A busy 5-day Switzerland itinerary

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Whenever I travel for work, I try adding a few days for leisure travel, especially since my visa and plane ticket would already be paid for. A work trip gave me the perfect opportunity to spend a few days in Switzerland. I wanted to make sure I see as much as possible in the five days I was there. I found planning our Switzerland itinerary challenging as Switzerland has so much to see! Below is how our 5-day Switzerland itinerary turned out!

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Our Switzerland itinerary: Day 1

I started my trip in Basel because of my work obligations. Some people find Basel boring, but I have always thought it is a lovely city for a leisurely walk. Basel offers a variety of sightseeing and things to do, especially for lovers of art as there are many art galleries in Basel.

Resources for visiting Basel:

Click here for tours and activities in Basel

Check the reviews for hotels and self-catering units in Basel

My favourite things to do in Basel include:

  • Visiting the Dreiländereck, which is the spot where the borders of Switzerland, France, and Germany meet. The Dreiländereck is located in the Rhine river.
Switzerland itinerary day 1 Basel Dreilanderdeck
  • I loved the Tinguely Fountain with its mechanical instruments that could fascinate me for hours.
Switzerland itinerary Day 1 Basel Tinguely Fountain
  • The hammering man on Aeschenplatz is a must-see. It is a huge mechanical man that simulates hammering.
Hammering man in Basel Switzerland
  • Basel also has beautiful buildings. My favourite was the city hall with its vibrant colours and gold decorations. No photo can do this building justice – view it yourself to understand how magnificent it is.
Switzerland itinerary Day 1 Basel City Hall

My Switzerland itinerary: Day 2

I spent the second day of my Switzerland itinerary in Lucerne. I love Lucerne; I think it is a stunning city and easy to explore.

Resources for visiting Lucerne:

Here are the best activities and tours in Lucerne

See what the hotel options are for Lucerne

My favourite sights in Lucerne included:

  • Visiting Mount Pilatus. Mount Pilatus was my first introduction to the Swiss mountains, so it will always have a special place in my heart.
  • The Lion of Lucerne or the Lion Monument is in a rock formation. It commemorates the massacre of the Swiss Guards during the French Revolution. It is a sad and haunting monument, one of those you have to experience yourself to understand.
Switzerland itinerary day 2 lucerne lion monument
  • And the Chapel Bridge and Water Tower. Most people will immediately recognize Lucerne when they see pictures of this bridge. I enjoyed walking on the bridge and looking at all the paintings on the inside – they were painted well, but depict some scary-looking creatures and scenes.

My Switzerland itinerary: Day 3

I spent day 3 of my Switzerland itinerary in Zermatt. I arrived in Zermatt late the Friday evening and immediately planned my next day there.

Resources for visiting Zermatt:

This is the best place for tours and actitivites in Zermatt

Here are the best hotels in Zermatt!

I have written about the many things there are to do in Zermatt, here are the highlights for me:

  • Using the Gornergrat Going up the mountains to view the Matterhorn. Seeing the Matterhorn is a once-in-a-lifetime sight which heavily depends on the state of the weather. I was lucky and had clear weather going up the mountain, but unfortunately, the clouds moved in before we arrived at the top. Still, it was an experience I will always remember.
Switzerland itinerary day 3 zermatt matterhorn
  • I had a traditional Swiss meal in Zermatt. I could have had Swiss food anywhere in Switzerland, but Zermatt seemed unusual enough to be the city where I try it. Also, everyone in Zermatt I spoke to recommended the same Restaurant (Restaurant Stadel). So, I knew they had to be one of the best places to try Swiss fondue.
  • A unique place in Zermatt is the graveyard of those who died trying to conquer the Matterhorn.
Switzerland itinerary day 3 zermatt graveyard

My Switzerland itinerary: Day 4

From Zermatt, I made my way to Wengen. The area around Wengen is one of the most beautiful regions I have ever seen in all my travels. I was there at the beginning of Summer and everything was lush and green.

Resources for visiting the Wengen area where the Jungfraujoch is located:

These are the best activities and tours 

Here are the options for hotels! 

I stayed at the Arenas Resort Victoria Lauberhorn - read my review!

My main reason for visiting Wengen was to go to Jungfraujoch. What is nice about Jungfraujoch is that the weather does not affect going up the mountain as much as at the Matterhorn. There are many things to do in the Jungfraujoch complex, including the Ice Palace, Alpine Sensation, and Spinx observation deck.

Switzerland itinerary day 4 Jungfraujoch alpine sensation

My Switzerland itinerary: Day 5

My Switzerland itinerary ended in Zurich. I had a day to spend in Zurich and I followed much of the same walking route I walked on my first visit to the city. I enjoyed watching the sunset on the many beautiful churches in the Swiss capital city.

Resources for visiting Zurich:

Here are the best tours and activities for Zurich

Read the reviews for the best hotels for Zurich. 

I have been to Zurich a few times - see my reviews for the Leoneck Hotel and the Limmatblick Hotel. Click here to book the Leoneck Hotel or the Limmatblick Hotel
Switzerland itinerary day 5 Zurich Grossmunster

The good, the bad and the ugly

As you can probably see, my 5-day Switzerland itinerary was a busy one. I spent a lot of time on Swiss trains. On the one hand, we enjoyed the train rides and relaxing while getting to our destinations, but Swiss train travel is not cheap. Spending 5 days in Switzerland in this manner allowed me the opportunity to see which cities and regions I would like to explore further on future trips.

Have you ever been to Switzerland? What was your favourite sight or city during your time there? Where in Switzerland would you still like to visit?

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5-day Switzerland itinerary
5-day Switzerland itinerary

15 thoughts on “A busy 5-day Switzerland itinerary”

  1. Whoa, you just gave me a memory. I went to Lucerne some 20 years ago when World Youth Day was in Paris. We took a bus up from Italy & while driving the beautiful valley we stopped at the Lion of Lucerne. I just literally jumped up to find my old photo album of the site. Thank you for that memory.
    I loved Lucerne from what little I remember. Would love to see Basel too. That Tinguely Fountain looks cool. I think the Matterhorn would be an amazing backdrop to any day in Zermatt

  2. It’s so interesting to see the difference in architecture and art in the 3 different parts of Switzerland. I’ve only been in the french part and it was lovely, but I’d love to go back and see the others.

  3. The only place we overlapped was Zurich. I can’t wait to get back to Switzerland to explore more of the beautiful country!

  4. I haven’t been to Switzerland but I have heard great things about it. I think I will like Basel too, especially the place where borders of three countries meet each other

  5. I have mostly been to the German part of Switzerland, but I hear Geneva is more french and also nice to visit!

  6. Great Post and Stunning Pictures. I am an immense devotee of Switzerland and love to visit it over and over. Switzerland is one of my fantasy goals and it was incredible to see such a large number of things. Pictures are magnificent. Thank you for sharing this article.

  7. Great Post and Stunning Pictures. I am an immense devotee of Switzerland and love to visit it over and over. Switzerland is one of my fantasy goals and it was incredible to see such a large number of things. Pictures are magnificent. Thank you for sharing this article..

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