A Perfect 4-Day Switzerland Itinerary

Sure, you could read a bunch of blog posts and decide what to do on your trip to Switzerland, and then piece that together into a great trip itinerary....Or you could just use my perfect 4-day itinerary to have the same fantastic trip with none of the planning stress! I've already done all the hard work and tested this itinerary out for you! 

For this plan, you'll want to fly in and out of the Zurich airport and find lodging in Zurich for days 1, 3, and 4. Day 2 involves staying in the beautiful little town of Mürren in the Swiss Alps. Day 1 can accommodate a flight that arrives early that morning, if you don't want to pay for staying an extra night, and there's a chance you could make an evening flight work on day 4, but I would recommend just flying out on your fifth day if possible. 

Of course you can always shuffle the days around to fit your needs, or extend your trip to spend longer in each place if you want too! My blog posts about spending a day in Zurich and day trip options provide details on the activities below and include some tips on what else you could add to your itinerary.


Day 1 - Zurich**

10am: Lindt and Sprugli factory tour 
  • self-guided tour for ~60-90 minutes depending on how many stops you make 
  • brunch at the Lindt café
12:30pm: take the bus to downtown Zurich and do a walking tour of the old town
  • Opera House (Opernhaus)
  • Kunsthaus Zurich (art museum)
  • Grossmunster tower for city views
  • take the polybahn up to the plaza in front of ETH Zurich 
  • walk along the river and cross a bridge to get to the Landesmuseum (the National Museum of Zurich)
  • go through the Zurich HB railway station
  • window shopping on Bahnhofstrasse (high-end shopping)
  • dinner at Hiltl, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world
  • the Church of St. Peter with the largest tower clock face in Europe
  • Fraumunster church
  • City Hall Building (Stadthaus Zurich)
The walking tour and dinner at Hiltl could take anywhere from 3 to 7 hours depending on how many of the things listed you explore and to what extent. 
Take a lake Zurich boat from Burkliplatz back to where you're staying and see the city from the water

Day 2 - Interlaken, Lake Brienz, and Mürren

8am: take an early train to Interlaken (2 hours), or drive if you have a rental car (1.5 hours)
10am: ride the funicular near the railway station to the top of Harder Kulm 
  • check out the views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz from the Two-Lakes-Bridge
Around 11:30am: catch the boat for Lake Brienz from the Interlaken East dock
  • eat lunch on the boat - most of the boats have a small restaurant inside
  • get off at Iseltwald, explore the town and then swim or rent a kayak if the weather is nice
Take the scenic hike between Iseltwald and Giessbach (1-1.5 hour walk)
  • explore Giessbach falls
Around 4:30pm Catch the boat back to Interlaken or Brienz and then travel to Mürren
  • take the train to Lauterbrunnen, take the cableway to Grütschalp, and then take the gauge train to Mürren BLM or drive to Stechelberg and take the cableway up to Mürren through Gimmelwald (1 hour trip)
    • Walk around Gimmelwald if you take the cable car from Stechelberg and the weather is nice
5:30-6:30pm: check into hotel in Mürren
7pm: Enjoy traditional Swiss fondue dinner at hotel or nearby restaurant (reservation usually required in advance)

Day 3 - Mürren, Lauterbrunnen, and Grindelwald 

8am: take the cableway up to Schilthorn
  • skip if the weather is not clear enough to good visibility (check the webcam at the Mürren cable car station)
9am: travel back down to Lauterbrunnen
10am: start at the Lauterbrunnen sign behind the visitors center and take the trail through the valley (2 hours)
  • go uphill and behind Staubbachfall, through a tunnel and a staircase to a trail that gives you a view of the whole valley 
  • stop at the vending machine shop for local cheese and syrup
  • follow the small marked trail to Trummelbachfalle (series of 10 waterfalls, requires a small entry fee)
  • grab lunch at the café at the entrance to Trummelbach 
12pm: catch a train or drive to Grindelwald (40 min)
12:45pm: take the cable car up to the First Cliff Walk (30 min)
  • walk around the cliff walk and, of course, take a picture on the overhang! (20min)
1pm: buy some snack food and water from the First visitor center and hike to Bachalpsee (1.5 hour)
3:30pm: hike back to First to catch the last cable car back down to Grindelwald (1.5 hour)
  • make sure you know when the last cable car heads down the mountain and adjust how long you are at Bachalpsee so you don't miss it!
5:30pm: take the train or drive back to Zurich (2-2.5 hours)

Day 4 - Rhine Falls and Stein Am Rhein**

9am: catch the train from Zurich to Schaffhausen (40 min), and then take the bus or Rhyfall Express tourist train to get to the north bank of the Rhine Falls
  • follow the bank down to the ticket office and book a tour on one of the boats that goes out into the river
    • observe where the different color boats go and then book the option that interests you
  • walk along the river and around to the other side to get to the viewing platforms and the Laufen Castle and museum
  • eat lunch from one of the restaurants along the banks of the Rhine River
1pm: go back to Schaffhausen and take the train to Stein Am Rhein (20 min)
1:30pm: get a map from the visitors center in the old town and do a self-guided walking tour
  • pop into various museums marked on the map, or shops that catch your interest
3pm: visit a winery on the hills above the old town (reservations required in advance)
6pm: walk or take a taxi up to the Hohenklingen Castle for dinner (30 min walk, reservation recommended in advance)
8pm: take the train back to Zurich (1.5 hours)

** if day 4 falls on a Sunday or Monday, swap day 1 and day 4 on the itinerary. Stein Am Rhein is basically closed on those days.

For a printable version of this itinerary click here


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