Switzerland is one of those dream places that had been on our travel bucket list for years! We always knew it would be an expensive trip but when we came across a great off-season deal on flights (shoutout to Scott’s Cheap Flights), we knew we had to take advantage of the opportunity. We bought our tickets in July and then I got to spend the next few months working on one of my favorite parts of traveling: planning the itinerary.
We flew into Geneva and out of Zurich but thanks to our Swiss Travel Passes we had plenty of freedom to decide how to spend our time traveling in between the two cities. Since we were traveling in mid-October we knew we would be visiting in between the tourist seasons of summer and winter. With this in mind, we opted to spend two nights in locations where we had specific outdoor activities we hoped to do.
This strategy of giving ourselves an extra chance for some ideal weather definitely paid off during our time in Lausanne and Lauterbrunnen. Weather strategy aside, we probably would have taken one of our Lucerne nights and spent another day in the Lauterbrunnen area. Our itinerary ultimately looked like this:
This itinerary worked well for us and we would definitely recommend it but make sure you consider the following when you’re planning your own trip:
1. How much time do you want to spend on train rides in between each location? We didn’t want to spend more than three hours traveling on any given day and planned our overnight stays accordingly.
2. What activities, museums, and restaurants are on your “must see” list for each stop? Make sure you’ll be there on days that they’re open! This is especially important to take into consideration if you’re traveling during the off-season like we were! Along the same lines, look up weather averages and decide if you want to stay an extra day or two in order to increase the chance that you’ll have good weather and be able to do all of your “must see” outdoor activities!
3. Are there other day trips nearby each city that you want to visit? For example, we visited the smaller towns of Murren, Gimmelwald, and Wengen during our stay in Lauterbrunnen making the two night stay more than worth it!
4. In Switzerland you also have the opportunity to ride the beautiful panorama train routes! We knew we wanted to take at least one of these trains so we chose our cities accordingly and got to travel the entire length of the Golden Pass Railway!
5. If you’re traveling on a budget, you’ll want to do some comparison shopping when it comes to activities, restaurants, and hotels. Some stops can be more expensive than others!