport to Zermatt in train.
Next 3 days in Zermatt.
5th day – Zermatt to Lucerne. Spend a day here. Overnight stay in Lucerne.
6th day – Lucerne to Zurich. Zurich to Rome.
7th and 8th day – Rome

Posted by
1 posts

Hi elakshmi85,

Switzerland is quite small, although many of the trains and roads circumvent the mountains and don't allow a direct route. As you are arriving Zurich I suggest you first go to Lucerne as it is a short train ride and eliminates the need to backtrack if you stop in Zermatt. The route to Zermatt is a bit long and is a 'one way' so you are backtracking in and out of there.

I have found Interlaken (especially Grindewald, Lauterbrunnen, etc.) to be some of the very best for hiking. The proximity to transportation is also excellent and provides excellent views of mountains, waterfalls, etc. Also depending on budget I highly recommend taking the scenic trains available such as Bernina Express or Glacier Express.

Zermatt then can lead easily to Milan which is just over 3 hours by train to Rome. If you have never been to Europe, I suggest you might consider at least 2-3 days in Rome depending on your likes. Just to see the Colosseum is 1/2 day. Also to see St. Peters/Vatican is generally a full day. Be very careful to get there very early in the morning as the queues can be over 2 hours long by late morning.

To reiterate, you can easily go from Zurich to Lucerne to Zermatt to Milan/Rome in a more direct route; no need to backtrack. Enjoy! - John

Posted by
16894 posts

Are you sure that you want 3 nights in Zermatt and 1 night in Lucerne, versus 2 nights in each? I can't advise which is best for hiking, but Lucerne has plenty of sightseeing options. I assume that you plan to fly from Zurich to Rome.

Posted by
8889 posts

Why are you going "Lucerne to Zurich. Zurich to Rome."? That makes no sense, if you are going by train you are doubling back on yourself.
Either go: Zürich --> Zermatt (3 nights) --> Luzern (1 night) --> Rome.
Or, as the previous poster suggested: Zürich --> Luzern (1 night) --> Zermatt (3 nights) --> Rome.

"Luzern" is the German spelling. When you look up train times this is the spelling you will see.