5 Days in Switzerland: The Best Itinerary for Your Visit
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Your 5 days itinerary in Switzerland starts by exploring the spectacular landscapes of Mount Pilatus. It is located in the country's Lake Lucerne area and offers spectacular views for you to enjoy. You can get to the top by taking the cableway from Kriens. When you arrive, there is a short 10-minute climb to the summit of Esel. This is Mount Pilatus's central peak, where you can gaze in awe at the spectacular Alpine surroundings that the region is renowned for. You can also book a guided tour excursion for an added level of convenience in planning your journey to this iconic location.
Another great way to experience the Lake Lucerne area is by boat. There are several available excursions of varying lengths that you can book to explore the 38 kilometres of this iconic stretch of water. If you visit from May to September, you can cruise on a paddle-wheel steamer. This trip features a 3-course meal served in the on-site saloon. There are also options as short as 1 hour in duration for those who do not have time for a longer journey.
The 2nd leg of your 5 days itinerary in Switzerland finds you in the magical Grindelwald region. It is a resort area located within the Bernese Alps. Start your exploration off with the unique experience that is the First Cliff Walk. This is a metallic walkway that has been attached to the side of a cliff. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind view as you look over this platform that projects 45 metres over a massive drop. If you are seeking an additional adrenaline rush, try the First Flyer. It is an 800-metre-long zipline that reaches speeds of up to 84 kilometres per hour.
From the heights of the First Cliff Walk, you will now head into a mysterious ravine known as Gletscherschlucht. Walkways have been attached to the cliffsides to allow you to traverse this otherworldly landscape. You can cover a full kilometre of distance along these walkways as you take in the views of a geologic feature that was formed by the Lower Grindelwald Glacier. When you are done with your exploration, you can head into the village to grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants or cafés.
For the 3rd part of your 5 days itinerary in Switzerland, you will head to Vitznau. It is located around 2 hours to the north of Grindelwald and is known for its Alpine panoramas and its popularity with outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy swimming, hiking and water sports. The Vitznau-Rigi Railway is one of the most memorable experiences available in the region. It takes you from the shores of Lake Lucerne to the south side of Mount Rigi and terminates at Kulm Peak. This is another opportunity for you to take in the spectacular scenery of Switzerland from a unique perspective.
Experience a unique look at the history of Switzerland when you visit Vitznau Fortress. The artillery fortress was built during World War II along the cliffs of Rigi as a part of the Gotthard defence. Since 1998, it has been open to the public and allows visitors to explore its extensive caverns, tunnels, artillery stands and ammunition depots. There are guided tours available that are led by men from the Swiss Army, who will provide you with deep insights into the fascinating story behind this mysterious location.
Head to Verbier for further exploration of Switzerland's natural landscapes. Begin day 4 of your itinerary at Mont Fort. It is the highest peak in the Four Valleys region, and its summit can be reached by taking a series of cable cars. The final ascent takes you up the Glacier de Tortin along a 400-metre journey from Col des Gentianes. From there, you can climb a stone stairway to enjoy mesmerizing views of the Matterhorn, Dents du Midi and the Rhône Valley.
Created in 1968, the Haut Val de Bagnes Nature Reserve is Switzerland's second-largest reserve. It is known for its characteristic Alpine landscapes that feature lush pastures, magical lakes and spectacular peaks. There are also hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails that dot the region. To experience the area's flora and fauna in all of its majesty, embark along the Chamois Trail. It weaves its way through the reserve and takes around 6 hours to complete.
The final portion of your magical 5 days itinerary in Switzerland takes place in the Geneva area. Start things off with a cruise along the waters of Lake Geneva. It is Central Europe's largest lake, and there are boat tours available that you can join at the Genève-Mont-Blanc Quay. The splendour of Switzerland's Alps blends perfectly with the layout of the city with its iconic promenade built around the shoreline. During your cruise, you will pass palatial townhouses and beautiful parks like Perle du Lac, Jardin Anglais, Eaux-Vives and Mon-Repos.
After a 5-day itinerary in Switzerland spent exploring some of the country's most unforgettable natural landscapes, we recommend treating yourself to a night out discovering the best dining and nightlife that Geneva offers. You will find eateries serving every type of cuisine that you can think of. This includes local Swiss specialities and establishments that focus on French and Italian food. The city also offers plenty in the way of international dishes from every corner of the globe. Fancy an Italian dinner along the shore of the Lake? Book a table at Il Lago. Chat-Botté is a 5-star restaurant specialising in European cuisine with a tasting menu that changes regularly. Find a casual atmosphere with retro-themed décor when you dine at Café des Bains. Chez Philippe - Bar Grill enjoys a reputation for its mouth-watering steaks and its extensive wine list. After dinner, we have a few recommendations for nightlife hotspots in Geneva. They include bars like Le Verre à Monique and Mr Pickwick Pub, and rooftop terraces, such as La Terrasse. If you are looking for a nightclub atmosphere, check out Le Baroque and Village du Soir. Live music fans enjoy the scene at Chat Noir.
Featuring 101 spacious rooms and suites, the Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern 5* is home to a variety of top-rated services and amenities that will enhance your 5 days in Switzerland. The property is located along the shores of Lake Lucerne and offers proximity to the city centre.
Hotel features include 5 restaurant/bar facilities, Wi-Fi, multilingual staff, air conditioning, a fitness centre and daytime/evening entertainment for adults. Rooms are equipped with bathrobes, hairdryers, safes and mini-fridges.
What we like: We love the spectacular views the property offers of the lake and surrounding mountains. Massage treatments and gourmet dining options add further to the appeal of this property.
Featuring 72 well-appointed rooms, the Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald 5* is another top pick for a 5-day break in Switzerland. The property is home to an array of services and amenities to ensure an unforgettable holiday.
On-site features include Wi-Fi, an indoor swimming pool, a hammam, multilingual staff and in-room amenities like safes, mini-fridges, kettles and coffee machines.
What we like: We love the idyllic location of this 5-star hotel. Its menu of spa treatments adds to its appeal as the perfect accommodation for your dream getaway in Switzerland.
Park Hotel Vitznau 5* boasts 47 luxurious guestrooms and a location in one of Switzerland's most beautiful areas. During your stay, enjoy dining experiences created by GaultMillaut and Michelin-star awarded chefs. You can also indulge in spa treatments that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
The extensive range of on-site amenities includes a 24-hour reception desk, Wi-Fi, multilingual staff, a concierge service, 5 restaurant/bar facilities, a heated outdoor swimming pool, a sauna, a fitness centre and in-room features, such as safes, mini-fridges, hairdryers, coffee machines and balconies/terraces.
What we like: We love this property's impressive culinary options and its 5-star range of leisure facilities.
4. W Verbier 5*
The W Verbier 5* offers 123 luxurious guestrooms for you to pick from for your 5-day itinerary in Switzerland. Its location places you in convenient proximity to the ski slopes of the Verbier area with plenty of spectacular views for you to enjoy.
Enjoy a range of leisure facilities that include spa treatments, a sauna, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and bike rental. Hotel features include Wi-Fi, laundry, multilingual staff, a lift, a luggage storage service and a 24-hour reception desk. Rooms are equipped with mini-fridges, bathrobes, coffee machines, air conditioning and a courtesy tray of tea/coffee.
What we like: We love the offer of a complimentary one-day rental of ski boots and materials that you can take advantage of when you book your 5-day stay in Switzerland at this property. Your deal also includes access to the AWAY Spa Verbier.
The Hotel N'vY Manotel 4* offers guests 153 well-appointed rooms to choose from. It enjoys a central location in the heart of Geneva and is close to many of the area's key points of interest.
Hotel features include the N'vY Bar, a fitness centre, indoor parking, a concierge service, currency exchange, Wi-Fi, a laundry service, a 24-hour reception desk and a range of in-room amenities like hairdryers, bathrobes, air conditioning, mini-fridges and safes.
What we like: We love the idyllic location this property offers for travellers who want to explore the best of Geneva and its surrounding areas. The menu of sophisticated dishes served at Tag's Café is another plus.
We have a few tips to help you prepare for your 5 days itinerary in Switzerland. The local currency is the Swiss franc. In terms of languages spoken across the country, it depends on which region you are currently in. There are 4 official dialects. They include German, French, Romansh and Italian. English is the most common non-national language and is spoken by roughly 45 per cent of the population. If you plan to bring along any of your electronic devices/appliances that require a UK outlet, you will need to take a travel plug adapter. Our top tip is to simply enjoy the spectacular scenery and take the time to get to know the friendly locals that you will meet during your holiday.
Spring, early summer and the beginning of autumn are considered by many to be the best time to book a getaway to Switzerland. Although July and August represent the peak of the tourist season, many visitors avoid these months due to higher prices and larger crowds.
The major airports across Switzerland are Geneva, Bern, Zurich, Basel, St Gallen, Sion and Lugano. Flights depart daily for these destinations out of the United Kingdom's major travel hubs. You can expect an average in-air time of around 1 hour and 50 minutes. The most convenient way to enjoy a 5-day itinerary in Switzerland is to hire a car. Beyond this, you have plenty of public transportation options that you can avail yourself of. They include trains, trams, buses, funiculars, cable cars and boats.
Switzerland is famed for its magical landscapes but it also impresses when it comes to local food specialities that you can sample during your 5-day itinerary. A few recommendations include papet vaudois (leeks with potatoes and sausage) and polenta with braised beef. No trip to Switzerland would be complete without trying authentic fondue. If you fancy something a bit lighter, try the Basel-style roasted flour soup (Basler mehlsupp). Bern-style leckerli biscuits with spiced hazelnut fillings are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth when it is time for dessert.