If you only had one week in Switzerland, here is a 7-day Swiss itinerary for active travelers with the best things to do in Lucerne, Interlaken, Grindelwald, Adelboden, Zermatt, Disentis, and Davos.
Switzerland is one of the most visited countries in Europe filled with exciting things to see and fun activities to do. You can visit Switzerland at any time of the year and enjoy all these activities. Discover some of the world-class attractions, massive glaciers, historical art, breathtaking hiking trails, national parks, and museums. Whether it is heart-pumping activities, spectacular mountain scenery, European cuisine, or any other thing on your bucket list, Switzerland has it all.
When planning your trip to Switzerland, you should try to mix both the beautiful Swiss cities and fun outdoor activities. Planning is essential for you to ensure that you have covered as many areas as possible. If you are in Switzerland for one week, then this itinerary will help you to discover some of these fantastic places on earth. You must not pack it so full that you will not have a wiggle room when the schedule becomes too tight.
How to Get Around Switzerland
If you want to get around Switzerland by car, then you should buy a toll sticker at about $45 that allows you to drive on the national roads. Keep in mind that a rented car always comes with a valid toll sticker that is included in the final price. Driving in Switzerland is safe and fun as roads are well paved, and the traffic is very relaxed. There are many gas stations along the way, even on the mountainous passes, so you don’t have to worry about running out of gas.
Here’s an interactive map of this Swiss itinerary for active travelers:
The public transportation is well-connected and developed, and you can get around quickly without any stress. You can purchase the Swiss travel pass if you want to use trains, buses, and cable cars. It is the best option to save money and usually expensive separated tickets.
Money & currency
Switzerland is not part of the European Union, and it is imperative to know the official currency is Swiss Franc. Although Euros are widely accepted in the country, the exchange rate can be quite ridiculous. Debit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted and you can use any ATM with extraordinary fees. Cash is the king in Switzerland, so do your budget planning and currency exchange beforehand.
Day 1: Lucerne
On your first day, you will arrive at Lucerne and store your luggage in a hotel before you begin exploring the lovely city and the marvelous surrounding scenery. I recommend heading to the mountains first and exploring the city second. Lucerne has two famous mountains, and you can easily reach them using cogwheel or cable cars.
Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus will take about three-quarters of a day to explore and discover every corner of a popular tourist trail. The views are astonishing when you reach the summit, and you’ll have a complete panorama of Lucerne from the top. On the other hand, Mount Rigi is a gorgeous mountain offering drop-dead views of Lake Lucerne, and you can spend your time immersing the stunning scenery and taking memorable photos.
Lucerne city center
The city center offers a stunning view of city life away from the villages in Switzerland. You can take your time to see the city, explore the architecture and immerse in delicious local cuisine. Don’t forget to visit Chapel Bridge for awesome views and walk around the lake.
Day 2: Interlaken
When it comes to Interlaken, we are referring to the region of Interlaken and Jungfrau. It is a comprehensive location that you can enjoy a visit to the area because many attractions will keep you busy. The scenery is beyond beautiful as you will get to check out the region in your second of Switzerland visit.
St. Beatus Caves, Suspension Bridge, and Grabenmühle
These are some of the best attraction sites in the region, which you can do all of them at once. You can head to gorgeous St. Beatus Caves, and you do not have to buy a ticket to access them. You can get here by public transportation. The bride is a hidden gem of the area. It is one place that many people go to take pictures. These places are not well known so that you will experience the tranquility of the highest level.
Thun is a city that is often overlooked. However, you can enjoy your time in the region by visiting the city. There is Aare River, which flows through it, and when you spend your time at Lake Thun, you can check out the streets of the town and explore castles around the region. You can have the best view of Lake Thun when you are at Schloss Thun.
Day 3: Grindelwald
When you speak of Grindelwald, the word that comes to mind is magic. Scattered on the slopes of the valley, Grindelwald is one of the amazing tiny villages in Switzerland. It is surrounded by the famous Swiss mountains and lush green valleys. A quaint town is a must-visit place because there are so many things to do around the town. Grindelwald has gained so much popularity in the world because of its nature. Here are some of the things that you should definitely do:
The Swiss mountainscape offers you a chance to visit some of the best trails in the country. Eiger hiking trail is located in the region, and you can take the 6-kilometer hike leading to the famous trio mountains Monch, Jungfrau, and Eiger. It is a fun ground for winter sports enthusiasts.
In the summit of Bernese Oberland is First. It is a location where there are numerous fun activities that you can do throughout the day. The most common is the First Flyer and Cliff Walk. You can witness the Rocky Mountains while in the metallic walkway. Besides, the First Flyer gives you a chance to test your adrenaline by ziplining at 85 kilometers per hour, how crazy can that be?
Jungfraujoch is probably one of the best destinations in Switzerland, one of the top things that many put on their list, and it has the highest train station in Europe. Many visitors throng the area each year so you should plan effectively to be around when there are a few people to get enough time to maneuver through different places with ease.
It is a glorious part of the Swiss Alps, and as it is located at 3,500 meters above sea level. On top of hiking, you will find snow tubing, skiing, and snow activities.
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Day 4: Adelboden
The beautiful, exciting, and marvelous village of Adelboden holds a special place in the hearts of many tourists because it is one of those places that you will experience magical alpine adventure. The village is 45 minutes away south of the Swiss capital Bern. You can easily access it by bus or train. Here are some of the fun activities that you can do in Adelboden.
Hike along the alpine trail
You can pick a path and go hiking. There are over three hundred kilometers of hiking trails in this location, and they are all labeled on yellow signs indicating the distance, name, and the estimated time of finishing the trail. You can never miss the trails as your chance to get the details right on the map. As you ascend, you will see cows in the alpine range during the summer period.
Rent a Trottinette
If you are feeling adventurous, you should try the Trottinette that is a motor-less scooter on which you stand and ride down the mountain. There are over 30 miles that are completely dedicated to the Trottinette.
Enjoy a campfire picnic
It is one of the most fun activities to do in the region. You can spend your afternoon on a campfire and roast your sausages or maize in whichever way you want to make everything exciting.
Experience the thrills at the adventure park
Adelboden has a lot of mountain adventures that you can enjoy. You are not limited to a few areas, you can join bouldering, rock climbing, and zip lining all aspects.
Try a delicious fondue
When it is summertime, it is fun, fresh, and exciting, and you can enjoy a wide array of activities. You can enjoy all kinds of music and cuisine in the region without any pressure.
Day 5: Zermatt
Zermatt is one of the most popular winter destinations. It is even more famous because winter sports lovers come to visit the region on an annual basis. While the town can be small and fast, many travelers come to visit and explore the area. The town is perfect because you can stroll along the Vispa River or do luxury shopping in the region. The mountain is one of the most iconic places in the world. The weird and unique shape makes it one of the destinations you should visit in the region. You can visit Kleine Matterhorn and enjoy the views from there.
Getting to Zermatt
Zermatt is car-free, and it can be quite time consuming to get into the region.
However, you can use the bus, and trains to get you to the area. The scenery in Zermatt is jaw-dropping, and you can spend your time marveling at the sculptures, or you can explore the cute village of Zermatt. There are beautiful lakes that you can hike along with them.
There is so much to see in Zermatt, and all you need is to make time and visit the region. The panoramic views of the lakes and mountains give a different vibe to the area. Whatever you will be doing, you are sure that you will enjoy your day in the region.
Day 6: Disentis
Most skiers want to get a feel of fresh snow powder, and this is where Disentis comes in. The location is widely known for its exquisite adventure, and you can enjoy having fun in the snow as you ride through the slopes. The picturesque nature of the environment is genuinely astonishing. The link to Andermatt means that you can enjoy peace and tranquility as you recharge.
Snowboarding and skiing
With the main area being the location of skiing, Disentis is an ultimate location for winter sports. You can discover the winter wonderland on snowshoes since it is marked. Why not try something new? Check out the trails, there are so many trails, and you can have fun any way you want.
Visit Benedictine Abbey monastery
The monastery was founded in the 8th century, and it is still established until today. You can learn the history of the swiss people and get to embrace the artistic nature of the people of this location. The natural history depicts changes that have occurred over time and what the people of faith believe in.
Gold panning along River Rhine
Everyone dreams of striking gold somewhere. Along the river Rhine, you can begin the process by panning with others. It offers an exceptional thrill as you can incorporate camping and adventure to add plenty of fun to the experience.
Day 7: Davos
Davos is one of the most popular locations in Switzerland. At an elevation of 1,500 meters above sea level, it is one of the highly built villages in the alp’s region. Cable cars, funiculars, ski lifts can help you rise higher and observe the area with a better angle.
During the winter period, it is a host to many skiing games and activities. Besides, it is known for holding the world economic forum every year in January.
Visit Kirchner museum
The museum has been in operation for a very long time, and there are many art collections that you can marvel at in this museum. You will be able to learn a lot of the history of the swiss people through the depiction of various art forms.
It is not a secret why Davos is the best skiing location in the world. During winter, the region is filled with snow, and the skiing pitches are well prepared for the winter games. You can get over 320 kilometers of downhill pistes. The areas are often magical, and you can take photos or try skiing. There are different categories of skiers, and you can fine-tune your technique on fresh powder.
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Rinerhorn is a mountain that faces the Landwasser valley – famous for its viaduct – and you can access it by chairlifts and buses. The experience that you will see in this location is like no other.
During the summer, you can walk through the range and check out animals such as lambs and baby goats. How cool is that? You can admire the animals and spend time with the locals as you know about their history and culture.
Keep reading: Ultimate One Week In Switzerland For Mountain Lovers
Now that you have the itinerary, feel free to customize it to your needs and to choose where to start and finish based on your travel plan and departure time.