FIND THE BEST ITINERARY FOR 5 DAYS IN SWITZERLAND
Switzerland might be small, but there are many stunning places in Switzerland. If you are looking for the best things to do in 5 days in Switzerland or the perfect 5-day Switzerland itinerary, this post is for you.
With 18 months of exploring this stunning country under my belt, I know how to make the most out of a five-day trip to Switzerland. And while it’s true that 5 days in Switzerland simply isn’t enough time to experience everything the country has to offer, trust me: what you do get the chance to see will be absolutely worth it!
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 5-day Switzerland itinerary post, you will find out:
✔️ How to get around + more travel tips
✔️ Places to visit in 5 days in Switzerland + 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.
Travel Tips For a 5-Day Switzerland Itinerary
Before talking about the actual 5 days Switzerland itinerary, here are some important travel tips.
Where to Stay in Switzerland For 5 Days
🛏️ Exploring Switzerland in 5 days can be a fantastic adventure! But instead of settling on just one hotel or base to stay, why not make the most out of your time and check out 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 Switzerland in 5 Days
When it comes to getting around Switzerland over five days, I’m torn between road-tripping and taking trains – both are awesome options for different reasons! Picking which mode works best will depend on where exactly you want to go but whatever path (literally!) that you choose is sure to be unforgettable.
🚆 PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION / SWISS TRAVEL PASS – 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.
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.
🚗 ROAD-TRIPPING SWITZERLAND FOR 5 DAYS
If you’ve got five days to explore Switzerland, you may not be able to squeeze in a road trip with your own car – but that doesn’t mean the adventure has to stop there. Take the train instead and revel in all of nature’s beauty while enjoying Swiss cuisine at its finest.
If, however, you insist on driving around yourself, take advantage of my personal experience as I have driven through this majestic land 12 or 13 times and read my Switzerland road trip itinerary or my driving tips for Switzerland! Renting? No problemo, check out this company for your rental car for stress-free rental bookings so you can start experiencing hidden gems without any hassle.
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:
- 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)
- Budget hostel dormitory – approximately 30-60 CHF per night
- Mid-range hotel – approximately 100-200 CHF per night
- Luxury hotel – approximately 300-800 CHF per night
- 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
- 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
Using these estimates, a budget-conscious traveler could expect to spend around 700-1200 CHF per person (if you get a Swiss Travel Pass or do not travel around a lot) for a 5-day trip to Switzerland. A mid-range traveler might spend 1200-2500 CHF per person, while a luxury traveler could easily spend 5000 CHF or more.
Language Tips for Your Switzerland 5-Day Itinerary
Switzerland is small and has only a bit more than 8,5 million inhabitants. However, it has four official languages! Yep, 4 languages.
ℹ️ Germa is the main language in Northern, Central, and Eastern Switzerland and more than 60% 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 Romansh is a minor, yet still official, language spoken by very few (about 37,000 people) in the southeast.
ℹ️ English is not an official language but many people – especially those working in the tourist trade speak it.
ℹ️ The official currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). 1 CHF equals about 1 $ 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 2023). 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.
Best Switzerland Itinerary – How to Spend 5 Days in Switzerland
So, let’s get started with the places to visit in 5 days in Switzerland.
DAY 1 OF SWITZERLAND ITINERARY 5 DAYS – ZURICH
While the Switzerland itinerary is totally flexible, you can take it up a notch and make your adventure even more epic! Wherever YOU start from in Switzerland sets the stage for your journey & helps customize your experience. Let’s get creative with this vacation – let’s find out what makes every step of a 5-day Swiss exploration so special!
Zurich is a great place for all kinds of travelers, whether you’re just passing through or planning to stay longer. With only around 420,000 inhabitants this city still has the charm and feel of a big city!
You’ll find plenty of natural beauty mixed in with cobblestone streets full of cozy cafes and beautiful architecture – it’s perfect for spending your first day unwinding at various sites across town.
THINGS TO DO IN ZURICH
✔️ In Zurich, I definitely recommend taking a stroll from the train station to Lake Zurich. Walking all the way to Lake Zurich, you will pass the Bahnhofstrasse, which is one of the world’s most expensive shopping streets.
✔️ Explore the old town with cute, colorful buildings.
✔️ If you love Swiss chocolate (who does not?!?), then you might want to check out the phenomenal Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum
✔️ There are also cafés and restaurants here.
✔️ Then head to Lake Zurich. Personally, I would recommend sitting in a café with a view of Lake Zurich.
✔️ You can also make a boat trip on a pedalo or take some time to relax at the lake.
✔️ The water is so clean that you can even swim in the lake.
✔️ A great way to end your day is at Lake Zurich. Especially in the summertime, there are many street artists by the lake, often playing beautiful music, so it’s great to sit there and chill.
WHERE TO STAY IN ZURICH
Budget: Oldtown Hostel Otter – Warning, there are not many budget hotels in Zurich. This is a good-rated hostel in Zurich. I stayed here once and for a hostel, it actually was quite good – especially because of its great location.
Check out my guide on the best places to stay in Zurich.
DAY 2 OF SWITZERLAND ITINERARY 5 DAYS – MOUNT RIGI/MOUNT PILATUS + LUCERNE
After a busy but great first day, it is time to head to Switzerland’s next beautiful destination: Lucerne and the Alps.
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 Mount Rigi or Mount Pilatus – both unforgettable experiences.
SWITZERLAND DAY 2 – MORNING
Ready for a Swiss adventure? 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!
You’ll have no problem getting there as it’s only an hour away from central Lucerne via boat– not just any old boat mind you; free with Switzerland’s renowned Travel Pass. Once at the top of this majestic mountain massif in the Alps range you can admire breathtaking views that will leave both your heart AND eyes satisfied…
Looking for a fast and budget-friendly way to explore the Swiss Alps? Mount Rigi is your go-to destination!
ℹ️ With the Swiss Travel Pass, the Mount Rigi excursion is included in 2023. Thus, there is no extra cost for you.
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.
Want to experience some of the higher peaks in Switzerland? Look no further than Mount Pilatus! Save up your energy for a full day of exploring outdoors – from paragliding and hiking, this mountain is 6.981 feet (2,128 meters) sea level and has it all.
Just be warned that if you’re visiting Mt. Pilatus, it’s going to take at least 6- 8 hours out of your day – but every minute will certainly be worth it when you get home and regale everyone with stories about how awesomely high you climbed!
And 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.
From paragliding to hiking and so much more – there’s something special here waiting just for you! So don’t plan too many activities in Lucerne that day because your time at Mount Pilatus will be very exciting!
✔️ 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, personally, would opt for Mount Rigi. 1) It is free with the Swiss Pass in 2023 and 2) it is also super convenient and will be “quicker” – meaning more time for exploring Lucerne’s charming town center afterward!
SWITZERLAND DAY 2 – AFTERNOON / EVENING
After a thrilling mountain excursion, why not explore the enchanting town of Lucerne? Not only is it small and packed full of cuteness – but 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 an adorable crying lion statue!
But nothing beats taking a stroll along historic Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) for some truly unforgettable views.
✔️ 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
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
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).
Click here to read my full post on the best hotels in Lucerne.
DAY 3 OF SWITZERLAND ITINERARY 5 DAYS – 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! Nestled between two stunning lakes – Lake Brienz and Lake Thun – this magical area should be at the top of your 5 days Switzerland itinerary.
Plus, with so many outdoor activities like swimming or hiking available here, you may even want to extend your stay for extra time. Don’t sleep on experiencing everything that this small town has to offer – because it 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
Let’s explore the breathtaking region of Interlaken! With the incredible 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.
Looking for something special to do on day three of your 5-day Swiss vacation? Look no further! I have a wide variety of unique and affordable options that are sure to make you swoon. Pick the one best suited for your taste buds – or wallet!
SWITZERLAND DAY 3 – JUNGFRAUJOCH (FULL DAY)
Looking to make the most of your Switzerland trip? Head up to Jungfraujoch – and enjoy an unmissable, awe-inspiring day out. It’s got Europe’s highest train station and it might just be the best view you ever get!
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.
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!
Lake Brienz / St. Beatus Caves / Thun
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! Enjoy your evening in scenic Thun before embarking on more Swiss-tacular adventures tomorrow!
SWITZERLAND DAY 3 – MORNING: LAKE BRIENZ & GIESSBACH WATERFALLS
Start off your third Swiss day the right way with a boat tour along beautiful Lake Brienz!
Head to Interlaken Ost station and hop aboard for an incredible journey. Don’t forget to get off at Giessbach Waterfall boat station –you won’t want to miss out on 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?
✔️ 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 really 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: ST. BEATUS CAVES
When you’re back in Interlaken, make sure to visit Lake Thun and then head to the gorgeous St.Beautus Caves. Just 1-2 kilometers south of Interlaken lies this gem that offers an unbeatable view.
Explore the amazing St. Beatus Caves and enjoy a one 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 our museum where you can learn some cool facts about speleology, too. And as if that was not enough, you will be rewarded with some amazing views of Lake Thun!
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 – you won’t regret it!
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).
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 view doesn’t let go of your gaze right away then stick around and grab some grub with a spectacular panorama restaurant nearby.
ℹ️ The Swiss Travel Pass allows you to also do a boat tour of Lake Thun without any extra costs.
SWITZERLAND DAY 3 – EVENING: THUN
End your day in spectacular fashion with a visit to the stunning town of Thun! This picturesque destination is situated on the sun-soaked shores of Lake Thun.
Thun is a charming city in Switzerland, located at the foot of the Bernese Alps. This picturesque town is considered 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.
✔️ And 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.
WHERE TO STAY IN INTERLAKEN
For day 3 and 4 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 Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa. I have not stayed there myself, so I can only repeat what I heard: This hotel is amazing. If you are looking for a fancy place in Interlaken, this is probably the best pick.
MID-RANGE: HOTEL DU NORD – For your stay in Interlaken, I recommend this hotel – Hotel du Nord – which is centrally located and is quite nice. It is one of my favorite accommodations for your 5-day Swiss itinerary.
BUDGET: BACKPACKERS VILLA SONNENHOF – If you are on a budget, I recommend staying in Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof next to the Höhenmatte. It is not the cheapest hostel but definitely worth the money and one of my all-time favorite hostels.
Are you ready to explore some of the most stunning places on Earth? Interlaken and Jungfraujoch have made me fall in love with them, so let’s get going! My suggestion box is full – I’ve got fabulous ideas for things to do around the area.
DAY 2 OF SWITZERLAND ITINERARY 5 DAYS – INTERLAKEN REGION
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 and Dinner in Interlaken
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 you’ll want to 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.
Come and explore Lauterbrunnen Valley and its epic 72 waterfalls! Take some Instagram-worthy pics of the stunning Staubbachwaterfall. 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.
Ready to explore Switzerland’s most picturesque mountain village? Then get ready for a visit to Murren, one of the cutest towns in all of the Swiss Alps! Not only will you 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!
Step aside, Mount Rushmore! The Swiss Skyline is where it’s at. You don’t want to miss the amazing Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains on your Switzerland itinerary – they are so gorgeous you’ll be left speechless (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.
Ready to have a tuxedo-worthy adventure? Get up the legendary “James Bond Mountain” – Schilthorn! You can opt for more relaxed cable cars from Lauterbrunnen/Stechelberg/Muerren – promise your James Bond dreams will come true when you reach the summit!
The Schilthorn mountain is a special place for James Bond fans. 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.
SWITZERLAND DAY 4 – EVENING: 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 evening in Interlaken Center, where breathtaking views await you. Interlaken is my secret, not-so-secret- crush!
Spend the evening exploring Interlaken! It’s only a short 20-minute train ride from Lauterbrunnen, and as pretty as Interlaken is, you do not want to spend a full day here with so limited time. What better way is there to experience this gorgeous city than with an evening stroll?
✔️ 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: Outdoors sports like para- and hang-gliding in the most impressive setting. Or why not book a paragliding tour yourself and see Interlaken from above?
DAY 4+5 OF SWITZERLAND ITINERARY 5 DAYS – 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 also in, would stress you out. So decide which of teh places you want to leave out if you want to visit 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
SWITZERLAND DAY 5 – ALL DAY
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.
If you know about Switzerland, then this next bit of news won’t surprise you: 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, visitors can 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 all the way 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 really 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.
SWITZERLAND DAY 5 – EVENING
Well, that was a smashing five days in Switzerland – now it’s time for the next exciting destination! 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 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.
Matterhorn Lodge Hotel & Appartments – A more affordable option is the Hotel Matterhorn Lodge Hotel & Appartments, which opened in December 2012, is located in the heart of Zermatt’s historic center. Decorated in a classic Alpine style, it boasts a wellness area with three different saunas. The hotel is conveniently situated just a two-minute walk from a ski bus stop.
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. Happy travels!
What to Pack for a 5-Day Swiss Trip
Here are the top 12 things to pack for a trip to Switzerland:
- Warm clothing: Switzerland can be cold, especially in the winter and at higher elevations. Be sure to pack warm layers like sweaters, jackets, and thermal underwear.
- Waterproof jacket: Rain can be frequent in Switzerland, so a waterproof jacket or raincoat is essential.
- Comfortable walking shoes: Switzerland is a great place for hiking and walking, so bring comfortable shoes that can handle uneven terrain.
- Swimsuit: Switzerland has many beautiful lakes and thermal baths where you can take a dip, so be sure to pack a swimsuit.
- Power adapter: Switzerland uses Type J plugs, so bring a power adapter if you plan to charge any electronic devices.
- Camera: Switzerland is a photographer’s dream, so bring a camera to capture all the beautiful scenery.
- Sunglasses: The sun can be strong in Switzerland, especially at higher elevations, so bring a good pair of sunglasses.
- Hat and gloves: As mentioned, it can get cold in Switzerland, so pack a warm hat and gloves to protect your head and hands.
- Sunscreen: Even if it’s cold outside, the sun’s rays can still damage your skin, so be sure to pack sunscreen.
- Cash and credit cards: Switzerland is an expensive country, so be sure to bring enough cash and/or credit cards to cover your expenses.
- Travel documents: Bring your passport, travel insurance, and any other important travel documents.
- Water bottle: Switzerland has some of the cleanest and tastiest tap water in the world, so bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.
CONCLUSION: ITINERARY FOR 5 DAYS IN SWITZERLAND
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.
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 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 trip!
- 7-day Switzerland itinerary
- 10-day Switzerland itinerary
- Switzerland on a budget
- Visit Switzerland in the winter