Switzerland is high on the bucket list for many, and a few years ago I was lucky enough to visit for a week of exploring some of Switzerland’s most scenic cities and mountains.
If you’ve decided it’s time to start planning your dream trip for some of that fresh mountain air, here’s the ultimate seven-day itinerary for Switzerland.
Days 1-2, Zurich
Your best bet is to fly into Zurich, one of Switzerland’s biggest cities.
Book yourself a hotel with views of the Limmat River and spend two days soaking up the bustling atmosphere, indulging in some of the local delicacies and hitting the shops.
You can spend hours here just winding through the cobbled streets, taste testing some of Switzerland’s finest chocolate and making grand plans for dinner with a view.
And if you’re blessed with good weather, soaking up the sunshine by the river is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Days 3-4, Schaffhausen
Early the next morning, catch a train out of Zurich HB Train Station – which is a sight in itself – and head north towards Schaffhausen.
The journey will take just under an hour and you’ll whizz by gorgeous mountains and quaint towns the entire way.
Book your accommodation in the heart of Schaffhausen so you’re ready to step out and explore the city.
Whilst you’re here you can climb up to the Munot – a circular 16th century fortification – for 360 degree views.
Hungry? Thirsty? You’ll find tons of cafes and restaurants – so take your pick! There’s something for everyone.
And if the weather is good, you can even take a dip in the public swimming pool which actually sits within the Rhine River. You’ll see plenty of locals swimming in the open river as soon as it warms up!
On your second day, you absolutely need to visit the Rhine Falls in nearby Neuhausen!
Just a 40-minute walk or short bus journey from the centre of Schaffhausen, here you can spend the day hiking around Europe’s most powerful falls, take a boat trip out to feel the spray on your skin or enjoy a glass of wine with the sound of the falls crashing into the river below.
Days 5-7, Lucerne
On day five, catch an early train to Lucerne. This journey will take almost two hours, but it’s worth every minute for the views that you’ll see on the way. So make sure you grab that window seat!
Book your hotel room with views over the Ruess River and spend the next few days exploring the town at your leisure.
In Lucerne you can hop in and out of the chocolate shops, wander over Chapel Bridge to find the food markets, hike the wall walk for city views, and indulge in some of the best Swiss delicacies. I highly recommend cheese fondue and cheese raclette!
But make sure you also save a day for a visit to Mount Pilatus.
Mount Pilatus is a 2128m high mountain overlooking the gorgeous town of Lucerne.
Catch the early morning train to Alpnachstad Station, followed by the world’s steepest Cogway up to the top. It goes nice and slow, giving you the chance to soak up the sights of the distant Alps and enjoy the sweet sound of nearby cow bells.
If there are clouds in the sky, they will be hitting you smack in the face at the top! We visited on a clear day, but as a couple of clouds rolled in they were exactly at our level.
Whilst you’re here, you can hike part of the mountain for an even higher viewpoint, enjoy music courtesy of the alpine horn players and grab some lunch.
To get back to Lucerne, head down the mountain via the cable cars. First, the Panorama Gondala to Fräkmüntegg. Next, the Aerial Cableway to Kriens.
Once you’re in Kriens, you can walk for 40-minutes back to Lucerne or catch a local bus.
Quick tip: you can do this entire journey in reverse if you’d prefer.
A day out to Mount Pilatus makes for a fantastic extension onto your Swiss adventure – so don’t miss it!
As your trip wraps up in Lucerne, you can easily hop on a train back to Zurich for your departing flight.
Our week in Switzerland was absolute bliss, especially as we got to spend some of our trip with Darryl’s family who live near to Schaffhausen.
Geneva and Zermatt are next on my Switzerland bucket list!
Have you been to Switzerland before? Is there anywhere you’d recommend?