This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you book or purchase through these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.Well, this post is a long time coming. And, by a long time, I mean I visited Switzerland almost 2.5 years ago. Okay, so why am I just now posting this? Believe it or not, my Switzerland posts are my most popular and in the past few months, I have received several emails asking for my exact Switzerland itinerary.
Problem solved. I sent my itinerary to those who emailed and realized it was time for this long overdue post.
A great year-round destination, Switzerland is one of my top favorite countries largely due to its beautiful landscapes and friendly people. My Switzerland itinerary is pretty comprehensive. It allows seeing many cities around the entire country and also offers a great number of activities in each one. Here is how to spend 16 days in Switzerland!
16 Day Switzerland Itinerary
DAY 1-Arrival in Geneva, Travel to Lucerne
Fly into Geneva and head straight to Lucerne via train from the airport. After arrival in Lucerne, take it easy with free time to settle in, explore the city on foot and get a good night’s sleep.
On your first full day, go on an organized walking tour of the city in the morning. Then, have lunch by the water, explore the walls, and ride the funicular to see amazing views of all of Lucerne. End the day with an amazing dinner!
DAY 3-Day Trip to Mount Pilatus from Lucerne
Take a day trip to Mount Pilatus. We did the Golden Tour and it was absolutely amazing. We took a gondola, rode the world’s steepest cogwheel train and sailed Lake Lucerne in addition to the fabulous views Mount Pilatus provided!
DAY 4-Travel to Zürich
Unfortunately, today you leave Lucerne but the good news is you arrive in Zürich! After checking into your hotel, take it easy and explore Old Town.
DAY 5-Day Trip to Liechtenstein from Zürich
Guess what? It’s easy to take a day trip to Liechtenstein from Zürich AND the Swiss Travel Pass covers this! We enjoyed getting to see this tiny country and a day trip was the perfect way to see two different cities and still make it back for a nice dinner and evening in Zürich!
DAY 6-Day Trip to Stein am Rhein and Rhine Falls from Zürich
A day trip to Stein am Rhein and Rhine Falls is a day trip you will never forget. Spend the day touring the charmingly quaint medieval town of Stein am Rhein and viewing Rhine Falls, the largest plain waterfall in Europe. You will return to Zürich with plenty of time for dinner!
DAY 7-Travel to Zermatt
After your longest train trip on this itinerary, you arrive in Zermatt and it is so picturesque. As always on travel days, I like to settle into my hotel and have free time to explore and familiarize myself with the city. It was no different for the picturesque ski resort town of Zermatt!
Go paragliding with Fly Zermatt. There is nothing like paragliding in the Swiss Alps with the Matterhorn. It was my first paragliding experience and one I will never forget!
Watch my takeoff!
On our final day in Zermatt, even though it was summer, we went skiing in the Alps with the Matterhorn in view that morning. And by skiing, I mean I got on skis for the photos (since I had only skied once before). Then, in the afternoon, we explored Gornergrat!
DAY 10-Travel to Montreux
After another beautiful train ride, arrive in Montreux, check into your hotel and have the remainder of the day to walk the city or along the boardwalk at Lake Geneva.
DAY 11-Montreux/Rochers de Naye
Start the morning out with a tour of Chillon Castle, Switzerland’s most frequently toured historical site. Afterwards, head up to Rochers de Naye via cogwheel train. Don’t forget your Swiss Travel Pass! At the top, you will get a grew view of Montreux and even get to see original Mongolian Yurts! When you return from Rochers de Naye, watch the sunset and grab a yummy dinner!
Vevey is the neighboring town and there are a lot of cool things to do there. During our time, we explored the city on our own walking tour and did a chocolate making class with Läderach.
I got to make my own chocolate cow and I think it turned out pretty cute, don’t you?
Other suggestions for this day include touring The Nest (the museum at Nestlé’s international headquarters), Chaplin’s World and attending the famous Montreux Jazz Festival if you are there in the summer.
DAY 13-Travel to Geneva
When we arrived in Geneva, we went straight to our hotel to check in and then grabbed lunch. With full tummies, we spent the rest of the day seeing sites such as the European Headquarters of the United Nations, the Broken Chair Monument, and the Original Red Cross Building. We also walked along Lake Geneva!
Our second day in Geneva focused on activities such as the Jet d’Eau, the Flower Clock, walking through Old Town, having a picnic and seeing the world’s longest wooden bench!
On our last full day in Geneva, we took a tour of St. Pierre Cathedral. I highly recommend this as you can get stunning views of the entire city and Lake Geneva! We also saw the Reformation Wall, walked around a farmers market and even attended a watchmaking workshop.
But my personal favorite activity was making our own Swiss Army Knives at the Victorinox flagship store. We even got a certificate!
We ended the night with a fantastic dinner and seeing the Jet d’Eau at night which I highly recommend!
DAY 16-Travel Home
Unfortunately, all good trips come to an end sometime and day 16 was that day for us. But on our last morning, we went out to see La Jonction where two rivers that are two different colors come together and don’t mix. Pretty cool visual!
Shortly after we headed to the airport and said goodbye to Geneva and goodbye to Switzerland. Starting and ending in Geneva made it much more cost-effective for airfare and allowed us to make a complete circle around Switzerland.
This was a most fantastic trip and continues to be one of my top favorite trips I’ve ever taken in my entire life! For even more inspiration see these photos to make Switzerland your top bucket list destination!
Been to these cities and have something to add to my Switzerland itinerary? I’d love to hear from you!
‘Til next time…