Switzerland is an absolute DREAM to travel through. So here’s our easy to follow 10 day itinerary of the top places to visit in winter.
The best part about our trip was that we had a taste of everything – from cities, to skiing/snowboarding and wandering through the Alps, there is something for everyone. It may be the most expensive country in the world but we had the trip of our lives. It’s been our favourite country (or on par with Greece) to date and we hope you can experience the same feeling!
Before we get started there a 3 key things that should be noted prior to planning and arriving, along with other helpful tips and tricks along the way, but these 3 are essential:
- Do not expect everything to go to plan. The Swiss weather can be unpredictable which meant some days we had to rearrange what we were doing so make sure you’re aware of other activities that could be done instead.
- The transportation service in Switzerland, BLEW OUR MINDS. The buses, trains, trams, boats and funiculars made getting around the country SO easy. The frequency of them and the staff on there are super helpful and ensure you’re going where you plan to. We highly recommend getting a Swiss Travel Pass but we’ll talk about that more later on.
- This itinerary is based on flying into Geneva and out of Zurich. In saying that if you fly in and out of one city, it would be super easy to catch the train back for your flight. Would just mean some reshuffling of the itinerary , which shouldn’t change it too much.
Travelling with the Swiss Travel Pass
We didn’t even bother to look into hiring a car as the under 25 fee stings big time so the Swiss Travel Pass was our best way to get around Switzerland. Not only does it include all trains around the country, the pass also covers buses, boats, entry to 500 museums and discounts on some of the popular mountains (Jungfrau, Grindewald etc). Cable cars, funiculars and gondolas are all part of the STP too which is ideal when you get into the Jungfrau region and funiculars are the main form of transport to get up to the key sights.
For this itinerary, you’ll need to buy the 8-day pass, (and when you look at the price it may take your breath away slightly… but we promise it’s A LOT cheaper than paying for train ride and buses individually). The Swiss Travel Pass also offer 3, 5 and 15 day passes. We flew into Geneva and paid for the bus from the airport to our accommodation as we didn’t activate our passes until the Saturday.
Day 1 - Geneva
Catch a morning flight into Geneva. We arrived early Friday morning, around 10:00am which allowed for the whole of Friday to explore Geneva. Geneva is a beautiful city that had a lot of key attractions to offer. It’s an easy city to walk around or you could catch the bus if you prefer. The key attractions we saw were:
- Old Town
- Treille Promenade
- Jet d’Eau Fountain
- St Pierre Cathedral
- World’s Longest Bench
- City Center
- Broken Chair
- United Nations
- Flower clock
After you’ve spent the day exploring Geneva, head back to your accommodation before and rest up before an early train ride in the morning to Montreaux. In Montreaux you’ll find a beautiful castle backdropped by snow capped mountain peaks and late afternoon we’ll jump back on the train for a ride to Zermatt.
Day 2 - Montreaux & train to Zermatt
So today is the day where you’ll activate your Swiss Travel Pass. Head to the station and jump on the scenic train to Montreaux. In Montreaux you’ll find the picturesque Chateau de Chillion. You’ll be able to catch a bus not too far from the train station (you could also walk, but we had our luggage as this was just a stop over before heading to Zermatt). We spent quite a bit of time here admiring the beautiful scenery before heading back into the centre of Montreaux and finding some lunch.
Originally we had planned to also do the Glacier 3000 walk which I believe was a 40-50 min bus ride away so if you have some time I would recommend that as it looked amazing. But instead we jumped on the train and headed to Zermatt to begin the adventurous leg of our trip. Make sure you get a window seat as the ride from Montreaux to Zermatt is just breath taking.
Days 3 - 5: Zermatt
We fell in love as soon as we arrived in Zermatt. The car free ski village is packed the seasonal ski holders and tourists but it doesn’t have that touristy busy feel. Everyone is so kind and friendly and we just knew we were in for the best few days of our trip. Zermatt is home of the Matterhorn, which you might know from the famous mountain on the Toblerone chocolate bar.
Instead we decided to buy a 2 day pass for the slopes, hired some skii’s and a snowboard and it was the best thing we did. Nothing compares to being up in those Swiss mountains.
Here you can hire…..
Another day on the slopes…
DAYS 6 - 8: Interlaken/Jungfrau Region
Again, here we had planned some hikes that we soon found out were closed and had to make alternate plans but the days were still jam packed full of hikes that were open, and sight seeing through the Swiss Alps.