Switzerland is a country of outstanding natural beauty. Fresh mountain air fills your lungs as you marvel at the crystal blue lakes, lush greenery and snow capped peaks that are plentiful throughout the country. The cities are clean and the public transport is among the most reliable in the world. Switzerland can appear to be a stern and serious country, it’s part of what makes everything here run like clockwork, but that doesn’t mean there’s no fun to be had. This short travel guide fits plenty in without feeling too rushed.
- 2 nights in Lucerne
- 2 nights in Lauterbrunnen
- 1 night in Zurich
The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF) 1 Euro = 1.12 CHF. Be prepared to spend more on everything in Switzerland, it is an expensive place. We recommend finding accommodation with a kitchen as eating out is super expensive and not of high quality.
This trip cost approximately €1300 for the two of us which is certainly not cheap and we didn’t exactly live in luxury. As you can see below, accommodation and food are very expensive but it’s worth it, just keep reading on!
- train transport €220
- accommodation €660
- flights €100
- food €236
- other €50
Pro Tip: Download the SBB App to you smartphone to access and purchase all your public transport tickets. Buying tickets in advance will also save you considerable cash.
There isn’t much in Lucerne that is not picture postcard perfect. Whether it’s the the Chapel Bridge connecting the old and new towns across a winding river or the snow capped mountains literally surrounding the small medieval city from where the river flows.
- Chapel Bridge
- Lookout for mountains
- Lion Sculpture
- Explore the city
It’s worth mentioning we found a nice hotel that was actually great value for money, on the waterfront and had a great breakfast. Your hotel might include a free public transport pass as many Swiss cities do this. We got one from our hotel in Lucerne but didn’t actually have a need for it as everything was within walking distance.
Now take the train to Lauterbrunnen and make sure you have your camera handy.
Pro Tip: Sit on the right hand side of the train when you leave Lucerne station to get truely exquisite views.
Watch 2.5 hours of beautiful Swiss countryside pass you by and before you know it you’ll arrive in…
Without hyperbole, Lauterbrunnen is the most beautiful natural wonder I’ve seen anywhere on earth. This place literally gave me chills. walking around the quaint ski village is nice but just start wandering 10mins out of town and I recommend a seperate memory card cause you’re gonna be snapping photos. Winter is magical as the whole village is surrounded by frozen waterfalls which are even more beautiful to see in summer when they melt and flow.
- Waterfall cave entrance
- Take a walk/hike and see where you end up
- Cross country ski your way from town to town
Pro Tip: Find accommodation with a kitchen and cook your own meals as restaurants are very expensive here.
Check the SBB app and get ready for your next train connection, ours was 3 changes but with the excellent transport it couldn’t be easier. Buy lunch from the supermarket in and enjoy the 3.5 hour trip from Lauterbrunnen – Interlaken – Bern – Zurich
Zurich is a nice enough city to spend a night, we didn’t find a whole lot to see and do but as always the old town is nice to explore. The major airport was more of a deciding factor for us to stopover before our flight to Athens. If you are only here for the night I would recommend finding accommodation near the train station as the airport is only a short 15min train journey. Enjoy the scenery and beautiful buildings and relax with your preferred beverage as you watch the sun set on your time in Switzerland.
Helpful Tips and Tricks
- If you are arriving in Switzerland via Basel Airport purchase a ticket from outside the terminal to get you to Basel HBF Central Station.
- Download the Swiss Transport SBB app and book all your tickets through it. It’s so much easier than rushing to find a ticket machine. I literally brought our train ticket to Lucerne while waiting at the platform – talk about convenience. For all our other connections we booked in advance which saved us about 50% off each ticket. It’s a big saving but I would only recommend this is you know exactly what time you want to arrive or leave a destination.
- Accommodation prices and quality range wildly in Switzerland, expect to get a 2 star hotel for what you would generally pay for a 3-4 star elsewhere in Europe. I would recommend looking for included breakfasts ti help minimise food costs.
- Culinary delights are not the first thing that spring to mind when you think of Switzerland – except for the excellent chocolate. Honestly, your restaurant picks are going to be fairly average in all 3 of these places unless you are willing to spend up big. Expect to pay €30 just for a main meal at any average run of the mill place. Save your money and stay somewhere with a (shared) kitchen to keep your costs down.
- Have CHF cash in Lauterbrunnen, you won’t have a problem using your regular debit or credit card anywhere else.