WHERE
Itinerary map here

Itinerary:
A taste of Swiss Cities, Mountains and Lakes

3 nights: Zurich for a mix of history, culture and nightlife including small cafes on the riverside, and for your first taste of Swiss lakes.
2 nights: Lugano for an experience at the Mediterranean Sea and dark conical mountains rising out of the lake.
3 nights: Mount Rigi for a relaxing time at the Queen of the mountains.
0 night: Lucerne, one of the most iconic city in Switzerland for its medieval old town, go there for its gorgeous lake with impressive decors.
2 nights: Montreux for its lakeside promenade, world-famous Jazz Festival, and proximity to the UNESCO vineyards terraces of Lavaux.
2 nights: Geneva for a visit to the UN Palais des Nations, take a glimpse at the Geneva fountain jet, and more.



" This is a great itinerary to discover the beautiful sights in Switzerland and get your breath taken away in just two weeks. The recommendations include some very nice hotels and restaurants that can be pricey but the overall itinerary is still a great source of inspiration for any budget! If you are time constrained, you could easily save a day in Zurich, a day in Geneva and you could also shorten the time spend on Mt. Rigi. "


Some general information:

Three other recommended spots in Switzerland are: Bern, the capital, famous for its bears and picturesque medieval center; Gruyère where you can learn how to make the most famous Swiss cheese of the same name, as well as visit an amazing medieval castle with mountains in the background and the Cailler chocolate museum. Last but not least, Interlaken that can be a stop in between Lucerne and Montreux.

Taking the train is the best way to get around in Switzerland. It is (almost) always on time, and runs frequently. You can always check the schedule on the [ www.sbb.ch/en official website]. Consider buying the Swiss Travel Pass for a week that will grant you unlimited access to all public trains, bus and boats as well as most of the museums in the country.

1

Zurich

3 nights

Introduction:

Zurich, the biggest city in Switzerland situated on the German-speaking side of the country. It is adjacent to a lake while the Limmat River runs through its center. It is the gateway to Swiss history, food and natural beauty. Zurich is full of friendly people who are eager to help and give recommendation!

What to do:

Walking down the Bahnhofstrasse, you’ll see a lot of fancy shops and boutiques, this is the shopping central of Zurich. For something more outdoorsy, take a tram to Uetliberg, Zurich’s very own mountain, where you can savor the wonderful views over the region. Uetliberg is also a good starting point for some hiking and a great place to pack your picnic with you!

If the weather permits, plan your day around a boat trip on Lake Zurich. You could either rent a boat and go on an adventure with your own party, or join one of the many sightseeing boat tours.

The old town (Altstadt) has many building date back to the 1800s. You will find lots of little artisanal shops, chocolate stores and cafés to spend the day at.

Eat & drink:

Brunch or lunch: Brasserie Lipp, Horizon 10 and Restaurant Lakeside are perfect choices for a break in the middle of the day.

For the evening, I would suggest dining at the renowned Le Dézaley restaurant, famous for its fondue and other Swiss delicacies.
Next:

Hop on a 2.5 hours train ride to Lugano. Enjoy your favorite book or the view on your way to the Italian speaking part of Switzerland.

2

Lugano

2 nights

Introduction:

Lugano is a beautiful Mediterranean-like city in the Italian speaking canton of Ticino. It's nickname is the Rio of the Old World or the Monte Carlo of Switzerland.

What to do:

Explore the lively old town on its cobblestone streets, golden decorations on the houses, small artisanal stores and markets. You will also find many great fish restaurants with friendly staff. Don’t miss the famous passeggiate to take an afternoon walk on the lakeside, and be sure to walk until the Parco Civico, a well-kept park with great views of the lake.

Climbing on one of the many nearby mountains is the highlight of my times in Lugano. The most beautiful viewpoint is atop Monte San Salvatore. For exceptional mountainous view, you can climb on Monte Tamaro.

I suggest visiting the Parco San Grato (San Grato Botanical Park). It is a relaxing activities walking through amazing botanical collection overlooking the lake. There are also resturant around the park, makes it a perfect place to spend an afternoon.

Eat & drink:

Al Portone is one of the most famous restaurants in the area. It focuses on serving a mix of French and Italian cuisine.

Next:

To get to our next stop Mount Rigi, take a train bound for Arth-Goldau, it is about 2 hours from Lugano. Then proceed to the mountain train that go up to Mount Rigi. The view of this mountainous region will take your breath away.

3

Mount Rigi

3 nights

Introduction:

Mount Rigi is one of the many places where you will find intense serenity in Switzerland. Rigi, the Queen of all Swiss mountains is your chance to experience the great nature the country has to offer. There are things to do at Mt. Rigi year-round, skiing and snowboarding down the slopes in the winter, hiking through beautiful meadows in the summer.

What to do:

Once you arrive to the top of Rigi, I recommend staying at the Hotel Rigi Kaltbad, and taking a cup of hot chocolate or cooked wine on the terrace overlooking the area.

Breathing in crisp and fresh mountain air will give your energy for a day full of activities. I recommend taking a guided botanical tour to learn about the rare types of mountain flowers. For hikers, most of the paths around Mount Rigi are well maintained, easily accessible and well marked. Follow the yellow markings and you will be on track!

Next:

The mountain train will take you down to Vitznau, where you can get on a boat to get to Lucerne.

4

Lucerne

1 night

Introduction:

The stunning city of Lucerne is located in the heart of Switzerland. It is very easy to fall in love with this medieval city surrounded by lakes and mountains.

What to do:

Walk through the iconic bridge, Kapellbrücke and visit the Dying Lion, a 10-meter long sculpture carved into the rock. A must-try local delicacy, Chügelipastete, which means pasta with apples.

If you have one extra day, don’t hesitate and stay in Lucerne. Go to Mount Pilatus to get a splendid views over Lucerne. There are many ways to go up. The Golden tour will take you up via boat and cog wheel train, and down via a gondola, cable car and bus.

Eat & drink:

Personally, I like Brasserie Flora restaurant for its traditional Swiss ambiance and a variety of Swiss and Italian dishes.

Next:

Continue our train traveling journey to Montreux.

5

Montreux

2 nights

Introduction:

Montreux is a beautiful city on Lake Geneva, it is worth a stop for its lakeside promenade leading to the scenic castle Château de Chillon. It is also known for the world-class Montreux Jazz festival held every July, and its proximity to the UNESCO world heritage site: the Lavaux vineyards.

What to do:

In Montreux, you can dine at the famous restaurant Le pont de Brent for a fine gastronomic experience the region has to offer. Casino Barrière de Montreux, situated near the lake promenade is a great place to test your luck.

Spend a day to explore the Lavaux region, it is filled with beautiful terraces of vineyard protected by UNESCO. Café Au bon vin is the place to be if you’re looking for lunch.

There are many great hikes in the mountains behind Montreux. The nearby city of Vevey, home to the headquarters of Nestle and the historic comic star Charlie Chaplin, is worth to visit for its lakeside and food museum.

A side note, for people with extra time, the city of Lausanne, in between Montreux and Geneva is worth visiting too. It is the Olympic capital of the country, visit the Olympic museum while you’re there.

Next:

Take the 1-hour train to Geneva, home to many international organizations, right on the border with France.

Alternatively, you can take a public boat ride to Geneva that stops in Vevey and Lausanne.

Conclusion

That’s it for a 2-week itinerary across Switzerland! You can fly back home from Geneva, the second largest airport in Switzerland or go back to Zurich International Airport. During ski season, it is advisable to prolong the stay in the mountains if you want to ski in this winter wonderland!