WHAT TO DO IN SWITZERLAND IN 10 DAYS
Are you looking for an exciting 10-day Switzerland itinerary? Then read on because you will find many travel tips on how to spend 10 days in Switzerland.
If Switzerland were a person, you’d be madly in love with them after 10 days – at least that has happened to me and it surely will happen to you, too. Why? Well, from towering snow-capped mountains to tranquil Swiss lakes and charming small towns – this tiny landlocked country in Central Europe is simply bursting with incredible sights for you to explore!
With just ten days in Switzerland, your heart will probably break when it’s time to leave (trust me – I know from experience).
So don’t waste any moment of those precious 10 days in Switzerland – and this itinerary will help you plan you plan a trip you will not forget!
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR 10-DAY SWITZERLAND ITINERARY
In this 10-day Switzerland itinerary, you will find out:
✔️ Where to stay in Switzerland
✔️ How to get to Switzerland & how to get around Switzerland
✔️ More travel tips for your trip to Switzerland
✔️ Best places to visit in 10 days
Where to Stay in Switzerland For 10 Days
If you stay in Switzerland for 10 days, I suggest changing hotels about 3-4 times so you can stay in one place for 1-3 nights and do day trips from there before continuing your trip.
If you choose only one base for 10 days, it will mean that you have long travel times because the places mentioned here are quite spread out.
Since I mention many destinations on this itinerary (that you will probably not be able to do all), you can choose the places you want to visit and book your hotel there. You will find hotel recommendations further below.
How to Get to Switzerland
You can arrive in Switzerland via plane, car, and train.
✈️ PLANE: Switzerland has several international airports. If you arrive via plane, you will most likely arrive in Zurich, so I only focus on that airport. If you arrive in Zurich, you can easily take a train and get to Zurich city center by train. Trains run frequently, and there is no need to book train tickets in advance. You will not need an expensive shuttle or taxi.
🚊 TRAIN: If you come from neighboring countries like Austria, Germany, Italy, or France, you might arrive via train. Switzerland is “train heaven,” and there are many great train stations all around Switzerland. The train centers are normally in city centers, so it is quite convenient to get to Switzerland via train.
🚘 CAR: If you arrive in Switzerland in your own car, it normally goes smoothly. It probably depends on the country you are traveling from, but I – with a German license plate – have never been really checked and was just waved through border control. I suggest buying a toll sticker before border control.
This will last for 1 year (from December to January of the next year, so 14 months) and costs around 40 CHF (around 40€). There are petrol stations at the border where you can buy one. However, if you can also buy it later as they are available at many petrol stations in Switzerland.
10 Days in Switzerland – How to Get Around
There are several amazing ways to get around in Switzerland, and here is what I recommend for 10 days in Switzerland.
🚊 PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Public transportation in Switzerland is convenient, reliable, on time, clean, and safe.
A Swiss Travel Pass most likely will be the perfect choice for your 10-day trip. The pass is only available to non-Swiss – but for most visitors from abroad, it is perfect for getting around.
Trail travel in Switzerland is just fun – like really, really fun. Here, the journey is the reward. I highly recommend a Swiss Travel Pass if you plan to use public transportation.
A Swiss Travel Pass is not cheap – when I first saw the price I was shocked. When I realized how much it would save me, I was okay with buying it.
ℹ️ It allows you to use buses and trains without any extra costs.
ℹ️ Also, you can do boat cruises on all the lakes mentioned here for free.
ℹ️ There are also a few mountain excursions (cogwheel/cable car) included in the Swiss Travel Pass, e.g. Mount Rigi.
ℹ️ In addition, you get up to a 50% discount on many mountain trips (some are even free with this pass).
ℹ️ You also have free access to many museums.
I buy my Swiss Travel Passes via GetYourGuide because of the much better cancellation policy.
There are several Swiss Travel Passes available.
ℹ️ You can choose between passes for 3, 4, 6, 8, or 15 days. An 8-day pass – flexible – might be the best option for this 10-day itinerary or the 15-day continuous ticket as the prices do not differ much.
The flexible pass allows you to use the pass for 8 days within 30 days. So, for the days when you will use little public transportation, you could get single tickets if you have to use public transportation.
If you plan to use public transportation/boats/visit museums etc. on all 10 days, then you can also get a 15-day pass. Check out the Swiss Travel Pass – for consecutive days – prices here.
🚘 DRIVING / RENTING A CAR IN SWITZERLAND
ℹ️ Driving in Switzerland is an overall fun and safe experience. It can be quite challenging driving in the Swiss mountains, though – especially if you are not used to driving narrow mountain roads. While I totally enjoy driving there, I hate not admiring the scenery as much as I would love to.
ℹ️ Just stick to the speed limit (they take it very seriously there).
ℹ️ Have change for parking (which can be extremely pricey, and finding good spots in the city centers is a challenge) though more and more places also accept online payment.
Check out this company for your rental car for stress-free rental bookings so you can start experiencing hidden gems without any hassle.
Apart from driving or trail riding, there are more ways to get around though you probably will not be able to avoid driving/public transportation completely.
- Switzerland is made for nice strolls and amazing hikes. Find my post with hiking tips here.
- Bring comfortable shoes – the city centers often have cobbled-stone streets.
- And for hiking, bring proper hiking boots.
- I am slightly obsessed with boat cruises in Switzerland – and you should do at least one boat cruise with 10 days in Switzerland.
- However, they are not the perfect way to get around because they are lake boat cruises and there are only stops along the lake shores, and you will not get very far via boat.
- Most boat cruises are free with the Swiss Travel Pass.
CABLE CARS / FUNICULARS
- Switzerland caters to non-hikers as well as hikers. You can get on most mountain peaks without much effort. If you want to get on mountain peaks, cable cars, and funiculars are a good way.
- However, the tickets for cable cars/funiculars are quite expensive. A Swiss Travel Pass will often save you 50% on ticket prices, and some mountain peaks are completely free with a pass (like Mount Rigi near Lucerne).
Visa Regulations for Switzerland
Switzerland is not part of the European Union, but people from the European Union do not need a visa as it is part of the Schengen Agreement. If you are coming from elsewhere, please check visa regulations.
Money / Credit Cards
ℹ️ The currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF). Most Swiss shops accept payment in euros (and some also in dollars). I would still change money and have some Swiss francs with me as it gets more expensive if you pay in euros.
ℹ️ Also, you can often pay with your credit card, at least in bigger stores. I have come across smaller shops – especially in lesser-busy areas or restaurants – where only cash payment is accepted.
There are four official languages in Switzerland: 1) German, 2) French, 3) Italian, and 4) Romansh (a minor language). German is spoken by the vast of the people (more than 60 %) as the main language.
Most of the places mentioned here are also located within the German-speaking part but it will also take you to the French and Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland. But you should be fine with English in the main travel destinations.
EPIC THINGS TO DO IN 10 DAYS IN SWITZERLAND
This 10-day Switzerland itinerary is different from most others. Here you will find many different activities and a timeframe. So, there are activities for 14-21 days, and you just pick those places that are the most appealing to you. This way, you can create your own 10 days in Switzerland itinerary.
Zurich – 1 Day
The first day you can explore Zurich – the biggest city in the country.
THINGS TO DO IN ZURICH
ℹ️ Explore the Bahnhofstrasse (the most expensive street in the world). Though it does not look spectacular, this street beats 5th Avenue when it comes to rental prices. And since its convenient location is close to Lake Zurich and the Old Town, you should not skip it when visiting Switzerland.
ℹ️ Stroll the old town with the narrow streets and old and colorful buildings.
ℹ️ You can also visit the Uetliberg and enjoy some more nice views from there. In Switzerland, most towns/cities have their own house mountain and this one is Zurich´s house mountain
ℹ️ If you want to be more active, rent a bike for free and explore Zurich by bike.
ℹ️ Relax at Lake Zurich and take it easy for the last few hours. There are many fine-dining restaurants around the lake and supermarkets if you prefer getting food/snacks for a picnic at the lake.
ℹ️ As a boat tour lover, I, of course, recommend a boat tour on Lake Zurich.
ℹ️ Personally, I think that there is no better way to end a day in Zurich than at Lake Zurich. Especially on a summer day, when the street musicians are playing lovely music, and people just gather around the lake – Zurich gives you the best summer feeling!
The atmosphere is way more relaxed than in other parts of Switzerland, it feels like people are open-minded here, and you´ll see locals and tourists alike enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds Zurich.
➡️ I could name many more things to do in Zurich (click here for more top things to do in Zurich), but I will leave it here.
With 10 days in Switzerland, you can spend 1 full day in Zurich before continuing your trip.
WHERE TO STAY IN ZURICH
BUDGET: Oldtown Hostel Otter – Oldtown Hostel Otter in Zurich’s Old Town offers a stylish atmosphere for the young and young at heart. Located just 300 meters from both the Zurich-Stadelhofen train station and the lake, it’s an ideal spot to enjoy the city’s vibrant energy.
Ebenalp Mountain and Appenzell – 1 Day
FROM ZURICH TO EBENALP – I suggest doing a day trip from Zurich
🚗 BY CAR: About 1,5 hours
🚆 BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: About 2 hours
If you are interested in seeing the world-famous cliff mountain guest house, “The Ascher,” plan a trip to Appenzellerland.
Ebenalp Mountain is a popular destination located in the Appenzell region of Switzerland. It stands 912 meters (2,992 feet) above sea level and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
In addition, the mountain also offers a wealth of activities such as hiking, mountain biking, or paragliding. The most famous attraction – I dare to make that claim – is the stunning, the impressive, the gorgeous, the one and only mountain house The Asecher.
With its stunning views and wide range of activities on offer, Ebenalp Mountain is an ideal destination for both adventurers and nature lovers alike.
THINGS TO DO IN EBENALP MOUNTAIN
✔️ Hike up to the Aescher (or take the cable car) and have a drink or lunch at the mountain guesthouse
✔️ See the Wildkirchli Caves and learn about the history
✔️ Hike down to the pretty Lake Seealpsee
ℹ️ It is quite easily reachable by car or train from Zurich (about 1,5/2 hours by car or train). Head to the “Wasserauen” Station and from there either hike up or take a cable car.
ℹ️ Depending on whether you hike or take the cable car, it takes something like 2-6 hours.
➡️ Check out my detailed guide on how to see the Aescher with more tips for Appenzellerland.
Once back in the valley, you can head back to the hotel or explore the cute and colorful town of Appenzell, which is just a few minutes drive away.
Appenzell is a small town in the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, Switzerland. It has a population of just over 5,000 people and lies at an elevation of 797 meters (2,619 feet) above sea level and is surrounded by hills and mountains. I tend to call it, Little Tuscany as it pretty much reminds me of its rolling green hill of…Tuscany!Appenzell is quite small, so you do not need much time to explore it. And though it is small, there are many extremely colorful buildings that come in all different colors! A small Swiss village at its best, if you´d ask me.
You can end your day in this colorful village and stay in one of the town center hotels before continuing your journey.
WHERE TO STAY IN APPENZELL
I recommend doing a day trip from Zurich to Appenzell. However, if you want to stay there overnight, check out this 4-star hotel in Appenzell. It is a beautiful property directly in the heart of Appenzell.
Lucerne & Mount Rigi & Mount Pilatus – 1,5 Days
FROM ZURICH TO LUCERNE
🚗 BY CAR: About 1 hour
🚆 BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: About 1 hour
Lucerne is one the most beautiful cities in Switzerland and I still think you should spend 1,5-2 days in Lucerne, and this is for several reasons.
The city – located on the banks of Lake Lucerne – is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations and offers stunning views of the Alps and surrounding countryside. The city center has many attractions including the Chapel Bridge, which is an iconic covered wooden bridge built in 1333 featuring 17th-century paintings.
Lucerne has some breathtaking places close by that you should check out! Also, Lucerne itself is, above all, wonderful. You have a stunning old town with beautiful historic attractions, like the Lion Monument, and one of the biggest lakes in the country.
Sitting in one of the cafes outside will be a fantastic way to top off your day.
On a sunny day, make sure to head to Weggis, which is located on Lake Lucerne’s shores and is the perfect place to rest after all the busy sightseeing in Switzerland.
THINGS TO DO IN LUCERNE
✔️ Visit Chapel Bridge
✔️ Explore the old town and admire the beautiful old buildings
✔️ Take a Lake Lucerne boat cruise
✔️ Rest at Weggis – a “hidden place” to swim. There is also a lido (a beach area watched by staff), but this hidden gem is even better. Bring your blanket, some snacks and drinks – and your bathing suit.
➡️ Check out my travel guide for Lucerne
WHERE TO STAY IN LUCERNE
Click here to read my full post on the best hotels in Lucerne.
If you cannot get enough of gorgeous mountain views, head to Mount Rigi for the sunset.
Mount Rigi – also known as the Queen of the Mountains – with its mountain peak Rigi Kulm at 1.779 meters (5836 feet) – is quite easily accessible from Lucerne. From there you have stunning views of the Alps and the three lakes: Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug, and Lake Lauerz.
Mount Rigi is not very far from Weggis, so you can easily combine the trip. Riding up the mountain (funicular) is a feast for the eyes. Getting up while looking at the Alps, Lake Lucerne, and many lush meadows is a fantastic way to end your day.
On sunny days, the sunset from Mount Rigi is often amazing. Of course, you can also hike up or do a combination of the funicular ride and hiking. Here is some more info on the Mount Rigi excursion.
It takes about one hour from Lucerne by boar or public transportation (less if you get there from Weggis) and the funicular ride takes about 50 minutes one-way. So you should plan at least about 4-5 hours for this excursion (better would be 6-7 hours).
ℹ️ This trip is also covered with your Swiss Travel Pass – whether you get here by boat or train/bus and use the funicular, you do not have to pay any extra fees.
Alternatively, you can visit Mount Pilatus. This mountain stands at 2,128 meters above sea level (6.981 feet) and offers some of the best panoramas in Central Switzerland. Whether you get (or better arrive at) to Mount Pilatus by boat, car, or public transportation, the next few hours will be wonderful once you are there.To get up there, you have to either hike for a couple of hours or take a funicular/cable car. Getting up is great, walking on the mountain top is great, and even getting down is great!
Since there are many possible activities that you can do up there (including paragliding, hiking, and more), it would be easy to spend a full day on Mount Pilatus.
So, thus I recommend this excursion only if you have the time to do it – otherwise, a trip to Mount Rigi is a great alternative. You get a 50% discount on the funicular/cable car ride with your Swiss Travel Pass.
📍 INTERLAKEN AND JUNGFRAU REGION – 5 DAYS
FROM LUCERNE TO INTERLAKEN
🚗 BY CAR: About 2 hour
🚆 BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: About 2 hour
If you take the train, make sure to take the Luzern-Interlaken Express which is one of the best train rides in Switzerland with stunning window views. Base yourself in Interlaken and explore the regions of Jungfrau and Interlaken.
This area is like heaven on Earth, and you would miss out if you did not visit here! There is so much to do, so make sure to book at least three nights in this region if you stay 10 days in Switzerland.
Located in the Bernese Oberland in the state of Bern it is also home to the city of Bern but for now, let´s focus on Interlaken and the Jungfrau region.
📍 Jungfraujoch and Kleine Scheidegg – 1 Day
FROM INTERLAKEN TO JUNGFRAUJOCH – I suggest doing a day trip from Zurich
🚆 BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: About 2 hours (including all the scenic rides)
A trip to Jungfraujoch is probably the most famous day trip. The Jungfraujoch is a saddle connecting the two 4000ers of the Alps: the Jungfrau and the Mönch. It lies at an elevation of 3,463 meters above sea level and has the highest train station in Europe.
Getting to the “Top of Europe” feels unreal. It is a little village by itself with quite a lot of attractions to visit.
You can explore the Ice Palace or Alpine Sensation. And you will get to see snow and can do some winter sports, too – regardless of when you visit! There is snow every day of the year.
Of course, in the winter months, there is more snow and it is probably more fun, but if you want to do winter sports in the summer, you know where to go! Except for the winter sports in the summer, the main activities are included in your regular train ticket to Jungfraujoch.
On your way to Jungfraujoch, you might want to stay longer at the Kleine Scheidegg. It is a mountain pass at an elevation of 2,061 m, situated below and between the Eiger and Lauberhorn peaks, and a popular stop for a break. Actually, you could hike up to Kleine Scheidegg and then take the train up to Jungfraujoch.
Is Jungfraujoch a must-visit in 10 days in Switzerland? Well, I enjoyed my trips (3 so far) but…This trip is not cheap. If you are on a budget, there are also many other mountain excursions in the region.
ℹ️ If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you get a discount on this quite expensive day trip. Click here to find out more about it.
You might have some time after your trip to Jungfraujoch. If so, I suggest spending the rest of the time in the very charming town of Grindelwald and having dinner there.
📍 Lake Brienz + Brienzer Rothorn + Giessbach Waterfalls – 1 Day
FROM INTERLAKEN TO BRIENZ VILLAGE – I suggest doing a day trip from Interlaken
🚗 BY CAR: About 2o minutes
🚆 BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: About 20 minutes (+ 60 minute ride up Brienzer Rothorn)
Now, it is time to visit more great places in the region. If you want to start the day in a relaxed frame of mind, go to Lake Brienz and start with a boat tour.
Lake Brienz is actually my favorite lake, as the water has the most beautiful color and shimmers a lovely turquoise.
The Brienzer Rothorn is a mountain with an elevation of 2,350 meters above sea level and the train ride itself is impressive but so is the panorama. One of my all-time favorite mountain excursions was my trip to Brienzer Rothorn! Thus I have been there twice. And was in awe both times.
ℹ️ Arrive at Brienz station by boat (and have the first glimpses of beautiful Lake Brienz) or by train.
ℹ️ Then take the old steam locomotive to get up the Brienzer Rothorn and hike back down.
ℹ️ Afterward, take the boat again (check the timetable to make sure you do not miss the last boat) to Giessbach Waterfalls, one of the most scenic waterfalls in Switzerland.
ℹ️ There is a boat stop named the same. Get out there and take a short hike up (or take the hotel funicular) to the Grandhotel Giessbach. You have some amazing views from there of Lake Brienz and the waterfall.
ℹ️ In winter, Grandhotel Giessbach is closed. This hotel has also become one of my favorite hotels in the world, with amazing views and interesting decor. The prices are quite high to stay overnight at Grand Giessbach Hotel, so if you are on a budget, make sure to enjoy at least a drink (or a fantastic dinner) at the hotel. This could also be your dinner spot.
ℹ️ This trip will probably take a full day.
Another tip: If you skip any of these activities for any reason, I have other top tips for the region.
📍 Lauterbrunnen & Mürren & Schilthorn – 1 Day
FROM INTERLAKEN TO LAUTERBRUNNEN – I suggest doing a day trip from Lauterbrunnen
🚗 BY CAR: About 2o minutes
🚆 BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: About 20 minutes
If you want to visit one of the most popular places in the region, head to beautiful Lauterbrunnen. It is notorious for adrenaline rushes and adventurous activities – skydiving, bungee jumping, base jumpers, etc. BUT there are also some hiking trails – after all, it is Switzerland, and it is a lot about hiking.
Lauterbrunnen is also known for the 72 waterfalls (the most famous of which are the Staubbach Waterfalls and Trümmelfach Falls). It is also known for being home to the Schilthorn mountain where portions of the James Bond movie, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” were filmed.
ℹ️ The trip to Lauterbrunnen, including a hike and some other activities, will take up to a day, so you will probably not have much time to do anything else.
ℹ️ However, on your way up to Schilthorn, you will see the beautiful mountain village of Murren at the foot of Schilthorn peak. It is accessible by cable car and train and I would make sure to see it as well.
ℹ️ Consider having your dinner in the heart of Lauterbrunnen village before going back to your hotel.
📍 St. Beatus Caves & Lake Thun & Thun – 1 Day
FROM INTERLAKEN TO ST. BEATUS CAVES – I suggest doing a day trip from Interlaken
🚗 BY CAR: About 15 minutes
🚆 BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: About 15 minutes
Another very dreamy place to visit in 10 days is the St. Beatus Caves. It is located between Interlaken and Thun on the shores of Lake Thun.Get to St. Beatus Caves by bus or car and then take a 10-minute “hike” up to enjoy one of the best views in Interlaken. It is not the height that impresses, but the setting – the beautiful caves, the restaurant with a Lake Thun view, etc. You can have lunch at the panorama restaurant.
After visiting the caves, hike down the other side for another beautiful view. It is just a few minute’s walk and you will find out why road tripping in Switzerland is such an amazing way to discover the country. These roads are just made for exploring!
Check out my more detailed guide on the St. Beatus Caves.
ℹ️ This trip will probably not last one full day, so you can then head to Sigriswil to cross the Panorama bridge in Sigriswil or have coffee in a wonderfully weird place called “Grabenmühle.”
ℹ️ You can get there either by car or bus.
If you want to experience some “city life,” head to the beautiful town of Thun, which is quite close to the St. Beatus Caves.
📍 Blausee & Oeschinensee – 1 Day
FROM INTERLAKEN TO KANDERSTEG – I suggest doing a day trip from Lauterbrunnen
🚗 BY CAR: About 4o minutes
🚆 BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: About 1 hour
My tip is to explore a few (more) of the amazing lakes that are located in the Bernese Oberland. In Kandersteg, you´ll find two of the most beautiful lakes in all of Europe, and with 10 days in Switzerland, you have enough time to see these lakes.
Blausee, a tiny lake of astonishing color, is located in a nature park where you can stroll along the lake (but not swim in it) and take it easy. If you want to get active, you can paddle a boat – or just dine in the restaurant that comes with a lake view. Find out more about Blausee. It is not a must-see (in my honest opinion) but a great place if you are totally into lakes.
Make sure to add Lake Oeschinen to your Switzerland itinerary. Oeschinensee is another gorgeous mind-blowing lake located in the Bernese Oberland. It sits at an elevation of 1,578 meters (5,177 ft) and is surrounded by breathtaking alpine scenery.
Enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, or kayaking around the lake’s circumference and taking in the majestic views of the surrounding mountains. The lake is also a popular destination for ice skating and winter skiing in the winter season. Oeschinensee is an ideal destination for those looking to re-energize in nature.To get there, you need to get to Kandersteg Station (parking is available) by train or car and then either hike up or take a gondola up. Then, either walk directly to the lake (about 20 minutes of easy downhill walk) or do some hiking (several hours) for phenomenal views. The best panorama comes only after some hiking, so I highly recommend the hike if you are moderately fit.
To end your day, you can head to the towns of Thun or Interlaken.
WHERE TO STAY IN INTERLAKEN
If you explore the above-mentioned places in the regions of Interlaken and Jungfrau, I recommend staying in/near the town of Interlaken and then doing day tours, instead of changing hotels several times.
LUXURY: Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa – The most luxurious hotel in Interlaken is the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa. I have not stayed there myself, so I can only repeat what I heard: This hotel is amazing. If you are looking for a fancy place in Interlaken, this is probably the best pick.
MID-RANGE: Hotel du Nord – For your stay in Interlaken, I recommend this hotel – Hotel du Nord – which is centrally located and is quite nice. It is one of my favorite accommodations for your 5-day Swiss itinerary.
BUDGET: Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof – If you are on a budget, I recommend staying in Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof next to the Höhenmatte. It is not the cheapest hostel but definitely worth the money and one of my all-time favorite hostels.
📍 Zermatt – 1,5 Days
FROM INTERLAKEN TO ZERMATT
🚗 BY CAR: About 2,5 hours
🚆 BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: About 2,5 hours
Then it is time to travel from Interlaken to Zermatt. While the distance is not that far, driving in this area is tricky (with loads of mountain tunnels and traffic).
If you drive, keep in mind that Zermatt is car-free so you need to leave your car at one of the small villages close to Zermatt and then take a train to Zermatt. If you take the train, you will have some nice window views along the way.
Zermatt is one of Switzerland’s most beautiful towns, It is a small village located in the Swiss Alps, south of the city of Visp. With its breathtaking views of the Matterhorn and surrounding mountains, it is one of Switzerland’s most visited tourist destinations.
It offers many activities such as skiing, mountaineering, paragliding, mountain biking, and hiking trails throughout the year.
Though Zermatt is car-free, you´ll find some electric cars (as well as taxis and buses), but the village is so tiny that you can easily make your way around on foot.
THINGS TO DO IN ZERMATT
✔️ If you decide to visit Zermatt, make sure to get on Matterhorn Glacier (also known as Klein Matterhorn) for the amazing views. Just be aware that you might suffer from altitude sickness, as getting up to more than 3000 meters can be a shock to the system.
✔️Another great mountain excursion is getting up Gornergrat summit and then hiking down and seeing some of the pretty lakes – with a reflection of the Matterhorn – getting back to Zermatt.
✔️ End your day with a stroll along the beautiful Vista River and a stop in one of the numerous cafes or restaurants.
➡️ Here is my post on more fun things to do in Zermatt.
The only downside to Zermatt is that it is quite remote. Getting there is time-consuming (though the train ride is an experience in itself), which makes me hesitant to recommend it with 10 days in Switzerland if you want to visit as many places as possible. However, this also does not stop the many visitors either – Zermatt is jam-packed in summer and winter!
WHERE TO STAY IN ZERMATT
For Zermatt, I also have a couple of hotel suggestions for you.
LUXURY: Hotel Mont Cervin Palace – Hotel Mont Cervin Palace defines luxury. If you are looking for a 5-star hotel in Zermatt, this might be perfect for you because it has everything you could be asking for of luxury accommodation.
MID-RANGE: Matterhorn Lodge Hotel & Appartments – Hotel Matterhorn Lodge Hotel & Appartments, which opened in December 2012, is located in the heart of Zermatt’s historic center. Decorated in a classic Alpine style, it boasts a wellness area with three different saunas. The hotel is conveniently situated just a two-minute walk from a ski bus stop.
Click here to find my accommodation guide for Zermatt.
PLACES TO VISIT IN 2 WEEKS IN SWITZERLAND
Because the country is such a beauty, I highly suggest staying longer than 10 days in Switzerland. And if you stay for 14 days or so, here is one more suggestion.
📍 Bern – 1 Day
FROM INTERLAKEN TO BERN – If you visit Bern, I suggest doing it as a day trip from Interlaken
🚗 BY CAR: About 1 hour
🚆 BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: About 1 hour
If I asked, “What is the capital of Switzerland,” would you know off the top of your head? Actually, most guess that it is Zurich, but the truth is that Bern is the lovely capital. It is also the capital of the canton Bern. While smaller and less well-known, this city is a beauty!
The city lies at an elevation of 540 meters (1,770 ft) and has a population of around 140,000 and is home to many attractions including the Zytglogge clock tower, which was built in 1530 as part of the city’s fortifications.
In addition, the Old Town is home to beautiful architecture and cobblestone streets which take visitors back in time to a different era – once there, you will not be surprised to see how the whole old Town of Bern has been declared as a World Unesco Heritage Site.
Bern is also known for its many museums, galleries, and historic sites such as the Einstein Museum and the Paul Klee Centre.
THINGS TO DO IN BERN
✔️ Visit the bears (yes, you read that right, some bears live in the city center of Bern, just next to the Aare River). But no worries, there is a fence that keeps the bears from getting to you and eating you alive.
✔️ Enjoy the best view from the Rosengarten.
✔️ Stroll along the old town of Bern (btw, the whole city center of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage site.)
Check out my Bern travel guide for more places to visit and things to do.
PLACES TO STAY IN BERN
The old town is also my tip for staying in Bern (though parking might be tricky if you have a car).
LUXURY: Bellevue Palace – If you are looking for a 5-star luxury place to stay, Bellevue Palace is probably the best place to stay for your Bern trip. It is centrally located and is great for those who like to indulge in luxury.
MID-RANGE: Goldener Schlüssel – I stayed at the 3-star hotel Goldener Schlüssel, located in the city center/old town. Though my hotel room was pretty small and the breakfast simple, the location was perfect and made up for it.
BUDGET: Bern Youth Hostel – Bern Youth Hostel is a good choice if you have to watch your budget more closely but still want to be centrally located. Though it is a hostel, you can also book private rooms
📍 Flims – 1 Day
FROM ZURICH TO FLIMS – I suggest doing a day trip from Zurich
🚗 BY CAR: About 1,5 hours
🚆 BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: About 2 hours
You can discover one of the hidden gems of Switzerland – Flims! This gorgeous and natural area, which is part of the state of Graubünden (Grison), is about a two-hour train or car ride from Zurich.You will see one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland – Lake Cauma. Lake Cauma is a mountain lake, at about 1.000 meters in elevation. But no worries. You do not have to hike up all the way up. You can also drive up almost all the way and then hike down.
If you do this, you will get to see more natural wonders. One of them is Lake Cresta and the Rhine Gorge. All of these beautiful places will cross your path if you hike down for just an hour (or a bit longer).
THINGS TO DO IN FLIMS:
✔️ Chill and swim at Lake Cauma
✔️Hike from Lake Cauma to Rhine Gorge
✔️From Rhine Gorge, continue your hike to Lake Cresta
✔️ Rest at Lake Cresta
ℹ️ There can be an entrance fee for both lakes – depending on the time of your visit.
ℹ️ Check out my detailed post for more information.
ℹ️ Do not forget to bring your water bottle, as there are water fountains with fresh water.
ℹ️ There is a restaurant at Lake Cresta, where you can have lunch or take your own food and enjoy a picnic with a view.
ℹ️ You could also hike up again or just take the Yellow Postauto (which are regular buses for mountainous areas) to get you to your hotel or back up to your car.
WHERE TO STAY IN FLIMS
LUXURY – Waldhaus Flims Wellness Resort, Autograph Collection Alpine Grand Hotel & Spa – One of the most luxurious hotels in the area is the fantastic Waldhaus Flims Wellness Resort – a 5-star wellness hotel about 1 km from Caumasee.
MORE PLACES TO ADD TO YOUR ITINERARY FOR SWITZERLAND
Okay, you might be wondering why I have not added the gorgeous Lake Geneva region to this Switzerland itinerary, right? Well, the truth is: Lake Geneva is stunning. No question about that. The impressive lake is a stunner by itself, towns like pretty Montreux are GORGEOUS, and the World UNESCO Heritage Site of the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces are definitely well worth a visit.
However, 10 days in Switzerland is not a lot. I wish we could squeeze in many more destinations. Though the country is small there are many best places to visit – so, we have to make compromises.
Also, I did not add the impressive St.Moritz and the Engadine Valley – but it is a top destination where you can do some of the best outdoor activities in Switzerland.
So, here is another post, with several 3-day itineraries for Switzerland, in case you want to add these different places to your itinerary.
10 DAY SWITZERLAND TRIP COST
I always struggle to give an answer because the cost of a 10-day trip to Switzerland really depends on your travel style, the time of year, and the activities you choose to do.
However, since I do love to ask this question myself whenever I visit a new destination, I try to break it down for you.
Here are some estimated costs for three different travel styles: budget, mid-range, and luxury.
Let´s talk about budget travel in Switzerland.
- Accommodation: Hostels or budget hotels can cost around 40-90 CHF per night.
- Transportation: A Swiss Travel Pass for 8 days costs around 380 CHF, which gives you unlimited travel on trains, buses, and boats throughout the country. A rental car for 2 months days can cost around 600-800 CHF, depending on the size and type of car + petrol. If you are on a budget and want to stay in one place to avoid a lot of travel time, it could bring your transportation costs down to 100 CHF for some bus rides, etc.
- Activities: Many of Switzerland’s natural attractions, such as hiking trails and scenic viewpoints, are free. Other activities, such as visiting museums and attractions, can cost anywhere from 10-30 CHF per person, but many activities are also included in the Swiss Travel Pass.
- Food: Budget for around 15-30 CHF per meal – for food in restaurants or cafes.
If you do not have to watch your budget that closely, here is what a mid-range Switzerland budget trip could cost.
- Accommodation: Mid-range hotels can cost around 120-200 CHF per night.
- Transportation: A Swiss Travel Pass for 8 days costs around 390 CHF. A rental car for 10 days can cost around 600-800 CHF, depending on the size and type of car + petrol
- Activities: You may want to budget around 50-100 CHF per day for activities such as visiting museums or taking guided tours.
- Food: Budget for around 30-50 CHF per meal, or 70-150 CHF per day, for food in restaurants or cafes.
If you like to splurge – or just have this lifestyle – then here is what your luxury Swiss itinerary would look like.
- Accommodation: Luxury hotels can cost around 300-1000 CHF per night.
- Transportation: A Swiss Travel Pass for 8 days for the first class costs about 630 CHF, which gives you unlimited travel on trains, buses, and boats throughout the country. A luxury rental car for 10 days can cost around 1200-3000 CHF, depending on the size and type of car + petrol. Private transfers or hiring a luxury car for 7 days can cost around 2000-4000 CHF.
- Activities: Budget for around 100-400 CHF per day for activities such as helicopter tours or private guided tours.
- Food: Budget for around 50-100 CHF per meal, or 150-300 CHF per day, for food in high-end restaurants or cafes.
These are rough estimates and actual costs can vary depending on many factors. It’s always a good idea to research specific costs for the activities and accommodations you’re interested in before planning your trip. Here is a more detailed post on how much traveling to Switzerland is.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SWITZERLAND IN 10 DAYS
With 10 days in Switzerland, you can experience nature like never before!
Switzerland offers an unparalleled experience with its breathtaking Alpine scenery, rich cultural heritage, and exquisite culinary delights. Over 10 days, visitors can immerse themselves in the serene beauty of the Swiss landscapes, explore vibrant cities like Zurich and Lucerne, and indulge in world-renowned Swiss chocolate.
The efficient public transportation system makes navigating this picturesque country a breeze, allowing for a seamless blend of urban exploration and natural wonders. Whether seeking adventure in the mountains or relaxation by the lakes, Switzerland provides an unforgettable journey for all who visit.
And there are plenty more opportunities to tweak this itinerary so that everyone gets a personalized adventure suitable to their preferences.
Go ahead and explore all this wonderful country has to offer today with this 10-day Switzerland itinerary.