Great Switzerland Itineraries: How Many Days to Spend?

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With stunning natural scenery, cities that are magnet to the jet set from the world over and a fairy tale ambiance tying it all together, Switzerland is a country filled with staggering beauty. With the luxurious city of Zurich in the north, the metropolis of Bern in the west and the marvelous Swiss Alps lining the south, you will find plenty of exciting sights in this gorgeous country no matter where you go. In addition to its sights, Switzerland is also famous for its activities. If you are wondering how many days to spend in Switzerland, you will at least not have to worry about running out of events to fill your itinerary. Test your skills at some of the world's best skiing slopes in the Swiss Alps, hike amid the mountains and lakes of Graubünden and go out on a chocolate and cheese-eating spree in quaint Swiss towns.

How much time should I spend in Switzerland?

Basel, Switzerland, at night
Basel features an interesting contrast of historical buildings next to modern architecture
Skier jumping on snowy slope stock in Switzerland
The Swiss Alps are higher, more dramatic and more spectacular than other ski areas. Visitors get the chance to enjoy the queue-free lifts, high altitude snow and wide uncrowded runs

If you only have three or four days to spare for this beautiful mosaic of meadows, mountains and charming towns, then make sure to spend a day or two perusing the cobblestone alleyways of Zurich or Basel. While there, do not miss out on a trip to their museums and dig into the history of the country. Then head for the Swiss Alps for some remarkable sights. 

A longer trip to Switzerland, lasting over ten days, often involves outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. However, we recommend a seven-day trip for those who want to sample everything Switzerland has to offer. Save a day for a castle tour in a country that is home to 500 castles and forts. Bask in the colorful architecture of its cities and towns. Go off-piste down the powdery slopes of the Swiss Alps and explore the scenic trials of Jungfraujoch. 

Switzerland in a week

Zurich, Switzerland
 Zurich is well known for its lavish lifestyles, high-end shopping, and sumptuous chocolates. And all that at the foot of the Swiss Alps
Water jet fountain with rainbow in Geneva, Switzerland
Compared to Zurich, Geneva feels more like a large town, lending a little peace and quiet, which can be good if you are looking for a time to relax

A seven-day Switzerland itinerary is perfect for those who want to get the taste of this splendid country. Start out your trip in the modern city of Zurich, where you can find high-class dining, shopping and accommodation. Spend a day exploring Zurich’s Old Town, losing yourself among historic buildings and cobblestone streets.

Once you have soaked up the luxury, head out to see the colorful facades of Lucerne before stopping in for a bite at the highly regarded Old Swiss House Restaurant. Spend a night there before traveling to the stunning Mount Pilatus the next day. Experience the tremendous beauty of the Swiss Alps as you gaze at snowy massifs.

Your next destination could be the capital city of Berne. See its Unesco-listed, medieval old town and browse through the collection of Zentrum Paul Klee, which houses Klee’s entire oeuvre, ranging from his childhood sketches through the paintings he made during his Expressionist, Surrealist and Cubist periods.

Make your way to the scenic Lausanne after that and explore its narrow alleyways filled with quaint coffee shops before stopping in one of its many artsy galleries. To top off your seven-day Switzerland Itinerary, spend two days soaking up the ethereal beauty of the lakeside city of Geneva, gazing at its lake, taking in the sights and sounds of the city and going for a hike in the surrounding areas.

For other exciting options, check out our list of 7-day Switzerland itineraries.

Switzerland in 10 days

Best outdoor destinations in Switzerland include visitng the Swiss Alps.
The Matterhorn stands in the border between Switzerland and Italy
Basel with Munster cathedral and the Rhine river in Switzerland
The Bern Munster Cathedral is one of the most extraordinary late-Gothic buildings in the city and is considered to be the largest and most important late medieval church in Switzerland

Having followed through the seven-day itinerary above, you can add destinations like Zermatt and Basel to your bucket list if you have ten days at your disposal. Home to the iconic Matterhorn, Zermatt offers year-round skiing opportunities. Enjoy a trip in Gornergrat Bahn, Europe's highest mountain railroad, while in Zermatt and ride to the summit of Gornergrat. Discover Basel’s Altstadt by foot and see the interiors of the awe-inspiring Basel Munster Cathedral. Call it an end to your Swiss vacation while sailing down the Rhine.

Browse through our list of 10-day Switzerland itineraries for more ideas.

Switzerland in 14 days

Gelmersee reservoir
The Gelmersee is a turquoise colored hydroelectric reservoir surrounded by snow-capped peaks and colorful wild flowers
Susten Pass, Switzerland
The Susten Pass opened to public in 1945 when it became the first pass road to be purpose-built for vehicular traffic

Having spent the first ten days of your Swiss vacation exploring the major sights of the country, you can then allocate the reminder of your 14-day Switzerland tour to uncovering the country’s hidden gems. Stop in between bustling metropolises and explore quaint, serene towns that dot the rolling meadows and dramatic valleys the country is known for.

The Bernese Oberland region, where snow-capped mountains rise over rolling hills and waterfalls tumble down towering cliffs, has numerous little-known attractions like Gelmersee reservoir and Susten Pass. Similarly, Lago di Saoseo, located in Val da Camp, is a slice of haven worth spending a couple of hours in. Go on a ride in the world’s steepest funicular while in Stoos and discover the geological wonder that is the Rhine Gorge before catching your flight home.

Planning a trip to Switzerland?

Get in touch with one of our travel experts in Switzerland for a customized trip. If you would like to book a package trip or join a group, check out our tours in Switzerland.

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Traveling to Switzerland? Chat with a local travel specialist in Switzerland who can help organize your trip.

  • Tomaz Martinek
    Tomaz Martinek
    Travel Expert in Croatia & Switzerland
  • Tomaz Martinek
    Tomaz Martinek
    Travel Expert in Croatia & Switzerland
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Travel Expert in Croatia & Switzerland
Tomaz Martinek Travel Expert in Croatia & Switzerland
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