Switzerland 7-Day Itinerary For A Summer Vacation (From Zurich)



Switzerland is quite a small but also very diverse country in the heart of Europe.

It is known for its breathtaking mountain landscapes, its clean, crystal blue lakes, and its historic cities.

Switzerland in June is the start of the summer when Switzerland offers countless outdoor activities in the mountains or close to refreshing lakes that make the country an ideal destination for a summer vacation.  

If you only have a week, you will have to choose between the many highlights Switzerland has to offer.

60% of the country’s surface belongs to the Alps, so you will have to overcome some altitude during your trip.  

Grindewald Switzerland, mountains, little house

The best way to explore Switzerland is by train. The rail network is very well developed, and buses go even to the most remote valleys. Meanwhile, public transport is also equipped with free Wi-Fi.  

Tip: For a 7-day trip in Switzerland, I recommend the Swiss Travel Pass, and check out what is the best season and/or month to visit Switzerland.

With this all-inclusive ticket, you can use public transport (bus, train, boat) for free in the whole country.

It also includes free entrance to over 500 museums and you pay only 50% for almost all mountain railroads in the country.  

Switzerland 7-Day Itinerary

For the arrival and the start of your 7-day trip to Switzerland cities of Geneva, Basel or Zurich are ideal.

All 3 have international airports and good connections to the rest of the country.

Although Geneva, on the beautiful Lake Geneva, and Basel, a vibrant city along the river Rhine banks would be great starting points, we will begin our Switzerland 7-day itinerary in Zurich, the secret capital of the country. 

Here is a quick overview of the 7 days:

  • Day 1 – Arrival in Zurich (Overnight in Zurich)
  • Day 2 – Lucerne & Pilatus (Overnight in Lucerne)
  • Day 3 – Bern and Interlaken (Overnight in Interlaken)
  • Day 4 – Jungfraujoch & Grindelwald (Second night in Interlaken)
  • Day 5 – Zermatt (Overnight in Zermatt)
  • Day 6 – Zermatt & Sion (Overnight in Sion)
  • Day 7 – Montreux & Departure

Day 1 Zurich

Zurich is one of the best cities to visit in Switzerland in the summer.

If you are looking for countries near Switzerland to visit, Lichtenstein, France, or Germany are easy to reach, however, I would suggest adding at least an additional day to your itineraries to fit it in!

Here is all you need to know for your day in Zurich:

Zurich Overview:  

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland with over 420000 inhabitants. It is also the most important economic and cultural hub of the country.

Zurich in the Summer

One of the most famous sights in Zurich is undoubtedly its beautiful Lake. A boat trip on Lake Zurick, no matter how short, is an absolute must on your 7-day in Switzerland itinerary.  

The city’s old town is also a highlight. Here you will find a variety of historic buildings, narrow streets, and impressive churches, such as the Grossmünster and the Fraumünster.

The Fraumünster is known for its stained-glass windows, designed by Marc Chagall, and is one of the city’s most famous works of art.  

Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most famous shopping streets in Zurich and a must for any shopping fan. Here you will find a variety of stores, boutiques, and cafes offering all kinds of goods.  

For art lovers, the Kunsthaus Zürich should be on the agenda.

Here you will find an impressive collection of artworks from the 15th century to the present, including works by Picasso, Monet, and van Gogh.  

Finally, for the sunset, you should go to the Uetliberg, the highest point around Zurich.

Here you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city and the surrounding mountains. 

How to Get From the Airport to Zurich:

The train ride is 10min. And trains are running every 10 minutes between the airport and the city center. 

Where to Stay in Zurich:

We recommend you stay at the Swiss Chocolate by Fassbind.   

The hotel is in the city center, close to the train station, affordable, and has a chocolate fountain in the lobby! 

Highlights & What To Do in Zurich:

From the train station, you should stroll through the little streets of the old town, on the right side of the Limmat River.

Zurich in Switzerland view of the building in the sunset, river

Pass the Grossmünster before reaching the shores and ferry terminal of Lake Zurich.  

Do a boot trip on Lake Zurich. With the Swiss Travel Pass, the ferries are included.

When walking back towards the train station, take the left side of the river, pass by the Fraumünster church, and do some (window) shopping on Bahnhofstrasse. 

From the main train station, you can use the S10 tram to reach the beautiful viewpoint at Uetliberg for sunset.

It is only a 20 min ride to conclude your first day with the best city view. 

Day 2 Lucerne & Pilatus

Here is all you need to know for your day in Lucerne and Pilatus:

Lucerne Overview:  

Lucerne is a city in central Switzerland with about 82,000 inhabitants. It is well-known for the breathtaking Lake Lucerne with its surrounding mountains.

Lucerne Switzerland, city and river view

The city’s historic old town is interspersed with picturesque alleys, historic buildings, and impressive, old bridges. One of the most famous ones is the Chapel Bridge, a 14th-century covered wooden bridge.

That city landmark is decorated with paintings from the 17th century.  

The Lion Monument is another important place in Lucerne.

It is a sculpture of a dying lion carved out of rock in 1819 to commemorate the approximately 1000 Swiss soldiers who died in the service of the King of France.  

Finally, Lake Lucerne, which is surrounded by a picturesque mountain landscape.

Here you can take boat rides, swim, or just enjoy the view.  

The latter is best done from Mount Pilatus, the local mountain, which is easily accessible from the city center.

The mountain offers breathtaking views of Lucerne and the lake, as well as a variety of activities such as hiking and paragliding.

How to Get to Lucerne:

The trains from Zurich to Lucerne take 40-50min and you have one every 30 min.

To get from Luzern to the top of Mount Pilatus is as well a journey of approx. 1hrs. First by bus and then by cable car. All rides would be included in the Swiss Travel Pass

Where to Stay in Lucerne:

We recommend you stay at The Lubo. This hotel is only 10 walking minutes from the train station and 200m from the lake shore as well as the city center.  

Highlights & What to Do in Lucerne:

Take an early train from Zurich to Luzern. Use the morning to explore the city.

Stroll through the narrow downtown streets and above the famous bridges in the morning.

Mt. Pilatus and Lake Lucerne view in Switzerland, cable car

After lunch, you should take the train to Pilatus Mountain and enjoy a lovely afternoon with the best views of magnificent Lake Lucerne. 

Day 3 – Bern and Interlaken

Here is all you need to know for your day in Bern and Interlaken:

Bern and Interlaken Overview:  

Bern is the (unknown) capital of Switzerland.

The lovely city has a medieval old town, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and should not be missed on your 7-day trip to Switzerland.  

Bern Switzerland Paul Marina

The old town of Bern is a real highlight and offers numerous historic buildings, beautiful alleys, squares, and above 100 small fountains.

One of the most famous sights of the old town is the Bundeshaus, the seat of the Swiss government.

The Zytglogge, a medieval tower with chimes, is also a popular photo motif.  

Another must-see is the Bern Cathedral, a Gothic cathedral built in the 15th century.

Here you can climb the tower and enjoy a breathtaking view of the city and the Alps behind.  

Top tip: Bern sightseeing from the water. The refreshing Aare River makes a scenic loop around the city center.

You can enter the water in the south, let yourself drift to the old town, and get off again at several places. An outstanding and unique experience!  

For a gorgeous view of the city, you should still climb up to the Rose Garden.

This beautiful park is located across the river on a hill and offers the best view of the city.

Here you can also see the famous bear pit, where the animals live in the middle of the city, quite freely. 

How to Get to Bern:

The fast trains from Luzern to Bern are exactly 1 hrs and run every hour. There are slower once more often.  

Interlaken can be reached from Bern as well within a 1 hrs train ride which departs every 30 minutes. All rides are included in the Swiss Travel Pass

Where to Stay in Interlaken:

We recommend you stay in Interlaken at the Carlton-Europe Vintage Adults Hotel, only 100m from the train station with breakfast.

Ideal when being on a tide schedule to discover Switzerland in only 7 days and want to continue your journey early morning. 

Highlights & What to Do in Bern:

Take an early train from Lucerne to Bern and explore the beautiful UNESCO city center in the morning.

Stroll through the streets of the old town and climb the steps of the Cathedral for a great city view. If the weather permits, you should swim in the river Aare after lunch.

Alternatively, you can do some shopping beneath the 6km of arcades within the city center or visit the rose garden.

Interlaken Kulm trail in Summer

Late afternoon or early evening you want to take the train to get to Interlaken.  

Day 4 – Jungfraujoch & Grindelwald

Here is all you need to know for your day in Jungefraujoch and Grindelwald:

Overview of the Jungfraujoch and Grindelwald:

Jungfraujoch is a mountain pass in the Bernese Alps, located at an altitude of 3,471 meters, making it the highest railroad station in Europe.

Grindelwald Switzerland

The observation deck offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountain peaks and the 23km long Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps.

The trip to Jungfraujoch is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Switzerland and therefore needs to be on your 7- day travel itinerary.  

The journey to that fantastic viewpoint starts in the mountain village of Grindelwald, also known as the gateway to the Alps. From here, you take the cog railroad or the cable car up to the Jungfraujoch.

The route takes you through spectacular scenery, with views of the Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch, the most famous “triumvirate” of the Alps.  

At Jungfraujoch, in addition to the viewing platform with unique panoramic views of the peaks and glaciers, there is an ice grotto to visit.  

The mountain village of Grindelwald is a popular excursion destination, not only for the Jungfraujoch but also for the peaks and viewpoints above the valley. 

How to Get to Jungfraujoch:

From Interlaken, you will need between 1.5 -2 hrs to reach Jungfraujoch. This is including the cable car or train from Grindelwald.

The excursion to Jungfraujoch is not included in the Swiss Travel Pass, but you only pay 50% of the regular price if you have the travel pass. 

Where to Stay in Jungfraujoch:

I would recommend returning to Interlaken Ost in the evening and stay in the same Hotel once again.

Not only, you can leave your luggage behind, but Interlaken Ost is a great starting point for the next stop on your 7-day Switzerland itinerary. 

Highlights & What to Do in Jungfraujoch:

As Jungfraujoch is one of the most visited sights in Switzerland, you want to start early to avoid crowds.

Take the train to Jungfraujoch and enjoy the morning exploring the “top of Europe.”

Best places to visit in Switzeralnd

Remember to bring warm clothes, it is winter there, all year long! 

Halfway back to Grindelwald, in Kleine Scheidegg, you should get off the train and hike to enjoy that fantastic area.

The Panorama Trail is an easy, about 4km long path, taking you to Männlichen, another viewpoint on the beautiful valley.

From there, you take the cable car back to Grindelwald and the train to Interlaken.  

Day 5 – Zermatt

Here is all you need to know for your day in Zermatt:

Overview of the Zermatt:

Zermatt is a picturesque mountain village in the Swiss Alps, known for its breathtaking views of Matterhorn Mountain.

Sunny summer morning in Zermatt village with Matterhorn

The town is located at an altitude of 1,600 meters and is a popular destination for tourists and outdoor sports enthusiasts from all over the world.

The village is not conveniently located for a short 7-day trip in Switzerland but is a must-see destination, no matter what. 

The Matterhorn is not the tallest Swiss mountain but most certainly the most famous one and one of the most popular sights in Switzerland.

It rises at 4,478 meters above sea level and is known for its characteristic pyramid-shaped peak.  

Zermatt is an excellent starting point for hiking and outdoor activities, around the iconic mountain.  

The most popular viewpoints of the Matterhorn are Gornergrat at 3100m and Klein Matterhorn, at 3883m.

Both viewpoints offer not only Matterhorn views but also views of over 20 other of Europe’s highest mountains as well as several glaciers. 

How to Get to Zermatt:

The train ride from Interlaken Ost to Zermatt will take you approx. 2.5 hrs, depending on the connection. You will have to change trains 2x, in Spiez and in Visp but no worries, trains in Switzerland a very punctual. 

Where to Stay in Zermatt:

Zermatt is not the cheapest place in Switzerland.

Should you have more time I would suggest staying in a hotel in Täsch, the neighboring village 5 km away, but being on a tide 7-day itinerary in Switzerland, I recommend the lovely Alpin Hotel Perren.

It is conveniently located close to all cable cars and the village center and offers fantastic views of the Matterhorn when you wake up. 

Highlights & What to Do in Zermatt:

You will be arriving from Interlaken in the morning. Next to Zermatt train station, you will find the Gornerbahn taking you within 30-min. To the fantastic Gornergrat.

Zermatt town in Switzerland

After having enjoyed the amazing views, you should be doing the easy hike to the train station Riffelhaus.

It will take you alongside the Gorner Glacier, the third-largest glacier in the Alps.  

From Riffelhaus you return to the town center and can explore further viewpoints such as Rothorn and Blauherd if time permits.

Alternatively, you can explore the little village center of Zermatt. 

Day 6 – Zermatt & Sion

Here is all you need to know for your day in Zermatt and Sion:

Overview of the Zermatt and Sion:

Sion is a city in the fertile Rhone Valley and the capital of the canton of Valais.

Town of Sion in Switzerland, ruins of a castle, valley in background

It is one of the oldest cities in Switzerland and is surrounded by picturesque scenery, including the Valais Alps and many vineyards. 

Even from a distance, you can see the main sights of the small town: the Valère and Tourbillion castles perched on the hills above the city.

The Basilica of the Castle of Valeria is a Romanesque small church from the 11th century with well-preserved frescoes.

An important place of pilgrimage for believers from all over the world.

Both castles, some of which are in ruins, can be reached by a short walk from Sion’s old town and are free of charge.  

Sion is also known for its excellent wines and offers a variety of wine tastings and wine tours for visitors.

The city is surrounded by numerous vineyards that produce excellent wines such as Petite Arvine, Amigne, and Pinot Noir. 

How to Get to Sion:

The train ride from Zermatt to Sion will take you a little less than 2 hrs including changing trains in Visp. 

Where to stay in Sion:

We recommend you stay at Hôtel du Rhône. The Hotel is a lovely mid-class Hotel. Conveniently located less than 500m from the train station and the city center. 

Highlights & What to Do in Zermatt & Sion:

Spend the morning in Zermatt.

Take the cable cars from the village center and get to Klein Matterhorn, also called Matterhorn Glacier Paradise for a phenomenal view of a sea of mountain peaks and several glaciers.  

Sion in Switzerland, view from the top, some ruins of the castle, town, mountains

After that highlight trip, you need to take the train and leave that mountain paradise. In Sion, you will enjoy a totally different atmosphere.

Have a glass of Swiss wine in the lovely old town and explore the two castles above the city center.  

Day 7 – Montreux & Airport

Here is all you need to know for your day in Montreux:

Overview of the Montreux:

Montreux is a charming resort town on Lake Geneva in French-speaking Switzerland.

Flowers, Mountains and Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland

One of the most popular sights is the Chillon Castle, a medieval fortress, located on the lake shore.

The castle dates back to the 13th century and has been used over the centuries as an armory, prison, and barracks.

It has 25 buildings and towers, as well as a large collection of medieval weapons and armor.  

Another highlight in Montreux is the lakeside promenade, which runs along the lake and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lake.   

Montreux is also known for its numerous music festivals, including the Montreux Jazz Festival, which takes place every July and attracts thousands of music lovers from all over the world. 

How to get to Montreux:

The train ride from Sion to Montreux is about 40 Minutes. It is a fantastic journey through the Rhone Valley along the river and towards the end alongside beautiful Lake Geneva. 

If you can fly out from Geneva Airport, which is much closer, the train ride is max. 1.5 hrs. Back to Zurich Airport, you will have to calculate with 3 hrs. 

Highlights & What to Do in Montreux:

On the last morning of your 7-day Switzerland itinerary, you start with exploring the impressive Chateaux Chillon.

After that, I would recommend a walk along the lake side to get to Montreux city center.

Flowers, Mountains and Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland

It is a lovely 3km hike. Alternatively, you can take the ferry straight from the castle to the city.

Enjoy a last stroll on the lake shore with views on the alps before heading off to the airport and returning home. 

Final Thoughts on the 7-day in Switzerland Itinerary 

As you have seen, there are lots to do and see and within a week you can only accomplish so much.

Lake Oeschinensee in Switzerland Kandersteg, Mounitain and blue lake

That being said, 7 days in Switzerland in Summer will give you a first overview of all the amazing things to do, sights to visit, and mountains to hike and will surely make you want to come back. 

With the August weather in Switzerland being dry and warm, it is a perfect time to visit.

You can certainly do that 7-day itinerary as well by rental car, but it will cost you more time, money, and nerves.

Especially when being on a schedule, you should use the time traveling by train to enjoy nature.

The rides will take you through some amazing scenery.

And you will not have to worry about finding parking spaces or traffic jams, the Swiss trains are some of the most punctual trains in the world. 

Before we go, if you like the sounds of this itinerary but you don’t have 7 days, you might like to check out our

Before we go, if you like the sounds of this itinerary but you don’t have 7 days, you might like to check out our

Before we go, if you like the sounds of this itinerary but you don’t have 7 days, you might like to check out our 4-day itinerary for Switzerland instead, or if you prefer we also have an itinerary for 5 days in Switzerland that starts in Geneva.

Further Reading:

Here are some of our other blog posts that you might be interested in when you plan your vacation in Switzerland:

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Andrzej Ejmont

Andrzej believes life to be a never ending adventure. Originally from Poland, he is a devoted husband and father. Dedicated and enthusiastic to chase all his dreams. Storytelling to entice other families to travel.