Paraglide between the scenic valleys of Lauterbrunnen, ride one of the world’s steepest open-air funiculars, and catch the sunrise against the iconic “Toblerone” Matterhorn mountain — all for under S$2.3k across six cities in Switzerland.

Mountain View - Switzerland Itinerary

Majestic mountains, deep forestry and azure blue skies. Switzerland is every bit true to its name, but nothing prepared me for the sheer gorgeousness of that imagery to be multiplied by a thousand in person. I mean, could you imagine waking up to the view above every day? 😍

Switzerland is an expensive destination — a standard meal at McDonalds costs ~S$15, that says a lot eh? — but this itinerary will prove that you don’t have to be crazy rich (or asian, for that matter) to experience the best of Switzerland under a S$2.3k budget.

We’re talking about visiting the valley that inspired a scene in The Lord of The Rings movie, watching the sunrise at the Matterhorn mountain, and sliding down the Fräkigaudi Sommer with the Swiss Alps in the background, among others.

Switzerland Itinerary Map - Rail Route
View of Lauterbrunnen Church - Switzerland Itinerary

Budget Breakdown for 10 Days Across 6 Cities

Accommodation: ~S$558
Activities: S$365.31
Transport: S$1,057.39 (incl. Swiss Travel Pass)
Food & Miscellaneous:
 S$304.70

Total: ~S$2,285/pax 
Click here for full breakdown

Read also: How we saved S$1,000 in Switzerland with the Swiss Travel Pass

Check Flights to Switzerland

This Switzerland itinerary starts off in Zürich. Flight prices aren’t included in the budget since they fluctuate all year round, but you can check them out here:

 

If you can’t see the widget above, click here: flights from Singapore to Switzerland.

Travelling with the Swiss Travel Pass

Swiss Travel Pass - Switzerland Itinerary

Unless you’re renting a car to drive (petrol is crazy expensive btw!), the Swiss Travel Pass is an absolute essential for getting around Switzerland without bursting your budget.

Apart from including train rides, the Swiss Travel Pass also covers an extensive network of buses, boats and 500 museums across the country. Check out our guide to maximising the Swiss Travel Pass for more details on what’s covered and what’s not.

The Swiss Travel Pass is available in 3, 5, 8 and 15 days but for this itinerary, the 8-day pass worked best! We flew into Zürich, rented a car to cover our first day of transport to Lucerne and around, before activating the pass for Day 2 – 9. Once back in Zürich, you can get around the city either by walking or with the ZVV day-pass — valid for 24-hours. Using the pass only within Zürich meant that we were covering two zones, which set us back at CHF17.60/pax for the day.

Read also: How we saved ~S$1,000 With The Swiss Travel Pass

Day 1 – 3: Lucerne 

View of Lucerne form above - Switzerland Itinerary

An hour away from Zürich Airport, spend two days in the historic city of Lucerne. Explore its charismatic old town, get to the top of Mt Pilatus via the famous Golden Round Trip, enjoy a panoramic view of the Swiss Alps from Mount Rigi, and be sure to visit the Victorinox Museum to get your own personalised Swiss Army Knife!

Accommodation: Airbnb — private room in a shared apartment for three pax at ~S$158/night, 15mins from Lucerne main station.
Transport: Commute via public trains with the 24-hour ZVV day-pass or rent a car from Zürich Airport and drop off in Lucerne (~CHF100/day, ~S$137).

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Day 3 – 5: Interlaken

View of Handeck Bridge Front - Switzerland Itinerary

Interlaken, a backpacker-friendly city and the perfect base for day trips to surrounding adventures.

What to expect: Paragliding in Lauterbrunnen — between valleys that inspired the LOTR movies, riding the Gelmerbahn — Switzerland’s steepest open air Funicular, challenging your vertigo on the Thrill Walk — 200m-long walkway made of glass and metal wires, and last but not least, making it to Jungfraujoch — the highest train station in Europe.

Accommodation: Backpacker’s Villa Interlaken (Hostel) — CHF43/bed in a 6-bed mixed dorm, 10mins walk from Interlaken OST Station, or 5mins ride on Bus 102 (towards Interlaken West) alighting at Sonnenhof Station.
From Lucerne – Interlaken: Ride the Luzern-Interlaken Express (~120mins). It departs every hour from 7:05AM to 3:05PM except 8:05AM.

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Day 6: Montreux

Alimentarium in Vevey - Switerland Itinerary

Crossing into Montreux, you’ll first realise the stark difference between the German-speaking cities of Lucerne and Interlaken and French-speaking Montreux. Other than its French-influenced architecture, Montreux has the Swiss Alps as a backdrop and Lake Geneva at its doorstep. It’s a place to unwind due to its serene atmosphere and slower pace of life. Even getting to Montreux via the Golden Pass Line is an experience in itself. See Switzerland’s grandest castle Château de Chillon, stroll along the romantic streets of Vevey, and take a detour to the Leukerbad Thermal Baths before hitting the next city (Zermatt).

Accommodation: Airbnb — private room in a shared apartment fit for three pax — ~S$85/night, 5mins walk from Montreux main station.

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Day 7: Zermatt

 Zermatt in Winter - Switzerland Itinerary

Home to the Matterhorn, a.k.a. the “Toblerone Chocolate Mountain”, Zermatt is a car-free town that has ski slopes open all 365 days of the year. Skiing aside, Zermatt is also the gateway to some of the most beautiful hikes in the country. Plot your route around the vast Matterhorn landscape with this full map of the Matterhorn Paradise.

Cafe Du Pont Cheese Fondue - Switzerland Itinerary

Highlights here obviously include seeing the Matterhorn up close, but it’s also a great place to enjoy affordable cheese fondue (Cafe Du Pont)!

Transport: Take a train from Montreux to Leuk (1hr 20mins) and stop at the Leukerbad Thermal Bath. Thereafter, take the train to Visp (~30mins). The final leg is Visp to Zermatt (~1hr).
Accommodation: Zermatt Youth Hostel — bed in shared mixed dorm at ~CHF40/night, 15mins walk from Zermatt Station *Includes a long flight of stairs just before the hostel

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Day 8: Glacier Express to St Moritz 

Glacier Express train to St Moritz - Switzerland Itinerary

The Glacier Express is the queen of railways in Switzerland. The eight-hour picturesque ride is so popular that you’re advised to make reservations at least one month in advance to secure seats! (Bookings open three-months ahead)

On the trip, plug in to the train commentary for information about various stops along the route. Pre-book a meal or pack your own lunch.

Beginning from Zermatt and ending in St Moritz, highlights of the route include passing through the Oberalppass at 2033m above sea level, the Rhine Gorge (a.k.a the Grand Canyon of Switzerland), and the famous Landwasser Viaduct. Sit on the right side for the best views!

Glacier Express View - Switzerland Itinerary

Cost: From CHF185 (second class). Only a reservation fee of CHF33 is required with the Swiss Travel Pass
Timetable: Check schedule for specific timings

Day 9: St Moritz

Moritzsee Lake Views - Switzerland Itinerary

The final stop of the Glacier Express is St Moritz, a popular town with luxurious alpine resorts. From here, you can take a day trip to the town of Filisur where you can hike to the famous view point of the Landwasser Viaduct.

Accommodation: Youth Hostel — bed in six-man mixed dorm for ~CHF42/night, ~15mins bus ride from St Moritz station
How to get there: Glacier Express (8 hours)

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Day 10: Zürich

Zürich city view - Switzerland Itinerary

A bustling city with historical charm, Zürich offers a change of pace after days spent amidst nature. We arrived in Zürich from St Moritz at night, and started the next (and last) day exploring the city. Besides taking a day trip out to see the Rhine Falls, we explored Zürich Old Town and caught the sunset at Lindenhof.

At this point, our Swiss Travel Pass had expired, so we got around either by public buses or by foot.

When leaving the city en route to the Zürich Airport, there’s a direct train from Zürich HB station (~10mins, CHF6.80) or you can opt for a private car transfer to get straight to your flight with convenience.

Accommodation: Hotel Bristol Zürich — Various room configurations are available at ~S$95/pax. 5mins walk from Zürich station.
Transport: Local SBS train from St Moritz to Zürich (3hrs 6mins)

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Budget Considerations

1) Food

Packed food at Vevey - Switzerland Itinerary

Eating out anywhere in Switzerland sets you back at least S$20 per meal. For perspective, a simple main at an inexpensive restaurant costs at least S$22, water at restaurants cost S$5 a glass, and a McDonald’s meal goes for S$19. Our wallets would have experienced a money crisis scarier than ‘The Nun’ (more like ‘The None’).

The solution: Good ol’ supermarkets of Coop and Migros, which are found all over Switzerland. There are so many picnic-worthy spots in Switzerland anyway — great excuse to enjoy supermarket food outdoors! Think CHF4 salad pastas and CHF3 tuna sandwiches. Croissants, ham, and spreads in Switzerland are fresh and delicious for breakfast and lunch.

Opt to cook dinner instead of eating out too. We were kids in a candy store (kitchen, rather) trying out different recipes!

To our surprise, we actually managed to keep to a budget of ~CHF20/day. This was spent on groceries with a few restaurant meals of Cheese Fondue in Zermatt, a traditional Swiss restaurant in Lucerne and a comforting meal of McDonald’s. To be honest, food isn’t a highlight in Switzerland so we didn’t feel like we were missing out on much!

2) Accommodation

Accommodation in Switzerland - Switzerland Itinerary

The cheapest accommodation options are hostels and Airbnbs. Renting a whole Airbnb apartment can be pretty costly, but a room is usually good enough, even for the three of us!

Hostels are great because they’re not only affordable, but also often conveniently close to train station and offers access to travellers’ necessities — kitchen, laundry, and free breakfast. Plus point: You get to mingle around with other like-minded travellers as well! Hostels in general cost about S$50–70/pax per night in a shared dorm, which is considered reasonable for Swiss standards.

3) Transport in Switzerland

Train in Switzerland - Switzerland Itinerary

Travelling within or between cities inevitably incurs heavy expenses — one ride from Lucerne to Interlaken could easily cost S$41. We overcame this by planning our route around maximising the Swiss Travel Pass. For a flat price, we got all unlimited rides on buses, trains and even discounted entries (many up to 50%) to some attractions! After doing the math, we realised we saved a whopping total of ~S$971 with the pass. Seriously!

The cheapest and most fuss-free option is to get the E-ticket Swiss Travel Pass via Klook. Confirmation is almost immediate and you have the convenience of accessing the ticket on your phone. Not to mention, they’re also 5% cheaper than getting the physical tickets!

*Pro-tip: If you’re staying with an Airbnb host or hostel, ask for a Visitor Card. This gives you free transport within the city for the whole duration of your stay.

Read also: How we saved over S$1,000 in Switzerland

Iseltwald Castle on Lake Brienz - Switzerland Itinerary

Every city and town in Switzerland was so unique from each other — and every day was a surprise. Also, travelling across the country via rail, and waking up to a new destination each time honestly felt magical. We hope this Switzerland itinerary inspires you to try out this Swiss adventure — an experience filled with unfiltered natural beauty, amazing outdoor adventures, and rich cultural offerings!

Check Flights to Switzerland

 

If you can’t see the widget above, click here: flights from Singapore to Switzerland.


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68 COMMENTS

    • Hi Nikita, we didn’t include flights this round because flight prices tend to vary a lot and there wasn’t a flight promo we could share this round 🙁 hope it’s still helpful!

    • Hi Tabitha, we were there around the 1st week of October so the weather was comfortably cool. & yes we flew in and out from Zürich but I’ve seen itineraries that recommend an open jaw between Zürich and Geneva.

  1. HI, THANK YOU for the details in your itinerary. You mentioned that for Days 1-3, we could use ZVV 24-hour day pass or drive . Which did you use? If it was the day pass, please advise the zones which you bought – as I am likely to follow your itinerary closely.
    Much appreciated.
    Jeannie

  2. Hi Guys, just wanna let you know that this itinerary was really useful for our trip! We just came back from Switzerland and it was really helpful as we followed quite closely to your itinerary. Thank you so much for all the detailed info and tips! we had a great time in Switzerland!

    • Hi Luna, this itinerary was created just to share our own experience, we’re not selling any packages. However, in November, many of the mountain access will be closed due to heavy snow so do check them out beforehand!

  3. Hi,
    Can I check, do you still need to purchase the GEX pass even if you had purchased the Swiss Travel Pass?
    Hope you can clarify on this.
    thank you.

    • The Swiss Travel Pass includes your basic ticket on the GEX but you’ll need to top up CHF33 for a seat reservation!

  4. Hello,

    You have mentioned that you went there by first week of October, and we’re also planning to go there at the same time. But I’m worried because I have read in another blog that some of the places were closed. Did you have problem with it? We’re planning to go to Zermatt and Grindelwald.

  5. Hi,

    Can i check with you, that the reservation for Glacier Express, after i reserve the seat, and choose no meals, i click next and it just brought me back to the first page. Is it successfully reserved ? Or i am suppose to receive any confirmation email and itinerary? Thanks!

      • HI Cherie,

        On the Glacier Express website to book, how do i ascertain that the booking of seat is on the ride side? , there is no indication on the website . Do we assume that class 1 is the front of the train

        • Oh man, that’s tricky. But if you’re heading towards St Moritz, the bottom of the train would be the right side — does this make sense?

  6. Hi Cherie,

    Thanks so much for your detailed post.

    As I am planning to travel to Switzerland next year May with my teenage daughter after she finished her JC, can you advise me if it is safe to travel around Swiss just for two of us (ladies) ?
    ( we will also try to stay out late at night )

    That is my main concern since there are only 2 of us and I heard pick-pocket and crime rate is increasing.

    Appreciate your kind advice.

    Best regards
    Belinda

    • Hi Belinda! Switzerland is perhaps one of the safest places in Europe! — ok, don’t take my word for it since I haven’t been everywhere in Europe 😛

      But generally the Swiss are super honest and very friendly so there wasn’t a time we felt unsafe or cheated. That said, I wouldn’t keep my luggage out of sight when taking the trains. Either stow it above if it’s not too big or under the chairs. Hope you both’ll enjoy Switzerland as much as we did! 🙂

    • Hi Talia, we got our Europe Sim Card off Qoo10! The exact link we used is no longer available, you can do a simple search and see what suits you! Just searched Europe Sim Card and there were quite a few options.

    • Hi Phillip!

      We covered a bit of Zürich on day 10! It’s not much but if you hit “read more” there’s a few interesting things we covered 🙂

  7. Hello!

    Is the glacier express one-way? Planning to travel from Zermatt back to Zurich but cant really find this train route. Also, can we hop on with heavy luggages? And do people usually take glacier express as a one-day itinerary?

  8. Hi Cherie,
    I am going for 8 days. Arriving at Zurich in the morning and going to Lucerne on the first day from the airport. I guess i can somewhat follow your itinerary. But i was thinking of going to the following:
    Day 1 Lion Monument, Chapel bridge & old town as i wont have as much time on the first day since everything seems to close at 6pm.
    Day 2 Hammetschwand Lift, Mount Pilas and golden round trip & mount rigi.
    Day 3-5 I will probably follow yours for Interlaken . (I noticed that you didnt go to Trummmelbachfall & stubbachfall)
    I am wondering if it is doable in 3 days for all of this.
    Day 6 Zermatt can i go directly from Interlaken? I am thinking of doing a hike there. (any suggestions?)
    Day 7 Glacier express – should i book that now? Is it better to get window seat? i cant seem to find one.
    Day 8 Zurich and my flight back during afternoon.
    Do you think this is doable? Thank you so much Cherie!!

    • Hi Phil, will you be renting a car? The Hammetschwand Lift is a little inconvenient to get to without one. Other than that, this plan sounds alright. We didn’t go up to the waterfalls but we saw it up close during our paragliding ride (this was one of my favourite experiences)! Definitely try the gornegrat hike mentioned in the article (it closes in winter though so I hope you’re going early). From Zurich to Interlaken, there’s a change of trains. We used https://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html to plan our routes.

      Glacier Express MUST be reserved early. Locals usually book 2 months in advance but you’ll be able to enjoy the view all the same even if you don’t get a window seat.

  9. Hi Cherie,
    I am going for 8 days. Arriving at Zurich in the morning and going to Lucerne on the first day from the airport. I guess i can somewhat follow your itinerary. But i was thinking of going to the following:
    Day 1 Lion Monument, Chapel bridge & old town as i wont have as much time on the first day since everything seems to close at 6pm.
    Day 2 Hammetschwand Lift, Mount Pilas and golden round trip & mount rigi.
    Day 3-5 I will probably follow yours for Interlaken . (I noticed that you didnt go to Trummmelbachfall & stubbachfall)
    I am wondering if it is doable in 3 days for all of this.

  10. Hi Cherie, so sorry for the late reply . Thank you for your info but im going in early September. I am wondering what the weather will be like. So its probably best not to go for Hammetschwand lift since i wont be renting a car. Hmm i m wondering if going to zermatt for one day is enough…….yes i got the glacier express reserved but it wont be a window seat unfortunately. However, i still havent purchased my swiss travel pass yet. Do i just show them the pass when i get there since i already paid for reservation fee? Thank you so much Cherie.

    • September is perfect because all the hikes will still be open and it’s starting to get cooler. If you’re planning to do the hikes in Zermatt, it’s worth spending at least a night so you can watch the sun rising over Matterhorn. The weather isn’t always great so buffer a day or two if you can.
      For the Glacier Express, there will be someone walking around to check the passes so just show them your Swiss Travel Pass and a print out of your reservation slip.

      • I just realized from the weather forecast that it will be raining a lot the next two weeks. That is somewhat unfortunate. when i looked the weather forecast initially a month ago it was supposed to rain 1 day out of the time im coming but now that i look at it closer it is raining almost every single day. oy vey hah. I guess no sunrise moment over matterhorn then 🙁

        • oh man 🙁 We were there for 3 days, on the first day it was pouring so heavily we couldn’t get anywhere, the second day we caught the most magnificent sunrise and on the last day, it was so gloomy that Matterhorn was no where in sight! So don’t lose hope!! The good news is that Zermatt is still incredibly gorgeous even when the weather is terrible 😉

  11. Hi
    I am planning a 14 nights trip to Switzerland in Dec and will follow your route quite closely except we will stop over in Bern. Can I ask your 8 Day travel pass is flexi pass or consecutive ? What do you advise if for a 14nights in Switzerland, should we get a 15 days? In Zurich is it the pass is not really necessary as we will be in Zurich for 2-3 nights thereafter will fly back to Sin.

    Thank you.
    Vanessa

    • Hi Vanessa! Glad you found our itinerary useful 🙂
      Our 8-day pass was consecutive since we were travelling between cities almost everyday. Will your 15-day itinerary be covering 12-13 different destinations? If not, the 8-day flexi will be more worth it since it’s cheaper and you’ll get to spend more time in each location.
      We didn’t use the Swiss Travel Pass in Zurich so we saved that city for the last when our pass had expired.

  12. Hi,
    Should I reach juangfrauch by helicopter?
    Train ride prize is 190chf and helicopter is 250chf so which is more preferable?

  13. Hi Cherie

    Thank you very much for your reply. I will look into my itinerary and take note of your advice in regards to the flexi pass.

    Regards
    Vanessa

    • I can’t remember exactly but I believe it was done on 2 separate days because of the weather. But if you’re taking the first slot for paragliding in the morning, there’s more than enough time to do another hike before the sun sets.

  14. Hi Cherie may I have your itinerary pls. Thinking of going there in the beginning of May. Is it a good time to visit the places you covered?

    • A lot of them close in October up till Feb/March so I think there’s a pretty high chance it’ll be closed. Which hikes are you planning for? There’s usually a section on the official website that has info on the opening periods.

  15. Hello thank you fr your lovely post.

    Can i just ask, is the visitor card necessary even when i have the Swiss pass?

    And also, the activities like paragliding do i need to book in advance or can i book when im there?

    Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Hey Faliq, the visitor card is useful if you’re on the flexi Swiss Travel Pass! So on day where you’re just staying in the city, you can use the visitor card to get around on public transport for free while saving the days on your Swiss Travel Pass.

      Paragliding can be really popular especially during summer so best to book in advance! 🙂

  16. Hi, not sure if you will be able to help. I’ve bought the Swiss Travel Pass and intend to pre-book my train tickets (Lucerne-Interlaken, Interlaken-Zermatt) via Trainline. Does not seem to have an option for that Discount Pass though. Did you guys pre-book those as well? Or you guys managed to get the tickets at the train station on the day of travel? Or are those train tickets via those cities free if we have the Swiss Travel Pass?

    • Yup those routes you mentioned are free with the Swiss Travel Pass. Just have them on hand when the conductors do their routine checks. The only train we pre-booked was the Glacier Express between Zermatt to St Moritz. Hope that helps!

  17. Hi Cherie,

    Thank you very much for the lovely and detailed post.
    I am planning 10 days trip to Switzerland in Mid to Late June 2020. My itinerary looks like following:
    Day 1-2: Lucerne (1 day for Lucerne City Tour + Mount Rigi and 1 day for Mount Pilatus)
    Day 3-4-5-6: Interlaken (1 day each for Schilthorn and Jungfrau, 1 day for Lauterbrunnen + Paragliding and 1 day to visit other villages)
    Day 7-8: Zermatt (1 day for Gronergrat ride and 1 day for 5-lake hike)
    Day 9: Zurich (City tour with Rhine falls)
    Since I will be traveling from India, 1.5 days will be taken by flight.
    Do you think I need to add anything else? I am confused between spending 6th day in Interlaken and Montruex. What is your suggestion?
    Also where should I stay for Day 3-6 (Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen or somewhere else?) I am thinking to book whole Airbnb apartment.
    And finally if I book flights and Airbnb 3 months before, will there be any issue with price hike or should I book early? (I am not sure about the dates as of now)

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Jaymeen, this looks pretty similar to what we did! We managed to cover both Schilthorn and Jungfrau on the same day so perhaps you could just play by ear. If you manage to fit them on the same day, you could visit Montreux on day 6. Montreux feels quite different from the rest of Switzerland so it was quite a refreshing change in environment.
      We stayed 2 nights in Interlaken because that’s where all the cheaper options are but if you have more to spend, a night in in the Jungfrau/Lauterbrunnen area would be great! That way, you can take the earlier train up to Jungfrau too.
      I’m not too familiar with the Airbnb rates as they differ quite a bit but the prices at the Youth Hostels are quite consistent up till the day.

      Hope this helped and have an amazing trip! 🙂

  18. Hi, where do you purchase the tickets for the Golden Round Trip? Understand that we just need to top up CHF36 if we have the swiss travel pass. Do I purchase the tickets online or can I purchase the tickets a day before/actual day itself from Lucerne? Also, do I just show the swiss travel pass when I board the boat from Lucerne to Alpnachstad?

    • That’s right! It’s CHF36 for Swiss Travel Pass Holders. You can buy tickets at the entrance, no need to purchase in advance.
      & yes for the boat rides, they will come around to check for tickets when the boat is moving off.

  19. Hello! I was thinking of where to go for my honeymoon in June and was so happy to chanced upon this itinerary! Thank you so much for all the details but I’m still confused of where to start and all. Could you please help? Thank you 🙂

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