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 with the Swiss Travel Pass!

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 might be 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 Europe’s highest point, 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

Budget Breakdown for 10 Days Across 6 Cities
View of Lauterbrunnen Church - Switzerland Itinerary

Accommodation: ~S$592
Activities: S$365.31
Transport: S$1,029.18 (incl. Swiss Travel Pass)
Food & Miscellaneous:
 S$374.15

Total: ~S$2,361/pax 
Click here for full breakdown

Travelling with the Swiss Travel Pass

Swiss Travel Pass - Switzerland Itinerary

Unless you’re planning to drive through Switzerland (petrol is crazy expensive btw!), the Swiss Travel Pass is an absolute essential for getting around without bursting your budget. Apart from including your train rides, the Swiss Travel Pass also covers an extensive network of buses, boats and 500 museums across the country.

Cable cars and cogwheel trains up the mountains are especially expensive in Switzerland but with the Swiss Travel Pass, we got most of these tickets at a discount of up to 50%. Some of the mountains include Jungfraujoch, Grindelwald First and Pilatus. More details in our guide to maximising the Swiss Travel Pass.

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 you can purchase a ZVV day-pass — valid for 24-hours. Using the pass only within Zürich meant that we were covering two zones, which set us back CHF17.60/pax for the day.

Read also: How we save ~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 by train or car, 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 Victorianox Museum to get your own personalised Swiss Army Knife!

Accommodation: Airbnb — private room in a shared apartment for three pax at ~S$158/night, 15 mins 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, 10min walk from Interlaken OST Station, or 5min ride on Bus 102 (towards Interlaken West) alighting at Sonnenhof Station.
From Lucerne – Interlaken: Ride the Luzern-Interlaken Express (~120 mins). 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-influenced Montreux. Other than its French-influenced architecture, Montruex 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 of the 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, five-minute 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 ItineraryHighlights 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 (1h 20mins) and stop at the Leukerbad Thermal Bath. Thereafter, take the train to Visp (~30mins). The final leg is Visp to Zermatt (~1 hour).
Accommodation: Zermatt Youth Hostel — bed in shared mixed dorm at ~CHF40/night, 15-minute 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 Mortiz, 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

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Day 9: St Moritz

Moritzsee Lake Views - Switzerland Itinerary

The final stop of the Glacier Express is St Mortiz, 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.

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

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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 at 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 the 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: Airbnb — private room in a shared home fit for 4pax, located in Adliswil. 17-minute train ride from Zürich station.
Transport: Local SBS train from St Moritz to Zürich (3h 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 everyday 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!


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Loves writing. And the great outdoors, adventuring into the paths less travelled. Goal in life is to have a golden, sun-baked glow. Wishes she was a musician or dancer in an alternate universe. Has a soft spot for cats, and coffee.

29 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!

  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?

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