The Essential Switzerland

The Essential Switzerland

With so much to explore, the Swiss temptation is irresistible! Get ready to discover #mySwissExperience with top highlights and unique handpicked experiences.

Trip Itinerary

Arrive in Lucerne & get familiar (1 Day )

Arrive in Switzerland and transfer to Lucerne. Depending on time of your arrival, visit Lucerne old town in the evening – a medieval city with many historical monuments and beautiful houses with façade paintings.
Highlights from your plan (2)

The snow experience (1 Day )

Visit Mt. Titlis, the only public accessible glacier in the area. High up on the summit there is only one weather – winter. Enjoy the cable car and world’s first revolving Gondola ride, get down at intermediate stops to view frozen...

Bern & Basel (1 Day )

The old town of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and best explored on foot. Bern was also home to Einstein when he discovered the theory of relativity. A perfect complement to Bern is the city of Basel, a university town where life centers...

Interlaken & Top of Europe (1 Day )

Interlaken as the name suggests is between two famous lakes - Thun and Brienz. A beautiful valley to explore The Roof of Europe – Jungfrau, Glaciers and mountain lakes in Grindelwald, and waterfalls of Lauterbrunnen. Many people spend their...
Highlights from your plan (4)

The French Connection (1 Day )

Lausanne is a city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland set on a hillside facing Lake Geneva and the mountains, it offers a series of extensive panoramic views, beautiful old town with a cathedral that was built in 12th century. Visit Geneva,...
Highlights from your plan (2)

The Swiss Escapade (1 Day )

With so much to explore, your Swiss experience must include a visit to the Alpine villages and mountain passes, car free villages like Zermatt, Montreux-Vevey in Swiss Riviera, the Italian side and perhaps unique activities like flying across the...
Highlights from your plan (3)

Swiss Metropolis and Departure (1 Day )

Depending on your city of departure, soak in the last few glimpses with a tough choice between Lake Zurich or Lake Geneva. Perhaps the deciding factor is if one wants to view the largest clock face in Switzerland or the UN European Headquarters.
Highlights from your plan (3)

Whats included in this tour

Accommodation
  • Löwendenkmal
  • Mt. Titlis - Full Ticket
  • Titlis Cliffwalk
  • Titlis Glacier Cave
  • Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge)
  • Zytglogge
  • Berner Münster
  • Rathaus
  • Dreiländereck (Border triangle)
  • Basler Münster
  • Lake Brienz
  • Lake Thun
  • Unterseen
  • Höhematte Park
  • Lake Geneva
  • Château d'Ouchy and Promenade
  • Lavaux Vineyards
  • Lake Lugano
  • Swissminiatur
  • Fraumunster
  • Lake Zurich
  • Uetliberg

1. Lodging - with very good travelers rating and feedback

  • 3 Nights in 3 star Centrally located hotel in Luzern (Standard twin/double room with breakfast)
  • 3 Nights in 3 star Centrally located hotel in Interlaken (Standard twin/double room with breakfast)

2. Sightseeing & Transfers

  • Personalized Meet & Greet on arrival at Switzerland and briefing on the entire plan with assistance to transfer to base location in Switzerland
  • Switzerland Travel Pass providing free travel by rail, road and waterway throughout the whole of Switzerland for 8 days including benefits like entrance to all museums in Switzerland, free mountain excursions and some with up to 50% discount
  • a.    Mt. Titlis – Return Cable car ticket including snow sports, cliff walk, ice cave, Glacier chair lift – Ice Flyer
  • b.    Mt. Rigi – Queen of the Mountain with panoramic view of the 7 lakes and Alps in oldest cog wheel train in Europe
  • c.    Jungfrau – The Roof of Europe in the train passing thru wonderful tunnels, scenic beauty of alpine villages. Stop enroute Grindelwald and Wengen, Murren
  • d.    Visit Lauterbrunnen - valley of 72 waterfalls, and alpine villages of Grindelwald, Wengen, hike in the pristine nature of Schynige Platte – with breath-taking view of top Alpine peaks - Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau
  • e.    Discover Mt. Pilatus – ideal adventure mountain for everyone with two aerial cable car lines, steepest cogwheel railway in the world and the biggest rope park in central Switzerland
  • f.    Experience the French region of Switzerland in and around Lake Geneva region with Lausanne, UNESCO heritage Lavaux Vineyard. Swiss Riviera at Vevey-Montreux and beautiful castle with views of French alps and villages
  • g.    If time permits, visit 500-year-old Swiss wooden homes at Zermatt with views of the mighty Matterhorn peak, Andermatt and Swiss mountain passes, Italian region of Switzerland, or any other place in Switzerland based on your interest and Catterfly team will make sure that you experience it in your style
  • h.    Personalized Guidance to explore the cities with free guided walking tours based on availability

3. Optional - (can be arranged on request on additional cost basis)

  • Romantic Buffet Lunch at Titlis
  • INTERLAKEN SCENIC FLIGHT ( 30 mins)
  • Cog wheel train return ticket from Grindelwald to mount Jungfraujoch

Catterfly Services to proactively manage your travel needs and help you enjoy your personalized experience

  • Personalized briefing on your plan with ongoing support
  • Detailed day wise logistics plan integrated with google maps, personalized Picto-travel guide with information on logistics, sights, maps / directions, important tips, Recommendations on best restaurants, food etc. all available on your Catterfly Mobile App (Euro 25 for a traveller in each booking; complementary to first five travellers in every month)
  • Your personal coach and travel counselor for ongoing remote support as you travel

Exclusions

  • Visa Processing
  • Return airfare
  • VAT and City Taxes on actuals
  • Any aspect which is not mentioned in inclusions is excluded

Accommodation

  1. HIT Rental Luzern Or Similar

    Address: Zihlmattweg 44, 6005 Luzern, Switzerland

  2. Swiss Chalet and Holiday Home Or Similar

    Address: Iseltwald, Switzerland

FAQ & Expert Tips

Best time to visit in Switzerland

Switzerland is an all-weather country from traveling perspective and it really depends on what one is looking to experience. Most of the tourists tend to visit Switzerland between May – September considering these are the summer months in Switzerland with July-August as the peak summer months.

If you were to consult a local, the spring season in late March-April and Autumn during October to mid-November is equally good time to visit as the temperatures are still moderate and with the added benefits of no major traveler’s rush – unless your travel coincides with a local European holiday or long weekend. Winters are very pristine with charming Christmas markets all over and festivities are in the air. It tends to get reasonably cold but with one of the best standards of living in the world – the lodging and travel is very comfortable in most parts. Of course December – February is the ideal season for winter sports enthusiast, and even if skiing / snowboarding isn’t what excites you – sledging down a snow mountain with kids is an experience that one shouldn’t really miss.

What are the best places to visit in Switzerland?

For a small country like Switzerland, it certainly packs in a punch and even after living here for decades, we keep on discovering new experiences. As such Switzerland has 26 Kantons, but it can broadly be categorised into four parts, the German region on the north and north-eastern side bordering Germany and Austria, Central Switzerland (often referred to as Bernese Oberland), The French region in central-west and south-western side bordering France, The Italian region on south-eastern side bordering Italy.

The German Region
With the obvious choices of visiting cities like Zurich, Basel, one must not miss out the places like Appenzell, St. Gallens, and Lake Konstanz region on the swiss side offers fantastic choices during every season. Then, of course Baden and Rheinfelden famous for its thermal baths and spas along with historic old towns are worth a visit as well. For history buffs, its noteworthy to visit Chur as one of the oldest cities in Switzerland and for its charming old town as well. The neighboring Kanton Schwyz is famous for the Swiss knife valley – and one can perhaps learn how the world famous Swiss knifes are made in an old factory and museum.

The Berne Oberland (Central Switzerland)
Most commonly held imagery of Switzerland is often of snow covered mountains, alpine peaks, lakes, charming alpine villages and no wonder this region hosts everything that a traveler desires with cities like Lucerne, Interlaken, Bern, and famous alpine peaks – Mt. Titlis, Jungfrau, Eiger, Monch, Pilatus etc. And, if one has more time it’s definitely a very charming experience to spend time in the alpine villages like Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Murren, Stanserhorn; most of these are great winter resorts for snow sports, and some of the best hikes (easy to difficult ones) are in this region. Besides this, Kandersteg, Andermatt, Alpine passes, Graubünden, Sedrun etc. will completely change your perspective of what Switzerland got to offer. Of course, in each of these places – there are so many different experiences and hidden gems that without a local expert it’s very difficult to explore all the best sights.

The French Region
While Lake Geneva region dominates a good part of what this region offers with cities like Geneva, Lausanne, and Vevey-Montreux as the most obvious choices. But, venturing out to Zermatt, Lavaux Vineyards, Leukerbad for it’s thermal baths in winters, and bit up north towards Lake Neuchatel region, Gstaad-Saanen (Ten Chalet Villages) and Fribourg is something that most travelers tend to miss out. There are of course so many unique experiences including famous chocolate and cheese factories, farm house stays, agritourism etc. that one learns to appreciate the French way of life.

The Italian Region
Considering its geographic position, this region of Switzerland has the highest number of sunshine hours in entire Switzerland and with lake side town of Lugano, Locarno – the Italian flair is truly in the air. For folks interested in medieval castles – Bellinzona is definitely worth a visit and if you want to hob-nob with international celebrities and CEOs then visiting the resort town of Davos during World Economic Forum event isn’t a bad idea. Besides this, Davos is also one of the luxury winter resorts in Switzerland and during summer offer great walks and hikes along the lake side and in St. Moritz.

As per a recent survey, most tourists typically end up experiencing not more than 3% of the Switzerland, which is not surprising as mostly they rely on internet searches or stories of fellow travelers – who have come here on group tours in bus coaches. Of course, group tours have their own utility but it’s hardly surprising that most travelers miss some of the great experiences in Switzerland without any support and advice from local experts. We truly believe that local knowledge and support is extremely critical as there are so many hidden gems and a lot of time is lost in figuring out these experiences. When you experience a new country with Catterfly, you are part of our community and are always supported by experts, who design not only the great experiences based on your preferences but also support you all the way through your journey.

How many days are needed to visit Switzerland?

Most people have just a week or two to explore this amazing country, and we certainly hope that you are lucky to make several visits. In a week-long trip, you could perhaps explore one or two regions of Switzerland in depth (like central & French region), or focus on the iconic locations like Zurich, Bern, Grindelwald, with some day tours from these locations. There is more an enough to experience in each of these places for the famous and off beat experiences for everyone’s taste.

What is the best time to visit Switzerland?

Switzerland is an all-weather country from traveling perspective and it really depends on what one is looking to experience. Most of the tourists tend to visit Switzerland between May – September considering these are the summer months in Switzerland with July-August as the peak summer months.

If you were to consult a local, the spring season in late March-April and Autumn during October to mid-November is equally good time to visit as the temperatures are still moderate and with the added benefits of no major traveler’s rush – unless your travel coincides with a local European holiday or long weekend. Winters are very pristine with charming Christmas markets all over and festivities are in the air. It tends to get reasonably cold but with one of the best standards of living in the world – the lodging and travel is very comfortable in most parts. Of course December – February is the ideal season for winter sports enthusiast, and even if skiing / snowboarding isn’t what excites you – sledging down a snow mountain with kids is an experience that one shouldn’t really miss.

What are the visa and insurance requirements for Switzerland?

In principle, everyone needs a valid travel document to visit Switzerland, but some EU/EFTA citizens with expired travel documents may be allowed to cross the border on exception basis. Travel documents of third-country nationals for a short stay not exceeding 90 days in any period of 180 days, however, must be valid for at least three months after the planned departure from Switzerland and have been issued within the previous ten years. The date of issue of the travel document is what counts, regardless of any official extension.

For nationals of most countries, one also needs to obtain a visa. Depending on the purpose of your travel to Switzerland, there are different types of Swiss visas that will apply to the occasion. Whether you are planning to go on a visit, study or work and reside there permanently, you will have to apply for a different Swiss Visa, accordingly. For visiting purposes, generally a Schengen visa needs to be obtained and one can apply three months before the date of the travel. If the purpose of travel is to pursue employment, then a work permit will be required.

Above information is for guidance purposes only. To find out if you need to obtain a visa, and if there are any specific requirements for your travel documents, please consult the respective Swiss diplomatic/consular mission nearest to you. Alternatively, contact us and we can provide required guidance if you are planning to travel for tourism purposes.

Medical insurance is a mandatory requirement for all travelers coming to Switzerland, and mostly it is needed as a part of visa application itself. The amount of medical insurance coverage is mentioned specifically as a part of the visa processing requirement, so check with the local Swiss Embassy before you apply for visa. Online insurance provider in most countries offer very reasonable policies that can be bought online itself, and the insurance premium is dependent on the number of days that one plans to spend in Switzerland.

If you don’t need a visa to enter Switzerland, then its important that either you have an insurance in your home country that provides coverage as you travel overseas. Many a times the credit card firms also offer it as a part of their package, so it’s a good idea to check with your credit card firm as well. If insurance coverage is not provided by your existing insurance provider in home country or any other means (like credit card package), then it is highly recommended to buy a insurance cover before you travel to Switzerland. 

What is the weather in Switzerland like?

Switzerland climate is moderate with no excessive heat, cold or humidity especially in lowlands. But, the good news is the seasons are distinguishable - summers(June to August - daytime temperature range is), autumn (September to November), winters (December to February) and Spring (March to May). Sometimes in April the winter returns for a short period and sometimes there could be summer conditions as early as May. In spring (March to May) the trees blossom and the meadows turn green. From July to August the daytime temperature range is 18 to 28 °C (65° - 82° F) and from January to February the range is -2 to 7 °C (28° - 45° F). In spring and autumn, the daytime temperature range is 8 to 15 °C (46° - 59° F).  

Depending on the altitude the temperature range may vary. It is highly recommended to visitors to pack a sweater, good walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, a compact umbrella and/or a light rain coat. The winters

The best time depends on your plans. If you are well prepared, you'll have a wonderful trip regardless of the time of year. Any doubts about your plans? Feel free to ask for advice from our local experts.

How to plan a trip to Switzerland?

Some of the most commonly asked questions are around when to travel, which places to visit, and how to get around. In general, any time is good to visit Switzerland and it really depends on your plans. Summer months between June to August is the time when most tourists plan their trip but the shoulder months during Spring and autumn are an equally good time to visit especially if you prefer a bit of solitude. Winters are a special time to visit with Christmas festivities until December, and snow sport enthusiasts ruling the roost in January and February. 

In a week long trip most people tend to focus more on central and Northern part of Switzerland with base locations in Lucerne, Interlaken and Zurich (or Basel). However it's easy to squeeze in few days in Lake Geneva in n a week long trip. If one has few additional days then it's highly recommended to keep it for Italian.rt of Swiss, or visiting neighboring parts of Germany and France. It's not an easy decision to make especially on a first trip to Switzerland and we are happy to help you prioritize and make the right choices.  

How to travel to Switzerland?

Switzerland is a landlocked country and surrounded by France, Germany, Austria, Italy (and a small country Lichenstein). It is very well connected by Air, Train and land transport and best option depends on where you are traveling from and the overall itinerary.  

If you are traveling from outside of Europe, then the most frequently used airports are Zurich and Geneva, while Basel also works fine for the travelers who are traveling from within Europe. If one is traveling only to Switzerland, then it is a good idea to travel into Zurich and flying out of Geneva – unless you are planning to spend all your time only one part of Switzerland, or the flight prices / timing is convenient to fly in and out of the same airport. While it’s a small country, the distances between different locations can be substantial and you may want to optimize on the time spent in getting back to the same airport to fly back home.

For travelers coming in from neighboring countries, the trains are a great option as well as most of the trains traveling across countries would pass thru Basel and Geneva (for trains coming in from France and Germany), Zurich (for trains coming in from Germany and Austria), and Lugano (for trains coming in from Italy). Most of the cross-country trains typically require a seat reservation as well and it is not enough to have a travel pass (e.g. Eurail passes) or a train ticket only.

And, if you like to drive then road network from neighboring countries seamless flows into Switzerland. Of course, you must carry the required traveling documents with you all times even if some of the entry points at the border are not staffed in late evening hours. Traveling by road is a popular option for travelers within Europe. However, you must consider that there is a road tax of (around CHF 40) and one must buy a vignette (valid for one calendar year) at the border entry points (or a gas station near the country border) else you could potentially face a fine for violating the rules. In recent times, some private bus operators like Flixbus also offers great connections to the main cities in Switzerland.  

Where to stay in Switzerland?

Most popular choices to stay in Switzerland are Lucerne and Interlaken, as travelers typically spend time visiting central Switzerland or use this as the base to go around for a short trip of 4-5 days. However, depending on the overall plan, you should consider other locations. For e.g. Lake Geneva region is best explored by staying in that region (Geneva, Lausanne, Vevey-Montreux). Some resort towns / villages like Zermatt, Grindelwald, Gstaad-Saanen, Wengen etc. are also popular among travelers who want to indulge in mountain activities (hiking, skiing, sledding etc.) or just enjoy the serene landscape.  

Zurich and Geneva is a good choice for first or last few days of your travel depending on your flight timings. We also recommend considering Basel as the base location for few days, if you would like to explore the Three-Country region which is truly unique with charming French towns and villages in Alsace region and Blackforest region of Germany (all within an 1-2 hours away).

What is the best way to get around in Switzerland? How does public transportation in Switzerland work?

Train travel is one of the best way to travel in Switzerland; it’s economical and popular with both locals and tourists. The stations are clean and equipped with general purpose services and the trains are punctual, clean and comfortable. Unless you have a off the beaten track kind of itinerary or have very limited time to explore, get on the train and experience life as the locals do. You’ll be exposed to spectacular scenery and a way of life for most Swiss people. If you are traveling by train, then one of the best investments one can make is to buy a Swiss train pass (available for 3, 4, 8 and 15 days), or a combination of some regional pass and half-fare pass. Consult our destination experts, and they will advise you on the best combinations that suits your itinerary.  


For visiting mountains, you would likely need to take the cable car or the mountain trains, and these are mostly discounted on Swiss travel pass (and some of these mountains can be accessed free of charge as well). Likewise, the boat cruises are very popular among tourists to explore the regions aronund the popular lakes in Lucerne, Interlaken and Geneva.  

Self-drive car - Driving around is a great option for travelers, who would like to go off the beaten track. While most places in Switzerland are very well connected by public transport, it may be faster or more convenient to explore if one is driving around. Especially in the mountain passses in the central Switzerland. However, one must consider that the fuel cost and parking cost is reasonably high as compared to other Western countries.

Traveling by Taxi / Chaffeur driven cars - This is easily available in most of the big cities and for intercity transits as well. However, it is mostly a very expensive option unless the cost is shared by a larger group of people traveling together.

What are the daily expenses in Switzerland? What currency to carry?

Switzerland is a relatively expensive country to visit and the average cost for a backpacker/budget traveler is around CHF 75-100 to cover the basics, stay in some hostels, sightseeing and local transport, and perhaps have a basic meal outside. It's difficult to give a specific figure because all travellers have their own individual needs and interests. A Switzerland Tourism survey shows that visitors spend an average of CHF 100 to 200 per day on meals and accommodation in Switzerland (excluding outbound and return travel). Some of the average cost and guidance for managing different aspects of travel in Switzerland

Accommodation:
Can range from CHF 40-45 per night in a hostel with shared dorms and toilets to 150-250 chf per night in hotel and Swiss Chalet / apartments for a mid-range options. It can also vary by the time of the year and the prices are typically higher during the summer and the winter months (for ski break). Of course, there is no upper range for luxury options in hotels and Swiss chalets in mountain resorts - that offer very exclusive experiences.  

Travel within Switzerland: Cost typically around CHF 50-60 per day, if one is using the Swiss travel pass to go around. However, the mountain cable cars and trains typically cost extra, unless its already covered by Swiss travel pass.  

Meals: one can easily toss up their own meals if staying in a hostel or a place with fully equipped kitchen (in chalet / apartments / holiday homes). The cost of eating out in Switzerland can be quite substantial in a regular restaurant - average of CHF 30-40 per person per meal. However, there are options available in CHF 10-20 range with the takeout pizzas, sandwiches and Turkish Kebab shops - which offer good choices for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. One can also shop around in the regular stores like Migros and CooP for pre-cooked meals at reasonable budget range.  

Trip length

7 Days

Starting From

€ 1354

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  • Package Type Easy-Leisurely
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