8D7N Switzerland Itinerary: Top Things to Do During Summer

8D7N Switzerland Itinerary: Top Things to Do in Switzerland During Summer

Come with us on an adventure in Switzerland!

For many of us in Asia, powdery pistes and world-class ski resorts are what come to mind when we think of Switzerland. But with its blue skies, clear lakes, and alpine meadows dotted with edelweiss and gentian, Switzerland is a stunning land for the adventurous in summer too! So, when an opportunity came for me to visit Switzerland during the summer, I grabbed it with both hands. After all, it had been a country on my bucket list for the longest time. Here’s how my trip went.   

Also read: 9 Summer Activities in Switzerland Adrenaline Junkies Will Love!

Day 1: Arrival → Mount Titlis

First glimpse of Switzerland from the plane

After a 13-hour direct flight from Singapore via Swiss International Air Lines, I arrived in Zurich and met up with my tour leader from Switzerland Tourism along with four other travelers. After a brief round of introductions, we were ready to head to the first stop of our epic trip in Switzerland – the majestic Mount Titlis.

The journey to Mount Titlis (or simply Titlis) took about two hours and involved a few journeys by train. We first caught a train to Luzern before switching to a train to Engelberg. Before heading out, we each got ourselves a Swiss Travel Pass, which allowed us unlimited access to trains, buses, and other forms of public transport in Switzerland, including boats! I highly recommend getting one when you head to Switzerland, especially if you plan on visiting several different districts and cities. 

The ride to Engelberg was delightful and it felt like I was moving through postcard after postcard as the beautiful countryside rolled past our window. The moment I stepped onto the platform in Engelberg, I was met with a rush of cool, fresh air which was energising after a long flight. But even more invigorating was the scenery which welcomed me: Impressive mountains towered around the town and the clear lake mirrored the cloudless, blue sky above. 

From the cable car on the way up to Trübsee

From Engelberg, we ascended to Trübsee by cable car and checked into Alpine Lodge Trübsee. At 1,800m above sea level, the lodge boasts the most impressive alpine views. I was assigned a good-sized and comfortable room with a balcony overlooking the idyllic lake. After freshening up a little I made my way down to the first activity on the agenda – heading to the peak of Mount Titlis! 

While you can actually walk all the way to the top of the mountain, I was glad we chose the easy route and took the cable car instead. Moreover, this wasn’t just any cable car. Titlis boasts of having the world’s first revolving cable car which can offer passengers a 360-degree view of the snow-covered mountain peaks during the five minutes ride. 

After a satisfying lunch at Titlis Panorama Restaurant, we set off towards the Titlis Cliff Walk. As the name suggests, the Titlis Cliff Walk is an adrenaline-filled walk across the cliffs of Mount Titlis at 3,041 metres above sea level, across the highest suspension bridge in Europe! Talk about starting the trip on a “high” note! 

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Titlis Cliff Walk | Image credit: Titlis Cableways

Conquering the spectacular suspension bridge required nerves as strong as the steel cables from which it hangs. I’m not usually afraid of heights, but crossing the 100-metre bridge that is on a windy day made me queasy. Maybe especially after a good lunch. 

That being said, it was the most exhilarating experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The views at the middle of the bridge were simply magnificent beyond words and one that no photo can ever do justice to. You’ll just have to admire it yourself to fully appreciate the alluring sight! 

After the Cliff Walk, we visited the 5000-year-old Glacier Cave. Entering the frosty cave felt like we were going into a secret underground world. The 100-meter passageway is bathed in a turquoise light, making it a surreal experience, and with lots of Instagrammable spots.

Picture taken while on the zipline

A quick cable car ride down the mountain and we were back at Trübsee for an afternoon of ziplines and boat rowing on the lake. The zipline was so much fun and a must-try! Zipping down 500 meters surrounded by gargantuan mountains, the blue sky above me, and grazing cows beneath me is definitely one for the bucket list.

There are also plenty of amazing hikes in the area for those who have plenty of energy, but we decided to make our way back to the lodge for dinner and rest, in preparation for Luzern the next day.

Watching the sunset from Alpine Lodge Trübsee where we stayed for the night

Day 2: Exploring the Lake Luzern Region

The next morning, we woke up to the beautiful mountain scenery and fresh air (and loud cowbells), and enjoyed a hearty breakfast at the hotel. After that, we made our way to Engelberg station from which we took a 47-minute direct train ride to Luzern, our next destination. 

After checking into Ameron Luzern Hotel Flora, we took a bus to Kriens followed by a 30-minute panoramic gondola ride to Fräkmüntegg, a vast expanse of verdant valleys on Mount Pilatus that features plenty of fun, thrilling activities fit for the whole family. 

switzerland pilatus

TripZilla was here on Mount Pilatus!

The first activity of the day was an exhilarating ride on the Dragon Glider on Mount Pilatus. Strapped into a paraglider seat, I glided 500m down through the trees on a winding, tubular steel construction. When tackling the bends, the seat would sometimes be sent spinning, cranking the fun factor up a notch on this unique ride. I was laughing so much as the wind brushed past me that I forgot to take in the spectacular view! Looks like I’ll have to visit Mount Pilatus and attempt the Dragon Glider again then.

Dragon Rider | Image credit: Pilatus-Bahnen AG

After lunch, we continued the adrenaline-packed day with a ride on the Fräkigaudi Toboggan Run. The Fräkigaudi is not just any toboggan run. At 1,350 metres long, it is the longest summer toboggan run in Switzerland! So of course I had to race down its shiny steel channel with plenty of steep curves and jumps. Verdict: loved the spectacular run and would do it again in a heartbeat. But unfortunately, we only had a day in Luzern so we had to head back to town to get some sightseeing done. 

toboggan run switzerland

Attempting the longest summer toboggan run in Switzerland

We returned to our hotel, freshened up, and went on a walking tour of the picturesque town. The town is perched on the clear River Reuss. Swans glided gracefully on the river and quaint shops dotted its banks. Crossing it, is the beautiful Chapel Bridge, the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge. 

The very pretty Chapel Bridge in the city of Lucerne

The bridge used to be adorned with paintings dating back to the 17th century but sadly, most of these paintings were destroyed during a fire in 1993. Fortunately, 25 of these paintings were salvaged and restored, and have been put back on the bridge. Soaking up the history of the bridge, it was easy to understand why this exquisite architecture is the city’s most famous landmark.    

After an activity-packed day, we winded down with a quiet dinner and concluded the second day of our travel. 

Day 3: Heading up to the Jungfrau Region

Today we go to the top of Europe! After breakfast, we made our way to Grindelwald by train after first arriving at Interlaken Ost by rail. In total, the entire journey took us around three hours! It felt long, but given the fantastic views from the train window, it passed by in a flash!

Grindelwald lies at 1034m above sea level, nestled in a pristine and unique alpine landscape at the foot of the Eiger’s North Face. This village with its special appeal was going to be our base for day three. We checked into Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald, a five-star hotel that has been welcoming guests since 1892. What struck me most was the spectacular view from my room. Peering out felt akin to stepping into a real-life fairy tale! 

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Lovely view from the balcony outside my room

We boarded a fast transfer from Grindelwald to Grindelwald Terminal then hopped on the Eiger Express from Grindelwald Terminal to Jungfraujoch – the Top of Europe. The Eiger Express is one of the most modern gondolas I’ve been on. The pristine views over the north face of the Eiger were made even more impressive with the huge windows, making this a truly memorable ride.

eiger express switzerland

Eiger Express | Image credit: Jungfrau Railways

First stop was the Sphinx Terrace, a research station with expansive views. We were in luck! It was a clear day and we could see all the way to Germany and take excellent pictures of the Aletsch Glacier, the longest glacier in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Seeing the incredibly immense body of ice before me, I couldn’t help but feel humbled by Mother Nature’s artistry. Take it from me, if you only have time to see one glacier in Switzerland, let this be “the one”. 

Sphinx Terrace | Image credit: Jungfrau Railways

Next, we moved on to the Glacier Plateau, the top vantage platform on Jungfraujoch. Bordered by snow-capped peaks, each about 4,000 metres tall, the Plateau boasted incredible views that epitomised the unparalleled natural beauty of Switzerland. What’s more, it doesn’t matter how well-travelled we are, we Southeast Asians always get excited when we touch snow, and that’s exactly what we did! We spent a large chunk of time just enjoying the chilly weather and playing around in the fluffy white snow…in summer! 

Fun fact: Jungfraujoch is one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy snow 365 days a year thanks to its altitude.

jungfraujoch switzerland

Glacier Plateau | Image credit: Jungfrau Railways

All that play worked up quite an appetite. We had a nice lunch at one of the many restaurants within Jungfraujoch and did a spot of shopping at the souvenir store before making our way back to the hotel.

Running around at 3,454 metres above sea level tires the body easily as we had to adjust to the difference in oxygen levels. Or so we learned after today’s play. Therefore, we decided to have dinner at the restaurant within our hotel and retire early for the day.

Day 4: Appreciating the car-free village of Schilthorn

Today we are off to Mürren, the quaint car-free mountain village on Mt. Schilthorn. From Grindelwald, we boarded a 20-minute train to Zweilütschinen and then a second train to Lauterbrunnen that took about an hour. We finally hopped on a fast 10-minute bus ride to Stechelberg before starting our ascend up Mt Schilthorn via cable cars.

We left our luggage with our hotel in Mürren before heading to Birg Station where the Skyline Walk Platform is. The Skyline Walk Platform is an observation deck suspended over a vertical precipice, offering stunning views of the Schilthorn region’s alpine scenery. Part of the platform is made out of glass so that you can truly embrace the vertigo.

switzerland itinerary

Stunning views of snow-capped mountains from Skyline Walk Platform

At one end of the observation deck, we found the entrance of The Thrill Walk which led us down into the perpendicular walls of the imposing rock massif and continued beneath the deck. If this is not spine-tingling enough for you, part of the walk has a suspension wire which you can attempt to cross! The mountain experience on the steel structures was thrilling enough for me so I gave the tightrope a miss.

From Birg, we took another cable car further up the mountain to Piz Gloria, a famous revolving restaurant with 360º views over Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The restaurant makes a complete rotation every 45 minutes and on a clear day, you can even see as far as the Mont Blanc massif in France! Many scenes in the James Bond Film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, were shot at Piz Gloria. 

We walked off the delicious lunch with a visit to the James Bond Museum housed in the same building. The interactive exhibition has a good number of memorabilia from the movie and offers lots of Instagram-worthy spots. While I am not a die-hard fan of the James Bond franchise, I still had fun on the chopper and bobsleigh stimulators. Overall, a great addition to the already fabulous attraction.

We then returned to Mürren, the charming, car-free mountain village that is situated at an altitude of 1,634m, and checked into the lovely family-run Blumenthall Hotel.

After dropping my bags in my room, I decided to head out to explore this lovely village. Mürren is exactly how you would imagine a cute Swiss village in the Alps would be – wooden chalets, planter boxes outside each window overflowing with flowers, green fields, and a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. At one point in my walk, when I was looking down into the valley, I felt inspired to break into a yodel. Don’t worry, I didn’t. Mainly because I have no clue how to yodel. But you get my point.

The pretty and quaint Swiss village of Mürren

When the day ended, the serenity of the village and the nice cool air up in the mountains provided me with the best sleep I had on this trip.

Day 5: Visiting the lovely town of Montreux

For day five, we headed to Montreux. From Mürren we jumped on a transfer to Stechelberg followed by another bus to Interlaken Ost. From there we boarded the Golden Pass Line to Montreux (Interlaken Ost to Spiez, Spiez to Zweisimmen and finally Zweisimmen to Montreux). The whole journey took about 5 hours.

We arrived just after midday and checked into Hotel Eurotel. The location of the hotel is great and the rooms are spacious and modern. I would definitely recommend this hotel to friends who are visiting Montreux. 

The first thing we did was take a stroll along the lakeside promenade to soak up Montreux’s lively atmosphere. Lake Geneva is undoubtedly the star of Montreux with its natural beauty and romantic vibes. Some people were taking a dip in the cool waters while others were just chilling with a drink in one of the many cafes along the shore. All in all, a great place to relax. 

We found many art installations and sculptures as we walked along the boardwalk. One which attracted the most photographers was the statue of Freddie Mercury. Apparently, Freddie was so taken with Montreux, that he not only recorded his last album here, he even spent the last years of his life in Montreux. A testament to how cool this town really is.

The lively lakeside promenade of Montreux

From there we took a bus to Chillon Castle, a medieval island castle located on Lake Geneva, and also the most visited historic monument in Switzerland. Our Swiss Travel Pass actually included free admission to the Castle! Yay, more cost savings for us! 

Built on the rocks along the banks of the lake, this impressive structure dates back to the year 1005. Touring Chillon Castle was like going back in time. Following our audio guide, we moved through the different rooms and halls to uncover the layers of history behind this castle. The castle first started as a fort. During its long history, it was expanded and served as an arsenal and prison at some point too. The dungeons cut into the rocks upon which the castle was built left the deepest impression on me. As they were built at water level, they felt damp and dreary. The grim lighting also added to the brooding magnificence of these cold chambers. Not exactly an Airbnb-worthy accommodation, but definitely worth a visit.           

Chillon Castle was the architectural inspiration for Prince Eric’s castle in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Do you see the resemblance?

From the castle, we cruised to the town of Vevey on a boat. The 30-minute ride was enjoyable with exceptional views of Montreux and the terraced vineyards in the region. Upon landing, we spent some time exploring the cobbled streets of the old town before finally settling along the Promenade with ice cream. This is how Vevey should be enjoyed – idyllically watching the swans gliding on the surface of Lake Geneva, with the majestic Alps as a backdrop, and a  Mövenpick ice cream cone in hand.  

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Cruising on Lake Geneva to get to Vevey

We returned to Montreux by bus and had a wonderful dinner along the lakeside promenade which is even more stunning at night. The sun sets at around 9pm during summer in Switzerland, so it is typical for people to enjoy long dinners, punctuated by wine and cheese platters. Street performers dotted the promenade and there was a lively buzz to the town. We had a truly magical evening at the trendy Les Voiles de la Rouvenaz to wrap up the day. 

lake geneva

View of Lake Geneva and Montreux from the balcony of my room in the highly recommended Hotel Eurotel

Day 6: Leukerbad

Today we are off to Leukerbad. A mountain spa nestled in the canton of Valais, famous for its thermal waters and recognised as a place for relaxation, serenity and beauty. The transfer from Montreux to Leukerbad took us 2 hours via trains and bus.

A traditional Swiss chalet in Leukerbad characterised by gorgeous planter boxes

My first impression of Leukerbad is that it looks straight out of a Swiss storybook. The streets are lined with traditional Swiss chalets, cute cafes, and quaint shops, giving it a wonderful old town feel.

We checked into the well-appointed Hotel Quellenhof before heading to Asian Restaurant Canaan for a sumptuous lunch. Having been away from home for a week, I was badly missing my Chinese stir-frys and Asian Restaurant Canaan did not disappoint. Must try!

After a satisfying lunch, we were ready to set off on an easy hike along the Leukerbad Thermal Springs Trail. The trail begins from the centre of the village to the source of the springs. Along the way, we walked on an imposing 600m footbridge suspended above the river bed. The metal grids which make up the flooring of the footbridge allowed us to see the thermal springs bubbling below our feet. Quite a spectacular experience – if you are not afraid of heights. We took about 90 minutes to complete the hike at a leisurely pace.  

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In search of the source of the village’s famous thermal spring

We returned to the hotel to change into our swimwear, before heading to Alpentherme Thermal Baths, which is located conveniently just a stone’s throw from the hotel. This was a perfect way to relax after the busy days of traveling. Surrounded by impressive mountains, the warm thermal waters were a perfect contrast to the cool air. I spent most of my time there in the large outdoor thermal pool as I enjoyed soaking in the warm water while taking in the magnificent view. But the 200 square meters indoor pool was nice too and the water felt warmer for those who like it really hot.  

We returned to the hotel for dinner and I slept well after such a relaxing day.

Day 7: Setting foot in the ever-popular Zermatt

After breakfast, we checked out and took a 30-minute bus ride to Leukerbad train station. From there, it was a two-hour train ride to Zermatt, one of Switzerland’s most famous alpine towns, known for being one of the few truly car-free villages in the world. It was the perfect place to wrap up this epic adventure.

Zermatt is a picturesque mountain town that lies at the foot of the mighty Matterhorn. It is a famous skiing destination as it is in the middle of an enormous ski region that boasts a whooping 360km of pistes. It is equally popular in summer for its varied hiking and biking trails.

After dropping our bags at Hote Ambassador, we explored the area on foot to take in the architecture and sights of this bustling village. Zermatt is a unique blend of the old and new. On one hand, the streets are lined with international shops and restaurants, yet on the other, churches and memorial sites tell a story of a place steep in tradition.   

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Matterhorn. Better known as Mount Toblerone to me

After a quick lunch, we were ready to scale the mighty Matterhorn to get to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, the highest cable car station in Europe. Sitting at 3,883 metres above sea level, it offers an unparalleled 360 view of snow-capped peaks and glaciers. The place can be reached easily by a series of cable cars so it is accessible to all regardless of fitness levels. The ride on the gondola is already quite an experience on its own as it gave us a bird’s-eye view of the glacier beneath us.   

Also read: Top 7 Ski Resorts in Switzerland to Visit in 2022

switzerland itinerary

Last panoramic view of the breathtaking Swiss alps before we go home tomorrow

From the platform, we could see as far as Italy and France. Signages point out the famous peaks of Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau, and Mont Blanc. Of course, we also got an up-close look of the Matterhorn which looked quite different from what we see on the Toblerone wrapper from this angle. I spent a good half hour just taking in the awe-inspiring landscape on the viewing platform before moving on to the Glacier Ice Palace below. 

As the name suggests, the Glacier Ice Palace is indeed carved into the core of a glacier. A lift took us down 15 metres below the surface of the glacier to a sparkling ice palace deep under the snow. Inside, the cave is a labyrinth of tunnels filled with beautiful ice carvings and sculptures that are regularly renewed. 

We returned to Zermatt to do some shopping before returning to our hotel. Zermatt has a good selection of chocolate and souvenir shops so it was a good idea to leave our shopping for the last part of our trip.

Pro tip: All over Switzerland, you will find a supermarket chain known as “Coop”. They offer many of the same Swiss chocolates found in tourist areas but are priced more reasonably.  

Day 8: Home sweet home

Last breakfast in Switzerland! I’ll miss the yummy Swiss cheese and rich hot chocolate offered during breakfast at every one of the hotels we stayed in during this trip. We checked out of Hotel Ambassador and made our way to Zurich Airport by train.

Eight days seemed like a long time to spend in just one European country when I first embarked on this adventure. But now that it is coming to an end, I wish I had planned for a few more days in Mürren and Luzern. While this itinerary was a good Switzerland “taster”, I think it has barely scratched the surface of how much Switzerland has to offer. Oh well, more reasons to return to this beautiful country soon I guess. 

Special thanks to Switzerland Tourism for inviting us on this memorable trip to Switzerland!

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