THINGS TO DO IN ONE DAY IN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

Best things to do in one day in Geneva itinerary

ONE DAY GENEVA ITINERARY (PLUS TIPS FOR 2 DAYS)

Geneva is one of the most unique places to visit in Switzerland – mostly, because it is completely different to the rest of the country.

If you plan to spend one day in Geneva this post is for you – with this Geneva itinerary, you can find out about the best things to in Geneva in one day. However, if you plan to stay a little longer, you will also find some travel tips for how to spend 2 days in Geneva.

Along with the top attractions, you will also find some travel tips for your one day – or two day – Geneva trip.

Travel Tips for One Day in Geneva

Before diving into the Geneva itinerary, here are some tips for your first trip to Geneva. If you’re not sure what to take with you, check out my packing list for Switzerland.

How to Get to Geneva

Geneva has its own international airport so you can arrive by plane from almost anywhere.

One of my favorite ways to explore Geneva is part of a Switzerland road trip. Though Geneva is not centrally located – it is in the very south-west of Switzerland – it is great to include in a road trip.

Alternatively, you can reach the city by train, bus or boat. Switzerland’s public transportation is amazing and you can hop on a train and enjoy the ride from places like Zurich or Lucerne (or any other city in Switzerland).

How to Get Around Geneva in One Day

Public transportation in Geneva is good – you can buy single tickets if you do not have the Transport Card (that you will get for free if you stay in an official accommodation in Geneva).

Or you can get around Geneva with a Geneva Pass. This will give you access to free transportation for 24 hours while allowing you to visit over 50 attractions (and you’ll save some money while doing so). 

However, most sights are close to each other and you won’t need public transportation much if you stay in Geneva for one day.

If you have the Swiss Travel Pass, you can use public transportation on Geneva – including boats – for free.

Where to Stay

You can see a large portion of Geneva’s attractions in one day. But if you want a little more time to experience this stunning Swiss city, it might be worth extending your stay. 

I have had my own experiences with hotels in Geneva – and I must say, there were quite some bad experiences amongst them. They are very, very expensive and also standard was not always what I expected.

However, there are some stunning hotels close to all the main attractions that won’t break the bank. My personal favorite is Hotel Manotel N’vY

I definitely recommend staying in the old town or just at the shores of Lake Geneva in the city center.

Tip: If you stay in an official hotel, hostel or campsite you get a Transport Card that will allow you to use public transportation for free.

For more general Switzerland travel tips, check out this post.

What to See in One Day in Geneva

I am aware that not everyone loves Geneva – Geneva is different to the rest of Switzerland. It doesn’t feel Swiss – personally, I love Geneva. It is not my favorite city in the country and if you have only 10 days in Switzerland, one or two days in Geneva is surely enough.

Geneva is considered to be the global hub for diplomacy and banking.

But there’s also plenty to do for tourists. One day in Geneva is enough time to see the most exciting attractions in this incredibly clean and well-maintained city.

Palais des Nations / United Nations Headquarters

Start your day at the United Nations headquarters which is not located directly in the city center of Geneva.

United Nations in Geneva

Switzerland is known for its neutrality, so it makes sense that the United Nations offices are located in Geneva. Throughout the year, the building sees thousands of meetings between global governments in its conference rooms. 

However, it’s also open for guided tours in an array of different languages. The tours usually last around an hour and the parts of the building you’ll get to see will depend on any meetings taking place. 

One of the highlights of the tour is the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room. This room was decorated by Spanish artist Miquel Barcelò and is absolutely magnificent. Look up and be awestruck by the brightly painted ceiling.

You’ll also be able to see the largest room in the building, The Assembly Hall, and The Salles des Pas Perdus, the main concourse of the Palais. 

If you’re lucky, the tour will take you to The Council Chamber where many paramount historical negotiations have occurred. In this room you’ll also find gold and sepia murals created by Catalan painter, José Maria Sert.

Check out tours in advance – but even if you do not do a guided tour, you could visit the headquarters and look at it from far.

Also it is where you will find the Broken Chair which was made in 1997 – standing at a height of 12 metres, this work of art has been dominating the Place des Nations and it has a simple message: to remember the victims of landmines and to urge governments to promote a ban on landmines.

International Committee of the Red Cross

From there, you can walk to the International Museum of the Red Cross.

The International Committee of the Red Cross houses an incredible museum that is largely considered one of the best in Geneva. 

The permanent exhibition takes you on a moving journey through the experiences of people throughout history. It documents some of the important work done by the Red Cross over the past 150 years. 

In the museum you’ll explore three major challenges facing the world including Defending Human Dignity, Restoring Family Links, and Reducing Natural Risks. The Red Crescent Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase current humanitarian efforts 

A trip to the Red Cross is a worthwhile experience that’ll show you the best and worst of mankind. Parts of the exhibition are quite shocking, so it might not be ideal for young kids or sensitive viewers.

Lake Geneva (and the Jet d’Eau)

From there, take public transportation or your car and get to Lake Geneva (it is about 4 kilometers).

Lake Geneva with fountain in beackground, Arzo Travels

One of my favorite things to do in Geneva is to visit Lake Geneva. Not only is this the largest lake in Central Europe but it’s also one of the most beautiful. Amateur and professional photographers will be captivated by the sparkling waters.

The lake’s most impressive feature is the enormous fountain that spouts water 140 meters into the air, the Jet d’Eau. It’s one of the city’s most famous landmarks and is one of the tallest fountains in the world. 

While walking along the edge of Lake Geneva offers impressive views, the best way to experience the lake and the awe-inspiring landscape of Geneva is from the water. With an hour-long boat tour of Lake Geneva, you’ll be able to see everything up close, including the Jet d’ Eau.

If you have more than one day in Geneva, you could do longer boat tours (I have a ridiculous thing for boat trips, so I have done the long tours which take hours).

Make sure you go all the way to Mont Blanc Bridge – the water color is extremely beautiful there, and you often have some local swans you can say hello to.

Mont Blanc Bridge in Lake Geneva must see in one day

Tip: It might be time for lunch, so I recommend looking for a nice spot where you can have lunch with a Lake Geneva view.

Old Town

Then it is time to explore the old town.

A trip to Geneva would be incomplete without visiting the Old Town. This part of the city is filled with interesting buildings and squares that’ll lure you in. Along the maze of small streets you’ll find some boutique stores and cozy restaurants.

Old Town of Lake Geneva in one day

The Old Town (or Vieille Ville) is filled with places to visit, including the Maison Tavel, a museum that commemorates Geneva’s history. You’ll also be able to see the luxurious Hotel de Ville and the Old Arsenal, five interesting cannons that were used up until the 19th century.

Within Geneva’s Old Town you’ll also find St. Pierre’s Cathedral. Founded in the 4th century, this stunning historical site took over a century to build and is worth a visit.

Geneva view of the lake for your one day itinerary

You will also find many cafes and restaurants and could have your dinner here. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff or avid shopper, Geneva’s Old Town will keep you busy.

Tip: Make sure you’re wearing comfy shoes to walk in, as the Old Town has many cobbled streets and uphill roads. Or take an Old Town Segway tour which will save you a little time (and blisters) while allowing you to experience a lot more.

Reformation Wall

Next to the St. Pierre Cathedral you will find one of Geneva’s most famous landmarks: The International Monument to the Reformation, more commonly known as Reformation Wall is one of the top places to visit in 1 day in Geneva.

Geneva was one of the key places during the Reformation that took Europe by storm in the 1500s. 

This gigantic wall features some of Geneva’s most famous reformers, namely John Calvin, Theodore Beza, John Knox, and William Farel. These four figures played an integral role in the revolution. It’s conveniently located close to Old Town and is perfect for a quick stop during your day in Geneva. 

Near the Reformation Wall, you’ll also find The International Museum of the Reformation. This is a great place to learn more about the history of Geneva. It’s also an incredible photo opportunity.

To end the day, I recommend heading back to Lake Geneva and watch the sunset there.

Lake Geneva at sunset ArzoTravels

More Things to do in Geneva in 2 Days

If you happen to stay 2 days in Geneva, I recommend doing some day trips. You could either hop on a train or on a boat and visit beautiful places at Lake Geneva.

Montreux is a perfect day trip as is the little town of Yvoire – which lies in France and can be best reached by boat.

You can also do a day trip to stunning Annecy – which is probably one of the most beautiful towns in France and quite close to Geneva.

Of course, there are also many other excursions you can take. A day trip to Mount Blanc is such an option – it is still on my own bucket list though.

CONCLUSION: WHAT TO DO IN 1 DAY IN GENEVA

Geneva is an interesting and fun city to visit in Switzerland – though it surely is not THE top place to see in the country, it has many beautiful places. Especially for those who are into politics, history or watches Geneva is a must-visit.

So, with one day in Geneva you will have enough time to check out the main attractions and if you can add a day and stay 2 days in Geneva, even better.

Stay safe and enjoy!

Safe Travels, Arzo

WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE IN WINTER

What to pack for Europe in winter

WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE IN WINTER – PACKING LIST

If you are want to find out what to pack for Europe in winter, then this post is for you.

While you might have to think about which places to visit in Europe in winter, you will also need to plan what to pack for the cold winter months in Europe.

While Europe might not be the biggest continent, weather conditions strongly vary. So, it does make a big difference whether you visit North countries like Iceland or Norway, Central Europe like Switzerland or France or Southern Europe with places like Valencia in Spain.

If you head to Southern Spain you will not need all the super warm winter clothes – and you will be happy with some warm pullovers and jeans. In the Nordic countries you will definitely need to pack differently.

In this post, you will find one general part of what to pack in Europe for winter. Then you will find out about what to pack for warmer countries like Spain or Malta, but you will also find out what to pack if you visit countries like Switzerland, Estonia or Iceland in winter.

First ski experience in Verbier, Switzerland what to pack in winter

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which 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.

Winter Weather in Europe

Before talking about what to bring to Europe in winter, we should talk weather in Europe in winter. Because your packing list depends on where you visit.

Southern Europe is much milder and warmer than Eastern Europe or Northern Europe. While you could wear a light jacket in Southern Spain in the winter months, you surely have to dress very warm in countries like Norway or Iceland.

If you come to Europe in winter – come prepared. 

Be advised that the average temperature can reach as low as -10° degree Celsius in countries like Iceland and Norway and while it gets up to 15° degree Celsius in other countries.

Climate change has lead to much warmer climate in many countries – I remember the years – as a little child – where we had many days with freezing temperatures in Germany. And a lot of snow – but nowadays, snow is no longer the rule for many parts in Europe. But it can be.

What to do in Alicante, Costa Blanca

What to Bring to Europe in Winter – General Items

So, the first part of the post is a general packing ist. Then you will find an additional packing list for winter.

Luggage for Europe

Here is what luggage/bags you might need for your winter Europe trip.

  • Suitcase: Though it depends, where exactly and for how long you travel, I recommend taking a good, light, and quality suitcase with you where all your clothes and most of your toiletries fit in.
  • Carry-On: If you visit for longer and aren’t a minimalist, then you might need an extra carry-on luggage.
  • Laundry bags: They are great if you travel for longer and don’t want your dirty and clean clothes to mix up. I prefer them over plastic bags.
  • Packing Cubes: They are the new must-items when it comes to traveling, they are very handy and they also come in cool colors. I recommend using packing cubes because it makes packing and organizing easier.
  • For my handbag, I choose a cross-body handbag with a zipper (just to be safe) and several extra pockets. My tip: The size of the handbag is important: do you carry a camera with your? A water bottle? Keep that in mind when you decide on one handbag.
  • Passport Holder, since I have become more minimalistic, I prefer not using a passport holder but if you need a passport (and an ID is not enough) you might want to have one.
  • For a day at the hotel pool or for some shopping, I recommend a beach bag or a cotton bag. Plastic bags – fortunately – do costs money in many parts of Europe…and plastic you use only once, sucks anyway, so with a cotton bag you use for years, you do the environment a favour (and it looks much better than to carry your shoppings in a plastic or paper bag).

Toiletries to Pack for Europe in Winter

Lately, I have reduced the care products. Less is better if you ask me. However, in winter our skin is also subject to stress. Here you will find a detailed list – even if I do not use all products below throughout the year, you might use more products.

If I travel for 10 days or shorter I take travel sizes toiletries which I refill with my natural and organic beauty products from home. To pack light, shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, cleaning water and cleansing milk is all in small bottles.

Of course, you could buy toiletries in Europe as well, but if you do not want to waste your time in drug stores or supermarkets, use this checklist for Europe.

  • (TSA Approved Clear) Travel Toiletry Bag (if you fly)
  • Sunscreen (even in winter – depending on where you travel to. If you go for a ski trip, then take it but you most likely will not need it for most other winter trips).
  • Travel bottles to refill – I refill them with my own organic products that I normally use (I do not use shampoo & conditioner provided by hotels)
  • Electric Hair Removal Epilator (only if you stay longer than a week or if you remove your bidy hair with it) – otherwise a razor or whatever you prefer
  • Face cream – (which I also use as a hand cream, so I do not have to take another cream).
  • Refillable Travel Size Perfume Bottle
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste and mouthwash plus Dental floss
  • Tissues
  • Deodorant
  • Magnifying make-up mirror
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover + glass nail file
  • My favorite hairbrush (especially for longer hair) – or if you have less space take a comb
  • Hair ties
  • A small cosmetic bag with the following items: Mascara / Rouge / Eyebrow powder (Taming & Shaping Kit For Brows) / Tweezer / Eyeliner and Eye Shadow / Make-up brushes/ Cotton swabs

Here are a few more items which I personally do hardly use but which might be important to you, so I added them here:

hair spray, hand cream, foundation, powder, lipstick, sanitiser

Tech Stuff to Pack for Europe

  • I have my laptop with me whenever I fly – however, I do work online while traveling and I also watch Netflix on it.
  • My phone is without a doubt one of my most useful and important (travel) items.
  • My camera is a must – because Europe has so many great spots that need to be photographed.
  • I have to admit, that I still don’t have a kindle, so a “real” book is often an essential
  • Power Charger – how long does your phone battery last? Not long? Neither does mine, so this  is an essential
  • Do you need an adapter? It depends on where you travel to in Europe, so please check if you need one for your destination.

Random Things to Pack for Europe

  • Umbrella (in many countries, like Germany, Switzerland, or England is can still rain quite a lot in the winter)
  • Guides
  • Medicine (headache pills etc.)
Cycling in London in winter

What to Pack for Europe in Winter

The key is dressing in layers for Europe in winter. The temperature can reach freezing levels, and yet the sun can be deceptively strong. Dressing in layers allows you to keep warm without compromising on comfort. 

Also, it really depends on where exactly you travel – as I mentioned before, Southern Europe has mild weather in winter where you will not need a super warm jacket and gloves plus a hat.

Depending on where you travel, the wind might make you feel much colder than the temperature actually says.

In worst case scenario, hypothermia and frostbite will be a result if If you’re wet and not appropriately dressed.

Your items should be versatile in function. For example, pack a jacket that is both waterproof and warm. In addition, comfortable walking shoes are essential.

December in Iceland, Golden Circle with Arzo Travels

Everyday Attire Essentials For Europe In Winter

At the top of your Europe winter packing list should be the following versatile, essential items. Using these items to dress in layers will keep you both stylish and warm. 

  • Coat – Warm And Waterproof: A warm, waterproof jacket should be one of the very first items that you think to pack. Avoid choosing a bulky jacket that takes up a lot of space. This can make you feel uncomfortable when you have layers underneath. Instead, opt for a lightweight, trench raincoat that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. 
  • Hat: Science tells us that we lose up to 10% of our body heat through our heads, meaning that it’s essential to keep this area warm. A knitted beanie is a perfect solution for keeping the warmth in while you venture out.  A hat will keep you toasty warm whether you’re on the slopes, sipping coffee, or exploring the sights. 
  • Gloves: Have you ever tried to use your phone with frozen fingers? It’s a nearly impossible task. A pair of gloves can do wonders for your mobility, dexterity, and comfort. This makes it one of the most important items on your Switzerland packing list. When selecting your options, it’s worth investing in a pair that can dry quickly and are touch-screen compatible.
  • Scarf Or Turtleneck: A warm scarf and/or turtleneck sweater are key items for keeping your neck covered. Not only do these items keep you warm, but they also prevent you from getting ill (and thereby ruining the fun). A turtleneck sweater is perfect as a garment to wear underneath your jacket, while the scarf can be removed easily. 
  • Leggings: There’s a reason that almost every woman owns a pair of leggings. They are both comfortable and snug. Leggings are an essential item to pack as you can dress them up or down. You can even wear them underneath your denims as an extra layer of warmth. 
  • Socks: When it comes to packing socks for your Switzerland trip – the thicker the better. Chances are that you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors in the snow, and you’ll want your feet to be warm and cozy. If you plan on hitting the slopes at any stage, then you’ll want your socks to be extra-thick or padded for increased comfort. 
  • Thermals: A quality set of thermals is your key to enjoying the winter weather in Switzerland. They provide the extra layer of heat that will allow you to spend an extra hour on the slopes, or to pack fewer items on your road trip instead of excess clothing.
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: If you can only pack one pair of shoes, then make sure that they are a trusty pair of waterproof snowshoes. You’ll want your shoes to be as versatile as possible. Snowshoes allow you to enjoy a variety of activities while keeping your feet warm and dry. 
Verbier in Switzerland in the winter

Winter Sportswear

One of the best top reasons to visit e.g. Switzerland during the winter months is winter sports opportunities. While most ski resorts will offer rental equipment, there are a few essentials to pack for yourself. 

  • Ski Jacket: When choosing the perfect ski jacket, you need to consider warmth, level of waterproofing, and freedom of movement. A jacket that is adjustable in fit, seals effectively, and dries quickly is the perfect apparel for snowboarding, skiing, and other winter outdoor sports.
  • Ski Pants: A trusty pair of insulated ski pants are the next essential item for all winter sports fans. Make sure that your choice of pants is breathable, warm, and waterproof. These details will keep you dry, warm, and comfortable on the slopes.  
  • Winter Protection: There are a few items that will make your winter vacation all the more comfortable. The last thing that you want is to be soaked on your first day, or get a migraine from snow blindness
  • Umbrella: Regardless of what time of year you visit Switzerland, it’s always a smart move to pack a foldable umbrella. The nifty item doesn’t take up too much space. It can be the difference between a leisurely stroll in the city streets and getting caught in a flu-inspired downpour. 
  • Chapstick: Visiting Switzerland in winter will most likely find you spending hours of fun on the snow-covered slopes. This can quickly dry out your lips and burn your skin. In this instance, you’re going to be grateful that you’ve packed your moisturizing stick of Chapstick. 
  • Sunglasses: The best days on the slopes are the ones accompanied by clear, sunny skies and good conditions. These circumstances also increase the glare of the sun on the white snow, making it close to unbearable on your eyes. A pair of polarized sunglasses or ski goggles can protect your eyes from the wind and bright light.

CONCLUSION: WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE IN WINTER

Europe in winter is a fantastic travel destination. Whether you come for a ski trip in Switzerland, explore the Christmas markets in London or want to have a weekend trip to a warmer place like Valencia – Europe is so diverse and has something for every taste.

Just be aware of what to pack for Europe in winter and you can enjoy some fantastic time in Europe.

Stay safe and enjoy!

Safe Travels, Arzo

WHAT TO PACK FOR SWITZERLAND

What to pack for Switzerland in winter, summer, fall or spring.

PACKING LIST FOR SWITZERLAND

If you are want to find out what to pack for Switzerland, then this post is for you. Whether you visit Switzerland in winter, spring, fall, or summer – this Switzerland packing guide will help you with your packing.

While you might have to think about which places to visit in Switzerland, you will also need to plan what to pack for Switzerland.

There are not many places that are as amazing as Switzerland – no matter when you visit, Switzerland will always amaze you.

And we all know, this country is beyond stunning. So, this is not to convince you to visit Switzerland – this post is my packing list for Switzerland.

Please keep in mind, that Switzerland is very expensive. So, if you pack properly you can save money and time.

GENERAL TIPS FOR WHAT TO BRING TO SWITZERLAND

So, the first part of the post is a general packing ist. Then you will find a packing list for summer, fall and spring and then you will find an additional packing list for winter.

best things to do in Switzerland

Switzerland Weather

Summer Weather in Switzerland

Summer in Switzerland (June to August) is mostly beautiful. From July to August the daytime temperature range is 18 to 28 °C (65° – 82° F) – however, rain is quite common in Switzerland. Unfortunately, I can say this with confidence.

Spring and Fall Weather in Switzerland

In spring and autumn, the daytime temperature ranges from 8 to 15 °C (46° – 59° F) and it is probably one of the best times for long hikes and city sightseeing. Rain is also common.

Winter Weather in Switzerland

Switzerland’s winter months are from December to March. Although the outdoor air has a definite chill, the ski slopes are primed for fun and the scenery is particularly beautiful. The trick to enjoying Switzerland during winter is to come prepared. 

Be advised that the average temperature can reach as low as -10° F in the mountainous regions. You’ll want to have your packing list waxed if you want to enjoy Switzerland’s mountain views

Freezing temperatures and snow are no longer the rule in Switzerland, especially in the lowlands. Actually, many ski resorts could hardly survive without artificial snow. However, there is snow – especially in the mountains and thus you should dress appropriately.

Winter in Switzerland is considered both a high and low season for tourism, especially for those who love Christmas markets and shooting down the slopes. 

WHAT TO PACK FOR SWITZERLAND – GENERAL ITEMS

Here are items that you will need in Switzerland regardless the season.

Luggage for Switzerland

Since Switzerland is a safe travel destination in general, you could bring your fancy suitcases. However, if you are a backpacker you´ll find plenty of your equals in Switzerland.

  • Suitcase: Though it depends, where exactly and for how long you travel, I recommend taking a good, light, and quality suitcase with you where all your clothes and most of your toiletries fit in.
  • Carry-On: I normally always have extra carry-on luggage with me.
  • Laundry bags: They are great if you travel for longer and don’t want your dirty and clean clothes to mix up. I prefer them over plastic bags.
  • Packing Cubes: Packing Cubes are the new must-items when it comes to traveling, they are very handy and they also come in cool colors. I recommend using packing cubes that make packing and organizing easier and do not forget a laundry bag.
  • For my handbag, I choose a cross-body handbag with a zipper (just to be safe) and several extra pockets.
  • Passport Holder, I need a passport when I travel to Dubai (ID is not enough) so I need a bigger wallet (aka a passport holder) and I love the fun colors here.
  • If you go on a beach holiday (in Switzerland this means, spending time at the lakes) you should also take a light and (ideally foldable) beach bag or a cotton bag instead.
Where to stay in Switzerland

Clothes to Pack for Switzerland

  • Hats: A hat is more than just an accessory in summer, so my must-have item is a stylish hat.
  • Sunglasses: Another must-have item are Sunglasses. Ray Ban seems to be always a great choice, but the most important thing is the quality (sunglasses are an investment in healthy eyes)
  • Jewelry: I love jewelry but since I tend to lose stuff, I do not wear much. One exception is watches: I am totally addicted to watches.
  • Maxi Dresses: Summer means wearing cute dresses and Europe is made to wear maxi dresses.
  • Skirts: You can wear short skirts in most places, some shopping malls actually have dress codes and do not allow too short skirts or shorts (though many do not follow the rules)
  • Linen Trousers: Though I love maxi dresses, the best thing to wear when it is hot is probably linen trousers – combined with a cool tank top and nice flat sandals it can be super chic.
  • Some long skirts should be on your list.
  • Tops: The more the merrier – my rule for hot destinations. I love skirts/trousers which I can wear with tops that are easy to change and are made from cotton are other light materials.
  • Shorts: Shorts are okay for most places – I love them especially for the beaches.
  • Denim is big in Europe
  • Cardigans and jackets: It can actually get chilly in the afternoon – not only but also after the sun sets. So definitely take at least 1 or 2 cardigans or jackets.
  • Blouses: Some cute blouses should be on your list (for the evening, some places that do not allow naked arms, or for the winter).
  • Footwear:  flat sandals, flip flops, and ballerinas. but a pair of sneakers are almost always a good choice, too. If you are into hiking, make sure to pack proper hiking boots.
What to pack for Switzerland to see the most beautiful places
8

Toiletries to Pack for Switzerland

If I travel for 10 days or shorter I take travel sizes toiletries which I refill with my natural and organic beauty products from home (shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, cleaning water and cleansing milk). Of course, you could buy toiletries here as well, but if you do not want to waste your time in drug stores or supermarkets, use this checklist for Europe.

Forget all the different small bags for shampoo etc. – get them all packed in a Toiletry Kit and have them super organized with you.

  • TSA Approved Clear Travel Toiletry Bag (if you fly)
  • Sunscreen
  • Travel bottles to refill – I refill them with my own organic products that I normally use (I do not use shampoo & conditioner provided by hotels)
  • Electric Hair Removal Epilator (only if you stay longer than a week or if you remove your bidy hair with it) – otherwise a razor or whatever you prefer
  • Face cream – (which I also use as a hand cream, so I do not have to take another cream)
  • Refillable Travel Size Perfume Bottle
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste and mouthwash plus Dental floss
  • Tissues
  • Deodorant
  • Refreshing towelettes
  • Magnifying make-up mirror
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover + glass nail file
  • My favorite hairbrush (especially for longer hair) – or if you have less space take a comb
  • Hair ties
  • A small cosmetic bag with the following items:
  • Mascara
  • Rouge
  • Eyebrow powder (Taming & Shaping Kit For Brows)
  • Tweezer
  • Eyelash curler
  • Eyeliner and eye shadow
  • Make-up brushes
  • Cotton swabs

Here are a few more items which I personally do hardly use but which might be important to you, so I added them here:

hair spray, hand cream, foundation, powder, lipstick, sanitizer

Best things to do in Zurich : Boat tour on Lake Zurich

What to Pack for a Day at the Lake in Europe

  • Swimming Suits: bikinis.
  • I love kaftans and think, it is best to wear from the beach back to the hotel room etc. Luckily, they look super cool these days.
  • Beach Bag: I recommend one of the cool beach bags, which are light, affordable, and stylish.
  • Flip Flops are my must-have for beach aka lake days.
  • If you have a great hotel with a private beach section, you probably do not need a towel. If this is not the case not it should also be on your list. If you do not have any beach towel yet, click here to get your beach essential.
  • A reading book / Kindle is also a great idea for a day at the beach.
  • Click here to find my complete list: What to pack for a day at the beach (or lake)

Tech Stuff to Pack for Europe

  • I have my laptop with me whenever I fly – however, I do work online while traveling and I also watch Netflix on it.
  • My phone is without a doubt one of my most useful and important (travel) items.
  • My camera is a must – because Europe has so many great spots that need to be photographed.
  • I have to admit, that I still don’t have a kindle, so a “real” book is often an essential
  • A day at the beach or pool would not be perfect without my iPod
  • Power Charger- how long does your phone battery last? Not long? neither does mine, so this  is an essential
  • Do you need an adapter? Well, it gets a bit complicated here: Swiss plugs and wall sockets are non-grounded wall outlets with 2 holes and grounded wall outlets with 3 holes. The non-grounded European plug with two pins will often fit in a Swiss wall socket. But not always because the European prongs are a bit bigger! Other plugs will mostly not fit, so an adapter is needed. This means= when I charge my mobile it is fine – if I want to charge my laptop I need an adapter because the prongs are bigger. Complicated I know.

Random Things to Pack for Europe

  • Umbrella (in many countries, like Germany, Switzerland, or England is can still rain quite a lot in the summer)
  • Guides
  • Medicine (headache pills etc.)

What to Pack for Switzerland in Winter

If you’re planning to travel to Switzerland during the winter months, the key is dressing in layers. The temperature can reach freezing levels, and yet the sun can be deceptively strong. You can work up a sweat on your adventures. Dressing in layers allows you to keep warm without compromising on comfort. 

In the same breath, your items should be versatile in function. For example, pack a jacket that is both waterproof and warm. In addition, comfortable walking shoes are essential. If your Switzerland itinerary takes you through snowy areas, then snowshoes are a must.

First ski experience in Verbier, Switzerland what to pack in winter

Everyday Attire Essentials For Switzerland In Winter

At the top of your packing list should be the following versatile, essential items. Using these items to dress in layers will keep you both stylish and warm. 

Coat – Warm And Waterproof: A warm, waterproof jacket should be one of the very first items that you think to pack. Avoid choosing a bulky jacket that takes up a lot of space. This can make you feel uncomfortable when you have layers underneath. Instead, opt for a lightweight, trench raincoat that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. 

Hat: Science tells us that we lose up to 10% of our body heat through our heads, meaning that it’s essential to keep this area warm. A knitted beanie is a perfect solution for keeping the warmth in while you venture out.  A hat will keep you toasty warm whether you’re on the slopes, sipping coffee, or exploring the sights. 

Gloves: Have you ever tried to use your phone with frozen fingers? It’s a nearly impossible task. A pair of gloves can do wonders for your mobility, dexterity, and comfort. This makes it one of the most important items on your Switzerland packing list. When selecting your options, it’s worth investing in a pair that can dry quickly and are touch-screen compatible.

Scarf Or Turtleneck: A warm scarf and/or turtleneck sweater are key items for keeping your neck covered. Not only do these items keep you warm, but they also prevent you from getting ill (and thereby ruining the fun). A turtleneck sweater is perfect as a garment to wear underneath your jacket, while the scarf can be removed easily. 

Leggings: There’s a reason that almost every woman owns a pair of leggings. They are both comfortable and snug. Leggings are an essential item to pack as you can dress them up or down. You can even wear them underneath your denims as an extra layer of warmth. 

Socks: When it comes to packing socks for your Switzerland trip – the thicker the better. Chances are that you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors in the snow, and you’ll want your feet to be warm and cozy. If you plan on hitting the slopes at any stage, then you’ll want your socks to be extra-thick or padded for increased comfort. 

Thermals: A quality set of thermals is your key to enjoying the winter weather in Switzerland. They provide the extra layer of heat that will allow you to spend an extra hour on the slopes, or to pack fewer items on your road trip instead of excess clothing.

Comfortable Walking Shoes: If you can only pack one pair of shoes, then make sure that they are a trusty pair of waterproof snowshoes. You’ll want your shoes to be as versatile as possible. Snowshoes allow you to enjoy a variety of activities while keeping your feet warm and dry. 

Winter Sportswear

One of the best top reasons to visit Switzerland during the winter months is winter sports opportunities. While most ski resorts will offer rental equipment, there are a few essentials to pack for yourself. 

Ski Jacket: When choosing the perfect ski jacket, you need to consider warmth, level of waterproofing, and freedom of movement. A jacket that is adjustable in fit, seals effectively, and dries quickly is the perfect apparel for snowboarding, skiing, and other winter outdoor sports.

Ski Pants: A trusty pair of insulated ski pants are the next essential item for all winter sports fans. Make sure that your choice of pants is breathable, warm, and waterproof. These details will keep you dry, warm, and comfortable on the slopes.  

Winter Protection: There are a few items that will make your winter vacation all the more comfortable. The last thing that you want is to be soaked on your first day, or get a migraine from snow blindness. 

Umbrella: Regardless of what time of year you visit Switzerland, it’s always a smart move to pack a foldable umbrella. The nifty item doesn’t take up too much space. It can be the difference between a leisurely stroll in the city streets and getting caught in a flu-inspired downpour. 

Chapstick: Visiting Switzerland in winter will most likely find you spending hours of fun on the snow-covered slopes. This can quickly dry out your lips and burn your skin. In this instance, you’re going to be grateful that you’ve packed your moisturizing stick of Chapstick. 

Sunglasses: The best days on the slopes are the ones accompanied by clear, sunny skies and good conditions. These circumstances also increase the glare of the sun on the white snow, making it close to unbearable on your eyes. A pair of polarized sunglasses or ski goggles can protect your eyes from the wind and bright light.

CONCLUSION: THINGS TO TAKE TO SWITZERLAND

Whether you visit Switzerland in summer, fall, winter or spring – with this Switzerland packing list you should be all set.

The Best Switzerland Road Trip

Switzerland road trip, where to go and what to see

HOW TO PLAN A PERFECT SWITZERLAND ROAD TRIP

Are you planning your Switzerland road trip? Then read on because I – as a Switzerland enthusiast who regularly visit Switzerland – share my road trip travel tips with you, so you can plan your Switzerland road trip itinerary.

Switzerland is one of the best places to road trip. It is incredible to see the lakes you pass, the mountain peaks, the beautiful towns, villages, and cities, the attractions, the UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the lovely natural scenery.

When you drive in Switzerland, it is always mountainous, with altitude often changing quickly depending on where you drive. However, Switzerland is very safe and has great roads. It is just the best place I can imagine to road trip.

The only downside is that as a driver, you can’t fully enjoy the beauty because you have to focus on the road. If you could only road trip one country in Europe, it should be Switzerland. Even though their public transportation is amazing, so is road tripping.

Things to know before driving in mountains in Switzerland

To visit all the places mentioned here, you need a minimum of 2 weeks – however, 3 weeks road tripping in Switzerland would be even better. But reality is, that most of use have less time – so even if you road trip Switzerland for 7 or 10 days, this post will be super helpful to you.

So, whether you road trip 1 week, 2 weeks or 3 weeks – here are the best travel tips for your Switzerland road trip.

ROAD TRIPPING SWITZERLAND TIPS

For a perfect Switzerland road trip it is not only important to know about the best places to stop and see, but also about some essential travel tips for driving in the county. So, here is how to plan a perfect Switzerland road trip.

Driving Tips

  • You must be 18 or older to drive in Switzerland, and your driver’s license must be in either English, German, Italian, or French.
  • Watch speed limit because tickets are very expensive here. The speed limit for motorways/freeways is 120 kph and highways are 100 kph. In the cities, the speed limit is 50 kph, in residential areas 30 kph, and in rural areas 80 kph.
  • You will be driving on the right side of the street in Switzerland. Always yield right of way to public transportation and emergency vehicles.
  • Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists as well.
  • If you are traveling with children, any that are younger than 18 months should be in a child safety seat; everyone else needs to use a seatbelt.
  • You are required to drive with your lights on, even in the daytime.
  • Don’t drink and drive. In Switzerland, the maximum blood alcohol content while driving is 0.05%, which is lower than in many other European countries.
  • Gas stations are everywhere, but you’ll find that they are all self-service so.
  • In Switzerland, you will need a toll sticker for the motorways. It costs about 40 Swiss francs and lasts from December to December (good for 14 months). If you do a proper Siwtzerland road trip, i highly suggest buying one if you drive with your own car – avoiding motorways might not always be possible (if you rent a car they are normally already included).
  • Parking can be tricky. Check out my detailed “driving in Switzerland” post that helps you fining out where exactly you can park and what the colored parking spots mean.
  • You should get a parking disc as you may need it. Depending on the color of the zone in which you are parking, you can park for a certain amount of time at no charge. You can get parking discs at police stations, banks, or tourist offices.
  • There is little traffic overall – just in cities like Zurich, Lucerne or Geneva you should expect more traffic.
  • Some places are car free – like Zermatt, Grindelwald and a very few more places. However, it is not like Italy where you have to deal with that issue in almost any city.
  • If you drive to Switzerland with your own car, buy a Swiss Vignette. The toll sticker costs about 40 Swiss francs and lasts from December to December (so, it is actually good for 14 months). If you rent a car, it will already have a sticker. You can buy one for your car at gas stations, online, or at the border and it allows you to use the motorway. You could ditch buying it – and try to avoid it by just using second streets but it makes your life harder – and no one wants to deal with Swiss Police if you end up – by mistake – on motorway.
  • If you drive in the mountains, keep in mind that streets can be narrow and windy – especially in the Italian-speaking part this could be an issue.

Mountain Passes

Nothing, seriously nothing beats – driving in the Alps and passes the stunning Mountain Passes in Switzerland. However, the passes are not open all-year round due to weather conditions.

Snow means that the passes are closed – unfortunately, some passes are closed for most time of the year. The stunning Sustenpass e.g. is closed from November to June (always check the weather forecast as this is not fixed date but depend on actual weather).

I admit – there were days, I was close to cry out loud just because I was overwhelmed by the beauty of driving in Switzerland.

So, here are some passes I highly recommend (and which you will “automatically pass” if you get from one destination to the other – if the weather allows it.  One day, I will dedicate one post just about the stunning passes but for now, here are some of my favorite passes with images (and then we will take about the main stops for your Switzerland road trip).

  • Flüela (2383 m above sea level): Vereina car-train service from Klosters-Selfranga to Sagliains
  • Julier (2284 m above sea level): Pass road open all year and cleared by snowfall
  • Sustenpass (2,224 metres): Wassen to Innertkirchen)
  • Brünig Pass (1,008 m aviv sea love): Meiringen to Lungern and Giswi
  • San Bernardino (2065 m above sea level): Road tunnel from Hinterrhein to San Bernardino
  • Gotthard (2106 m above sea level): New pass road or road tunnel from Airolo to Göschenen
  • Albula (2315 a above sea level): Thusis to La Punt
  • Furka (2429 m above sea level): Car-train service from Realp to Oberwald
Brünig Pass - Switzerland Road trip with Arzo Travels
Brünig Pass

Best Time to Road Trip Switzerland

If you want to road trip Switzerland, I highly suggest doing this between end of June and early October. While I normally recommend visiting a popular destination in the shoulder season, driving in this time of the year will allow you to drive most (if not all) mountain passes.

Weather should be good at that time of the year (with many rainy days in between but that is an issue Switzerland has in general) and though Switzerland does get busy, the roads normally do not. Places like Interlaken might be crowded but most people do not road trip the country, so you are fine to drive on quite empty streets.

Where to Stay During A Road Trip in Switzerland

One of the best things of road tripping is that you dont need a base but can get around – check out my detailed guide on where to stay in the country (you will find tips in this post as well).

BEST STOPS FOR YOUR ROAD TRIP IN SWITZERLAND

Tip: Fly into Zurich because it is the main city in Switzerland and has a major airport. You can start your Switzerland road trip here.

Stop 1: Zurich

Zurich should be on everyone’s road trip itinerary.

Where to stay in Zurich - best places to stay in Zurich Switzerland

Zurich is located in the northern part of Switzerland, right on the edge of Lake Zurich. It is also the country’s biggest city and known for banking and finance.

But it also has a very historical Old Town that dates back to before medieval times.

The promenade and buildings are centuries old as well. Zurich has plenty of cobblestone streets to stroll down as you explore the area. Some of the attractions here are Lake Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse, Lindenhof, the hiking and views from Uetliberg, and the Opera District.

I love Zurich and I suggest spending 1 day if you road trip Switzerland for 7 days, if you do a 2-week road trip you can stay 2 days. Of course, I have a more detailed Zurich post for you that you can check out here.

Tip: You can rent a car from the airport in Zurich, or you can take a train to get to the city center and explore Zurich without a car. Driving here means traffic and little parking spots. So, I suggest picking up your rental car once you are about to leave Zurich.

Stop 2: Stein am Rhein & Schaffhausen & Rhine Falls

Stein am Rhein is a small town is located in the northeastern part of Switzerland, just west of Lake Constance. It is best known for its medieval city center and the architecture.

Places to visit in Switzerland

There are many well-preserved, half-timbered houses here with painted facades along the ancient streets in the old town.

There are also nearby attractions, like St. George’s Abbey on the banks of the Rhine River, a museum, and Hohenklingen Castle overlooking the town, which was built during the Middle Ages.

The charming and ancient sights around this small village make it a popular destination for visitors to Switzerland.

Tip: If can spend more time in Stein am Rhine but you can also combine the trip with visiting the Rhine Falls and Schaffhausen in one day. It is easy to drive to Stein am Rhine but park your car outside the town center and walk a few minutes to the city center.

Schaffhausen is a small village in Switzerland that is located very close to the Rhine Falls, along the upper Rhine River.

View from Munot over the Rhine river and parts of Schaffhausen
View from Munot over the Rhine river and parts of Schaffhausen

This is also very close to the German border and there are many vineyards. The buildings in this medieval town are done in a Baroque style and often have decorated facades and bay windows overlooking the streets. Schaffhausen is a small Swiss town that has a very inviting and charming atmosphere

You can also visit nearby attractions like the 16th century Munot Fortress, the gothic St. Johann church, and the Kloster Allerheiligen monastery with Romanesque cathedral. 

Tip: If you don’t want to stress, you can skip either Schaffhausen oder Stein am Rhine. Both towns are cute and have unique features – so either, you visit the three mentioned places in one day, or you leave out one of the towns.

The Rhine Falls are probably the biggest and most powerful falls in all of Europe (I know, the Dettifoss Falls in Iceland also claims to be the most powerful but I think, the Rhine Falls actually is more powerful).

Rhine Falls Switzerland Best places to see in Switzerland

Anyhow, located near the German border, they are very impressive and beautiful. Though they are a very popular tourism stop, the waterfalls and surrounding greenery are really pretty and worth visiting. During May and June, the water level is at its peak and the falls are at their biggest, making them even more amazing.

They average is 150 meters wide and 23 meter high. There are boat tours, viewing platforms, and guided tours offered.

Tip: From Zurich, you ca do a day trip and get to the Rhine Falls easily by car. For tips on where to park (for free and more) check out my more detailed guide on the Rhine Falls.

Stop 3: Basel

Basel is a city that is located in the northwestern part of Switzerland. It sits on the Rhine River and is also close to the borders of Germany and France.

Basel most beautiful places in Basel

Like many cities in this area, it has been around since medieval times and the architecture and layout of the city show this. The old town surrounds the marketplace, which has a large red sandstone Town Hall from the 16th century. Other attractions to be found in Basel include the tomb of Erasmus, who was a 16th century Dutch scholar – you can find some of his works in the university in town- and also a 12th century Gothic cathedral.

Though Basel is a beautiful city, it probably is the best city to visit if you are into arts. Yes, there is some scenery and you can spend time outdoors but if you do a one-week Switzerland road trip (and aren’t into arts) you might want to skip it (especially because the drive there i snot really scenic).

Stop 4: Bern 

Bern is perhaps the most beautiful capital in Europe It is located along a crook in the Aare River, in the central part of the country which makes it – amongst other reason – good stop for your Switzerland road trip.

where to stay in Switzerland

The Swiss refer to it as their “Federal City.” It dates back to medieval times, around the 12th century. You can see this is the Altstadt architecture. Other impressive buildings to look for are the Swiss Parliament meeting place called the Bundeshaus, or Federal Palace, the Französische Kirche, and the Zytglogge tower from the 13th century.

Bern has a lot of history, but is also an important part of Switzerland today.

Though I really liked Bern, I would not say, it is a must-see on a Switzerland road trip. If you plan a 2-week rad trip, add Bern to your itinerary. If you want to also visit places in the south and central Switzerland you might have to pass here. If you visit during your road trip, check out my 1-day itinerary.

Stop 5: Lucerne

Lucerne is a city located in the central part of Switzerland, and also in the German-speaking part of the country. It’s filled with colorful architecture and buildings that date back to medieval times and without a doubt, one of the best places to add to your Switzerland road trip itinerary.

Best things to do in Lucerne - Chapel Bridge in Lucerne

To the north of the Old Town, you will see a 14th-century rampart (Musegg Wall). When you travel out to Lake Lucerne, you get a great view of the snow-capped mountains of the Alps, which surround the town.

It also has other attractions that are just as scenic and picturesque. Some of these attractions in Lucerne include Chapel Bridge, a 17th century Jesuit Church, Spreuer Bridge, Lion Monument, and Weggis. Make sure to drive along Lake Lucerne as well.

Lucerne should be on your Switzerland road trip itinerary – whether you plan a 5, 7 or 14 day trip. With less than 7 days, 1 day in Lucerne is probably a good amount to visit. BUT you need to make sure to also drive along the Axenroad and head all the way to Vitznau – it is an amazing road with some of the very best views the region. Driving along Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee) is just…beautiful.

And if you want to rest at the lake, then head to Weggis (pass the main town center) until you find a little secret spot where not many people are. Here you can swim in the lake or just enjoy the views. Check out my detailed Lucerne guide.

Stop 6: Interlaken

Interlaken is a resort town that is found in the central part of Switzerland. The town is small, full of timber houses, and found between two of Switzerland’s most popular lakes.

Visit the Schynige Platte with your Swiss Travel Pass

When you visit Interlaken, it is not just about the town, but about driving around Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. The drive around Lake Thun, which is a pretty emerald color, is especially scenic and one of the most beautiful places to road trip in Switzerland. This area is full of mountains, forests, meadows, and glaciers, making it a good destination for hiking and skiing, as well as other outdoor sports.

Tip: It really depends on which side of the lake you are driving. For Lake Thun make sure to drive along Beatenberg and Sigriswil (along the northern shores of Lake Thun) and for Lake Brienz drive along the northern shores (so along Niederried) and most of the times, the motorways are less scenic than the side streets.

There are so many stunning spots to drive along – up to Beatenberg, Sigrswill Suspension Bridge (park there and then you can pay a fee to walk the bridge), Thun, Spiez and more…..Oh let’s not forget places like Lauterbrunnen (the drive to Lauterbrunnen is so idyllic and yet stunning), Grindelwald….You get it, don’t skip the region of Interlaken/Jungfrau.

Lake Thun-Top Things to do in Interlaken, Switzerland

Yes, it is true: This region is one – if not THE – most beautiful area in my opinion. No matter, how often I visit, I never get enough. Depending on your length of your stay, I suggest spending at least 3 day in the region but actually 4 days is a minimum if you road trip here.

Stop 7: Montreux

Montreux is known for its picture-perfect looks, from its proximity to Lake Geneva to the nearby mountains.

A castle with a view and a great Instagram spot in Montreux

The pretty vineyards – which comes with a view of Lake Geneva – add to its popularity. There are medieval castles just offshore and the promenade is filled with flowers, sculptures, and trees.

This city in the eastern part of Switzerland sits at the foot of the Alps and offers many attractions. Here you will find access to Lake Geneva, a Freddy Mercury statue, Chateau de Chillon, the vineyards in Chexbres and Vevey, and Rocher de Nayes.

There is also the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the second largest jazz festival in the world, taking place in the summer.

I loved Montreux – and would add it to your Switzerland road trip itinerary – if you road trip the country for at least 7 days. It is one of the best places to see and experience Lake Geneva and (also known as Lac Leman), is located in a very picturesque area. The town is quite small, and if you don’t have much time, 1 day in Montreux will do it.

Stop 8: Geneva 

Geneva is located in the southwestern end of Switzerland, along the southern tip of the crescent-shaped lake and is famous for its old town and diplomatic activities.

Geneva in summer, Switzerland
@shutterstock

The city has the second largest population in Switzerland after Zurich and is surrounded by the Alps and Jura Mountains. Located in the French-speaking part of the country, Geneva is well-known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and international appeal.

The city is the location of the Headquarters of Europe’s United Nations and also the Red Cross and it is also famous as a city of diplomatic and financial activity. There is a heavy French influence on both the lifestyle and food in Geneva.

Here is the thing with Geneva – it is located on the southern shores of Lake Geneva and is quite remote – if you really want to visit Geneva, go for it. I have always enjoyed Geneva. However, though I suggest spending time in Geneva, with only 7-10 days in Switzerland I would probably skip it on my 7-day Switzerland road trip and only drive to Montreux and then not continue driving along Lake Geneva.

Stop 9: Zermatt 

Zermatt is found in the southern part of Switzerland and can actually not be reached by car – it is car free.

Switzerland in winter, Zermatt

So, in order to get there, you must leave your car and take a 1-day trip to this popular mountain resort. Zermatt is known for its outdoor activities, like climbing, hiking, and skiing. It sits below the Matterhorn Peak at around 1600 meters in elevation.

Within Zermatt, you will find the main street, called Bahnhofstrasse, which is full of restaurants, hotels, boutiques, as well as outdoor skating rinks and places devoted to apres-ski in winter in Zermatt.

Park your car in Taesch and take a train to get to Zermatt. Depending on your time in Switzerland, I would plan in 1 or 2 days – since Zermatt is quite remote, you could actually also skip it (but on the other hand, Zermatt is really pretty) but it makes a good stop on any Switzerland road trip itinerary.

Stop 10: Lugano

Located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, in the Ticino region, Lugano is a Swiss city with a lot of Italian influence. The architecture and the food are proof of this.

Landscape of Lugano lake, mountains and the city located below, Ticino, Switzerland
@shutterstockTicino, Switzerland

The scenery and attractions in the city are beautiful – Lugano sits on the northern shore of Lake Lugano and is surrounded by mountains.

Inside the town, you can find the main square, called the Piazza della Riforma, which is done in pastel colors and a neo-classical design, as well as the Monte San Salvatore and the Villa del Balbianello.

I love the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland – also, because Lugano is so different to the rest of the country. However, it is also quite remote and if you only 1 week in Switzerland, then you might skip that and head to Locarno instead.

Stop 11: Locarno

Locarno is also in the Italian-speaking part of the country but actually not as remote as Lugano (not that much close but still). Located, on Lake Maggiore it’s known for its sunny climate.

Where to go in Locarno

It has a beautiful lake area, plus some gorgeous mountain peaks that offer great views (including Cardaga). Also, the 15th-century Santuario della Madonna del Sasso, an art-filled pilgrimage site overlooking the city, is a beautiful place to add to your road trip.

Driving here is a bit more stressful (however, nothing like Italy) as streets are narrower and busier and if you visit Locarno also visit Valle Verzasca and enjoy this beautiful part of Switzerland.

Stop 12: St. Moritz 

Now it is time to explore one of the most stunning areas in Switzerland – Graubünden. It is a lesser known canton (state) – except for St. Moritz – to foreigners but it is one of the most popular spots for Swiss tourists. And believe me when I say, that it is one of the most beautiful states in the whole country.

St. Moritz is found on the eastern side of Switzerland, in the Engadin Valley. It is located high in the Alps, with an elevation of 1800 meters above sea level, making it a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding, and bobsledding.

It has even hosted two Winter Olympics. When the lake freezes over, there is cricket, polo, and horse racing done on the ice. St. Moritz is a favorite resort town in Switzerland because of its excellent outdoor sports and also the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains.

It is absolutely beautiful to drive in this area – if you don’t have much time, however, I suggest, not staying in St. Moritz as it is not the most interesting location (despite being gorgeous, competition in Switzerland is just too big).

Stop 13: Valposchiavo 

Valposchiavo is a secret place that I highly recommend.  It is located in the canton of Graubünden, which is close to the Italian border, but is mostly German-speaking and this is the country of beautiful mountain passes and stunning scenery.

Lago di Saoseo in Valposchiavo

It’s in a remote location and that might be why is it isn’t more popular among tourists. Valposchiavo has a natural beauty that is hard to equal. With its calm and serene lake, lovely valley, and charming town, Valposchiavo is a great place to stop on a Switzerland road trip. 

It is actually one of my favorite places in all of Switzerland and it is absolutely stunning to drive here – the views, the lakes, the mountain passes.

Switzerland at its best in Valpaschiavo– also, compared to other places in the country it is quite a hidden gem so you won’t see that many tourists like in other parts of the country.

Stop 14: Appenzell & Ebenalp

If you fly back home from Zurich you can stop in Appenzellerland as the last main stop of your Switzerland road trip. This part of Switzerland is also quite unique and the rolling green hills are pretty unique.

Things to do in Appenzell Town

Appenzell is located in the northeastern corner of Switzerland, near the German border, and at the foot of the Alpstein Mountains. It is not as well-known as other areas, but it is a pretty scene with rolling hills, high mountains, and old and colorful buildings.

There are a lot of mountain summits that can be reached from Appenzell, including Santis Peak or the beautiful Ebenalp Mountain.

Appenzellerland - More Than the Aescher

Ebenalp is the most northern summit of the Appenzell Alps. If you enjoy hiking, this is a great place to go – Ebenalp is 1600 meters high. You can also ascend it by taking a cable car from Wasserauen. At the top, you will find a guest house, Ebenalp, where you can stop for drinks or food, or you can stay for a night.

There are great views here because of the elevation and surrounding scenery. It overlooks Lake Seealp and there is also a nearby Alpine garden that is quite lovely.

From here, you can head back to Zurich or continue your journey and head to Southern Germany and explore that beautiful part of the world.

CONCLUSION: HOW TO HAVE AN EPIC SWITZERLAND ROAD TRIP

Switzerland is my favorite travel destination – given its extreme beauty and the breathtaking scenery I cannot get enough to drive there and I am amazed every single time.

The high prices in the country – something that I cannot ignore – will not stop me to revisit the country and to explore what the country has to offer.

I hope you enjoy this Switzerland road trip itinerary – seeing some of the best places in Switzerland while road tripping is such a fun way to discover the beauty of the country.

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Best Switzerland road trip, travel tips for road tripping

Safe Travels, Arzo

Best Christmas Markets in Switzerland

Best Christmas markets in Switzerland to visit

Best of Switzerland’s Christmas Markets

Headed to this beautiful country before Christmas and wondering about the best Christmas Markets in Switzerland?

Is there anything more magical and festive than a Christmas market? If you have never been to one of these holiday markets and seen the decorations, the wares being sold, and the food and drink, then you have to visit this holiday season. Switzerland has some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. But which ones should you see? 

This post will tell you which are the Switzerland´s best Christmas markets, as well as their location and times. So many are worth a visit, but you can’t go wrong with the markets on this list. 

Christmas Markets in Switzerland normally start in the last November week and last until the 23rd December. However, please make sure to check out the exact opening hours for the Christmas market you want to check out to avoid disappointment.

By the way, I also have post for visiting Switzerland in December.

Zurich

Zurich in winter also means visiting beautiful Christmas markets. There are lots to choose from and you’ll surely find one to please everyone. In the Old Town, there is a very beautiful and historic market – the oldest one in Zurich. 

Christmas market on Zurich main train station is one of the best places to visit in December
@shutterstock

The Weihnachtsmarkt im Dörfli Christmas market is festive and colorful, as well as one of the most traditional in the city.

Do not miss the Christmas market at Werdmühleplatz, where you will see the Singing Christmas tree – rows of choirs arranged on a podium and singing Christmas carols. I

The Christkindlimarkt at Zurich Main Station has 140 stalls selling foods and goods, but also has a gorgeous Christmas tree that is almost 10 meters tall with thousands of Swarovski crystals on it.

The Münsterhof Christmas market is also popular, especially if you like local goods. This is their focus and it is located between the Fraumünster church and traditional guild houses. This market also has a culture tent where you can enjoy concerts, workshops, and readings.

The Christmas market at Lintheschergasse is famous for its mulled wine, so if that is one of your favorite Christmas traditions, then you should visit this market located between two department stores and near the Bahnhofstrasse. It’s a good place to do shopping for handcrafts as well as in the stores.

Check out my guide on where to stay in Zurich.

Rapperswill

The Christkindlimärt Christmas market is one of the most popular in Switzerland. It actually opens in different parts of the city, moving from one location to the next. It starts at the Fischmarktplatz, then moves to the Old Town, and finally ends right before Christmas at the shores of Lake Zurich.

The ambience and size of this Christmas Market in Rapperswil is why it is so popular. The streets are lit with lamps, and the sights and smells of the food and lights make it very enjoyable to stroll through. You will find activities like candle dipping, cheese fondue, and cooking classes. There is live music going on and about 250 stalls to shop at. You can find many kinds of handcrafts, local food, and drinks.

The surrounding scenery includes Lake Zurich and Rapperswil Castle – so if you get tired of shopping, you can enjoy the views of these picturesque landmarks.

Lucerne

I think Lucerne is a beautiful city and I am not alone – whether you visit in Lucerne winter or at any other time of the year. Its timbered houses and picturesque Old Town make it a perfect place to visit a Christmas market – and these are some of the best Christmas markets to see in Switzerland.

There are actually a few different ones in the city, but they all have a very festive atmosphere, lots of food and drink, and special stalls selling handmade gifts and decorations. Lucerne Christmas Market in the Old Town has a carousel for kids, choirs singing, and live music playing.

A few other markets to check out in Lucerne during the holidays (please check the times)

  • Handcraft Market – you can get many fine handcrafted items from local artisans in Weinmarkt place in Lucerne’s Old Town.
  • Design Schenken – Located by the town hall and offering designed gifts. It runs from November 27-29.
  • Venite – Features food, drinks, and performances from other countries (this international market just runs for a few days each year)
  • Christkindlmarkt – Located by the rail station, it offers about 50 different market stalls. 
  • The Christmas Tree Market – This is where the many types of Christmas trees are sold, as well as decorations. It runs from December 16-23, from 9:00am-8pm (M,W,F), 9:00am-9:00pm (Th,F), 9:00am-6:00pm (Sat), and 10:30am-7:00pm (Sun).

Mt. Pilatus

The Mt. Pilatus Christmas Market, near Lucerne, is a very unique and fun experience.

You take a panoramic cable car up the mountain to see and shop the highest Christmas Market in Switzerland (about 2000 meters above sea level).

There are many stalls selling handmade gifts, food, and mulled wine. Some stalls are outdoors and others are inside, and they have a variety of winter favorites to choose from.

But you don’t go to a Christmas Market on top of a mountain without enjoying the view! There is a panoramic terrace where you can enjoy the scenery. You can also see a lot from the cable car, or you could take the cogwheel train.

Also, there are usually sunchairs and other places to sit if you just want to relax and enjoy the crisp mountain air. Mt. Pilatus is not the most traditional or largest Christmas Market in Switzerland, but it does have the most interesting location.

Basel

Basel is a charming city and is known for the best Christmas Market in Switzerland which is very picturesque, especially with its festive decorations. 

Basel Christmas Markets at Münsterplatz

The most popular Christmas market is the one at Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz – over a million people visited last year. It is very large and split into two sections. The first part is Münsterplatz, which is located in the square next to the pretty Basel Cathedral.

There are about 40 stalls here and children can explore and do activities at the Fairy Tale Forest. There is a beautiful Christmas tree decorated and in front of the cathedral – it is actually lit at the opening of the market on November 26.

The second section of this Christmas market is Barfüsserplatz, which has over a hundred market stalls to stop for gifts, drinks, and food. There are also children’s rides.

Overall, there are about 160 market stalls with delicacies and handmade toys and jewelry, and a very festive atmosphere. Basel is located right by the Rhine River and it just makes the town even more beautiful.

Basel Christmas Markets

It runs from November 26-December 23 from 11:00am-7:30pm every day (it closes a little earlier on December 23rd). Check out my Basel winter guide.

Bern

If you visit the official capital of the country, Bern, you´ll find more Christmas markets in the old town of the city where you can indulge in gingerbread, roasted almonds, mulled wine, and more. There are two markets here and they are both worth visiting.

The Bern Christmas Market by the Münsterplatz is famous for well-made artisan goods. So, if you are looking for nice handmade gifts, then this should be your first stop. Enjoy the festive decorations and location – this Christmas market is surrounded by buildings from the 15th and 17th centuries, and the tallest bell tower in Switzerland on one side.

Now take a quick stroll to the other Christmas Market in Bern – on the Waisenhausplatz. This one has more handmade goods, as well as food and drinks to enjoy. The many stalls have lots of gifts, household goods, and treats for sale. They are also beautifully decorated and smell like spices and gingerbread.

Geneva

Geneva is a city with a very unique Christmas market. Not as traditional as some others in Switzerland, the Geneva Christmas market is very appealing to those who want a more international experience. This market has a section of shops devoted to goods from around the world, so you can get some unique gifts and decorations here.

Inside the Christmas market, there is also the Christmas Village. This is about 8,000 square meters filled with Christmas goods, very festive decorations, and delicious food. Throughout the market, you can enjoy the music and smells that make you think of Christmas. Rue du Marché has some of the prettiest displays of decorations and you can see more in the shops on Rue de Rive.

Another Christmas market to visit in Switzerland is the one in Carouge – the lively area in the traditional Italian part of Geneva. You will see a lot of stylish accessories here and quality handcrafts.

Montreux

Montreux has one of the best Christmas Markets in Switzerland. The Marché de Noël à Montreux is on Lake Geneva and is very iconic.

It has about 160 stalls to shop at and plenty of places to eat. The smells of the mulled wine and all the lights and decorations make this market very festive and fun. It is also a very picturesque location, so good to wander through and explore.

There is also a lot of holiday fun to be had at the Marché de Noël. It has a huge Ferris wheel that visitors can ride. And there is an area where children can find workshops and see Santa Claus in his sleigh, called Elves Square.

They can ride the train to Santa’s house up Rochers-de-Naye Mountain. And at night, there is a light show to enjoy at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace. This Christmas market has a lot of activities to keep visitors busy while they shop for Christmas gifts and treats.

St. Gallen

The Christmas Market in St. Gallen is a magical place. There are over 700 lights hung about the streets of the town that give it a beautiful glow.

The 20-meter-high Christmas tree in the Klosterplatz is also decorated and twinkling with lights, giving the whole area a Christmasy feel. When you visit the Christmas market, you will find about 70 different stalls, which are decorated Swiss cottages. They are selling high-quality, handmade goods, toys, jewelry, and other gift ideas.

There are also many selling local foods and mulled wine.

St. Gallen also has Christmas concerts being held at the cathedral if you want to listen to some music to get you in the spirit of the holidays. And for the chocolate lovers, you can take a tour of Maestrani’s Chocolarium and bring home some sweet treats.

The atmosphere at the St. Gallen Christmas Market is very warm and cozy, and the decorations and lights really make it one of the best Christmas Markets to go to in Switzerland.

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein is right near the border between Switzerland and Germany – it is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland.

In December, you can see the stunning medieval buildings while visiting the city’s Christmas market.

It really is a beautiful sight when the Stein am Rhein Schaffhausen Christmas market is going on. There are lights everywhere and many activities going on, and festively decorated stalls for shopping. It has a fairy tale atmosphere that makes it a great Christmas Market to visit.

You can purchase artisan goods and treats at one of the many stalls throughout the market. There are also lots of activities to enjoy, like a carousel, a steam train, and Santa Clause with his ponies. Another benefit of the Stein am Rhein Christmas Market is that it runs until after Christmas each year, so you have extra time to enjoy the scenery, festive atmosphere, and tasty food.

You can combine a trip to the Christmas Market in Stein am Rheine with the Rhine Falls (biggest waterfall in Europe).

Einsiedeln

Einsiedeln Schwyz Christmas Market has one of the loveliest backdrops with the Einsiedeln monastery nearby. Located in central Switzerland, it is a very popular destination when visitors are looking for a unique and fun Christmas Market. 

Here there is a gingerbread museum that you can visit, so if that is your favorite Christmas treat, then this is the Christmas Market for you. They also have a very ornate nativity scene and a large Christmas tree in the middle of the market. If you have a sweet tooth, there are pastry shops all along the road from the Christmas market to the train station. 

The only downside to this market in Einsiedeln is that it’s only open for a short time in comparison to other Christmas markets in Switzerland. So, if it fits into your schedule, try to visit this pretty area with its festive lights, shops, and goods before the end of the season.

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN SWITZERLAND – CONCLUSION

If you are visiting Switzerland at the end of November or in December, then you should not miss the chance to see one (or many) of the Swiss Christmas Markets located throughout the country. There is something for everyone and hopefully this list of the best Christmas Markets in Switzerland helps you find the one that is the best fit for you.

Safe Travels, Arzo

Lake Brienz – Switzerland´s Gem

Interlaken, best things to do and see around Lake Brienz

Things to Do in and Around Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz knows how to amaze people. With its turquoise color, people from all over the world fall in love with this lake – including me.

It is for sure one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe, and actually, it is also one of the best places to stay in Switzerland.

While there are more sights around Lake Thun, Lake Brienz is still my favorite. With cute towns on its shores, an interesting color, waterfalls, and more, it is a place that should be on any Switzerland itinerary (if you are curious what to do around Lake Thun, read my post here).

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which mean I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

Hotel view of Lake Brienz

Travel Tips for Lake Brienz

So, before talking about the best activities around Lake Brienz, here are a few tips.

Lake Brienz Info

Lake Brienz is located in the region of Bernese Oberland, in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. It is about an hour away by train or car from Lucerne and flanked by Brienz on the northern shores, as well as Interlaken on the southern shores.

The lake is primarily fed by the Aare River, the Lütschine River, and the Giessbach Waterfalls.

The water is so low in nutrition that there isn’t much sea life. However, it is also very cold and not the first choice for swimming.

Max. width: 2.8 km

Max. depth: 260 meters

Surface elevation: 560 meters

Until the 10th century, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz were one lake. After the separation, each became its own beauty, and while I wonder what it once looked like, I appreciate having two jaw-dropping lakes.

It wears its best color when the sun shines – its turquoise color makes this lake one of the prettiest ever. And with about 30 kilometers of shoreline, there are several cute villages and towns nearby that offer fun activities to do.

Most beautiiful lake in Siwtzerland Lake Brienz

Where to Stay in Lake Brienz

If you stay in an official accommodation in Interlaken or in the area, you will get the Interlaken Guest Card that gives you discounts on certain activities. You can also use public transportation in Interlaken and its surroundings for free (usage is limited though).

Personally, I prefer staying in the area around Lake Thun a bit more. But Interlaken is a great place to stay, it is central, busy and you get to many attractions easily.

If you stay around Lake Brienz my tip is the Grandhotel Giessbach (it is closed ruing the winter time, but if it is open it is just something totally unique and my personal top tip for two or three nights).

Most people prefer staying in Interlaken though and you can make it your base and then easily explore Lake Brienz and surroundings.

Luxury hotels in Lake Brienz: Besides the above-mentioned hotel, Victoria Jungfrau is a popular luxury hotel right in the heart of Interlaken. Click here to get the best deals and find out more.

Mid-Range hotels in Lake Brienz: I enjoyed my stay at the beautiful, ad newly renovated, 4-star hotel Here are more well-rated 4star hotels in Lake Brienz

Budget Hotels in Lake Brienz: Click here for budget hotels and hostels around Lake Brienz

Airbnb in Lake Brienz: There is the option to book an Airbnb apartment/room as well. If you are a first-time Airbnb user you get a discount if you use my link, so click here to save money $$$.

Interlaken where to stay

Click here to read my full Interlaken accommodation guide.

How to Get Around Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz makes it a joy to drive, ride, or walk around. It doesn’t really matter if you get around via car, public transportation, cycle, or just on foot because each of these modes is fantastic for getting around the lake (and I should not forget boats as a great way to get around – more on that later).

Find out more about the Brienzer See – as Lake Brienz is called in German – and the best things to do around Lake Brienz, as well as some important travel advice.

Best Things to Do In Lake Brienz 

You probably can guess, how much I love this pretty lake but I don’t just like looking at it – there are quite a few activities to do in, on and around Lake Brienz.

Go on a Boat Cruise

If you are looking for the best tip for Lake Brienz, my answer is easy: cruising Lake Brienz on a boat. I can‘t remember how often I have cruised Lake Brienz, but I am sure I will never get tired of it.

Even if you aren’t the biggest boat lover, this is probably one of the prettiest cruises you can take (the highlight is passing the Giessbach Waterfalls).

Arrive by boat at Grandhotel Giessbach or just do a boat tour on Lake Brienz

Whether you start from Interlaken or Brienz, you will see the lake and its scenery from an amazing perspective, and you get a good idea of the geography of the lake and its towns and villages.

Getting from Brienz to Interlaken by boat takes about 2 hours. You have the chance to hop off at several stations (including at Giessbach Waterfalls – more on that below).

For Lake Brienz boat tickets (and Lake Thun) click here – you can find out about rates and get some more information (my tip is to use the ticket and then do a Lake Brienz and Lake Thun boat cruise which you can do in one day as they are very close to each other.

With a Swiss Travel Pass, you can use most boat cruises without any extra charge in Switzerland – boat cruises on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz are included in the Swiss Travel Passes (check out prices for a 4-day Swiss Travel Pass or for an 8-day pass).

Enjoy Watersports

Lake Brienz is actually quite cold, so most people prefer swimming in Lake Thun.

However, you can go stand up paddling, get around via rowboats, and do some other water sports activities (which I am not very familiar with as I just don’t really do much on the water).

Visit Interlaken

Interlaken is the most famous town on the shores of Lake Brienz. The town is known as the world capital of outdoor activities, like paragliding, but it also offers interesting places for those who are less into outdoor activities.

Switzerland Interlaken at Lake Thun

I have a post with many activities to do in and around Interlaken which you can check out here.

Walking / Hiking At Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz is also perfect for beautiful strolls and hikes. I haven’t walked all of Lake Brienz yet, but parts of it (from Giessbach Waterfalls to Iseltwald e.g) and walking directly along the shores is one of the most fun activities in Lake Brienz. 

So whether you are more ambitious than me (and walk the whole lake) or just do a little hiking – you will surely enjoy both.

Stroll Brienz

On the northern shore of the lake lies this idyllic village: Brienz. The village’s 18th-century wooden chalets make you feel like you have been beamed back in time. With the lovely promenade, it is probably one of the cutest places at Lake Brienz.

Best things to do at Lake Brienz, Interlaken

Drive Along Lake Brienz by Car

Getting around Lake Brienz is not just a necessity, it is fun. So, I also added “How to get around“ as one of the best activities on Lake Brienz. If you enjoy driving, you will love driving along the shores of Lake Brienz. 

Though driving along Lake Thun is probably more scenic, Lake Brienz is also perfect for nice window views.

Tip: for the best views, drive from Interlaken to Brienz. The lake is not always visible from the window view, however, you get a few great views.

Brienzer Rothorn

Once in Brienz, you can experience another Lake Brienz highlight: Getting up Brienzer Rothorn. While you could hike up, using the old locomotive to enjoy the mountain views of Brienzer Rothorn, which is 2,100 meters above sea level, is a must-do on a clear day. The lake is almost always in sight while going up.

View from Brienzer Rothorn

Giessbach Waterfalls

The Giessbach Brook tumbles in 14 stages over a length of 500 meters and then flows into Lake Brienz. For the best view, head over on a boat or just hike up to the waterfall – at some point you can even go behind the waterfall.

You will have a view of the Grandhotel Giessbach and the lake.

Best things to do around Lake Brienz, Interlaken Giessbach Waterfalls

The hotel is a beautiful luxury hotel – if you can, I recommend booking a room at Giessbach Hotel in Brienz with a waterfall view. The hotel is closed in winter, but you can enjoy the waterfall view even if you don’t stay at the hotel.

Balcony - Waterfall view room

Iseltwald

Iseltwald is another adorable village on the southern shores of Lake Brienz. The pier has become a popular photo motif, but walking by the traditional Swiss houses feel authentic – despite the tourists. Get here by Postauto, car, or boat – or walk to Iseltwald from the Giessbach Waterfalls.

Where to stay in Switzerland

Cycle Around Lake Brienz

I haven’t cycled Lake Brienz, but it has become a bucket list item because cycling around the lake is probably pure bliss.

Yes, it is a mountainous area and you might have to pedal a bit harder at times, but with views of Lake Brienz, it should not be too difficult.

Harder Kulm

There are many mountain peaks with great views in the region of Interlaken, but Harder Kulm station is directly linked to Interlaken Ost train station, southwest of the lake.

Harder Kulm in Interlaken and things to do

Great views of Lake Brienz and Lake Thun will be your reward if you hike up (or take the funicular). From here, you also have a beautiful spot to watch the sunset (though you should look towards Lake Thun rather than Lake Brienz).

Hop on a Train 

Fancy a scenic train view of Lake Brienz? One of the moments I enjoyed most was the train ride from Interlaken to Brienz – views like this make train rides worthwhile.

Tip: If going on a train ride, choose the route from Interlaken to Brienz and sit on the window on the right in the direction of travel.

Lake Brienz is a stunning lake with a beautiful water color – but there is more to do in and around Lake Brienz than just admiring it. You can enjoy so many different activities and beautiful places to visit at Lake Brienz that it is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland.

Looking for more tips on things to do in Switzerland? Here are 50 fun activities!

Safe Travels, Arzo

Itinerary For 3 Days in SWITZERLAND

3 days in Switzerland itinerary

BEST 3-DAY SWITZERLAND ITINERARY

There is no other country like Switzerland – before starting a long introduction praising the country, I‘ll keep it short: Switzerland is amazing and it takes my breath away every time I visit and this is why I created the best Switzerland itinerary for a short amount of time.

3 days in Switzerland is surely not enough time to see all of the beautiful places – actually, Switzerland in 3 days you can only see a small fraction of the stunning country.

However, with a well-planned 3-day Switzerland itinerary, you will get a good glimpse of the country and you will be infected with the Switzerland fever. 

As I regularly visit Switzerland, I have many favorite places. This is why I have created this itinerary in this post – actually, I have created 4 different itineraries for you.

This might sound weird at first but it will, hopefully, help you find where to visit Switzerland in 3 days without traveling too much. You can stay for 2 or 3 nights in one place and do a few day trips this way without spending too much time in the train/car.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which 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.

Travel Tips for your 3-Day Switzerland Itinerary

While 3 days in Switzerland isn’t enough, it’s definitely possible to see some of its best points of interest in 3 days in Switzerland.

In this 3-day Switzerland itinerary, you will find out:

  • How to get around in 3 days in Switzerland
  • Places to visit in 3 days in Switzerland 
  • Things to do in Switzerland in 3 days

Where to Stay for 3 Days in Switzerland

If you are staying in Switzerland for 3 days, I recommend having one base and do just a day trip or two for each of the different itineraries outlined in this post.

Tips for hotel recommendations are listed for each place but I also have a full accommodation guide for Switzerland.

How to Get Around Switzerland for 3 Days

Whatever means of transport you pick – you can’t go wrong.

Public Transportation: For this Switzerland itinerary, I strongly recommend that you use the Swiss Travel Pass and you get around via public transportation.

There are different passes available including a three-day pass.

You do not have to worry about finding parking spaces and instead you use buses and trains and can enjoy beautiful window views and benefit from many perks of having a 3-day pass (as it not only includes public transportation use but also use boats / cable cars without any extra costs or get a discount on many activities).

By Car: Yes, getting around by car is another great way. You might end up paying more – especially if you do mountain trips and boat tours as they are included mostly in the Swiss Travel Pass. The views are scenic and driving in Switzerland is quite easy (if you are okay with driving in the mountains).

I also have a detailed post about road tripping in Switzerland – which you can check out here.

Uber/Taxis: Even though I have visited Switzerland so many times, I cannot recall to have ever used a taxi. First of all, it is very expensive (Uber is only available in some very few places) and second, punic transportation is pretty great (if you do not drive yourself), Since Switzerland is also pretty safe, I never minded walking – not even at nights if my hotels was not directly at the bus station.

Guided Tours: If you do guided tours, e.g. a tour from Zurich to Mount Pilatus or Jungfraujoch, you can check out guided tours. Transportation is sometimes included.

More Tips for 3 Days in Switzerland

For more general Switzerland travel tips read my post and find out what to know before visiting Switzerland.

Most Swiss shops accept payment in dollars or euros. I would still change money and have some Swizz francs with me as it gets more expensive if you pay in euros. Also, you can often pay with your credit card, at least in bigger stores.

Switzerland is expensive – so here are a few tips on how to save money during your trip.

The best tip to safe money is to bring a water bottle – you can refill it from fountains that you find everywhere in Switzerland or just drink tap water. It is more than fine to do so.

Switzerland is – overall – a very safe country. There are no extra precautions I take – I exercise common sense but in general, I feel pretty safe.

Switzerland is not part of the European Union though people from the European Union do not need a visa. It is part of the Schngen area. If you are coming from elsewhere please do check visa regulations.

Idea 1: 3-Day Switzerland Itinerary

Okay, this first Switzerland 3-day itinerary is great if you want to stay in and near Zurich.

Zurich & Surroundings (3 Days)

Zurich is a beautiful city, especially in the summer months or in December during the festive season. If you are in Switzerland for 3 days, you can spend one day in Zurich before exploring the areas nearby.

Zurich

Take a stroll from the train station and walk the Bahnhofstrasse, which is one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world. It does not really look spectacular, but it will lead you to one of the best places in the city.

Where to go in Zurich Switzerland

Explore the old town with its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and many shops and restaurants.  Then, head to Lake Zurich, which is close by and spend a day in, on, or around the lake.

Check out my detailed Zurich itinerary for more information for your day in Zurich.

Stein am Rhine (or Schaffhausen) and Rhine Falls

From Zurich, you can take the train and visit the Rhine Falls and then get to either Stein am Rhine or Schaffhausen,

Rhine Falls where are the

The Rhine Falls is the biggest – in terms of power – waterfall in Europe. Yes, that is right.

You can visit the Rhine Falls from two sides – one is free to visit (but you would have to pay for parking) and the other one, where you go to the platform, has an entrance fee of about 5€ (but free parking).

My tip is to visit both sides so that you have a great view of the waterfall from both angles. Check out my Rhine Falls travel guide. Afterwards, you can either head to Schaffhausen or Stein am Rhine. Both are very cute and charming towns near the Rhine Falls.

Places to visit in Switzerland

Stein am Rhine is probably one of my favorite towns in the country – it has some of the most unique architecture. And while it is small, it is charming and perfect in combination with a trip to the Rhine Falls.

Or you can visit Schaffhausen – both towns are very close to the Rhine Falls.

Colorful Schaffhausen, one of the most colorful places in Switzerland

Schaffhausen is a colorful and charming town, and a bit bigger than Stein am Rhine. There are surely more things to do here – so, whether you visit Stein am Rhine or Schaffhausen, both are great.

Flims or Appenzellerland/Aescher

Then, you have one more day to spend and here is another fun suggestion to visit from Zurich.. I love both places and could not name which one I liked more, so I leave the decision to you.

FLIMS

Flims is located in the Graubünden canton and can be easily reached from Zurich by train or car.

Beautiful Caumasee in Graubünden

It is perfect if you enjoy easy hikes while seeing some of the most beautiful places in Switzerland – 3 attractions at once with an easy amount of physical exercise.

Lake Cresta, Lake Cauma, and the Rhine Gorge are the three main attractions. My tip is to start from the mountain top (where you can get to by car) and then hike down. 

It is a very easy hike with incredible scenery. Once you reach Lake Cresta, you can then hike up again or take a bus to get back to your car. This is perfect if you are looking for something more off-the-beaten-path in Switzerland.

APPENZELL

Then, we have Appenzell/Aescher, which is probably way more popular because of the famous Aescher Mountain Guesthouse.

unique things to do in Switzerland Aescher Guest House

You can combine a trip to the Aescher with visiting the small, yet very cute and colorful, village of Appenzell.

The good thing about a trip to the Aescher is that you can either hike up and down (or just hike one way) or take the cable car and then just do some minor hiking. So, it is perfect for the active as well as the less-active people. 

And after a drink at this amazing guesthouse, you can head to the small village of Appenzell with some of the most unique buildings in Switzerland.

Where to Stay in Zurich:

Luxury Hotels in Zurich: Zurich has some great luxury hotels – Baur au Lac is some of the best-rated luxury hotels close to the city center.

Mid-Range Hotels in Zurich: Arlette am Hauptbahnhof is one of the best-rated mid-range hotels close to the city center.

Budget Hotels in Zurich This one is a good-rated hostel in Zurich that I tried out during my last trip to Zurich. It is a decent hostel with perfect location right in the center of Zurich.

Idea 2: How to Spend 3 Days in Switzerland

The second Switzerland 3-day itinerary I have for you focuses in and around Lucerne. 

Lucerne & Surroundings (3 Days)

Lucerne is about an hour’s drive from Zurich and you can easily get there by train or car (if you take the train, make sure to take the Express train – those don’t mean they are fast, and often take longer, but are the most scenic rides).

Lucerne

Lucerne is often called the prettiest city in Switzerland – I am not sure whether I agree or not. BUT what I know for sure is that the area is one of the most beautiful places in the country.

Best tours on Switzerland

If you have three days in the country, you could spend all 3 days here. Assuming, that you arrive from Zurich airport, you probably don’t have a full day on the first day, so we don’t cram it with too many activities.

Visit the old town and head to the Lion´s Monument, and then stroll Lake Lucerne and walk the famous Chapel bridge – one of the most famous attractions (or probably the main attraction in the city).  The town itself is quite cute, though if you are short on time, you can reduce your activities in the town itself and instead walk along Lake Lucerne and past its wooden bridge, Chapel Bridge.

This is the most famous bridge in Switzerland. As well as being very picturesque, it contains a number of paintings on the roof that date back to the 17th century. End your day at Lake Lucerne – or one of the restaurants with a view of Lake Lucerne.

Mount Rigi & Lake Lucerne Boat Ride

The next must-do for your three-day Switzerland itinerary should be spending half a day (at least) to head to Mount Rigi and do a Mount Rigi boat tour. If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you don’t have to spend any money on these activities, because they are included. 

Steam boat on Lake Lucerne

Take one of the Lake Lucerne boats and get to Vitznau – the lake is huge, so getting to Vitznau takes a bit but views are great, so all you need to do is to sit back and relax (you can get there by bus or car alternatively).

Mount Rigi with the Swiss Travel Pass

Mount Rigi is the perfect place to spend a few hours. To get up Mount Rigi get the funicular or just hike up (you can also hike up just some parts and then hop on the funicular).

Getting up takes about 30 minutes and the ride there is already scenic. Up there, you can do (further) hiking or just enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Lucerne. In winter, it is also a perfect places for winters sports. It is also one of the best spots to watch the sunset on a clear day – takes less time and is perfect if you do not want to spend too many hours on the mountain peak. 

Mount Pilatus or Titlis

For the third day, you can decide whether you want to enjoy a fun day at Mount Pilatus or at Engelsberg. It is perfect for those who like to hike or those who like to do full-day mountain trips without too much physical exercise, as you can also get up via funicular and cable car.

Mount Pilatus is one of the most stunning mountain peaks and offers incredible views. 

Switzerland what to visit

Up there, you can either eat your weight in Swiss food (not my favorite thing though) or just soak in the views and do activities like hiking or paragliding.

For this activity, you should plan in at least 6 hours.

Titlis is in Engelberg, a bit further but also very easy to visit from Lucerne. It is not included in your Swiss Travel Pas, but you can take the train without extra costs and then get a discount for your Titlis mountain excursion.

Titlis in Switzerland in the winter

It is a very popular destination also given the that it is one of the highest mountain peaks that you can easily visit (3,000+ meters). This is in particular interesting as there is always winter up there – even in the summer. This makes it more unique – especially if you like snow and visit in the summer months (as there is no snow on the other two mountain peaks, Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus, in summer).

Like on Mount Pilatus, the activities on top are numerous, so it takes at least 6-8 hours.

TIP: If I had to name my favorite 3-day Switzerland winter activity, this would probably bring the cake home.

Where to Stay in Lucerne

Luxury Hotels in Lucerne: Schweizerhof Luzern is a beautiful and fun 5* hotel located at the shores of Lake Lucerne and a few hundred meters from the old town and main tourist attractions (if you can, book a room with lake view).

Mid-Range Hotels in Lucerne: If you are on a budget you can check out prices close to Lucerne but on my last trip I stayed at Hotel des Alps which came with amazing room views. It is located close to the Chapel Bridge. Check out prices here.

Budget Hotels in Lucerne: This bed-and-breakfast offers single and double rooms (with an occupancy of 4 people maximum). Some rooms have a shared bathroom, and some have a private one. Click here to find the best rates for your stay at B&B

If you are still not sure where to stay in Lucerne you can check out my full accommodation guide on the best places to stay in Lucerne here.

Idea 3: Places to Visit in 3 Days in Switzerland

Here we come to another option on how to spend 3 days in Switzerland (probably one of my favorite itinerary for 3 days).

Interlaken Region (3 Days)

The region of Interlaken (or Bernese Overland to be more precise) is one of the best places to visit in the WORLD.  Interlaken is a small town. However, the name also encompasses the whole region of Interlaken and Jungfrau.

Getting there by train from Zurich takes about two hours (take the scenic Luzern – Interlaken Express train).  In three days, you can find out what the fuss is about, though you can easily spend weeks and weeks in the country.

Jungfraujoch

Head to the Jungfraujoch (‘the Top of Europe’) which has the highest train station in Europe on it.

The Alps mountains Mt. Monch and Mt. Jungfrau from the view of Jungfraujoch station, Switzerland. @shutterstock
@shutterstock

The train journey up and discovering the summit once you are there will take quite a while. So, from Interlaken, you will need at least eight or nine hours, but it is one of the most popular things to do. 

There is so much to do and see up there (snow is guaranteed throughout the year) – but be warned, it is quite touristy and it is not cheap. There is a 25% discount with the Swiss Travel Pass – click here to get the price if you have a Swiss Travel Pass – check out prices and tours here (without a Swiss Travel Pass).

Brienzer Rothorn

Though the Jungfraujoch is the most popular mountain excursions I have to say, my favorite was another….Brienzer Rothorn is my top tip – the views on Lake Brienz are the best you can get and getting up in a steam loc is one of the most unique means of transport. 

Brienzer Rothorn for Switzerland itinerary

Lake Brienz & Lake Thun & Thun

If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, here is an alternative day.

Getting up early and taking a boat tour on Lake Brienz is a great start to a day full of sightseeing. 

Best things to do around Lake Brienz, Interlaken Giessbach Waterfalls

If you get off the boat at Giessbach Waterfalls, you can just take a short, ten-minute hike to see the waterfalls up close and then another ten-minute hike will take you to the top. There is also the beautiful Grand Giessbach Hotel with its terrace and incredible views (unfortunately, it‘s closed in the winter months).

Best things to see at Lake Thun, boat tour Lake Thun

After this, you can then catch the boat again to head back to Interlaken and end your day with a boat tour on Lake Thun – the sunset tour in particular is incredible.

Aand for one of the best sunsets in the country, the boat tour is the perfect choice (plus, you can buy a day ticket for both lakes and do unlimited boat rides on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz).

The St. Beatus Caves are quite impressive and are an especially cool place for the hot summer days as it cools you down and refreshes you. But to be honest, the most impressive view can be found just standing in front and looking at Lake Thun, which is an extremely pretty greenish color.

Lake Thun-Top Things to do in Interlaken, Switzerland

If you find you can’t tear yourself away, you have the option to dine there as well.

If you have your Swiss Travel Pass and you want to take full advantage of it, you can get up with a funicular to Schynige Platte – great views included. If you prefer, you can also finish your day by going to another town close by, for example, Thun, where you will have plenty of options to dine. I definitely like Thun better than the town of Interlaken.

Market Square in Thun is one the most beautiful places

Schloss Schadau in Thun is one highlight, but Thun also has an extremely beautiful town center. Either way, both of these places would be a great way to finish day number three.

Lauterbrunnen

For the third day – and this is especially great if you don’t have a full day – head to Lauterbrunnen.

Green fields and famous touristic town with high waterfall in background,Lauterbrunnen,Bernese Oberland,Switzerland,Europe
@shutterstock

Known best among adrenaline junkies, it is also one of the best places to visit for any nature lover – especially if you love chasing waterfalls or prefer some easier hikes that offer fantastic views.

There are many reasons to visit Lauterbrunnen and it is a great place to see in 3 days in Switzerland if you focus on the region of Interlaken. And then you have the gorgeous waterfalls, like the Staubbach Waterfall that is Instagram famous. 

Since it is a lot about waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen, you can also visit the Trümmelbachfälle for an entrance fee (when visiting the glacier falls within the mountain, pack some waterproof clothes).

Or if you are a James Bond fan and want to get to Schilthorn (007 filming location).

Points of Interest Interlaken, Switzerland, Mürren

You can either hike up or take several cable cars to get up from Lauterbrunnen/Stechelberg (both are fun and you can do some hiking, which is perfect if you are not an experienced hiker – I promise, it is worth it).

Getting to Lauterbrunnen is easy from Interlaken and you have one of the most beautiful mountain ranges here. Looking – on a clear day – at the famous Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau is mind-blowing.

Where to Stay in Interlaken:

Luxury: The most luxurious hotel in Interlaken is Victoria Jungfrau and since I have not started there myself I can just repeat what I heard: This hotel is supposed to be amazing, so if you are looking for a fancy place this is probably the best pick.

Mid-Range: I recently stayed at Hotel du Nord and I actually was very positively surprised (the reviews were not great but since all rooms were renovated lately, it is a great place to stay). Click here to get the best deals.

Budget: If you are on a budget I recommend staying outside of Interlaken, some cute towns close by that offer good value for money or you book a bed in one of the numerous hostels in Interlaken like Balmers Backpackers Hostel.

Tip: Check out my post with more day trip ideas from Interlaken.

Idea 4: Itinerary or 3 Days in Switzerland

This is another itinerary for 3 days in Switzerland – if you want to visit some of the French-speaking parts of the country, then visit Montreux, Geneva and Lake Geneva.

Lake Geneva (3 Days)

Getting there from Zurich is time-consuming (but amazing if you choose the scenic train rides), but you could also go to Montreux from Geneva.

Geneva

If you go to Montreux from Geneva, I suggest spending the first day in Geneva where you can get a first impression of Lake Geneva.

Geneva in summer, Switzerland
@shutterstock

Switzerland is full of beautiful lakes, but Lake Geneva still holds a special place in my heart and might also win you over in a short time (it is one of the biggest lakes in Europe and yet the color is pretty amazing).

Montreux

On the second day, head via boat or train to Montreux and spend a full day in Montreux.

switzerland tourist attractions

Although Montreux itself is quite small, it has the most beautiful promenade in all of Switzerland and is perfect to visit at any time of the year.

You can walk along this promenade from the town center to the Château de Chillon (free entry with the Swiss Travel Pass).

If you visit in the summer months, also visit the vineyards in the Chexbres region afterwards – and go wine tasting and discover some of Switzerland´s best vineyards. If you love to be in the water, you can also take the time to swim in Monterey – the lakes in Switzerland are so clean and clear that even I sometimes swim in them (and I am not much into swimming).

Yvoire

For the third day, you can do a day trip to Yvoire (which is actually in France, on the other side of Lake Geneva, and can be reached via boat) or Vevey.

Yvoire at Lake Geneva is a must on a 3 days in Switzerland itinerary
@shutterstock

Tip: Lake Geneva is enormous, so plan in enough time for the boat trips as it is quite time-consuming.

Where to stay in Geneva:

 

I have had my own experiences with hotels in Geneva and Lake Geneva in general- and I must say, there were quite some bad experiences amongst them. They are very expensive and also standard was not always what I expected.

However, there are some stunning hotels close to all the main attractions that won’t break the bank. My personal favorite is Hotel Manotel N’vY

CONCLUSION: A PERFECT 3 DAYS IN SWITZERLAND ITINERARY

As you can see, you could spend weeks in the country and it still would not be enough, but given that many of us only have a few days, or 3 days in Switzerland in this case, this is the best Switzerland itinerary that allows you to see some of the best places in the country.

Just choose any of the 3-day Switzerland itineraries and enjoy!

Safe Travels, Arzo

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in Summer

Hottest Summer Destinations in Europe for Female Travelers

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in Summer

Europe in December is a perfect time – but summer actually is an amazing time, too.

Actually, to many Europe is the perfect continent for a summer trip. Europe has it all (well almost)! Gorgeous beaches, stunning sceneries, fairy-tale towns and villages and vibrant cities. Though it is sunny and warm, it is not as hot as in many other parts of the world.

We have some fantastic cities in Europe which are just made for a summer vacation. It does not matter if you are a budget traveler or prefer indulging yourself in luxury on your trip, Europe will cover it all.

Ready to get some inspiration for your next summer trip? I asked some female travel bloggers to share their hottest summer destinations in Europ and they did:

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which mean I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

Read more: 17 cutest towns in France to visit.

Geneva in Switzerland

by Leyla

Geneva in summer, Switzerland
@shutterstock

Geneva is usually equated with humanitarian, health or human rights issues. People know it as the European seat of the United Nations and the home of the Red Cross.

But in summer, when many of the world’s top negotiators have escaped back to their home countries, the city explodes into color, its famous flower clock dressed up in blues and yellows and reds and the remarkable Jet d’Eau, or water spout, flies high into the air.

Whatever its political goings on, Geneva is a city built for summer.

You can stroll along Lake Geneva or sit in a café sipping a drink and watching the sunset, walk up to the Old Town, cool off in one of the city’s museums or on a guided tour of the UN, go for a swim (yes, the water is that clean), watch an outdoor movie or listen to live music, or hop on public transport and go hiking around the mountains that ring the city.

When you run out of things to do (hard to do), just give in: eat chocolate! You’ll be hard-pressed to walk more than a block without finding some sort of chocolate shop.

Leyla runs Women on the Road, dedicated to helping women travel smart, safe and solo.Check out more of her post at: Women on the Road.

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Read more: 25 best things to do in Switzerland

Edinburgh in Scotland

by Liza

Edinburgh in Scotland
Edinburgh in Scotland – Photo @Tripsget

Edinburgh is probably one of the best summer destinations for those, who hate summer or have a sun allergy.

Just joking, Edinburgh is amazing in summer – all the places are open until late, the sun gets down almost at 11 pm and finally, there’s Edinburgh Festivals lasting for almost the entire month of August.

The Festivals in Edinburgh are world famous and the city gets extremely cheerful and crowded during this time. Actually, August is like a long weekend in Edinburgh, because the festive atmosphere spreads to every single visitor of the city and even to the residents of the city!

If only the weather was a bit better! Usually, it rains a lot in Edinburgh in summer, and the average temperature is around 16 degrees Celsius, so prepare some sweaters, rubber boots, and rain coats, and you’ll be enjoying the city a lot.

Lisa runs the travel blog Tripsget – to read more about Edinburgh check out her post 15 absolutely free things to do in Edinburgh

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Read more: Best places to visit in Scotland

Positano in Italy

by Wendy

Positano, Amalfi Coast - Photo by Wendy Kerby
Positano, Amalfi Coast – Photo @Wendy Kerby

Positano on the Amalfi Coast is without a doubt one of my favorite places on earth. It’s the ideal summer getaway, where the pace is slow and the emphasis is on total relaxation.

Positano is a charming little town, that sits hugging the cliffside, giving you some incredible views overlooking the sea. What’s better than spending a summer in a beachside town, sitting on a balcony sipping champagne and toasting to that incredible view.

Now, there isn’t a whole lot to do in Positano. Well, other than admiring the magnificent scenery, indulge in the tasty Italian cuisine or perhaps sample a red wine or two.

Then there is the beach. Nothing says summer like lazing the day away on the beach. In fact, all that will be required of you, is getting up from your sun lounge for the occasional swim, before perching yourself back down again with a good book. Now summer just doesn’t get any better than this place!

Now summer just doesn’t get any better than this place!

Wendy runs Travel Drink Dine – read more about Wendy´s travel at  Travel Drink Dine

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Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic

by Sabine

Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic
Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic @The Travelling Chilli

Karlovy Vary is a beautiful resort town in the Czech Republic, famous for its healing spas located in the most exclusive and elegant buildings.

It is also home to 12 steaming mineral hot springs which can be found in the beautiful mill colonnade.

You basically take a relaxed stroll from one spring to the next, while sipping the sulfurous water by means of a traditional ceramic jug. They also have a so-called 13th mineral spring which is the famous locally produced herbal liquor Becherovka.

They also have a so-called 13th mineral spring which is the famous locally produced herbal liquor Becherovka.

What makes Karlovy Vary one of my favorite towns is the grandeur of the architecture all in different colors, hidden in a valley surrounded by hills and forests.

Various buildings have been used either as movie locations (James Bond with Casino Royale) or have been an inspiration for some movie directors (Wes Anderson with The Grand Budapest Hotel).

Sabine runs the travel blog The Travelling Chilli and focuses normally on destinations in Africa – check out her post for Africa inspiration.

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Seville in Spain

by Melanie

Seville in Spain, Alcazar
Seville in Spain, Alcazar, Photo @PAssport Amigos

I don’t have a habit of returning to places I’ve already been too, there’s always somewhere else I want to see more; but Seville is a place I would happily return to again and again. It’s just wonderful.

A vibrant city that’s easily accessible by foot with a fantastic mix of new and old. It really is a magnificent city and perfect for a long weekend break, or an even a longer stay.

Seville’s streets are bursting with tapas bars to cater for all budgets. Tables spill out onto the pavement, tall glass doors are thrown open to the sunshine. Sometimes you can hear the clip-clop of horses going by or you can just relax in the quiet of a simple, cool, shaded pedestrian back street.

Sometimes you can hear the clip-clop of horses going by or you can just relax in the quiet of a simple, cool, shaded pedestrian back street.

I love the food in Spain. There are some superb restaurants in Seville which I felt, for a major city, were quite reasonably priced. Yes, I confess, I did fly home with the top button of my jeans undone. Too much tapas and well, a country where the wine is cheaper than the beer, I mean, what’s a girl to do?

The best way to get around the city is on foot. Do while away a few hours in the gorgeous gardens of the ‘Real Alcázar’ and if you time it right you can smell the wonderful orange blossom.

If you’re planning on exploring more of the area do look at the train network too, it’s fast clean and reliable. We headed off to Cadiz from Seville, a lovely small town I’d highly recommend.

Melanie runs the travel blog Passport Amigos, where she shares her travel tips and experiences.

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Find out: The most beautiful places to visit in Spain

Florence in Italy

by Sheena

Florence- from Piazzale Michelangelo, Italy
Florence- from Piazzale Michelangelo, Italy @shutterstock

If only ever Summer vacation could take you to Italy. And above all, Florence.

The gateway to Tuscany, you will be spoiled with balmy temperatures, the perfect level for al fresco eating and drinking, open air concerts from the Maggio Music Festival for more classical sounds to Estate Fiesolana including jazz to other performing arts.

From elegant vibrancy to nightlife, Florence has it all this summer.

Fashion, Florentine cuisine, Renaissance, and best of all, some of the best wine. Stay comfortable in flat shoes, and walk around the city, enjoy an espresso in front of the Duomo, or take a drive out to the countryside and some of Tuscany’s finest vineyards (Antinori is my favorite).

With friends or a romantic holiday, Florence is ripe for an unforgettable summer destination. Check out the 2-day Florence itinerary to find out more about the stunning city.

Click here to find out more about 25 beautiful places to visit in Italy.

Sheena runs the travel blog Citizen Femme, a travel community for female travelers.

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Find out about the best 25 places to visit in Italy.

Dubrovnik in Croatia

by Sarah-Jane

View over Dubrovnik Croatia
View over Dubrovnik Croatia, Photo @Chasing Donkey

 –
Sat on the sparkling Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia you’ll find Dubrovnik, known as the“Pearl of the Adriatic.” It’s a must-see sight in Croatia. But why? For one, those UNESCO-Listed walls and the bright orange roofs that sit below them.
The old town of Dubrovnik is one of the best attractions in the city and in all of Croatia.

Of course, it is also that water! Those blue hues of the Adriatic Sea will get the goosebumps rising.

The best part of Dubrovnik is the view from the top of Mt. Srđ – I suggest you go at sunset for picture-perfect shots.

Local Tip: Sometimes Dubrovnik has a reputation for being expensive, but if you stay outside of the city walls, accommodation is cheaper, and eat and drink away from the main promenade known as the Stradun.

Sarah-Jane runs the travel blog Chasing Donkey – to find out more about her Croatia tips visit her travel blog.

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Cork in Ireland

by Denise

Cork City Lee River in Ireland in summer
Cork City Lee River in Ireland in summer, Photo @The Irish Family

Cork city and county in the south of Ireland is the perfect European destination this summer!

With direct flights from across Europe Cork is quick and easy to travel to. Cork is home to some of Ireland’s top tourist attractions.

Visit the famous Blarney Castle and spend a sunny afternoon strolling around the beautifully manicured gardens after climbing to the top of the castle to kiss the famous Blarney stone.

On a fine day the views from the castle show off the rolling green hills of Cork!  Why not hop on the train from Cork City and spend some time strolling around Cobh, Co Cork.

Formally known as Queenstown, Cobh was the departure point for millions of Irish who left the island in the late 1800’s & early 1900’s.

Cobh was also the last point of call for the Titanic & visitors will enjoy the Titanic Experience where they can become a passenger on the doomed liner and learn what life was like on the Titanic.

At the end of the tour, visitors will learn of their own fate on board the ship.

No visit to Cork is complete without spending a few hours roaming with the animals at Fota Wildlife Park.

Arrive for midday and be there to see the cheetah’s run to catch their dinner!!  County Cork is considered to be the food capital of Ireland and foodies will be spoiled for choice with a visit to any of Cork’s fine restaurants catering for all tastes and budgets.

Don’t forget to stroll through Cork’s iconic English Market & stop for a pint and some live music in any one of Cork’s traditional Irish pubs!

Denise runs the travel blog – This Irish Family where you´ll find much more information about Ireland.

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Bucharest in Romania

by Teresa

CEC Palace in Bucharest
CEC Palace in Bucharest, Photo @Brogan Abroad

I have to admit that the image I had in my head of Bucharest before I visited this exciting city, was completely blown away. I was expecting a bit of a soulless city, a conglomeration of concrete blocks from the communist area.

How wrong I was! In fact, it is totally the opposite. It has bagfuls of character!

Bucharest is such a photogenic city if you know where to look. It is not as obvious as in cities such as Paris or Barcelona, but Bucharest has so much character.

This character can be seen in the crumbling old buildings that could tell you a million stories if they could speak, in the quirky hidden alleys and in the modern spaces that show that this exciting city is full of life and has an exciting future ahead.

I got the feeling that Bucharest is a happening place and is about to become the next big thing in Europe. There are so many exciting things going in this city!

The foodie and coffee scene is no longer up and coming… it’s already there! And the nightlife… Romanians can party!

Teresa is a London-based traveler and runs her travel blog at Brogan Abroad

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Reykjavik in Iceland

by Ryazan

Colorful City of Reykjavik in Iceland
Colorful City of Reykjavik in Iceland

Who wouldn’t want to visit Reykjavik, Iceland?

Reykjavik is the most inhabited part of Iceland, but even if the majority of the Icelanders lives in Reykjavik, it’s still considered as a safe place. I can consider the charming capital of Iceland as one of the best places to travel as a female.

The locals are friendly, tasty Scandinavian and Icelandic dishes and great night life.

Not to mention the vast gift of nature to explore! If you’re lucky enough you can possibly see the Northern Lights from the Reykjavik.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can venture outside Reykjavik and do the Golden Circle tours or tackle the whole stretch of Route 1 that goes around Iceland.  You will be amazed how beautiful Iceland is, the country of the Ice and fire.

Ryazan, a UK-based blogger and SEO expert, runs the travel blog Everything Zany

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Find out about the best 12 things to do in Iceland.

Hamburg in Germany

by Cate

Hamburg in summer
Hamburg in summer, Photo @International desserts Blog

Hamburg, Germany is one of Europe’s best summer destinations!

Hamburg is a little more “off the beaten path” than cities like Berlin and Munich, and because it’s in northern Germany, you’ll enjoy long summer days.

Things to do in Hamburg: canoe through the city’s many canals, wander the streets of the Harvestehude neighborhood and take in the beautiful architecture, picnic on the Alster (the lake in the middle of the city), explore the narrow paths and thatched-roof houses of Blankanese, take a river cruise on the Elbe, people-watch at an outdoor cafe in the hip Sternschanze neighborhood, and then dance the night away on the Reeperbahn.

Want to explore Hamburg through food? Be sure to try a Franzbrötchen (a buttery pastry with cinnamon and other sweet fillings), a bowl of Rote Grütze (a red berry dessert topped with fresh cream, vanilla sauce or ice cream), and of course beer!

Cate runs the blog International Desserts Blog – where you´ll find recipes from around the world (including a recipe for above mentioned

Rote Grütze)

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Bremen in Germany

by Arzo from Arzo Travels

Where to visit in summer in Europe

Well, I could not help it but felt the need to share one of my personal most favorite summer destinations. I know you might say I am biased because I am from Bremen, but I do believe that Bremen is a perfect summer destination.

Once the sun comes out Bremen has a lot to offer: beautiful green parks which are just made to relax, a great promenade that are perfect for nice summer strolls, a beautiful old town, many historic old buildings, affordable cafes and restaurants (often lined up along our river “Weser”), a city center with plenty of shopping opportunities, and some museums for the people interested in culture.

You might not believe it: but Bremen even has its own beach (okay, admittedly it is very small but head to Cafe Sand to spend some hours at our beach).

Who could say “no” to a summer vacation in Bremen? Well, I would say, no one should. So, I hope to welcome you in Bremen on your next summer vacation! Click here to read more about gorgeous Bremen.

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What do you think? Have you visited any of the places and what is your opinion?

Thanks to my 12 guest writers for choosing great destinations in Europe!

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13 hottest summer destinations in Europe for female travelers

Safe Travels, Arzo

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