5 DAYS IN SWITZERLAND ITINERARY + TRAVEL TIPS

HOW TO CREATE THE BEST ITINERARY FOR 5 DAYS IN SWITZERLAND

Switzerland might be small, but there are many stunning places to see. If you are looking for the best places to visit in 5 days in Switzerland or the perfect 5-day Switzerland itinerary, this post is for you.

Nestled in the heart of Europe, Switzerland is a land of breathtaking natural beauty – with majestic Alpine landscapes, pristine lakes, and picturesque villages. 

The country’s beauty is beyond words – and while I regularly visit, Switzerland has never failed to amaze me. With more than 20 months of exploring this country under my belt, I know how to make the most out of that trip. And I am happy to share my tips for how to create an epic itinerary with you.

While it’s true that Switzerland in 5 days simply isn’t enough time to experience everything the country has to offer, it is still a good amount of time to see some of the most beautiful places in the world. So leave those extra hours snuggled up in bed for another vacation and prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey through one of Europe’s finest countries.

In this post, you will find out:

✔️ How to get around + more travel tips

✔️ Places to visit + things to do

If you want to find out about the 25 very best things to do in Switzerland, read my awesome post here.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland Harder Kulm
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR A 5-DAY SWITZERLAND ITINERARY

Before talking about the actual itinerary, here are some important travel tips.

Where to Stay

Instead of settling on just one hotel or base to stay, my tip is to stay in multiple locations. This might be a bit more stressful than just doing a few day trips – from Zurich, e.g. – but this way, you do not spend too much of your precious time traveling back and forth.

How to Get Around

When it comes to getting around, I’m torn between road-tripping and taking trains – both are awesome options for different reasons! 

🚆 PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION / SWISS TRAVEL PASS – 5-DAY TRAIN TOUR OF SWITZERLAND

For this Switzerland itinerary, I strongly recommend that you use the Swiss Travel Pass.

ℹ️ There are different Swiss Travel Passes available regarding flexibility and duration. Flexible passes allow you to use the pass for a certain amount of days within one month or the regular, more affordable option, which means you have to use the pass on consecutive days of travel.

ℹ️ Yes, the Swiss Travel Pass is quite expensive but it will pay off – especially if you travel around (as I suggest for this itinerary), use boats and trains, and do mountain excursions.

ℹ️ You can use buses and trains without any extra costs. 

ℹ️ Also, most boat cruises and some mountain excursions are included.

ℹ️ The Swiss Travel Pass also covers most museums and entrances to castles.

ℹ️ The great thing about it is that you never have to worry about finding parking spaces and instead use buses and trains. 

Review Swiss Travel Pass
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ℹ️ The Swiss Travel Pass is valid for 3, 4, 6, 8, or 15 days – and there is none for 5 days exactly. That is the only downside of the Swiss Travel Pass. BUT, I have a tip for you. 

ℹ️ So my tip is to get the 4-day pass and for the first day in Zurich, you can get the Zurich Card. You can buy the card in advance and actually also use it as a ticket to get from Zurich airport to the city center. In Zurich, free public transportation in the city center is included as well as a short cruise, entrances to several museums, and more.

ℹ️ Alternatively, you can buy the 6-day pass, which is not much more expensive than the 4-day pass.

➡️ Click here to find the rates for a Swiss Travel Pass.

Swiss Half Fare Card

Alternatively to the Swiss Travel Pass, you can check out the Swiss Half Fare Card. The Swiss Half Fare Card gives you a 50% discount across almost all trains, buses, boats, and public transport, as well as most mountain excursions. Personally, I have not used it and think, the Swiss Travel Pass might be the better option but you can check it out here.

🚗 ROAD-TRIPPING SWITZERLAND FOR 5 DAYS

If you’ve got five days to explore Switzerland, and want to drive around yourself, take advantage of my personal experience as I have driven through this majestic land 17 or 18 times and read my Switzerland road trip itinerary or my driving tips for Switzerland!

Do you have to rent a car in Switzerland? ➡️ Click here to find the rental prices for your Switzerland road trip.

How Expensive is a 5-Day Trip to Switzerland?

It’s worth noting that Switzerland is one of the more expensive countries in Europe, so prices can be higher than what you might be used to in other parts of the world.

The cost of a 5-day trip to Switzerland – of course – varies widely depending on your travel style, budget, and the time of year you visit. However, here is a rough estimate of the cost for a budget-conscious traveler:

Transportation:

  • Swiss Travel Pass (6-day consecutive pass for second class travel) – approximately 360 CHF per person
  • Rental car – approximately 300-500 CHF for 5 days (depending on the car type and rental company)

Accommodation:

  • Budget hostel dormitory – approximately 30-60 CHF per night
  • Mid-range hotel – approximately 100-200 CHF per night
  • Luxury hotel – approximately 250-800 CHF per night

Food:

  • Budget traveler – approximately 30-50 CHF per day for basic meals and snacks
  • Mid-range traveler – approximately 50-100 CHF per day for restaurant meals and snacks
  • Luxury traveler – approximately 150-300 CHF per day for gourmet meals and drinks

Other expenses:

  • Since I mostly recommend activities that are covered by the Swiss Travel Pass, there would not be many more costs if you buy that pass, except for a few mountain excursions. However, you could skip those mountain excursions and still have a great time without any extra costs.
  • Entrance fees to museums and attractions – approximately 10-20 CHF per person per attraction, many museums and attractions are also covered by the Swiss Travel Pass.
  • Optional activities like skiing or paragliding – approximately 100-300 CHF per activity.

Languages

Switzerland is small and has only a bit more than 8,5 million inhabitants. However, it has four official languages! Yep, 4 languages. 

ℹ️ German is the main language in Northern, Central, and Eastern Switzerland, and more than 60% of the population speak Swiss German as their first language. If you’re planning a trip to Switzerland and your German is from the textbooks, don’t worry! Most Swiss folks are happy to switch up their tongue game into High German so that everyone can understand each other.

ℹ️ Plus some parts of South Switzerland speak Italian (especially in Ticino) while French reigns supreme over western and southern areas such as Zermatt or around Lake Geneva

ℹ️ Romansh is a minor, yet still official, language spoken by very few (about 37,000 people) in the southeast of Switzerland.

ℹ️ English is not an official language but many people – especially those working in the tourist trade speak it (at least basic English).

Money

ℹ️ The official currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). 1 CHF equals about 1,10 $ or 1 €.

ℹ️ Most Swiss shops accept payment in dollars or euros. I still recommend changing money and having some Swiss Francs with you, as it gets more expensive if you pay in euros or even in dollars.

ℹ️ Also, you can often pay with your credit card, at least in bigger stores, but again I suggest having at least some cash on you because there are places that still only accept cash (even though it is 2024). P.S. If you have a foreign credit card, make sure it does not charge you an extra fee for payments in Switzerland.

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

Flag Iseltwald in Switzerland
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PLACES TO VISIT IN 5 DAYS IN SWITZERLAND

So, lets get started with the places to visit in Switzerland in 5 days.

DAY 1 – MOUNT RIGI/MOUNT PILATUS + LUCERNE

GET TO LUCERNE

Most likely, you will arrive in Zurich. And Zurich (or Zürich as it is written and spelled in Swiss German) is a beautiful city – do not get me wrong. Zurich is like my second home BUT with only 5 days in Switzerland, we have to skip Zurich. Do not be too sad though, Lucerne is an amazing alternative.

If you get to Zurich International Airport, take the train from there to Lucerne. It takes about 60-90 minutes from Zurich Airport (Flughafen) to Lucerne city center.

The trains run frequently (2-3 times an hour). There is one direct train connection that runs once an hour. If you arrive at the airport in Zurich late at night, you can also book a room in Zurich and start your trip to Lucerne the next day.

💵  This train ride is included in your Swiss Travel Pass – so, no extra costs for you today.

DISTANCE ZUIRCH – LUCERNE: 52 km – 32 miles

🚗 By car, it takes about one hour (52 km) 

🚆It takes about one hour by train

Mount Rigi or Mount Pilatus and Lucerne

If you’re in Switzerland for five days, make sure to take some time to explore Lucerne and the amazing mountain attractions in the area! For those looking for a thrilling adventure, I suggest a trip to Mount Rigi or Mount Pilatus – both unforgettable experiences.

SWITZERLAND DAY 1 – MORNING

MOUNT RIGI

Head to the stunning Mount Rigi – located 1,798 meters (5.898 feet) above sea level and surrounded by three water bodies, Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug, and Lake Lauerz! All of them are gorgeous. Like really gorgeous lakes! And looking at them from the top of Mount Rigi will be a gorgeous memory.

Views of Lake Zug from Mount Rigi, Switzerland, Arzo Travels
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HOW TO GET THERE: Board one of the regular boats that leave right from in front of the Lucerne train station and take a leisurely boat ride along Lake Lucerne, ending up at Vitznau.

This scenic journey takes about an hour and gives you breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps and the crystal clear waters of Lake Lucerne, as well as picturesque villages along the shore.

Once you reach Vitznau, hop off the boat – this boat cruise is just the beginning of an amazing day of exploring Lucerne´s outdoor beauty. This trip will take about 5-7 hours, so you have a few hours to explore the city center of Lucerne.

ℹ️ With the Swiss Travel Pass, the Mount Rigi excursion (including the boat cruise) is included in 2024.

If you enjoy hiking (or want to save money because you do not have a Swiss Travel Pass), you can also hike one way or even both. It is also possible to just hike some parts and take the funicular for the rest. This way, you will not have to pay the full price for the ticket.

MOUNT PILATUS

Mount Pilatus is a great alternative to Mount Rigi, with one day in Lucerne it would be difficult to squeeze both mountain excursions in. 

For a full day of exploring outdoors head up to Mount Pilatus- from paragliding and hiking, this mountain is 6.981 feet (2,128 meters) sea level and has it all. If you do not want to hike up Mont Pilatus – no worries, Mount Pilatus has your back – you can also get up via cogwheel or gondola.

Just be warned that visiting Mt. Pilatus, is going to take at least 6-8 hours out of your day – but every minute will certainly be worth it.

Mount Pilatus with the Swiss Travel Pass
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If you visit Mount Pilatus, don’t plan too many activities in Lucerne that day because your time at Mount Pilatus will be very exciting and time-consuming!

✔️ With a Swiss Travel Pass, you have a 50% discount on the ride up. You can get there by boat or bus  – both modes of transport are free with a Swiss Travel Pass.

With only 5 days in Switzerland, you don’t want to miss a second of this fantastic country. So make sure to include one of its incredible mountain trips!

Mount Rigi ot Mount Pilatus? Which one is the better option for your 5-day Switzerland trip? I would opt for Mount Rigi. 1) It is free with the Swiss Pass in 2024 and 2) it is also super convenient and will be “quicker” – meaning more time for exploring Lucerne’s charming town center afterward!

SWITZERLAND DAY 1 – AFTERNOON / EVENING

LUCERNE

Lucerne is small and packed full of cuteness – you’ll find preserved medieval architecture, the Museggmauer (an impressive 14-century rampart!), and even a heart-wrenchingly beautiful war memorial in the form of a crying lion statue!

But nothing beats taking a stroll along historic Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) – a covered wooden footbridge spanning the River Reuss – for some truly unforgettable views.

Chapel Bridge 2016 in Lucerne - Can you spot me and Puppygak on th bridge?
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Lucerne attractions
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✔️ Walk along stunning Lake Lucerne.

✔️ Cross the famous wooden bridge – the Chapel Bridge. It is very picturesque and contains several paintings on the roof dating back to the 17th century.

✔️Choose one of the cafes/restaurants with a view of Lake Lucerne to end your day (there are many to choose from).

✔️ Walk parts of the Museggmauer

✔️ Stroll the beautiful old town of Lucerne and see landmarks like the Lion Monument, which commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred during the French Revolution.

ℹ️ Read my detailed Lucerne guide with more info on Lucerne and the mountain excursion.

ℹ️ If you visit Switzerland and Lucerne in winter, check out my Lucerne in winter travel post.

WHERE TO STAY IN LUCERNE

Luxury: Schweizerhof Lucerne – If you want to book a luxury hotel in Lucerne, I recommend this beautiful 5* hotel – right in the heart of Lucerne.

➡️ Book your stay at Schweizerhof Lucerne here.

Mid-Range: Hotel des Alpes – On my last Lucerne trip, I stayed at Hotel des Alpes. The room view was amazing (and included views of the Chapel Bridge and Mount Pilatus).

➡️ Book your stay at Hotel des Alpes here.

Budget: The Bed + Breakfast – If you want to stay in a budget hotel, have a look at this B&B. Some rooms have a shared bathroom, and some have a private one.

➡️ Book your stay at The Bed & Breakfast here.

Click here to read my full post on the best hotels in Lucerne.

DAY 2 – INTERLAKEN REGION

Lucerne is a great place to add to your 5-day Switzerland itinerary, but don’t miss the incredible beauty of Interlaken (and Jungfrau Region)! Nestled between two stunning lakes – Lake Brienz and Lake Thun – this magical area should be at the top of your 5 days in Switzerland itinerary.

The region of Interlaken/Jungfrau truly packs a punch when it comes to sightseeing around Europe!

DISTANCE – LUCERNE – INTERLAKEN: 70 km (43 miles)

🚆 Hop on the scenic Luzern – Interlaken Express train to explore lush valleys and breathtaking mountain views from your window seat. Make sure to set aside two hours of travel time. I even named this route one of the best train rides in Switzerland.

🚗 By car it takes about 90 minutes and is not less scenic, especially when you drive the Brüning Pass

Luzern Interlaken Express window view
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Luzern – Interlaken Express window view

With the incredible Interlaken/Jungfrau Region and all its stunning attractions, trying to decide what sights to take in can be downright dizzying! If you only have a few days, make sure you choose your visits wisely – there’s too much beauty (and adventure!) not to soak it all up.

So, you can go to your hotel and check in (if it is early, you can most likely store your luggage and head out) and explore more of this beautiful region.

SWITZERLAND DAY 2 – MIDDAY: LAKE THUN & ST.BEATUS CAVES

You have passed Lake Brienz on your way from Lucerne already, but let´s put the focus on Lake Thun for this day.

From Interlaken West Station head to the gorgeous St.Beautus Caves. Just 1-2 kilometers south of Interlaken lies this gem that offers an unbeatable view. 

ℹ️ To get to the caves either take a bus or better yet – do it right with a leisurely boat cruise from Interlaken West station down to St. Beatus Caves.

The Swiss Travel Pass allows you to also do a boat tour of Lake Thun without any extra costs.

St. Beatus Höhle in Interlaken
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Explore the amazing St. Beatus Caves and enjoy a 1-km stroll down an illuminated path to discover magnificent stalactites and stalagmites that have been around for millions of years – it’s truly incredible!

For even more cave fun, don’t forget to visit the museum where you can learn some cool facts about speleology. 

The St. Beatus Caves are quite impressive – especially on a hot summer day it cools you down and refreshes you (yes, it is quite chilly inside).

TIP: Check out opening hours, as it is mostly closed in the winter months.

But to be honest, the best view is from just standing in front and looking at Lake Thun, which is an extremely pretty greenish color.  If that panorama doesn’t let go of your gaze right away then stick around and grab some grub with a spectacular panorama restaurant nearby.

View from the panorama restaurant in St Beatus Caves
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SWITZERLAND DAY 2 – EVENING: THUN

End your day with a visit to the stunning town of Thun! This picturesque destination is situated on the sun-soaked shores of Lake Thun.

Surfing in Thun Arzo Travels
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Thun is a charming city in Switzerland, located at the foot of the Bernese Alps. I consider it to be one of the best places to visit in Switzerland – the old part of Thun, known as “Altstadt”, is full of quaint cobblestone streets and colorful half-timbered houses which are sure to mesmerize any visitor.

THINGS TO DO IN THUN

✔️ Stroll the beautiful historic old town of Thun 

✔️ Visit Thun Castle, a 13th-century castle that overlooks the town, and the River Aare which flows through it. 

✔️ There are a couple of other castles to visit in Thun, this includes Schloss Schadau on the shores of Lake Thun.

✔️ Either way, a Lake Thun sunset boat cruise as well as a dinner in Thun would be a great way to finish day three in Switzerland. 

➡️ Check out my Thun travel guide for more info.

➡️ Find my 50 recommendations for Interlaken activities here.

DAY 3 – JUNGFRAUJOCH OR LAKE BRIENZ + GIESSBACH FALLS + BRIENZER ROTHORN

For day 3 in Switzerland, two iconic destinations will leave you speechless but you need to decide which place you actually want to go. Pick the one best suited for your taste buds – or wallet!

JUNGRFRAUJOCH

SWITZERLAND DAY 3 – JUNGFRAUJOCH (FULL DAY)

Head up to Jungfraujoch – and enjoy an awe-inspiring day out. It’s got Europe’s highest train station and it might just be one of the best views you ever get!

View of observatory from Jungfraujoch plateau with Swiss flag
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Experience a breathtaking journey on the train up Jungfraujoch! Enjoy incredible views, as you make your way to discover all that awaits at the summit. Make sure you plan for 7-10 hours for this trip if you come from Interlaken so that every moment is savored along this great adventure! 

There is so much to do and see up there from an Ice Palace to absolutely stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the biggest glacier in the Swiss Alps (the Aletsch Glacier) – there is a lot to see.

One of the unique selling points (as if the Jungfraujoch needed any more) is the option to do winter sports all year long. Yep! Even in the warm summer months, you can enjoy some winter sports at the Snow Fun Park like skiing or snowboarding as there is snow on top of the mountain all year round. 

Be warned, it is quite touristy and also quite expensive, but it is a popular activity for any Switzerland 5-day itinerary.

ℹ️ You get a 25% discount with the Swiss Travel Pass. Check out prices and tours here (without or with a Swiss Pass).

➡️ Here is my more detailed post on the Jungfraujoch.

Arzo Travels at Jungfraujoch
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Is the Jungfraujoch really a must-see in 5 days in Switzerland? Yes! And no! It is an impressive sight that will leave you speechless – the view of Aletsch Glacier is unbelievable. But if time or money is tight, don’t worry – there’s plenty to explore around Interlaken without breaking your budget!

So, in case you want to visit Jungfraujoch, you can spend the late afternoon and evening in Interlaken – see further below.

LAKE BRIENZ + GIESSBACH WATERFALLS + BRIENZER ROTHORN

If the Jungfraujoch doesn’t take your fancy, here is an alternative day three itinerary. Explore stunning Lake Brienz with its waterfall and then escape to serene Lake Thun where adventure awaits at St. Beatus Caves! 

SWITZERLAND DAY 3 – MORNING: LAKE BRIENZ & GIESSBACH WATERFALLS

Start your third Swiss day the right way with a boat tour along beautiful Lake Brienz! Head to Interlaken Ost bost/bus station and hop aboard for an incredible journey.

Don’t forget to get off at Giessbach Waterfall boat station – you want to see that majestic waterfall view up close. It is one of the most scenic waterfalls in Switzerland but what many people do not know is that you can even walk behind the waterfalls! Yesss, do we not all love walking behind them?

View from the boat - get to Grandhotel Giessbach by boat
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View from the boat – get to Grandhotel Giessbach by boat

Giessbach waterfall - with a view of Grandhotel Giessbach
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✔️ Get out at the Giessbach Waterfall boat station and do a 20-minute hike up to walk behind the waterfall. It is worth it! In the summer, there is even a funicular – Giessbach Funicular – that takes you up halfway and is – for Swiss standards – also quite affordable (about 7 CHF one way).

✔️ Enjoy the views of and from behind the waterfalls – this will be your physical activity for this day!

✔️ There is a beautiful hotel and restaurant open in summer here, too. I recommend having a drink on the terrace of this gorgeous hotel (it is closed in winter) before heading to your next destination. 

✔️After your adventure, hop back on the boat for the return trip. The boats are predictably punctual and run about every hour or two – so don’t forget to plan accordingly!

ℹ️ Lake Brienz boat tours are available during the month of mid-April to mid-October, so this is the perfect activity in the main travel months. Though there are some boat cruises in December, I recommend this tour during the warmer months. 

ℹ️ The boat cruise on Lake Brienz is free with a Swiss Travel Pass. Check out my guide on stunning Lake Brienz.

SWITZERLAND DAY 3 – MIDDAY/AFTERNOON: BRIENZER ROTHORN

The Brienzer Rothorn is a mountain with an elevation of 2,350 meters above sea level and the train ride itself is impressive but so is the panorama. One of my all-time favorite mountain excursions was my trip to Brienzer Rothorn! Thus I have been there twice. And was in awe both times. 

View from Brienzer Rothorn
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ℹ️ Arrive at Brienz station by boat or by train.

ℹ️ Then take the old steam locomotive to get up the Brienzer Rothorn and hike back down.

ℹ️ You can have dinner in the small, and overly beautiful village of Brienz, or end your day in Interlaken town.

TIP: 50% discount on the locomotive ride with a Swiss Travel Pass.

WHERE TO STAY IN INTERLAKEN

For Day 2 and 3 of your itinerary, I suggest staying in Interlaken because its central location allows to you get around easily.

LUXURY: VICTORIA JUNGFRAU GRAND HOTEL & SPA – The most luxurious hotel in Interlaken is the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa. I have not stayed there myself, so I can only repeat what I heard: This hotel is amazing. If you are looking for a fancy place in Interlaken, this is probably the best pick.

➡️ Book your stay at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa here

MID-RANGE: HOTEL DU NORD – For your stay in Interlaken, I recommend this hotel – Hotel du Nord – which is centrally located and is quite nice. It is one of my favorite accommodations for your 5-day Swiss itinerary.

➡️ Book your stay at Hotel du Nord here

BUDGET: BACKPACKERS VILLA SONNENHOF – If you are on a budget, I recommend staying in Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof next to the Höhenmatte. It is not the cheapest hostel but definitely worth the money and one of my all-time favorite hostels.

➡️ Book your stay at Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof here

Are you ready to explore some of the most stunning places on Earth? Interlaken and Jungfraujoch have made me fall in love with them! My suggestion box is full – I’ve got fabulous ideas for things to do around the area. 

DAY 4 – LAUTERBRUNNEN VALLEY 

Let’s continue your 5-day Switzerland itinerary. I have two options for you – either you stay in the region of Interlaken/Jungfrau or you go to Zermatt.

If you want to stay near Interlaken, why not take one of these amazing day trips: Lauterbrunnen – with its remarkable waterfalls and green meadows; Lake Oeschinen for some incredible views surrounded by nature; or the lesser known but equally stunning Lake Gelmersee

Alternatively, head to Zermatt for the last two days of your 5-day Swiss trip. Home of stunning alpine views, this is an idyllic spot you won’t want to miss. 

LAUTERBRUNNEN / MUERREN / SCHILTHORN

DISTANCE – INTERLAKEN – LAUTERBRUNNEN: 13 km (8 miles)

🚗 About 20 minutes by car

🚆 About 20 minutes by train

SWITZERLAND DAY 4 – FULL-DAY TRIP: LAUTERBRUNNEN

Cannot get enough of Mother Nature’s beauty? Then visit the majestic mountain village of Lauterbrunnen! Not only is it a daunting destination for daredevils seeking thrilling adventures like base jumping, but trust me – if crazy sports aren’t your thing, there are still plenty of incredible sights to explore. 

Lauterbrunnen Staubbach waterfall a top activity in Interlaken with Arzo Travels
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Explore Lauterbrunnen Valley and its epic 72 waterfalls! Take some Instagram-worthy pics of the stunning Staubbach Waterfall. And if that’s not enough, visit Trümmelbachfälle during the summer months for an unforgettable experience – just make sure to bring waterproof clothes so that you can fully appreciate all this natural beauty in comfort after a rainstorm or two!

➡️ Lauterbrunnen is the perfect destination for an outdoor adventure! Check out my Lauterbrunnen guide for more, detailed, information.

Get ready for a visit to Murren, one of the cutest towns in all of the Swiss Alps! You will be met with incredible views of snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys, but even just taking the train there is an amazing experience. Here is more info on Mürren!

Murren in summer months
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Murren

Enjoy views of the amazing Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains on your Switzerland itinerary – they are so gorgeous you’ll be left speechless (at least on a clear day). You can see this natural skyline from many places in the Jungfrau Region but one of the best places is from Mürren/Lauterbrunnen.

Get up the legendary “James Bond Mountain” – Schilthorn! The Schilthorn mountain is a special place for James Bond fans

You can opt for more relaxed cable cars from Lauterbrunnen/Stechelberg/Muerren – your James Bond dreams will come true when you reach the summit!

Swiss Panorama in Schilthorn
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It was featured in the 1969 movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, where James Bond skis down the slopes of Piz Gloria. The cable car journey up to the summit was also filmed here and it has since become one of the most iconic James Bond scenes.  

At the top, you have stunning views of the Alps but also the 007 Walk of Fame and an exhibition dedicated to the movie! It’s a unique way to experience one of Hollywood’s most famous movies.

You can have dinner either at the revolving mountain restaurant at Schilthorn, Muerren, Lauterbrunnen, or Interlaken.

DAY 5 – INTERLAKEN

SWITZERLAND DAY 5 – MORNING/MIDDAY: INTERLAKEN

Since I recommend staying in Interlaken, you only now get to experience the beauty of the town! Interlaken town is located between two lakes, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and has been popular with visitors for centuries, who come to explore its quaint streets and picturesque towns.

Spend your morning in Interlaken Center, where breathtaking views await you. Interlaken is my secret, not-so-secret- crush!

Interlaken Where to go, Höhenmmatte
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Höhenmatte Park with a view of the Swiss Skyline

The town center is small and actually not really spectacular, yet, why not start the day a more relaxed way and take a leisurely walk and have a picnic at the main park where you can watch the paragliders.

✔️ Buy some snacks from the supermarket at Höheweg Street or a take-away meal from one of the numerous restaurants and then head to Höhenmatte Park.

✔️ There are benches and a beautiful meadow – the perfect setting for a dinner picnic. This must be one of the most easily accessible places to admire the Swiss Alps and have a picnic at the same time!

✔️ Watch the many, many paragliders on a sunny day. This is what Interlaken is known for: outdoor sports like para- and hang-gliding in the most impressive setting. Or why not book a paragliding tour yourself and see Interlaken from above? 

SWITZERLAND DAY 5 – AFTERNOON: HARDER KULM

If you cannot get enough of gorgeous mountain views, then plan a few hours to visit Harder Kulm Mountain. Harder Kulm is Interlaken´s local mountain and is perfect for watching sunsets and having dinner or drinks.

View from Harder Kulm
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Interlaken from above – Harder Kulm

Harder Kulm in Interlaken and things to do
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Now, how does one conquer Harder Kulm at 1,322 meters (4,337 feet) above sea level? Well, there are two options:

For those loving a very active Interlaken itinerary, take on the “challenge” of a hike. If you’re looking for an uphill journey that requires less ‘huff and puff’, there’s always the funicular. Just sit back, and enjoy those picture-postcard views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

Once you’ve reached the top, treat your taste buds to an alpine fiesta at the panoramic restaurant

Descend from Harder Kulm via a blissful hike or kick back on the funicular for a more relaxed trip downhill

TIP: 50% discount with a Swiss Travel Pass for the funicular ride.

This would also be the end of your amazing Switzerland 5-day itinerary. However, as mentioned above, you can stay only 2 days in the region of Interlaken and then also squeeze in Zermatt and the mighty Matterhorn Mountain to your itinerary.

DAY 4+5 – ZERMATT

As mentioned above, I recommend getting to Zermatt on day 4 and staying overnight here – if you skip any other place mentioned above instead. As much as I recommend all places on my AMAZING 5-day itinerary, squeezing Zermatt in, can stress you out. So decide which of the places you want to leave out if you want to visit Zermatt.

Zermatt

DISTANCES – INTERLAKEN – ZERMATT: 110 km (69 miles)

🚆If you start from Interlaken, it takes about 2,5 hours or so by train.

🚗 Zermatt is car-free, so if you road trip, you need to leave your car in a parking house in a small village near Zermatt (Taesch). From there, you have to take a train up to Zermatt. This should also take about 2,5 hours

Zermatt is a charming mountain village situated at the base of the iconic Matterhorn. It is known for its car-free streets and electric taxis which make it a truly unique place to visit.

Matterhorn and Zermatt in the Swiss Alps best places to ski
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Zermatt has got to be the most epic spot in all of Europe – it’s home to Matterhorn Mountain!  This alpine paradise offers breathtaking views of the Matterhorn and surrounding mountains, with plenty of opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.

During the summer months, explore the village and its many attractions including a cable car to the Gornergrat viewpoint, beautiful hiking trails, and an open-air ice rink.

Zermatt is truly a magical place to visit at any time of year!

✔️ Make your way up to the majestic Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (also known as Klein Matterhorn) – at 4.000 meters above sea level – for a birds-eye view of Switzerland! But remember, altitude sickness can be a real bummer. So if you want to make it up there by cable car take some time and don’t rush -it’s worth taking in those stunning views at a steady pace!

✔️ With 5 days in Switzerland, getting up Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is not really a must-do activity (it is very time-consuming and also expensive). I actually recommend admiring the Matterhorn from below rather than hopping onto a cable car. Alternatively, you can also get up Gornergrat, which is another mountain peak with great views of the glaciers around and the Matterhorn.

✔️ You can have a wonderful time simply exploring the cute little town.

✔️ Take trillions of pictures of the amazing Matterhorn and do some hikes in this beautiful part of the world.

 ➡️ Here are more Zermatt travel tips

Grand Tour Gornergrat in Zermatt
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If you’re heading back to Zurich from Zermatt be sure to give yourself at least four hours of travel time. Keep in mind even Swiss trains experience delays every once in and while so plan accordingly or better yet leave early!

Plus there might always be inevitable traffic along any journey by car- this is something we humans just can’t truly control no matter where we are!

If you have an extra night, spend enjoying all that Switzerland has to offer sounds like music check out spending some more quality memories with one last stay overnight in Zermatt before departing.

WHERE TO STAY IN ZERMATT

For Zermatt, I also have a couple of hotel suggestions for you.

LUXURY: HOTEL MONT CERVIN PALACE – Why not book a stay in one of Zermatt´s best hotels? Hotel Mont Cervin Palace defines luxury. If you are looking for a 5-star hotel, this might be perfect for you.

➡️ Book your stay at Hotel Mont Cervin Palace

Matterhorn Lodge Hotel & Appartments – A more affordable option is the Hotel Matterhorn Lodge Hotel & Appartments, which opened in December 2012, and is located in the heart of Zermatt’s historic center. Decorated in a classic Alpine style, it boasts a wellness area with three different saunas. The hotel is conveniently situated just a two-minute walk from a ski bus stop.

➡️ Book your stay at Matterhorn Lodge Hotel & Apartments here

DEPARTURE

If you’re planning a trip to Switzerland, you’re in for a treat. The public transportation system is super reliable, and the roads are in great condition. However, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind – make sure you leave early, especially if you’re headed to the airport.

Trust me, the last thing you want is to miss your flight and end your trip on a sour note. So, if you’re traveling from Zermatt to Zurich (which takes around 3.5-4 hours), plan accordingly and give yourself some extra time to account for any delays. 

Drinking water in Switzerland
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CONCLUSION: ITINERARY FOR SWITZERLAND IN 5 DAYS

Switzerland, nestled in the heart of Europe, knows how to impress us with its stunning alpine scenery, beautiful medieval towns and cities, and precision engineering. There is so much to do and see that one could easily spend months without getting bored.

As one of Switzerland’s biggest fans out there I’d highly recommend spending no less than 5 days in  Switzerland – this tiny and gorgeous country.

I admit that it is a jam-packed and ambitious Switzerland 5-day itinerary. Still, it is definitely doable. And really – who wants sleep when there’s so much to discover?!

If you want to have it a bit more relaxed, I would skip Zermatt and spend one more day in Interlaken instead. My tip: Spend the last 3 days in Interlaken and visit Lake Oeschinensee.

For an awesome 5 days in Switzerland itinerary and more information on what else is available during your stay be sure to check out my other blog posts – they’re full of helpful tips and tricks for making the most of your Switzerland in 5 days trip.

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