Switzerland was one of the countries that I visited on my first Euro Trip.

Initially, Switzerland wasn’t included in our itinerary, but after adding France & more places in Northern Italy, we just couldn’t pass over the opportunity to achieve one of our biggest travel goals — see the Swiss Alps. Switzerland is located right between these two countries and convenient train travel in Europe makes cross-border trips very easy.

We only spent a few days in Switzerland, just enough for a quick and jam-packed yet highly worthwhile trip in Zurich (the Swiss capital & one of the world’s principal financial centers), Lucerne(UNESCO World Heritage site known for its well-preserved medieval architecture), and Zermatt (Switzerland’s winter wonderland offering views of the iconic Mount Matterhorn).

Traveling to Switzerland for the first time? Scroll down to get started on planning your trip. I’ve included a sample itinerary, places to visit/things to do, list of expenses/budget breakdown and extra travel tips.

Follow me on Instagram

Switzerland Itinerary

What to do in Switzerland in 4 days? Here’s a 4 days & 3 nights (4D3N) itinerary for your do-it-yourself (DIY) trip.. It’s suited for travelers who plan to go on a quick side trip to Switzerland & enjoy some of the top travel highlights while on the way to/from nearby destinations in Europe.

In our case, we arrived in Zurich from Paris and Colmar in France. After Switzerland, we continued our journey to Milan, Venice & Florence in Italy. You can also follow this route in reverse & even add nearby Austria & Germany into the mix as well.

This is a jam-packed itinerary. It’s easily doable, but depending on your desired pace, the schedule might be too rushed. Remember to prioritize the places that you want to see. Or better yet, add more days to enjoy a more relaxed pace.

Feel free to tweak the activities & timings below based on your traveling style, schedule & attractions that interest you the most.

Day 1: Zurich

Time Activity

Flight to Zurich / train from France, Germany, Austria, Italy, other destinations in Switzerland or anywhere in Europe.

AM

Arrive at Zurich Main Station.

Zurich Main Station to Zurich hotel tram/walk

Zurich hotel check-in

Cheapest ratesBest reviews

PM

Start day tour to Rhine Falls from Zurich

Laufen Castle

Stein am Rhein medieval towns

Lindenhof Park and Limmat Riverside

Day 2: Zurich to Lucerne

Time Activity
AM

Start walking tour of Zurich Old Town

Fraumünster Church

Münsterbrücke (Minister Bridge)

Helmhaus & Wasserkirche building

Grossmünster (Great Minister Church)

Rathaus (Zurich City Hall)

St. Peter Pfarrhaus (church)

Bayer Clock and Watch Museum (Uhrenmuseum Beyer Zürich)

Swiss National Museum

Time Activity

Zurich to Lucerne train (45 minutes)

Luzern Main Station to Lucerne hotel bus/walk

Lucerne hotel check-in

Cheapest ratesBest reviews

PM

Start walking tour of Luzern Old Town

Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) & Wasserturm (Water Tower)

Chapel Square (Kapellplatz)

St. Peter’s church (St. Peter Kirche)

Kornmarkt

Rathaus (Old Town Hall)

Hirschplatz

Weinmarkt

Rathaus-Steg (bridge)

Jesuitenkirche (Jesuit Church)

Franziskanerkirche (Fransiscan Church)

Day 3: Lucerne to Zermatt

Time Activity
AM

Continue walking tour of Luzern Old Town

Museggmauer (Musegg Wall) or the Nine Towers

Speuerbrucke (bridge)

Muhlen Platz (Mills Square)

Time Activity

Lucerne to Zermatt train (3 hours and 15 minutes)

PM

Zermatt hotel check-in

Cheapest ratesBest reviews

Start walking tour of Zermatt town

Zermatt Matterhorn Viewpoint

Kirchbrücke (bridge) & Vispa River

Bahnhofstrasse (main street)

Day 4: Matterhorn

Time Activity
AM

Gondola Lift (cable car) to Klein Matterhorn

Furi

Trockener Steg

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (Klein Matterhorn)

Matterhorn Musem

Train to onward destination.

Switzerland Budget

Your travel expenses will largely depend on your traveling style and how much you plan to spend on activities, accommodations & food. To help you set your own budget, here are budget estimates if you follow the 4 days and 3 nights (4D3N) itinerary posted above. Make sure to review all discounts & online booking prices.

Transport expenses breakdown
CHF 12.5 Zurich to Lucerne train — Per person one-way train fare.
CHF 58.50 Lucerne to Zermatt train — Per person one-way train fare.
CHF 8.80 ZVV Day Pass for Zurich — Per person. Includes 24 hours unlimited travel on public transport within Zurich city borders (1-2 zones).
Free Lucerne Public Transport Pass — Per person. Includes unlimited travel on public transport within Lucerne city borders. Available for guests staying at selected accommodations.
Activities/attraction costs breakdown
CHF 66 Rhine Falls and Steine Am Rhein half-day tour from Zurich — Per person discount price online. Includes round-trip coach transport, professional guide, admission to Laufen Castle at Rhine Falls & guided walk in Stein am Rhein.Book discount here
CHF 100 Matterhorn Glacier Paradise — Per person. Includes Zermatt-Klein Matterhorn summit gondola/cable car roundtrip ticket and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise amission/entrance fee
Budget Trip – Backpacker expenses
CHF 80 Transport — Includes train fares/passes listed above.
CHF 150 Accommodations — CHF 50 price per night in a budget hostel dorm/bed x 3 nights
CHF 120 Food — CHF 30 per day inexpensive meals budget x 4 days.
CHF 350 Sub-total — Excluding attractions/activities, flights, international trains to/from Switzerland. Including accommodations, food & transport. Approximately PHP 18,632 / USD 355 / EUR 484. Or, a daily budget of CHF 87 / PHP 4,658 / USD 89 / EUR 121.
CHF 166 Activities — Admission tickets/entrance fees on selected activities above
CHF 516 Total — Including activities & expenses above. Approximately PHP 27,473 / USD 523 / EUR 713. Or, a daily budget of CHF 129 / PHP 6,868 / USD 131 / EUR 178.
Other expenses
Switzerland & Europe data SIM card / pocket WIFI hotspotBook discount here
Switzerland travel insuranceBook online

Switzerland Itineraries & Travel Blogs

More travel tips coming once the detailed Switzerland travel guide is out. In the meantime, feel free to check out my Pinterest board and list of helpful Switzerland travel blogs below for inspiration.

Follow updates on Pinterest@detourista.

1 Day Itinerary

What to do in Switzerland in 1 day (24 hours or less).

Visit How To Spend One Day In Zurich – Pommie Travels
Visit The Best Things To Do When You Only Have One Day In Zurich – Make Time To See The World
Visit A 24 Hour Guide To Zurich, Switzerland – Hand Luggage Only
Visit Things to do in Lucerne in one day – Diaries of an Explorer
Visit How to Visit Lucerne and Mt. Pilatus in One Perfect Day – Earth Trekkers
Visit A Perfect Day In Lucerne – Memoirs of a Globetrotter
Visit Zermatt, Switzerland: Things To Do In Zermatt For Non-skiers – Wanderlust Chloe

2 Days Itinerary

What to do in Switzerland in 2 days (48 hours or less).

Visit Fairy-Tale Living with Two Days in Lucerne – Katherine Belarmino
Visit What To Do In Zermatt In 2 Days – Best Things To Do In Zermatt, Switzerland – Arzo Travels

3 Days Itinerary

What to do in Switzerland in 3 days.

Visit Three Days in Zurich – Leave Your Daily Hell
Visit Switzerland: 3 Days Itinerary & More – Travel Pins On Map
Visit 3 Days Switzerland Tour – Planning a bucket list destination – An Asian Traveller

4 Days Itinerary

What to do in Switzerland in 4 days.

Visit Four days in Switzerland : Our beautiful itinerary – Revolving Compass
Visit Switzerland – 4 Days In The Alps – Finding Malokoko

5 Days Itinerary

What to do in Switzerland in 5 days.

Visit Our Switzerland itinerary: 5 days in this beautiful country – Focused Travels
Visit Switzerland Itinerary 5 Days – Switzerland In 5 Days – Arzo Travels
Visit My 5 Day Itinerary For Switzerland, A Truly Magical Country – Adventure Lies In Front
Visit A Whirlwind Trip To The Most Beautiful Country On Earth – Meet Me At The Pyramid Stage

6 Days Itinerary

What to do in Switzerland in 6 days.

Visit 6 Day Guide To Switzerland – Charisma Shah

1 Week Itinerary

What to do in Switzerland in 1 week (7 days or more).

Visit 1 Week In Switzerland Itinerary: All The Highlights – Expert World Travel
Visit 11 Days Switzerland Itinerary with Swiss Travel Pass (by Train ) – The Tales Of A Traveler
Visit The Perfect Week Itinerary: Switzerland – Wander Station

2 Weeks Itinerary

What to do in Switzerland in 2 weeks (14 days or more).

Visit 2 week Itinerary Germany/Switzerland with Kids – Tapped Out Travellers
Visit 2 Weeks In Switzerland- My Itinerary For Active Travellers – Travel Yes Please
Visit 2 Weeks Switzerland Travel Guide – Running In A Skirt
Visit 2-Week Itinerary In Europe: Venice, Switzerland, And Prague – Trip 101

3 Weeks to 1 Month Itinerary

What to do in Switzerland in 3 weeks to 1 Month (21 days or more).

Visit 3 Weeks European Family road trip. – Empty Nesters Travel Insights

Don’t Stop Here

Did you find this travel guide helpful? Share your Switzerland experience & tag #detourista. Follow trip updates on: Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest.

Achieve your travel goals with #detourista!

Follow on Instagram

Check out these pages for more travel inspiration beyond Switzerland: