I recently went to Switzerland for a work trip, and my partner joined me. Switzerland is expensive, and since my employer paid for my visa and plane ticket, we thought it was a perfect opportunity for us to spend a few days in Switzerland. It was my partner’s first time visiting the country, so we wanted to make sure we see as much as possible in the five days we were there. We found planning our Switzerland itinerary challenging as we could not decide on which places to visit and which to leave out.
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Our Switzerland itinerary: Day 1
We started our 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.
Our favorite 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.
- I loved the Tinguely Fountain with its mechanical instruments that could fascinate me for hours.
- The hammering man on Aeschenplatz is a must-see. It is a huge mechanical man that simulates hammering.
- Basel also has beautiful buildings. My favorite was the city hall with its vibrant colors and the gold decorations. No photo can do this building justice; you have to view it yourself to understand how magnificent it is.
Our Switzerland itinerary: Day 2
Our favorites here 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.
- 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.
Our Switzerland itinerary: Day 3
We spent day 3 of our Switzerland itinerary in Zermatt. We arrived in Zermatt late the Friday evening and immediately planned our next day there.
I have written about the many things there are to do in Zermatt, here are the highlights for us:
- Using the Gornergrat Going up the mountains to view the Matterhorn. Seeing the Matterhorn is a once-in-a-lifetime sights which heavily depends on the state of the weather. We were 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.
- We had our first traditional Swiss meal in Zermatt. We could have had Swiss food anywhere in Switzerland, but Zermatt seemed unusual enough to be the city where we try it. Also, everyone in Zermatt we spoke to, recommended the same Restaurant (Restaurant Stadel). So, we 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.
Our Switzerland itinerary: Day 4
From Zermatt, we made our way to Wengen. The area around Wengen is one of the most beautiful regions I have ever seen. We were there at the beginning of Summer and everything was lush and green. Our main reason for visiting Wengen was to go to Jungfraujoch. What is nice about Jungfraujoch is that the weather does not affect going up 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.
Our Switzerland itinerary: Day 5
From Wengen, our Switzerland itinerary ended in Zurich. We had a day to spend in Zurich and we followed much of the same walking route I walked on my first visit to the city. We enjoyed watching the sunset on the many beautiful churches in the Swiss capital city.
The good, the bad and the ugly
As you can probably see, our 5-day Switzerland itinerary was a busy one. We spent a lot of time on the 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 our 5 days in Switzerland in this manner allowed us the opportunity to see which cities and regions we would like to visit on future trips.
Have you ever been to Switzerland? What was your favorite sight or city during your time there? Where in Switzerland would you still like to visit?