10 Days In Switzerland Itinerary : The Ultimate Guide For First-Timers

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Switzerland is often regarded as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. After contemplating a trip for several years, my boyfriend and I finally decided to visit Switzerland this year to celebrate my birthday. Yay!

We wanted to fully explore the key regions of Switzerland, so we decided to dedicate our entire trip to Switzerland without visiting any other nearby European countries. Excluding the time spent traveling to Switzerland, we spent 10 days in the country.

In this 10-day Switzerland itinerary, I am going to share my experiences in several regions like Chur, Zermatt, Grindelwald, Interlaken, Luzern and Zurich. 

Switzerland Day 1 : Chur

After 14 hours of flight, we finally arrived at Zurich International Airport in the morning.

When we arrived, the weather was pretty cold and cloudy. After arriving at the airport and passed the immigration custom, we took the train to go to Chur. 

Chur

The journey form the airport to Chur is about one hour.

The reason we traveled to Chur instead of staying in Zurich was that we wanted to take the Glacier Express to Zermatt the next day. We also wanted to spend a day exploring the historic town of Chur before heading to Zermatt.

However, later that day, we discovered that we had not reserved seats on the Glacier Express in advance, and there were no seats left. Were we disappointed? Yes, but we were still glad to spend a day in Chur.

The view of our stay in Chur

After getting off the train, we took a bus to our hotel in Chur.

We checked in early at Mercure Chur City West. The hotel is very convenient, with a bus stop right in front and a shopping mall right beside it. We left our luggages at the checkin counter and went for lunch at the mall.

We actually went shopping for some winter clothes because we did not expect the weather to be so chilly. We traveled around the end of April, during the transition from winter to spring, so the weather was quite unpredictable.

Cloudy weather in Chur
Cloudy weather in Chur

After that, we went back to the hotel to check into our room. The view was quite nice, with the greenish slope of a hill visible from the window.

Strolling At The Old Town Of Chur

After resting for a while, we went to stroll around the old town of Chur.

A little about Chur : Chur is known as the oldest town in Switzerland, with a history that spans over 5,000 years. Nestled in the Swiss Alps and is known for its picturesque scenery and rich cultural heritage. Today, it serves as a gateway to popular ski resorts as well as scenic railway journeys on the Glacier or Bernina Express trains.

I actually enjoyed the town of Chur. Its old town seamlessly blended with its modern architectural landscape. 

The old town of Chur
The old town of Chur
Stumbled into a library in Chur
Stumbled into a library in Chur
A cozy cafe in Chur
A cozy cafe in Chur

Switzerland Day 2 : Zermatt

The next morning, we got out early and rode the early train to Zermatt!

Since we were unable to reserve a seat on the Glacier Express, we had to take the regional train to Zermatt. I have written a detailed itinerary of how we spent 2 days in Zermatt in this blog post.

Early in the morning after breakfast and checkout, we left Chur and travelled to Zurich by train. Then from Zurich, we took another train and several stops in between to reach Zermatt.

Arrival At Car-Free Zermatt

After around 3 and half hours, we finally arrived the famous Zermatt.

When we arrived, the weather was cloudy and we could not see the iconic Matterhorn. 

After checking in at The Focus Matterhorn Design Hotel, we rested for a while in our room, which had a nice view.

Switzerland itinerary day 2 : Arrival at Zermatt
Switzerland itinerary day 2 : Arrival at Zermatt

In the evening, we went for a stroll around the town and looked for a place to have dinner.

The town was lovely and well-organised, with most of the resorts and Airbnbs being very well-maintained.

The weather was extremely chilly, around -3 degrees Celsius. We were so cold and quickly walk to the main street area to look for food.

In the end, we turned to the McDonald’s on the main street. It is known for having one of the most expensive rental costs in Switzerland, as the local community aims to preserve the heritage building it occupies.

One of the street from the hotel.
Lanterns in Fushimi-Inari Taisha.

Switzerland Day 3: Zermatt

The next morning, I noticed the weather was nicer than the day before. I quickly jumped out of bed to see if we could catch a glimpse of the iconic Matterhorn.

And we did! I was so glad that we finally got to see the Matterhorn.

The Glacier Paradise

After breakfast, we headed to buy the ticket to take the gondola to go up to the Glacier Paradise.

The Glacier Paradise was a famous spot for skiing so many tourists went up to the top and ski.

We were just sightseeing so we took the gondola and went up to the top.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

The view when going up to the top was very beautiful and jaw dropping.

When we finally arrived at the top, we were freezing! But luckily, there were a few activities to do if you were not going to ski.

We went to the panorama platform to take a few pictures and then went to see the ice sculpture in the Glacier Palace.

Although the weather was freezing, we were delighted and felt lucky to have such nice, sunny weather that day.

The view was absolutely stunning!

Close up shot with Matterhorn
Close up shot with Matterhorn
The view of the alps from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise gondola
The view of the alps from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise gondola

After touching the base, we went for dinner at this amazing restaurant that we swear to come back in the future! This restaurant called Zermatterstubli served the best local Swiss food we had and the restaurant was cozy and welcoming. Come here if you are visiting Zermatt.

Zermatterstubli : best restaurant in Zermatt
Zermatterstubli : best restaurant in Zermatt

Switzerland Day 4 : Grindelwald

After breakfast at the hotel, we boarded the train and bid goodbye to Zermatt.

Arrival At Grindelwald

The journey from Zermatt to Grindelwald took around 2 hours.

After reaching the station, we went to our hotel to check in first.

We stayed at Jungfraujoch Hotel, which has a great view of the Alps and the hillside. The hillside was a popular instagrammable sight called dreamy hillside. 

Switzerland itinerary : Grindelwald
Switzerland itinerary : Grindelwald

Then, we went for a walk at the main street and found a food truck gem!

The food truck was just by the roadside with a few seats available. When we arrived, it wasn’t crowded yet. We ordered a pork burger and rösti fries for our late lunch.

The food took us by surprise; the burger was so juicy and flavorful, and the rösti fries were some of the best we’ve ever had.

On top of the great food, the view from where we were seated was breathtaking!

Best food truck in Grindewlald
Best food truck in Grindelwlald
Pork burger
Pork burger
Rosti fries
Rosti fries

Grindelwald-First

The alps can be seen from everywhere we go in Grindelwald.
The alps can be seen from everywhere we go in Grindelwald.

After a satisfying lunch, we walked further to get tickets to go up to Grindelwald-First. 

One of the main attractions in Grindelwald was to visit Grindelwald-First : The Top of Adventure. It was known as the hotspot for several adventurous activities.

The cable car took us to the top in 25 minutes. The journey along was breathtaking. We could see the snow-capped Alpine peaks clearly, thanks to the great weather!

After we reached First, there was a walk to the Cliff Walk. Besides, several activities were able to found there too such as the First Flyer. We did not go for the First Flyer as I have a fear of height, so maybe next time after I beat the fear LOL.

Bought the tickets and paid half price with our STP.
Bought the tickets and paid half price with our STP.
Took the 25-minute cable car to First
Took the 25-minute cable car to First

First Cliff Walk

Though I was afraid of the cliff and the height, I still attempted the cliff walk—and I finally did it!

Upon walking to the end of the cliff walk, there was a restaurant with a fantastic view point. 

The Cliff Walk also provided an extended hanging Cliff Platform for visitor to take instagrammable photo with the Alps! It was too scary for me so I did not take any photo on the platform.

Must do in Switzerland : First Cliff Walk
Must do in Switzerland : First Cliff Walk
Panaromic platform at the end of the Cliff Walk
Panaromic platform at the end of the Cliff Walk
The very high definition view of the Alps. Fantastic!
The very high definition view of the Alps. Fantastic!

After two hours at the top, we got down by cable car and headed back to our hotel.

The view of the hillside from our hotel room was stunning due to the clear weather. At sunset, the combination of hues and shadows on the hillside created a dreamy effect.

Let the photo tells the story.

Our stay in Grindelwald : Jungfrau Lodge
Our stay in Grindelwald : Jungfrau Lodge
The view from our room.
The view from our room.
The dreamy greenish hillside of Grindelwald
The dreamy greenish hillside of Grindelwald

Switzerland Day 5 : Interlaken

On the next day, we take a half an hour train  to move our stay from Grindelwald to Interlaken.

Arrival At Jungrafuroch Hotel In Wilderswil

We booked a hotel one station away from Interlaken, in a small town called Wilderswil. It was a lovely place, and the Jungfraujoch Hotel there had a great view too!

At the Wilderswil town
At the Wilderswil town
Our stay at Hotel Jungfrau
Our stay at Hotel Jungfrau

Interlaken Main Street

Arriving in Interlaken, we took a stroll through the charming streets, enjoying the scenic views and vibrant atmosphere. We came across a field where adventurous tourists were paragliding, taking in the stunning landscapes from above.

Interlaken is renowned for its numerous watch shops and extensive collections, reflecting the Swiss craftsmanship. The town is also a hub for outdoor activities, offering opportunities for hiking, skiing, and boat rides on the lakes. The picturesque surroundings, framed by mountains and lakes, make Interlaken a truly captivating destination.

Amazing view in Interlaken.
Amazing view in Interlaken.
A church in Interlaken
A church in Interlaken
Had a Vanini Gelato in Interlaken
Had a Vanini Gelato in Interlaken

Harder Kulm

After that, we ventured up to Harder Kulm to enjoy the breathtaking views of Interlaken from above. Taking the funicular railway, we quickly ascended to the viewpoint at 1,322 meters. The panoramic platform offered stunning vistas of Lake Thun, Lake Brienz, and the distant peaks of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains.

The clear, sunny weather made the experience even more memorable, and we spent a good amount of time soaking in the scenery and capturing photos.

Half priced ticket to Harder Kulm with our STP.
Half priced ticket to Harder Kulm with our STP.
An iconic sculpture at Harder Kulm.
An iconic sculpture at Harder Kulm.
The top of Interlaken : Harder Kulm
The top of Interlaken : Harder Kulm

Switzerland Day 6 : Spiez & Thun

Spiez

Early in the morning, after breakfast, we jumped on the Panoramic Express train from Interlaken to Spiez. The train ride was one of the best I had experienced in Switzerland, offering breathtaking views of the Alps, lush meadows, and crystal-clear lakes.

Spiez, a romantic town, welcomed us with its serene atmosphere. We spent about an hour strolling around Spiez, enjoying the quiet and peaceful ambiance. The lakeside view was fantastic, with the picturesque backdrop of the mountains and the tranquil waters of Thunesee adding to the town’s charm.

From Interlaken to Spiez : take the Panoramic Express train
From Interlaken to Spiez : take the Panoramic Express train
The view was so breathtaking!
The view was so breathtaking!
Love the view so much!
Spiez
Spiez
The view of Spiez
The view of Spiez

Thun

From Spiez, we took a boat ride across Thunesee lake to Thun, which took about an hour. Thun, in our opinion, was much livelier compared to Spiez. We spent the afternoon exploring Thun, which featured numerous lakeside restaurants and medieval-style buildings. We enjoyed a delightful lunch by the lakeside, followed by some of the best gelato we’ve ever had.

The vibrant atmosphere, combined with the beautiful scenery, made our visit to Thun incredibly enjoyable. We took our time wandering through the local market set up on the streets, soaking in everything the town had to offer.

The boat ride from Spiez to Thun
The boat ride from Spiez to Thun
The famous Thun lake
The famous Thun lake
The local market at Thun
The local market at Thun
Best view from the Thun Castle
Best view from the Thun Castle

Near evening, we took the train back to Interlaken and had dinner at Husi Bierhaus. It turned out to be one of the best dinners we had in Switzerland, thanks to their lively atmosphere and amazing food!

Husi Bierhaus is our favourite restaurant in Interlaken
Husi Bierhaus is our favourite restaurant in Interlaken

Switzerland Day 7 : Lucerne

We bid farewell to Interlaken and continued our journey to Lucerne. The train ride from Interlaken to Lucerne took about two hours, and sitting on the right side of the train offered some stunning views of the lake. When we arrived in Lucerne, the weather was a bit cloudy, but it didn’t dampen our spirits.

Lucerne
Lucerne famous landmark

Upon reaching Lucerne, we went to check into our accommodation.

Unfortunately, the place we had originally booked seemed a bit sketchy, so we decided to find another hotel.

After finally settling into our new hotel, we took a moment to rest before heading out to explore the city. Luzern is a charming blend of old town charm and modern architecture.

However, since it was Sunday, most of the shops were closed, with the exception of Bucherer. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the city, visiting some watch shops and soaking in the atmosphere.

Shopping street in Lucerne
Shopping street in Lucerne

Switzerland Day 8 : Lucerne

Rigi Kulm

On the 8th day of our trip, we planned to visit Stoosbahn, but it was closed. So, we changed our plans and headed to Rigi Kulm instead. We boarded a boat at 10 AM, and the view along the ride was fantastic!

Upon arriving at the base of Rigi Kulm, we took a charming, old-school train up the hill. The train’s nostalgic design added to the adventure, and the panoramic views during the ascent left us speechless. We even caught glimpses of clouds hovering over Lucerne!

Cloud hovering the town!
Cloud hovering the town!
View from Rigi Kulm
View from Rigi Kulm

The train made several stops along the way, giving visitors the option to hike or take a cable car to the summit. We chose to stay on the train to soak in the scenery all the way up.

When we reached the top, the strong, breezy wind greeted us, but the stunning view over Lucerne was worth braving the elements. We snapped a few quick pictures before retreating to a cozy restaurant to wait for our return train.

Took the cable car
Took the cable car

On the way back, we decided to mix things up and got off midway to take a cable car down. The descent offered equally mesmerizing views, with a unique perspective of the landscape. The endpoints of the cable car and train were different, so we enjoyed a pleasant walk to the pier for our boat ride back.

Throughout the day, we were constantly amazed by the beauty of Switzerland. It seems that every corner of this country offers postcard-perfect views, making every moment feel like a dream.

The amazing lake view while waiting for the boat ride back to Lucerne
The amazing lake view while waiting for the boat ride back to Lucerne

After returning to Lucerne, we hopped on another train to Lungern, where one of the romantic scenes from “Crash Landing On You” was filmed. Lungern was a quiet town with few tourists, most of whom were there for the same reason as us: to see the breathtaking view of Lake Lungern. We walked from the train station to the lake viewpoint, took a few photos, and strolled along the lake.

Afterward, we took the train to Brienz, another serene town with stunning lake views but more tourists than Lungern. We strolled around Brienz for an hour, enjoying the picturesque scenery, before hopping on the train back to Lucerne. The entire day was filled with incredible sights and unforgettable experiences.

Lakeside at Brienz
Lakeside at Brienz

Switzerland Day 9 : Zurich

Zurich

The last stop of our Switzerland trip was Zurich, the capital of the country. 

Our journey to Zurich from Lucerne was a scenic train ride that ended with our arrival in the vibrant city.

Upon reaching Zurich, the first item on our agenda was securing our Zurich 72-hour pass since our 8-day Swiss Travel Pass had expired. With that sorted, we headed straight to Courtyard Zurich North to check in and unwind after the journey.

In the evening, we decided to explore Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich’s famous luxury shopping street.

Navigating the bus and tram system was a breeze, and soon we found ourselves amidst the upscale boutiques and bustling atmosphere. The array of shops and the energy of the street were captivating. 

Wearing Kimono in Sensoji Temple

After our leisurely stroll along Bahnhofstrasse, we decided to indulge in a meal at a renowned restaurant – Zeughauskeller. It was located behind the Hermes store on the shopping street.

Upon arrival, we were pleasantly surprised to find no queue, and luck was on our side as we secured a cozy al fresco seating without a prior reservation. Sometimes, spontaneity leads to the best experiences!

Switzerland Day 10 : Zurich

On our last day in Switzerland, we opted for a leisurely exploration of Zurich, beginning with a visit to the renowned Kunsthaus art museum. But first, we indulged in a taste of history at Cafe and Conditorei 1842, a charming establishment steeped in over a century of tradition.

Arriving early, we savoured the tranquil atmosphere and sampled some of their delectable pastries and coffee, including their famed rich chocolate drink and recommended chocolate desserts. While the food was satisfactory, the experience was certainly worth it for the ambiance and heritage.

Cafe and Conditorei 1842 in Zurich
Cafe and Conditorei 1842 in Zurich

Kunsthaus

With our appetites satisfied, we made our way to Kunsthaus, taking advantage of the free entry offered on Wednesdays for most of the exhibition halls. It was a stroke of luck to admire masterpieces by esteemed artists like Claude Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, and René Magritte among others.

The museum’s grand halls, conveniently situated just across the street, provided the perfect backdrop for these artistic treasures, and we found ourselves immersed in their beauty for a good three hours. It was truly a moving experience to witness such iconic artworks firsthand.

Kunsthaus Zurich
Kunsthaus Zurich
A few of my favourite paintings in Kunsthaus Zurich
A few of my favourite paintings in Kunsthaus Zurich

Lunch At Rheinfelder Bierhalle

Following our museum excursion, we opted for a late lunch at Rheinfelder Bierhalle, where we sampled local Swiss cuisine. While the fare was decent and budget-friendly, it didn’t quite surpass the culinary delights we had experienced at Zeughauskeller earlier in our trip.

Shopping For Souvenir

After lunch, we continued our day with souvenir shopping! We ended up buying chocolates from Laderach and Lindt because Swiss is famous with its chocolate.

We then wrapped up our day with a great dinner at a Spanish restaurant. The tapas served was great and the service was good too.

This delightful eatery provided the perfect ending to our Swiss adventure.

Switzerland Day 11 : Goodbye

The next day early in the morning, we took the train to Zurich International Airport and bid goodbye to Switzerland. We promised to come back once again in the future!

Switzerland Travel Cost

The cost of traveling in Switzerland is the highest among other European countries I have been to. Based on my 11 days Switzerland itinerary, we spent around 4,000 CHF ( 5000 USD ) including accommodation, meals, transportation and tickets. I think the most expensive parts was the transportation in Switzerland. 

Accommodation : Accommodation in Switzerland is not cheap. The average rate per night we stayed was around 300 CHF. We stayed at 3-star and 4-star hotels with good amenities. The best we had are in Zermatt, Lucerne and Zurich.

Meals : Food in Switzerland are more expensive than Italy and Paris. It costs at least 25 CHF (30 USD) for a main course.  Most restaurants meals cost around 25 – 50 CHF (30 – 55 USD). The fast food like McDonald’s costs around 20 CHF per meal.

You could still find cheap pre-packaged food in the local supermarket like Coop or Migros. The food at these marts are good too and many tourists usually buy them for a meal.

Overall, spare a minimum of 80 CHF (90 USD) a day for food in Switzerland.

Transportation: Transportation in Switzerland is also consider as expensive compared to most of the European countries. Our Swiss Travel Pass (8 day) costs us 500 CHF and the Zurich 72 hour pass costs us 90 CHF.

However, the pass is inclusive of all the train, bus, tram ride , museum and also covered half of some of the main attractions. So it was considered very convenient and worth the price to us.

Overall, Switzerland has the most beautiful sceneries I have ever seen. The great memories we had in Switzerland were irreplaceable. I hope this 10 days in Switzerland itinerary helped you in planning your trip to this wonderful land.