SwitzerlandMagnificent Cities, Mountains, and Lakes
Switzerland is a magnificent country with so much to offer for every visitor. From interesting museums, intricate art styles, adrenaline-fueled escapades, and more.
There will never be a dull moment on this tour, starting in the exquisite Zurich and heading through many incredible stops before finishing in the quirky Basel. So sit back and relax and enjoy this eclectic Switzerland itinerary.
Price Range: $$$$$
Recommended Days: 7 – 10 Days
Riding Hours: Approx. 5 hr
Distance: 279 km
Zurich: Capitalizing Beauty
A vibrant city that is set upon the meeting place of a river and a lake. It is considered to be one of the world’s most livable cities due to its financial center and artsy industrial edge. Within the city, you will find how it beautifully mixes its ancient history with contemporary trends. You will be able to see how old factories have been transformed into creative living spaces, whilst also keeping the history of the buildings. You will also be able to walk through peaceful parks and interesting shopping areas.
Head to the Old Town in the Lindenhof district where you will find some of the city’s must-see spots. You can explore the Peterskirche and the Bahnhofstrasse within these winding streets. Another beautiful place to visit in the city is the Opera House, not just performing operas but also the ballet in the city, you will be able to see an array of performances. If you want to see some art, the Kunsthaus has over 4,000 works of art from Swiss artists.
Don’t forget to visit Lake Zurich along the promenade where you can skate, cycle, or walk around. You will have the chance to see incredible views from the Burkliplatz, the Chinese garden, and even the Seefeld quarter. You can also relax in Zurich’s biggest park, Rieterpark. From this beautiful spot, you may even have the chance to see the Glarus Alps on the horizon.
Zurich HB → Lucerne Central | Duration: 0:45h | Transfers: 0
Direct connections to Lucerne leave every half hour from Zurich’s main train station, and are plentiful throughout the day. This journey takes less than an hour and has picturesque views of mountains and hugs Zürichsee (Lake Zurich) as well as curves around Zugersee.
Lucerne: Lake Lusciousness
Lucerne is probably one of the most exquisite cities in Switzerland due to its cobalt blue lake, surrounding mountains, and well-preserved medieval buildings, which show the city’s incredible history. You will find enchanting bridges, sunny plazas, and waterfront promenades while exploring this fairytale Swiss town that offers excitement and culture at every corner. If visiting in February, Lucerne’s well-known Fasnacht celebration sets the city alive with parties, Guggenmusigen, parades, and colorful costumes.
Visit the famous Chapel Bridge that once caught fire in 1993 leaving behind two bridgeheads and the water tower. Now rebuilt, this beautiful landmark is a picture-perfect spot to visit. You will find that as you walk along the bridge there are fascinating paintings that adorn it. Unfortunately, some were lost to the fire, but others remain to show the history and beauty of the bridge.
Famous for the absolutely stunning Lake Lucerne, you should not miss the chance to hop aboard a vessel and explore the wonderful alpine landscapes with a scenic backdrop. If you want to see the city from one of the best vantage points, head onto the Weggis – Rigi Kaltbad aerial cable car where you float high above forests, to look out over Lake Lucerne and to the nearby Alp peaks. If you haven’t taken enough different modes of transport already in the city, go check out the history of them in the country at the Swiss Museum of Transport.
Lucerne Central → Interlaken Ost/West | Duration: 1:48-2:10 h | Transfers: 0-1
Direct connections leave hourly throughout the day to Interlaken Ost (east station) and the journey is absolutely breathtaking. Depending on where your accommodation is, you can disembark at Interlaken Ost and continue by foot to your hotel or transfer to go to the Interlaken West station if your hotel is more west.
Interlaken: Daring Dives
Interlaken is home to exquisite mountain landscapes where daredevils and adrenaline junkies now congregate. With the glacier-fed Lakes Thun and Brienz, you will find the peaks of three mountains surrounding. It is considered to be Switzerland’s hottest adventure destination as you are able to abseil waterfalls, white water raft, skydive, and paraglide.
You will witness stunning Alp vistas whilst you enjoy mouth-watering chocolate within the charming town and also have the opportunity to explore the Oberhofen castle along Lake Thun.
Head out on one of the hiking trails where you will be able to see some jaw-dropping scenic views. With an overabundance of trails to choose from, hikers of every fitness level will find the right fit. If you want to see the town from a different vantage point, especially with the wind in your hair, why not enjoy the chance to paraglide. You will be able to admire snow-capped peaks and idyllic villages in the area.
If you fancy staying firmly on the ground and want to enjoy some Swiss chocolate heaven at the Funky Chocolate Club, here you will able to experience a chocolate-infused experience.
Interlaken Ost → Bern HB | Duration: 0:56 h | Transfers: 0
You can hop on the train at Interlaken Ost or West station, and head to Bern where you will arrive in less than 1 hour. These trains leave every 30-60 minutes depending on the time of day.
Bern: Picturesque Postcard
Once you step off the train you will think that you have stepped right into a postcard with its cobbled streets, stunning architecture, and picturesque fountains. The beauty of this city and the excellent museums will captivate you. You will be able to look out over the river Aare and wander through the historical Old Town. A lot of the city is pedestrian-only which allows you to explore with ease. Wander on over to the Einstein Museum, the Bern Münster, the Westside Shopping Center, or hop in the Aare River for a refreshing dip.
Discover the quirky fountains of Bern that are scattered around the Old Town. With over 100 fountains and many being topped with distinctive sculptures. You will be able to spot some incredible pieces that are worth a picture, like the Child Eating Ogre.
Whilst walking around, you’ll quickly identify the bear motif, which the city celebrates and identifies with as there are bear pictures in clock towers, window panes, and building design. But this makes sense why Bern loves its bears as brown bears have lived in the city since the 1500s. Visit the Bärenpark to see the city’s three current brown bears.
Bern HB→ Basel SBB | Duration: 0:56 h | Transfers: 0
Direct connections from Bern to Basel leave every half hour and take less than one hour to reach the Basel SBB station.
Basel: Architectural Glory
The last stop on the tour is Basel where you will find art and architecture that brings people in from miles away to see its wealth of galleries, iconic buildings, and the world-famous ART Basel festival. Spend the day walking along the cobbled streets before heading to the south bank where you can enjoy a drink at sundown or some riverside alfresco dining. If you’re up for it, head out on a ghost tour after dinner or rest up to visit the Kunstmuseum Basel in the morning.
Explore the glorious cathedral and Basel’s main landmark, the Münster, which is known for red sandstone walls and colorful roof tiles. Located on the Rhine River, it is an architectural masterpiece and offers fantastic views of Kleinbasel on the other side of the Rhine.
If you’re parched from all the walking around Basel, hop on a train to Rheinfelden. Less than 20 minutes away you will be able to visit and tour the Feldschlösschen Brewery.
We hope you have enjoyed this Switzerland itinerary and hope this inspires you to visit more of the country next time!
*Disclaimer: Due to the fluidity of transportation schedules, the information seen on RailwayHero may not be up to date at the time of readíng. Always double-check with the operator for the latest information.