HOW TO EXPLORE SWITZERLAND IN 6 DAYS
This 6-day Switzerland itinerary will guide you through some of the most beautiful and exciting places in Switzerland, and help you make the most of your time there.
So, if you are planning your Switzerland trip for 6 days/6 nights in Switzerland, this post is perfect for you. Experience breathtaking mountain landscapes and pristine alpine lakes, wander through charming Swiss villages, and indulge in renowned Swiss chocolate.
As a Switzerland enthusiast, I know this country very well. I have been fortunate enough, to travel in the country for more than 18 months so far. And I never tire of this beauty. I am here to plan your itinerary so you can explore Switzerland in six days – and see some of the most amazing sights in a short amount of time.
So, besides the actual 6-day itinerary for Switzerland, you will also find many travel tips to make your trip as smooth as possible.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.
ITINERARY FOR SWITZERLAND IN 6 DAYS
Let´s get started, here is what to do and see on a 4-day Switzerland trip.
- DAY 1 – Arrival in Zurich, getting to Lucerne
- DAY 2 – Lucerne & Mount Rigi, getting to Interlaken
- DAY 3 – Interlaken Region
- DAY 4 – Interlaken Region
- DAY 5 – Montreux & Lake Geneva OR Interlaken Region
- DAY 6 – Zermatt & Departure
HOW TO GET AROUND
When it comes to getting around Switzerland over six days, I’m torn between road-tripping and trail travel. You cannot go wrong with any of these two options. Picking which mode works best will depend on where exactly you want to go but whatever path (literally!) that you choose is sure to be unforgettable.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION / SWISS TRAVEL PASS
Though I love road-tripping Switzerland, for this Switzerland itinerary, I strongly recommend that you use the Swiss Travel Pass – just because this is such a busy (and amazing) itinerary that you will be out all day. And you can still enjoy these wonderful window views while getting from one destination to the other.
There are different Swiss Travel Passes available regarding flexibility and duration. Flexible passes allow you to use the pass for a certain amount of days within one month or the regular, more affordable option, which means you have to use the pass on consecutive days of travel.
ℹ️ Yes, the Swiss Travel Pass is quite expensive but it will pay off.
ℹ️ You can use buses and trains without any extra costs.
ℹ️ Also, most boat cruises and some mountain excursions are included.
ℹ️ The Swiss Travel Pass also covers most museums and entrances to castles.
ℹ️ The great thing about it is that you never have to worry about finding parking spaces and instead use buses and trains.
ℹ️The Swiss Travel Pass is valid for 3, 4, 6, 8, or 15 days. You could choose the “Flexi” or “consecutive” ticket, but for a 6-day Switzerland trip I recommend just choosing the consecutive ticket.
ROAD TRIPPING SWITZERLAND
If, however, you prefer to drive around yourself, take advantage of my personal experience as I have driven through this majestic land 15 times, so read my Switzerland road trip itinerary or my driving tips for Switzerland!
MONEY / CURRENCY IN SWITZERLAND
ℹ️ Switzerland, not a member of the European Union, operates with Swiss Francs instead of the euro (€). Currently, 1 Swiss Franc is approximately equivalent to 1€ or $1.04.
ℹ️ Although euros are commonly accepted, the exchange rate is unfavorable. My tip is to exchange currency before your trip or to withdraw cash from an ATM, ideally in a single transaction to avoid multiple fees, especially if your bank doesn’t charge for ATM withdrawals abroad.
ℹ️ Credit cards, particularly Visa and Mastercard, are broadly accepted. However, it’s wise to carry cash for minor purchases, especially in smaller towns and shops where cash transactions are more common.
ℹ️ Switzerland is not typically considered a budget-friendly destination for backpackers, largely due to the high cost of accommodations. Additionally, food expenses are substantial, although the quality often surpasses that found in other European countries. To economize, consider minimizing consumption of meat, alcohol, and cigarettes during your stay. Find out more about Switzerland’s budget tips here.
PLACES TO VISIT IN 6 DAYS IN SWITZERLAND
Let’s talk about the itinerary for Switzerland in 6 days/nights.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN ZURICH & GETTING TO LUCERNE
You have 6 days to explore this beautiful country, and Day 1 is all about getting to beautiful Lucerne which is just a 1-hour train ride from Zurich Airport.
If you arrive in Zurich/Switzerland early in the morning, you could spend a few hours in Zurich, before exploring Lucerne. Zurich is a pretty city with beautiful places to discover indoors and outdoors. However, if you are arriving later in the day, I suggest heading straight to Lucerne.
🚆 ZURICH TO LUCERNE
If you get to Zurich airport, take the train from there to Lucerne. Ideally, you arrive in Zurich early in the morning, so you would have almost the full day to explore stunning Lucerne. But even if you get to Lucerne in the early afternoon, you still have time to explore the area.
ℹ️ It takes about 60-90 minutes from Zurich Airport (Flughafen) to Lucerne city center and there is even a connection where you do not have to change trains. This train ride is included in your Swiss Travel Pass – so, no extra costs for you today.
The trains run frequently (2-3 times an hour), the one without changing trains once an hour.
DAY 2: LUCERNE & MOUNT RIGI
Here’s a suggested itinerary for your second day in Switzerland – exploring Lucerne where you have beautiful medieval architecture and then head to one of the easiest accessible mountains in Central Switzerland – Mount Rigi.
Discover Lucerne’s Old Town
Start your day by exploring Lucerne’s charming Old Town. Take a stroll across the Chapel Bridge, the oldest wooden bridge in Europe, and admire the paintings that adorn its interior. From there, wander through the narrow streets and alleys, taking in the colorful buildings and ornate fountains.
Be sure to visit the Lion Monument, a moving sculpture that commemorates the Swiss Guards who were killed during the French Revolution. The monument is carved into a rock face and depicts a dying lion, its paw resting on a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis of the French monarchy.
Boat Ride & Funicular to Mount Rigi
After a few hours in the city of Lucerne, you can take a scenic boat ride across Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee in German) to Vitznau boat station and then hop on the funicular to Mount Rigi.
As you ascend the mountain on a cogwheel train, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps and the shimmering lake below.
Once you reach the summit, you can explore the hiking trails and enjoy panoramic views from the observation deck. Whether you choose to take it easy or go for a more active adventure (Mount Rigi also can be “easily hiked”), a day in Lucerne and Mount Rigi is sure to be unforgettable.
TIP: Lucerne is home to several stunning mountain peaks – including Mount Titlis or Mount Pilatus. They also make wonderful places to visit. So, why did I include Mount Rigi? I love all of the mountain excursions, but the main reason I added Mount Rigi is for the simple fact, that it is included in the Swiss Travel Pass.
So, this is the trip that will not cost you any extra Swiss Franc. If money is not a big factor, then consider visiting one of the other mountain peaks, where you normally have a 50% discount with the Swiss Pass.
🛏️ WHERE TO STAY IN LUCERNE FOR A 6-DAY TRIP
With only one night in Lucerne, I highly recommend staying in the old town of Lucerne. Accommodations there are – no surprise – pricy – but with only one day in the area, you do not want to spend too much time traveling. I have stayed in several hotels in Lucerne, and here are some tips.
LUXURY: Schweizerhof Lucerne – If you want to book a luxury hotel in Lucerne, I recommend this beautiful 5* hotel.
MID-RANGE: Hotel des Alpes – On my last Lucerne trip, I stayed at Hotel des Alpes. The room view was amazing (and included views of the Chapel Bridge and Mount Pilatus).
BUDGET: The Bed + Breakfast – If you want to stay in a budget hotel, have a look at this B&B. Some rooms have a shared bathroom, and some have a private one.
Click here to read my full post on the best hotels in Lucerne.
Day 3: Interlaken and Jungfraujoch
Day 3 is about one of the main travel destinations in Switzerland – the Interlaken and Jungfrau Region.
🚆 LUZERN – INTERLAKEN EXPRESS
It is time, to get to your next destination where you will spend the next few days.
Take the Luzern-Interlaken Express and enjoy one of the most scenic train rides in Switzerland. This 2-hour journey will take you through some of the most beautiful lake and mountain landscapes in the country.
Experience Interlaken Town
Welcome to Day 3 of your Swiss adventure! Today, you’ll be exploring the charming town of Interlaken, nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. This is one of my all-time favorite areas in Switzerland, so I can tell you, this is going to be a great day.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at your hotel before setting off to explore the town.
Interlaken is known for its stunning natural beauty, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy here. You can go hiking, biking, or even paragliding if you’re feeling adventurous.
If you prefer a more leisurely pace, take a stroll through the town’s quaint streets and admire the traditional Swiss architecture. This should not take long though and 1-2 hours might be more than enough.
Because the rest of the day is going to be all about the “Top of Europe” also known as the Jungfraujoch.
Train Ride to Jungfraujoch
🚆 INTERLAKEN TO JUNGFRAUJOCH
From Interlaken, you get up to the famous Jungfraujoch. This is a rather long train/gondola ride but one of the best activities in the country. To find out, how exactly to get to Jungfraujoch, check out my dedicated post on “Day trip to Jungfraujoch“.
After you’ve explored Interlaken, it’s time to embark on one of the most scenic train rides in the world – the journey to Jungfraujoch at 3,463 meters (about 11,000 feet) above sea level. This train ride takes you through the heart of the Swiss Alps, offering breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and glaciers.
At the top of Jungfraujoch, you’ll find the highest railway station in Europe, as well as a range of attractions. Visit the Ice Palace, where you can explore a network of ice tunnels and sculptures, or step outside onto the Sphinx Observation Terrace for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. From there, you also have amazing views of the Aletsch Glacier – the longest and most impressive glacier of the Alps.
Overall, Day 3 is sure to be a highlight of your Swiss adventure.
Day 4: Lauterbrunnen & Muerren & Schilthorn
Day 4 of your 6-day Switzerland itinerary is about a mountain excursion near Interlaken.
🚆 INTERLAKEN OST – LAUTERBRUNNEN
It is time, to get to your next destination where you will spend the day.
Take the train from Interlaken Ost station to Lauterbrunnen. It is a short yet scenic train ride that just takes about 20 minutes. From Lauterbrunnen to Mürren (or Mueeren) you take a gondola/train and from Mürren to Schilthorn Mountain you take another gondola.
If you’re looking for an adventure-packed day in Switzerland, then a visit to Lauterbrunnen, Muerren, and Schilthorn is a must. This region is famous for its stunning alpine scenery, quaint villages, and thrilling outdoor activities. Here’s a guide to help you make the most of your day trip.
Morning Adventure: Lauterbrunnen Valley
Start your day by exploring the picturesque Lauterbrunnen Valley, also known as the Valley of 72 Waterfalls. Take a stroll through the valley and marvel at the cascading waterfalls, verdant meadows, and towering cliffs.
The Staubbach Waterfall is one of the most famous waterfalls in Switzerland and you´ll be greeted by it from the Lauterbrunnen train station.
You can also opt for a more adventurous activity like paragliding or canyoning. The valley is also home to the Trummelbach Falls, a series of ten glacier-fed waterfalls that are a must-see in the summer (it is closed in the winter season).
Afternoon Delight: Muerren Village
After your morning stroll through Lauterbrunnen, head to the charming village of Muerren, which can only be reached by gondola/train or a hike. This car-free village offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely lunch.
You can also explore the village’s traditional chalets, quaint shops, and lovely gardens. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a hike to the nearby Allmendhubel Peak or try your hand at skiing or snowboarding in the winter months.
TIP: The train ride to Muerren is one of the most scenic rides in Switzerland, so it is about the village itself but also the stunning train ride.
Evening Excursion: Schilthorn Summit
End your day with a visit to the Schilthorn Summit – at almost 3,000 meters above sea level – which offers breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps. The summit can be reached by taking the famous cable car ride from Muerren.
Once at the summit, enjoy a meal at the revolving restaurant, Piz Gloria, which was featured in the James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” You can also take a stroll on the Skyline Walk, a thrilling 200-meter-long steel walkway that offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks.
A day trip to Lauterbrunnen, Muerren, and Schilthorn is a perfect way to experience the beauty and adventure of the Swiss Alps.
Day 5: Lake Oeschinen & Lake Blausee
Day 5 in Switzerland could be all about pretty lakes in Switzerland.
🚆 INTERLAKEN – KANDERSTEG
To get to Kandersteg, take the train from Interlaken Ost to Spiez and change trains there to Kandersteg. This takes a bit more than one hour, but, you have guessed it, beautiful and you will enjoy it rather than dread it. It is a few minutes walk to the cable car station of Lake Oeschinen.
You’re in for a treat if you are a fan of stunning alpine lakes. Lake Oeschinen and Lake Blausee are two of the most beautiful lakes in the country, each with its unique charm and appeal.
Both of these lakes are located in Kandersteg Valley the Bernese Oberland region, surrounded by the majestic Swiss Alps, and offer visitors a chance to soak in the natural beauty of Switzerland.
Morning: Get up to Lake Oeschinen
Lake Oeschinen is a glacial lake situated at an altitude of 1,578 meters above sea level. It’s a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers, with several trails leading to and from the lake.
The crystal-clear water of the lake reflects the surrounding snow-capped mountains, creating a breathtaking view. You can take a cable car to reach the lake or hike up the mountain to enjoy the stunning scenery. Check out my Lake Oeschinen Guide for more info.
Afternoon: Relax at Lake Blausee
Lake Blausee, on the other hand, is a smaller lake known for its deep blue color, which is a result of the minerals present in the water. The surrounding forest and mountains add to the beauty of the lake, making it a popular spot for photographers.
You can take a leisurely stroll around the lake or hop on a boat and enjoy a short (and free) boat ride on this tiny lake. Here is more info on Lake Blausee.
Day 5: Montreux & Lake Geneva
Day 5 could be about a wonderful day trip.
🚆 INTERLAKEN OST – MONTREUX
Take the train from Interlaken to Montreux. You can either take the Golden Line Express which is one of the most scenic Swiss train rides, or take the slower (yet also pretty) train via Spiez. This ride takes more than 2 hours, but you will get to see more gorgeous landscapes.
In case, you want to discover a different region for a day and leave the Interlaken/Jungfrau region, you can do a day trip to the south of Switzerland.
Morning: Journey to Montreux
Montreux and Lake Geneva make a perfect day trip from Interlaken that combines stunning scenery, history, and culture.
Montreux is a charming town on the shores of Lake Geneva that is famous for its beautiful promenade (the most beautiful in all of Switzerland in my humble opinion), historic architecture, and world-renowned jazz festival in the summer.
During the Day: Montreux Promenade
Once you arrive in Montreux, take a stroll along the picturesque promenade, which is lined with flowers and offers stunning views of the lake and the Alps.
Be sure to stop by the Freddie Mercury statue at the promenade, which pays tribute to the legendary Queen frontman, who lived in Montreux for many years. And if you’re a music fan, don’t miss the chance to visit the Queen Studio Experience, which offers a fascinating look into the band’s recording sessions at the nearby Mountain Studios.
Don’t miss the chance to visit the iconic Château de Chillon, a medieval fortress that sits on a rocky island just off the shore. This castle, which dates back to the 12th century, is one of Switzerland’s most famous landmarks and is said to have inspired Lord Byron’s poem “The Prisoner of Chillon”.
Day 6: Zermatt and the Matterhorn
Let´s talk about Day 6 of your itinerary.
🚆 INTERLAKEN TO ZERMATT
It is time, to get to your next destination. You could also get there for an overnight stay in Zermatt. That depends on the departure time/place.
From Interlaken Ost station, get to Spiez, and take a train to Visp and from there change trains and you get to Zermatt. Changing trains several times might sound challenging and complicated but I can really tell you: it is not. Normally, the train schedule is very easy to follow and there is always staff you can ask.
Journey to Zermatt
On your final day in Switzerland, you will travel to the charming town of Zermatt, which is nestled at the base of the iconic Matterhorn. The journey itself is a treat, as you will take a scenic train ride through the Swiss Alps.
The train ride takes approximately 2 hours, but the views are worth every minute. You will pass through quaint Swiss villages, lush green valleys, and towering mountain peaks.
Marvel at the Matterhorn
Once you arrive in Zermatt, you’ll be greeted by the stunning sight of Matterhorn Mountain. This is one of the most famous and recognizable mountains in the world, and it’s easy to see why.
The Matterhorn Mountain towers over the town, with its distinctive pyramid shape and snow-capped peak. Take a cable car up to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (also known as Klein Matterhorn) for a closer look at this majestic mountain.
Zermatt has also a charming town center. The streets are lined with traditional Swiss chalets, boutique shops, and cozy cafes. Spend some time exploring the town, trying local Swiss delicacies, and shopping for souvenirs.
Overall, your 6-day itinerary in Switzerland has been filled with breathtaking scenery, delicious food, and unforgettable experiences. From the picturesque towns of Lucerne and Interlaken to the stunning natural beauty of the Swiss Alps, you’ve seen some of the best that Switzerland has to offer.
SWISS CUISINE: WHAT TO EAT
Switzerland is famous for its food, and no trip to this beautiful country would be complete without trying some of its traditional dishes. And while I do love Switzerland, I have a love-hate relationship with their cuisine. Mostly, because it is extremely meat-based. So, here are a few must-try foods to add to your itinerary.
Cheese Fondue and Raclette
Cheese lovers, rejoice! Swiss cheese fondue and raclette are two of the most popular dishes. Fondue is a melted cheese dip served in a communal pot, which you dip bread into using long-stemmed forks. Raclette, on the other hand, is a dish where a wheel of cheese is heated and scraped onto potatoes, pickles, and charcuterie. Both dishes are perfect for sharing and are a great way to warm up on a chilly Swiss evening.
Swiss Chocolate and Pastries
Switzerland is known for its high-quality chocolate and pastries, so be sure to indulge your sweet tooth while you’re here. Swiss chocolate is made from the finest cocoa beans and comes in a variety of flavors and styles, from milk chocolate to dark chocolate with nuts or fruit.
Whether you’re a foodie or just looking to try something new, Switzerland has plenty of delicious dishes to offer. From cheese fondue to Swiss chocolate, be sure to add these items to your itinerary for a truly tasty trip.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR SWITZERLAND IN 6 DAYS
Here are some more tips for your 6-day Switzerland trip.
Weather and Packing Tips
Switzerland has a temperate climate, with warm summers and cold winters. However, the weather can vary greatly depending on the region and altitude. It is recommended to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.
If you plan to visit the mountains, make sure to bring warm clothing, including a waterproof jacket, gloves, and a hat. Additionally, comfortable shoes are a must, especially if you plan to hike or walk on uneven terrain.
When packing for your trip, keep in mind that Switzerland is a relatively expensive country. To save money, consider bringing snacks and water with you, as well as a reusable water bottle to refill at public fountains. Also, don’t forget to bring a power adapter, as Switzerland uses a different type of plug than most other countries. Here is my post on “How expensive is a Switzerland trip?”
PLAN A 6-DAY SWITZERLAND TRIP
Is 6 days enough to fully explore Switzerland?
Six days is not enough to fully explore Switzerland, but it’s enough to see some of its most iconic places. If you have more time, you can explore other regions of Switzerland, such as the Valais, Ticino, or Graubünden. However, if you only have 6 days, make the most of it and enjoy the highlights of the country.
Can I experience winter activities in Switzerland during a 6-day trip?
Absolutely! Switzerland is known for its winter sports, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy during your Switzerland itinerary for 6 days. You can go skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and even tobogganing. Some of the best winter sports resorts in Switzerland are Zermatt, St. Moritz, and Davos. And if you visit in the summer? You will be happy to find out, that winter sports activities are also possible in the summer months, e.g. at Jungfraujoch.
What is the estimated cost for a 6-day Switzerland itinerary?
The cost of a 6-day Switzerland itinerary depends on your travel style and preferences. On average, you can expect to spend around $1500-$2000 per person, including accommodation, transportation, food, and activities but excluding flights.
However, you can save money by staying in budget accommodations, eating at local restaurants, and using public transportation.
FINAL THOUGHTS – 6-DAY SWITZERLAND ITINERARY
As you come to the end of your 6 day Switzerland itinerary, you may find yourself feeling a mix of emotions. Perhaps you’re sad to leave this beautiful country, but also grateful for the memories you’ve made. Whether you spent your time exploring the cities or hiking in the mountains, you’ve likely had a wonderful experience with how to spend 6 days in Switzerland.
No matter what your favorite moments were, one thing is for sure – Switzerland is a country that has something for everyone. From the stunning natural beauty to the rich cultural experiences, there is no shortage of things to see and do.
As you head home, take some time to reflect on the memories you’ve made and the new experiences you’ve had. And who knows – maybe you’ll find yourself planning your next Swiss adventure soon!
Have a wonderful 6 days in Switzerland and stay safe!