The first question you have to ask yourself when you are planning the perfect 6 nights and 7 days in Switzerland is what type of adventure do you want to have? Most people visit either in summer or winter. If you want a more outdoorsy type of vacation, you’ll want to hike and boat in the summer months.
But if you want to just relax and enjoy the crisp winter air by the fire in some secluded mountainside inn, you can count on tons of privacy in the low season. Whichever time of year you choose, if you follow this ideal 6 nights 7 days Switzerland itinerary, you’ll leave knowing exactly why this place is so special!
The Best Time to Travel to Switzerland
So let’s tackle the first and most important question first – when is the best time to travel to Switzerland? Generally speaking most tourists come during the summer or winter – summer for the warmer weather, winter for skiing. But, if you want to avoid the crowds, want fair weather, and prefer to go when everything is cheaper, you should go in what are called the “shoulder months” from April to June and from September to October.
For our ideal 6 nights and 7 days in Switzerland, we picked summer since it is fast approaching. Plus it is considered one of the two best times to travel to Switzerland and you still have plenty of time to plan for your ski trip to Switzerland in the winter.
Summer is considered the high season from July to August, when you get the best weather. The temps are the warmest but not nearly as hot as you would expect in many other places. The average temperature only gets up to around 80 degrees in the summer in Switzerland.
In summer more of the landscape surrounding you will be exposed since the snow high up in the mountains and in the valleys melts during this time, showing off the gorgeous flowers, lakes, streams, and trails. On the downside, you will also have to contend with a gang of tourists in the summer.
Travel and food is going to be more expensive but on the plus side, parts of the mountains that are closed during winter will be open for business in summer giving you more places to stay. If you are planning on visiting Geneva, summer is the perfect time to do it, so we added it to the list!
Before you get to Europe, it’s a good idea to go ahead and buy a travel pass online, especially if you are a non-European. Be sure to mind the number of days that you get to travel and the number of countries you are allowed to travel to with your pass.
One option is to buy the Global Pass which gets you up to 10 days of travel to 31 different countries within the Euro zone over the span of a month. You could also buy a One-Country Pass which goes up to eight days and permits one month of travel to practically any country in the EU.
Only non-Europeans can purchase a Eurailpass for tourists who do not live in the EU. You get unlimited travel to 31 different countries in the EU (which includes Switzerland) for seven days in a month or 10 days over two months.
What’s really nice is youth ages go up to 27 and kids under the age of 12 get in free with an adult with a pass. If you don’t end up using all of the days, don’t try to sell your pass to a European – it’s against the law!
Since this itinerary will only be taking you through Switzerland and no other countries, you could buy a Swiss Travel Pass. Remember, you’ll need at least 7 consecutive days of travel. The Swiss Travel Pass goes up to 15 days and gives you free access to hundreds of museums throughout Switzerland. You could also spring for the Swiss Half Fare Card. That gets you a 50% discount on all of your travel by boat, train, or bus.
How to get to Switzerland
Europeans and Brits have an easy time getting to Switzerland. A simple train trip on the Interrail or Eurostar will get you there in just a few hours. For travelers outside of the EU, there are flights coming in directly to Switzerland from all over the world.
Since this itinerary starts north in Zurich and travels south all the way to Geneva, you want to book your incoming flight for Zurich. You can find a flight from NY to Zurich for example, for less than $350 per person.
Where to stay in Switzerland
Booking your hotel accommodations ahead of time can save you a lot of headache and hassle when you are traveling to Switzerland. If you are traveling in winter, if you show up without a reservation, you may find that all of the hotels are closed due to weather.
If you show up in the summer, you may find many places already booked up. Then you either have to settle for lesser accommodations than you’d like or pricier ones than you can afford! In our ideal 6 nights 7 days Switzerland itinerary, here are some of the hotels in the different destinations you’ll be traveling to:
Zurich has a Holiday Inn, a Crown Plaza, and a Hilton but if you want to go real upscale, try the highly acclaimed (and pricy) Hotel Schweizerhof Zurich for over $500 a night – but hey, it’s only 1 night! It’s close to the train station and you can walk to the lake, the street market, and old town.
in Lucerne, you can stay at the famous Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern. This five star hotel is a 10 minute walk from the train station and comes jam packed with all of the modern amenities you can think of!
You have the choice to visit Lucerne and stay close to Mt. Pilatus or stay in Lucerne and visit Mt. Pilatus on your way to Interlaken. If you choose to stay near the mountain for the views, we like The Tourist City & River Hotel Luzern just 5.5 miles from the mountain. Not only do you get 360 degree views of Mt. Pilatus, you also can see the Titlis Mountains and the Reuss River.
If you could get into Chalet Gousweid- Mönch Apartment you would see why it is one of the top rated hotels (apartments) in Interlaken, but that’s the kicker – it’s always all booked up! Your best bet is a still very nice hotel like Dorint Blüemlisalp Beatenberg/Interlaken. It has everything you need plus you can see the Alps from there with views of Lake Thun and a delectable on-site restaurant and bar.
It’s 7 miles outside of Interlaken but most of the nicest hotels there are in high demand and almost always hard to book – especially since we’re talking about one of the most popular tourist seasons in Switzerland!
The Hotel Bellevue Palace Bern has played host to some of the world’s most famous people from Queen Elizabeth to Fidel Castro. You can book this more than a century year old five star hotel but if that’s out of your price range, the Hotel Savoy Bern is very nice and much more affordable.
In Lausanne, the Beau-Rivage Palace is the epitome of luxury for both its room accommodations and its amenities – world class spas, gourmet restaurants, and acres and acres of beauty from incredible views of the Alps to rooms overlooking gorgeous Lake Geneva. Still, for less, you can choose to stay right by the lake at the Chateau d’Ouchy.
Lake Geneva offers one of the best hotels in all of Switzerland at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. This former palace sits right on the lake with each of 115 rooms providing a balcony from which to observe it!
If at the end of this amazing 7 day adventure through Switzerland you have found yourself a little light on Euros, you can spend your last night at the very nice yet affordable La Cour des Augustins and it will only cost you about £130 for one night.
6 Nights 7 Days Switzerland Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Zurich and Stay Overnight
We start our 7 day journey landing in the city of Zurich, known as the “city with the best quality of life.” It’s your first day in town but there is so much to see you don’t want to miss it! If you were ahead of the game and bought a Swiss Travel Pass, you can visit the Swiss National Museum for free. Like many cities in Switzerland, Zurich is very walkable. Stroll to have a pint at a local bar, stop at a street market, or just sit and take in the views of Zurich Lake or Uetliberg Mountain.
Day 2: Take a Bus or Train to Lucerne
Your travel pass comes in real handy. Just hop on a train and travel for 40 minutes or so down to Lucerne. A cable car stretches between two mountains giving you extraordinary views of the region. There are actually three mountains in the area – all ripe for climbing in summer—hint, hint! While here, you can cross a 700+ year old bridge (if you dare) or cable car up nearly 10 thousand feet to get a breathtaking shot of everything. Check out Lake Lucerne draped by the Alps and then learn about all of the rich history of this city.
Day 3: Day Trip to Mount Pilatus
You can stay in Lucerne and then travel to Mount Pilatus the next day or stay right by the mountain for the night. Either way, this is a must-see stop on your itinerary. Way back in the day, it was believed that dragons lived in Mt. Pilatus. Today you can take a trip around the whole mountain by rail, cable car, and steamboat in what is known as the “Golden Round Trip.” If you want to take it up a notch, you can go on a toboggan run or hike up parts of the surrounding ranges.
Day 4: Zip Down to Interlaken for the Night
For our fourth day and third night, Interlaken is the destination. It is a quick hour long ride to one of the best places to have some fun on the water. You can go swimming, boating, biking, hiking—it’s a smorgasbord of fun in Interlaken! The city is squished between two magnificent lakes while being surrounded by mountains and gorges. The Aare Gorge from the gothic era is a must see as are the Niederhorn Mountain, Kulm Mountain, and the triple peaks.
Day 5: Quick Jaunt to the Capitol City of Bern for the Day and Night
Interlaken is just 56 kilometers away from the Capitol City of Bern where you have to visit Old Town – designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Bern, like Zurich is listed as one of 10 best cities in the world to live in based on quality of life. You’ll spend a day and a night deciding if it is true.
Meanwhile, walk along cobblestones to visit historic street markets that have stood for hundreds of years. Take in the buildings in a city where so much of the architecture dates back to medieval times and you must see the Zytglogge – a clock tower built over 800 years ago and one of the oldest in all of Switzerland!
Day 6: Skip South to Lausanne for Fun on Lake Geneva
Hop on the train and travel for a little over an hour (104 km) south to Lausanne where skiers go to start their runs. Located right next to Lake Geneva, you can take a cruise along this enchanting waterway while observing the many medieval and gothic structures dotting the entire city.
You’ll be glad for your travel pass here. There are castles to see, dozens of museums, and of course, who goes to Switzerland and doesn’t come back with Swiss chocolate? Do not leave Lausanne without visiting the famous chocolatiers at L’Espace Chocolat to try your hand at making your own chocolate…or just buying the good stuff!
Day 7: Depart from Geneva for Home
Our last stop on this fantastic 6 night 7 day Switzerland vacation is not to be overlooked. Even if you’re now tight on cash and kind of worn out, do not skimp on Geneva. Of course you have Lake Geneva but you will kick yourself if you don’t check out the Rodeo Drive of Switzerland – even if it’s just to window shop down Rue de Marche and Rhone.
This is the best place to start picking out souvenirs to bring home, including buying some lucky ducks back home some of that famous Swiss chocolate, one of those Swiss army knives, or a medieval antique you picked out at one of those pedestrian only markets!
You can check out flights from Geneva back home here at Skyscanner.net.