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What to do in Switzerland for 10 days!

Switzerland has been at the top of my bucket list for the longest time, and this year we made the trek to the insanely beautiful country!! In this blog, I’ll be sharing what to do in Switzerland for 10 days! From the epic biking down the mountain, to the perfect view of the Matterhorn and everything in between, I’ll be sharing exactly what we did! Also, I’m excited to share the tips on renting a car versus using the trains, the best method for using your phone, and our favorite hotel and Airbnb stays! So, let’s jump right in and discuss all the fun we experience in Switzerland for 10 days!

Where is Switzerland?

Switzerland is located in the heart of Europe. It is surrounded by 5 countries including Italy, France, Germany, Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein. It has a population of 8.3 million people. Switzerland is also most known for its chocolate, cheese, mountains, winter sports and incredible food!

How many days should you travel in Switzerland?

Personally, I would have stayed in Switzerland for a month or more if time and money was unlimited. The country may be small, but the sights to see are insane! I would recommend for your first time in Switzerland, at least spending 10-15 days here.

Traveling in Switzerland for 10 days:

Find below our 10 day itinerary for your vacation to Switzerland. Below I discuss exactly what we (my husband and I) did for our first time visiting Switzerland for 10 days!

Day 1 in Switzerland

Plan: Travel to Switzerland!!

Be prepared for a long travel day, drink lots of water, and check into your flight prior. Make sure to have passports.

What we did: 


Flights for Switzerland average around $900-$1500 depending upon time of year, and how many stops.

We left Wisconsin at 4pm, and arrived in Switzerland the next day around 2:30pm. There is an 8 hour time change.


  • Pack one checked bag and one backpack each! Be sure to have a change of clothes, electronics, snacks, and essentials in your backpack. Here is the link to my hiking backpack. I loved the drinking water feature and comfort! 
Best hiking backpack for 10 days in Switzerland.

Day 2 in Switzerland

Plan: Arrive in Switzerland, get settled!

What we did:

Once we arrived in Switzerland, we got our luggage and then went to the rental car place (Hertz).

Should we rent a car in Switzerland?

I researched for hours on the benefits of both renting a car and relying on public transportation. Essentially we decided on doing the rental car for the first 4 days, and then public transportation the rest. After coming back, I think you would be just fine with public transportation the entire time. Trains, buses, boats and more are very easily accessible and go almost everywhere. My recommendation is to purchase a swiss travel pass! 

Once we got our car, we hit the road, stopped for a quick sandwich and then arrived at our hotel – Hilton Garden Inn Zurich. By the time we got to the hotel it was 6pm! We decided to have a chill evening, catch a bite to eat, and get to bed early.


  • Like I mentioned above, I would purchase a Swiss travel pass and rely on public transportation for your trip. Download the SBB mobile app for all the timetables.
Train parked in Swtizerland.

How to use your phone when travelling to Switzerland?

When it comes to using your phone in Switzerland, I would recommend using an eSIM card if your phone is unlocked. Double check with your provider to ensure you have an unlocked phone. If you do not, see if your provider offers coverage in Switzerland. Wylie purchased a data plan through Cellcom which was $35 because he did not have an unlocked phone. I downloaded Airlo, which is a new eSIM card method! Super easy to follow instructions and only cost $8 for two weeks. I had 2GB of data which was enough, simply because there is Wi-Fi almost everywhere.

Almost all hotels, receptionists, waitresses and other tourist areas have workers who are bilingual in 4 languages! We were a bit nervous about this since we did not know any German, but we were pleasantly surprised when most people spoke very fluent English. Also, all menus are in 3 languages, so it’s very easy to understand.

Be sure to have a plug-in Type J adapter for all things charging. I bought two on Amazon!

Day 3 in Switzerland

Plan: Travel towards Faulensee, scenic stops, check-in to Airbnb, get groceries

What we did:

Can’t start a day without a yummy breakfast! We stopped at the Bloomell Coffeehouse which had incredible pancakes and service.

Breakfast pancake stack in switzerland.

We then walked around the town of Aarburg and took pretty photos of the Festung Aarburg Castle. 

After this, we traveled to the city of Bern (put in google maps “Einstiens Bench”, park at the top of the hill for a beautiful view of the city. Bern is very easy to navigate and to walk around. This gelato shop was super refreshing on a hot day

If we would have had more time here, it would have been fun to do a boat ride or a float down the beautiful river! The views of this town were straight out of a Pinterest board.

Lake Thun, Switzerland

Next, we departed and traveled to Spiez – we absolutely loved this town. On the way, we did a quick castle stop in Thun. With a Swiss travel pass, almost all of the museums and historical sites are free of entry, so I highly recommend taking advantage of that.

The views of Lake Thunersee were incredible from Schlosskirche, Spiez. This spot was quaint, had sailboats everywhere, and lots of cute restaurants. We enjoyed a little packed lunch on a bench in the park and it was so peaceful!

In the afternoon, we checked into our airbnb in Faulensee! I cannot recommend this Airbnb enough! The view from the living room was absolutely beautiful. The space was clean, cute, and perfect for our stay. These airbnb hosts have many Airbnb’s so I highly recommend checking them out if this specific one is already booked. 

This property had access to a private beach across the street, so we took a few hours to lay on the beach, jump into the lake, and watch the boats go by. The water was quite frigid when we were there (early July) but it felt incredible! We picked up groceries prior in Spiez at Migros, so we cooked a yummy meal here and watched the sunset over the mountains.

How much does Switzerland cost per day?

Switzerland can be expensive, but we planned for about $100/day of spending money on food, attractions, etc. Staying at the Airbnb and cooking our own meals for 3 days helped save a lot. We also picked up and packed tons of snacks for our long hiking days.

Man walking in between flowers in Interlaken, Switzerland.
The walking path to private beach at our incredible Airbnb.

Day 4 in Switzerland

Plan: Explore Grindelwald, First, and Lauterbrunnen

What we did:

Today, we got up very early to catch the 7:00am train to Grindelwald. The train ride was fairly empty, so I definitely suggest going early. We then walked up to the gondola to ride up to First!! YOU MUST PURCHASE tickets ahead of time. Check out this website for all the details as far as tickets, and adventures go.

The gondola ride was about 30-40 minutes long, but it goes by so fast as everywhere you look is magnificent. It was a bit foggy this morning, but it made it that much more dreamy and cool! 

Hike to Lake Bachalpsee in Switzerland

Once we arrived in First, we started the hike to Lake Bachalpsee! The hike itself I’d consider easy to moderate. When the fog would lift, the views were absolutely stunning. When we got to Lake Bachalpsee it was just incredible! So green, so beautiful and the perfect place for a swim or snack. On the way back down, the clouds all lifted and … I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves! The entire hike from start to finish, with stopping plenty to take photos took us about 3 hours.

After the hike, we made a pit stop at the Cliff walk. Not for those afraid of heights, but the views are insane! Also, we stopped for a quick photo with the cows on the side of the cliff. A true Switzerland Pinterest opportunity. 

A Must Do in Switzerland – Mountain Cart

This day we had tickets to do 3 “adventures” (First Glider, the Mountain Cart, and the Trottbike). However, the line for the glider was two hours long so we skipped that and went to the mountain cart first. I am telling you, if you want a crazy adrenaline rush, the coolest of views and a bit of a nail biter – DO the mountain cart! Watch a video clip here of the wild adventure it was! Truly, one of the craziest things I’ve ever done!! The carts were super fast, and luckily my brakes worked hehe!

Lastly, we did the 30k trottbike all the way back down to Grindelwald. I do not have the greatest of balance, but I managed to survive haha! Our feet were getting super sore so we took a few breaks along the way, but it was so much fun!

Schnitzel in Grindelwald

Schnitzel meal in Switzerland.

Once we got back down to the town, we grabbed some schnitzel and a brat, and walked through the town of Grindelwald!

When I go back to Switzerland, and yes that’s not an if, but when, I would love to spend an entire week in Grindelwald! So much to see, do, hike, and explore!

What to do in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

In the afternoon, around 3pm, we took a train to Lauterbrunnen. We walked all through the town – about an hour and half walk – past huge mountains, waterfalls, and fields. Per my research, this was supposed to be the town of endless waterfalls, and tons of cows. Well, we saw no cows haha. We did however see some beautiful waterfalls!

We hiked to trummelbach falls which had some epic water falls inside some rocks! I’d recommend taking the elevator ride up, $14/person and then take the stairs all the way down. The tunnels were quite chilly but I thought it felt refreshing after a warm day!

We then took the bus back to the train station as our legs were giving out from so much walking! Over 30,000 steps this day! We jumped in the lake a few times at our Airbnb which was perfect! 

Day 5 in Switzerland

Plan: Sleep in, relax, canyon tour

What we did:

This morning we had a very chill and relaxed start to the day. Remember this is still vacation, so it’s important to not burn yourself out every single day! In the afternoon we explored the town of Interlaken in which we got lunch at Pizpaz! 

At 2pm, we had a canyoning tour which was so fun! While this was completely out of my comfort zone, I thoroughly enjoyed my husband’s desire to be a bit reckless and fully immerse himself in the experience! Our guides were awesome and made the adventure even more fun! This company does tons of insane tours, so I highly recommend checking them out here. You can watch our video of the experience here, or by clicking play below!

Later that night, we took a bus into Spiez to grab a drink at Rox Music Bar and hang out!

Day 6 in Switzerland

Plan: Jungfrau region gondolas, travel to Zermatt, spa, night out

What we did:

On day 6 of our 10 days in Switzerland, we packed up our belongings and said goodbye to our beautiful Airbnb. We then ventured to a few random towns by using the train system and gondolas! We explored Mannlichen, Wengen and a few other small towns. Wengen was a super cute little quaint town that we bought some Swiss chocolates in! As a girl who doesn’t even like chocolate, Swiss chocolate just hits different. It is so good! Later that morning, we took the train back to Interlaken to return the car and make the voyage to Zermatt! 

Like I mentioned above, I would recommend sticking to train rides and using the Swiss travel pass instead of renting a car as the public transportation is incredibly easy and efficient. 

Swiss Chocolate in Wengen, Switzerland

I highly recommend exploring Wengen, Swtizerland and stopping at one of the local Chocolate shops!

Zermatt, Switzerland is absolutely incredible!

When we arrived in Zermatt a little electric bus picked us up and took us to the matthiol boutique hotel. We were greeted with a welcome drink and a tour of the hotel! Our room was equipped with a balcony with a view, spa like amenities, a sauna, soaking tub, steam shower, and a king size bed with an additional couch. This hotel was about a 15 minute walk from downtown Zermatt, but I loved the location! The hotel was small, but every corner had the best design! It also had a spa which was moody, dark, and so romantic! I highly recommend staying here during your 10 days in Switzerland!

At night, we wandered around the town and ate at grampis! I had pizza and Wylie had ribs, both of which were delicious. There are no methods of transportation here except for electric buses, so everything is walking distance and so cute!

Day 7 in Switzerland

Plan: 5-Seenweg Hike

What we did:

5 Lakes Hike in Zermatt, Switzerland

Distance: 6.1 miles point-to-point
Elevation Gain: 165 meters
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Length of Time: 3 hours (5+ hours for us since we stopped a lot, went for a swim, and ate at a restaurant after the 3rd hike)
When to Go: June through September

This hike is a mostly downhill walk if you start at the Blauherd station and end at the Sunnegga station.

This hike gets its name from the five lakes you will hike past: Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee, and Leisee. Be sure to note, on trail signs, it is labeled as 5-Seenweg.

In my opinion, always hike early in the morning. Less people, less crowded trails and the mornings usually have the clearest skies! The entire hike was fairly easy as the trails are all wide, mostly gravel and not much elevation! We got some beautiful views of the Matterhorn, an iconic view in Switzerland!

The cliff-notes version of the entire hike looked like this: The first lake was the most beautiful. Second lake had cool little water falls. Third lake Wylie went swimming. Fourth lake was the teal one with sheep and the fifth one was way too many people. The full hike took us about 5 hours with stopping to take pictures, swimming and eating at the restaurant after the third lake which was really yummy. See photos below of all the beautiful stops!

One tip I recommend is if you start early like we did, wear layers as it’s is chillier in the morning but the sunshine feels great and gets warmer throughout the day!

Spa at Matthiol Boutique Hotel

In the afternoon, we traveled back to our hotel for a day at the dreamy, moody relaxing spa at our hotel! I wish I had photos of the spa, but we left our phones in the room and enjoyed relaxing to the fullest! We absolutely LOVED this boutique hotel and can’t wait to go back. At night, we ate at filet et fils which was very fancy, romantic vibes and good food. 

If you have read this far on our 10 day trip to Switzerland I just want to thank you! Only two more days to go with some iconic views and yummy food recommendations!

Day 8 in Switzerland

Plan: Go with the flow, travel day

What we did:

Exploring the city of Lucerne

Waking up to the sound of birds, a nearby creek, and a beautiful view! Today was our last morning in Zermatt before making the long travel to Lucerne! We did a two hour hike around Zermatt along the Matterhorn trail. We then did an ice bath and enjoyed one more sauna/steam session in our room before we packed up and headed out.

The hotel will give you a ride down to the train station with your luggage which was great since our legs were pretty tired after hiking 8+ miles the last two days! Before hopping on the three hour train ride, we got some yummy brats at a street cart! I am telling you, do whatever you can to find this cart because it was one of the BEST meals we ate in Switzerland during our 10 day trip! They were so yummy, I wish we could have shipped some home!

Exploring Lucerne during our 10 day trip in Switzerland

We took three trains to get to Lucerne! Remember to check the time tables in the Swiss mobile app to confirm departure times. Once we arrived in Lucerne, we checked into our hotel – Ameron, which was walking distance from the train station! There are so many hotel options here, so where you stay is completely personal preference. This hotel was great proximity to the bridges, water, restaurants, and had a storage room for your luggage upon check in/checkout. The room itself was extremely cramped and small. The bathroom was very outdated, but we literally only slept in the room as we were out exploring the remainder of the time!

Lucerne is absolutely beautiful! There is a lot more tourists here, but the river and cute old town village feel is beautiful! At night, we stopped at a chocolate store to load up on chocolates. We sipped wine and had a beautiful meal with a stunning sunset view. And once the sun went down, we held hands while mingling in and out of pubs, people watched, and sat by the water looking at the ducks. Truly felt like we were living a rom-com!

Day 9 in Switzerland

Plan: Last full day in Switzerland, do whatever we want

What we did:

If you want Instagrammable worthy photos while traveling, especially in Switzerland, you must be willing to wake up very early in the morning! Anytime we are on a trip, I insist we get up early to explore and take photos. The photos of me on the bridge are not photoshopped at all. There was literally less than 5 people around the entire town. At 12pm, this bridge was packed with people! I promise you, it will be worth it!

After exploring all over the town, grasping all of these photos, we went back to bed until about 10! We then packed up, left the luggage at the hotel and wandered further into Lucerne. We did a tour of the castle, but I don’t recommend it. We then got lunch and some incredible sorbet at Opus. This was a cute little restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating and views of the water and bridges! If we had one more day, we would have done one more big hiking day to hike the Schafler Ridge, but our bodies were pretty tired by day 9!

In the afternoon we traveled to Zurich for our last night in the city! Wylie and I are not city adventurists so we opted for dinner at the hotel and having a relaxing night!

Day 10 in Switzerland

Today we got up at 5am to head to the airport. It wasn’t too busy so we breezed right through. When we arrived in Amsterdam we had to go through passport control and walk like speedy people to next gate. Sadly, we made our flight and had to go back home! Switzerland truly was the best trip of our life…so far!

10 Must-Do Things for your first time in Switzerland

  1. Grindelwald-First Trot Bike
  2. Zermatt Boutique Hotel Spa
  3. 5 Lakes Hike
  4. Lake Bachalpsee Hike
  5. Wine and Dine in Lucerne
  6. Ride a Gondola
  7. Street brats in Zermatt
  8. City of Bern photo stop
  9. Gelato in Zermatt
  10. Explore Grindelwald
Mountain view from Grindelwald, Switzerland.

Is 10 days enough for your first time visiting Switzerland?

In our travel experience, 10 days is usually the max amount of time we like to travel and be away from home. Usually around day 9, we are feeling tired and are ready for the comfort of our own space. However, if this is not you, I would recommend two full weeks in Switzerland for your first time. The country is so vast, beautiful, and there is so much to see/do! We will be back one day, and when that time comes, I can’t wait to spend more time in the places we loved!

My favorite thing we did in Switzerland. 

My absolute favorite thing we did in Switzerland was the Grindelwald-First Adventure package. This was the coolest experience of our life. Whipping down the mountain in a mountain cart and trottbike was an memory I will never forget! I highly recommend booking this in advance, and spending at least a day or two exploring this area!

I truly hope you enjoyed reading all about our 10 day trip to the beautiful country of Switzerland!

Interested in reading more of our epic travels, continue on here to read about our epic vacation in Costa Rica where we also got engaged! 

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May 1, 2024

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