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A Picture Perfect 14 Day Switzerland Road Trip Itinerary

A Picture Perfect 14 Day Switzerland Road Trip Itinerary

The country of Switzerland offers a little bit of everything to its visitors. From historical cities to beautiful mountains, the country has it all. While you can spend months exploring the ins and outs of Switzerland, 14 days is a perfect amount of time to see a whole bunch of it.

This 2 week Switzerland road trip itinerary will take you from Geneva to Zurich as you get to visit several places along the way. With stops in Lausanne, Montreux, Zermatt, the Jungfrau Region, Bern, Lucerne, and Zurich, the road trip through the country will have it all.

This road trip itinerary will walk you through a day by day view of how to plan the perfect trip there, with plenty of helpful tips to go along with it. Hope you enjoy all that Switzerland offers!

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1) Switzerland Road Trip 2 Week Overview

To start, here is the high-level day by day itinerary of what a 14-day road trip in Switzerland will look like. Later on, I will go into more details on how exactly to go about it.

Day 1 – Geneva
Day 2 – Travel to & Explore Lausanne
Day 3 – Montreux Day Trip
Day 4 – Travel to & Explore Zermatt
Day 5 – Zermatt
Day 6 – Zermatt
Day 7 – Zermatt & Travel to the Jungfrau
Day 8 – Jungfrau Region
Day 9 – Jungfrau Region
Day 10 – Jungfrau Region
Day 11 – Bern Day Trip
Day 12 – Travel to & Explore Lucerne
Day 13 – Lucerne
Day 14 – Travel to & Explore Zurich

» As you can see this is really an action packed 2 weeks of exploring Switzerland. You will want to arrive early in Geneva on day 1 or sometime the night before, and then leave Zurich later on day 14 or sometime on day 15.

» It is also important to note that you can do this itinerary in reverse if that better fits your plans – fly into Zurich and leave from Geneva. Alternatively, you could also take one last train ride across the country to avoid flying in/out of different cities.

Wengen Train Lauterbrunnen Valley View

2) Swiss Train Travel

The most important logistical aspect of this 14 day Switzerland itinerary is understanding the train system. When it comes to transportation networks in the world, it really does not get much better than the Swiss.

While I do call this guide a “road trip”, it is more so the trains that will take you between places. For a country like Switzerland, it just makes too much sense not to take advantage of it transportation network.

From trains to busses to cable cars, everything is on a perfect on time schedule that will get you from point A to point B.

Now, while it is efficient, it also can get pretty costly. Buying individual tickets for each part of this trip will add up quickly. To avoid this, you can opt to purchase what is called a Swiss Travel Pass.

The Swiss Travel Pass gives you the ability to hop onto basically any mode of transport in the country (besides some mountain transport), show your pass, and be on your way. That means no buying individual tickets, no worrying about what train you will need to take, and being able to pay one flat cost for it.

Since this is a 2 week trip, you will want to purchase the 15 day Swiss Travel Pass, which comes in around 429 CHF ($460 USD).

While there are other passes out there like the Half Fare Card and some regional options, at the end of the day the Swiss Travel Pass will be the best option for this type of trip.

You can purchase a Swiss Travel Pass ahead of time or in any of the main train stations around the country.

Note: if you have children under 16, they ride for FREE if at least one parent has a Swiss Travel Pass. You will just need to ask for the free Swiss Family Card when making the purchase.

» Learn more in the Switzerland train travel guide up on the site

Switzerland Trains Guide

3) When to Travel & Weather

While Switzerland is a year-round destination, a trip in the winter will look much different than a trip in the summer.

For an itinerary like this one, you will only be able to take part of it during the months of mid-June to September. That is because there are mountain regions involved throughout the trip.

During the winter time, these mountain areas will only really be open for skiing and winter type activities. Once the snow mostly melts by June, then the hiking starts to open up and you will be able to enjoy many of the activities and hikes mentioned.

One very important thing to note as you plan your trip is that the mountain weather can be unpredictable. A day can start off nice and clear before the clouds and rain roll in later in the day. Just because a weather forecast may say one thing, does not mean that will actually happen in the mountains.

Due to the unpredictability of the weather, you should try to be as flexible as possible when in those mountainous regions. Try not to set your itinerary in stone, but rather have the option to move activities and such around when you are in those regions.

For weather forecasting, I would recommend taking a look at Meteoblue, which does a much better job than most when it comes to mountain weather forecasts. If you are planning a hike up to a higher elevation, put that mountain or destination into the search and not the closest town (Interlaken can have much different weather than Schilthorn).

» The Switzerland weather guide up on the site can help you understand things a bit better.

Switzerland Weather Guide

4) Switzerland Road Trip Map

Below is a map with the route that will take you from Geneva to Zurich, making all those stops along the way. I have not pin pointed each and every activity but rather just the overall road trip route.

The Switzerland road trip starts on the bottom left in Geneva, heads around Lac Leman and then down to Zermatt. From there, the route heads to the the Jungfrau region before heading further east to Lucerne and Zurich.

5) Switzerland 14 Day Itinerary Breakdown

Below you can find a detailed 2 week view of what each day will entail. It is a great visual to look at that gives you all the necessary information in one place. It includes things to do, transportation, and overnight information for this Switzerland road trip.

Switzerland Itinerary 14 Days Switzerland Itinerary 2 Weeks

6) Switzerland Hotels

Since this itinerary does go to many different places around the country, there will be quite a few hotels to book along the way. To make things easier for you, below I have listed out my hotel recommendations for each overnight stay in the country.

Included is also a link to make the booking directly. I would recommend doing so as soon as you know your dates as hotels in some regions can fill up quickly!

Geneva: 1 Night
Hotel Recommendation: Hotel N’vy

Lausanne: 2 Nights
Hotel Recommendation: Agora Swiss Night

Zermatt: 3 Nights
Hotel Recommendation: Hotel Firefly

Jungfrau Region: 5 Nights
Murren Hotel Recommendation: Hotel Alpenruh
Wengen Hotel Recommendation: Hotel Edelweiss
Grindelwald Hotel Recommendation: Hotel Lauberhorn
Interlaken Hotel Recommendation: Hotel Bellevue

Lucerne: 2 Nights
Hotel Recommendation: Hotel Monopol

Zurich: 1 Night (if leaving day 15)
Hotel Recommendation: 25hours Hotel Langstrasse

Switzerland Road Trip

7) Switzerland Road Trip 14 Day Itinerary

Now that you have a bit more background about the road trip and Switzerland in general, let’s get into a more detailed day by day view of this 2 week itinerary. After getting yourself into Geneva, either early on day 1 or the night before, it is time to explore the city.

Day 1 – Geneva

Since you will be landing in Geneva, the first full day of this 14 day Switzerland itinerary will focus on exploring the ins and out of the city itself. Like many of the other cities in Switzerland, it is very easy to get around solely by foot.

You can also take advantage of the public busses and trams if you do venture a bit farther out from the lakeside. You will spend one night here before moving on to Lausanne on day 2.

The 7 Things to do in Geneva Guide will walk you through it all in greater detail. The main highlights include:

1) Old Town
2) Treille Promenade
3) City Center
4) Jet d’Eau
5) Lake Tour Option
6) United Nations
7) Broken Chair

Geneva Lakeside

Day 2 – Travel to & Explore Lausanne

On your second day, pack up your bags and jump on the train to Lausanne, where you will be basing yourself for the next 2 days of the trip. You will spend time in Lausanne itself, while also spending a day at the lakeside town of Montreux.

For your time in Lausanne though, you can walk your way around the city and make your way to some top attractions that it has to offer. Some of these include:

1) Lausanne Cathedral
2) Olympic Museum
3) Oucy Promenade
4) Place de Palud
5) Esplanade de Montbenon
6) Escaliers du Marche
7) Tour de Sauvabelin

Lausanne Rooftops

Day 3 – Montreux Day Trip

It is now time to head a bit further along down the lake to the town of Montreux. A short 25 minute train ride away, it makes for the perfect day trip from Lausanne. The last main town of Lac Leman, Montreux is a popular summer destination for locals and foreigners alike to hit the water and stroll around the city center.

During your day there, be sure to walk around the promenade, explore the lake, and then walk your way to the famous Chateau de Chillon – a medieval castle sitting right on the lake.

» For more info about these activities and more check out the Day Trip Guide to Montreux

If you have some more time, on the way back to Lausanne, you can head up to the Rochers de Naye viewpoint (~1 hour mountain train ride from Montreux) or relax in the vineyards of the Lavaux region.

Chateau de Chillon Top View

Day 4 – Travel to & Explore Zermatt

The 2 week Switzerland itinerary will now switch on over to the Alps. Take a morning train to Zermatt so you can have plenty of time to spend the afternoon walking around and enjoying the town.

The earlier you get out the better as the train ride does take about 3-3.5 hours. Getting to Zermatt before noon will give you enough time to check in, grab some food and head out to explore.

Throughout this car free town you will get some beautiful views of the Matterhorn out in the distance and can spend time walking the river while enjoying your surroundings. You can also head to the back of town, where you will find the Gorner Gorge, a stunning natural attraction.

Matterhorn View River

Day 5 – The Five Lakes Hike

It is time to enjoy your first hike of this Switzerland road trip as you head on one of the most famous trails in the region. The 5 Lakes Trail takes you high above the town and into the mountains, where you will visit five pristine lakes along the way.

Once you are all ready to go, make your way to the Zermatt – Sunnegga funicular and onwards to Blauherd, where the trail begins. As you walk the trail you will pass by five unique lakes around the area with the Alps and the famous Matterhorn in the backdrop.

The hike should take approximately 3+ hours before ending back in Sunnegga, where you can take the funicular back down (depending on time of year the funicular closes around 5-6PM, so be sure to time it correctly as you don’t want to hike all the way down to Zermatt instead).

» For plenty more information about this hike, take a look at the Five Lakes Hike Guide I put together.

Five Lakes Trail Zermatt Matterhorn

Day 6 – Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge

Day 2 in Zermatt will take you a little bit out of town and off to the small village of Randa – the start of one of the best hikes around the area.

Although not in Zermatt, the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge Hike should really be added to your hiking bucket list. It is not an easy hike by any means, but it will sure be worth the effort.

After a quick 10 minute train ride from Zermatt you will arrive at the small town of Randa. Start following the signs into the forest and after two hours or so you will arrive at the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world.

Once back in Randa, hop on the train back to Zermatt, where you can get a well deserved rest.

» The guide to the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge Hike will walk you through all you need to know about completing this trail. 

Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge Bench

Day 7 –Zermatt Options & Travel to the Jungfrau

On your last day in Zermatt, you can pick from several options depending on what you are most interested in.

1) Summer Skiing – one of the most fascinating things about Zermatt is that it truly offers year-round skiing. This means even in the summer months, you can grab some skis and head up the mountain for a morning of fun.

Since you are skiing on a glacier, the ski area does close around 1PM due to poor conditions. Even though it would only be for ~4 or so hours, you should definitely look into it if that is something you want to do.

2) Matterhorn Glacier Paradise – some of the best views of the area can be seen all the way up top at the Glacier Matterhorn Paradise. It takes a few lifts to get up top but once you are there, you will be able to take in some incredible views. You can also visit the Glacier Palace and have some lunch at the restaurant up there.

3) Gornergrat – another great viewing opportunity of the Alps is taking the train up to Gornergrat. You will get fantastic views of all the 4,000 meter peaks alongside the Matterhorn as you make your way up.

Once up top there will be a viewing platform and the opportunity to explore the area a bit. Instead of taking the train all the way back down, you can hike to one of the stops along the way.

Gornergrat Matterhorn View

Once you have completed any of the above you can check out of your hotel and head to the train station. Your next stop will be Interlaken / Jungfrau Region. The train takes about 2.5 – 3 hours so you should try to leave Zermatt by mid/late afternoon if possible.

The Jungfrau region is split into a few different areas – you have the Lauterbrunnen valley on one end with the famous Schilthorn, and towns such as Murren to stay in.

In the middle there is Wengen, a great central town to be based in, alongside Mannlichen, Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfraujoch.

And finally on the other end of the valley is Grindelwald, and is the base for the area around First. I have set up the itinerary so each of the next three days will be dedicated to exploring one of these three areas.

» Read up on the Murren, Wengen, Grindelwald guide I have to learn more about each one

Day 8 – Schilthorn & Lauterbrunnen Valley

Day 8 is going to be a long one but you will enjoy every last second of it as you head to the top of the Schilthorn and down into the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

The logistics to get to Schilthorn will depend on where you are staying, but at the end of the day you will want to make your way to Murren. From Murren you will be able to take a set of two cable cars all the way to Schilthorn.

Once up at Schilthorn you will see sweeping views of the Alps with the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau all in site. Spend a couple hours roaming the viewing platforms, having a drink at the rotating restaurant and checking out Bond World (yes a James Bond movie was filmed here).

Once finished with Schilthorn, take the cable car one stop down to Birg, where you can take part of the Thrill Walk – a platform alongside the side of the mountain with a few exhilarating aspects to it.

» This first portion of the day can be read up in more detail in the Schilthorn Guide I have up on the site. It will take care of logistics (from towns all over the area), tickets, and top things to do and see.

» Note that with the Swiss Travel Pass, all transportation up to Murren would be free. From Murren to Schilthorn you will get a 50% discount. This is a change from previous years when all transport was free.

Schilthorn Top View

You can then head back down to Murren, where you can grab some lunch with a view – my top spot here is Hotel Edelweiss. You can also take some time to explore this car free town and take in some of the amazing views of the valley below.

After lunch it is time to head down to Stechelberg, the start of your Lauterbrunnen journey. To get to Stechelberg from Murren, you can take two cable cars (Murren – Gimmelwald & Gimmelwald – Stechelberg) or you can hike 45 minutes from Murren to Gimmelwald and then cable car down to Stechelberg from there.

Once down in Stechelberg, you can begin your walk down the Lauterbrunnen Valley back towards Lauterbrunnen town. It is one the most beautiful valleys in Switzerland with waterfalls coming down off the sides of the mountain as you pass by small villages along the way.

After about 30-45 minutes you will come across Trummelbach Falls – a powerful waterfall inside of the mountain. There is a small entrance fee here but is well worth the visit to the top.

After visiting the falls, you can either continue to walk the valley back to Lauterbrunnen or hop on the bus back to the train station. Once there you can make your way back wherever you are staying.

Day 8 Notes:

› This day can easily be done in reverse order: Lauterbrunnen – Trummelbach Falls – Stechelberg – Schilthorn – Birg – Murren. The reason I have Schilthorn first is mostly due to having more time to make sure the weather will be cooperative. If you leave Schilthorn for last, then you risk having a smaller time window for weather to be good for a visit.

› If you are looking for a great adrenaline option, why not try out the Via Ferrata from Murren to Gimmelwald. It is definitely one of the more adventurous things to choose from in the Jungfrau

Day 9 – Bachalpsee Lake & First

The second day in the Jungfrau region brings you to First, the base of some great hikes and activities to take part of. To get to First, you must initially get to Grindelwald.

Once you reach Grindelwald you just need to hop on the 25 minute cable car all the way up into the Alps. Getting off the cable car in First, you will then be welcomed to some incredible views in every which direction.

You can then make your way to the Bachalpsee Lake hiking trail (~1.5 – 2 hours round trip). Although one of the more popular hikes around the area, the views along the way and at the lake itself are some of the best there are.

Taking in the views of the Eiger north face was one of the best moments of my trip. If you want to continue hiking onwards there are also plenty of other options to extend the hike from Bachalpsee instead of turning right back around.

» The Bachalpsee Lake – First Travel Guide will go over the hike in more detail as well as everything you need to know about the area.

Once done hiking you can take part of the First Cliff Walk, have lunch at the mountainside restaurant, and enjoy the relaxing view.

You will also have the chance to take part of some of the paid First activities – the First Flyer, First Glider, Trottibike and Mountain Cart. The guide mentioned above goes over those as well.

Bachalpsee Lake River View

Day 10 – Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg Trail

Day 10 of the 14 day Switzerland itinerary brings you to the town of Wengen. Once you arrive in Wengen (if staying elsewhere), make your way to the Mannlichen cable car station. Here you will take the quick ride up the mountain, where the base of some great trails are located.

As you arrive, to your left you will see a short trail up a hill. This trail is called the Royal Walk and can be completed in about 30-45 minutes.

Once you finish up the Royal Walk, you can make your way to the start of the famous Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg Panorama Trail.

The trail starts right at the cable car station and you will see signs pointing you in the right direction. What I loved most about this 1.5 hour trail is that the whole time you are walking, you are either looking down at the beautiful valley to your left or you are looking straight at the famous three mountains of the Alps – the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.

» For more info about logistics, pricing and things to know, check out the Mannlichen to Kleine Scheudegg Panorama Trail Guide I put together.

After taking in the trail, you can either hike back the same way to Mannlichen and take the cable car back to Wengen, or hop on a train in Kleine Scheidegg that will take you back to Wengen. Once back in Wengen you can grab some lunch and spend some time exploring the town a bit more.

Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg Lake View

Day 11 – Bern Day Trip

Just an hour train ride away from Interlaken, lays the capital city of Bern, Switzerland. Here you can experience a nice day trip out of the mountains. Note that this is a great option to move around over the previous few days if you find yourself with subpar mountain weather.

Bern was one of my favorite towns to walk around in as I took in the beautiful architecture, winding river, and fantastic viewpoints. Spending a day just strolling the streets is sure to be a highlight of your trip.

Similar to the other cities around Switzerland, Bern is extremely walkable and there is no need to worry about additional transportation once you arrive there.

Simply hit the streets and make your way from one place to the next. The Bern Switzerland Guide will walk you through it all – logistics, attractions, and more!

The main highlights include:

1) The Parliament Building
2) Zytalogge – Bern’s Clock Tower
3) Einstein House
4) The Fountains of Bern
5) Bern Cathedral & Munsterplattform
6) Barengraben
7) Rosengarten
8) The Aare River

Bern Parliament Building River

Day 12 – Travel to & Explore Lucerne

The 2 hour train from Interlaken to Lucerne is sure to fly by as you enjoy the Swiss countryside. Once you get yourself situated, it is time to do some sightseeing. Lucerne is filled with things to do – from ornate churches to walking the walls above the city, to taking in the one and only Kapellbrücke bridge.

There will be no shortage of things to see during your time there. A few of the highlights that I made my way to during my day there included:

1) Kapellbrücke Bridge & Water Tower – a historic bridge crossing the Reuss river with paintings drawn throughout

2) Museggmauer – the old city wall with the opportunity to check out some of the clock towers, as well as great views overlooking the city

3) The Lion Monument – a huge lion carved into a rock facade dedicated to the Swiss Guards who passed away in the French Revolution

4) Gletschergarten (Glacier Garden) – an indoor / outdoor exhibit with ice age glacial potholes, a mirror house, viewing platform, among others (cost is 15 CHF but free with the Swiss Travel Pass)

A few other buildings I stopped by to take in the architecture included:

5) Church of St. Leodegar

6) Lucerne Town Hall

7) Jesuit Church

Kapellbrücke Bridge Lucerne

Day 13 – Pilatus, Rigi or Titlus

Now that you have seen the city itself, it is time to head up into the mountains to get some incredible views from up top. 

From Lucerne you can choose from three different options: Mount Pilatus, Mount Rigi, and Mount Titlus. They are all easily accessible from the city center and any of them make for a great day trip choice.

Each one is a bit different than the next but you cannot go wrong with any that you choose. Depending on which excursion you take part of you will need to take a combination of trains, boats, cogwheels, and/or gondolas.

Mount Pilatus

Day 14 – Travel to and Explore Zurich

After two days in Lucerne you can take the quick 45 minute train ride to spend your last day in the city of Zurich. Note you can also head there the night before if it is easier for you.

If you are leaving on the night of day 14, you will have the option to keep your luggage in a locker at Zurich station before exploring the town.

Another beautiful old charm feel city, Zurich has plenty to offer its visitors. Some of these highlights include:

1) Grossmunster Church – not only a beautiful church but also one where you can climb to the top for a small fee (5 CHF). It offers some of the best views of the entire city of Zurich.

2) Fraumünster Church – another iconic church with a large plaza off to the side. There are events happening time to time which really fills up the area nicely

3) Zurich Opera House – just taking in the beautiful architecture from the outside was an incredible site to be seen

4) Bahnhofstrasse – one of the main shopping streets of Zurich

5) Walk through the Old Town – beyond checking out the churches, most of my day was filled with getting lost in the Old Town (Altstadt). There are plenty of streets to check out and explore.

Zurich Water View

I hope this 14 day Switzerland road trip overview has given you a better idea on how to put together a trip for yourself to this beautiful country. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them in below.

Also, don’t forget to check out the other Switzerland itineraries and guides on the site including the 10 Day Switzerland Itinerary.

Have fun out there and safe travels!

 

14 Day Switzerland Itinerary

 

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GILLIAN

Tuesday 9th of August 2022

THANK YOU FOR THE PERFECT ITINERARY. I WILL MAKE THIS AS MY REFERENCE WHEN I PLAN MY TRIP TO SWITZERLAND PERHAPS NEXT YEAR.